For true healing to happen, the mind and the body needs to be connected. Dr. Partha Nandi has been teaching this medical concept to many physicians and patients. He believes that physicians today are really looking more towards their patients and patients have become more empowered with this age of digital technology. Still, there many health issues that remain to be dealt with fully, like the alarming increase of sugar consumption, which Dr. Trevor Berry believes to have led to the neurodegeneration of America. Aside from neurology, Dr. Berry also has a chiropractic background that helps him see the correlation between complementary medicine and the holistic approach. Dr. Roberts Spies deals with the cosmetic reconstruction factor of health and wellness and shares stories of what women wanted to look like in 2000’s versus what women today want.
Our episode is very unique because we’ve got three doctors here, and they’re so different, each one of them. The first one is Dr. Partha Nandi, You’ve probably seen him as part of the Ask Dr. Nandi television show. He is very popular. He has a book that’s coming out and he is going to discuss that. Then we’re going to talk to Dr. Trevor Berry, who’s a board-certified chiropractic neurologist, and he has a company called BTB Health Systems, where he helps people with neurological issues. Last up will be Dr. Robert Spies, who’s a board-certified plastic surgeon, and also is my husband. It’s interesting to talk to all three of these doctors because they have different ways of helping you with your health and wellness.
Listen to the podcast here
The Neurodegeneration Of America: A New Mission For Health And Wellness with Dr. Nandi
I am with Dr. Partha Nandi, who’s a down-to-earth physician from the hit talk show Ask Dr. Nandi. The show aims to reach patients with real medical problems, providing real medical solutions. Unlike other medical shows, it offers more than a sound bite and is not sensationalized. Dr. Nandi works alongside his wife, Kali, who is the producer of the show. The pair are assisted by successful producers such as the Emmy-winning Patricia Childress of VH1’s Behind The Music, Dr. Phil Show, and Tyra Banks Show, and Jennifer Sawalha, also from Dr. Phil, The Tyra Banks Show, and more recently, working in programming and development with the Oprah Winfrey Network and producer for On Air with Ryan Seacrest. Dr. Nandi is a believer that the mind and body are connected and a true healing requires a treatment of both. As a national speaker, he is able to teach patients and physicians how to achieve the goal of excellent healthcare. It’s so nice to have you here.
Thank you for having me.
I was a pharmaceutical rep with AstraZeneca for fifteen years. My husband is a plastic surgeon. I’m familiar with the medical field, probably enough just to be dangerous. I’m really interested in what you do in your show, which is so successful. Congratulations.
Thank you so much. We work hard on it. It’s knowing the information and trying to disseminate it to people so they can use that information to change their lives.
There’s so much confusion because there’s so much access to the internet. When I got into the pharmaceutical field, it was long before everybody had access to all this content. Basically, the doctors would listen more to the pharmaceutical reps, but now, they have to have patients coming in saying, “I want this, I want that.” How has that changed healthcare?
For me, it was always that the patient was the boss. I have a different view on pharmaceutical reps. I think that pharmaceutical reps often help some physicians at least to be able to get introduced to some products. It is going to be up to the doctor to be able to say, “This is something that could really serve the patients well,” and make that decision. Instead of just saying, “The pharmaceutical rep said that this is going to be a great product and then use it.” It’s a great resource that we can utilize because sometimes with some of the products and the information that they have, even though there’s always a bias to it, but you could at least get the information and then do the research yourself. Physicians and other healthcare givers are looking towards patients and patients are becoming empowered as they have more information. The other negative spin is on this information aids with Google. I don’t really mind because patients can get some information that they didn’t have before. They come to me to curate it. They don’t think that Dr. Google is going to give them all the information, so they come to me to curate it.
Medicine has changed quite a bit in the sense that instead of just looking at a pharmaceutical rep or outside forces to help you practice medicine, patients are becoming more empowered. They are asking their physicians, “What about this? Can we not use a drug?” I get that every day, “Can we not use a drug and use something else?” which to me, is very refreshing. For some physicians, it’s a little different. It’s a paradigm shifter because they’ve been used all their lives to be able to write prescriptions and send for procedure and that’s it, but now you have to go one step further. That, to me, is a good sign.
You’re a gastroenterologist, is that correct?
Yes, I’m an internist gastroenterologist.
They say there’s a connection if your stomach or your gut is healthy and how your brain functions. Is there a connection there?
The gut-brain connection is one of the most important connections there are. When I tell my patient that the nervous system of the gut is actually more complex than that of the nervous system of the brain. All the connections that are there within the gut is actually intricate and more complex than you’d think in the central nervous system, but they talk to each other. If you eat this product that has seven syllables in its name and you can’t pronounce it, it goes into your gut, and your gut doesn’t know what to do with it because it’s like an alien coming to your house and knocking at the door and saying, “I want to come in.” You’re going to say “No, you’re not going to come in and have dinner with me” Your intestinal tract is no different. It elicits a reaction both in the immune system and the nervous system. It signals your brain and it signals the rest of your body. Some people say, “What does my headache have to do with my gut? What does my asthma have to do with my gut?” It is the gateway. The stuff that you put in your body and how you treat your gut is instrumentally important in trying to find out what the rest of your body does. The brain, if you take this example even one step further, talks to every other part of your body. The kidneys, the heart, the lungs, the immune system, the system of your blood. Every single thing is all connected. That is the epitome of how you can make an effective change in your body. When you stick by making simple changes in how you eat can really affect your life. That’s the brain-gut connection in a very simplistic way. It goes even further than that and it affects the rest of your body.
I know a lot of people take probiotics, different kinds of vitamins and different things. I know a lot of people who are really healthy eaters. They don’t eat anything packaged. Everything’s what you would consider healthy, but then they feel like they need to add those extra components, as far as probiotics and vitamins. Would you suggest that’s a good thing? Is that necessary if you’re eating well?
It’s not a bad thing at all. If you can get the probiotics from your food, that’s fantastic. If you can get it from yogurt, if you can get it from blueberries, if you can get it from sauerkraut, if you can get it from other dishes, you also can get prebiotics, meaning that it’s foods that can actually help good bacteria in your gut. For example, simple things like onions and garlic can really help the gut bacteria flourish. If you can’t do that and you have to take a pill or some produced probiotic, that’s okay. I would much rather you get it from nature, but if you have to, that’s okay, because it’s really important. The bacteria that’s in your gut, that’s in your system, is vitally important for the rest of your body. Why? These bacteria have been around, and they’ve been a partner in our entire survival system. When you take those out, as we do with antibiotics, as we do with processed foods and not get the nourishing foods that help these bacteria flourish, it takes your system out of whack. The immune system is out of whack. The nervous system is out of whack. The entire gut is in imbalance. It’s really great to try to get probiotics that can help put it back in balance.
