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Janelle: You're listening to "Staying in the Game" a Plum Dragon Herbs podcast where we have conversations about mindset and techniques for staying at the top of your game.

Welcome to the Plum Dragon podcast, "Staying in the Game." I'm your host Janelle Leatherwood. And we also have today with us Nick Patterson with Plum Dragon Herbs. And both of us are speaking with our guest Dr. Carl Russo, who has been a doctor of chiropractic since 2010 and has a master's in clinical nutrition. His current practice is inside a CrossFit gym where he's been at for the past three years. And I was wondering if you could just kind of help us understand... I understand that was a risky move on his part and he could just kind of explain why he made that shift in his career.

Dr. Russo: So, the first, say, seven years of my career, I was in a more traditional shirt-and-tie type of medical office, right, for very acute pain, low back, neck, herniated disk, things like that, high-volume frequency of treatment. And I guess, over time, my wife dragged me to a CrossFit class, which I kind of was against. I was just always a regular gym goer. I fell in love with it, and then, fell in love with the idea of unlocking potential instead of just keeping people afloat.

In a lot of acute care practices, people just come two, three times a week for the rest of their life and you can't get them to do a minute of rehab exercises at home where the population of athletes that I deal with now are more driven to be better just overall in their health than just calming down pain.

My patient base now is more, "You know, I was doing this exercise, and my shoulder doesn't feel right or I can't do the squat properly, I can't move." And I give them three to four exercises or some treatment and they bounce back. Right, so my treatment frequency went from two to three times a week, to, usually, my patients... I say, 90% of my practice is one-time a week and it's more tune up, keeping people moving, keeping people healthy to motivated population to get better instead of a population of people that were coming to me and putting it all on me to get them better. I think believe it that you got to do it yourself with help of a team.

So, I just kind of outgrew that first practice of what I wanted my scope to be. So, with the urge of my wife, I made the push to shut down that practice, which was fairly successful, and restart a couple of miles away from that practice inside the CrossFit gym. I kinda, well, just found the place, yeah.

Janelle: So, no more shirt and ties?

Dr. Russo: No, I mean, a t-shirt and snickers right now. And that's how my patients take me and it was an adjustment for some that came over with me because they were used to the shirt-and-tie look and now I'm in a t-shirt or sometimes I even wear a hoodie if it's cold, very relaxed, very calm, and better for me of what I'm doing, very active with my treatment getting in there. So, it's easier than the shirt and tie. I'm not a shirt-and-tie type of guy. I thought I was, definitely not.

Nick: So, one thing I'd like to ask is, what level of caliber of athletes do you normally deal with and work with?

Dr. Russo: So, again, I'm a believer that everyone is an athlete. Right, all three of us are athletes to a certain degree. And it doesn't have to necessarily even be athletic performance, right? If you have children, you are definitely an athlete. If you have to commute to work, you are an athlete, you're using your body to move around. So, it's not always game time, 3-2-1 go.

In my practice, I do from anyone from a 60-year-old person, who is very mild gym goer, to professional athletes. I treated some people in the professional space of CrossFit that actually compete as a living, and then, on some other sports as well, some college level basketball, football, hockey players, soccer. So, it's to all different levels. I can't say I've done any mainstream professional sports, like a professional baseball player or anything like that. But up to, say, Division I level college athletes I have touched on. Primarily, I have several high-level CrossFit athletes that I treat and keep in one piece.

Nick: That's great. I love that mindset of everybody's an athlete. I like that philosophy.

Dr. Russo: Yeah. Everyone uses their body for something.

Janelle: Did you always know that you wanted to become a chiropractor?

Dr. Russo: So, I've an uncle who was actually a partner of mine in the first practice I was in, kind of a father figure for me. And it kind of just, he allowed me to be exposed to the environment. I always kinda want to be at some sort of healthcare. You know, initially, I wanted to be a pediatrician. And then, I just wasn't gonna be able to tell parents some bad news about their kid. It just wasn't in me, but I still wanted to find a way to help people, to get people better naturally. Right.

So through the high school years, college years, I was exposed to his practice. He's been in practice for 30 years. And I just fell in love with the idea of treating people without any drugs or surgery. You know, they try to prevent people from going into an operating room, prevent people from living on in a pain-aisle of the CVS, or Rite Aid, or whatever is your local store is. I'm very much in tuned with allowing the body to heal the body the best you can, and anything that you can put in. You know, food is medicine, in my opinion. So, as far as hands-on treatment, there's a lot of times, I give nutritional advice for anti-inflammatory diet using proper herbs, using, you know, things that come from the earth to fix things that come from the earth, if that makes sense.

