Chronically Living and how to make the most of it

Where Should I Start When Integrating Holistic Methods for My Chronic Illness? with Dr. Richard Harris

September 06, 2021 Kelsey, Dr. Richard Harris Season 2 Episode 11
Chronically Living and how to make the most of it
Where Should I Start When Integrating Holistic Methods for My Chronic Illness? with Dr. Richard Harris
Show Notes Transcript

Whether you've been listening to this podcast for awhile or it's your first time here, we have an emphasis on integrating Western and Eastern medicines to improve our well-being and quality of life with chronic illnesses and chronic pain. But the question is often, where do I even start when it comes to doing this? My guest this week, Dr. Richard Harris, is here to help answer that question.
In this episode we talk about:

  • benefits of Western medicine and Eastern medicine
  • where to start when it comes to integrating holistic medicine into our lives
  • three things we can do that cost $0 and have 0 negative side effects

Guest Bio
Dr. Richard Harris is a board-certified internal medicine physician and pharmacist. Dr. Harris attended the University of Texas at Austin for pharmacy school then pursued medical education at the McGovern School of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Harris is a lifelong learner and completed his MBA at the University of Houston. Dr. Harris has a client-centric view of focusing on building relationships and trust through a comprehensive lifestyle medicine system. He currently hosts the Strive for Great Health Podcast, has several online wellness courses, and consults for several companies. He is an avid reader, weight lifter, video game enthusiast, and author in his spare time. Dr. Harris also enjoys sports, traveling, philanthropy, church, and keto donuts.
Follow Dr. Harris on all social media channels @drharrismd

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Follow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_ and on Twitter @janevspain.

Kelsey Harris:

Why is mindset important when you have a chronic illness? What are the three holistic things you can do that cause zero money and have zero side effects that can help you with your illness? And why should we be integrating Eastern and Western medicines? Dr. Richard Harris, no relation is here to help answer these questions and hopefully get us on a path of healing and wellbeing. Welcome back to chronically living. I'm Kelsey Harris, a chronic illness warrior and a psychotherapist in training on chronically living and how to make the most of it, we're providing tangible ways to improve the well being of spoonies. So get ready to make the most out of your life, even with that pesky chronic illness.

Dr. Richard Harris:

My name is Richard Harris. I'm an internal medicine physician and pharmacist and consultant and speaker and author and I have so many things that I do. It's hard to keep track of everything throughout the day. But I'm really from Cleveland, Ohio, I live now in Houston, Texas, I love it down here in the south, I'm never going back north, never again, why go through a cold winter by choice. And nowadays I do three main things. Number one is empower pharmacists to be providers, because we are about 20,000 to 50,000 primary care providers short in this country by 2030. And that's a huge number. So I believe the pharmacists in mpsp, as chiropractors can step up, fill that gap. So I'm working on that. I also like to create informed health consumers. So most people know more about their cell phone or their car than they do about how their bodies work. And how can you make a informed decision about your health if you literally have no clue how your heart works, or your spleen works, or how your lungs work. So I do that to the podcast and speaking. And then the third thing I'm working on is sustainable efficiency inside of medicine. Most of our systems are dinosaur their legacy systems, there's way better ways to do that. And I'm working with startups to really help leverage technology and available tools to make healthcare suck less for people.

Kelsey Harris:

Richard has been on a very interesting career path to get to what he's doing now, which really seems like a lot of empowerment for both us as healthcare consumers or patients and actual healthcare providers. So how does he get here?

