00:00 You’re listening to the live happier, longer podcast, episode 32,
00:15 Welcome to the live happier, longer podcast. We’re your hosts, Molly Watts and Angela McDade. We’re here to help you build the habits of the happier, longer life starting now.
00:28 Hey Angela. Hey Molly. How is it going today? It’s not too bad at all. Not stressed are ya? No, I am not. Excellent. Glad to hear it. Yeah. I don’t think I’m stressed either. I was just saying I don’t, I don’t, sometimes I think we live in this like whirlwind of stress. We’re so used to it. It’s Like low grade, constant. We almost become inoculated to it. Right. Because you just are not, you’re so used to that level that you don’t realize you’re running it. You’re running that way. Yeah. Today we’re going to talk to Dr Nisha Jackson. Um, she’s a phd and nurse Practitioner with clinics in Oregon and California and Texas and she’s really addressing what happens to people with, with burnout. Yeah. I guess is the best way of putting it in how we are so often overcome and are really the, the physical symptoms and the systems within the body that are impacted by running at a high stress level. Yeah. And and how you are affected by it in so many different ways and you wouldn’t necessarily put it down to that one to that one, that one thing. Yeah. She’s written a book called brilliant burnout and we’re going to talk with her about that as well. Here’s Dr Nisha Jackson.
01:51 Hi Nisha. Hi there.
01:54 How are you today?
01:56 I’m doing great. It’s a beautiful day
01:58 Excellent. Well we really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us today and to educate our audience a little bit more on brilliant burnout, the book that you’ve just written and it’s coming out and a little bit about what you do and how you work with people and how you have worked with people both in terms of optimizing how people feel with their hormones and just and with their psychology as well, it sounds like.
02:22 Right? Yeah. So thank you for asking and thank you for having me on your, on your show today. So the, the, the practice that I, that I own and operate is we have clinics throughout Oregon, southern California, and also just opening in Texas. And the focus of the practice is really to take people where they’re at with whatever health problems they have and try to optimize their health so they can age better with less age related illnesses. Okay. We looked at a number of factors, hormones, nutrient levels. We look at their diet, we look at their exercise plan, we look at their sleep patterns. Would we really do is do an analysis, how they’re, how they’re doing and what they have been doing, you know, also their symptoms and their past medical history and family history. We devise a program for them that’s really aimed at trying to optimize where they need to be.
03:13 It’s just a very successful program. I’ve been doing it for about 29 years now and um, I love it because it works.
03:22 Where did this start? Where was your, kind of your passion or what led you to this? Was it something that you were experiencing personally or saw people experiencing, How did you come to Open Peak?
03:32 It’s a great, it’s a great question because it was very clear the day that I knew I needed to do something drastically different in, in being able to see patients in practicing medicine. And it was the day that a menopausal woman came in to see me and the office and now this was back in 1991. So, uh, you know, there wasn’t really a lot available, especially in southern Oregon at that time. It was a very conventional medicine. It was very straightforward. You know, we prescribed drugs for menopause and uh, the lady came in and, and I had seen her several times to adjust her hormones cause she just didn’t feel well.
04:07 And so third or fourth time she came in, she said, I feel terrible. I still have migraine headaches. I’m waking up at night, I have insomnia, I’m sweating, I don’t have a sex drive. I just feel terrible. And, uh, and I said, well, okay. She goes, isn’t there anything else you can do? And I said, we’re actually, there really isn’t. There isn’t anything else I can do. We’ve changed your hormones. There really isn’t anything else we can do. She said, you gotta be kidding me. There’s nothing else you can do. And there really wasn’t anything at the time that certainly anybody in the entire practice could have provided for her that would have helped her. Because at that time, we weren’t even really using a lot of antidepressants at that time, but we were using things like Valium to treat hot flashes, believe it or not.
04:49 Oh Wow.
