Episode 30 of Booms Day Prepping is all about health and naturopathy. We are joined by two special guests: Pam Stone, Director of Education Partnerships at the Blackmores Institute and American musical artist Michael Popienko.
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to the Baby Boomer podcast, Booms Day Prepping, the podcast about getting ready for that next stage in your life if you’re a Baby Boomer or maybe just being grumpy about the last stage of your life and how much you hate it now that’s retirement is looming. We talk about all those things that no one else talks about and today, I’m joined by our regular panel – we have Glenn Capelli (international speaker, author and recontour), we have Bron Williams (consultant and counselor from backstory.com), we have Brian Hinselwood (who is an actor of renowned and a radio personality these days and is happily ensconced in Brisbane), my co-host Drew Dwyer who’s joining us is in Thailand. So if the gods of internet connect to being nice to us, Drew will join us shortly. We also have today a special guest, we’re joined today by Pam Stone. Now Pam is from Blackmores, she’s the Director of Education Partnerships at the Blackmores Institute, she’s been a naturopath since before naturopaths even existed I think. Pam, welcome to the show.
Pam Stone: Thank you very much Wayne, lovely to be here.
Wayne: Now Pam, let me lead off in Drew’s absence. Tell us the things that you’re passionate about that relate to the Blackmores Institute and range of research and products and ageing.
Pam: Yes, thank you. Well I as you said correctly I have been a naturopath for 35 years or so and even before that, my philosophy was very much embedded in natural health and the role that natural approach can have in both preventing illness and treating symptoms and the role that it plays in treating a range of illnesses alongside conventional medicine. We often talk about integrative medicine so I’m quite passionate about a natural approach sitting there alongside whatever best other medicine is called for but also people taking responsibility if you like or recognizing that we can take control of our health too at such a large extent through dietary, exercise, lifestyle measures. So I’m very compassionate about something in a nutshell, it’s a holistic approach to health and that it actually empowers genuinely to make a difference to our health and wellbeing.
Wayne: And Dr. Drew Dwyer, resident gerontologist and co-host has joined us from Thailand. Good morning to you Drew.
Dr. Drew: Good morning everybody, I’m sorry for my delay.
Wayne: That’s all right. We thought Thailand might have swept you away or something. So maybe the allure of the swimming pools and the beaches and the coconuts, the alcoholic coconuts I was referring to was too great but it’s lovely to have you with us and we also have with us our guest Pam stone from Blackmores Institute. Drew, we just asked Pam to lead off, do you have a follow up?
Dr. Drew: Hi everybody, I’m glad we’re having this conversation today because the focus for Baby Boomers in general is about healthy, active and positive ageing and specifically for somebody like myself, it’s to get them focused on the general world. When we look at medicines, I always have a rule with most of my patients and most of the GPs that I work with is on this, ‘less is best.’ And so if I can convince a doctor to move to complementary alternative medicine and get a bit of a focus on it with my home without patients in collaboration and I always find we get a better outcome in general of wellness with our person. I don’t know about you Pam, but do you get that as well?
Pam: Yes, I love you saying that. I absolutely agree and that’s across the board, it means that you don’t have to overdose on a vitamin anymore than you have to overdose on something else. But less is definitely more and coming back to basics which I always say it sounds a bit boring but it’s diet and exercise and keeping everything in balance and it’s a person-centered approach, is really where I come from which is not just the domain of natural medicine, I think it’s should be the domain of medicine per se. It’s a person-centered approach and that way people can take ownership, responsibility, can make choices that support their health and well-being.
Glenn: Glenn here Pam, I love what you’re saying and Drew, complementary alternative nature and Pam, you use the words ‘alongside’ and ‘integrative.’ And also you started off in your first sense, you used the word “philosophy” and I love this and I think sometimes, human beings have a philosophy of looking for singular answers, this binary brain, what’s one thing, one thing. And then most of life is a wicked thing requiring a whole variety of solutions and they’ll be different for each human being but for each person who understand that sort of a package that will work for them. So I love the idea that we can supplement and walk hand in hand, traditional with non-traditional. I love also the idea of getting back to basics and simple trying to start. What would you advise for people in terms of a philosophy of life? I mean nature and groundedness seems to come in there. Did you have that philosophy as you were growing up before you even chose the word or the word “naturopath” chose you?