Vitamins and supplements, you have to take it by case-by-case basis. I don’t recommend taking 50 of these supplements because somebody told you that it’s going to make you better. Taking the simple multivitamin once a day is great, but as important, the best supplement is in Mother Nature. One of the best antioxidants is purple. It’s called blueberry. One of the best sources of nutrition can be found in broccoli. If you can try to pick from all the colors in the rainbow of vegetables and fruits, you will achieve a lot of what those supplements are doing and doing it in the way that your body understands and has understood for a long time.
You were a Rhodes Scholar candidate and went to Ohio State. My husband went to medical school at Ohio State. He is really fascinated by studying what used to be what they said was good for you versus what they say is good for you now. Where do you stand on the high-fat diet? Is it good or bad? Are carbs the bad thing now? Where do you stand on that?
It’s all about picking from all the foods in your tray, meaning fats, carbohydrates, and protein. All these fads about high fat, low carb, “This fat’s good”, and all this craziness, it’s hard to keep up. It’s hard to keep up as health professionals, let alone the general public. I say to people to really have a well-balanced diet. It sounds easier than it really is sometimes. If you’re trying to go out to eat, it’s hard to do that. That’s why these ideas find ways that you can prepare your own food because you know exactly what’s going on. Take lots of fruits and vegetables. I’m not a big proponent of red meat. If you could have beans, chicken and fish, awesome. You can have vegetables as source of protein. Legumes, you can have. People don’t even know that quinoa has all of the essential amino acids a person needs. You can have broccoli, that has protein. I’m not a promoter of low fat, high fat, low carb because it’s just too difficult to maintain and it’s not realistic for someone to be on this for a lifetime. Eat the foods that you enjoy, but try not to eat it from a can or a box. Try to pick fruits that will nourish you and encourage your body to thrive. We talk about that in the book. We give samples of recipes and food groups that you can really follow to make sure that you can achieve that. Everybody has this plan to eat well and then they go away. How do you do that? That’s the key is that we try to go into detail about recipes, about food groups. I don’t think any of these fad diets really work. To me, diet is a bad word. The moment you say, “Diet”, you might as well say, “Failure.” That’s a synonym. I don’t ascribe to any particular diet. I ascribe to a nutritional plan that’s purposeful. Once you have a purposeful life and you have mindful eating habits, purposeful eating habits will be coming naturally.
A lot of people read about what causes heart disease and certain things. In the past, it was bad to eat eggs and then it’s okay to eat eggs and then the cholesterol issue. You hear maybe it’s the sugar that’s causing inflammation that’s causing heart attack. Is it worse to eat sugar? Is it worse to eat eggs? What causes heart attacks?
Most conditions have an inflammatory component. What that means is that your body’s irritated and inflamed and that can cause disease. There are multiple factors of inflammation. If you keep adding sugar to your food, not just bad for your heart, but it’s bad for the rest of your body. You’re adding a product that is extrinsic, meaning it’s not something that’s naturally found in foods. You’re adding processed products, refined sugar, that you’re putting in your body. When that goes into your body, your body has now even more inflammation and has less nutrients. It’s what we call empty calories. Added sugar in itself is not a great thing because of the fact it doesn’t add to your nutrient level, it doesn’t add to your body’s sustaining system. Instead, if you have sugar that’s complex, carbohydrate is complex in fruits and vegetables, still a sugar, but great for you because it’s surrounded by fiber, vitamins and minerals.
People think all sugar is bad, but it’s not the case. It’s added sugar, table sugar, refined sugar, canned products. You’re talking about a completely different product. By itself, I don’t believe that if you just had sugar, that’s what’s going to lead to all things bad. People say, “Having coconut oil is good and you can have a bunch of coconut oil or having butter is good.” If you have a ton of butter or a ton of coconut oil, it’s not good for you. The point is that there may be some positive properties when you look at the components of butter or the components of coconut oil. When you take it in large quantities, it’s still excess fat, it’s still leading to obesity, it’s still leading to increased death. You can’t take a bunch of it, but the news is that there may be some good qualities of it. What causes heart disease? It’s a complex multifactorial thing, including genetics, including your environment, and the food that you put in your body. You can’t control genetics yet, but you can control the environment. I don’t mean the environment as in the pollution, but the toxic environment that you live in not only for your body, but your mind. When you’re constantly in a job that you hate, and your stress level is high, you increase your cortisol, you increase your ACTH, that leads to inflammation, that leads to stress. Your work environment, your family environment. That is the whole idea about the fact that the cultivation and the status of your mind is as important to your health as the status of your body.
If you add real purpose to your life, it decreases heart disease, decreases risk of dementia, increases your lifespan by seven years. If you add mindfulness to your life, you add real years to your life and also can decrease heart attacks and heart disease. The fact that you can control toxic environment, and then the stuff you put in your mouth. You put crap in, your crap comes out. They’ll tell me that “I can eat butter, so I eat a ton of butter.” I talk in my book about the two-thirds rule, eat until you’re two-thirds full. You can just about eat anything. The Okinawans use it all the time and they’ve been using it for centuries. I have two rules. One is 80/20 rule and the two-thirds rule with eating. 80% of the time, if you eat the way you’re supposed to and 20% of the time, you have birthday parties, office parties, or you’re at a function that you can’t control it. The stress you create by thinking, “I’ve done something wrong,” is just as bad as you eating that piece of chocolate pie. Use the 80/20 rule and then the two-thirds full is the fact that the signal to your brain that you’re full is a little too late. You have to stop before you’re completely full. The whole buffet rule does not apply, meaning that you cannot go through life thinking you have to get as much food in your body as possible because that’s what it’s all about. That is a mentality that’s going to fail. The two out of the three factors that result in heart disease and heart attacks, we can control. We’re not only our genes. I described this multiple times in my book and my work. You’re not only your genes. You’re not fated to something that’s going to kill you because it made your grandfather’s or your grandmother’s or your aunt’s life miserable. You can change two out of the three factors: the environment that you live in, the environment you work in, and the one you have for your body and mind. The second thing is what you put in your body. It’s vitally important to know that.
I’m curious about a percentage of each fats and carbs. Do you have a pie chart that has a third of this, a third of that? Do you have ratios?
I give those percentages approximate. You can have complex carbohydrates, 40% to 45% of your meal, you could have up to 25% to 30% with protein, and then the rest with good fats. What I mean by that is you don’t go out there and have a slab of ribs and that’s your protein. That doesn’t work. You don’t have to go out there and have a hamburger every day and say, “I got my protein.” That’s not the idea. Beans are sources of protein. Vegetables are sources of protein. We talk about that quite a bit and give recipes. If you could do that, ratio approximately 40% to 45% complex carbohydrates and try to avoid the simple sugars. By that I mean things that you put in your food, added sugars, candy bars, etc. You don’t want added sweets and added sugars, the complex carbohydrates. Have a cherry, just as sweet but amazingly better for you. If you can have up to 30% protein and the rest fat, it’s fantastic for you. There are many uses of fat in your body. It has to be good fat, not fat that is going to harm you overtime. Vegetable is a source of protein. Lean fish and some of the fish also has omega acid that’s also been shown to be able to help you. If you have this basic plan, you go about life and not making some great formula, “I’m at 50% carbs or at 30% carbs, I’m doomed.” It’s not really about that.