I'm just not into mainstream medicine, if that makes sense. I don't want to sound crazy, but it's just in a sense of, you know, I've just, over the years, I fell in love with that. I saw some very amazing things through my uncle's practice. As I matured and then I went to college, got a biology degree, hit all the pre-reqs to go to chiro school, and I finished chiro school in 2010. And then, went back, I think, in 2016, I finished my nutrition master's. And that's it for me for school. That's all the student loans I can handle.

Janelle: Yeah. Speaking about nutrition for a minute, like, what do you feel like are some of the biggest mistakes nutritionally that people are making?

Dr. Russo: So, my two biggest things that I say is that people... And what did I do, I have a couple of years of nutritional counselling, and the biggest thing that people are usually under eating, eating imbalanced, and they are been convinced whatever that carbs are very bad for you. That carbs equal fat. So, if you eat a piece of bread, you are going to be overweight or unhealthy or whatever it might be.

Most people, if you take down their macronutrients, right, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, they're completely out of whack. They'll be at a very high protein diet, which you can only digest and absorb so much. And they're very much limiting their carbohydrates, which, unless you're in a ketone-type, carbohydrates are the main source of fuel. So, as long as your fuel is matching your output and they're healthy carbs, right. I'm not saying a candy bar. But if you have whole grains and good type of foods, you should burn it and not really lose weight as long as you're in some level of core deficit.

You know, and that's the biggest misconception. They're out of balance and they're stuck in a certain weight category or class or not hitting their goals. And I try to re-educate them on, you know, what good carbs is. People don't understand that when you're in a high-protein diet and you're slamming salads every day, salads are carbohydrates, right? You're actually saying carbohydrates are bad, but you're eating big bowls of carbohydrates with a little bit of chicken on it.

And you know, I think the nutritional education that we get growing up just for individuals is very lacking and we're left as adults not knowing how to actually properly nourish ourselves, which leads to a very inflamed malnourished population.

Nick: So, to follow up to that, for our listeners, what do you think would be, I guess, a good, and I don't even want to call it a diet, but I guess, it is a diet. Like, a diet, we'll call it, just in terms of meals that they should be eating?

Dr. Russo: I like flexible dieting. I like counting macros a little a bit, keeping kind of yourself in check for carbs, proteins, fats as a general baseline, right, if you can do the math and all that stuff. If you take your body weight and cut it in half, that's about the amount of grams you should be having in fat per day, right? A little bit above your body weight should be your carbohydrates, if you are active, and a little bit below your body weight should be your protein intake, depending on what you're doing, right?

Let's say, if you're not active, if you're not an exerciser, if you're not that, the carbohydrates are probably gonna be more in the 80% of your body weight to keep it down. So, you can play with numbers and find yourself out. But I do some math sometimes and individual's diets are made. It's 20% of body weight is carbohydrates and it's not just gonna...fueling problem, right, you can get chronic fatigue syndrome. You can just get fogginess. Your brain runs on glucose. Glucose comes from carbohydrates. So, if you're not feeding yourself, you're not running efficiently. You're just not putting enough gas on the car to do the trick. Yes, so, it's really just finding... So, like that, it's some sort...

Janelle: I...

Dr. Russo: Please.

Nick: Janelle, do you want to say something?

Janelle: I was just gonna say. Yeah, can you guys hear me okay?

Together: Yeah.

Janelle: Can you hear me? Oh, okay. I was just gonna say, I know like the brain can also run on like ketones and low-carb diet and stuff. And that they have sometimes been beneficial for certain conditions like epilepsy, or Alzheimer's, and stuff like that. Have you seen that or...?

Dr. Russo: You know, general population that's the diet that I give. Specific things, like carbohydrates, can have issues with epilepsy patients or people that have seizure conditions. There are definitely, you know, specific things like that where you have to base it so. So, I am a big believer to matching the diet to the individual, right?

You brought up about the keto diet. And that definitely, you can definitely switch your body to being a fat-burning machine. But it has to come with a level of strictness. So, it's really up to individual's devotion to the diet, right? Because you have to keep yourself in ketosis, which can be extremely difficult to do. But it has worked wonders for people, right? They've literally just burns the fat off because you go from a sugar burner to a fat burner and it's what people like. We all want to look, feel, we all want to put the jeans back on and they feel a little bit lose than the last time we put them on. And keto will definitely melt the fat off of you.

Long-term, it's very hard to sustain. Right, so I've tried to give people long-term solutions to short-term problems, right? If you're living a life of, "I have a wedding in a week and I want to fit into that dress," that's really not a long-term solution. That's a short-term goal, right? So long-term health, right...

Even take the world of CrossFit, which is very much I'm immersed in, right, people see CrossFit as a very aggressive form of exercise. But it's what you see on TV and it's not long-term health. Functional movement is good for long-term health. If you're doing it for injury, if you're doing it through limitations, then it's not necessarily good for you, right? You have to stay within your means.

