The following is a transcript from the NaturoDetox Podcast #4.
Meghan: In today's episode, we sit down with Dr. Matt Phinney, a functional chiropractor who runs an incredibly busy and successful practice in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dr. Phinney plays an active role in the functional and integrative health fields, and is always evolving as a practitioner to provide the best information to his patients and listeners on his own podcast, The Chiropractic Doctors. Having trained and competed as a professional rugby player at a national and international level, Dr. Phinney is very familiar with what is required in terms of eating better, moving better and thinking better. Join us today to hear Dr. Phinney's explanation of how structural and neurological toxicities play a vital role on our health and wellbeing.
Hi guys. It's your host Meghan, and welcome to the fourth episode of the NaturoDetox Show. It is my pleasure today to introduce to you Dr. Matt Phinney all the way from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thank you, Dr. Phinney for being here.
Matt: Thanks for having me on.
Meghan:Yeah, we're excited. I've known Matt. I'm going to call him Matt, we discussed this before the recording, because I've known him for a really long time and it feels strange to call him Dr. Phinney. I've known Matt for quite a long time. He's good friends with my husband. And it's really been Matt's really played a key role in directing me to this fascinating world of functional and integrative medicine. And it's really cool to have you on today, because beyond my naturopathic medical training, there was this whole world that I had yet to sort of unfold, and now it plays such a key role in my practice. So I'm really excited to have you here today and to share sort of what you do day-to-day in the chiropractic world. So first thing just to get going is I sort of want to ask you, because I feel like you directed me to this pathway.
What was it that really directed you to this world of functional medicine beyond your chiropractic education? What is it that really captured you in terms of what you can do and applying it to your patients day-to-day?
Matt: Yeah, really, I guess, it started with just maybe people not getting as well or doing as well as they say could've or should've. And so, really tried the most that I possibly could. I think it's just one of those areas that oftentimes is overlooked is how can I necessarily, or yeah, very necessarily improve the way that the body works so that I can handle and adapt to all of the stress and toxicity that we're encountering in today's modern world? And I mean, most practitioners, I mean, they're typically interested in the environment and how do I minimize toxic exposure and how do I get rid of this? Whereas really my practice focus is how do I maximize organism functions so that I can handle and adapt to the stresses that it's going to encounter on a day-to-day basis. And I really think where the magic happens is when you put and do both of those together. So maximizing performance and function, but minimizing environmental exposure toxicity. I think that's really where you can make a big difference.
And really I was doing one side of that, but not both. And then putting them together, it was like, "Boom, awesome."
Meghan: Right. In terms of patients improvements, do you mean, or in terms of just your application?
Meghan: Yeah, yeah.
Matt: In terms of patient, yeah. In terms of patient outcomes. And that's why I really, I mean, we do have a big focus on lifestyle outside of the corrective work we do in practice on a day-to-day.
Meghan: Yeah, absolutely. So what does practice look like then for you in your chiropractic office in terms of integrating that functional piece as well? You were saying before the recording as well, that you're doing a lot more of the manual component, but how do you find that what you do day-to-day in practice might differ a little bit from other chiros that aren't involved in functional medicine as much?
Matt: Yeah. So big focus is structure and how that dictates function, good structure, good function, bad structure, bad function. And then really, I mean, figuring out exactly what is going on, because everyone's at a different spot, figuring out where that person is. And then, really putting together a game plan, that's going to get them back to, optimal performance leading to optimal health. And then the big, big thing is giving them tools, things that people can do on their own in order to maintain that level of performance, because the world we live in today is a hell of a lot different than the where we live, can I say that?
Meghan: Yes you can.
Matt: That is a heck of a lot different than the world even say 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 50 years ago, 100 years ago. I mean, we are drastically different and living in a drastically different environment. And so, performance, body performance just becomes super-important to maintain a level of health now.
Meghan: Yeah. I love that they adaptation piece, because I think as we evolve, medicine has to evolve. And a lot of times too, I say to people I'm literally learning every single day and they think I'm crazy, because I've been in school forever, but that's the way the world works. That's called adaptation, that's evolvement. So I love that you're incorporating that into your practice.
Matt:Yeah. I mean, you could have been the leading doctor 1985 smartest mind in the world, but if you didn't adapt, you didn't evolve, you didn't update your skills. And now it's 2020, by modern day standards, I mean, you be a complete moron.