Pam: I did actually. It seem to be just something that came naturally if you like to me. In other words, I always think and I’ve repeated this philosophy more formally over the years, it’s like a triangle – there’s nutrition, and there’s exercise in another corner and there’s something in the other corner that you might call “peace of mind” or the ability to resolve conflict or live happily, it’s something along those lines. So that’s the balance and if you ignore one, it’s at the expense of the whole. So you need the nutrition, you need the exercise, you need equally peace of mind or finding your own level of happiness or well that sort of thing. And so that’s what it’s all about I think and it’s different of course, absolutely different for different people as to how they make that work for them, but ignoring any of those aspects will be detrimental.
Bron Williams: I like what you’re saying Pam because I work with a young couple in the States. I say young, they’re in their 40s. And they have a nutrition and exercise business and as a coach, I bring the mindset aspect. And yes, I totally agree, you must have all three points of the triangle and if you get out of balance, your triangle topples over. And I’ve seen it happen so often that I used to work in a Curves gym as a circuit trainer and you would watch people who all of a sudden started to lose the weight because of what was going on in their head. And they tried, and they tried and they tried and then all of a sudden, something happened in their mindset and they were able to lose the weight and continue with the exercise program. So yes, it’s so incredibly important what goes on between our ears.
Pam: Yes, I understand. Before I think we can’t just sort of compartmentalize different parts of us. The same as treating someone holistically, you can’t always isolate a symptom or something from the whole. So that’s how it works.
Dr. Drew: What I would like to hear from a naturopath and discussion and something that sits around the lines of we have discussions around health, and wellness, and weight, and controlling weight and so forth. Can you tell us, as a naturopath, your view and your position and what our Boomers should be that perhaps a little focused on if we raised a little bit the subject of superfoods and how to use them?
Pam: Yes, superfoods. Well I’m a great lover of superfoods myself because they again draw from the dietary aspect. I’ll answer the question directly and I’ll also say bring it back to weight. Sadly, probably as we age, as we probably all found, we need to eat less. We really need to eat less and less and so therefore, it becomes much more important to choose very carefully the foods that we are eating so that we’re getting nutrient-dense food and not wasting those calories which will only put on weight. And as they say, we’re often in Australia the most overfed and undernourished nation. So superfoods definitely are extremely useful in terms of the nutrients that they provide. Again, I’m not a believer or fanatical in kind of extreme approaches so I don’t think you should live your life in firmly or something weird, but I love the nutrient-dense superfoods like good yogurt, or kefir or those fermented foods which are being trendy at the moment, it definitely have a role as a superfood. As the role of the gut is more widely understood and the rich vegetables. A lot of these superfoods are vegetables which we’re now giving them these wonderful names as superfoods but really, they’ve just been normal foods that we should have all been eating all along. So I like superfoods a lot, all the brightly colored vegetables, as I said the yogurts and those sort of things are important. I have them in diet and I think they’re very important.
Dr. Drew: Pam, can you explain to our listeners why they usually come in a powdered form?
Pam: Well I prefer them in their whole food form myself. The powdered form I think is not kind of a second best option, it’s an option if you just feel like you can’t plow through half a ton of blueberries or you’re not getting your kefir, your yogurt or something like that and the powder becomes a convenient option. It’s unlikely to be a substitute for the real thing.
Brian Hinselwood: But Pam, isn’t that one of the ongoing problems that because it’s easy, people choose it. People go to a supermarket, they pick up a packet or a tin or whatever it is, they don’t actually look at what it contains and all the processed foods contains something that’s quite obviously not natural. And this is surely the basic problem is that our food labeling and the food that we buy and we all buy it. That’s the problem, if we went back to as you say meat and free veg everyday or something, we’ll probably be a lot healthier.