Dr. Richard Harris:

There's no way I could have done this on my own. My path was very circuitous. I started off as a biomedical physics. I wanted to make prosthetics, realized I love physics, hated math, switched into biochemistry. And then I thought I want to do bench research did bench research on fetal alcohol syndrome for two years wasn't for me. So I was a junior, I needed, I think, 20 or 30 more credit hours to graduate. And so I was freaking out, because I had no clue what I wanted to do. And the Dean of the pharmacy school just happened to be the person who ran the lab, and he said, Come to pharmacy school, I think you make a great pharmacist. I had no clue what a pharmacist did no clue what pharmacy school entailed, never had even stepped foot in a pharmacy on my own except to buy like Gatorade, right. And so I applied got in a in my first year of pharmacy school, I realized that I loved what I was learning, I love physiology, and that I wanted to go to medical school. And in pharmacy school and medical school, I gravitated towards more of the physiology, supplements, holistic behaviors, nutrition, exercise, mindfulness sleep. And then as I got out, I realized that these are the things that are the most important about our health and the things that are really missing from our healthcare system is an emphasis on these core elements of health. And that's really how I got to where I am today. And being a lifestyle medicine physician, and then trying to just improve the system from multiple different angles.

Kelsey Harris:

Despite his training in more traditional medicine and pharmacy, Dr. Harris promotes holistic parts of health because there's clearly some benefit there. We talk a lot on this show about different holistic options for chronic illness warriors. But I wanted to know if Richard could maybe suggest something we haven't thought of before.

Dr. Richard Harris:

Yeah, that's a great question. Because if you go to most offices, you see most physicians, you're going to get a pill. First thing, you're going to get a pill or they're going to tell you to eat a balanced diet and exercise. Well, what does that mean? They don't know what it means. That's just what they're told. And we get no education on nutrition in medical school, no education on proper exercise or muscle physiology. The physicians who know this stuff went out and learned it on their own. So what I try to do is I am a high impact low risk type of person. I like to start with those interventions. One of the simplest and easiest things that you can do that can have a dramatic improvement on your health is have a morning gratitude practice.

Kelsey Harris:

Did I just hear him write a gratitude practice?

Dr. Richard Harris:

wake up every morning, say three things you're grateful for. Because that shifts the whole dynamic of your day, from a place of negativity. Humans have a negativity bias. We remember negative stories much more strongly than positive stories, which is why the news always starts with murder stories and terrorism stories and all these worst case scenarios that are actually pretty rare. But people think they happen more, because the news always spins that to hook you and get your attention. But having that morning gratitude practice, shifts, the way you view your day shifts, the way you view things that may happen to you. And there's actually data behind this optimists live 12% longer. optimist also have a 36% reduction in cardiovascular disease, there's no medication on the planet, that's going to get you a 36% reduction in cardiovascular disease. And that's just something so simple as shifting your mindset. So I think that's one of the key things. I'm a huge mindset person. And the reason I started off with mindset is because as the mind goes, the body goes. So I always try to unlock people's minds first, before I give them all this information about nutrition and exercise and all that stuff. Because if their minds not in the right place, that's just gonna come in and go out the door. It's like, if you're learning how to drive, I'm not going to hand you a Lamborghini or Ferrari and learn how to drive on that. There's no way that's a recipe for disaster, right? We're going to get you something easy to use easy to master doesn't have a bunch of switches and gizmos, and gadgets, and all kinds of stuff to distract you. We're going to get you on the basics. And I think that's mindset.

Kelsey Harris:

I've heard many chronic illness warriors say, mindset can hear me basically dismissing it. But as we're learning mindset is essential in order to be able to even go down the wellness path in the first place.

Dr. Richard Harris:

So the next thing I try to do with people is get them crystal clear on their values. Understand your why. If you're saying yourself, I want to lose weight, okay, well, why do you want to lose weight, if it's just I want to lose weight, what's going to happen, you're going to yo yo up and down, up and down, up and down, you're going to try different things you're going to bounce around, you're always going to be looking for something else, because you're not sure of why you're doing this. But if it's I want to lose weight, because I want to be able to run a marathon or I want to be able to hike up a mountain with my grandkids, or I want to be in the best shape I can just to be the best person I can be for the people around me. That's a solid, why. And now when you ever you make a decision, now you're going to run all of those decisions through that, why is this getting me closer to my goal, or further away from my goal? And so long answer to your question. But I think those are the first places that I would start and gratitude practice, and then also getting crystal clear on your values and what's important to you. And then you can form a new identity based upon what's important to you.