Meghan: Right. Yeah. And actually-
Matt: You know what I'm saying?
Meghan: Oh, totally. And they say to that, the second that a book is published, it's outdated.
Matt: For sure.
Meghan: It's likely the only way to continue to evolve at the same speed as the world is social media. And thankfully, we have it. But that's cool, that's a cool perspective. And I think that's really important. I actually do see the conventional streams of every facet of health, whether it's naturopathic, chiro, osteo, dentistry. I do see them coming this way in terms of this functional piece where we see a holistic approach to healing, but I think it takes time. But I feel like we're coming, I feel like we're coming slowly. Naturopaths even probably 15 years ago, were kind of looked at it as this weird profession. And now, naturopaths are just like they're flourishing, because people are understanding that this is health, this is medicine. So I love that every piece of the wheel of medicine is catching on, that chiro, like you're doing some incredible stuff.
So as you know, my work in clinic is with a lot of chronic illness and I collaborate a lot with other practitioners as we were just chatting about to really expand that holistic approach to healing. And that can include osteo and chiro, massage therapist, physio. So can you really explain to listeners what chiropractors do and how that plays a role in overall health, but also to differentiate what you do versus say an osteopathic professional? Because I'm asked that a lot and I do my best to try to describe the difference, but I think it's helpful for listeners to really understand what is your goal when you have a patient on the table? What are you doing?
Matt: Yeah, great question. And sort of a, I guess, a loaded question just to go back. I mean, from chiropractic there's, I mean, you could look at 100 different practices and you could go in and they may be doing 100 different things. I mean, even with osteopaths, there's osteopaths that actually practice. You know, manual sort of adjusting or manipulations. And then, there's one's that have never performed an adjustment their entire career, working in a hospital setting, prescribing medication. So I think there's a very wide range of sort of daily practice lives within those professions. So what I'll do is I'll just kind of comment really on maybe what we do and where we see results, if that's cool with you?
Matt: So really one of the things that we look at it is there's a normative structure and then a normative level of say function within the human body. And so, from a starting point. I mean, we have to start somewhere. We want to figure out, hey, well, first of all, what's going on with that specific person? Most people come in for a reason. They have some type of symptoms. So figure out what their top priority is. Make that our top priority. And then, we would go through a detailed exam. More so, neuro, sensory, motor. Key thing we do in our office, is we actually take a digital motion film so we can see how things line up structurally.
Meghan: Oh, that's cool.
Matt: We can then also see how things are performing functionally, like movement-wise. And then, it also let us know if there's anything going on from a state level of breakdown, if there's say arthritis or degeneration, like certain areas in the body that are compensating. And then, if someone's like, "Hey, I'm interested in getting this stuff fixed," and we kind of put it all together and come up with a game plan and show them how to do it. So on a day-to-day basis, yeah. A lot of times it's working towards the normative structure, normative function, getting everything working properly. And really when that happens is their body just starts to work better and things improve, their body's able to effectively handle and adapt to stress better.
Meghan: Wow. Okay. So it is when someone comes in to see you, is it generally, I think there's kind of like this belief that people go to chiro, and once you start, you have to continue to go for the rest of your life. What's your take on that?
Matt: So in our office, there's always a start date and end date. So definitive beginning and ending point to care. But really, again, our goal is to produce a result. So in order to produce result, you need to have objective findings. So we do that through the [DMS 00:10:30], digital motion films. And then really from a maintenance standpoint, our goal is to really give people tools so they can maintain stuff on their own, depending on their lifestyle. A lot of people now sit at a desk eight hours a day, five days a week, 40 hours a week, or they're doing some type of bending, twisting journey, just putting a lot of structural stress on the body. And so, really giving tools to people can use to sort of adapt to the stress sores that they're dealing with is key.
Meghan: Absolutely. I think too, that the fact that you talked about the objective measure is key for success, because people want data. I think even with me, when we do blood work or we do testing through Great Plains laboratory, which is one of my favorite labs from the States, I mean, people want to see numbers, they want to see objective data, because symptom relief is certainly I think number one, but I love that you guys are incorporating that component of data that people can say, "Wow, look at the change." And so, from that point, is it more of once they've reached that end date then is it suggested when you do chiro to kind of keep a maintenance appointment? I know with anything in health, really, whether it's especially with detoxification, I say to people like it needs to be an annual thing for people, if not more, because of the world we live in. So is that something that you recommend for people even when they've reached that end state to still continue to use that therapy for maintenance of overall health?