Pam: I agree with you. A lot of the discussion about natural eating, complementary medicine, natural health comes back to education. And to some extent, people need education to understand how they can make natural food appealing and how it can be as convenient to cook a quick natural and simple meal if you like as it is to grab something off the shelf or grab a takeaway. And look, it’s all again a question of balance, we all live with busy lives and need the convenient options at times but choose the less processed convenient options which is definitely possible now.
Glenn: It’s interesting when you mentioned blueberries and superfoods that Carmen’s, Muesli and products and wonderful Australian company but they’re worst-selling food bar was the blueberry bar. And just wonderful bar wasn’t selling, changed one little thing, they changed its name to “superfood bar” and doubled its sales. One of the dangers with this kind of movement perhaps is that certain things come in and then go out of fashion. But what you’re talking about is a groundedness and as getting the basics right and keeping them and maintaining them. Also Brian, I also need to throw in “Hinselwood” sounds like a supplement unto itself.
Brian: Glenn, I can supplement you but blueberries is not one of them. You did bring up a good point there Glenn. I mean this company had a bar, it wasn’t selling, they changed the name and suddenly it became very popular – lovely. But I think that’s one of the problems if you put something like superfood on the label, people will buy it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s any healthier for you. Like they’re sold by the packaging and not the content and that’s one of my problems in all of these things. I’m not saying it’s the bar particularly.
Glenn: Things come in and go out but when you’re looking at Blackmores, 1930s it was started. But Pam how you at Blackmores and also yourself as a naturopath, how you manage to not just do fads but keep something that’s sustainable?
Pam: Very good question and look, I have to say quite honestly that it is one of a very intrinsic value of Blackmores not to just pick up on the latest fad, so we haven’t. I think the way to avoid that is to just come back to the evidence, come back which we do and I think anyone serious about offering the best medicine these days does. Come back to the evidence supporting all of these ingredients and view it within the context of a whole approach to health and well-being and it does tend therefore to be your way from the latest weight loss product or whatever which you know is not addressing well-being. It’s just addressing some short-term short-sighted convenient solution which won’t be sustainable for someone’s health. So I think we’re grounded in a value around health rather than following a fad or short-term profit, makes you not steer away from the true course if you like.
Wayne: Let me just open a doorway for you here because I wanted to get a chance to get a word in about the Blackmores Institute that you’re the Director of. Tell us about the work of the institute and particularly being a cynical person like I am, I’m really interested in some of the science and the research that you’re doing there. So can you fill us in about the institute?
Pam: Yes, thank you. We love cynical people because we all need to have a bit of cynical approach at times. So the institute is the education and research division within Blackmores, it’s the academic division if you like as we’re also it’s separate from the commercial arm of the company so we don’t promote products. And we have researchers, educators, clinicians, pharmacists within the Blackmores Institute. So what we do is we do some research ourselves, we provide funding for research and we also very importantly see our role as translating the evidence into practical solutions that the pharmacists, the doctor or someone else can actually use because these days, we need more research but against that there is a huge body of research on herbs and nutrients and so on. But translating that into again practical application is a whole thing that leaves people quite confused. So is everyone on at the moment?
Dr. Drew: Yes, I’m sitting here in absolute ecstasy if you don’t mind. Thank you very much Pam.
Glenn: Not the tablets Drew.
Dr. Drew: No. Just to hear another clinician speak with the language of love like this.
Pam: Google blackmoresinstitute.org and you will see that it’s such a platform for research, there’s a whole lot of education for health professionals on there and it’s a very good little reservoir in translating the evidence and putting a balanced view to the evidence because there’s a lot of research that comes out, some of it’s well conducted, some of it’s not and it does influence the take away comments that find their way into the media. One day “Glucosamine” is the best thing for your knees, the next day it doesn’t work at all. One day, fish oil it was good for your heart, the next day it’s not and you really need to delve into the research to understand the truth about all of that. So that’s again the mandate of Blackmores Institute.