So, I try to talk to a client, if I have a nutrition client, and see what's best for them as an individual. Mostly, I try to get people just counting their foods and being accountable to the calories and accountable to what they're putting in their body. But they're definitely special populations that are gonna thrive off of very low carbohydrates. And as far health reasons, the keto diet can be beneficial, which I think is where it came from, which is that the low carb, high-fat type of diet was doing well with populations like that.

I remember in high go a little off-tangent and touch base on that, I had a friend in high school whose brother had cerebral palsy and epilepsy and his mother just dove into nutrition and all-natural herbs and all-natural remedies to just to try and stop these chronic seizures. And she basically cut carbs down. And this was in, you know, the late 1980s, 1990s, when he was growing up. I was in high school in the mid to late '90s. And she put him in a no-carbohydrate diet.

And he went from a massive amount of seizures and none in years. Like, he would have one-every-five-years type of thing. So, it was a chronic rush-to-the-hospital type of thing weekly to every five years. And it was, basically, she found a way to match the diet to the individual, right? What works for me isn't gonna work for you, isn't gonna work for your neighbor. So, it has to kinda fit your needs not what I think your needs are, which comes from conversing with individuals, finding out their goals, finding out if they want to be ten pounds lighter in three weeks or if they want to be healthy over the next 30 years.

And then, we play the matching game and we find what we need. I am not a fan of crash diets, I usually think that they come back with 10 extra pounds of friends. It's better to lose it slow and steady than to speed to the finish line.

Nick: Yeah, well, thank you for that. Super.

Janelle: So, yeah...

Nick: That was super awesome, I probably like learned a lot. I guess, kind of a follow-up to that, just because we were just talking about the mistakes that people, you know, come to what they're putting in their body. What do you think are some of the biggest myths when it just comes to being healthy overall?

Dr. Russo: Yeah, I think, just in general, people rush to the finish line. They think they have to be a certain way and they don't really balance their life how they should. You know, there are things like hydration, variation, overdoing it and taking care of your flexibility. That they're just not into what they think they have to go full speed ahead. They have to lift all the weights possible and lift all of the, you know, run the fastest mile and things like that.

And people don't take into account what they're capable of doing on a given day. Right. So, I think, just like with anything, fitness has to be, or your health, and I usually connect health with fitness, it has to be evolving, it has to be based on how do you feel that day, right?

I go into CrossFitters or weightlifters and they're very much based on percentages. You're gonna deadlift 80% of your one-rep max today but your one-rep max was tested a year and a half ago and it might not be the same. It could be more, it could be less. But it's given the day, right, it's the accumulation of what you've done over the last 10 days. How much have you slept? How much have you hydrated? How much have you recovered to basically ask your body to do what you needed to do, right?

So, the 80% of your activity on Monday could be very different than three Mondays ago or three Mondays from now based on your life, right? We're stressed, right. We're making sure the podcast is all sent up. And we're dealing with that, and we're dealing with work, and we're dealing with kids. And you never know what's gonna be given on a given day. So, I find that people stick to a regimen of health and they don't actually allow themselves to teeter-totter with diet, with fitness, with just lifestyle. Right? You have to cut yourself a break a little bit and allow yourself to maintain longevity, right?

It's good to look good fast for the beach, but it's also good to be 60 years old and not crippled, right? And not being able to get off the toilet or get out of bed or dress yourself at 70, 80, or whatever the age that you want to be and when you're very, very old. Sixty is not old.

Twenty percent of maintaining a little bit of leverage on either side of the scale. Knowing when to push, knowing when to pull back and knowing how to take care of yourself. And if we go back to what we just talked about, right? Knowing what diet works for you, right?

I can't give everybody the same health plan. I have to go the individual, right? And I think that's where the misconception of health is, is that let's take mainstream medicine. Let's go right into that. You have high-blood pressure, we're gonna give everybody this high-blood pressure medicine. You have a doctor who is urged to give one blood pressure medication to all of his patients. But he could have 500 patients with 500 different cardiovascular systems and 500 different other systems that are revolving around the cardiovascular system but he's giving a blanket answer to their health problem. And I don't think that's a good solution. I think you need to figure out how, you know, I...

Again, I'm not a believer in medicine, but if there gonna be medicines in there, there are useful tools in there, people that are out there, you know, that it's risk reward. I think a doctor should be pulling into his bag and pulling out 10-different blood pressure medications and finding out which one matches right with each patient or 5 or 20, or whatever it may be. There should be multiple options here. I can't believe that there's one solution.