Matt: For sure. And that's what we call yeah, like a wellness recommendation. So maintenance care, just like dentist. I mean, you wouldn't go to a dentist and have them fill a cavity and then him not tell you about brushing, flossing and then coming back for another checkup. I mean, it would just be crazy to think, I'm going to have healthy teeth nowadays with modern standard American diet or standard Canadian diet and not brush, floss and see a dentist. I mean, you wouldn't think it was possible. And same thing's true to think that you're going to have a healthy spine and properly functioning nervous system without doing some type of maintenance is just insane. And that's why you see. I mean, people are sick. I mean, people are in pain, opioid prescription, medication is painkillers. I mean, these are things that are very real problems in North America and we really haven't been given a generally accepted solution for yet.
Meghan: That's fascinating though. So when we were chatting a couple of weeks ago, we spoke about different forms of toxicity, because I think in general, we, as a society, think of toxicity as sort of inside the body, our detoxification organs. And we don't really expand it to any other areas of mind. For example, we don't think of detoxing the mind as much as we, I think we're more aware of it now. But in terms of social media and the books you read in the relationships you have and so on. But you talked about your own categories of toxicity in terms of where they can come from. And we talked about the structural and the postural component, the neurological component. So can you expand on sort of the categories that you see detoxification pathways through I guess, the lens of a chiropractor?
Matt: Sure. Yeah. One of the big things, I mean is I would call it structural toxicity. I mean, so body should have a front and back spine should be fairly straight. From the side, you should actually have, there's three curves in the spine. So there's curve in the lower back, middle back, and then obviously curving the neck at the top. And so, the curves are there in order to absorb shock, but also support. So if you look at say the roof of a house or a bridge, even say the structure of an egg, the side of it is curved. I don't know if you've ever seen those demonstrations where you can stand, people can stand on a carton of eggs and they don't break, if you're standing on them the right way. And really the reason why that nature builds those structures into things is in order to support, support structure. And so, what happens when we look at that body structure, what happens now is you have people sit in a certain position all day long and every day. People sleep in the same position every night.
If you've ever known anyone or maybe even yourself, you have to be in this specific position, on your side with your leg, kind of twisted over this and a pillow in this spot in order for your body to actually fall asleep. Known anyone who's experienced that? And that's just an indication that, hey, your body's stuck in this structural pattern, this structural position, it's not able to adapt. And then, what happens is it can put things in a position where they start to breakdown. So we talked about performance. Yes, that can be affected. It's kind of like a car out of alignment. I mean, if you keep driving around on it, not only are you going to chew up the tires, but your miles per gallon, your energy performance that you get out of the car is going to be terrible. Same thing is true with the human body.
And so, we look at that from a structural standpoint, I mean, really structural toxicity causes degeneration, arthritis, and that's your body's best asset to handle and adapt to stress. It ages inappropriately in some areas and that causes people are getting hip replacements, knee replacements, back surgeries. Why would one hip wear out faster than the other? And the answer is the structural toxicity that's been just left sort of untreated or undiagnosed for decades. So these are things that we can correct before they get to that point. Like hip replacement is a big deal.
Meghan: Oh, it's a huge deal, especially for people that you see the elderly population and their health always declines after any hip fracture, any hip surgery. As soon as you hear that, it's a huge alarm bell. And so, knowing that there's ways we can prevent that is obviously we'll chat a bit later in this episode too, about ways that people at home can start to incorporate healthy ways to support posture and so on. But it's interesting to think of that. I talk a lot about neuroplasticity as well and how the brain develops habits. And it's very difficult to switch the gears from what the brain is associated as normal, end quote, and to start to begin a new pathway down, I guess, a healing pathway with the reduction of inflammation and so on. We talk a lot about that in my clinic, because people who are chronically ill and who have had symptoms for months, years, decades, it's very difficult to basically, I explained to them that the pathways of the brain they've been going on are essentially like a paved highway.