Dr. Drew: Wonderful. Let me compliment that please Pam and everybody on the panel knows and our listeners know me well. I am an expert in evidence-based healthcare, publishing it regularly because I’m a clinical fellow of the Journal Briggs Institute. And I’m often asked when I look at this stuff well people will say to me, “I shouldn’t really trust this particular form of medicine or complementary medicine because it’s being researched by the pharmaceutical company or the company itself.” Even though yes, it could contain bias but if the evidence is true, if the research program is being done correctly and it is being translated and implemented the right way, the knowledge is framed and listeners need to understand not all research around medicines is biased. And of course, Blackmores has an institute like this, they will be collaborating I have no doubt with other institutes to ensure that any bias on their science is removed.
Pam: Yes, that’s absolutely true. And in the main Blackmores donates money to independent research institutes and we don’t influence the actual research process itself because as you say, that there is often an implied stuff if they see any engagement of the company in the research. But we as much as anyone need to know what is the truth, what does work, what is the role of fish oil or whatever? We don’t want to be promoting bad medicine anymore and if it doesn’t serve us, it doesn’t serve anyone so we want to know what works and what doesn’t.
Brian: Can I just ask quickly because I’ll forget otherwise? You were talking about medicines. You’ve mentioned a little while ago, you’re talking about Blackmores and you’ve mentioned medicines at the same time. Do Blackmores consider themselves a medical company or a supplement company? I mean is what you provide a medical solution or a supplement? And what’s the difference?
Pam: It is both. Thanks for that question, it is definitely both. I mean, it’s certainly a supplement and so we do make obviously a range of supplements, capsules, tablets, powders or whatever so they certainly fall into the definition of a supplement and they are also a complementary medicine because natural supplements in Australia are regulated as medicines by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. So they are classified as medicines and definitely fit within that category.
Glenn: One of the things I don’t just throw in is a distinction that we try to teach folk whether they’re youngsters, or organisations or whatever and that’s the difference between cynical and skeptical and Wayne I’d like to kind of redefine you. I don’t think you are a cynical human being, I think you’re a skeptical human being.
Dr. Drew: Please spend some more time with him.
Glenn: You’ll follow it up by asking questions and seeking truth and that’s what skeptics do. They ask questions to seek truth, to find the way to the truth. Cynics will ask everything and it’s a blanket. Cynicism kills learning and kills that adventure of learning. Skepticism, if it’s the only thing we’ve got in the brew, it’s not healthy but we absolutely, essentially need it as part of the brew to supplement our thinking. And I think Brian, the questions you are asking too were more skeptic questions, seeking proof, seeking distinction and I think that’s a wonderful thing that should be encouraged. So we might all wear a badge, ‘be more like Wayne’ or something like that or we won’t go that far.
Pam: I agree, it’s a difference between a closed mind and an open mind.
Dr. Drew: Fantastic. So let me please open the mind. I’d like to ask and pop the question in because I’m asked more regularly these days by my Baby Boomer cohorts than I have ever been asked before. Two questions for you Pam to discuss, one is Blackmores involved with and looking at or have an eye on at all in medical or medicinal marijuana? And the second question will be, in what way and how and what is your view as a professional and of course representing Blackmores? But what’s your view on this and how can you put it into a layman’s term for our listeners today?