It’s having a healthy idea of what you need to do, make it mindful, make it purposeful. Don’t forget the other pillars of your life is having a purposeful life, having movement in your life. You have to have purposeful movement, not just having ultra-marathons or running 50 miles, but really move in your life and not sit on the couch every single day. The other two is make sure you cultivate your mind. Use mindfulness, prayer, yoga. There are so many techniques to empower yourself and to unlock the potential of your mind. Finally, use your tribe. There’s an epidemic in our nation that’s called social isolation. There’re so many people that are lonely and don’t know what to do or where to turn to. We don’t give them tools to make tribes that can really help them. I think that’s the key. It’s not just one of those. It’s all of them combined. When done properly, those five pillars, when you unleash that, it’s a force that is to be reckoned with. That’s why multiple populations in the planet that use these techniques live well in their hundreds but not in a nursing home, drooling with a feeding tube. It’s living their best lives with their grandkids, being a functional part of their society. It’s amazing because if we can do that, what else is there? On your deathbed, you don’t talk about how many cars you have or how many houses you had or what vacations you’d have. You talk about stuff that’s important. You talk about your children. You talk about the relationships, the changes you made in this planet. Wouldn’t that be amazing if you made some simple changes that you can do every single day?
I challenge my patients. These five ideas, these five principles, these five pillars, give me at least five minutes that you do one of those every day. It’ll change your life. People come back in two weeks and say, “So much has happened.” It’s unbelievable. It’s encouraging and empowering for me to see that change.
There’re so many doctors that have different perspectives on some of this stuff. I have had doctors tell me that they get into the Paleo diets or they think 60% fat is the right number. What do you say to people that say “You have to eat 60% good fat and follow Paleo. That’s the best thing”?
Everybody’s doing the best they can, but I think it’s not sustainable. It’s just not sustainable to have that kind of a diet. Over time, you put that much fat in your diet, we’re talking about “Is it going to damage your body?” You may look great. A lot of the times, people are worried about what their shell looks like. Do I have a six pack? Can I fit in the bathing suit? That’s their end goal, but they don’t know what’s going on inside their body. None of these behaviors, from the Paleo Diet to Weight Watchers, is sustainable over your lifetime. We’re talking not about the next month or the next year or even the next two or three years, I’m talking about your lifetime. What goals and what plans in your life to make changes that’ll change the arc of your life? That is what I’m looking for. The people who are proponents of the Paleo diet or proponents of the low-carb diets, I understand their methods and I understand what their goals are. The problem is that in the long-term, you need a plan for your life. A healthy plan for your life that includes eating properly and not just looking at formulas and looking at books and looking at some potion or magic bullet that’s going to really make everything better. It’s what’s made us survive as human beings and thrive for centuries, and even more than that, thousands of years. We’ve gone and gone away from that. It’s not really that difficult. It has to be coupled with having purpose, being mindful, and movement, as well as having people around you to support you. All those factors are just as important as a 50% fat, etc. and by itself, those are not sustainable. Studies have actually shown that you can’t sustain those over several years, let alone a lifetime. What I’m worried about is a lifetime of change, not just a change for a couple of months. “I got to fit into this tux,” or “I’m getting married,” or “I’m going on vacation.” That’s not my goal. I’m glad that you want to look good. Nothing wrong with that, but how do we do it so you can actually thrive and nourish your body? That’s what I’m interested in.
There’s a lot of people that get so sick and they get so bummed out because they’re in pain, they’re suffering. They go to doctors that don’t help them. They’ve tried everything, and doctors make them feel it’s them. There’s nothing you can do for them. That can be frustrating. What advice would you give people that maybe hit a wall, nobody’s helping them, and they don’t know what to do next?
One of the biggest challenges people have is when they don’t get the help that they need, that they go beyond their comfort zone. It’s not unlike other relationships. People stick around with their spouses that are unhealthy toxic relationships because of familiarity and fear. You don’t want to change your doctor, “I know this doctor. I didn’t want to go and find another one. What are they going to be like?” If you’re not getting the help that you need, please go somewhere else. We are here for you. I am here as a physician to help patients, not the other way around. Far too often, what’s happened is that we, as patients, seem to try to make the health practitioner’s life better. That’s not the way it works. To me, the patients are the boss. If you’re not getting what you need, you need to find it somewhere else. I always thought I was a good physician. I was empathetic and I’m sure I was. My dad became ill and he had a devastating stroke. The strongest man in my life. He was my hero. When he became debilitated with a stroke, I became his caregiver. I have learned from the other side what it was like. It was unbelievable. You knew in 30 seconds if someone really cared or not. I learned ways. I had notes and everything else that I needed to ask before your time is up, because you get so little time in American medicine now. People are out the door before you can even figure out what’s going on. You come in, it’s an uncomfortable situation. You barely get time to see the practitioner and then you’re out the door.
We actually have done television shows on how to talk to your doctor. The key is that make lists. Don’t ask the doctor where the facility for the procedure is. This is a waste of time. Ask the receptionist that. You have to hone in on what you’re going to ask and announce at the beginning, “Doctor, I have a list of things that I want to discuss with you. Is that okay?” Like any other relationship, you go and to talk to someone, “I want to talk to you about this. Is that alright?” Ask for it, so that you have an understanding. He has an expectation, you have an expectation. Take control of your health. Be your own health hero. That’s what it’s about. Take control of your health. Make sure you know what you want and ask for it. If you don’t ask, it’s never going to be given to you. That’s the idea.
I know a lot of people are going to want to know about your book. You give some great advice. Can you say the name of your book and how they could reach you and find out more about it?
The title of the book is the same as the television show. It’s called Ask Dr. Nandi: 5 Steps to Becoming Your Own #HealthHero for Longevity, Well-Being, and a Joyful Life. You’re looking for being your own health advocate, to live the best life that you could have. I encourage people to go to our website, AskDrNandi.com. If you look there, there will be a tab for the book or you can go to Amazon and the book will be there, Ask Dr. Nandi: 5 Steps to Becoming Your Own #HealthHero. My goal in writing this book, being from a family of healthcare providers, is I want people to get this information, so they can live their best life. That’s it. I want to get it to as many people as possible, that they can live their best life.
I really appreciate you being on the show. Thank you for being on the show.
Thanks for the opportunity.
