Mental health has been present since the beginning of time. This is something the human race can’t get rid of. People back then were using ancient healing traditions to deal with it. As people and technology progressed, therapies have gotten more effective. You have cold water therapy, red light therapy, and more. These all come from ancient traditional healings with a more technological edge. To learn more about these types of therapies, join your host, Tim Westbrook and his guest Dr. Donese Worden. Dr. Worden is an award-winning physician-researcher and global health educator. She is the owner of REPOWER Medical Clinic and is a naturopathic medical doctor. Learn all about mental health issues and what therapies you should use to solve them. Also, learn about the importance of gut health and rotational diets. Live a better lifestyle today!
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Ancient Healing Traditions Meet Technology: Therapies For Mental Health And Addiction With Dr. Donese Worden
We started this show because there’s so much misinformation about addiction treatment, mental illness, and recovery in general. There’s so much more to recovery than going to inpatient treatment, seeing a therapist, and going to a twelve-step meeting. All those things are important and AA save my life. However, to defined long-term recovery and live happy, joyous, and free, there’s a lot more to it than stopping the drinking, the drugs, the sex addiction, or any addictive behavior for that matter. To live a new life, a person needs new healthy lifestyle habits. Typically, this includes new eating habits, exercise habits, sleeping habits, hobbies, interests, and friends. Self-care becomes a priority and the list goes on. Those are the types of things that we talk about here on this show.
I’m here with Dr. Donese Worden, NMD, an award-winning physician, researcher, and global health educator who expertly and compassionately bridges the worlds of conventional and advanced alternative medicine. Highly regarded for her life-changing work, she won the 2014 Hope Award for her significant contribution to prevention and education in behavioral health. This award is given annually by Sierra Tucson, one of the country’s premier mental health hospitals and residential treatment facilities. She also won the 2015 Best of Scottsdale Award for Naturopathic Medical Doctor. The title of this interview is Ancient Healing Traditions for Mental Health and Addiction. Amongst other things, we’re going to talk about some of the best ways to support mental health that had been practiced for centuries. Now, science is documenting it. Dr. Worden, welcome to the show. I’m glad to have you here.
Thank you, Tim. I’m looking forward to it.
What is an NMD?
It’s a Naturopathic Medical Doctor. In the state of Arizona, I’m licensed like a primary care physician. I can prescribe meds and do minor surgery, but where we crossed that bridge is trained in allopathic diagnostics to diagnose over there with the labs and the imaging. Allopathic means traditional medicine. We’re also licensed in clinical nutrition all the way to IV nutrition and counseling. We believe in that mind-body connection in homeopathy, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, manipulations similar to chiropractors, and botanical medicine. We’re licensed in pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and botanicals. We’re the only type of doctor that is licensed on both sides of the fence like that.
Does that mean that you can prescribe like a normal medical doctor?
Yes, most medications. We’ve got some restrictions depends on the state. I own a prescription pad out as an immediate, “What do we need to do right now until we fix the problem?” It’s rare to get the prescription pad out, but I do use it.
What gives you the right to claim you are an expert on ancient healing traditions?Don't treat depression; treat the individual. Click To Tweet
One of the reasons is I developed, and still teach, a course at Arizona State University, Ancient Healing Traditions for Modern-day and it teaches the principles in an actual regular three-credit course in homeopathy, naturopathy, indigenous medicine, and traditional Chinese medicine. It’s the ancient healing principles. The reason why I developed it is that doctors, nurses, and social workers were working with people and they’d say, “I’m doing this. I’m trying this,” within their different cultures. The practitioners would say, “I have no idea what that is.”
I developed the course. I do it on Saturdays. I spent eight hours for five weeks and we plow through the details. What’s interesting, Tim, is that they’re going through trying to learn for the sake of their patients. By the end of it, because I make them go through different things, they’ve all changed their lifestyles. I’ve had them come back and many of them, if not most, are saying, “It changed my life and my family for the better.” It opens their eyes to ancient wisdom that is still with us and needs to be looked at.
How does this apply to mental health and addiction?
We need to work on mind, body, and soul with anything that we’re working on, especially with addictions and mental health. If you’re only working on the physical body, chemicals, mental, and emotional side, they’re all important and we have to do all of it, but if we forget about that spiritual connection piece, it’s always a struggle. I’ve known that for years with my patients. Even years ago on the intake, “Do you have a spiritual belief system or practice?” I wasn’t asking about religion. I explain it. “I don’t care if you go to church or not. This is not religion. Do you feel connected to something outside of yourself?” If they did and they had that, then all the body mental-emotional stuff is easy to work on when you spend time with the patient. If they didn’t have that connection, I can get a lot of things better, but I can’t get them to 100%.
What brought you to learn more about becoming a naturopath and this type of healing?
I thought I might be a surgeon at one point. Surgery made sense to me and it still does, but then when I found out that there was this type of medicine that bridges both, I said, “That’s for me,” because my mother was a naturopath without knowing it. We were eating yogurt before anybody else. We didn’t have any mental health in our family that we know of. My son struggled starting in high school, so that started getting me more interested in this. I was still in medical school at the time. It opened my eyes to the struggles that people can go through with this.
I learned the system and what I learned is the system is broken. I don’t have to tell you that. It’s horrendous. I knew that the help had to be a different way. It was internally working with one person at a time to help them to be able to look at all the things that might be making it more difficult for mental health addiction for that particular person. It’s not, “Here’s a program. Everybody goes through it.” Your program is well-respected.
I’ve done Camelback Recovery. Those programs work. At some point, when people are interested, I’m saying, “I’m balanced enough. I’m settled enough. I want to dig in deep into what test and what kind of labs? What other physical things can we be working on?” I’ve always been interested. In fact, I have a minor in Psychology. I almost got my Master’s degree in it, but I got thrown into a television role to be an anchor of a TV station, as well and getting in broadcasting instead. Day one, I’ve always been interested in this right here.
What specific incident inspired you to become passionate about this topic?
It’s a multiple of incidences. When I started working with patients, I knew right away. I was studying all over Europe and everywhere, bringing back the leading-edge technologies, techniques, and medicines. I knew if we had an emotional or mental struggle going on, especially with addiction-type problems, it was difficult to get all of those wonderful modalities to work. It was my patients that drove me to understand that you’ve got to work top-down. You have to work on this side of things, whether we have a diagnosed mental disorder or addiction. Even if you don’t, everyone has something. A little bit of depression or anxiety, and we have to address it. Once we do, then I have a rapport with the person sitting in front of me. Now on Zoom and all these virtual things, I have that rapport and then we can do great things in medicine.
What are some of the best ways to support mental health these days?