Pam: Okay, thank you. So yes, so medicinal cannabis, CBD as it’s called, is obviously the “non-psychogenic form of marijuana.” So it doesn’t have any sort of brain-altering effect. The active ingredients that form the medicinal form of cannabis have an anti-inflammatory effect. Now, it’s very early days as yet. Blackmores is not really interested at this stage or that there’s been no discussion in terms of taking that on. We have a professional arm to our business that has looked into it and I don’t believe anything is written at this stage but it’s again, early days. But the medicine itself does look very interesting in terms of what it can offer. Again as I say, it has a good anti-inflammatory effect and probably it can be applied to specialist uses, you would have probably heard of people with children with certain conditions and maybe, they experience pain as well and it can have pain relieving effects. So we shouldn’t certainly take it seriously. It obviously needs to be used appropriately and it needs a bit more research to understand and refine its use. That’s a very interesting area but not so much for Blackmores really at this stage.
Dr. Drew: Okay, because I get requests for this a lot and as you’ve explained it well and thank you, the two types particularly and for listeners, this one type has THC and one type does not. But it is very similar but yet unlike other products that are complementary alternative and that is like hemp, hemp seed, oil, hemp oil and hemp powders. And of course, hemp is made from, extracted and used from plant in much the same way as what CBD is but they are different products. But I would just want listeners to understand to not to be afraid of the knowledge, not to be afraid of the science because this is well and truly being researched in more fascinating ways analysis can understand. What people ask me mostly is why are we moving this way? And I want our listeners to understand that the human body’s DNA actually has what is known as a “cannabinoid receptor.” So our natural body makeup compound is meant to receive and able to receive cannabis or cannabinoids which comes out of marijuana and therefore the science is moving very, very steadily towards how this stuff is used in the body and how now in which it is now being made very legal, very usable and very obtainable through TGA.
Pam: Yes. And as you say, it’s the process which applies across the board as well to ingredients where science, we’re looking through the window of science. And often looking through the window of science provides validation, the things that we’ve known about clinically. For most of it, a lot of my life but even for hundreds of years probably about traditional medicine but it’s very important that we look through the window of science to validate these ingredients and be able to further refine their use in terms of doses and forms of the ingredients and so on. So it’s very interesting time.
Dr. Drew: And I have no doubt it’ll be on lead. All will see it very soon in a Blackmores’ bottle and a Blackmores’ shelf in some form downline, I can guarantee it in my own brain.
Pam: Good. Well it’s an appealing ingredient, has such great application in areas where there’s no other good alternative so that’s right. I hope you’re right.
Glenn: Pam, I was taking some fish oil tablets and a mate of mine asked me how they were going and did I notice any difference and I said, “I can hold my breath underwater a lot longer.” But actually skin and things like that can be improved by it if we throw a fish oil at you for example, tell us how can that supplement a life.
Pam: Yes. Well, I mean of course, hit upon one ingredient where there is an enormous body of research now on omega-3, the omega-3s in fish oil. And even a couple of days ago, I was reading a systemic review which showed that taking therapeutic doses of fish oil reduces all cause mortality, which is a pretty bold claim that seems to be borne out and certainly can reduce your risk of a heart attack, primary prevention and probably secondary prevention for some people. Like a lot of these ingredients, it depends on dose and a couple of serves of oily fish a week is often the entry point. But people, particularly we Baby Boomers and beyond, often need more than just that basic fundamental level because omega-3 fatty acids are in every cell of our body, they affect so many different organs of the body, they have anti-inflammatory effects. They’re magnificent for our brain function and so on. So the research in fish oil looks into all of those different areas and is very positive when the right form of fish oil is used and the right dose is used. So, yes I take fish oil every day as well for that reason.
Dr. Drew: Why are the tablets so bloody big Pam?
Pam: Well I knew someone would ask that question.
Dr. Drew: Well that’s because I get asked that a lot.
Pam: Blackmores does not make a mini fish oil capsule actually, a smaller capsule and I appreciate they can be hard to swallow, they can be so big. So the mini ones are out there now, you just need a few more of them to make up the dose.
Glenn: We could get some tablets them from whiting fish, that would be smaller tablets. Obviously, you’re taking the king size shark, whale, fish.