The Neurodegeneration Of America: A New Mission For Health And Wellness with Dr. Berry
I am with Dr. Trevor Berry, who is a board-certified chiropractic neurologist. He has over 2,000 hours of post-doctorate education in neurological fields such as vestibular and balance disorders, traumatic brain injury, pain management, and neurodegenerative disorders, as well as functional medicine. Dr. Berry has been a partner with BTB Health Systems where he lectures nationally and internationally and consults regarding functional neurology, functional medicine, laboratory testing and interpretation, laser therapy, and more. It’s nice to have you here.
Thanks for having me.
You are a very smart guy. I’m very fascinated in your new endeavor, which is this BTB Health Systems. I don’t know if you want to start there or you want to give a background of how you got to that point.
With my background in neurology, I’ve been doing lots of work both clinically and in the field of research in helping understanding neurological conditions and different clinical applications that are being used in modern medicine to help address some of these growing concerns that we have in the field of neurology. Through that, you start to develop different partnerships and different relationships. As I started doing more research, I started getting involved with a low-level laser company that is doing excellent work in FDA studies on different neurological conditions. That’s Erchonia laser. My relationship with them has developed to the point where I head up their neuro lecturing and some of the research projects that we have going on, as well as a new and up and coming lab company called Vibrant Healthcare, Vibrant Wellness, and Vibrant America. They have different divisions for their product. They are actually a microchip technology. The guys that did the Pentium III chip developed this new technology that’s going to be completely revolutionizing the lab industry. I’m doing some neurology consulting with them as well. From that, we wanted to start to get the message out to the healthcare field because we are in such an epidemic with these neurological conditions.
The top ten neurological conditions in the United States are quickly approaching a $1 trillion economic burden. It could completely destabilize our economy. Alzheimer’s alone sits at around $250 billion per year. If we don’t do something to curb that, it’s on pace by itself to become a $1 trillion burden by about 2050. My main focus is to address those types of conditions and see if we can turn that ship around before it’s too late.
That’s a lot of the neurological conditions. What is causing it? Does anybody know what’s causing all this? Is it getting to be more than in the past? Is it what we’re eating? Is it the environment?
I want to say that there’s not one smoking gun. It’s like the therapies for it. There’s not one single answer to all this because it’s such a multi-layered approach to anything that’s going to actually help because there’re so many different layers that happen in those neurological conditions. You need to be able to address all of those layers and not try and come at it with a monotherapy. It’s the same thing with the cause or etiology. We are under so much environmental stress. You brought up the food source. You are seeing the connection between everything from possibly chemical stressors in our food sources, the processing of foods, the different additives, the potential for the hybridization of the foods, genetically modified stuff, things like that. There seems to be a growing concern that those types of sources are definitely contributing to a neurodegenerative change.
Another big one is a study that showed that one diet drink a day will increase your risk of dementia by threefold. It has to do with a receptor in the brain cells called NMDA receptor. There are certain chemicals that trigger these pathophysiological events. That can definitely be food-based as well. I don’t want to say there’s just one issue out there. Another big thing that I see a lot with Americans, this has been shown in multiple studies, is the amount of sugar we consume. We’re sugar addicts in this country. Without a doubt, sugar wreaks havoc with a lot of the brain chemistry, with amyloid beta burden, which is one of the hallmark signs of Alzheimer’s. It’s multi layered. There’s not one smoking gun. We have to try and address as many of those layers as possible.
I was listening to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s audio podcast that he did, talking about GMO’s. Some of them maybe aren’t so bad. You read things that are bad and then they aren’t. It depends on which study you read. How do you know who to believe?
There’s a reason why so many countries in the world have either completely banned or at least partially band or made mandatory labeling for genetically engineered foods. I get that there is natural hybridization that occurs and things like that, but I want to see true independent, objective, double-blind RCT studies on that stuff. You see a rise in celiac disease with the introduction of glyphosates. There seems to be a direct correlation to the elevation of it. I’m not here to bash one particular company. At the same time, you start to look at correlation of things and the rates of celiac disease. They talk about safe amounts of ingesting a toxin. Personally, clinically, and everything I’ve read and researched, I don’t see it that way. I don’t know if there’s a safe amount of roundup we should be drinking or consuming. That’s just my opinion, but I think there’s a lot of evidence that points to that. It’s not just roundup. It’s across the board. We have to watch our food sources. That’s why all the neuro cases that I take on, I promote them to try and eat as organically, like local farmers and whatnot, as possible because it just helps with brain chemistry and brain function.
You get into a lot of different areas. If you have a chiropractic background, how did you get into all of this? This is not your traditional focus for a chiropractor, is it?
In a way, you could see the correlation is easy because when you look at complementary medicine, they do tend to take on that holistic whole body approach, which is kind of a dying thing in healthcare. Everyone’s becoming so over-specialized. They only do surgeries on left knees or things like that. There isn’t a massive need or demand for doctors. They can see the body as a whole still. Also, chiropractic is underpinning based on neurological influences. There is a definite underlying mechanism there that would blend itself well to the neurology field. There is a lot of unanswered questions that I had going through school, which is why I went back and got my neurology degree and not just help pin down different things that were happening to the human nervous system when we made certain applications. What needs to be stated is that we are a receptor-driven system, meaning our brain is basically a byproduct of ‘what goes in dictates what comes back out’. When you look at that in that model, you have to understand that this is why movement is so important, why exercise is so important, why massage works, why acupuncture works, why chiropractic works. All these different types of exercises or stimulation or modalities affect the central nervous system in a certain way. The nervous system can take that information and respond to it. When you combine that with what we fuel the brain with our food sources, water intake, things like that, when you put those two together, that’s what promotes a healthy nervous system. It does run itself. There is a definite correlation.
Going through our advanced programs like the Carrick Institute Program, it really opened my eyes to what’s available out there. Dr. Carrick is the forefather of functional neurology. When you start looking at it in that higher neurological context, you can start to take on cases that are very difficult, complex cases such as these heavy traumatic brain injuries that are chronic, the balance problems, the migraines, the atypical facial pains, movement disorders, all these different neurological things. When you start to address the brain with brain-centered or brain‑based rehab, you can start to get cases that the average clinician wouldn’t be comfortable with handling.
I don’t know if I’ve ever met a chiropractor that has this training that you have. It is pretty intense. I used to sell migraine drug, so I know how hard the neurological aspect is to unstudy. Migraines are an interesting thing. I’m curious if you think technology has any impact. Looking at our cell phones and the lighting and things like that. It, how do you know what’s causing things? Is it tough to figure it out?
