Health Disparities with Dr. Cheng Ruan

Episode 53

Wow, what a way to close out 2020!  Dr. Cheng Ruan, a titan in functional and holistic medicine, joins Dr. Harris to discuss health disparities in medicine and clinical research.  The topic expands far beyond that as the doctors had an incredible vibe.  They also discuss the following topics:

➡️The COVID vaccine and reasons for and against it

➡️The most critical step in healing your body

➡️How NFL veterans and combat veterans are quite similar

➡️Bioenergetics and why they matter

➡️How to deal with negativity on social media

➡️And much, much more!

We end the Strive for Great Health Podcast in 2020 on such a high note with a conversation about our hopes, dreams, and desires in our futures as holistic providers.

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Episode Transcript

Episode 53 – Health Disparities With Dr. Cheng Ruan

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:00:00] Join me, Dr. Richard Harris, as we strive to unlock the secrets of the human body. Strive for wellness, strive for great health. Follow the show on iTunes, Spotify, Google, and Android.

And now a word from our sponsors. This week’s sponsors are Real Ketones. Real ketones is a product that gets you in ketosis in an hour. It’s been used to improve athletic performance, support metabolism, improve mental clarity and focus, manage cravings, and then help you burn fat for fuel. I actually use this product as part of my pre-workout routine.

It’s a product that I love; we know I’m a big fan of ketosis. To learn more about real ketones and all of their products, you can head to our website, theghwellness.com, go to the bottom where there’s wellness links, and click drink ketones, or we’ll have a link for you in the show notes. And now to the episode,

Hello, and welcome to the Strive for Great Health Podcast; I’m your host, Dr. Richard Harris. And today, I have with me on the podcast, a verified superstar in the wellness business, internationally known and a pioneer for lifestyle medicine and functional medicine. I have Dr. Cheng Ruan on the podcast with me. How are you doing?

Dr. Cheng Ruan: [00:01:29] Great.  Wonderful. Thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:01:34] I appreciate you. I appreciate all your work and everything that you’re doing to really help people. You know, I always begin the podcast asking my guests how did they get involved with wellness, especially, as you know, an MD, because this is not the path that we’re taught in school.

And so, how did you transition into that holistic lifestyle practice?

Dr. Cheng Ruan: [00:01:58] That’s a great question. I think the first thing is to kind of define what wellness really is. And I think the way I have it in my mind is a little different. And so, I don’t really perceive a difference between wellness and illness medicine.

And the reason behind that is, I was born in China, and I grew up literally on the second floor of my grandfather’s clinic. So, the kitchen’s on the first floor with the waiting room for the clinic, and then I’m on the second floor. It’s a tiny little village in China; it’s still tiny, very limited access.

And so, then I used to kind of run around with a stethoscope around my neck and pretend that I was my grandpa literally buck-naked when I was three years old. And, so seeing him practicing, a rural or, you know, Eastern medicine and the combination of Western medicine is really enlightening because at that time, you know, I grew up in an environment where it’s mostly traditional Chinese medicine, and my grandfather was a first to bring like Western medicine, like injectable steroids, you know, NSAIDS, you know, Tylenol stuff like that into the rural area. And he was a pioneer for it. And so I think that was my foundation. You know, it was solidified in my head even as a kid and growing up.

And, you know, my mom’s an acupuncture, herbal specialist. When we came to the US, didn’t have very much; she made her way through school and ended up opening her own clinic, 28 years ago now, here in Houston. And, and my father, he’s an MD-PhD. So, he’s worked at Baylor College of Medicine, University of Texas here in Houston. He is a leading researcher in COX-2 Inhibitors, NSAIDs, and sets, and all sorts of different things.

And yeah, he’s actually, his specialty is even immunology so vaccines and all this stuff that he’s very familiar with. And so I grew up already like integrating both worlds. So to me, you know, wellness and illness, the trajectory is the same. So, I never really perceive it as a difference. But you know, going through medical school, going through residency training, we’re really taught how mechanisms of the body can work in what drugs can target those mechanisms. Which there’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s a whole background of human physiology that wasn’t really taught in medical school. And so, knowing that and going into clinical practice at first, I knew the limitations were there.

And then I found out the hard way, what the businesses of health is all about in the United States? And, you know, we can really blame it on big pharma, blame it on big systems, big ag and stuff like that. And in reality, it’s, it’s, we can blame it on the lack of training of communication between humans.

Because in medical school and residency, we’re taught to practice very defensively. You know, I remember my attendings telling me, like, pretend that every patient is going to sue you and act on that, which is basically the underlying fundamental way of practicing with resentment, which is not how communication actually occurs.

If you go in with resentment, people will mirror your resentment. And that’s what most of the medical practices right now; it’s really unfortunate. So I started Texas Center for Lifestyle Medicine here in Houston as an experiment. It’s the prototype, and the prototype is to see what happens if the focus is actually around conversations rather than prescriptions.

And can we make that into business and understanding medical terminology, billing, collections, and all that stuff like that, realized it’s much harder than I originally anticipated, but over the last three years, and we opened three years ago, and we’ve met a lot of challenges with Hurricane Harvey, flooding my house and with, with, the pandemic and everything like that.

We’d sure learned a lot. And the and the idea behind holistic wellness medicine and conventional medicine is it’s getting closer together. And, and now, especially going into 2021, I think the conversation is there. People were asking about their immune systems, how to optimize different things. Right. And so that’s, that’s basically the journey of how, how I’m talking to you here today.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:06:26] You just hit on a really key point. I’m a huge fan of Malcolm Gladwell, and his book Talking to Strangers is essentially what you just talked about and how we are all horrible at communicating with people we don’t know. And I think that’s a really key point, is in the way I’ve always practiced.

I’ve never been afraid of being sued. Cause that’s not why I became a doctor. I became a doctor to help people and not to practice defensive medicine, to think outside the box, you know, and to do whatever I think is in the best interest of the person that I’m trying to help. And I, you made a really key point about the meeting of, of Western and Eastern medicine, you know, during this time period with COVID, I’ve seen more, you know, functional type holistic type clinical trials come out then I’ve, I’ve seen in years. You know, there there’s trials on selenium and COVID, there’s trials on Vitamin D, there’s trials on glutathione. There’s all these metabolic studies that have been done with, with COVID. And so now we’re seeing all that information come to the forefront of people’s minds and saying, Oh, you know, my diabetes is, is not just affecting my blood sugars.

It’s affecting my immune system. My high blood pressure is not just impacting my, my vascular system. It’s impacting my ability to fight off infections. And now we’re starting to see that, that overall link.

Dr. Cheng Ruan: [00:07:51] You know, you’re right. I, I think the studies always been there, just not in the United States.

A lot of times when we go into the journal nutrition and stuff like that, you’ve seen studies in like, Sweden, Australia, China, Malaysia, Singapore, a lot of the landmark studies on nutrition, generally isn’t done in the United States, because frankly, it’s very expensive to do. And the FDA has, has incentive to really look at, you know, specific drug trials, rather than looking at, you know, nutrient deficiencies and stuff like that.

So, and it’s very difficult to also, you know, validate, these trials in the United States because of, I think a very typical flaw in looking at a nutritional studies, which is the double-blinded randomized control trial was actually specifically designed for looking at drug trials for it one specific mechanism of action. Which you know, that doesn’t, the double-blinded randomized controlled trial has been seen as taught to me in medical school is sort of the Mecca right. Of, of, of these clinical trials. But that is true for drug development. Isn’t necessarily true for other types of behavioral change.