Kelsey Harris:

values based living. You've heard me say this before, and you'll definitely hear me say it again. So I did get really excited when Dr. Harris brought it up. His point is clear, we can't make changes without knowing the why. Again, it's clear that Richard integrates both holistic and Western medicines. So I wanted to know a little bit more about why the combination is good for all people, including us warriors,

Dr. Richard Harris:

there's a role for each and the US is the best place in the world. If something acute happens to you. Like if you're in a car accident, or you have a stroke or something like that there's no place better in the world. I'd rather be for an acute, like heart attack or stroke or car accident, why collapse or something like that, right? This is the best place in the world for that type of care. This is the worst place in the world. Compared to comparative economic countries. We call them OECD countries. for chronic disease, we are the worst. And compared are countries that have the same economic advantage of us. for chronic disease. We have double the rates of obesity, double the rates of diabetes, we spend twice as much per capita, our per capita spending per person spending in this country is about $11,000 on healthcare. If you look at the UK, they spend half of that and they have much better outcomes. There's actually an article that came out a week ago showing that we have the worst outcomes among these other comparateur countries in healthcare. So you need a system that is designed to take care of acute care stuff, which we are really really good at that and take care of chronic disease stuff. We are really really bad at that and Western Medicine really good at acute care, Eastern medicine really good at chronic care and prevention. So the best way to cure diseases prevent it, prevent it from even happening. And we do not focus enough on prevention in this country, we will only react if or when a disease sets in, for example, pre diabetes, pre diabetes may affect up to 30 million people, it may affect 30% of the population. But if you go to a doctor and see them, they're gonna say, Oh, well, you're pre diabetic, change your eating habits and exercise, right? There's a standard answer. But they don't tell you why that's important. And we know that insulin resistance, the underlying mechanism is the root cause of that disease. And that's correlated with cancer correlated with diabetes, of course, with Alzheimers with Parkinson's, with all of the major diseases that are in our afflicting most of the population here. So we can prevent someone from becoming diabetic by intervening when they're pre diabetic. But we don't do that. Now, in Eastern medicine, they will do things that would intervene there, they would use herbals, like berberine or tumeric, you know, things that have been used for 1000s of years. We'd also be doing acupuncture, they'd be talking to them about stress mitigation and sleep. And that approach is really holistic, it's making sure that we're looking at what are all the root causes that can be leading to this pre diabetes? How do we treat that to make this person normal, glycaemic, you know, normal blood sugars? And if they progress to diabetes? Okay, well, let's get a comprehensive plan around this. So we're addressing this from every single angle that's important to that. And I think that that is the correct approach. And if you look at a lot of these Eastern medicine practitioners, acupuncturist and herbalist and things like that, they're very well versed in all of holistic care, they know about nutrition, they know about exercise, they know about mindfulness, they know about the importance of mindset, because you can call it qi, you can call it your spirit, you can call it whatever, that is actually part of our health. If your mind, body and spirit are not aligned, you will not be healthy. And the eastern practitioners look at all of these things, the mind the body and the spirit, and say, how do we bring this back into harmony, and it may even be through medication. It's not like Eastern medicine doesn't use medication, they do use medication. But it may not be their first option is not the only thing they rely on. Whereas here, it's medication only, and you're on your own for everything else. And the sad part about that is I am pharmacist right, I know how these medications work. One of the things that I always look at with a medication is something called the number needed to treat and the number needed to harm. And these numbers basically mean what they say they mean, the number needed to harm is how many people do I treat with this to harm one person. So if the number needed to harm is like 30, that means I treat 30 people when it's gonna get hard. If the number needed to treat is 30. That means I need to treat 30 people to save one, or have whatever endpoint I'm looking at tapping. And if you look at blockbuster medications in this country, they have a number needed to treat some of them 100. Some of them 30. So you're telling me my best chance with this medication is a one in 30 chance or a one in 100 chance? That's not good enough for me. That's not good enough for my loved ones. I wouldn't I would say what else do you have? Okay, maybe I'll take this, but what else can I do to improve my odds? And that's marrying Eastern philosophy and Western philosophy together, maybe medication is the best choice for you. In a certain scenario, maybe it's not, maybe it's something else. And so we really have to work with the people that come to us to see where they are, what they can do realistically, and addressed everything from a holistic perspective.