The recovery centers are the first step. You’ve got to go in, get detox, have the recovery, and have an understanding of the disease or the illness as much as you can. I work outside pharmaceuticals. I don’t prescribe them for most cases. We do without them. A lot of the time, they do more harm. I’m not a big fan of the chemical way of trying to address this, but there’s a time and a place. There are interesting tests that people can do like testing for causes of inflammation and working on the gut microbiome.
We can dig into that, Tim, because that’s interesting when it comes to addiction. Working on the areas that tend to be forgotten or not even addressed in traditional medicine makes a big difference like food sensitivities. What do you put in your body? It could be broccoli, but if it causes inflammation, it’s no longer healthy. It causes inflammation for your body and your brain. It’s the right kind of labs, cortisol, melatonin, and all of these things looking at your hormones and then the basic pillars. Are you taking care of the basic pillars like sleep and physical body? Bowel movement is a huge thing that we can talk about. No pun intended. Also, your energy level, mental, and spiritual. If we’re taking care of understanding all of those pillars are important to us, then we’re getting somewhere.
I gave a lecture at Thelma McMillen, which you probably know it’s the Cedars-Sinai affiliate behavioral health center. I gave a four-hour workshop to psychiatrists and psychologists in behavioral health and addiction especially. I’ve got four hours of PowerPoint slides of research and studies on this. The new science is interesting and what it’s showing us. To answer the question, it depends. The therapies depend on the individual person. I don’t treat every depression the same. I don’t treat every mental health disorder the same. You have to treat the individual. Spend time, know where you need to go, and then do the appropriate testing and make it happen.
You mentioned labs. I had full diagnostic labs done and I have it done about every six months. I’ve realized how important it is to have my labs done and have somebody look at them because it affects the foods that I eat and the supplements that I take. What’s your opinion on having labs done? How often should they be done? I spend a good amount of money to have them done because it’s not covered by insurance.
A lot of them are. The first place I start is, what labs can be covered under insurance? After that, I look at specialty labs. I’m not about putting more stress on the patient with a whole bunch of labs. Once I have a hold of them during contact with me, I know by their symptoms what’s going on. You needed it at least once a year. That’s great you’re doing it every six months if you can afford it because then, we can look at prevention on what do we see coming. Changing the diet for the better is huge here. Looking at those micronutrient testing is an important one.
Inside the white blood cells, what’s getting in or not getting in? Are you deficient in certain proteins? As we know, phosphatidylserine and choline, for example, we’ve got to have those for the brain to work properly. It’s big in addiction. We look for vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids inside the white blood cell. That way, I say, “You’re taking all these supplements. Which ones do you need to be on?” Be more specific. If your gut health is not working well and you’re not assimilating and breaking these things down, you’re wasting your money with your supplements.
The third problem with supplements is the quality. In my opinion, 95% or more of what’s on the shelf out there is junk or it has junk in it. Anything that I have with any of the companies that I recommend, I make them give me what’s called a Certificate of Analysis on every single batch. Not once a year or once a random. It’s a lot of time and a lot of effort. I’m sure there are some out there doing it, but I don’t know anybody else going to this extent. I know the health food stores and everybody else isn’t doing it, but every bottle I know was tested for heavy metals, mercury, and bacteria. It has in it what it says on the bottle.
Tim, if you’re wasting your money and at worst, putting something in and it’s causing more harm than good, supplements aren’t great. In my opinion, if you’re on more than 5 or 6 and haven’t gotten to the root of the problem, you shouldn’t have to take that many. You need to fix the body, find out where deficiencies are, and why the deficiency is there. Let’s fix that instead of like, “Here are bags of supplements to take.” I use supplements, but I have a really good reason when I do use them.Fix your body instead of taking supplements all day. Click To Tweet
Would you prefer supplements taken orally or IV?
Time and a place for all of it. The problem with IV is it’s expensive and time-consuming, but there are certain nutrients if you are deficient and especially with addiction, that have been stripped out. We need to get to it fast or your gut is compromised. If you can’t rely on your gut to do it, then IV can make sense. Sometimes, it’s used a little overkill. Whenever we have good quality supplements, if they’re encapsulated right, that means that the capsule itself says, “Does this particular nutrient need to break open in the stomach, small intestine, colon?” What part by the pH? Good quality supplements are going to go down and break open where they need to break open. When you go through IV, you’re bypassing the gut but you’re putting a little bit more tax on other organs like the liver and kidney. It’s always individual. I don’t do as much IVs as I used to. We’ve got to where if you fix the gut, you can do most things orally.
How does a person know if their gut is operating that 100% or 90% or 50%?
There are all kinds of testing, but here’s the biggest test. If your bowel movements should be the size of your forearm or that long, it should be about in the middle. It should be about the size of your wrist, in the middle part. It should be a log that’s easily passed. You don’t have to strain. It’s medium brown color, and it doesn’t smell bad. You don’t have tummy aches and you have that every day. If that’s going on, I probably don’t need to spend a lot of money testing your gut. If you do or you have allergies or skin issues, we may look again at that GI.
Basic lab work can tell me something, but usually, it takes a little bit more extensive testing. Am I looking for a leaky gut? That means things are getting in and you’re reacting and things are being lost like your vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. If you’ve got osteoporosis or you’ve got mental issues going on, if you have anything other than that normal bowel, the first place I start looking is in the GI because health begins in the gut. The enteric nervous system has more neurons in it. Not in the brain but the whole spinal cord.
That enteric nervous system, the brain-gut connection, is one of the biggest exciting areas in medicine. When the brain is upset, we have an addiction, we’re worried, or whatever mental illness, it affects gut health and vice versa. If the gut health is bad, you can’t produce serotonin and dopamine. These brain chemicals are made in the gut and modulated in the gut for the most part. Working up here and not working in that gut, you’re missing a lot of ability to get someone a lot better.
If a person has issues with their gut, what do they do?
Go to a doctor that works in gut health. I’m not talking about a gastroenterologist. If you think you’ve got problems, go get a colonoscopy to see if you have polyps or other things going on. Even when you have polyps, they say, “It’s benign. Don’t worry. We took them out.” Why do you have polyps? If you go to integrative medicine doctors that we’re used to working in gut health, we’re testing your microbiome, looking for food sensitivities and pathogens, that’s bacteria, virus, fungal, and parasite. Any of these things were used to working in the area and understand the importance. That’s how you find out.
The role of that gut microbiome, that’s a mixture of bugs we’re talking about, good bugs or bad bugs. We know that the gut microbiome gets changed as a consequence of substance use disorder. It changes that microbiome, but it is also mediated by a lot of the studies, the role in mediating the behavioral response of drug abuse. It’s affecting your addiction itself and vice versa. All the studies of the bacterial diversity being hurt with substance abuse, we can work with that. It’s not like, “Go take a probiotic and hope for the best.” I wish it was that simple. It might not hurt to try that.