For example, looking at vitamins associating with cognitive thought. It’s really not. and it’s because the statistics don’t necessarily work that way when we look at these trials.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:09:22] Yeah, absolutely. And there’s a couple of things that people don’t know. Number one, the FDA approval process for drugs now is a complete joke.

It’s a complete joke compared to what it used to be. It used to have to have two independently proven clinical trials, RCTs, those randomized controlled trials that you talked about, and they actually had to have objective markers, like hard science. Now you can get it approved off of a study that says, Oh, okay, well, we decrease some number by a little bit.

What does that mean? What does that translate to? How was that a hard outcome? And so a lot of these drugs that are being pushed on the market now, we don’t know if they actually work because the data behind them is so sparse, and then the burden of proof is so low to get things approved now. And then you’re also seeing a lot of things get recalled, you know, they get on the market, post-marketing surveillance is done, and then they realize, Oh, this has some nasty side effects that we didn’t think about, or we didn’t see.

And then that drug gets pulled off the market, and you’re seeing that happen more and more because of that approval process has gotten less stringent over time.

Dr. Cheng Ruan: [00:10:32] I think from the approval process, that has gotten less stringent, is a manifest of what’s going on. I think, as an evolution of what’s going on in the United States in terms of digital media, I think that there is a need and a cry for, for things and there’s financial incentives for companies to, to develop, specific, you know, and outcomes. And so, of course, with the coronavirus going on right now with the EUA, right. And so everything is becoming accelerated at a pace that we’ve never really seen before. And so, but, but you, you made such a great point is that the approval process is completely different.

My father is very familiar with this, that’s his basically that’s his job as Dean of Pharmcoinformatics at University of Houston Pharmacy School. And so, looking at the process and looking at how a lot of the drugs are developed. There’s, there’s a fundamental flaw in it. And I think that fundamental flaw is starting to reveal itself is that there are big disparities when it comes to like, the people who are, who are actually the participants in the trial in terms of race and gender.

Women are heavily underrepresented, especially in cardiovascular studies. Over the last four years, minorities are heavily underrepresented, right? Native Americans are almost absent in these trials. Right. And recently had a really good conversation with leaders of the Navajo nation, specifically talking about this.

And African-Americans heavily underrepresented, Latino Americans, heavily underrepresented. And, and the question really became well, should there be, looking at data of different races and does it really matter. You know, there’s, there’s an argument. Oh, we all bleed red. You know, we, we have more genomic sequences that are, that are similar to each other.

Well, that’s, that may be the case, but we also have epigenetic sequences that are quite different, which means that the environment, which we grow up in, is very different, right—depending on race and gender. And so, and how do these affect our daily lives? How did these drugs affect us as well? And so one really good example is development of cholesterol medicine.

All right. So recently, over the last couple of years, you have this all of a sudden FDA approved drug. It’s an injectable cholesterol medicine, right? And it’s for those people who have very high cholesterol. The problem with looking at that is that there’s a huge racial disparity because a lot of women have high cholesterol; they never broke down the cholesterol biomarkers, which means that they don’t know if this “bad cholesterol” that they talk about, which is it really bad or is it actually good for women? Because there’s a lot of clinical trials showing that high LDL or high bad cholesterol may be protective in women against menopausal symptoms and dementia. Right? And so, all of a sudden, this drug gets passed based on exactly what you’re talking about earlier is that one number of that decreasing the LDL. And when they try to find mortality data, Okay, meaning that after the drug was approved, it was, it was released to the public, and then they can, they try to prove that this is actually prolonging lives.

And in fact, there was a pharmaceutical rep that came, that came from a company and talked to me. Oh, we’re going under mortality trials, morbidity trials. And I was like, I guarantee you, your company is going to not publish it and cancel it because it’s not going to be in favor. Right. And a whole six months later, none of it was published, and it was swept under the rug.

Right. And so, so we have to be really cautious about medicines these days and take into the entire picture. Right? The question, the question is not whether this drug works for this LDL marker, but the question is whether or not this is going to prolong life and improve quality of life. And we look at the studies almost all blood pressure medicines, most cholesterol medicines, there’s not necessarily improvement in quality of life. And so when we look at that from, from the 50,000 feet point of view, the question becomes, well, if we represent in America, we represent cholesterol is the big, bad thing. And not understand that there’s a beneficial part to it.

Then yes, the hyper-focus will be on reducing this number that may or may not matter if we don’t look at racial disparity and gender disparities.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:15:15] Absolutely. There’s there’s a lot of key points ou just hit on, and then we’ve talked about this on the podcast before, but when a group is underrepresented in a study, that means there’s not enough statistical power, meaning there’s not enough evidence to show that the treatment may be different than placebo.

That’s what that means. We don’t have enough power. There’s not enough evidence that says, okay, we know that this makes a difference compared to giving someone a placebo. And that’s huge because there’s a lot of people on these medications because minorities, we know, have higher rates of diabetes and high cholesterol and high blood pressure that are on these medications.

When we really don’t know if they’re efficacious for these groups of people, because like you said, there are differences at the genetic level, but more importantly, there are differences at the epigenetic level because I always tell people, medications interact with our biology and the interact with our environment.

So if you have a different nutritional intake from a cultural perspective, that could interact with your medication. If your culture evolves, a lot of stress that can interact with your medication, you know? And so these things all matter at the, at the cultural level, and that’s why we need to have more minorities involved in these studies.

The problem is that a lot of minorities are afraid to enroll in these studies because of of history. You know you look at Tuskegee, you look at some of these other experiments that were done, and that’s shocked the minority community. And now the minority community, in general, is a little bit afraid of these, of these studies, enrolling in these studies because they’re afraid of being used as test subjects.

And, you know, nowadays that’s not the case. We have a lot of stringent policies in place to make sure that that doesn’t happen, but we need people to come forward and get enrolled in these studies, especially minorities. So we know if the treatments that we’re using from the Western medicine perspective are actually making a difference.

Dr. Cheng Ruan: [00:17:23] You are absolutely right.  I think that let’s, let’s take a holistic perspective to what you just said. And then I, we look at, minority populations, right? Both of us in the minority population. And we look at our cultures. Right. You know, I, I immigrated to the US when I was seven years old in 1990 and, there are, I grew up very differently than someone who maybe was born in the US since skin color, all the stuff like that. Grew up not so well off when we first came here, just a couple of hundred bucks in the pocket. And, and, and in turn, you know what I like to call the American dream, into, into something that is now tangible. And so as I’m going through that, a lot of things that I see out there on social media, a lot of the commercials that I see on different things, I have a different response to it.

And my response comes from the initial trauma that I had moving from China, in rural China, and never seen an escalator before and never seen all this crazy stuff before, into the fourth largest city in the world, which is Houston, Texas. Right. There’s a lot of trauma that was involved that so, a lot of things that I see ties back into the original trauma.

Right. And so I think that as different cultures grow up in this country, we all tie a specific language. We all tie a specific emotion to traumas we had growing up, and that’s a subconscious link right there. That subconscious link is so powerful, and they call it the placebo in that whenever you, whenever you look at drug trials and a placebo effect of why is it that the placebo also have beneficial outcomes for all these drugs, because we have the power, our brains actually have the power to generate things for ourselves. And that’s why there’s such an important power in the placebo. There’s a really good book called you are the placebo. I think it’s written by Despinza that talks about how this actually occurs.

And so this is another reason why I think minorities should be represented more because of minorities having different emotional paths. Right. And even within the minority groups, like, someone in the Navajo nation is going to have a completely different emotional path than me or than you. Right. And so, by looking at and representing the minority population, we’re not just talking about genetic differences.