And it's very easy to travel. It's very efficient for the brain it's well-known. And when we begin to be aware of that, and we start to shut down those pathways to create new pathways for healing and growth and change, it's very difficult. They say, I guess it's 11 days for a habit to form. I like to think it's a little bit more, but the analogy that you mentioned with sleep is fascinating, because I always say this is that I'm aware of it, but I'm always going into the same position in the middle of the night when I wake up. So I'm not doing it when I'm alert and aware. But when I wake up in the middle of the night, I'm back in that same position that I know is not good for my neck. So that's interesting how that plays a role with the habitual patterns.
Matt: We were talking too before structure. I mean, looking at, and you're talking about nervous system and brain body, I mean, that's really, that's what we're dealing with on a daily basis. Just that's really the key to your body functioning properly. Brain talks to body, body sent the message back to the brain. It's either going to say, "Hey, everything's cool down here," or, "Hey, I need some help." And so, anything that's interfering with that connection is interfering with or limiting function. And so, if it's over-functioning or under-functioning your body's out of balance, and that's when over time you're in a state of what we call [inaudible 00:18:14], meaning lacking ease, lacking function. And eventually what happens. It goes from subclinical to clinical to full-on. Like now, I've got a disease, which is your area of specialty. And so, that's why I love people... I love people coming in, "Hey, I just want to get checked. I want to see how my body's working, before the symptom is there." I mean, that's ideal.
Meghan: And very few people do that.
Matt: Very few.
Meghan: Very few. I mean, I just see, I see sick people. I don't really see anyone coming in saying that what exactly you just said. I just want to just check in and do the best for my body. It's very rare for me to see that. And I think as a society, we need to become aware of that. And I think the dental analogy is really good for that, because that's something every single day we brush our teeth, we hopefully floss our teeth, we do all these things. It's the same thing with every degree of health, whether it is posture and structural components or whether it is gut health or brain health. It has to be from a preventative perspective. So it makes our job a lot easier too.
Matt: Yeah. Yeah. Dental industry has done a fantastic job of really educating people about how to properly maintain and take care of their teeth. I mean, better than I would say any other industry in the world from a health standpoint. I would agree, absolutely. But we've all been taught, "Hey, wait, until you have a pain or wait until you have a problem or wait until you have a symptom." I mean, if you hit your hand with a hammer, a key concept, it's not a trick question, but pain is always going to come before the hammer hits or after. Always after, because pain always comes after the damage has occurred, right? Symptoms are always going to show up after the problem has been there for an extended period of time and caused the damage.
Meghan: You're like the master of analogies. I'm loving it. I'm going to remember every single one of these. And next week, my patients are all going to be like, "Oh, I love that. I'm going to have to credit you every single time." That's awesome. So that's sort of the structural, postural component. Can you talk a little bit about the neurological toxicity?
Matt: Sure. One point I was just getting to was, and we were talking about this before was. So with brain and nervous system, it's not just floating in space, actually, it's surrounded by a fluid, it's called CSF or cerebral spinal fluid. And so, that's a key component in bringing, say, waste products to, or away from the brain, and then healthy products, nutrients to. And so, what happens when say your spine is twisted or your hips are out of position, or you lose the curve and say your upper back or neck. And we see this. I mean, I see kids coming in with this nowadays, just because they're looking down at cellphones all day long.
Meghan: Oh, gosh.
Matt: I mean, text neck, tech neck. And so what happens that fluid exchange that flow, doesn't work properly. So bad stuff can't get out, good stuff can't get in. And what it does then, is over a period of again, years, you'll see hallmarks of say tau proteins, amyloid plaques, it's like a river. I mean, it's designed to cleanse and clean itself. Body's designed to be highly self-healing, self-regulating. And so, what happens when that curve is lost, that fluid exchange doesn't flow properly. And it's almost like putting a dam in a river. So what happens is then it starts to pool, that's when you'll start to see the algae form, that's when you start to see the mosquitoes and all the germs and viruses and everything show up. And so, by showing people how to bring back proper structure within the body, it's almost like pulling out that sort of dam or clog and just letting everything work and cleanse and detox the way that it was designed to. The way that mother nature intended it to.