Kelsey Harris:

Okay, quick recap because that was a lot of information. So first, when a doctor tells you to lose weight or exercise change diet, I don't think we need to be quite as offended as we often are. But also the doctors need to be way better at explaining the whys to us. Second, Western medicine is better at acute care, and Eastern medicine, which again does use medications as well is better at chronic care. Third, maybe taking a pill isn't always the best thing to do, especially if we aren't also looking at holistic options. Since we're already on the subject of medication, I decided to ask Dr. Harris about the study that came out of nice in the UK, the one we talked about in season two, episode nine, about the evidence based treatments for chronic pain. Here's what he had to say.

Dr. Richard Harris:

That's really interesting because this is something I tell people when they come to me with chronic pain. I've been a chronic pain sufferer since I was 12 years old. I found out when I was 34, I have a thoracic scoliosis never knew I had, I also have a L four l five that's sitting on on top of each other. I've had sciatica since I was 12. And I've had back pain since I was 12. And it got worse when I herniated a couple discs, trying to do some heavy squats when I shouldn't have. But this is something that I've been dealing with for 26 years now chronic back pain. And I learned how to really manage it most days, my pain levels of one. Some days it'll shoot up, you know if I do something I'm not supposed to. But most of the time I barely even notice there. My injury didn't change that's still there. But what did change is how I deal with it, how I manage it. And part of that is the mental aspects.

Kelsey Harris:

Hmm, we probably should have mentioned earlier that Dr. Harris is also a chronic pain warrior. So he has some unique insight and lived experience that he's also bringing to the table.

Dr. Richard Harris:

So there's a physical aspect of pain, and there's a mental aspect of pain. When you take medication for pain, you're only dealing with the physical, but you're not dealing with the mental aspect. studies on meditation for pain have seen up to a 50% reduction in pain intensity and pain, unpleasantness, which is the how bothersome is that pain to you? That's a astronomical number. And that just shows you that there is a large mental component to pain. Exercise is very important. A lot of times we are very sedentary, which is the worst thing for our muscles, the worst thing for our joints, they tighten up, they lock up, they get inflamed. And then there's a lymphatic system, there's a whole nother system in our body. Most people know about arteries, most people know about veins. Very few people know about the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is literally like the garbage disposal system in your body. It drains a lot of the toxins and cellular waste products and things like that. It only works if you move. So if you don't move, you are literally sitting in your own waist. And that may sound disgusting. But I say that like that to get people moving. And I am a big believer in all these other methods of handling chronic pain, I don't take ibuprofen, I don't take the leave, I don't take an approximate, I use CBD, I do mindfulness, I do meditation, I use tumeric. I do green tea, I eat a lot of antioxidants, I stay moving, I'm actually standing right now I got a standing desk in my office. And so there's a lot more to pain than just the anatomical issue. And if you look at the side effects of the things that I just mentioned, there aren't and all side effects are beneficial, for the most part, right. But if you look at the side effects of incense or opioids, or a lot of these other pain medications, they can often land people in worse trouble than the medication is actually helping. So I like that pain is another thing that needs a complete and total holistic plan. Because if you're just trying to numb the pain, it's not going to work you actually it goes back into mindfulness, most of us turn away from the pain, that's not what you're supposed to do, you need to turn into the pain. And that helps with the mental aspect of pain. Be aware of it, know your body and do these other things to help you with chronic pain. And I really feel for everyone who suffers from chronic pain, because I've been through it since I was a kid. Most of my life. I've had issues with pain. And then my mother was addicted to opioids addicted to benzos. And so I've seen that I've seen firsthand how hard that is and what that does to people. And now, thank god, she's off all of those medications. But she started doing a lot of these other things you know, PEMF, infrared sauna, acupuncture, dry needling, there's a plethora of things out there that can help with pain,

Kelsey Harris:

acceptance. This is something else I've talked about before. Like Richard says, turning toward the pain instead of away from it actually helps take some of its power away. I often do body scans, which are a mindfulness practice for this very reason.