We’re talking about cultural differences. We’re also talking about figuring out are there long-term, short-term effects on different drugs, on different vitamins, whichever one it is on this population. Which a lot of the population has grown up very similarly, you know, from the same neighborhoods are going through very similar traumas. And because that placebo works differently than the general placebo in the general population. It makes sense?

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:20:19] Absolutely. Yeah. And we know that the differences in experiences from minorities, whether that’s racial injustice, social injustice, whether that’s poverty, all of these things impact your health dramatically.

In fact, if you look at one of the biggest determinants of, of your long-term health, it’s what zip code do you live in? Because of all of those factors that are involved in the area code that you live in, that’s your environment, that’s your social circle? That’s your access to certain things like healthy foods, toxins.

We know that certain area codes, especially urban areas, there’s way more toxins, air pollution, EMF exposure, you know. I live downtown, right? I’m getting tons of EMF exposure from all the cell towers, and we know that all makes a difference in someone’s health. So the, we need to expand the realm of health and what we think goes into health.

Because if you talk to a lot of physicians, they’re going to say, what we’re talking about right now is fluffy. It’s air; it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter. I’m like, how do you, what, what do you mean? This doesn’t matter? There’s tons and tons of data I can pull. You can just do a Google search right now on this stuff.

And you’re going to find study after study, after study, that shows that these quote, unquote, fluffy things actually matter and impact our health and how can we serve these populations, these communities, to the best of our ability if we don’t have the data if we don’t have the scientific information that we need to serve these communities.

Dr. Cheng Ruan: [00:22:03] The data is out there. No doctors aren’t taught; we’re not taught to look at that data. We’re taught to look at drug trials and drug trials. Primary outcomes, secondary outcomes, mortality rates, double-blind, randomized controlled trials, but there’s a lot of data out there looking at not just minority disparities, but you are right.

Zipcodes. Oh, really good example. So if you live within one mile of interstate, you have a much higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Right. And so there’s a lot of toxins there, plus your in the urban environment, so stuff like that. I didn’t learn that in medical school, but that’s interesting to me right now since we have a dementia program in my facility.

And then, looking at zip code data, you know, Katy, Texas, which is just West of Houston here, it’s actually the 17 largest city in the country now, It’s just massive, has one of the highest, highest rates of a very rare cancer called mantle cell lymphoma. Right. And what Katy, Texas originally has the rice fields, and there’s lots of, you know, organophosphates, Round-Up, weed killers, and all that stuff, they were there, and that’s actually in the soil for over many generations. Right. And so, you know, stuff like that and we don’t, we don’t, we don’t get taught to look at because there’s not a drug trial, there’s not a double-blind, randomized controlled trial looking at specific outcomes, right? The population data and population health is more important than any drug trials.

And, unfortunately, you know, these things are taught in, you know, a master of public health and other, different specialties. But this is the foundation that what we should be looking at this is zip code-related data. Right? And, of course, different zip codes have different racial backgrounds as well.

And so there’s a nature and nurture, right. Is it the actual environment, or is it racial disparities there? Well, we don’t know, but the only we would know is getting more minorities into the population, looking at the zip code data, and that needs to go on moving forward.

And so I think the FDA understands this actually, and they’re, they’re, they’re looking for more minority data. And those are those a press release that was released earlier in November, or end of October, the commissioner at the FDA said, Hey, we need more minorities in these trials, device trials, like medical device trials, which is heavily underrepresented minorities on drug trials and our population data, population and epidemiologic trials.

Right. And so, the more data we have, the better. So, yesterday or the day before, you know, I posted about our clinical trial going on, looking at African-Americans nitric oxide deficiencies and whether or not a nitric oxide booster can actually improve hospitalization and mortality. So when when I started posting about that and actually mentioned you in there.

And I mentioned Dr. Nathan Bryan, who’s a, who’s created the original FDA cleared, trial. There was, there was, it was very polarizing. What the responses were on one side, you know, comments like, Oh, you’re, you’re, you’re targeting the black population now. Right? On the other side, you have all this is wonderful.

We’re finally looking at this. Right. And so both sides are right. Yes. Are we targeting the black population? No, we’re not targeting? We’re putting; we’re putting the minority population forward in actual trials finally after 40 years. Right. And, and are we doing something that’s really good for the community? I think we are by, by having these conversations.

There’s there’s always good intentions behind it. But when, when people, you know, behave a lot of, you know, comments, social media, stuff like that, they’re actually behaving out of traumas they’ve experienced in the past. Just like what you talked about. And I encourage everyone on social media to embrace the naysayers.

Right. And don’t reject them, embrace them and say, you know what, thank you for telling me this, because it tells me so much about possibly what you’ve gone through in your life that I have no idea about. And that acceptance is can be more viral than rejection if we make a collective effort to accept everyone who is either, you know, doubting you, accept people who are, who are creating these negative comments.

And, and because it opens up the conversation instead of rejecting the conversation and, you know, in 2021, we need that more than ever because suicide is the second cause of death in ages 3 to 32. So that’s, that’s crazy. That’s a lot. Right? So I think that there’s, there’s a lot of, people who feel oppressed and depressed because of a lot of negativities and rejections and stuff like that.

But at the same time, We need to be very inclusive, and that’s how we should approach a minority driven trials as let’s be inclusive of everyone in terms of everyone’s opinions and value everyone’s opinions, instead of just push away and rejection.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:27:14] Yeah, absolutely. You know, and I’m gonna refer back to Talking To Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell, but we covered this point in-depth, is that when we meet someone, let’s say on the internet, right.

And they make a comment. We think that that comment represents who they are, you know, and that we can glean a whole bunch of information. This person’s a good person. This person’s a bad person, but you know, in psychology, that’s the fundamental attribution error. And what that means is people aren’t necessarily the sum of their actions.

A lot of our actions are context-dependent. And if you don’t understand the context behind the action, then you don’t really understand the person and why they did that. And I think that what you just said hits so heavily on that point is that when someone says something negative to me, I don’t get offended.

I think. Why did they say that? What background did they have or what trauma, or what experiences did this person have that made their view of this situation come off in what they said. That’s how I approach it. And that’s how I think about it. And that’s led to some really eye-opening conversations with people, because then I can actually understand their background and say, Oh, now I understand why you said that.

I understand what you’ve been through. I understand the lens you’re seeing this issue through now; I understand your comment and why you would think that way. Here’s why I think a little differently. And that leads to open and honest dialogue, and then also leads to healing some of this trauma that people have been through because a lot of times, people say no one understands me.

No one listens to me, you know, I’m not feeling heard. And so, when you have these conversations, it opens things up. And now, you know, someone who may be a little bit leery of doing a clinical trial says, you know what. They were open with me. They’re honest with me now; I feel a little bit better about going into this and, and the, the COVID study that you’re doing is, is really incredible because it’s, it’s taking a really direct approach to what we know in research.

So, you know, a lot of times in research, we do finding studies, right? We do studies to see if there’s there’s a difference. And so we know that African-Americans have lower nitric oxide levels. We know that, and we know that nitric oxide is a very important molecule for our immune system, for our vasculature, for delivering blood flow.

I mean, it’s, it’s extremely important. So now we know there’s an issue. Right. And we know there’s an issue with a specific population. We know what that issue causes. Now we’re saying, okay, let’s see if we can do something. If we help the nitric oxide in the body, will that have a positive outcome on objective measures?

In this case, with COVID decreasing hospitalizations and severe symptoms and signs of COVID. And that is so important because it follows the natural timeline of what I think of as, as research in science, you know, we, we figure out, is there a problem, then we figure out what is causing the problem. Then we figure out how do we do something about the problem?