04:51 I’m not kidding. We actually were. So, uh, I went back to my office and I put my hands in my face and I said, this is, this is crazy. Think about like women suffering half of their life feeling terrible. There’s gotta be more, there’s gotta be more I can do. So I threw myself into nutrition and, and looking at nutrient levels and looking at how diet might impact health and impact hormones. And I looked at sleep patterns. Anyway. It took me about two years to just really dive into all these different areas. And then I just basically put together a program that was very successful and I just started treating patients, um, testing their hormones, looking at where they’re at, and then incorporating all the lifestyle changes that I knew would optimize not only how they felt, but really optimize their brain chemicals and their hormones. And it’s fascinating what just even food can do for somebody. So anyway, so that, that’s kind of the, that’s the story. And the rest is history because of the practice just continued to grow. We see men and women, um, we, we usually only see, we don’t see any, uh, we don’t see children. We just see men and women adults. I usually like from age 14 or 15 on, um, when women or girls start menstruating, we can start seeing them at that point. But we don’t do any pediatrics, although sometimes I wish we did.
06:10 So as far as that goes, tell me a little bit about the, the lifestyle changes or things that you were researching and seeing as effective. Common things that people could do.
06:23 Yes. So, um, I’ll never forget when I, um, when I started researching all of the, the initial research, this is again, this goes back to like 1989, the initial research on the low glycemic diet, eating less sugar and less flour, which of course was diametrically opposed to the US RDA food pyramid, which was, you know, our, our Bible at that point for nutrition, six to 11 breads servings a day was recommended on the food pyramid. And I’ll never forget, um, uh, opening up my, my practice on my own. I left the group practice and I knew I needed to go out to be able to perform all the things I needed to do for patients. And I, and I knew I couldn’t talk the board of directors of my practice, which was 13 men, very conventional, lovely men, but couldn’t get it. And I left and I went and opened up my practice.
07:15 And literally the first week it was open, I had an endocrinologist come into my practice and he said, Nishe, you cannot tell people not to eat six to 11, 11 bred servings a day because they need bread. They need to be able to follow the pyramid. But doctor Thene, they’re all getting better. They’re eating less bread and they’re lowering their glucose and their insulin levels look excellent and they’re losing belly fat and they feel awesome and their hormones are actually getting better and their brain chemicals are more stable. And he said, this is crazy. You can’t do this. And you know, Lo and behold, here we are.
07:51 So certainly that’s a really big part of it. And I’m going to say diet probably 30 to 50% of somebody’s success. Cause whatever you’re putting in is a drug. It’s either going to work for you or it’s going to work against you. So that, and, and, and sleep habits, you know, the whole world is not sleeping very well. And, uh, so correcting some sleep patterns, which has a lot to do with stress and it has a lot to do with your cortisol rhythm. So getting that all balanced out. And then also just there’s a lot of mind, body stuff, positive reset. And like we talked about at an earlier time, social connections and how important that is for women and men to have social connections with our whole world is moving really more towards no social connections. So anyway, there’s just, if you, if you approach the body the way that it was meant to be approached, which is that you look at all factors that affect the whole body, you can start connecting the dots.
08:47 But if you just come in to the medical office and you say, I feel depressed, my mother passed away and I can’t get out of bed in the, and I and I, and I just feel so low, you’re going to get an antidepressant prescription. Right. And I don’t, and I just don’t believe that’s as good as medicine gets. I believe we should be able to give our patients way more and you should be sad. You should be sad for maybe a year, but there’s a lot of things you can do to help yourself get back up again. And that’s as medical providers, what we should be providing our patients is real, um, real health habits that make a difference. Not a drug in a 10 minute office visit. That’s not what, that’s not as good as medicine gets. So anyway, I, I just feel really passionate about helping people and looking at their whole body rather than just one system or one symptom.