Our microbiome, those bugs, most of our body is made up of those bugs and people don’t realize that. There are bacteria, viruses, and fungal. Only about 2% to 4% of what our body is what we consider us is our DNA. The rest of it is a bunch of bugs and organisms. We’ve got to learn to play nicely with those organisms and know what they are. There’s a microbiome in all of your body, in your heart, and everywhere.
In the gut, that’s set by three years old and you’re not going to change it. The only thing that changes that is antibiotics. One antibiotic and your gut microbiome can go back to your normal. Your microbiome is not like anybody else’s in the world, like a thumbprint. It can go back in one week after one antibiotic. You take two or three antibiotics for several months, it messed up your thumbprint and we have to rebuild from there and try to do our best to get you back to your normal is.
Can you give me an example of what you would do to rebuild someone’s gut back to where it originally was?
We can do some testing to find out what bugs are there or not there and what ratio they are. We can put in specific probiotics. It’s a new field. We don’t know a lot. We know lactobacillus, the acidophilus one, has the most studies right now. It’s one of the most beneficial gut, but there’s a time and a place for bifido for saccharomyces. We can look at this and say, “You may need a little bit more of this.” You’ve got to take out what’s causing the problem. Is it food, stress, and all these things? We got to help it. We have different protein powders and things that can help rebuild the gut wall lining and put in the right probiotics, and we can fix the gut. It is one of the biggest areas that’s missed.
I remember doing a lecture it was in Banner Behavioral Health. I had this huge audience of probably 400 or 500 PhD, psychiatrists, and psychologists and they were all behavioral health experts. I was giving this lecture and I said, “Where is serotonin made in the body?” They were saying hypothalamus, pituitary, they had all these answers in the brain. At that time, they didn’t know that 98% of serotonin is made in the gut. It was a big shocker then and unfortunately a quite a few of them still don’t know that and you have to work on those pieces.
People that have mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, even bipolar, what are the chances with the likelihood that they have issues with their gut?
I never use 100% but I will tell you that the majority and I’ve never seen one yet that doesn’t have a problem with their digestive system because remember if we’re stressing mentally, and making the stress hormones that are deteriorating or affecting our gut, and the other way around. What came first, chicken or the egg? I don’t know, but they go hand in hand. That brain-gut connection is huge in working with any mental health disorder.
I took a test through Thryve Gut Health Test. I paid for the premium. I’ll tell you what, I’m looking at these results and I’m like, “Now, what?” I’ve got all of these crazy percentages and it’s like, “You’re deficient here and you’re okay here.” What do I do now?
Here’s the truth. Probably 99% of your doctors aren’t going to know either. It’s interesting information. You know your microbiome is off. We can look at certain things and say, “This might make sense,” but those testing is new. It hasn’t been completely validated to say, “When you find this, this is what you do for that.” We’ll get there one day. It’s an interesting and wonderful area. I’m a researcher. I work with big institutions, designing and conducting clinical research. I look at these labs and I determine where do I want the patient’s money to go? What kind of information I’m going to have that will help me clinically or is it just nice and interesting?
Thryve is doing a great job for what they’re doing but what you’re experiencing, so is your doctor, now what? Those of us experienced in it we can look at it. We’ve been trained in it. We can maybe get a few a-ha’s that can help you, but most of the a-ha’s that we’re going to get is go back to the good multi-strain of a probiotic and heal the gut wall lining. It’s not going to change my clinical that much at this point. We’ll get better information to help us in the future.
Right now, I ran them at the beginning like I read neurotransmitter testing at the beginning and I said, “I can tell by the patient. If you tell me you’re depressed, do I need to run an expensive neurotransmitter test to show you what you’re deficient in causing the depression?” No, I already know that. I love testing. I love labs, don’t get me wrong, but there is overkill and running everything with a plethora of information. Look at the patient. I’m going to know what the problem is by talking to you.
I have a bunch of supplements and then I talk with you or I go get my labs and I talk with my doctor and she says, “You don’t need to take all of these labs. You don’t need to take all of these supplements.” I’m like, “I’m going to take them because I paid for them and I have them.” It’s got to be good to take more rather than less. That’s what I think. Tell me about that.
Let’s play into the addiction personality for a minute. “I want it now and I’m going to do it regardless of whether it’s good for me or not.” I’m just holding you to it for a bit without pushing the finger too much. Usually, if somebody bought it, if you look at it and you say, “Rotate them and take a little bit once in a while until they’re gone,” but you don’t need to keep rebind all this stuff on what’s needed. Remember, your liver, kidney, and GI need to detox this stuff. Those supplements aren’t just it’s all good and it goes. No, you’re asking your organs to process that like a drug.
Eighty percent of the drugs are made from botanicals. The botanicals are not benign. They have less side effects than drugs. Supplements aren’t benign. You can get to toxicity levels. If your liver isn’t working great, which in substance abuse and these things we have to look at liver, you’re taxing it with a lot of these things. You are causing harm. I like doing asking patients to do a FibroScan. It’s called a shear wave ultrasound on your liver. Is it fatty? Is it getting stiff fibrosis? Does it look like it’s going to cirrhosis? It tells me the percentage of cells and then we can work on your liver. That’s more important than me pumping a bunch of supplements down there. If I see a nutrient deficiency, I’m going to choose something that may use the kidney instead of the liver instead of taxing the organ that’s having a problem.
How is a person going to find good, high-quality supplements to where they know what they’re getting?
Find someone like me that they can get it that we’ve done the homework for you. I mean a lot of work but if you don’t, it’s all okay. This is what I tell everyone. “Something you take on a consistent basis, if your doctor’s not doing it for your health, the health food store certainly isn’t.” You ask for a certificate of analysis. Call the company and say, “Send me the testing on this particular batch.” Sometimes if they send you something, it might be a year ago, and now, they have all new raw material from China coming in, and you have no idea what you’re getting.
Good companies are going to do that analysis and they’re happy to share. If you don’t mind doing that work, fine, but it’s up to you for the quality if you’re not going to go through a process that where it’s already been done for you. Ask for the analysis. It’s important because, like I said at the beginning, 95% to 98% have things in there that shouldn’t be in there. That’s documented. The industry is corrupt and it doesn’t matter if it has a doctor’s name on it.
They may think it’s great. They like the formula, the way it looks, and they worked with a formulator but if they haven’t worked in the industry like I have, they don’t know the importance of making sure that all the raw materials are tested in the end. In other words, the raw materials they put in the capsule, by the time they manufacture it, did it get water in there? You have to look at the end batch run as well. That’s the extent I go to because first, do no harm. I’d rather you take nothing than a poor quality, something that could cause more damage than good.Health begins in the gut. Click To Tweet
I’ve never heard of asking for analysis on my supplements. I don’t even know how I would do that. Would I just look at the label and call the? Will they give the average person an analysis?