And I think that’s so important, and kudos to you for what you’re doing to help with the community, especially with something as devastating as COVID.

Dr. Cheng Ruan: [00:30:40] Yeah. And thank you very much. And you know, I was, I was hesitant in the beginning to cross that, that racial barrier, and it really took me six months off of social media completely, to understand what’s essential to me and my process.

And I recently just got back on social media and, with a vengeance, But in that six months, I created a better foundation for myself and then dug into my subconscious thoughts about how did I get here? What were the things that allow me to get here and allow me to really create that piece? So now that the piece is truly created and it’s always an ongoing process, it really allowed me to understand that, Hey, by doing this study and by helping part of this study, Looking at the racial disparities and nitric oxide, it’s, it’s able to open up conversations that I am not afraid of naysayers anymore because I embrace everyone. Right. This is not taught in medicine. There’s, you know, you’ve been through it already with residency and medical school and even nursing training that I see a lot is that there’s an underlying language of cross-cultural resentment.

You know, I trained, I trained in a very awesome place. I trained in New York, New York-Presbyterian in Queens, and it’s, it’s one of the most diverse, you know, hospitals. And we have, you know, 27 languages on the language line back when I was in residency. So I have people like translate everything from Sagala to Russian to nine different dialects of Chinese.

And I only know one of them, too, to all sorts of different languages, Farsi, and, and I think that from a cultural perspective, seeing that many people in that hospital, it really allowed me to have a fundamental understanding is that there’s, cross-cultural similarities that we’re not talking about.

Right. The cross-cultural similarities are that people want to feel significance. People want to feel that there’s certainty about their health. People want to feel that they can contribute when they get better; they can contribute to others and their loved ones. People want to feel that they’re always growing.

People almost want to feel that there is a sense of excitement, of variety. So these are, these are part of, what Tony Robbins calls it, the six human needs. And if you have three of them, things become addictive. That’s what Tony says. And these are actually the language of need that can create resentment.

If any of these things are devalued. And that’s what we see on, on social media. And I will tell you most people, especially people in our field, have a defense mechanism. That defense mechanism is a, Hey, this is clinical trials, and this is the science that’s behind it. And then I’m guilty of that too.

And so a lot of people were, I like to call it, hiding behind the science. In reality, you can; you can pick articles, you can cherry-pick articles to support most of any arguments. Right. And so what we see a lot here in the functional/integrative health, especially is that. People start getting very technical; people start talking about different pathways.

Superoxide dismutase. Here’s what happens when you use sulforaphane and et cetera, et cetera. That takes away from the emotionality of what we’re really trying to address. So people can say, Oh, you know, you know, nitric oxide is bad because, you know, I have this MTHFR mutation, and I heard on this podcast that this is bad for this.

And reality is the opposite and et cetera. Right. And so I think that everyone is building a defense mechanism. To build up one solid human language costs certainty. So they’re trying to build up certainty, and with social media, they’re trying to build up significance. And so that’s why people are very fearful of the trolls and social media because certainty and significance can be compromised if someone else comes back and blasts it.

But in reality, we’re all very similar. It’s all the language of trauma, all language of emotion. So, that’s where I like to use tactical empathy. And this is something that I learned from, from Chris’ Voss. The book Never Split The Difference; his Instagram handles the FBI negotiator. The tactical empathy is not your ability to feel someone’s pain is your ability to just state someone’s emotion at that time.

And so if I’m able to say that, you know, let’s, let’s take back the science. And what I’m trying to convey is that you know, I have the sense of freedom being in America. Do you have a sense of freedom of being in America? If you do, then that’s how we get along, right? We have the opportunity and the freedom to make our own choices, right?

And that is the language of acceptance. It’s a human language that we’re not really taught to understand. And we’re actually taught to avoid in the medical community, nursing school, PA school, you know, doctors and I don’t know anything about Pharm. D.’s sorry, that’s not; I know that’s one of your degrees, one of your many degrees.

But my dad does; he’s a Dean at the pharmacy school here in Houston. So, it’s the language that I wish that we were taught as a foundation, but now I realized. I realized something. I realized that this is a foundational language that I should be teaching my children. And so I have two daughters, and I’m starting to teach them an understanding of this language.

So this morning, I actually showed the negative comments. You’re the negative comments on daddy’s posts. Right. And I’m teaching them how we’re supposed to accept these negative comments because my children are going to be all over social media. Right. And I’m teaching them that resilience. And the resilience is this person is saying negative things because this person is hurt and all the more reason to love this person, rather than, than reject this person.

If we take that and we, if we put it into different minority populations, it could be racially charged. And when it becomes racially charged, the resentment can, can, can blow up unless there’s a language to deal with that resentment in the minority population, to begin with. Right. And so, then I think that’s the way that I liked it to approach medicine.

And, you know, if you just put, you know, wellness medicine, non-wellness medicine, illness, medicine aside, this is communication medicine. This is collaboration as in contribution. That’s right. And that’s the medicine that’s more important than any other label. That we can put on that kind of a practice, but more importantly, it’s how influencers, especially like social media influencers, should really behave, take away the cyberbullying to take away the negative comments and stuff like that.

And I, and I made a very, very profound post without, for me. I had to dig that up emotionally this morning online on Instagram. About why this even occurs in the first place. But you know, I’m, I’m very proud of you for, for even talking about that and because very few people will do and understand within our integrative health community.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:37:57] Oh, thank you so much. And you know, I read Never Split The Difference, and it is an incredible book on just communication. And there’s a reason why I start every podcast with a story because I want to be able to kinda humanize us as physicians because, in society, we’re placed on a pedestal and that we’re kind of different and outside of normal society, you know, it’s the most profound job description.

You know, when people say physician, you, you have an image in your head almost immediately of what that looks like and how that acts and what that talks. And that doesn’t really happen with a lot of other jobs. So I try to humanize myself and then say, Hey, I’m just a guy with a story. Just like you’re a guy or a girl with a story.

I just have a different knowledge set and different expertise than you do. That doesn’t mean I’m any different than you. And that doesn’t mean that I’m not going through my own health issues or things that I’m mitigating, or things I have been through. You know, I get that a lot, you know, I’ll just use this story as an example, sometimes, you know, when you’re dealing with somebody with chronic pain, and then they’re upset, they’re angry.

They feel like they’re not being heard. And then they always say, well, you don’t know what this feels like. So I’m like, well, how do you know that? How do you know I don’t know what that feels like. And they’re like, well, what do you mean? I was like, I’ve had chronic pain since I was 13 years old. I know exactly what you’re going through.

I was like, I wake up some days in my entire left leg is numb from from previous back injuries. And that’s like I say, I can, I can understand what you’re going through, and let’s figure out how we can get this through this together. And that you can see people’s entire perspective shift 180, because now, instead of being a physician on a pedestal, I’m a human being.

Who’s walked through a similar circumstance, who now wants to help them walk through that same thing. And I think as physicians, we’re doing a disservice to our patients and our clients if we don’t humanize ourselves and then talk to people and truly actually communicate with people and share our own personal stories and our own personal experiences.

Dr. Cheng Ruan: [00:40:10] And I guarantee there’s providers of physicians listening to this right now. The first thing that there thinking about is, hey, I got to get paid because talking doesn’t pay the bills in, in medical practice because of the way that insurance works. Right. Cause whenever I say that, that’s one of the first comments I get from messages. I get great, Dr. Ruan, that’s all nice and good, but you know, we got to eat and gotta survive, and if we chit chat like this, it decreases this amount on my, on my medical practice. Let’s not devalue money because I feel like people we devalued money because money makes your family work. Money makes you survive.