09:36 Yeah. And that’s one of the things that we have found just in her own personal research is that everything is interconnected. You know, and we’ve, we’ve spoken to different people about diet and exercise and you know, cognitive decline and all of that and they are like, they’re all, It’s all, it’s all one big web. Yeah. And when you may start to, to exercise or do cardio exercise for, you know, whether that be because you want to improve your heart function or lose weight or whatever. You know, your, your primary goal may be you get a another benefit in your brain, you know, and that whole whatever, if it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your brain and that and that whole thing and wears a strong link between, just as you mentioned, the strong link between sleep and also between, uh, cardio exercise and preventing Alzheimer’s and preventing dementia and things of that nature. So it’s all definitely very, and to interconnected and, and, and 100% lifestyle related. So I have to imagine that back in 1991, I don’t even know if the word’s functional medicine. We’re really a part of our vernacular yet.
10:55 No alternative medicine was a more popular, not even a popular, it was a said word, but it certainly wasn’t popular. Of course we had acupuncture is an naturopaths. And, um, but, but functional medicine, I don’t, I don’t know if I’ve ever, I even at that point had ever even heard that word. Hormone balancing wasn’t something that was really talked about at that point. I just got lucky to be able to get into the field early and be able to really get a lot of experience and a lot of training in that area. So I’m pretty, I’m pretty happy that I was able to get that training early on and then then subsequently trained hundreds of medical providers since then, which is a is wonderful because my goal is to be able to get as many women and men offered this type of help or this type of medicine possible. Because it is, it is quite different than very conventional traditional medicine, which is was just trying to look at the whole person. But, but still doing primary care is still doing general medicine. That mean there are times when have to use a medication for a patient that you have to, you have to intervene quickly and treat them acutely. Right. But most of the time we should be practicing preventative medicine. So we can get a practicing sick health, we can process, practice well health. So yeah. Anyway. Yeah.
12:13 And I think, no there’s actually, and again it could be because we are looking more into it, but that is definitely a movement towards that. It’s healthcare rather than sick care. You know, and people are trying to get themselves in a better situation so that they’re not just being treated for things that have gone wrong.
12:35 It’s so important.
12:37 Do you find that now is functional medicine the kind of medicine that you were practicing, are you getting support from the insurance industry or is that still a hurdle?
12:47 Yes. So we, we, we are credentialed. All of our clinics are credential with all the insurance companies. Uh, it, it’s, it’s my philosophy and, and, and very strong feeling that as primary care credential providers in the state of Oregon and outside of Oregon, that that with primary care, we’re going to take a little bit of extra time to be able to, to provide some of this education. And so you know, you, you have to be able to provide that information because your patients are not going to have good outcomes if you’re not. So we’re still practicing traditional, um, primary care medicine, but it has a functional medicine aspect to it where we’re adding in nutritional, fitness consultants, we’re adding in, um, mental health component to it. I mean, we’re adding in a lot of other things so patients get a variety of, of, uh, modalities to help their health. In fact, it’s funny, I sat next to Senator Wyden on the plane, this just this last week and I was telling him about how important it is to really hit the Diet with, with people and, and to explain, you know, when we see the patients in our office, if they need to lose weight, they need to correct their insulin. They need to reduce their body pain. They want to reduce the inflammation in their body. We have to, we have to partially start with diet. So those patients all see a fitness nutritional consultant to analyze their diet, analyze their chemistry, analyze their metabolism before they even see us. So they see that consultant first before they see us because we don’t have 45 minutes to test and go over all of that. So we have offices that do that and he’s like, wow, that’s an amazing thing. What is it crazy to come to Washington DC and talk about this. I’m like, really basic.
14:33 I was going to ask you that. So if you know, what is the, what is the routine? Somebody feels bad, and they, the go to your office, what is the actual procedure, you know, for a patient to at, from walking through the door to getting through their a general treatment?
14:54 Well, every, everyone’s different. Of course. Yeah. And that’s, that’s one key important factor is that at Peak Medical Clinic, everybody’s treated as an individual patient because everybody’s profile and everybody’s needs and symptoms and genetic makeup is all quite different. But typically we would take a pretty detailed analysis of how they’re feeling, what their, what their stats are as far as their weight, their, you know, their, their lifestyle habits. We would get everything initially and then we would make the decision what needs to be tested. Um, let’s say if it’s a 48 year old perimenopausal woman who is already missing periods, she’s sweating, she’s waking up at night, she’s tired during the day, but I can’t turn the brain off at night. She is having problems with intermittent migraine headaches. I mean, whatever, whatever it might be. We would look at all of our hormones and I’m talking about the ovarian hormones, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone.