Yes. If they are doing the testing, which by the way, if they say it’s expensive, it’s not. If they are doing that testing, they’d be glad to give it to you. If they won’t, you’ve got a big red flag. They’re probably not doing the testing and you shouldn’t be taking that supplement. The industry hates me doing this, but it needs to be done. That’s how we clean things up. That’s why we hold industry leaders to the standards that they should be doing. We have to start doing it and we have to do it because no one regulates it. The FDA, supplements are regulated as a food which means until there’s a bunch of complaints, deaths, or problems we’re not going to see it. They get dinged, they get a letter, they have time to clean it up and they do it for a while until they don’t again. There are a lot of bad players in this industry.
I formulated some of the top. In fact, at the time, I helped formulate some of the top nutraceuticals in the industry that was at Sprouts and Whole Foods. I know what goes on here. Your doctors that have their private labels, they may have the best intention at heart and I know they do. They’re looking for quality control, what the reps are telling them, but it takes a lot. Even with good quality companies, I still make them give me that. I want to know that they didn’t get a batch in from China that has arsenic in it, and they used it anyway because it would cost us too much to replace it.
What’s your opinion on buying supplements from Costco or Sprouts or just off the shelf?
It’s up to you. Buy what you think you might need. You’re guessing. You’re spending money not knowing what you’re doing with it. If you want to take the basic multi these things, you can buy it but it’s up to you to do the analysis. What I will say is what I’ve done, and I don’t want to sell and promote here, but I want people to have access to my website. Every company and every product are on there. I’ve got all the analysis in milligram for milligram. It’s no more expensive than what you’re going to spend at Costco and Sprouts. It doesn’t cost more.
This bottle of CoQ10 and this bottle of CoQ10. One may be $30 and one is $15 and you go, “That one’s more expensive.” This is a two-month supply and it’s got twice the amount of milligrams. You have to look at it that way. You can’t go for the cheapest or the most expensive either. Sometimes it’s a marketing gimmick to say, “Mine is more expensive. It’s better.” Not necessarily. Look at a milligram per milligram. Look at the dosages. How many dosages are you getting? 30 to 30. You’re not going to pay more for good quality is what I’m trying to say here. You shouldn’t be paying more for the highest quality that’s been tested.
By the way, at the end of the episode, we are going to let people know how they can find you and your website and all that information. Switching gears a little bit. What is the benefit of sweating it out in a sauna?
A lot of benefits if you think about the skin is the largest detox organ in the body. It’s an organ, and it’s the largest one. When we sweat, we are detoxing out things that shouldn’t be in the body. The body’s pretty smart. They’re trying to get rid of chemicals and other things. Sweating is always a good thing, but infrared saunas are better than going outside in the sun and heating from the outside. There’s a whole different mechanism. You create heat in the area around you and it makes you sweat. It’s different than an infrared sauna compared to a regular sauna. Only 20% of the air has been heated. It’s asking your body to do it. Different mechanism and it works better.
We need to be careful when you’re sweating because if you’re on a medication that is tightly regulated like lithium and you’re only doing a once-a-day dosage, if you take that dosage and then you go sweat immediately after, you may have been sweating out some of your dosages. You need to make your sweat further away from the medication and we don’t talk about that enough either. If you’ve decided to take a medicine for whatever reason, and it needs to be in for a certain amount of time, even an antibiotic, whatever it is, sweating needs to be separated.
You mentioned a regular sauna versus an infrared sauna and you prefer an infrared sauna. Is a regular sauna similar to going outside and sweating because you’re not heating from the inside?
It is. It’s creating the heat in the air around you, that’s what it’s doing. I love steam saunas. They feel good to me. When you look at the health benefits of how much does it get out? How much does it tax the system? If you look at it closely, infrared has clear benefits outside of regular sweating. There are a lot of studies that have been done on it for weight loss and a lot of clinical testing. It’s an amazing anti-inflammatory. It’s been shown to get out certain chemicals and toxins.
There are many benefits and people can look it up to be able to see how many studies and how many health benefits are there. From your community, that detox standpoint and that benefit to skin and brain and being able to look at what can it help, it’s great. Chronic fatigue helps you with exercise. Cardiovascular helps your heart and depression. There are studies on infrared sauna with depression, and fibromyalgia, and other things. I like it for a lot of reasons.
How often and how long should someone sit in an infrared sauna?
It depends on what you’re trying to do. Clinical trials show us that if you’re trying to lose weight, you want to be at about 130 degrees. That’s too cold for me. I like it hotter, but 130 degrees three times a week, and in eight weeks, you lose 4% of your weight. You’re losing a lot more body fat if you can go faster than that like five days a week. If we’re looking at it for detox, you have to look at are your adrenal glands already tired? Are you tired if you get up or sit up quickly, and you’ve got lightheaded if you haven’t been tested for your cortisol?
If you can’t adjust that blood pressure, getting up, standing up, your adrenal glands are tired. You shouldn’t be pushing into hot yoga and infrared too hot for too long. It depends. If you’re in good health and organs are working well and you want to keep things going, then I don’t have a problem with 3 to 5 days a week. It’s about how long you want to sweat. If you can break a good sweat for 10 to 20 minutes, that’s what we’re after. Whatever temperature length to get there, you have to judge it.
Are 45 minutes excessive?
No, if it’s at a lower temperature, your adrenal glands are fine and if you don’t have what we call this orthostatic hypotension if your adrenal glands are working well, they’re not taxed. If your hormones are balanced and if you’re in tip-top shape, it’s fine. It helps a lot of things.
There’s a place I go to called Optimize and they have an infrared sauna. They have red light therapy. Let’s talk about red light therapy. What’s your opinion on a red light? The infrared is a different nanometer and it’s invisible, whereas red light you can see. Talk to me about red light therapy.
My mentor in energy medicine, Dr. William Tiller, was Chair of the Physics Department at Stanford for 40 years. I’ve worked with him for twenty years. I lectured on laser physics and all that. This is an area I know well. I’ve lectured to doctors and top this as well. The red light is fantastic, 635 nanometers. It helps wounds and burns. I use it in my clinic. I use cold lasers to do all these things. Most of the better-infrared saunas have a red light or different colored lights as part of it because they’re giving you more of a full spectrum of it. I became a distributor to get better pricing for my patients is the way to say this, but the company that I use is a full spectrum. It’s near far and mid-infrared, we won’t get into the details of why I chose that. There’s a little bit of push from different communities, but at this point, that’s what I think is best. They’ve got all the different colors, but the red light is fantastic. The Russians have been studying it for 60 years. We know a lot and we have a lot of science about red light and those cold frequencies. They’re amazing.
What are some of the benefits off the top of your head of red light therapy?