Money can create great outcomes for you as long as the intention is there. And, and I feel like a lot of people, especially, you know, chronic pain, think of physicians oh they just, you know, want to make money yet. Yes, that’ll be nice because I can support my family and I can make sure that my parents retire early.

I can create a beautiful relationships with my friends and family around me. And so, the reason I say that is 2021 is very different. 2021 the way that doctors are reimbursed, and medical insurance is an absolute game-changer. And the problem is very few doctors know this. 2021, the way that doctors get reimbursed, actually, is by time.

Not just time spent talking to someone, but the time spent researching something for a patient, coordinating time. All this is actually billed into a block of time. And, you know, I always, compared to, in the legal field, right if a lawyer represents a client. The lawyer has paralegals, and all the time, it’s actually built into it

In 2021, this is the first time, the biggest change in 27 years of reimbursement history, that they’re going the same way to the doctors and is a great time for integrative health to be practiced. In fact, my facility, my medical practice, we’re switching to the patient’s picking how much time you want with our providers?

All right. And this is the first time it makes business sense to do so. And, what time is, is just, it’s just a unit that we track as humans, in reality, time is purely an emotional word, right? It’s the quality that’s that’s there. I can tell someone I value them in 30 seconds, and their shoulders are relaxed.

You can tell someone that, hey, I’ve been in chronic pain too. I understand what you’re going through. Let’s try to build that bridge. So time allows framing and pre-framing of intention. And it’s the why behind why human interaction exists. And, moving into 2021, it makes more business sense for doctors to understand this, but doctors have to know how to bill insurance companies and Medicare, Medicaid, Tri-Care, all this different things like that. The reason I’m excited about this actually came from my original research with the NFL former players association, looking at cannabinoids data and concussive injuries and chronic pain. This is done right before the pandemic hit during super bowl in Miami. That’s the three days before the super bowl; we were doing massive amounts of brain maps and brain scans.

And the week before that, we did in Dallas, we did at the super bowl because that’s how you get a lot of NFL players. So former NFL players in one place. So as we’re looking at the brain maps for them, they’re actually in the background telling the stories, right. And the stories between them is often one of mistrust of the medical community.

And it’s because they’re involved in, so, so if you look at the statistics is after an NFL player retires their percentage chance of bankruptcy, the percent chances of divorce, depression is astronomically high. And in fact, the number is identical to someone who was a military veteran coming back stateside and trying to establish a life after they come back as a combat veteran because the philosophy is the same, the value is different, but the philosophy is the same as that their new identity doesn’t match their previous identity.

And when the new identity doesn’t match the previous identity, there’s self-destruction, self-destructive behaviors that are there, and that’s fueled by, by social media. So if you look at, you know, Twitter feeds, Instagram people describing NFL players, as people who’ve had TBIs and that’s why they act like this, it almost validates something that’s that is not necessarily the full picture, the same thing with military vets.

Military vets come back with trauma, PTSD, and stuff like that. Well, It’s not the full picture because the people who develop PTSD in the military have previous PTSD, which allowed them to say, hey, I want to sign up for the military, and we’ll do something about it. Right? There’s a predisposition there.

Same thing with NFL players, you know, after concussive injuries, they’re, they’re developing this, this profile of depression, anxiety, but they asked stuff back in the childhood. And when we look in the brain map, we can see that the prefrontal cortex has, has less blood flow to it, their memory centers, dementia.

We can see that their nitric oxide expression within these, these, these lobes of brain are, are elevated. And so when we look at all this stuff like that, people can say that, Hey, this is an NFL player, and this player is this ethnicity, this gender, well they’re all males, right. And we can say it, and people start forming an opinion about this ethnicity and this person who was in the NFL and this gender and say, Oh, they’re all like that.

Right. And it’s not a fair assessment, and it’s not a fair assessment because of lack of minority representation within these disease states and studies. Right. And, you know, going, if you tie that maybe if you look at military trials, which is mostly predominant men as well, if you look at all these different studies in different group of cohorts, a lot of the brain map looks very identical and the conversations look very identical as one of resentment.

So the investigator and the head technician who was doing the brain maps is a good friend of mine. Also, one of my employees that I’ve known for forever; his name is Caesar, and he’s a combat veteran, and he’s experienced a lot as a combat veteran. And he said he got goosebumps because the conversations that the former NFL players were having in their rooms is identical to his PTSD groups, support groups.

Like the language is the same, like, if he dropped into that room and just looked around the room, he would think that these people are, are combat veterans because the language is identical and you have these goosebumps. And there’s a realization that really happens is that these aren’t isolated things.

These are things that are experienced by people going through the trauma, and by looking at clinical trials with a lot of different subgroups and getting that, that number that N as high as we can. We can now have a predictive outcome, not just one or two drugs, but if we can have a particular outcome of everything that we do with enough populations, it allows a humanization of science that’s never really occurred before.

And I think that’s what we’re seeing going into 2021, especially with the pandemic.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:47:48] Yeah, that that’s, that’s, that’s amazing. And some great work that you’re doing there. And especially in the areas of brain health, that’s something that I find very fascinating in how we can have these non-invasive techniques nowadays, to, to risk stratify people for things like dementia and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and, even, for, for cognitive and psychological issues that we can see on, on the brain maps and on non-invasive techniques because I think a lot of the issue with these areas is it. People need tangible evidence. Right. And it’s a lot; it’s a lot harder to say, Oh, you have this psychological disorder or something wrong.

And they’re like, well, where’s the proof. I don’t see any proof. And then now, if you say here’s a, here’s a map of your brain and the, we can show here this area right here of your brain, this is where you produce serotonin in that area is not lighting up like it should. And this is an issue in this may cause, you know, depression or anxiety or things like that.

And then I’ll people can start to understand and actually see that there’s hard science there. And I think that’s so important.

Dr. Cheng Ruan: [00:48:56] The hard science and the technology exists. We can turn words into numbers that we can turn trauma into a measurable outcome, and that’s truly exciting. Right? And so in the, going back into nitric oxide, you can look at nitric oxide synthase expression and perfusion of the of the brain.

And we know that African-Americans have a racial disparity as decreased nitric oxide, and we know that native Americans do, we know that Latino Americans do. Right. We tie all that stuff together, and you turn trauma into numbers. You turn experiences into numbers and not just anecdotal. Then, then this is going to be something that propels science into an emotional language.

That’s now more relatable to people. So people can use this type of science as an operating system rather than a mechanism of defense. Right. I think that you know moving, moving forward into 2021, the world has learned a few things, and the world has learned that whenever there is something that challenges our beliefs, there’s going to be resentment.

And, and it’s echoing true, in, in 2020, I think 2021 is not gonna be too different than 2020, to be honest with you. I think it’s going to be accelerated because, you know, people are, well, I like to call it more woke. People are truly starting to understand that there’s a lot more to the discussions than what sort of thought.

And I have a very strong belief myself that this, 2020 into 2023, is a time of massive intellectual evolution into emotional change, especially in the United States, because if you look at how fast social media/digital media spread, there’s a lot of voices out there, and there’s an opportunity to, to echo each other’s change.

If we speak with a universal language and that universal language is love, acceptance, significance, certainty, understanding, growth, and contribution. All right, well, this, this is all the stuff that we want. Is this person speaking because they lack significance? Are they lacking growth or the contribution, are they lacking variety in their life, are they lacking?

What are they lacking? Right. And so we understand where people are coming from and have, and have empathetic feelings towards that. Then that’s how people heal, no matter what gender or race or anything like that.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:51:32] Amazing. Well, this has been a fascinating conversation. I feel like we could probably talk for hours and hours on this information.

