Stressed out and not losing weight? Then this podcast is for you! Dr. Grasser is one of the world’s top experts in Ayurvedic practice and integration of Functional Medicine. In addition, he is a primary care physician and is trained in functional medicine. With his wide knowledge, we chat about his insights regarding issues that lead to gut issues, and how it adds to anxiety and stress.
Dr. Grasser is one of the world’s foremost experts in the integration of Functional Medicine and Ayurveda. Dr. Grasser supports his patients through his extensive experience in Western Medical practice as well as his deep knowledge of the alternative healing systems of Ayurveda, Yoga and Functional Medicine.
Dr. Grasser is a graduate of Stanford University and Dartmouth Medical School. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico, Department of Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Grasser is also an Active Teacher In Family Medicine as recognized by the American Academy of Family Physicians. He has been Board Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine since 2003, and through his extensive and continuing practice in obstetrics at St. Vincent, he has been blessed to attend the birth of hundreds of babies. He is currently working towards becoming Board Certified in Integrative Medicine.
Dr. Grasser is certified to practice Ayurveda Medicine by Albuquerque’s Ayurvedic Institute, where he studied under the tutelage of world-renowned Ayurveda physician Dr. Vasant Lad. In addition to his full 2-year course of study at the Institute, Dr. Grasser completed advanced clinical studies under Dr Lad’s Gurukula Studies Program in Pune, India, and additional clinical hours at AVP Ayurveda Hospital in Coimbatore, India. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association since 2013. Dr. Grasser has studied yoga extensively since 2001 in the tradition of BKS Iyengar. He incorporates the principles and teachings of the sister sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga into his daily life and practice of medicine. Dr. Grasser has also completed courses of study in Functional Medicine through the Institute for Functional Medicine. He is currently enrolled in a two year course of study with the Academy of Functional Medicine and Genomics, for which he serves on the Board of Advisors. He believes that Functional Medicine is a modern approach to healing which embodies many of the principles of Ayurveda and other ancient healing traditions.
Dr. Grasser is an active staff member in the Department of Family Medicine at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he has also practiced obstetrics since 2001. He works with patients of all ages and health conditions as their primary care physician.
Key Questions answered and highlights:
1. What made you want to go get more knowledge, especially Ayurveda and integrative function medicine? (01:56)
– ‘I had to find a way to integrate ancient wisdom with modern science, and along the way I discovered functional medicine’
– Functional medicine is a greate ‘marriage’ of Ayurveda and western medicine
2. What do you believe is the biggest difference between the conventional primary care medicines practice today? (04:05)
– There is a Practical and Spiritual Difference
Your typical physician is constrained by:
1. Structure of western medicine, as structured in the primary care medicine
2. Practical Health Care Setting — medicine and delivery
– Ayurveda is a consciousness based system
– It takes into account more than just the consciousness of an individual, but also the entire universe
– It opens up the concept of spirituality, love, holistic understanding, community, etc.
3. What are the top illnesses that you deal with, and what are you most successful in holistically? (06:54)
– Most often we see are lifestyle related conditions
Top diseases are:
– gut/gastrointestinal issues
– anxiety and depression
– autoimmune disease
– brain function such as dementia and other neurological diseases
4. Why do you think we are seeing an increasing growth of gut issues especially in teens? (07:55)
– Just like in a factory, you will have issues with inputs, machinery, and outputs.
– We have to excrete what isn’t beneficial to us and is toxic
– This is same for our thoughts
– We have to be able to process them for them not to build up toxicity
– If we’re overwhelmed in our nervous system due to stress and anxiety, then it will translate down to the gut. There will be changes in the gut microbiome.
5. When you have gut issues, what’s the first thing you prioritize — input, output, or detox? (12:07)
– You can fix everything through a program addressing input, output, and detox.
– But, you have to remember the ideal treatment protocol and the reality of what people can achieve.
– If we’re not being sensitive to what’s doable to the patient then we’re not helping them
– Reducing the toxic inputs is the easiest place to start
– It may cost a little bit more money since choosing healthier food is a little bit more expensive
6. What are your top do’s/don’ts to heal the gut? (13:19)
– It’s more of the when, where, how and why of eating
– Eat fewer meals; You can eat once a day
– If you keep eating frequent small meals, you ask your body to shift
1. Pay attention to hunger
2. Eat a lighter, earlier dinner
3. Eat a heavy midday meal
4. Eat a carb-heavy breakfast including refined carb
1. Anything artificial – colorings, additives
3. Seed oils – sunflower, canola, etc.
4. Liquid sugars/Added sugars – soda, iced tea, etc.
7. What’s the latest time to finish dinner? (20:07)
– If they have a disease to work with, eat and finish an hour to 2 before sunset
– Eat a light dinner
– You want to go to bed hungry
8. “Everyone should be a vegetarian/vegan”, juice cleanse, and detox practice, what are your thoughts on that? (23:44)
– Just thinking about nutrition/health for an individual, being a vegan is not natural
– The closest to vegetarianism is Hinduism
– A natural diet includes animal products
9. Let’s talk Detox (26:59)
– Elimination Diet is a good exercise to clean up their system for a period of time, at least 3 weeks
– It’s good to eliminate food that have too much caffeine, chocolate, alcohol
– Support the detox mechanisms of the body
– We can obtain amino acids from vegetables for detoxification
– Do not do prolonged depletion type cleanses such as master cleanse, water cleanse, juice fasting
– They reduce macro and micro nutrients when doing these cleanses
In an elimination diet, take out:
– seed oils
– added sugars
Herbs to help:
– Aloe to move bowels and help hydration, stress reduction
– Don’t drink too much water with a meal as it violates an ayurvedic principle
– Stay hydrated in between meals
– We exhale toxicity in our breathing, like in Prayanama
– Bacteria from large intestine going to the small intestine
– It tends to reccur
– Stress reduction is important in bowel disease
10. How do you treat anxiety and depression? (41:52)
– Treat gut function
– Treat inflammation
– Neurotoxicity is a trigger in anxiety and depression
– Support bile flow can help reduce neurotoxicity
– It is important to have meditative practice
Basic Components of Meditation
1. You need to be in a quiet space to avoid distraction
2. You need to be in a comfortable position
– Yoga posturing is designed to prepare the body to sit for meditation/breathwork
3. You need to have a repetitive focuse, a phrase or breath
– You can try “All is good”, “I am beautiful”
4. Don’t judge yourself
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