ATP gives energy inside the cells for the cell to repair. That’s number one. If you’re repairing the cell and you’re getting the mitochondria to make more energy or ATP that helps everything. It’s beyond wounds, pain, and skin. Neurological. I got introduced to it. My mother was very healthy. She went in for a simple medical procedure. It was a medical mistake. They messed up and they stroked her. In the mental health community, I knew nothing. At that point, there’s still not much offered for neurological health and rehab for stroke. It’s like, “Learn to live with it. You’re not going to talk. You’re not going to walk. You’re not going to have any quality of life. Probably can’t swallow all this.” I got introduced to cold lasers at that point.
I saw what it did and gave my mom that quality of life where she did all the things. She was not supposed to live, but much less be able to have a quality of life. I’ve worked with stroke patients, neurological, the frequency, that’s a whole lecture and a whole podcast we could do, which is fascinating about the electrical, magnetic body and the science behind that, but it’s real. When we’re talking about mental health, mental health isn’t just in the physical with the microbiome, with all these neurotransmitters, and all this testing. These things we’re talking about hormones are huge and need to be tested, but what about the electrical part of the body? When you balance that and work with that, that affects the autonomic nervous system, which affects the brain, the gut, and all of it. The body is electrical. We’re beyond debating that. Working with that is important, and I love it. You can tell it’s one of my passions.
I’ve got a red light right there next to me and I sit in front of my red light for 10 to 20 minutes, typically in the morning, and I love it. It helps me get my day started and do I feel better as a result of the red light therapy? I don’t know. I think so. I feel pretty good.
I’m here to talk about placebo. Placebo is real. I know that red light and if it’s set at 635 nanometers, I haven’t looked at yours, but if you’re doing the right thing, it’s going to help a lot of things in you. Even if it wasn’t, let’s say it was a fake red light with nothing going on, there’s no such thing, but if it was, you believing that’s going to help you, you release a cascade of neurochemicals or brain chemicals and your hormones. You release all this stuff saying, “I am being healed. I’m in good shape. Look at this. I love this, I’m going to be better.” Your body’s pharmacy that you activated is far stronger than any medicine, light, technology, IV, and supplement will ever be. Placebo is real and whatever makes you feel good is real regardless of if you had a double-blind placebo-controlled study, which you do with red light.
It’s like my Oura Ring. I told you my Oura Ring said that I had 2 hours and 31 minutes of deep sleep and almost two hours of REM sleep. I’m like, “I feel great.” Even if I don’t feel great, I feel great because my Oura Ring says that I feel great.
This Oura Ring says, “Go to it. Now is the day to do more exercise.” That’s one of the beneficial things it says, “You didn’t sleep well. You need to take it easy today.” Should we be able to tap into ourselves and feel that and know that? Absolutely. We like technology and we like reminders. I like it because if you’re passionate with your purpose and you’ve got drive, your mental can fool you. Your mental can say, “Get out. Go, this is great. Let’s go,” and your body’s going, “I am tired,” but your mental override it. You see that with addiction as well. The mental overrides it and that’s where the Oura Ring or those wearables come in. You look at it and go, “Even though I feel okay and I’m ready to go do 100 things, I know that I might want to take it a little easier,” because we haven’t learned. If you haven’t been able to get into your meditation or some practice where you can learn, today is a day. “I’m set. I’m good. My mind, body, and spirit, everything is set. Today’s a good day to create or to go do more exercise.” If you’re not there yet, these wearables are great.
Why not all of it? I do all of it. What’s your opinion on cold water therapy?
It has benefits. The athletes like to use it, the vasoconstriction. There are long-term health benefits, I will say, in naturopathy. On day one of our medical school, we were taught its contrast hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy has been used for centuries for all disorders, mental, physical, and all that, but it’s a contrast in the hot-cold. We still use it with certain injuries. You always want to end in the cold. I like contrast like hot-cold when we’re trying to shove something into a different direction, but plunging into that cold does affect the immune system in a good way. It does a lot of the same things that infrared does. They both work and they stimulate fat cells and all the things that we like to use with infrared. You can do with the cold. I will just say it doesn’t have as much science or studies behind it yet as hot therapies do.
With the cold plunge, let’s say I go and I do an ice bath and then I hop in the infrared sauna. I can sit there for 25 minutes and still feel pretty comfortable. Am I still getting the benefits of the infrared sauna because I’m not sweating, but I’m still getting the infrared light?
Yeah, part of it. We don’t have the science to pull that out for me to give you an accurate percentage of cells this and that, but yes, the infrared like the red light there’s a benefit to that hitting your skin and asking the body to activate things. If you’re not creating the sweat, you’re not getting the full benefit would be the way to say it. You’re getting a different benefit because you went from cold to hot, but if you’re doing true contrast hydrotherapy, you would end in cold again.
I always end in the cold, especially in the summer. When it’s cold outside, I don’t like ending on the cold because I’m cold for hours. I did an ice bath and I feel great. I am awake and mentally alert. I’ve decreased inflammation. I feel great.
Cryotherapy was interesting. I had a group come to me because I’ve been working with lasers and these things for a long time. A big, huge cryotherapy wanted to put franchises together and wanted me to be part of it. I started deep diving into science and even now, we have inadequate scientific evidence. Generally, there are things that we do believe that it does help with. There’s more science behind it now. As with anything, we’ve got to be careful. More is not better and most are not better. I’m a big fan of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, one of the things that I learned about many years ago because of my mother with the mental, but now we use it in cancer treatments.
In the metabolic world, metabolic cancer treatments are proponent and work with the top researchers in that. That’s a whole another discussion, we’ve gone down the wrong path. In our opinion cancer is not a genetic disease, only probably 3% to 4% are genetic. The rest of them are metabolic disease and hyperbaric oxygen, keto and other modalities that we have work. We have people alive that shouldn’t be alive now because of these therapies and doing well, even with brain tumors.
Lots of exciting things are happening in the research world that I’m involved in that’s not part of what we’re talking about, but what I will say is the same therapies that were being studied for and this is important to our group. Dominic D’Agostino is somebody at the University of Southern Florida you guys can look into and a great person to have on your show. In getting time-wise, I spent a couple of hours with him. We work together on research and things. He is funded by the Department of Defense for NASA, the Navy SEALs for the rebreathers. They got to take these guys down in low levels of oxygen. They would get seizures because of the pressure. He started studying how we can make our warriors stronger, faster, and better. That was his funding. Let’s find out how to make them better to be able to withstand extreme stresses to the body, mind, and all of it. How do we get them better?
His research was showing hyperbaric oxygen, ketogenic diet, all kinds of things, the esters, and I won’t get into all of it. What he found at the time was it was killing cancer cells. He could see it under the microscope. That led to Dr. Seyfried in Boston and now we’ve got our group of lots of studies and lots of this going on. Here’s the news. If we want to help our brain and help from the neural toxicities all that, these same therapies that work on cancer and make the warriors faster, and stronger, and better are the same thing that I use on any of my patients.