And congratulations, you are now the longest episode of the Strive for Great Health Podcast. Yeah, we’re, we’re checking into just under an hour. And there’s one more thing I want to ask you about because it’s something I’m getting asked a lot right now. And I was really hesitant to put information out there because I don’t feel like I have enough data to really make a good decision, but I feel like I’m doing a disservice by not talking about it because so many people are asking me about it.

And that is the COVID vaccine. What are your initial thoughts? Did you get vaccinated yet? Just kind of walk me through what you’re thinking in those regards.

Dr. Cheng Ruan: [00:52:20] You know, people start with science. I want to start with intention. I always start with intention. Let’s start; let’s talk about the intention behind the vaccine.

Right. And so, there’s the intention behind the vaccine? Yes. It’s made by big pharma. Yes, it’s made by Pfizer. The intention behind the vehicle that the vaccine is delivered which is mRNA. This is not new science, mRNA vehicles, even in these nanoparticle formulations, have been used in gene therapy for over a decade. Okay. How do I know this? Cause my dad’s one of the lead investigators back in oncology research. Right. And so, the discussion of mRNA vehicles is something that I’ve talked about since I was in residency, you know, with my father, because it was such a great thing to introduce because traditionally, people use viral vectors and other different things to inject genomes into the body.

For example, right now, there’s a whole conspiracy in Australia, they’re using the retrovirus HIV retrovirus to deliver, to deliver gene sequences, and people are testing positive for HIV. Not that they have HIV, they test positive for the antibodies against the protein that they use as a vehicle.

And because HIV is that emotional word, there’s creating resentment behind it because vaccines is an emotional word there is resentment behind it. The new buzz word is mRNA. When people see RNA, there’s going to be resentment that’s behind it right then. So there’s the other side of the coin. Is that okay?

There’s healthcare providers, you know; I see COVID patients every single day. I see people’s families get absolutely tortured by multiple family members die from COVID, the Coronavirus. And so the resentment in the healthcare provider side is that, Hey, you don’t understand what I’ve been through because I just had this person in the ICU.

I saw this patient, and they had COVID and yada yada yada. So I called that the process calibration. You have to calibrate people’s proximity. If someone is talking to someone else about the vaccine and that person has proximity to the people that have been affected by that, by the vaccine, that proximity allows that person to absorb the emotion.

That’s fine. So you see, all these healthcare workers absorb the emotion behind the deaths of this pandemic. And then when a vaccine comes out, and they post on their social media, I’m getting my shot today and stuff. And all of a sudden, you have all this lash back against it. The majority of the lash back against the people are the people without emotional proximity to the trauma, the people who are the naysayers, or the people who don’t necessarily have developed as much emotional trauma as someone who’s is a healthcare provider, is having that proximity. And there’s also, you know, let’s call it selection bias in medicine. Is that people who are healthcare providers, just like people who are in the NFL, just like people who are in the military, just like people who are do-gooders in the world and going to third world countries and helping people, these people have a heroes mentality. The hero’s mentalities always can suffer a tragedy in that tragedy is actually developing that emotional empathy, that tactical empathy. And then when, when other people challenge your empathy, there’s resentment against that.

Right. And so when people were asking us about the vaccine, they are not really asking about the vaccine. They’re asking about how we feel about it. If you look at my social media, it’s Hey, Dr. Ruan, how do you feel about the MRI vaccine? Right. And then my, my mistake would be say, Oh, well, here’s the mRNA vaccine.

You have decades of data or blah, and studies behind it. That will be my mistake. But they’re asking for how you feel about it. And you see my response? It’s like, I feel amazing that in America, We get to have a choice of whether we want to do it or not. I feel amazing that my family is alive right now to talk to me about this.

I feel amazing that my father knows so much about this because he’s part of the research. So how do I feel about the vaccine? I feel amazing. I feel great about it. Right. And so, and that emotion comes from the fact that I have a freedom to choose, and everyone respects that freedom to choose. And so if it takes me away from being a hero to that person, to being the guide, who’s going to hero versus guide mentality, I’m not Luke Skywalker.

I’d rather be Yoda. And as Yoda, I want to talk to you about a philosophical feeling that I have towards the vaccine. Right. And that’s what I think people are really searching for, you know? And then you have the people who are very direct, direct questions like, okay, well, you know, this is vaccines gonna change, my DNA.

Yeah. So does a Diet Coke. You don’t hear anything about that. Right. You know, Saccharin has changes the DNA of your microbiome and changes more of your DNA structure than this vaccine never will. Right? So now you have a bias against, there’s a focal bias, you know, you’re focused on the vaccine because of the emotional word behind the vaccine and emotional word behind the mRNA.

There’s no emotional word behind a diet Coke. Probably they’re sipping on a Diet Coke as they’re typing this on social media. Right. And so it’s all relative, right? So, because I’m an integrative health doctor, I know in the back of my mind that relative to everything else to focus on, focusing on the vaccine is not adequate focusing on big ag, focusing on the glyphosate in the Round-Up weed killer, that’s in most of our plants. That has more of a DNA damage by far by, by 10 20, fold than anything that the vaccine can possibly do, but because it’s not as mostly charged, the focus determines your state determines your physiology. Right. And so I think that whenever we’re talking about a vaccine, just like you said earlier, what are you really trying to do?

What is the end result that you’re trying to accomplish by asking me about this? My response is it’s rarely rooted in just the pure science behind it because I can pull up peer-reviewed studies in journals, looking at targeted therapy, delivering mRNA, using nanoparticles, and, you know, three, three to 10 nanometers going into the mitochondrial membrane.

But that’s not what they’re asking me. And I think that I challenge a lot of healthcare providers and people in the healthcare industry. It’s really challenged. What are people really asking you, and how do you respond in terms of the emotion? Because we’re taught to respond in terms of science, that’s through medical training, but on social media is different.

People are looking for significance, variety, growth, contribution, love, and connection, right? And certainty, science actually does not give them certainty; it’s the emotion between the two humans that gives them certainty. So to answer your question, I am getting the vaccine because I know a lot about the science of it, and I’m able to make my decision.

I’m getting it in two days, getting the vaccine in two days. And I’m also able to take in all the side effects that are really out there with that new passing out and all those different things, the Bell’s palsy. I know how to quantify that through epidemiology, and I feel that all that’s what’s expected to happen.

Can someone pass out from any needle going in? Absolutely. Right. Can someone develop Bell’s palsy, a four out of what 11,000 people? That’s the same rate as what we see. So I know all those things, but I don’t necessarily want to put it out there because people can utilize my science as a language of resentment.

Right. And that’s not my intention. So if you ever look at me on social media, I always speak with words of emotion. And I do think that specifically on digital media, that’s how hall all, you know, Healthcare professionals should really behave with that intention.

Dr. Richard Harris: [01:00:30] You, you hit on some key points there.  And then when people have been asking me so far, I say, look, there’s not, there’s not a right or wrong answer to this situation. You have to look at what your risks are like, your risks of COVID, getting severe. COVID. You know, if you’re vitamin D deficient, that’s a 15 X relative risk. If you’re, diabetes, you know, that’s about a four X relative risk hypertension, two to three, you know, if your micronutrient deficient, selenium’s like a two X risk, there are lots of risk factors out there, and we know at this point in time, we have really definitive data on who’s high risk for getting severe complications and who’s not. And so that’s one of the things you have to take into account. The other thing is you have to do what you think is best for you and your family. If you think it’s best for you and your family to get the vaccine, then go get the vaccine.