Dr. Drew: I often get asked these questions when you’re caring for the elderly and you start lining them up as I do, you push them more towards the CAM therapies and when they see the size of some of these tablets, they almost have a heart attack and of course as you age, you also do experience an atrophy of the swallowing pattern and of course, dysphasia can become an issue. But most of this because as Pam says, you need to get a certain quantity but what I try to explain to the patients is it’s because of our ADME process and pharmacokinetics. So it’s about how we get drugs in the body and how the drugs move through the body. So medicines move through the body in a particular way and we’ve got to remember that these things and these gel capsules are made because the doctors won’t want anything absorbed through the mouth or down in through the gut until it gets into the stomach where the gel capsule can be dissolved properly and it can then be dispersed and absorbed into the body of where the body needs it most.
Pam: That’s right. And look with fish oil, you can actually squeeze the oil out of the capsule and mix it into a bit of mashed potato or whatever it might be. You can certainly do that and as long as it’s taken with food, then no problem for people who cannot have those large capsules.
Bron: I get this reasonably regularly that people saying that natural is best and look, I love whole foods and I cook from scratch and things like that. But just the assumption that if something is natural, then it’s going to be definitely good for you. However there are lots of natural things that are not very good for us. So how do we make healthy distinctions? Because it’s very easy to pick something up off the shelf in the supermarket that says, “Yes, it’ll treat X, Y & Z,” but we actually don’t know what impact that natural product is going to have on our particular system. So how do we make good choices and not just assume that because it’s even branded as natural, that it is actually all natural and that being natural it will actually help us?
Pam: Yes, I agree with you. It frustrates me sometimes when people can get led astray. Are you talking about supplements actually or food?
Bron: I actually think both supplements and some of these more powdered, not only superfoods that are used to release weight. That’s a terminology, I’m thinking, “Release weight, hello?” It does sound good, I’ve released some weight but I’m post-menopausal, I know some of it’s just going to hang around, I want to release it.
Pam: Look, it partly comes down to looking broadly to having more of a holistic view, not to overuse that word too much, but to just look narrowly at some individual product or ingredient, having superfood powers is setting yourself up to fail. As you say, it’s not going to deliver necessarily the right outcome. So it’s being moderate about this approach and recognizing that you can’t be fooled, if that’s the word, into thinking the ‘natural’ term means it’s always going to be healthy and in your best interests. Education is part of that as well I think. People often, unfortunately grab for a quick fix and there’s usually no such thing as a quick fix. It will come back to bite you down the track. It’s not sustainable. So again, it’s education, I suppose. Recognizing what’s my solution, what’s actually my aim here, what’s my goal, why am I wanting to take this particular thing and then having a more informed balanced understanding of how to actually achieve that goal rather than jumping from one quick fix to another. And yes, it frustrates me when I see people well-intentioned probably, but doing that just not having a proper insight into the whole area and so just jumping from being reacting from one thing to another.
Glenn: Bronwyn, I can imagine as soon as this is all released as a podcast and somebody will be bringing out the “release weight diet,” the release weight book will be there, etc. And on what you’re talking about, syndrome, so anything any syndrome – “Guillain-Barre syndrome.” My wife Lindy in both shoulders has had “frozen shoulder syndrome,” the most insidious, unheard of common thing they call it and because we don’t know causes, there’s a variety of causes, variety of partial supplementary, sort of things that are going to assist. Collagen and collagen powder and there has been one of the things that’s been listed as helping some people with frozen shoulder syndrome. Can you talk us through a little bit about collagen generally and the syndrome?