15:52 We would look at a full thyroid panel, not just a TSH, not just a signal that comes from the brain, a full thyroid panel. And then we would also look at the adrenal hormones so we can see what’s happening with that cortisol rhythm that might be making her tired during the day and not able to turn your brain off at night because unfortunately with stress, which is what part of what brilliant burnout book’s about is that cortisol rhythm gets inverted. So it’s low during the day. So they can’t, they can’t, they don’t have any like zest. They can’t get out of pop out of bed and feel really good and focused and have good attention and be able to manage stress. And then when they finally settled down at night to kind of turn their brain off and to easy, their body says, Woo, this lady’s not asking anything of me anymore. I’m going to start making cortisol. And they get like a second wind at eight o’clock at night and then they can’t turn their brain off and go to sleep. So, or they might go to sleep, but they wake up at three, you know, zinging their heads like, like spinning.
16:47 And we hear that all the time, all the time.
16:52 The cortisol rhythm and that can be tested. And so then, then once we look at all the test results, we say, okay, what do we need to do with this patient? And, uh, you know, we’ll look at diet, we’ll look at, like I said before, the sleep patterns. Um, we’ll look at how she’s managing stress and what she’s piling into or he into her schedule. Um, and then we’ll, we’ll balance the hormones typically if necessary, using bio identical plant based hormones if needed. Um, we’ll fix any nutrient deficiency that’s there, whether it be B vitamins, vitamin D, uh, added, curcumin, whatever it might be that that person’s low when we’re going to fix it.
17:29 And then we just see them every three to six months, um, after that. And just make sure that they are stabilized. Somethings they come off of in time once we fix it and some things they stay on long term. Um, but then we incorporate the Diet, we incorporate other areas of our practice that would help them kind of get on track. And then, you know, we’re Americans, we relapsed so this, this woman might feel great for two years and all of a sudden she shows back up in our office six months later and says, you know, my child was in a very awful motor vehicle accident. I didn’t sleep for a week. And then I just started spinning again and just regroup and go back to plan a. And I find out where she’s at at that point and re balanced her again. So the interesting thing about this and what I think we’re going to find in time is that if we can keep the, these factors balanced in people, I don’t know if you remember, y’all might be too young for this, but uh, cause I know you’re younger than me.
18:33 Uh, the uh, the uh, movie cocoon. Do you remember them? Yeah, of course. Group of people and they basically just like restored them at a certain age. I really, I’m telling you, I don’t want to sound too, too infomercial right now, but I’m telling you the, the, the way that we correct people’s health and we balance all aspects of like putting them in a cocoon. It’s like completely freezing them in time because they age better with less inflammation there. They get off their medications, their drugs, they don’t want to be on any way. They are feeling awesome. They have more energy, their moods up, their marriages are better. It’s fascinating to see them move in a co, it’s almost like, it’s almost like a coming to a crossroads and just going on the right track, just going down the right road. And then you see the people who don’t do that.
19:25 And I know this because I’ve been treating my own parents for 30 years and so I know the differences between my parents and all their friends. It’s, it’s completely different. Patients or people who don’t go down the right path. You can see them age, you know first there on two meds, then they’re on four medications, then they’ve got weight and then they’ve got depression issues and then they’ve got arthritis issues and autoimmune disorders and you can kind of see it just evolving because no one’s taking the time to put their hands around their health. Anyway, that was a really long answer.
19:58 So we, we, we, we appreciate it because that is very interesting information and that’s real life for a lot of people. You know, you’re getting drugs to counteract your drugs that you’ve been given, so it’s an ongoing spiral out of control. So if you can get to the, the bottom one, fix the bottom one and then that’s it. Everything else follows.