Yeah. For example, I may have a migraine patient that I see a definitive correlation to magnesium deficiency. Another one could be more of cervicogenic, meaning coming more from the cervical spine and the neck area. That’s more of the main culprit. Just because people present with the same end-diagnosis does not mean that that is exact same thing that is triggering all this stuff. That’s why you have to take that global perspective of understanding. In our studies, we study thyroid dysfunction. We study gut health and gut dysfunction because that’s a big culprit with a lot of the stuff that we’re dealing with. We study anemia patterns and all the blood chemistry stuff. When you’re dealing with brain, you can’t miss any of the pieces of the puzzle because everything affects everything else. You really have to have an appreciation or comprehension of basically every system and every physiological process in the human body to adequately address brain-based stuff.
Is this what you’re doing? Give me the BTB Health Systems. What exactly is that? What are you doing with them?
What it is myself, Dr. Brock, and Dr. Teames put together a program that we’re going to help doctors throughout the world to start to take some of these concepts and apply them into their own practice. We’re on a mission to help change the way that all these neurological conditions are being treated. We wanted to do something that was at a grand scale to get that message out to as many healthcare providers. I’m not talking in the complementary, the canned type, setting. We’re going to be in front of the medical community. We’re going to be in front of nurse practitioners. We’re trying to bring in as many people as possible to make a unified front against some of these conditions. For me, it’s a personal mission. My daughters, their mother’s side of the family, comes from a very strong genetic predilection for Alzheimer’s. It’s an ApoE-4 variant. With ApoE-4, if you’re homozygous, which means both alleles in your chromosome have ApoE-4, you have upwards of at least 50% chance. I’ve seen some research as high as 75% to 80% chance of developing Alzheimer’s. Part of my mission, personally, is to do everything I can to protect them and do all the research and clinical stuff I can to protect them. We all have our own reasons for this, but we’re on a mission to try and educate as many healthcare providers of all different specialties as possible to help get the message out there, that stuff can be done about this.
In the business world, we always say, “B2B” when we’re talking about business-to-business sale. That’s why I referred to it as that. What does the BTB stand for?
BTB is our last names, Dr. Brock, Dr. Berry, and Dr. Teames.
I wanted to hear about those case studies. What have you help people overcome? Do you have some great stories that you want to share? Something that you did to some people?
If you go on our local website, we started posting more of the testimonials from patients. It’s such a great tool because most people don’t know we exist. Most people don’t know our specialty exists. We’re trying to get the word out a little more that, “There’s different things that are available out there for patients to see, that have been told that there’s nothing that can be done.” We typically get the cases that have been at Mayo or Barrow. We have so many great neurology centers and healthcare centers in Arizona. We’re like a hotbed for that stuff, but we get all these cases that, “We’ve been to 30 different types of providers and nobody has been able to do stuff.” We love those cases because if we can help them, they’re very grateful to us. We deal a lot with chronic traumatic brain injury. Around 3.1 million people in the United States have long-term disability from TBI, meaning they never did get recovery from their head injuries. A big one that’s a hot topic that it’s all over the media is the NFL studies with chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The last study that came out of the 200 plus football players that they analyzed with their brains after they died. Of the 111 NFL players, 110 of them had CTE. The take-home point is that if you’re playing football long enough, you’re pretty much guaranteed that you’re going to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
If you look at the brain of a CTE, it looks almost identical to the brain of Alzheimer’s patients. They’re basically one and the same. The overlap there is pretty thick. You look at a case like that and say, “Everyone that plays in the NFL is doomed for this. That’s what the stats are showing.” One in particular was Fred Wakefield. He played all the way through. He played for the Arizona Cardinals and the Oakland Raiders for eight years. He was an offensive lineman. Most people don’t know this but the linemen are actually the ones that take the most hits from the hardest head stuff. Everyone thinks the running backs and wide receivers are the ones who take the biggest beating, but it’s actually the lineman. When he came to see me, he was in dire straits. His body was going downhill. He couldn’t get through a morning without having to take a nap. He couldn’t work. His brain-gut axis was completely off. He couldn’t eat any foods. He started to become intolerant to all kinds of foods and whatnot. We do functional testing, balance testing on force plate or we do VNG with which we can look at the function of the frontal lobes and the different parts of the brain. We do all these advanced objective biomarkers in our office. When he came to see us, he was just a mess from top to bottom. All his brain testing was a mess. All of his cognitive testing was a mess. All his gut axis stuff, his thyroid, his blood panels. He was a mess as a lot of these NFL guys are. By the time we discharged him and finished with him, he had zero gut symptoms. He’s working in a very complex job. All of his markers are stable now, if you look at all his brain analysis. He’s back to living the full life that he wanted to and without symptoms.
In the typical model that we are using, the allopathic model, a lot of that stuff is not amenable to surgical or pharmaceutical intervention. We were able to take all those functional methods and apply it to him and get his life back for him. Can I say with certainty that we changed his brain makeup as far as that Alzheimer’s type presentation? I can’t say that. All I know is that all the objective markers in his cognitive testing is now stable. Say what you will about that, but we gave him his life back. The last two cases I got that were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I’m careful in saying that because to truly diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, you do histological studies. I’m referencing it as Alzheimer’s-like dementia, which is actually the proper terminology. The last two cases that were sent to me, they were in cognitive decline. There’s a standardized test. It’s a cognitive impairment test called an MMSE. It is to look at your level of cognitive impairment. Those two cases that came in, they had scores of fifteen, which is considered moderate cognitive impairment. By the time we were done with them, both of the cases were above 25, which is considered within normal level for the MMSE exam. More importantly, it’s not just these numbers thrown around. The one patient, for example, he is walking again without support, like a cane or walker. His memory his back. He remembers all his family members again. His sister told me, “Thank you for giving me my brother back. He’s now doing all these things that he had lost.” You’re going to have detractors out there that say, “Maybe it was coincidence.” If it is coincidence, I’m pretty good at making coincidences happen. There’re always going to be detractors out there that want to say, “That didn’t work.” I challenge people to come look at our office and you can see firsthand, not just on the subjective stuff, like the patient’s families saying his memory’s better, but on all the objective markers that we use as well too.
When you were talking about the football players in your examples, it made me think of Muhammad Ali and what he’d gone through. He had Parkinson’s. I’m sure fighters and different people, all these head injury situations. Are they going through chiropractic manipulations? Are you putting those things on their head to make them look at lights? What are you doing with these?
It’s all the above. One thing I can say about chiropractic is that it has such a powerful influence on the nervous system that a lot of our patients can’t handle standard chiropractic, or at least at the beginning. When you adjust someone’s spine, it has a huge influence on the central nervous system. That’s why chiropractic has even survived all this time in spite all the headwind. It’s a very powerful neurological tool. We get a lot of very unstable cases. We may have to either work into chiropractic stuff or build up to it. Using a multimodal approach, one of our big things, as one example, the laser therapy. One of the reasons I gravitated towards Erchonia laser is they are perfectly suited for brain-based therapy. If you look at all the major breakdown in the brain cells, the destruction of the mitochondria, the inflammation from glial cells, the blood flow to the brain, all these different things that are tied into these neurological disorders, these Class 2 lasers are very well suited to help mitigate a lot of those processes. They’ve been shown to mitigate things like amyloid beta plaquing. That plaque buildup that’s one of the hallmark signs of brain degeneration, lasers are showing in studies to actually be protective for that. It’s even breaking down plaquing. It’s not even just protecting for it, there’s potential that it is breaking it down.