I see patients in my own practice chiropractically and there's no one solution for a shoulder problem because a shoulder can present in multiple different ways and multiple different aspects of attacking it to get it better, right? And it's the same way nutrition and health, fitness, it's variation from left or right of your neutral. I think I answered that. I think I answered that. I'm not sure. I tend to ramble. You can shut me up anytime

Nick: I love it. Well, a quick follow up to that, especially what you're saying in the beginning, what do you say to that high school athlete, that college athlete who is just giving it everything they've got day in and day out and needs to take a break? And maybe, they're seeing you because they are dealing with a shoulder injury. But they're saying, "You know, Dr. Russo, I got it. I can push through, it doesn't matter." What's your advice to that person?

Dr. Russo: So, my hardest level of athlete is that age group. It's the 14-year-old to 21-year-old, right? Either they're trying to get that Division I scholarship or they're trying to maintain that Division I scholarship. We've got two arms of a problem here. You have a kid who has a metabolism that allows them to be beat the hell and get up that next day and do it again. But that's not necessarily the right answer, right?

So, I had a couple of, let's say, a year ago, I had a 12-year-old literally a baseball player and he basically was screaming Tommy John surgery down the road if he kept on his path. And my job there wasn't to necessarily treat him and get him better. It was to get his parents into the treatment room and have a conversation with them.

And I asked them, "How many baseball games is your son playing...did he play last season?" So this must have been probably November of last year. They said that in this last season, if they asked all of his travel teams, because he's on three travel teams, he had spring ball, and he had fall ball, and he was about to play winter ball, he played about a 190 baseball games.

So, yeah, and I looked at them and I said, "Do you know how much a 25-year old professional baseball player plays?" And they said like, "Yeah, I know..." I was like, "They play about 30 games less than your son. And your son is 12. His body is rapidly growing. His bones are growing. His muscles are trying to keep up with his bone's growth. And you're gonna ruin him before he even gets a chance to play high school ball, let alone Division I scholarship. Right now, on top of the games, he's getting trained twice a week by a pitching coach. He is being trained twice a week by strength and conditioning coach. He's getting trained twice a week by a hitting..." The amount of time and effort and money that they put in for a change for Division I scholarship, it's not, you're never gonna get there because your elbow is gonna blow out at 13. You're gonna start high school with stitches up your elbow because it's just not gonna happen.

So, you have parental pressure, Division I scholarship pressure, which is fueling some of these kids to keep playing, playing, playing. You have a pure love for the game. The kid would have played 200 more games, right. He was the kid that came home from practice, picked up his bat, cross the street, play in the playground and hit just balls for an hour alone. He just loves baseball. And I get it. But there's a sense of... And he can get up and feeling the next day.

But it's a conversation of you might be able to do it, but could you do it better if you took a day off. Right. So you gotta think that we all want to walk into game time 100%. If you're playing whatever sport over and over and over again, you're never quite getting back to that 100%. So, if you're playing football, your goal is to be close to 100% on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, depending on where you are, right? Baseball is all about trying to keep yourself ready for the next game. As you get higher, the games are closer together. But the sense of timing of when to train, how hard to train and when to know that you should just move and sweat a little bit, get some movement through your body and get ready for action, right?

Practice should be harder than the game. And practice should kinda slope you down and then recovery is to slope you back up to game time. And a 21-year old student athlete, it's very hard to convince them that you need to take a day off, especially in a sense of, "I've got three people looking for their spot." Right, it's a sense of, "If I take the day off, I'm gonna lose my spot or I'm gonna lose my edge or I'm gonna start striking out, or I'm gonna miss the free throw," or whatever it might be. And it's all about trying again to taking a step back and looking big picture at your training and your sport as a whole knowing that it's all about getting ready for game time and it's not about... Sometimes, you know, you can overdo it and not even just injury, your performance can suffer, right, the slope of performance.

If you're showing up to game time 75% of your potential, then you're playing 75% of your potential. And then that's the difference between making the free throw or not. That's the difference between hitting a 450-foot home run or 350-pop up. Right? It's all that. It's the ability for a quarterback to throw 50-yards down the sideline or not because his arms are fatigued because he threw 400 50-yard passes this week.

So, it's trying to educate them on being in tuned. And sometimes, even though you feel good, you shouldn't go. You should rest. You should do things out of recovery. You should stretch. You should ice or heat or get some body work, massage, chiro, PT, acupuncture, you know, use recovery tools out there. Right, you guys have a lot of big recovery tools, things like that. I urge people to try to find natural remedies for muscle soreness, for muscle fatigue, joint aches, joint pains, and try to educate the younger athletes to be able to have long career. Some of them will go on to professional sports. And that's amazing. But you have to know how to take care of your body because you're using your body to make a living, right? I always say that. I say that across the line, not even just... As I go back to everyone's an athlete, and we need to keep our body moving and find the best healthiest way for having longevity, healthy movement, healthy life.

Janelle: Yeah. You brought up a really good point because that's something that we see too a lot of at Plum Dragon Herbs is, you know, people don't want to take the time that it takes to really recover and to heal. So yeah...