20:24 It’s like a downstream, you know, the adrenals, which again, what the book is about. The adrenal gland is a stress glands is, is considered really the master gland, and then everything else is downstream from that. All of the endocrine system is downstream from the adrenal. So whatever’s happening in that person’s daily, I’m going to call it toxic stress is going to trickle down to is literally every single other area in the body. And so it’s really important that we, we, we kind of bring that into, into in balance.
20:53 No, I think that’s, that’s super important. We, you know, we mentioned to you that our, I mean daily action number five is let go and it’s all about combating stress and fear and anger. Sometimes I feel like I’m just almost, no, I don’t want to say immune to stress, but I’m just so used to it that being at a high, you know what I’m feeling, I feel like it, that I feel like I have stress in my life all the time, that I’m not even aware typically of what it’s, what it could be doing. Yeah. And then my body, and it’s you, a lot of people that when something, some particular stressor is released, they don’t know what to do with themselves because they feel odd. There’s something not quite right and it’s actually the stress that has left them. They should be feeling like this all the time. So it’s a, it’s a, it’s a very natural state for a lot of people these days to be that kind of stress. High Adrenal.
21:52 Yeah. The younger population was brought up with a lot of devices. You know, they’re used to being stimulated all the time, but, but our body is not to be stimulated all the time. Um, and, and so that a unfortunately, it feels very natural to be, you know, um, incoming messages all the time and it feels very natural to eat a certain way. And you know, a lot of us run on adrenaline for months or years before we really hit the wall. And it’s, it’s a very insidious onset for most people. And so unfortunately that’s, that’s not a good thing because then once you do hit the, what I’m going to call the burnout wall, like there’s really no other better way to describe it is, uh, it’s often a little bit of a longer road to get back on track again. And people, you know, you feel a little bit worse sometime, but you’re like, well, I think I’m doing okay.
22:41 I’m still kind of keeping all the balls in the air. I mean, I haven’t completely flattened out yet, but then when you do, you do. And that’s when you wake up one day and say something is wrong. I don’t feel well, not enthusiastic about life anymore. I don’t want to be social. I don’t want to go out at night. I, um, I, I don’t want to return my phone calls my body, my whole body’s hurting. I’m not sleeping at night. I’m exhausted during the day. I, um, you know, gynecologically speaking, women start noticing all sorts of gynecological issues, whether it be sore breasts or irregular periods. It, the whole thing goes haywire. And, um, and it is, it can be completely tracked back to the adrenal glands, the imbalance of cortisol and then that trickled down effect that I was talking about earlier of affecting the other endocrine system glands, like the ovaries and the thyroid, what’s happening in the gut, which is huge and really important to have balanced. And then of course the brain chemicals.
23:40 Just from what you’ve been saying, the focus of brilliant burnout is what you’re talking about is this is the adrenal system and that and that failure basically for women hitting a wall and what, where that has come from. And what happens after.
23:55 I wrote the book, I actually wrote an outline to the book in 2009, if you can believe that. And I finally just wrote the book this last year. And um, I’ve, I’ve lived this, I’ve lived personally lived this book on so many different levels. It would be interesting for, for people just to get the book and read the introduction because the introduction is really about my, my own burnout in my own life and multiple burnouts and, uh, you know, high achieving go get her, um, you know, wanting a lot of stimulation kind of women. And that could be somebody raising, you know, two or three children and, and trying to be the absolute best mom and they’re involved in all these volunteer organizations. Or it could be a peri-menopausal 50 year old woman who’s taking care of aging parents but still working full time. Or it could be an executive woman who’s really just trying to kill it and move up the ladder.
25:01 Everybody is exposed to this kind of toxic stress and over-stimulation. And if they would just understand how it affects every aspect of their body by even just reading the book, I mean, even just reading chapter one would be good. Uh, even though I think every chapter is good, it goes, it goes through a every area of the body. So chapter one is really what is burnout. Chapter two is about the ovaries. And, and, and what happens hormonally for the patient. And then also talk about the chapters that’s just on the adrenals, just on the brain chemistry, just on the Diet. How do you lose weight when you’re stressed out and your cortisol’s off. And then there’s a chapter on social connections of course, and you know, developing a tribe so that you can stay stronger longer. So the, every chapter is a, it stands on its own.