Meghan: Yeah. So does that play a role obviously in the lymphatic drainage as well, I'm assuming. That would be pretty key in that whole component of cerebral spinal fluid and so on, because we do a lot of lymphatic drainage in the clinic as well. And we always hear when there's cancer and it's gone to the lymphatics, I mean, it's a serious thing. And I think we need to really promote that entire process, that I think it's neglected. People rarely talk about lymphatics and it blows my mind. So to me, I would think that that would be very similar to the process you were just talking about.
Matt: Yeah. Lymphatics is mainly muscle contraction and relaxation. So, and they will say the lymphatic system is the body's extra cellular waste management system. Picture the garbage trucks going around your neighborhood every week. I mean, that is essentially your lymphatic system. And so, if there's a blockage, if they don't show up for three months, a month, stuff is going to start to pile up out in front of your house. Same thing is true from a body standpoint. But a lot of times we can't feel it right away. And that's what's so dangerous. You look at heart disease and cancer, these are the things you can't feel when you first start to get them.
Meghan: And I think that's why that preventative piece is so essential, right? Because it's exactly that. We don't feel it until it's often too late. So, do you do-
Matt: Do you ever do rebounding? Do you guys ever have anyone talk about that? That's what they call lymphocytes. I mean, just getting on that re-bounder in the morning, I mean, it's huge.
Meghan: I bought a trampoline last year for rebounding. Do you know a little bit about that? Can you talk about how the rebounding plays an effect on the body?
Matt: Yeah. I mean, just sort of what we were saying there before is lymphatic flow, lymphatic circulation getting on that re-bounder? I mean, first thing in the morning is just really going to kickstart the lymphatics you're causing muscles to relax. Muscles are contracting and then, and you're going up and down. So that oscillation is just going to really kickstart to get everything moving. You want everything to be flowing freely and moving and adapting and responding the way that it was designed to? And so, I mean, you look at even early humans, right? Early humans used to walk average, 20 miles a day. We have Fitbits now, right? We track our mileage, everyone's shooting for 10,000 steps. So again, I don't know what the kilometer conversion is, but 10,000 steps, five miles. So we're on the high end. We're lucky if we get 10,000 steps, five miles, it's a fraction of what hunter-gatherer societies were getting on a daily basis. We're lucky if we hit 10,000 once in a week or month.
Meghan: So what do you suggest for people as a take-home message in terms of movement? Is stretching something that people can do just at home on a daily basis? Is walking that critical? It sounds like it is. What is it that people can do to really begin this movement motion that I think we're all capable of falling in trap of? What can we do?
Matt: Well, just get out and move. Yeah. Get up. I like a standup desk at work. I think that's a great option for people that are stuck sitting, because that's one way to surefire, screw up your body structure, sit at a desk for eight hours a day, 40 hours a week for 30 years. So I think a standup desk is a great option. Obviously, five to eight-minute walks every day. That's a great sort of movement. Just get up and walk, get out in the sun. The rules of the walk, no hands in pockets. So you want to get that cross-crawl sort of primitive movement pattern, which is going to stimulate the parasympathetic. That's the component of the nervous system responsible for healing. So no hands in pockets, cross-crawl pattern, no sunglasses, just getting out in the sun. I mean, you've got photon-receptors in the eyes, two, that have trouble with sleep. So the UVA, UVB light, just getting into the eyes and stimulating that, letting your body know that it's daytime.You look at mortality rates for people that are third shift that never see sunlight. I mean, they die 15 years earlier. It's crazy.
Matt: And then, the other thing would be like, no headphones, no headphones, no cellphones. So you want to hear ideally you're out in some type of nature, a nature bath. You want to hear sounds of nature, birds chirping, wind rustling in the trees. These are all things that have a calming effect on the body. And when the body's calm, the body can heal. You can't be in fight, flight or healing, growth and repair at the same time. It's either one or the other. You have a choice.
Meghan: Absolutely. Yeah. I always say to people, we can do a lot in terms of supplements and protocols and herbal tinctures and so on. But if you're not in that, I always explain it as that moment where you go, "Ah," you can actually just feel everything lift. And people, that's where healing happens. I can do a lot from my end, but it's going to be a heck of a lot slower if they're in a state of stress, panic and busy-ness. And I think we are a society that is becoming more aware of presence. I think it's still something we're battling with, because we are in an overstimulated, extremely accessible world through the internet. And I would have to say for people even to just get out and do a 10 to 15-minute walk, seems like a chore for over half of the people that I'm working with, which blows me away. So I like that you're including that. And you must basically create, do you create a program for people once they've left your office?