Dr. Richard Harris:

And one of the things about physical pain is we often think that the body is really good at localizing pain, it's actually really not. So you might feel pain in your back and the problem is not your back. The problem might be in the shoulder area, it might be in your hips, it might be your glutes, it might be your core, it might be your hamstrings. So this is why I highly recommend seeing a chiropractor or a muscle and joint specialists because they can actually get to the root core of your problem. For the longest time I thought my problem was in my back. It wasn't the main source of my problem was that my left leg is half an inch shorter than my right. I didn't know that until my mid 30s Once we were able to adjust for that, and deal with that, my problems dramatically improved. And then now I also realize that a lot of the problems with my back are actually coming from my left glute. And so I do a lot more glute stretching, I've got the hypervolt, I do a lot more moist heat in that area, and that improve things. So my problems weren't even where I thought they were. They weren't the origin, the root of the problem. And it wasn't until I went to the right specialist, that I was able to get the answers and really started to see some dramatic improvement.

Kelsey Harris:

Now, we've talked a lot about prevention up to this point and a bit about treating chronic pain. However, what if we already have an illness with other symptoms in addition to pain? Plus, I know that some of you are probably thinking, Okay, well, I've tried some of this stuff already. And it doesn't seem to work. And Dr. Harris has an answer to that

Dr. Richard Harris:

time. We are a get it now get rich, quick, everything needs to happen. Now society and let me tell you this, your brain doesn't stop developing for 25 years, literally 25 years men can grow into their mid 20s. So do you think that your body's time horizon is the same as what your mind thinks it is? No, it is not. And I tell people, it takes at least 30 days of consistency for your body to even know what's happening. It takes 90 days for you to really see is what I'm doing having an effect. Because when you do these things, what they're doing subtly is changing gene expression. That does not happen overnight. That does not happen quickly for a lot of things. Because your body likes what we call homeostasis. It's a setpoint. It's like a thermostat, you set it to 75, it's going to do what it can to say at 75. If it gets too hot, it's going to try to lower it to 75 it gets too cold, it's gonna raise it to 75. You know, those modern thermostats do that automatically. You don't have to switch it between heat and cold. That's what your body does. So you introduce something on board, your body's saying, Is this something temporary? Or is this something permanent? Is this our new environment? Or is it just something fleeting? And then after a while, with consistency and repetition, the body says, Oh, this is my new environment. Let me adjust expression at the genetic level to more permanently deal with this new environment. So that's one thing I tell them. The other thing I tell them is, look, it depends on the degree of dysfunction. The way I use this is, Hey, is it great to make $10,000 a month? Most people are going to say, Sure. I'm gonna say, Well, what if your expenses are $20,000 a month? Is it great to make $10,000 a month? No. So it's all about position. And so if you have more dysfunction coming in, it's going to take longer for your body to get out of dysfunction. If you have less dysfunction, it's going to take less time to get out of it. And so the more dysfunction you have, the more you need to layer on these positive things, the longer it could take to see some benefit. Now, what I really love is there was a study that came out a couple months ago, that use for simple interventions, exercise, meditation, a nutrition plan, similar to the Mediterranean plan, and sleep. And what they found was in eight weeks, it reversed almost three and a quarter years off people's biological age. So we know that you can see changes in the level of the cells, our physiology a lot quicker before you can see the benefits than most people look at like, Oh, I haven't lost any weight, or I don't feel any different. Well, how you feel is largely controlled by your mind. Or you can make yourself feel different just by saying I'm going to feel different today. And that's it, that's enough. Or you can do things like the Superman pose, or you can even just rub yourself, right that'll make you feel good. Or the gratitude practice, you can change the way you feel based upon a lot of different things. So if you're just looking at that, that's the wrong measurement to look at. And so what I love about all these tests that we can do now is you can show people, objective proof that things are working

Kelsey Harris:

90 days aligns really well with what one of my Counseling Psychology professors said in my last lecture of my degree, he said 10 weeks is what it takes for change in regards to psychotherapy. And that's 10 weeks of the client. Are you consistently practicing these changes? As I always say to my clients, change is slow. I wanted one more tip from Richard before we wrapped up,

Dr. Richard Harris:

there are three things about trying to get people to buy into well That's because once people start feeling better, they're like, What else you got doc? What more can I do? I'm feeling good. I want to keep going on this journey. Gratitude is one of them, because it's very simple, and it's very powerful. Another one is mindfulness. And that could be yoga, that could be meditation, that could be Tai Chi can be prayer, it could be breathing exercises, I'm a huge fan of breathing exercises. Because breathing exercises can change the structure and function of our brain, they can also change the balance of the nervous system, we have way too many people were mouth breathers, and that actually activates your sympathetic your fight or flight nervous system, breathing through your nose actually helps activate your parasympathetic, your rest, everything is okay, nervous system. And these are some simple things that you can do that actually have a profound effect on the function of our body. So that's the second thing meditation, mindfulness breathing exercises, and kind of mix it up, you know, I do some typical meditation, I'll do a walk, where I just can present in the moment, I'll also do gratitude, I'll do body scanning. And then I will also do breathing exercises, especially if I start to feel a little stressed. Or sometimes I'll just do it for a couple minutes, just because I feel it in my body, right? The third thing that I can do, to get people to buy in, that doesn't cost them anything that's very simple, is fasting. And if you look at gratitude, if you look at fasting, if you look at mindfulness, every society throughout history did these practices. It's in every religion, it's in every single society until modern time. So we got rid of these things. Now there's tons of data showing the benefit of all these things. They did it before they even knew it was beneficial. It's what my favorite author to lead calls grandma knowledge. It was passed on from Grandma, grandmother, grandmother, grandmother, Grandma, that type of knowledge is fractal. It's very robust type of knowledge, because it stands the test of time. So let's get back to some of these ancient practices. These are things that don't cost you anything. In fact, if you fast, it's gonna save you some money. Not that hard to incorporate in your routine, the gratitude and the mindfulness takes a few minutes a day, and have very high benefit with zero side effects.

Kelsey Harris:

Tell us a bit about your health coaching and your podcasts and all of that.

Dr. Richard Harris:

Yeah, absolutely. So if you like what you heard here, this is what my podcast is all about. It's all about health, wellness mindset. And I really started it because I wanted to give people the things that they need to be successful outside of a physician's office. I still work in conventional medicine, holistic when I'm there, but I'm there because that's where most people go. If I want to reach the most people, I got to go to where two people are, and they're still in conventional medicine. And I give them lots of resources when I'm there so they can succeed at home. And that is why I started the podcast so people can learn about these things in alternative medicine that aren't really alternative. They're things that people have done until recently called therapy, saunas. No, sauna therapy is probably one of the safest, most effective therapies on the planet that humans have been doing for hundreds of years. Right. And so that's what I talk about on the podcast is to get people to unlock and think about health a little differently, and really focus on prevention. Or if I have a disease, how do I attack this in every single way possible, to be normal to get back to a balanced body. And then I put a lot of the lifestyle medicine things into an online course. Because I found that it was more efficient to do it that way. Everything I go over the course if someone's working with me one on one that's like seven or eight visits. And that's a lot and people are just listening to me talk and then that's not very effective. So this way, it's a five week course you take it, you can take notes, you can do it at your own pace, there's four days in between new content coming out. And it's everything that I've learned about lifestyle medicine over the last several years. And that is a really great way for people to consume information at home and begin to implement it in a manner that works for them. And then I do one on one services. It's more of a functional medicine approach, where I do metabolism testing, nutrient testing, and I'll do some gut testing. So looking at the gut function and looking at a food allergy test to see if we have any food allergies.

Kelsey Harris:

Are you ready for our lightning round questions? Yep, bring it All right, so what are the top five songs that describe your life?