Also, to be able to say, “These are the things you might consider because even if you’re healthy, everything’s going great like you, is there another step? Is there one more step to get you there because it’s about longevity as well?” Feeling great, being healthy, and preventing as much as we can. It’s exciting but we’re back to ancient wisdom. These basics are critical and then we’ve got leading-edge more information about it. Diet, lifestyle, hyperbaric, these things that are in their way use for centuries are now some of the best therapies we have.Don't get stuck in a rut. Rotate your diet, lifestyle, and routine. Click To Tweet
Explain what a hyperbaric chamber is.
Most people will know it because if you’re diving and you get the band and you went too low, the oxygen was off. You have to use hyperbaric to get you back. What it does is there’s a long process of, but the way we use it is wound healing, neurological, and it’s getting your body to exchange the CO2 and oxygen. It’s way beyond that. It’s stimulating your own body to produce a response to depressurize. We do 100% oxygen at 2.4 atmospheres. That means we’re taking you down as if you were diving. That stresses the body in a good way. Your body mounts a response, and that response starts to heal a lot of things.
How often should someone go into a hyperbaric chamber? I’ve done it several times. I don’t know if I felt the benefits of it.
Most people don’t. You’re not going to feel an immediate benefit. This is working at a deeper level. This is activating deep cellular things as well as organs. It’s activating the body to start repairing and doing. It’s not like an immediate, “I feel better.” I will say this, people have some infections, even current infections, they feel better and they can breathe better if they go into hyperbaric oxygen. They can feel immediate relief, but you got to be careful. If you have severe lung issues, you shouldn’t go into hyperbaric. It’s individualized. Who should be in there for how long? What dosage? Atmosphere? All that, but it is beneficial. If you just want to do it for the goodness of your body, go in every once in a while, but you would be better off going through a series of them like twice a week for a few weeks and once every six months is not going to keep the activation going. Short series is better than once in a blue moon.
Going back to cold water therapy and cryotherapy. Tell me the difference between or the benefits between the two because I’ve done both. I like the cold plunge way more than the cryotherapy and I’ve done both lots of times.
From a scientific standpoint research, I can’t tell you. I will say that the immersion therapies, the cold immersion, there are studies on that. With inflammation, they probably all work a little bit on the same things. They may be working in site pathways, but you’re going about it differently. We don’t know enough science right now for me to answer that question. I would say you answered the question for me. Which one do you feel better with? That’s the one you do and it’s less expensive.
What is your opinion of NAD+?
Now you’re going down the pathway. The science is interesting. It’s great for anti-aging and a lot of things. David Simon’s work all this. There’s a lot of interesting work. On my side of things on my group of researchers, when we look at it, we’re not sure. We don’t know yet that it could also feed or increase cancer growth. Even David Simon, in his book, said, “We don’t know enough yet.” For everybody going out there doing a bunch of NADs, I’ve got a problem with it for now. It could be wrong, it may end up being fine, but until we know, I’m not putting everybody on a bunch of NADs. You’d feel better, but you do with cocaine too. I’m just saying.
It’s not about an immediate, “I feel better. This is great.” You’ve got to say, “Why are you feeling better? What is it doing in the body?” It could be the most amazing new thing. Right now, it’s the hot topic, all the anti-aging docs, all the integrative, functional medicine drugs, everybody’s on it. Doing NAD, everybody feels good after they do it. That’s great, but I don’t know enough now and by my researchers who do real hard science biochemists and all, we’ve got even some mouse studies that were a little concerned is what I’ll say at this point.
For people that are in recovery from mental illness and addiction, I’ve heard that NAD+ is a good way to go but you’re saying that we don’t know.
I don’t know long-term on it. That’s the problem. If you’re doing a little bit of it for a short period during recovery, and it seems to be working and you guys are seeing it on your clinical side of recovery, what you’re working with, go for it. To put somebody on high doses, or even oral doses for long periods of time, that’s where I have a concern.
Do you have an opinion on taking it subcutaneously versus IV?
If we look at the pathways that those of us that work with injections and worked with it now, we can postulate that a certain type of molecule might work better this way than that way. Everybody’s still in the “I don’t know” hypothesis, maybe thing. It’s still in a debate format. We don’t know yet. There’s no real data to know for sure which way is better and everybody’s got an opinion, those doctors that are working in these kinds of fields.
It’s along the same line of hyperbaric. We’ve got more studies on hyperbaric oxygen than we do on ozone. I love ozone for a lot of things like if you’ve got an infection, all those kinds of things. Using it as only an oxidative therapy means you’ve got antioxidant and oxidative. The body is about balance. It’s supposed to go through both. Too much of one inhibits the other. It’s always about balance. Doing ozone therapy has a lot of stimulation of helping the body repair. We have some studies on ozone enough to say we think it’s safe, but there’s not as much as hyperbaric. I’m more of a fan of hyperbaric for most of the things that ozone does, but there’s a time and a place. You got a bacterial infection in the blood, I like the idea about that ozone IV going through there to help with the infection if we know it’s there.
It’s all about dosage and timing, and that’s we found out through all of our cancer. It’s called press pulse. With our cancer patients, certain things stay on, they don’t come off. They don’t get out of ketosis. We keep them in ketosis. Nutritional ketosis if we can, but we may have to add in other things to help them stay there. There are other things that we pulse. That means you do hyperbaric for maybe two weeks, and then you hold off for two weeks, and then you do it again. It’s going to be the same thing with ozone when that starts being studied in our community, but right now, we’re on hyperbaric. We know that pulsing certain things is the way to go and always doing the same thing full out all the time is for a lot of reasons, the body starts to ignore it. You wake it up. You hit it with something, it goes, “What’s that? I need to do something.” It goes away, you let it forget about it and then you put it in.
There are certain things that we pulse and there are certain things that are pressed that we keep pressing in our cancer therapies. It’s the same thing for anything. Whether you have cancer or not, any disease is trying to get better more all the time is not better. I like you rotating supplements sometimes. Rotating brands, wake the body up, let’s shake it up. Probiotics, that is the one area. I used to say rotate your probiotics, so you get different strains, bugs from different things that you don’t know what you’re doing with it. If you’ve got a good scientifically probiotic that has studies behind it, the studies are showing that you don’t have to rotate those brands, you can stick on one good one. Everything else, until we know, I like rotation. I like rotating your diet, foods, minerals, and toxins in the foods, rotate. Don’t get stuck in a rut. As you know with mental health, a lot of times that’s we get tunnel vision.
“I got my routine. I got my thing. This is what I like to do.”
I’m not saying don’t get out of the routine. That’s the press part. That’s the side of you need to press certain things. What you could do is rotate your supplements. What you could do is rotate a few foods in there. Variety is important for us, but routine, as far as addiction of what was working, you don’t mess with that. You find something that works. You do stick with that.