Dr. Russo: Yeah, I mean, it's a constant conversation that I have with people. Right. They hurt their shoulder. Be it like an athlete playing a sport or just a regular patient, you know, you hurt your shoulder. And I've had people come in and their shoulder's two weeks post incident, and they'll go, "Why isn't it better? Why can't I push weight over my head without pain?" You know, it's the analogy of they come to people like us and, they want lighting fast recover. But they go and they fall off the monkey bars as a kid and they break their arm. And the doctor tells them eight weeks in a cast, see you in eight weeks, and it's acceptable. But the body heals as the body heals. If it's a bone, muscle sprain, strain, the body's gonna take time to heal and people need to be a bit patient. But they need to incorporate things, like myself and like you guys, to speed it up as fast as possible, right?

My job is not...I'm not a magician. I'm not going in and fixing things. I'm pushing the body along to be better. So, I'm speeding it up. Right. I'm closing that window. I'm taking that eight-week recovery and trying to get it to five. And whatever it may be. It's the same thing, using tools that we have and reaching into every single... It's going back to the medical doctor, right? Taking one pill and giving it to everybody. I'd like to have 15 bags of tools around me and pulling to all of them and then give people 4 or 5 different tools to get to the finish line or get back to the starting line. Call everyone to see it.

Nick: So what do you think it's gonna take to sort of start changing that narrative in the Western World, the avenues that, you know, all of us are a part of work?

Dr. Russo: Yeah. Things like this podcast and you guys keep going and keep trying to get as many people that are of like mind to... Out there and, you know, if you educate one person a week, you're doing your job. It's me, people like myself, standing up and looking for other outlets, right? I found my way here. I could have been a pediatrician. And what would I've been doing? I would be dumping drugs and surgery down children's throat. It just didn't vibe for me at a young age and probably never will vibe with me.

So, it's all about just allowing your voice to... In my opinion, allowing your voice to be heard and speaking the truth and not being afraid to have somebody tell you might be a little bit crazy for the things that you do to keep yourself well, right? I've been called crazy many times, especially in the current situations of times. My outlook on health, and wellness, and immunology is a very much different than the main stream. And it's okay to be called crazy and it's okay because there might be one person that is listening that doesn't think you're crazy. And then that might give them 10 more healthy years in the long run.

I don't think people understand that when you're going down an aisle and you're choosing a name brand analgesic, there are more hospital injuries per year based on over-the-counter pain medicines than anything else. There's more hospital visit a year than even for heart attacks or cancer than side effects of over-the-counter pain medicines when there are natural remedies out there. There are natural alternatives to damage. And you know, it's not about blowing up smoke up you guys. It's about factual information is hundreds of thousands of hospital visits. There's ulcers, there's digestive issues, right. I'm a big believer that you need to keep your gut clean to keep your body clean. And if you're constantly making your body process chemicals and process non-natural things, you're causing chronic inflammation. You're putting yourself for a risk of other long-term comorbidities down the line.

So, keeping it as natural as less processed, spending the little bit of extra money, if you can, to get the better, cleaner product. I'm for it. I'm all about it. People spend $300 to get their hair dyed. They won't spend two extra dollars to get a natural healthy remedy. It blows my mind. It blows my mind every day, but [crosstalk 00:27:22.495] priorities.

Nick: The odd part for me is that everything that you said is just so logical. Yeah, it's hard to view it as anything other than logical. And that's always been the most illogical thing in my opinion is that people listen to something like that and say, "Yeah, well, maybe not."

Dr. Russo: Yeah, it's a struggle. It's struggle for the realm of the health that we're in. Like you said, we're having conversation, and I can have this conversation with 10 other people and say the same things and there's gonna be people that look at me like, "This guy is out of his mind." Right, whatever topic, right? It's probably topic [inaudible 00:27:59] in our realm. But we're conversing and it's like all I see is your guys head shaking, like, "Yup. yup." Like, we're all on the same page, we're on the same realm of things.

And that population of people, I do think it's shifting. I think people are kind of waking up. I think the positive of everything going on the world, I think people are gonna be a little bit more in tuned to inflammation in their body, their health, things like that. I think people are very acutely aware of how fragile their health can be. I think that's going to long-term drive them into better direction. Maybe, I'm being a little bit hopeful, rose-tinted glasses as I say. But I do think that everything that's going on, everything that we just endured health wise is gonna have a positive long-term effect for a lot of people trying to be.

You know, we just got... We're in the business of controlling inflammation, right, joint stuff, aches, pains. We just went through a health crisis based on inflammation in the body. And it's found that people, well, basically, that are showing up to the game very inflamed are suffering way worse with this pandemic than anything else, not to bring up social issues or whatever. But it's, just, I think, it's in it long-term where people sit back and listen to really what this was. It's gonna be an inflammatory disorder and I think people are gonna do more to try to control the inflammation in their body and that's gonna be up to us to kind of keep the education trained on.