Dr. Richard Harris:

I would say, Tupac Dear Mama, because I love my mom. But we had a very tumultuous road growing up. Journey. Don't Stop Believing, because I always felt like an outsider. Like, I didn't belong anywhere. But I always believed in myself. Eye of the Tiger, just because you always keep fighting. And that was my superpower. I'm not the most talented person. I'm not the smartest person. I'm not the most gifted person, I just never quit. I've never quit anything in my life. And that really allowed me to be successful. I would say Remember the Name? Because I always tell people that what if I died tomorrow, God forbid, I want people to say I made a difference. And so I'm always out there trying to make a difference. And then I'm fighting the system. So I got to give a shout out to Rage Against the Machine. One of my favorite bands when I was a kid Killing in the Name Of because I'm fighting against big food, big AG, Big Pharma, and the sick care system that doesn't care about prevention.

Kelsey Harris:

Those are all great songs, by the way.

Dr. Richard Harris:

Oh, thank you.

Kelsey Harris:

What's one thing you can't go a day without doing?

Dr. Richard Harris:

Eating peanut butter. That's my favorite thing. And it started back when I was I was a skinny kid in high school. I was like 160 pounds at 6'1 when I graduated high school. And one of the things I did to put on weight was I would spend four hours a day in the gym and I'd be sitting in the gym, just eating peanut butter in between sets just trying to gain weight.

Kelsey Harris:

That is amazing. What's one thing you plan on doing in your life that you haven't yet?

Dr. Richard Harris:

Go cage diving with great white sharks.

Kelsey Harris:

Okay, you are a risk taker.

Dr. Richard Harris:

I am I just want to see one of those big beautiful creatures up close and in person. That would be a such amazing experience.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, that does some really cool, but also sounds very terrifying. Describe your perfect day.

Dr. Richard Harris:

The perfect day for me is a day that I get to help somebody. So every morning I wake up and think how can I help someone today, I pray that God just puts the one in my path that I can help. I have tools reaching for the many, but I'm always just reaching for the one if I can just help one person, be better to see things differently, improve their health, reconnect with family, whatever it may be, it may be in this professional sphere, it may be in a personal sphere. But that's really my ideal day is knowing that somehow, someway, something I did made the world a little bit better.

Kelsey Harris:

And how do you inspire your patients to make the most of their lives.

Dr. Richard Harris:

I get them crystal clear on their values. Again, one of the things that I'll do when they come in my office, no matter what little time I have with them, I ask them what's important to you. And I try to get them to see how they can craft a life around their values. And once that happens, people will be very successful with whatever type of wellness plan they're on. And I like to say life is a wellness journey. That's what I call it. Because there's going to be ups and downs, you have to be prepared for that. But as long as you have a plan that's reasonable that you've thought about, you've unlocked your identity, you've unlocked your values, you can and will be successful.

Kelsey Harris:

That's awesome. Where can we find you and follow you?

Dr. Richard Harris:

Yeah, I'm on social media. You can find me @drharrismd. You can also check out the podcast Strive For Great Health podcasts. I release now every other week. I'm at 82 episodes, though, I'm slowing down on the releases every week. But that's mostly where you can find me.

Kelsey Harris:

Awesome. And the podcast is awesome. So everybody should definitely check it out. Thank you so much, Richard, for coming on and sharing all this great knowledge with us.

Dr. Richard Harris:

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for having me. It's been a pleasure.

Kelsey Harris:

I think that Dr. Harris gave us a lot of great tips this week. Based on the last three he mentioned. Are you going to start a gratitude practice this week? If you haven't already? I started one back in March and I have been pretty consistent with it. I definitely noticed a boost in my happiness as well. Are you going to try some kind of mindfulness exercises on a regular basis, actually 107 day streak until recently when I missed a day. And again, I find this beneficial for my well being. Third, you can try fasting if you're up for it, though, I'm going to admit that I might not be ready for that one yet. Let's take our reflection moment. What did you notice about your thoughts, feelings and sensations as you listen to what Richard had to say? What are you noticing now as you reflect on your noticing next week, we're going to be talking about what is known as creative hopelessness. So stay tuned for that and keep making the most of it. Special thanks to Nicole Skura for the original music nd to Charity Williams for riginal artwork