We have a study coming from Erchonia on Alzheimer’s as a monotherapy. We do a lot of laser therapy. We do a lot of supplement rehab. If we need to do things to decrease inflammation, we may be working with things like tumor scan and omega-3fatty acids and all these different nutraceuticals. Dietary changes are a big one. We may put patients on different types of elimination diets or immune-triggering diets that will help decrease their systemic inflammation and help their gut out. We definitely do a lot of gut stuff, probiotic use, different strains. We do a lot of brain-based stimulation. We may use things to stimulate different neurons in the brain, like somatosensory evoked potentials, visual evoked potentials, or auditory therapies. We can come at it from every angle, either systemically or externally, to stimulate the nervous system and to stabilize their internal workings or physiology. It depends on how the patient presents. Everything is individualized medicine. There’s no cookie cutter recipe for anything we do. We’re not part of where you get results in neurology. Every case that comes in, even if you line up ten traumatic brain injuries, you’re going to have ten different treatment plans for them. We base everything on individual needs, individual findings.
I know you have a practice in Arizona. Do you focus your business outside of Arizona? I know you speak nationally and internationally. Who are you trying to reach with your message? Is it just the local area? Are you looking for outside people?
We get in what are called intensives. You’ll notice a lot of people that have our training of the centers around the United States, we typically get people that fly in to see us. Two of my cases were cases that flew in from California. They spent a week or about ten days and went through intensive therapies while they’re here and then go back to California. We attract from all over the United States. We’ll get cases that come in from all over. It’s not a local geographic thing. You’ll see that across the board. All of the big centers that we do, we get that as well. Cerebrum in Dallas is a good example. They get a lot of stuff flown in. Some of the clinics are big enough that they get international stuff. It depends on the doctors that are at the centers and that kind of thing.
Somebody wants to reach you, is there one website or do you have multiple websites? How can people find out more about what you do?
Our clinic website is AZChiroNeuro.com and that has all of our contact information, location. With BTB Health Systems, that’s BTBHealthSystems.com. All of my Erchonia stuff is on their website as well too. It’s Erchonia.com. I’m on a mission. I really want to make an impact and change the way that neurological cases are being handled. I’m doing my best to get that message out there.
I really appreciate you taking some time to be on my show. Thanks for being on the show.
Thank you very much.
The Neurodegeneration Of America: A New Mission For Health And Wellness with Dr. Spies
I am with Dr. Robert Spies, who’s an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. Dr. Spies received seven years of surgical training prior to entering private practice in 1986. He’s the Vice President of the Arizona Plastic Surgery Society. He’s received awards and recognition for his work, including being the recipient of the American Medical Association Physicians Recognition Award, as well as being voted Top Doc in Phoenix Magazine on multiple occasions by a group of his peers. Dr. Spies has donated his time and skills to perform reconstructive surgery on children with birth deformities in Mexico. He’s also an Associate Professor at Mayo Clinic. Welcome to the show.
Thank you for having me on your show.
I mentioned you did seven years of residency and that sounds like a lot. A lot of people probably want to know why so many years. Is that what a typical doctor go through?
It’s close to most typical doctors in surgical fields because any surgical field that is beyond general surgery requires more training. My first five years were indeed in general surgery and then the two years were in plastic surgery. They’re doing three to four years more in plastic surgery training.
Is there more to learn than when you were there? Why the change?
There is so much more to learn. They’re allowing these young doctors to study with other types of surgeons that have some relationship with plastic surgery, which makes them an overall better surgeon.
A lot of people we run into like to ask you a lot of questions, like, “What’s your specialty?” If I ran into you in a mall and I say, “You’re a plastic surgeon, what’s your specialty?” What would you say?
I’d say I do cosmetic surgery. Years ago, I did much more cancer reconstruction, trauma surgery, and surgery of the hand.
I heard a radio show where one of your patients was on the show saying that she always thought of plastic surgeons as being Barbie doll makers, but then she got cancer on her mouth. You had to reconstruct her face and you completely changed her life. I imagine it’s very rewarding to do all kinds of plastic surgery. Is it something that you found really life changing?
For many people, both in reconstruction and cosmetic, this does change their lives. That individual you were speaking about was in her early 30s at the time, facing a significant operation to remove half of her tongue and the lymph nodes in her neck. I was able to reconstruct her with microscopic techniques using body parts from her arms. Now, she can eat, talk, and acts as normal as anyone. She’s been free of cancer for many years.
You said you take ‘parts from her arms’. What part do you take to make that?
Most of the time it’s the skin with some blood vessels that you can reconnect in the neck for a good blood supply. I’ve often had to also take a part of the bone of their forearm to help build the jaw up as well.
I imagine it makes you a better surgeon if you’ve done reconstruction as compared to only doing cosmetic. Do you think that it’s necessary to have done both? Can you be a good plastic surgeon and do one or the other?
There is absolutely 100% proof that I’m a better cosmetic surgeon because of all the difficult reconstructive procedures. I really thought that was an important part of my career.
My cousin was a famous plastic surgeon, Ralph Millard. He used to do a lot of the cleft palates. He wrote books that you’ve studied. I know you’ve done some of those surgeries in Mexico. Is that what you worked on when you went to Mexico? Was it cleft lips? What kind of surgeries did you do there?
We had so many different types of procedures. The people are so poor. There is a lot of inbreeding in the mountainous areas of many countries, so you’re going to see a lot of congenital problems like cleft lips and cleft palates. We also took care of many burn patients because they have oil stoves and they get burned and have these tremendous scars that need to be removed and reconstructed.
I see a lot of cosmetic stuff that people asked questions about, “What do you do in terms of this and that.” I’m curious what you think about the trends out there. You’re starting to see different-shaped bodies. You’re getting larger rear ends, you’re getting bigger lips. Is it different what people are asking for than when you first started practice?
Back in the 90s, 2000s, most American women wanted large breasts and very thin bodies as opposed to South American-Brazilian women who were more rounded. They didn’t really want large breasts, wanted smaller breasts, but rounded, larger thighs and buttocks. We are into that type of body image in America. We’re seeing a tremendous amount of fat injections, Brazilian butt lifts. We still do a lot of breast implants. They still want them somewhat large, but we’re now into more of the body contour procedures.
Is there a point where you think there’s too much? Some people might say, “People are doing too much to try and keep up with the media of what they say is the ‘perfect unrealistic body’.” How do you know if you’re helping somebody or you’re helping them go too far?