Janelle: Yeah. And I want to just take a minute, like, for our listeners just to explain a little bit about. So, Plum Dragon's Dit Da Jow product does just that. It addresses the inflammation in the body. And our product is like a topical analgesic, an herbal analgesic. And what's unique about it is that it's really driving herbal nutrition into the cellular level. And so, you know, we talk earlier on in the conversation about malnutrition and people aren't getting the nutrition and they're starving themselves, essentially. And what's crazy awesome about Dit Da Jow is that it actually drives nutrition right into the cell into a topical way.

And I don't think people, you know, when they think about treating inflammation. You know, the first things that come to their mind, probably are like the NSAIDs, you know, all the over the counter pain medication stuff. So, I love that we're having this conversation about alternative ways to address pain and inflammation. And I just kinda wanted to make sure that our listeners were educated on that aspect of Plum Dragon. Any other thoughts that you guys have on herbal benefits.?

Dr. Russo: So, you guys actually sent me some of your stuff. My mom give personal for a second, and some first-hand experiences, I don't get behind any sort of companies or I wouldn't come on if I don't think it was a good product or that it would help some...

When you said me the thing, the first thing I did, my mother has very, very arthritic knees. So, I would not even try to pronounce the name of the supplement, the herbal remedy you gave me because I figured she would be the best test candidate. I told her to follow the instructions. She put it on three times a day. And she's somebody that is a shuffle stepper, has a lot of pain. She's bone on bone. She needs knee replacements but doesn't want to the surgery. She's afraid of surgery.

So, we try everything, right. I've tried everything to kinda help her knees. She's got treated, etc. After a couple of days, I asked her, "You know, have you been using it?" "Yes" "What's the result?" And she said she had about 10% drop in discomfort in the knees after a few days. And she was like, "Aah, I don't know, right?"

Well, people have to keep in mind that a 10% over a few days is something natural. And you can have more. I'm just saying you don't need to be... People want this lights-turn-the-pain-switch-off type of remedy. And that's not always the case, right? And I have conversations with patients all the time. People come in and they're 10 out of 10 pain. And then, they come back in the next treatment and they're 7 out of 10 pain, right, or 8 out of 10 pain. And I have to look at them, "Like, you only saw me once, it was a 45-minute treatment where you only put herbs for a couple of days and you got 10% to 20% relief." And I mean, I know it's very subjective and it's not... But it still it's... If you would have walked in with 10 of 10, I said, I can get you 10% better, the answer is usually, "I'll do anything, Doc. Whatever, if you give me any relief, it's a good thing." But then, they get 10%, it's not enough.

It's keeping yourself in mind of when you're 10 out of 10 pain, 8 out of 10 pain, if you cannot just chip away at that and add more stuff to it to keep yourself chipping away at that pain, 10% is huge, right? Ten percent is 10% more function. It's maybe getting up the stairs a little bit easier, picking something off the ground a little bit easier. It's keeping in mind what relief is and what you're doing. And the fact that you're not using things that shut that switch off automatically, using things that are actually improving joint complexes, right? Her knees are improved. Her brain is not tricked telling her that there is no more pain. Her knees are 10% improved.

When you come and get treated in my office, you're 10% improved, 15% improved. I didn't do some wizardry and shot the pain symptoms off. I got you better. And that's what your product did for my mother's knees.

Janelle: That's fabulous.

Dr. Russo: It got her 10% better. And for somebody dying in chronic pain, limited with mobility, 10% can be... I have a son, 10% is playing with my son 10% more. And that's what people, I think, need to realize when they're using these things. That you're actually causing actual improvements, actual drop in inflammation. You know, you're bringing nutrients into joint space, which is important. And 10% is huge in the long run. People forget, you know, pain is an emotion and people forget that what the 10 out of 10 felt like. They now feel 8 out of 10. And they want now, 6, 7, you know, 5, whatever it may be. Hold on to the fact that you're 10% better and realize what you're using to get there.

Nick: Yeah, well, that means so much to us that your mom was able to benefit from that. That's truly why we do what we do. And what we found with our products is it really is that week-and-a-half, two-week mark where the real benefits start kicking in. So, I'd be excited to hear, you know, when she reaches that point are feeling. How her knees are feeling.

Dr. Russo: I'll definitely follow you guys over. Keep you guys posted on that.

Nick: Yeah, that's so great to hear. And what you hit on, that's important to us as well is it isn't masking the pain. That is one of our core philosophies is, let's do this the right way and the healthy way. And maybe it'll be a little bit longer, but that's just for the healing's taking place. The reason it's just feels longer is because we're not putting anything unnatural in our products that are not gonna trick the brain and say, "Oh, well, [inaudible 00:35:00]."