If you think it’s something that’s not okay well, and you want to wait. I can’t fault you for that either. You know, as you said, this mRNA technology is not new tech. We’ve been developing this for a long time for targeted drug therapy. It was originally meant for single-gene mutations, like cystic fibrosis and sickle cell, as a way to target the one gene that’s abnormal to target and make one specific protein that these people are lacking. And it’s just that the US is way behind on the clinical trials for this type of stuff. This stuff has been going on in Europe for decades. All right. We’ve just been very, very slow to adopt it. In fact, a lot of people will go to Europe to get the gene therapy and then come back.

People have been doing that for a while now. So. It’s a new application of an old technology, right? It’s the first time a lot of Americans are hearing about it. And that’s why they’re apprehensive. You know, my reservations were that I have a really strong family history of autoimmune disease. All right.

My mom, my dad, my sister, they all have autoimmune disease. I’ve done my genetics, my, my, all my, my immunity, genetic markers are messed up. You know, all my SNP’s for IL–10 and in all of that, they’re, they’re all bad. And so. That that’s my concern is that I know that I’m very susceptible to being pushed over into, to auto-immunity.

Now, do I think that would happen with this vaccine? I think there’s a very low chance of that. You know, these side effects that we’re seeing. I think that if you, once we have a long-term look at it, it’s going to be the same that we see with other vaccines. We know that other vaccines can cause a profound immune response in some people, and they can get things like Bell’s palsy and, and feel like they’re, you know, flu-like, or have another type of inflammatory or immune type reactions. But you know, if you look at the flu data on this, more people get like Bell’s palsy and transverse myelitis from the flu than they get from the vaccine. So the vaccine is actually decreasing your risk of getting those severe complications.

And, you know, I don’t have data on this yet, but I think that’s what we’re probably going to see shaking out with these MRI vaccines is that the complications associated with them are going to be a lot less severe and a lot less prevalent than the complications from COVID. Cause we all know it. You know, when I work in the hospital, I see people in there for 20, 30 days sometimes, you know, once you get past that acute viral infection and you’re in that inflammatory period that can stay ramped up for weeks and some people in the susceptible people and, and you know, we don’t really have a good therapy for that.

If we did, no one would be in the hospital for 30 days. And then we’re not seeing our outpatient docs. Unfortunately, a lot of them aren’t starting people on appropriate therapy right when they first get diagnosed. And so they’re coming to me 14 days later, and I’ve already missed that window, to prevent the severe complications.

So, you know, as time goes on in the more I think about it, the more I’m starting to shift over into thinking that if I am able to, I will get the vaccine because I’m not Anti-vax, and as you talked about earlier, there’s a lot worse things out there. You know, all the people are putting their bodies every single day, the fast-food sodas, people, are just bathing and toxins and all these products, makeups, and all this other stuff that they use.

And they’re not concerned about that. I’m like, that’s, you should be concerned about that because that’s, what’s increase your risk of developing severe COVID is all that other stuff that you’re doing. So you make some really, really excellent points. A lot of it is, is fear-based, and you have to understand where people are coming from and why they’re having that fear and that that misunderstanding.

And I think a lot of times in this situation; vaccines are a scapegoat for, for underlying problems. Like, you know, if you’re pounding diet, sodas, and eating, fast food when you’re pregnant and your kid gets autism. Well, we know that that’s linked to that. That’s linked to your behaviors that you were doing pre-pregnancy.

During your pregnancy, and then what you were feeding that kid, you know, that kid’s microbiome is jacked up from the beginning, which we know impacts your risk of developing autism and some other things. So you, like you mentioned, there’s a lot of things that people are doing every day that are really, really bad for their health that we have really good data showing that this is really bad for your health.

And then now we have something that’s been in development or used around the world for, for a while, this mRNA technology is just a new application. And I think in the last couple of decades, especially in the US, we’ve been so fearful of science, and there’s been a backlash against science, that we haven’t really put to the forefront some of the great and new and innovative therapies that a lot of other countries are doing. And that could be on the conventional medicine side. And then the holistic side, a lot of these countries are banning tons of these products and additives and fillers, and they’re making the consumption of the average person safer.

And we’re going in the completely opposite direction. And that’s a really scary. Thought for the future, you know, I don’t have kids yet, but that’s a scary thought for when me and my wife do decide to have kids

Dr. Cheng Ruan: [01:06:48] That’s truly excellent points. And I do want to point out that there’s toxicities and all this stuff around us, but also diseases are more reversible than people think. Our body actually develops a lot of resilience. Right. And so, Diseases require a specific type of mindset to overcome. And so, and there’s, there’s a book called Atomic Habits by James Clear.

And, and one of the, one of the greatest examples I can give is that, if you’re, if you’re someone who’s smoked cigarettes and, you’d go out with your friends, and someone offers you cigarettes and go, no, I’m trying to quit. Right. that language is the language of failure. Versus if you say, Oh, no, I’m not a smoker.

Because one, the first language is I am trying to quit. So identifies you as a smoker and a second language. Oh no, I’m not a smoker; you have a new identity. And because the new identity is actually, the subconscious mind programs itself to, okay, well, I just said that I’m not a smoker and therefore I am not.

So we have cancer programs and dementia programs. And if you look at the miracle cases, which is no longer a miracle for us, as we know why they improve is that it doesn’t matter. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter how much chemo or how little chemo, a natural way, unnatural way. If I look at my clinical data right now, what is the one thing that all of these people have who went from stage four, stage one, or stage zero cancer that are in the practice; they all have a belief that their new identity is one that’s without cancer or without trauma. And when they adopt that new belief, that identity, then that’s where the acceleration goes. So I’m gonna tie this back to the vaccine. I have a belief that the vaccine represents a safer relationship between me and my father.

Okay. And it wasn’t for the relationship between me and my father; I was talking about it. I wouldn’t get the vaccine. And so, and I’m going to tell you why, and it’s because, you know, I have family members around me that have medical conditions. Just like you, your family members too. The currency of life is relationships.

It’s not science. Right? Whenever I talk to people who know they’re about to die, all they talk about is the relationships with other people. I used to do palliative care. And so, and I still do to this day, when people coming in, when they know there’s an expiration date when someone’s coming in with metastatic stage four cancer with metastasis to the brain, they have an expiration date.

All they care about is relationships. When our language is to get, do things that help your relationship with people. Right. And I know that this vaccine is relatively safe. And I know that if I develop adverse reactions to the vaccine, I actually know how to reverse it. I develop a new identity, right. And so whatever comes my way, I’ve risk-stratified myself, and I put relationship as number one in my life of the people that I really care about in being, being essential as a person and identity that can be created very easily, as long as we put our egos down and search our subconscious thoughts into what the identity is. And in my practice, we help people do that. We have a Jenny Moreno. She’s fabulous. And I have two health coaches, Jenny Moreno and Julian Reissig. If you’re listening to this, hello, they have; they created this program to develop a new idea, to help people develop a new identity.

And it’s called the circuit breaking master workshop, right? And the circuit breaking master workshop is designed to break that circuit. And when that circuit is dealt with, from a subconscious side, you see people’s, you know, blood pressure and blood sugar scores improve. You see people’s dementia, cognitive scores, people they start recognizing their phone numbers because they feel safe.

You see that people’s, you know, cancer and tumor size starts shrinking and honestly, like, you know, we do the IV Vitamin C and all the holistic stuff for them. And then we work with oncologists, the chemotherapy stuff like that. We looked at actual data. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that people develop a new identity, and identity is one of healing.