First of all, I can tell most of the time how realistic my potential patients are. I do get this feeling once in a while that whatever I offer them is not going to make them happy. I’ve also had several body dysmorphic patients who just want more and more to be happier and it never works out. When you’re experienced, when you have over 30 years of experience like I do, you can pick these patients out and you can avoid them and get them counseling.
I imagine you’ve had people who have overdone it and then come to you for help. They have all these patients that they’ve gone to the wrong guy or gal and gotten the surgery that maybe they shouldn’t have gotten. How hard is it to fix somebody else’s mistake?
It could be very difficult. It may be very minor. The problem there is when you operate on somebody else’s face. You never know what you’re getting into until you’re there. You have to have plan A, B, and sometimes C. I do think that patients who need revision surgeries are tougher to deal with. They’re expecting more perfection more than anyone could give them. That’s a typical situation as well.
I imagine the first surgery somebody has, sometimes they find a little bit of a shock when they look differently, especially with facial stuff. If you had a big nose and you’ll see a little nose. What kind of preparation do you give? What do you tell them how to react when they see themselves?
It all depends on what procedure they’re getting. A patient who gets a rhinoplasty will see an immediate reduction of size and improved contour. They’ll have black and blue eyes for a couple weeks from breaking the nasal bones to narrow the nose. You have someone who has a breast surgery like implants and breast lifts. They aren’t going to look natural right away. I will point blank tell them, “When you look in the mirror, they’re not going to look like the pictures I showed you of patients who had their procedure a year ago,” I tell them, “If I look at you and I think they look great, you got to believe me.”
That’s going to be hard for some people. I imagine a lot of people will want to see a picture on a computer like, “Show me what I’m going to look like.” Can you do that now? Like 3D printing? Can you print that out ahead in 3D of what they will look like or is that not possible yet?
I do think they’re getting there. I have always been concerned about using computers to show them exactly what they’re going to look like. The reason is because surgery is not a perfect science and you can’t give them that guarantee with a picture of their face changed by a computer. What works best is to show them the work that I can do and show them how natural everybody will look, but with significant changes.
The natural thing is a lot of what people worry about what they’re going to look pulled. They’ll look like over the top. How can somebody know if their surgeon’s going to make them look over the top?
I have every person complaining or concerned about looking unnatural when they have first met me, and they want to talk about facelifts. That’s the classic one. Every person comes in and they want to do it, but they’re so afraid they’re going to look like Kenny Rogers, Mickey Rourke, or Joan Rivers. When they hear me give my talk about the natural look and how I can make a face look natural and then show them so many pictures of my patients, their anxiety goes away. They feel much better about me as their surgeon doing what they want.
I never really figured out why these celebrities who have all the money in the world end up with these bad results. Why do you think that is?
It is because they have to look different than normal people. They’re on stage. I had an opera singer in Germany, very famous there, who has had lots of procedures. He told me that, “It’s just different.” You have to maintain a certain look on stage and that’s why they do these things. A lot of these people who have too much plastic surgery, I’m sure their entourage is telling them how great they look. I do think that they have to keep up with the younger actors and actresses. That’s the main reason.
I am thinking of old Star Trek where they’re pulling their skin is so tight that they start to look a little crazy looking in. That’s what people are afraid of. That’s a lot of what people ask me when they ask me what you’re doing. They want to do it, but they’re afraid. I hear a lot of that. I think it helps to look at pictures. I know you like a website that people talk about plastic surgery. Is it called RealSelf?
It’s called RealSelf.com. I do believe it’s one of the best websites for patient information, asking questions that doctors, like I, will answer.
Is it just plastic surgery or is it other kinds of medical doctors on there?
No, it’s just plastic surgery. I was voted one of the top 100 social media physicians using RealSelf because of all the answers I gave for many, many questions.
Why do you do that? Why do you spend time on RealSelf? What makes you different?
I enjoy the education. After 31 years, I can answer almost every question with very practical answers. People come to see me because of my answers from questions on RealSelf.
I’m sure they probably have MDs, DOs, anybody that calls himself a plastic surgeon these days. A lot of people are saying they’re plastic surgeons that maybe didn’t have the same kind of training you did. How do you know if you have a good plastic surgeon?
That’s always been the case and getting more and more to be an issue in that healthcare is changing so rapidly where physicians are having to work so many more hours and make less. A lot of non‑plastic surgeons are looking at aesthetics and cosmetics as the way to make more money, maybe with less hours worked. That’s why we’re seeing a huge boom in dermal fillers, Botox, Dysport, lasers, and skin care. The problem is that we also have doctors taking a course on how to liposuction, putting a plaque on their wall, and people think they’re board-certified plastic surgeons.
Aren’t there different boards? What’s the best board?
The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only plastic surgery board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. There are other board certifications for plastic surgery, but they have different standards in terms of training and testing. Ours is probably the most extensive of those.
I’ve seen a lot of commercials where you see these liposuction before and after pictures. It looks like they came in at lunch and left an hour later and lost about 50 pounds. How do they get away with that in these commercials?
I don’t think there is any control over that within each state. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, one of the organizations I’m involved, has no jurisdiction over the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery or other ones. It’s free trade and the right to say what you want.
It definitely is misleading based on my experience working in pharmaceuticals and seeing what’s reality out there. Do you think a lot of people spend money on something like that and then get disappointed to have to do things twice because it doesn’t do what they hope it will do?
That does happen. We’ve all seen patients from non-board-certified surgeons that get very substandard results. We have to move on from there.
I have a lot of people that ask me, “Does your husband do this?” or “Does he do that?” One of the things they ask me a lot about is when they get that kind of double chin bullfrog look, “I just want to get lipo and get rid of this.” It seems to me you can’t really do that without having hanging skin. Don’t you have to do a face lift? What do you do if somebody has a big double chin and wants to get rid of that?
The choice is either liposuction or do a neck lift, which is the lower half of a facelift. It depends on the skin quality and how much skin has been stretched by the fat. Younger patients tend to only require the liposuction. We have a product that can be injected into the fat of the neck that can dissolve the fat. I have not used that yet. I do believe liposuction gets a better result. I have to make the determination, “Is their skin going to retract or is it not after liposuction?” Sometimes I’ve had older people have their skin shrink back as much as younger. It’s a call that I have to make.
You mentioned ‘younger people’ and that makes me wonder how young is it too young to do plastic surgery, do you think?
Other than fixing protruding ears, which is called an otoplasty, or doing a rhinoplasty, eighteen is the minimum. I’ve had rhinoplasty patients fourteen years and up. I’ve had otoplasty, ear pinning procedures, on children six years and up.
That seems really young. Are they not going to have any problems with growing? You already can tell where their ears are going, right? Is that why they do it so young?