Dr. Russo: The biggest problem with tricking brain is now you're tricked into thinking you can do more than you can do. So, you're constantly living on these tricks or this light-switch-turning-off type of applications, then you're probably pushing yourself into further knee degeneration or shoulder degeneration or spinal degeneration because now you're... Pain has a purpose. Pain is telling you just cut it out. You're doing something wrong.

And it's about alleviating and getting it better. Adding products like you guys have, adding people like me to get you recovered, not necessarily through. Right, I don't want to get people through life, I want people recovered and enjoying life. It's just my main mindset is here is to listen to the pain and follow it to the right answer. Don't shut it off and keep going through.

Or, you know, I have a patient that come in and they're taken two Aleve like they're Flintstones vitamins, right? Their daily regimen of, "You know, I take two Aleve in the morning every single morning over the last seven years." And you're just like, it's just like, "Why?" "Yeah, I have this pain for seven years so it's..." And I've seen crazy things like that. They list them as their vitamins. It's like Vitamin C and Vitamin E. This two Aleve and it's like, "It's not a vitamin. It's not a daily supplement." This is a medicine.

I know you don't need to talk to a pharmacist or a doctor to get it, but everything in these stores are medicines. And they have chemicals and they're processed and they're created, it's driving you towards the red line of health, not the green good side or whatever colors you want to put on it. You know, if you're putting anything in your body that's not driving you towards health, you're driving yourself in the opposite direction, it's not a good option for me.

Nick: Well, it's the duct-tape analogy. You know, how much duct tape can you throw towards a problem that it's not gonna solve it all. Yeah, I get that completely.

Janelle: And you know, you brought up the point that these people are taking in pills for seven years, they're injuries are years in the making. And they can't expect to be healed in one treatment with you or something like that.

Dr. Russo: It's a key point that I say both chiropractically and nutritionally is, you know, you take a 35 year old man or woman and, if it's nutritionally, then they're not happy with their weight or their look, right, that's usually people reach out for nutritional counseling. Or an injury, right, and like I said, there's a time frame on that. So it took you 35 years to get to me. It's not gonna take me three days to get you where you want to go. It's gonna take time, mostly, right? The longer you are dealing with an ailment, the longer the recovery, natural recovery it's gonna be.

If I said, the shoulder has been hurting, my little back has been hurting for seven years, it's not gonna take probably seven weeks to resolve it. You'll get relief, we'll move you down that chain, but you're not gonna be resolved quickly because it took a long chronic inflammation. The body now doesn't even know how to work with that inflammation in the spine or the knee or the shoulder. So, it's, yeah, it's a challenge for what we do. It's a challenge for what I do. It's a challenge for what you guys do.

Janelle: Yeah. absolutely.

Nick: Absolutely. To follow up to that. What advice would you give, that's just blanket statements, almost anybody in the world of, you should start doing X, Y, Z today, if you're unhappy with where you are in your overall healthy lifestyle? You know, what X, Y, and Z would do?

Janelle: Can I interject for one minute?

Dr. Russo: Of course.

Janelle: So, I was just thinking like with Father's Day coming up, you know, I'd love to be focus tips specifically for men's fitness as well. So, I don't know if you want try and tackle those together or separately.

Dr. Russo: So, let's go on a Father's Day theme. All right. What are the stereotypical fathers go do on Father's Day, right? They go grab through their buddies and they golfing 18 holes after not golfing for two years because their wife and their kids don't want them out of the house. Come on, I'm talking about myself. Right.

So what happens is that you're doing an exercise that you haven't done in a long time. Golf is an exercise. You might drink some beers and you might be driving in a cart, but you are still asking your body to go through a lot of rotational torquing movements. So, to get prepared for that, I would definitely hydrate very well, which will be my blanket thing without Father's Day. Drinking water, water intake chronically low. I'd say 80% people that I come in contact with are dehydrated. My general simple rule of thumb is half of your body weight in ounces, if you're 100-pound person, drink 50 ounces of water a day. Add water for every cup of coffee that you drink.

So, if you drink eight ounces of coffee, add eight ounces of water because coffee is gonna dehydrate you. For the golfer or the father that's about to go active, right, they get a free day at the Father's Day. They're gonna wake up. They're gonna get... Kids gonna cook them breakfast, they're gonna do what they want because they get their hall pass. Make sure you're doing stretches or working on your flexibility, mobility for those things. Right.

Last week, I had a guy come in and he basically couldn't rotate to his right because all he did was rotate to his left, swinging golf clubs for three hours. So, that being said, spend some time rotating in the opposite direction of your swing, right, or spending opposite time in the opposite direction of whatever sport you're doing. Even somebody who's gonna sit at a computer for hours, they should spend time doing stretches in opposite direction.