Would you mind explaining what ozone therapy is to our readers?
Ozone is we’re working with oxygen. We’re working with what we call oxidative therapies. It’s about oxygen and how that plays with us with our bodies. Ozone is a gas and it activates our own body to produce its chemicals to do that. That’s the easiest way I can explain it. You can do ozone recto insufflation. You could go IV. You can do it in a bag to certain areas and it’s using those oxygen-type molecules to help heal the body and to kill pathogens, bacteria, viruses, and fungal.
I’ve done the IV bag, but I’ve also done the IV directly into my vein. It feels like I get a bigger punch when it’s directly into my vein.
You do. We need ozone for an infection in the bloodstream and overall. It usually goes through a UV light at the same time as well, so it’s killing those bacteria. What it does is pull the blood out of the body and it ozonates it, puts the oxygen on it, it does a UV light, and it kills as much as it can and it puts it back in. It’s your own blood coming back in, but it’s sterilized, so to speak. Now you have fewer of the bad things in your body, so your immune system can take care of it. It’s never going to eradicate all of it.
When I had COVID back in December 2020, I went in and I had ozone therapy and I had a NAD. That’s what I did.
A lot of people with COVID have been using hyperbaric oxygen. We’ve got other molecules that we use. If you’re working with a doctor that knows how to help the immune system, that’s great. What is it about COVID that kills people? What is the process that COVID does? The virus isn’t killing you. It makes your body go into a cytokine storm. That means your immune system is overactive. It’s supposed to go in and try to take care of it, but if it keeps being more and more active, you go into a cytokine storm and that’s what kills you.
This whole thing, “Let’s increase our immune system. Let’s do all this with all these supplements, all this stuff.” It’s like, “The problem is we don’t have an immune system that’s adaptable.” We have a way of testing that to see how adaptable your immune system is. If it’s adaptable and it can mount a response, kill what it needs to kill or help and come back down again, we’re good. If it’s not adaptable, is that when you say, “Let’s do everything known to man to increase your immune system?” Not necessarily. If I’m doing that and you get COVID, then am I throwing you into a cytokine storm? That’s something that needs to be known. More is not better.Inflammation is the root cause of a lot of health problems. Click To Tweet
We have inflammation in the brain, muscles, and body. Inflammation causes lots of negative things.
All the chronic degenerative diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, arthritis, diabetes, you name it, they’re all based on inflammation. You’re correct. Chronic degenerative is based on inflammation. There are other triggers, but inflammation is the root cause of a lot of problems and brain inflammation, which affects addiction.
Anything that causes inflammation is not a good thing. There’s a supplement that I take called Serracor-NK. Have you heard of that before?
Do you like that as a supplement for inflammation?
It depends on what type of inflammation and where it’s going. Have I identified your C-reactive protein? I know you’ve got inflammation going. If you do and I need to get it down there, we’re going to look at the least expensive and best quality way to go. There’s a lot of good products out there, but do you even need them? Are you inflamed? Did you do the testing? Do you know you have inflammation? If you don’t and you’re eating the right foods, you’re doing all the other stuff that you’re doing. Why take an anti-inflammatory? It’s one more thing to take. I like anti-inflammatories and most people need them. Turmeric, at least, or something. Most people do need it.
How much inflammation do you have? Is it cardio-reactive inflammation? I know certain things affect that more and I’m going to go with the ones that are the most scientifically sound that I know they have the proof that they’re working, where they need to work, and you test. Take it for a month and retest that in the lab. Did your inflammation go down? Great. It’s working. If it didn’t, move on. Try something different. Just because it’s the coolest new thing, it doesn’t mean it’s the thing for you.
Is there a question that you have always wanted to be asked but the interviewer never got around to it? If so, what is that question?
I’ve been asked many questions. For your readers, we’ve got to think about how well all this virtual mental health is working. It’s the best that we can sometimes do. I have worked with people from all over the world, I have for years, because they can’t get to me, but it’s always best in person. It’s always best to have that human connection because there is an energy exchange, a frequency that we can measure between you and me when we’re close together. There is science showing that we’re having it even right now remotely. It sounds woo but it’s not. Scientifically, it’s been proven. You can change the pH of water across the world with a group of meditators. That’s Dr. Bill Tiller, my mentor. Trust me. He could run science around anybody. He’s a hard scientist.
There is an energy exchange. We need to remember that it’s not about the physical body, the mental, or even the emotional. This different exchange between the energies of us is important. Going back to the ancient healing traditions of the community, you have your tribe. When a baby was born, they created a song. That was their identity. Every birthday, the community knew that song. It identified them. We had true identities. We knew who we were. We have a tribe. We’re not only connected to the tribe, but we’re also connected to the electromagnetic field of the planet. That’s all the bioenergetic things that we won’t get into. We’re connected to the cosmos as well.
The Transylvania effect is when there’s a full moon, we sleep less. We don’t sleep as long and it’s harder to get to sleep. We are connected to the cosmos, the planet, our tribe, and to ourselves and that’s ancient healing. Dancing, drumming, music, we’ve forgotten the power of all of these things. One of the best, least expensive ways to shift your mood and to help your body heal is music. I’ll give a shout-out to my husband, Barry Goldstein. He works with Dr. Joe Dispenza and Dr. Daniel Amen. I can’t keep naming all the names. Dave Asprey is doing some things with him and frequencies but that’s how we met, he and I, about these frequencies. I was using it medically and he was using it musically.
Music can shift your mood and that attitude in you quickly. There’s nothing quicker than putting on music and creating your playlist around the emotion. Do you want to feel happier? Do you want to feel more relaxed? It’s emotional. He calls it being the DJ of your life. His book, The Secret Language of the Heart, takes you through the steps. Starts using music to create the mood and the emotion you want to be in because when you’re there, that body’s own pharmacy, that’s far smarter and better than anything we’ve got. Morphine is the strongest pain medicine we have. Ten to the ninth power stronger than morphine is what your body makes itself. We will never come up with something far stronger than us. Let’s start using music and community, dance, tribe, and have fun. That’s ancient healing. That’s what they had and we need to bring it back.
I go work out at F45 and the music is loud, it’s super fun, and the community is fun. If the music’s not that good one day, it’s like, “That wasn’t as good of a workout.” When I go over to optimize, it’s Tibetan chanting music. It’s calm and serene. When I saw your husband speak, he said that when you go to sleep, find music that plays at 60 beats per minute.
We know that when we slow down the heart rate to 60 beats per minute, the brainwaves follow, so now we’re not in this crazy beta. We’re allowing it to go down because sometimes your brain can still be up here and you fall asleep because you’re exhausted. You’re not sleeping well because the brainwaves are still up here. Music helps you transition down. His music is at 60 beats per minute and the composition has to have not a lot of melody, no birds, whistles, and all that, that your brain goes, “I like that part. I heard that.”