They do it so young because they go to kindergarten or first grade and they come home crying because other kids call them ‘Dumbo’. That’s when the parents bring them to us. It helps them psychologically, not that they’re teased that much.
How do you know that it’s just not like a parent that’s just overly ridiculous and wants their kid perfect? How do we keep from getting to a society where we’re trying to be like Gattaca where everybody is the same?
That’s tough one to answer or decide, I should say. If it’s finding, minor issue, I have to question the parents’ motives. If it’s something that really stands out, I would understand that. You can talk to these kids. I’m really good at talking to kids. I tease them, I play with them a little bit, and I can get their feedback as well.
You’re doing a lot to try and help people overcome things that are making them have a more difficult time in life. There’re some misconceptions about plastic surgery. What do you think are the biggest misconceptions?
People do not realize that plastic surgery goes way beyond mommy makeovers, breast implants, and facelifts. I don’t think they understand what we can do with people afflicted with cancer or in a major injury, traumatic car accident. That’d be the number one. People also have lots of their own ideas about breast implants. They think that they’re not safe, where they’ve been continually improved and tested upon. Those are probably the two main ones.
There was a time when they wouldn’t even do silicone implants and then they came back. Why? Are they in? Are they out? Are they good? Are they bad? Where does that stand?
Silicone implants had a history of having some issues in regard to possible association with autoimmune diseases. It took fourteen and a half years of scientific studies to prove that there’s no correlation between silicone and any disease such as an autoimmune disease. At the same time, while they were studying them extensively, companies who make them figured out how to make these really good, stronger, better implants than we ever have had.
It’s interesting to see the products that have changed over the years. What do they use to make the lips so big? Why do some of these women look like they have duck lips when people think they’re over the top? What is that that they’ve done to their lips?
I wish I knew why they want to do that, but these are all products called dermal fillers. These are natural hyaluronic acid products that plump up the lips, fill increases, fill in deep lines. You can also use fat for fullness of the lips. Why do they want to be so plumped up? I really don’t know.
Do you turn them down ever when they ask for it?
My nurse, Carol Traw, who is a registered nurse first assistant and a filler injector, is very conservative. She’ll talk to them and tell them, but people sometimes want them.
If I came in and I wanted to have Kim Kardashian’s backside, is it possible to do on anybody? Would you put implants in? What would you have to do?
The problem with that is that a lot of people who want fat injections, either in their buttock area or to fill increases on their face, don’t have enough fat to put in. You see most of the Brazilian butt lifts on Hispanics and African-Americans who tend to store a little more fat in the hips and tummy to be transferred to the buttock area.
It’s more fat that they’re putting back there then.
There are gluteal implants. I have never put one in and I never will. They’re just fraught with complications, such as infection and moving around. Some surgeons do them once in a while. It’s a topic that I don’t discuss with my patients.
You mentioned ‘mommy makeovers’. What is a mommy makeover?
Mommy makeover is a combination of procedures on parts of your body that had been changed by pregnancy. Most common would be a tummy tuck with some type of breast surgery, with or without liposuction. Breast surgery after pregnancies could involve usually breast implants, possibly a breast lift or even a breast reduction. Liposuction of the flanks, thighs, and knees could also be done at the time of a tummy tuck.
What is the percentage that you see of men versus women? I would imagine it is mostly women, right?
In my practice, it’s 90% women over men. Men, they come in. They take forever to make decisions. They’re much more of a procrastinator type of person. The ones who do come in are very happy with what I do. The majority of my patients have been and will always be women.
What do men want most often if they come in for procedure?
Eyelids. They want the bags gone on their lower eyelids, upper eyelid skin removal that’s hanging towards their eyelashes, and liposuction. They want their love handles and tummy a lot flatter. Those would be the main ones as well as a breast surgery. We all know about man boobs these days, gynecomastia. That’s an operation where you can remove excess fat, some breast tissue, and give them a flatter, more muscular‑looking chest.
People come from all over to go to your clinic. You have an overnight facility, right? People could come and actually have surgery at your clinic and spend the night, right?
Yes. I am part of a wonderful state-certified surgical center that also has, on the same campus, a state-certified overnight recovery center with a wonderful hotel across the street for the husband, if they’re from out of town.
I’m sure a lot of people want to know more about how they can find out about your facility. Can you just share your website and how people can reach you if you’re on social media or anywhere else?
You can always go to RealSelf.com and search my name in their engine. You’ll see some facts about me and many, many patient reviews that I have. My website is www.AZPlasticSurgeryCenter.com.
Any social media pages that people can find you?
I have a social media Facebook page, Robert J. Spies, MD. I do some social media on both Instagram and Twitter as well.
About Dr. Partha Nandi
Dr. Partha Nandi is the down-to-Earth physician from the Hit Talk Show Ask Dr. Nandi. The show aims to reach patients with REAL medical problems providing REAL medical solutions. Unlike other medical shows, it offers more than a sound bite and is not sensationalized. Nandi works alongside his wife, Kali, who is the producer of the show. The pair are assisted by successful producers such as the Emmy winning Patricia Childress of VH1’s Behind The Music, Dr. Phil Show and Tyra Banks Show and Jennifer Sawalha also from Dr. Phil, The Tyra Banks Show and more recently working in programing and development with the Oprah Winfrey Network and Producer for “On Air with Ryan Seacrest.” Nandi is a believer that the mind and body are connected and true healing requires treatment of both. As a national speaker, Nandi is able to teach patients and physicians how to achieve the goal of excellent health care.
About Dr. Trevor Berry
Dr. Trevor Berry is a board-certified Chiropractic Neurologist. He graduated Magna Cum Laude, Salutatorian from Parker University and was the recipient of many academic awards including the Parker Scholastic Excellence Award. Dr. Berry has more than 2000 hours of post-doctoral education in neurological fields such as vestibular and balance disorders, traumatic brain injury, pain management and neurodegenerative disorders as well as functional medicine. Dr. Berry has been doing FDA research on neurological effects of Laser Therapy since 2011 and in 2014 he received the Erchonia Researcher of the Year Award. He is a partner at BTB Health Systems, where he lectures nationally and internationally and consults regarding functional neurology, functional medicine, laboratory testing and interpretation, laser therapy and more.
About Dr. Robert J. Spies
Robert Spies, MD, is an experienced, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon. Dr. Spies received seven years of surgical training prior to entering private practice in 1986. He is the Vice President of the Arizona Plastic Surgery Society. He has received awards and recognition for his work including being the recipient of the American Medical Association Physicians Recognition Award as well as being voted “Top Doc” in Phoenix Magazine on multiple occasions by a group of his peers. Dr. Spies has donated his time and skills to perform reconstructive surgery on children with birth deformities in Mexico. He also is an Associate Professor at Mayo Clinic.
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