Matt: Because different things are going to work better for different people. And that's really one of the, I think one of the big, big keys, and I think one of the big things that our current sort of medical system has missed is we're given these sort of broad stroke, one-size-fits-all solutions for everybody. And when you look at it from a health standpoint, every single person is individual. No two people have the same social history, family history, gene... Everyone is different. And really to come up with a specific game plan for them, it requires kind of getting to know them a little bit and then giving them things that they can actually do, things that aren't going to overwhelm. I mean, you can't give someone, you mentioned before stretching. You can't give someone an hour's worth of stretches every day. It's not going to happen. Even in my office. I mean, average visit length, we're looking at 15 minutes. Somebody can't come and see you once or twice a week for the first month or two for an hour, every single week, most people now are just way too busy.
And that's what you were saying before is yeah, we're always plugged in, we're always on the go, and this is a crazy stat I read the other day, is more people will actually, and this is in the U.S., I'm in the U.S., but more people actually die now from suicide, 44,000 people per year than they do from car accident fatalities, 38,000 people per year. And that's a scary stat. I mean, you look at all the people on the road every single day. And that's an indication that man, people are stressed out. And so, if you're going, going, going. So nervous system, when we talked to people about nervous system function, two components, you've got the sympathetic, that's the fight, flight, and then you've got the parasympathetic, that's the rest, digest, repair. And a lot of people are going, going, going. They're in sympathetic dominance. So that's the gas pedal. And then the braking system is the parasympathetics.
If you've got your foot on the gas, you can drive 90 miles an hour all day long every day, but you better have a pretty good set of brakes. You know what I'm saying? What happens to people is we've done this for so long is our braking system. The body's braking system becomes so on train that we end up crashing. And when we crash, we say, "Okay, I got to slow down." So we slow down to 60. The brakes still don't work, because we haven't stimulated them or learned how to stimulate them. And so, we still crash at 60. We still slow down to 40 and we're still crashing into things, because we were like, "I'm doing less. I'm not doing any of this stuff anymore," but yeah, you haven't been really trained the body's braking system. You haven't trained the healing system. Does that make sense?
Meghan:It makes total sense. But how do we actually access and train that parasympathetic component of the nervous system? How do we do that day-to-day?
Matt:Great. Great question. I mean, how long do we have?
Meghan: You've got about three minutes left? In fact, wrap it up.
Matt: And that's so there's a lot of different things, but really everything we teach, everything we talk about, whether it's sleep, whether it's nutrition and whether it's movement patterns, it's all about stimulating that braking system so that the body's in a position where it can actually detox effectively or can actually heal effectively. Otherwise, if you don't have that, I mean, you could do all of the other, you could put the best fuel in your car, but if the cylinders aren't firing and the wheels are ready to fall off, it's not really going to make a big difference when it comes to performance. You know what I'm saying?
Meghan:You're basically suggesting that we could put all the right foods in our body. We could put all the right supplement components, but if there's not that structural neurological component that we're practicing on a day-to-day basis to support the proper, I think the proper balance of sympathetic and parasympathetic, because it's not that we don't want sympathetic ever, sympathetic serves its purpose. But I think, yeah, looking at it from that whole holistic perspective and again, another great analogy for me to write down.
Matt: And you can look at that. I mean, they'll actually track that, you can track. And I don't know if you do this in your practice, but you can actually wake up and you can track throughout a day. They usually take, I think four points. Morning, they'll do a serum cortisol saliva test. So your cortisol should spike in the morning and then it should come down, almost like a hockey stick should come down throughout the day. So at night time cortisol is down, melatonin's up, you're ready to sleep.
Meghan: And what's the biggest component to lacking that is these screens. And we've been using blue light protector glasses in our house for a while. But I would have to say honestly, more than half of the people that I see have terrible sleeping patterns and sleep, and you would know this more than anyone, plays such a huge, critical role in mental and physical health. You must have to deal with that a lot.