So, if you're sitting down for hours at a desk, put your leg behind you and stretch out your hip flexors for some time to kind of decompress the body. Right? But if you're gonna do an activity on Father's Day or do something different, drink some water, stretch, prepare yourself, do a little bit of a warm up beforehand, maybe swing a golf club a couple of times before you actually go and you're with your buddy is trying to out drive them. Stay within yourself, don't let your buddies drive your ego, you know, guys in a sense, girls too, but guys in a sense get caught up in beating each other very competitive especially on stuff like that, signs of strength.

So, stay within your means, don't overdo it. The moment you go pass that line of capacity or what you're actually able to do is when you start to having to pay me money to come get treated and untwist what you did on the golf course. So spend some time taking care of yourself, take some time checking your own ego, you know, getting your own head space and stay within your means.

You know, they're over doing it, putting too much stress on your body, which is, like you said, chronically malnourished, chronically dehydrated. You're just asking for needing wholesale shipments of your stuff and wholesale treatment visits to my office.

And as much as I love treating people and getting them better, it's my kind of philosophy that I want to see people as at least often as possible. So, take care of yourself, get prepared, you can't just pick any sort of activity and just go do it. Do some things that are gonna get you ready to do the activity both nutritionally, hydration, and physically warming yourself up getting ready for whatever you think is fun.

Janelle: Oh, great tips. I love those.

Nick: Yeah, thank you.

Dr. Russo: Yeah. Of course.

Nick: One thing that I definitely want to hit on but before we wrap up is one thing that we emailed about back and forth, I'd love for you to talk about the importance of sleep.

Dr. Russo: Yeah, you know, it's, again, it's part of the stress cycle, right? I'm in New York, so it's where we're constantly, you know, we're just a population just everyone on the rat race, right? It's working extended hours. It's trying to find balance in your family. It's trying to find balance nutritionally. And a lot of times, people will sacrifice sleep in order to get something else done or accomplished.

Sleep is our biggest recovery tool. Sleep is when our body is regenerating. It's when it's healing. It's when it's doing its most stuff, right? It's our time to kind of get ready for the next day. And sometimes, we allow Monday stuff to steal from Tuesday. It goes back to athletic performance, right? It's big picture. I was having a conversation with the acupuncturist here last week about getting sick and stuff like that. And he said the biggest thing he does when he feels cold going on, he shuts his world down and go to sleep. That's it. He just goes to sleep. And he's like, this is what my body needs. He'll cut out some bad choices nutritionally and he fights it with sleep. He allows his body basically to hibernate to heal and it's a pretty good statement, right?

Your muscles, and if you have an achy back or achy knees like that, some rest, or stuff like that, some soreness is gonna go on, you have something called delayed onset soreness with working out, right, meaning that you can work out on Monday, you might still feel great on Tuesday and you might feel really bad on Wednesday. Right? It's just how your body catches up. And I have found clinically that a lifetime it comes with a good, like, accumulation of hours of sleep. Your body has now started to rebuild and then that's the soreness. So, your body has gotten time to kinda catch up with the activity that you did on Monday that kinda broke you down a little bit. Exercise breaks you down and now that build back up is what your soreness or that recovery type of feeling is. So, I think sleep is our biggest tool. You know, we're gonna process our... You know, we're gonna be able to rest and digest and we're gonna be able to take the process some information there. We're gonna be able to process...

So, you know, when you sprain your ankle, when you wake up the next day or there's a morning that you wake up and you feel better. Or if you're sick with a cold, sometimes, you just want to go to sleep because, "You know, tomorrow, I'm gonna wake up and feel 10%, 15%, 20% better," and that's should have the light bulb over our head saying, sleep is our greatest recovery tool. It's when we regenerate, it's when we heal, it's when we get ready for the next day.

Janelle: Hey, how can people get in touch with you after they've heard the show?

Dr. Russo: My biggest, I guess, place to get me is on Instagram. And it's my Instagram name is Functional Care Rx.

Janelle: And we're going to pose show notes about this and so our listeners can have a way to link up to you. And your Instagram page and if there's anything else you want to send us, we can link to that as well.

Dr. Russo: Awesome.

Janelle: Yeah. We really appreciate you coming to our show.

Dr. Russo: I appreciate the invite it's a lot of fun.

Janelle: Well, thank you so much.

Nick: Yeah, you know, [inaudible 00:45:19]. Yeah, thank you.

Dr. Russo: No problem, anytime.

Janelle: And thanks to all of our listeners for joining us today. Be sure to click the subscribe button, leave us a comment, and rate us on iTunes, YouTube or wherever you like to listen. By doing this, more people will have a chance to hear what our amazing guest have to share. Until next time.