And when someone steps into that new identity, anything can really happen. And this is something that I’m only seeing in the last two years of practice. And it’s because I finally, we finally have enough data of people reversing things, autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s lupus, you know, cognitive impairment, cancer.

We’ll probably see this happen. It’s not because of what we did for them is because of what they did for themselves.

Dr. Richard Harris: [01:11:32] Absolutely. That, that is the number one thing I tell people when they say, can you cure me? I go, no, but you can cure yourself. And the first step is how you identify yourself. Do you identify yourself as someone who can be healed or someone who can’t be healed?

Because if you identify yourself as someone who can’t be healed, there’s nothing I or anybody else can do for you. Absolutely nothing. And I’m working on that with my mom right now. And she’s had that I can’t be healed, I can’t be fixed mentality her entire life. And now she’s starting to slowly shift that mindset.

And she’s 69 years old, you know, she’s, she’s seen so much in her life, and we’ve been working so much on her mindset because I know that’s the first place to start. And that’s the first thing I tell my clients. I tell anybody it’s like, you are not your disease state. Your disease state does not define who you are.

You are much more than that. And I always said, but who do you want to be? Who, what do you want to define yourself as, and, and that conversation opens up a whole host of healing, both physically and mentally, because I always say you can’t heal the body without healing. The mind, you can’t heal the mind without healing the body. They’re linked, and you have to have a program that works on both of them together.

And then once you do that, you can see, just like you’ve seen radical healing, dramatic healing, because like you’ve said, our bodies have all of these pre-programmed in them. We have the tools inside of us. Now my job is to guide you through the path. Right, but you can heal yourself. You can unlock these tools, but it all starts in your mind.

You know, there’s, there’s really good data on this, like willpower. If you think you don’t have willpower, your willpower decreases, but the simple act of saying I’m strong enough to do this dramatically increases your willpower. And that’s just how powerful our mindset is; our thoughts is, our emotions are in generating self-healing.

Dr. Cheng Ruan: [01:13:35] Yeah, that’s actually, there’s a, there’s a term for that. It’s called autogenics, auto self, and genics you’re generating through speech. So autogenics is basically a form of almost like self-hypnosis, you know, you can say, Hey, my belly is warm, my belly is warm, and it becomes warm.

This is taught at the highest level of professional sports. This is taught at NASA. This is in the CIA of the autogenics, and whenever you can release that switch over, you can actually generate success for yourself at that time. So that’s one of the workshops that we have a Texas center for lifestyle medicine, along with trauma release therapies, bio-feedback, and all the stuff like that.

And so this is exactly why science sees that placebo effects are astronomically high. You see massive improvements with just the placebo people, thinking and understanding, and they’re taking something all for themselves. Right. And so, in energy medicine, people call this energetics, which is a very big part of Chinese medicine.

The Yin-Yang balance and then, vibrational frequencies, water, vibrational frequency. If you write the word love actually on your water bottle, look at it, and then pour it into a container. You can actually see the sound frequencies changed based on it as a reaction to different frequencies. Right?

And so there’s no understanding why that happens, but how crazy it is to have the intentions there. You know, my wife’s an OB-GYN, and a lot of OB-GYNs notice that after the baby’s delivered when the baby is put on the mother’s chest, There’s easily, a two to one synchronization, the heart rate. So the mother’s beating as 60, the babies at 120, or usually the mothers, like 100 and babies closer towards 200, usually how it’s, how it goes because they just had a baby, they just gave birth.

That synchronization of the heart rate also has a synchronization of brainwaves. The baby allows a mother to go to this low alpha pattern. Right. And it has to do not just with the energetics, but it has to do with that with the electromagnetic field. That’s within three feet of us because our heart is very electrically charged from, from this vector right here.

The top right to the bottom left, it’s called the depolarization vector; we can see the magnetic field there if you’re in someone’s magnetic field. That’s why the baby’s heart rate starts syncing with the mother. So, there is an unspoken, unrealized human connection, which I call the sixth sense that really exists. That energetic field is so different when patients, people in general, have a new belief that’s no longer limiting to what they can become. So you’re absolutely right. If you feel like you can’t be helped, no one can help you.

Dr. Richard Harris: [01:16:18] Yeah, this is so interesting. The energetic science, because I fully believe in this, and you can see it. Anecdotally, if you’re around someone who’s negative, what happens?

You feel sunk in, your shoulders slump. You start to frown; you start to feel more frustrated. You start to feel angry, and there’s multiple reasons why that happened as human beings. We’re meant to mirror those who were around. It’s one of the ways that we connect; we have a set of nerve cells called mirror neurons.

That’s their sole job is for us to try to look and act as much like the people that were around. So we’re accepted in the society, when we were tribal, that was absolutely necessary for us to engage and connect. But what also happens is, like you mentioned, you can think of us as, as batteries for, for, for all scientific purposes, right.

We produce a magnetic field. We produce an energy field. And so when you’re around the field of someone else who has that kind of negative mindset, who’s, you know, self-deprecating, who’s, unbalanced, you can feel it. If you actually listen to your body, if you sit there and say, I can feel the negativity coming off this person, and that’s because of those mirror neurons.

And it’s because we sense electrical fields; it’s not something that you’re can be readily aware of unless you train yourself to be. But all animals can do this. Some animals more strongly than others, you know. In human beings, it’s not something that’s innately strong in us, but it’s something that we know is there.

We do sense the fields of others and sense what they’re putting off. And so that’s one of the reasons why. You know, if, if, if you want to, let’s say level yourself up, you have to be around people who are doing the same. If you want to heal yourself, find people who are doing the same, join a Facebook group, join an Instagram club, join something out there that where people are doing the same thing, and you can see a dramatic improvement in your health that way.

And there’s data on that. There’s data. If you’re obese and you start eating with people who are leaner, you lose body fat. And that’s just from the environment that you’re around putting yourself in a different environment. Like we talked about, those zip codes earlier can dramatically change your health.

And, you know, I’m gonna have to cut this off because otherwise, we’re gonna, we’re gonna sit here and talk all day. If I, if I don’t, if I don’t cut this off. So, man, this has been a great conversation, a lot of value. I mean, we’re almost at an hour and a half of just straight value to the listeners of this podcast.

Of course, I’ll put all your information in the show notes, how people can find you on social media, check out, your, your practice. You’re doing a lot of innovative, great stuff out there. I truly appreciate you. Thank you for coming on the show, and thank you for all your hard work and dedication to improve the lives of your fellow man.

Dr. Cheng Ruan: [01:19:14] Thank you very much. I’m glad we vibe so much on this. And we, we, we see the world very similarly. And I think that, just on the ending note, you know the whole, the whole purpose of us getting together today was to really create a reset for people going into 2021. And being people with medical backgrounds and medical degrees and from completely different cultures, if we’re able to vibe like this, everyone can, can vibe like this. So I wanna thank all your listeners for listening as well.

Dr. Richard Harris: [01:19:48] Thank you. Thank you so much. And to my listeners, I said that you know, the last episode was the last episode. This is really the last episode; we’re going on break until January 4th. So enjoy the surprise episode.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah. Merry Kwanzaa, whatever you celebrate, whatever your religion, whatever your faith. I hope that you find this season full of love, full of blessings, and full of peace. So thank you for listening to the Strive for Great Health Podcast. We’re signing off until January 4th, and God bless.

Thank you for listening to the Strive for Great Health Podcast with your host Dr. Richard Harris. It is our mission and goal at the podcast to impact as many lives as possible to empower individuals to take control of their health and live a life full of joy and purpose. You may help us achieve this mission by leaving a five-star rating and review on your preferred podcast platform.

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Thank you again, and God bless.

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