25:36 So somebody could actually pick up the book and say this really struggling with friendships or I’m just really struggling with my thyroid. I want my thyroid to be healthy, I want to be able to lose weight. So many might say I’m, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m in a lot of pain and I have autoimmune disorder. They might want to go just to that chapter. So I tried to make each chapter stand on its own so women could get really educated on what they need to be asking their doctors for when they’re going into the medical office.
26:02 Yeah. That’s fantastic.
26:04 I like that. It’s like an individual prescription. I prescribe chapter three for you.
26:13 Well, I love that. I love the whole approach to treating patients both in a custom way, but also that the functional way I think is the right way. I don’t think there’s any, I think there’s no question about it. The more we move forward, uh, we talk about all the time the silver tsunami or however you want to put it. The fact that the baby boomers are turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day and by the year 2030, they will, you know, the population will, we’ll have the largest population will be age 65 and over for the first time in history. And so anything that we can do to improve, just like you said with your parents that we can do to take action and improve our lives and improve our health in a preventative way as we age is just so important. Um, it’s important not only on a personal level, but it’s important on a national scale and, uh, in a world level, uh, in what’s going to happen. You know, because if there’s, there will be no way that the healthcare system can handle the amount of people that will be over the age of 80 years old. Right. And just like you said, requiring, you know, those people that are coming in that are on multiple medications and needing that, we need to start, we need to start here. You know, it starts with us.
27:41 Absolutely. I agree.
27:44 Well good. I’m glad that works.
27:46 You’re singing my song like.
27:48 It’s always so nice. So nice to, yeah. Right. Perfect. I’m glad we had you on the podcast. So let’s talk about where our listeners can connect with you.
28:04 You can go to my, my own website nishajackson.com it’s n as in Nancy, I s h a jackson.com. The name of the book’s brilliant burnout. You can avail, you can buy it on any online store. The medical website, the medical practice website is peak as in the mountain peak peakmedicalclinic.com so you can get lots of information on that website. Awesome. Do the best places to reach me.
28:31 Perfect. Yeah. And so peak is now, you said it’s in Oregon, Washington, California, and now in Texas as well, coming to Texas.
28:40 We’re not in Washington.
28:42 Oh, I’m sorry,
28:43 Oregon, California and Texas. And moving into Montana the end of this summer and probably Idaho at the end of the year.
28:50 Okay, awesome. Very cool. Do you practice with people online at all? I mean, if somebody does not live in one of those states, are they able to connect with you via the online?
29:00 Yes, yes we can do, we do online consultations and that’s, that would be better to go through the nishajackson.com okay. But yes, we do, we do provide, we try to link them up with somebody in their area that continue to work with them once we give them, okay, this is what we feel. This is our consultation of what you should be doing, and then work with your local healthcare provider. And that seems to actually work pretty well, so,
29:25 yeah. Yeah. Okay. Awesome. Well, absolutely lovely to speak with you today and really great to hear just about what you’re doing. I think it’s a fantastic model for both. In the terms of the clinic and also your book just sounds like a great thing. Uh, we will definitely link to that as well in our show notes so that people can pick that book up and prescribed themselves a chapter. As Angela said. Um, I think that, you know, cause all of us, I mean for sure it, it, it just speaks to the people that we are talking to and creating those habits of a happier, longer life. Yeah.
30:02 That’s awesome. You guys keep up the good work. I love what you’re doing.
30:06 Thank you. Thank you so much. We appreciate it. We appreciate you taking the time to talk,
30:09 but that’s alright. Well have a great day.
30:12 You too. Thanks Nisha.
30:15 Thanks for listening to the live happier, longer podcast. Now it’s time to move, learn, share, give and let go. Five daily actions to make the rest of your life the best of your life. See you next week.
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