It’s ambient. It’s like a soft bed around you and your brain and your heart wave start becoming more coherent. They match. The patterns are coherent. They slow down. Now you get restorative sleep. You can do it during your day. If you’re having a bad day and something made you angry, maybe you need your happy song that gets upbeat, or maybe you need the songs that calm you down. I want to ask you, what’s your happy song? If you had to name one song that you put it on and no matter what’s going on in your life, you can’t help but go, “That is my happy song. I feel happy.”
I’m listening to a song by Darkness called Love is Only a Feeling. It’s an old song. That’s what I’ve been listening to and it gets me going.
That one resonates with you. When we’re talking about mental health, everybody should have a happy song. In those classes at ASU that I teach, I’ve had hundreds and hundreds, probably thousands of people in those classes and we work with the happy song thing. I had one person, through the whole course, eight weeks, who couldn’t come up with any song that made him happy. You can imagine what he was dealing with. By the end, we found one for him. We said, “You’re going to listen to this,” because it made him happy. Music is profound and it’s been used for centuries and we need to do more of it.
Mine is a fun one. Mine is Kung Fu Fighting by Carl Davis. You’ve got to be old to know that song. If you put on Everybody’s Kung Fu Fighting, I don’t care what’s going on in my day. Everything that’s falling apart or is going wrong, I put that on, and I’m happy immediately. I haven’t gotten sick of the song. It’s my happy song. Make your emotional playlist. You want to feel happy, relaxed, and sleep. The type of music does make a difference.
Where can people find you?
Probably the easiest is to go to the website. We’re always redoing websites and all that, but it’s DrWorden.com. I have all the social media things that I’m starting to do more of. I’ve got a YouTube channel. I’ll be doing a lot more because I’m doing a webinar. I’ve been doing webinars, seminars, and workshops. I’ve been doing it for my community within me, but I’m spreading out now and letting more people know about it. The retreats are amazing. We’re supposed to be in Costa Rica. We shut that down. Barry and I are going to do one together with medical and musical prescriptions for health. We were asked to do that.
With travel, we said, “Let’s wait a little while.” I love working with people in person. Zoom and StreamYard, they all work. It’s the best we’ve got right now. We’ll make it work and know that we can send you some good love and energy even through this technology. It is real and it can be measured. Electromagnetic and magnetoelectric energy is real. What I want to leave you with is that we can make big changes within ourselves and with each other if we understand that we are not a physical mental body. We are energetic bodies.
It’s all about energy. I love it. Dr. Worden, thank you so much for your time. I appreciate you. I got a lot out of it. Our readers probably got a lot out of it as well.
I appreciate it. Anytime. It sounds great. I love it. Thank you. The work you’re doing, I want to honor you for that. It’s a tough field and the reputation of you and your community there is top-notch. Thank you for the work that you do and for helping people back on their journey.
Thank you so much.
- Dr. Donese Worden
- Sierra Tucson
- Camelback Recovery
- Thelma McMillen
- Banner Behavioral Health
- Thryve Gut Health Test
- Dr. William Tiller
- Dominic D’Agostino
- Dr. Thomas Seyfried
- Barry Goldstein
- Dr. Joe Dispenza
- Dr. Daniel Amen
- Dave Asprey
- The Secret Language of the Heart
- YouTube – Dr. Donese Worden
About Dr. Donese Worden
Donese Worden, N.M.D., is an award-winning physician, researcher, and global health educator who expertly and compassionately bridges the worlds of conventional allopathic and advanced alternative medicine. As a naturopathic medical doctor, she is licensed in prescribing both pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. Her passion is in helping people interpret medical science to take charge of their health and make informed decisions.
Dr. Worden’s unique skill set combines extensive experience in medical practice, research, academics, marketing, public speaking, and media, which sets her apart from other respected industry leaders. What follows are some highlights of her professional background. Media: Dr. Worden has a master’s degree in communications and television broadcasting and is a well-seasoned talk show host from her many years of television experience. She hosted two talk shows for NBC in a three-state southern network and worked as a news anchor for ABC, CBS, and NBC. Dr. Worden previously signed with PBS in Arizona for a weekly television series called Dr. Worden’s Health Hot Seat. However, she is currently in negotiations to move the show to a national network.
The show provides alternative and traditional practitioners the opportunity to face off on medical issues, with Dr. Worden as a wise and judicious mediator helping viewers make sense of the evidence for both viewpoints. She also frequently appears on various radio and television shows, including regular spots on Gaim TV and major network newscasts. She’s hosted several podcasts on health, including cohosting a regular series sponsored by Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, one of the four accredited naturopathic medical schools in the U.S. Dr. Worden has also presented a regular monthly health report entitled “Your Health, Your Choice” on Conversation at the Cutting Edge, the highest-ranking internet radio show broadcast on the Awakening Zone Network on Blog Talk Radio. Dr. Worden has regular features named “Health Bites” on the Regina Meredith internet show and a co-host on the flagship program “The Truth in Medicine” on Om Times Radio, with more than three million listeners. Donese Worden, NMD, is the featured physician in the award-winning documentary Light in the Darkness. Dr. Worden has been featured in and written articles for Readers Digest, Parade, Thrive Global, Instyle among many others and previously wrote monthly features for Shirley MacLain’s Dynamic Living magazine. Speaking: Featured on the cover of The National Speaker’s Association magazine as one of the top speakers in the nation, Dr. Worden has given keynote lectures for numerous medical societies and health organizations. A few examples include the American Academy of Pain Management, Cedars Sinai affiliate, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, the International College of Integrative Medicine, and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, Berkeley, and the University of Arizona.
Dr. Worden shines in front of the general public, and she’s also been a keynote speaker for many large corporations, including State Farm Insurance, Boeing, Whole Foods, and The Vitamin Shoppe, talking on a variety of topics related to leading-edge approaches to healthcare. Medical Practice: Dr. Worden is licensed as a primary care physician who can prescribe pharmaceutical medications and perform minor surgery. She is also board certified in clinical nutrition, acupuncture, spinal manipulation, botanical medicine, counseling, and homeopathy. She owns and operates a medical clinic in Scottsdale and Gilbert, Arizona, and for the past several years, has been named a “top doc” in Arizona. In addition to her clinical practice, she’s served as the principal researcher for multiple medical industry companies, designing and conducting research for medical devices and nutraceuticals. She currently has three active research projects with major institutions, including MD Anderson/Banner in Gilbert. Highly regarded for her life-changing work, she won the 2014 Hope Award for her significant contribution to prevention and education in behavioral health. This award is given annually by Sierra Tucson, one of the country’s premier mental health hospitals and residential treatment facilities.