Matt: Yeah. I mean, this is the detoxification show at night. So when you get into those dark deeper stages of sleep, three, four and five sleep, so that the little cracks and crevices in your brain they call them sulcus, they actually shrink. They shrink by about 20%. And so, then what happens is that fluid, that CSF fluid can actually get in there and remove metabolites and waste products. And that happens, that detoxification process happens at night, but it happens during those deeper stages of sleep. And then, the only way you can get into those deeper stages of sleep is going through those cycles of sleep uninterrupted. So some people are like, "Yeah, I laid in bed for eight hours, but I was up every hour." They're in that light, stage one, two sleep all night and they never, their body never gets into that healing stage of sleep three, four, and five. And so, I'll have people come into practice like, "I'm actually sleeping better and I'm starting to have dreams again." People weren't having dreams for like 10 years. Dreams are an indication that you're getting into those deeper stages of sleep.
Meghan: Oh, that's fascinating. I like that.
Matt: People will, when you have a dream, you always remember the dream right before you woke up in the morning, right?
Matt: And one of the big reasons why, is so as the night goes on and you go through those uninterrupted stages, the short, like the one, two stages of sleep, they become really, really short and the healing stages of sleep, they lengthen. So between 90 to 120 minutes, every cycle, going through stages one through five. And so, that's why the dreams that you're having at the end of a night of uninterrupted sleep, they're actually the longest. They're longer, more memorable, they are, the more stuff happens. And you're like, "Holy jumping," you wake up and you remember that. So sleep's just, I mean, that's one of the foundations to have, yeah.
Meghan: Yeah. They actually say sleep is probably the pinnacle of health or ill health at this time. That's number one. And coming from, I mean, for myself, I've been a nighthawk my whole life. And that's another piece of that habitual patterning. It's very difficult to begin to train your body, to go to sleep at an earlier time. And in fact, I suggest, and it's kind of worked for me is just taking 15 minute chunks and doing that over a period of time, rather than going from 11 o'clock until 9:30 or whatever you choose to do. So if you're regularly going to bed at 11:00, you go to 10:45 and do that for two or three days. And then you continue on down, because sleep is truly the pinnacle. That's the only way we have to a, allow our bodies to be in that state of parasympathetic to rest, digest and recover. Also, detoxification pathways are at their peak during sleep as well. So the liver functions most efficiently between 3:00 and 5:00 AM. And I think as a society, "Let's go, go, go, go, go," it's very difficult to get there.
So I think for me, and for someone like you, who's in this position where we can offer support for people, it's about creating these habits, and habits are where success is. It's the little things that you do every single day that create life. So it sounds like you are right on par with that Matt.
Matt: We're on the same page.
Meghan: And we've always been on the same page Matt. So before we wrap up, I'm going to ask you one more question. And that is, who has been one of there's probably many, but a big influence in your world in terms of progressing professionally in the world of functional medicine? Is there someone that kind of jumped out to you or is it more of a collaboration of things that you use on a day-to-day basis? And is there anywhere you could direct our listeners?
Matt: Yeah. Well, one of the big ones that really sort of got me started down that road, was a guy by the name of Dr. Dan Pompa. He's got a website, I think it's Revelation Health. And he had actually put together this sort of true cellular detox protocol. His stuff is pretty cool. That's really how I got started. I don't do a ton of that. On a sort of day-to-day, I would refer them to a professional like you. I just, from a, from a clinical practice standpoint, I just don't have the time that it takes to dedicate to really digging into those things. And I think people would just be better servicing someone that's their thing, that's their focus, so professional like yourself, but he was one of the big influences on me initially.
Meghan: And I know like for my husband, Adam and I, we definitely, that was sort of Pompa was kind of our main guy as well, because you had directed us to him. So super-grateful for that, because it's really been life changing, not just for me personally, but professionally. So thank you so much, Matt, for coming on. And I will post Matt's professional and personal information on the bottom of the episode podcast piece when it's released this coming Friday. So it's been awesome, it's been informative, it's been inspirational, Matt. I think it's really important that we remember this postural component to overall health in terms of detoxification. So thank you again for being on today.
Matt: Thanks for having me. I had a fun time.
Meghan: Me too. So if you enjoy today's show, please share, please review. We can be found on Apple podcasts on Spotify and YouTube under the NaturoDetox Show. Thank you again for listening.