Pam: I must admit collagen per se, I haven’t looked in any detail at the research on collagen. So I’m really not sure one way or the other how useful collagen is. So I might have some value as part of an overall approach but I’m not really sure about collagen. I mean collagen naturally in our body is made from vitamin C and protein. So it makes sense to ensure that our body may be having supplemental vitamin C and enough protein to ensure we’re making enough collagen but beyond that, I’m not sure as a supplement. But frozen shoulder per se, I guess there’s bound to be an inflammatory component to that and I haven’t treated that recently but I would be certainly trying fish oil but in therapeutic doses which is a lot of capsules by most people’s standards I guess. It’s up to ten normal fish oil capsules a day, spread throughout the day to help absorption. But often with these supplements, it’s not that the supplement choice is incorrect but the dose that’s being used is incorrect. And it’s why Blackmores has an advisory service that must meet with pharmacists and naturopaths who can advise on an individual clinical basis I guess according to the situation. But fish oil I would say and other anti-inflammatory ingredients, “Curcumin” you’ve probably heard recently comes from turmeric, turmeric the yellow spice of which Curcumin is the active ingredient. Curcumin has been subjected to some fantastic research over the last few years, shown to have great anti-inflammatory effects, to be good for our working memory as well by the way which is a bonus. But those anti-inflammatories, I would certainly be giving a really good trial like a couple of months trial I suppose because it is where complementary medicines often come to the fore, is in these chronic conditions and yes, syndromes as you said, something is called the syndrome it’s often because there’s no other definition. It’s not well understood. My son has had chronic fatigue syndrome. So in these various syndromes that mean that there’s probably a number of factors that have to be addressed and targeted in the management of these conditions. So we’re definitely looking at high-dose fish oil, high-dose Curcumin supplements and anything that will have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Glenn: And one of the things you mentioned there about a couple of months, I mean a lot of human beings go looking for instant. This process that sometimes this will take time. A little bit of Guns and Roses, “we need some patience.”
Pam: Yes, that is the case because the complementary medicine is working with the body and that process sometimes will just take days depending on the example but often if it’s a syndrome and if it’s been there for a while, it’s probably not going to be turned around overnight.
Dr. Drew: That’s right. I want listeners to also be confident with some of the language being used and the language around chronic and chronic diseases. I specifically work in a chronic disease management area and I do that because it’s very common amongst older people and patients that they have a number of different illnesses or diseases that they present or have because they are a lot older and they’ve been living in these conditions for a lot longer and that’s what makes them chronic. So hearing the term, “chronic disease” as a listener and you’re a Baby Boomer, don’t think that you’ve got some disasterly, horrible, disgusting thing wrong with you. It’s a fact that it’s been probably ongoing long term and it could be something that complementary and alternative medicines is going to help, support and supplement other things but specifically, why it’s important – synthetic medicine’s not the answer particularly for people who are ageing. And we always have this discussion on this panel and I want our listeners to be mindful. People like Pam and myself who are clinicians in these areas will push out a particularly older cohorts to look at complementary medicines because not necessarily with the chronic disease, are you going to get an instant relief as Glenn has mentioned. That instant relief is a dream – it’s about management, it’s about application of multi disciplines and many things and complementary medicine, I think Pam will probably agree, is a good component that glues it all together a lot of times.
Pam: Thank you, I do agree with that. And it’s about maintenance. It’s about the habits we get into every day and a lot of the complementary medicines that you might take, a maintenance thing as well to sort of yes, just to manage well-being as part of all the other things that you’re doing as well.
Dr. Drew: And on that Pam, can you give our listeners perhaps, in a genuine rule when you’re a Baby Boomer, so you’re aged between 52 and 72 and you just want to take a few complementary and supplements and things to help assist along your daily routine. So could you suggest that just about all people would benefit from taking an omega-3 or fish oil, what should you take as a basic supplement to keep holistically your body aligned and attuned to some good balance?
Pam: As the saying, people have individual needs and should really listen to their body and also be self-aware about their lifestyle. So if you know you’re just not getting any of this wonderful Australian sun that we in Australia have such a lot of but no longer get it, then you might be a vitamin D deficient and so on. So in other words without personalizing it to the individual need, I do think that most people don’t get enough omega-3. I actually do, unless you’re really eating fish three or four times a week and we don’t even recommend that because of the mercury risks in fish. And I think it then comes down to a good multivitamin – you’re getting your iodine, your vitamin D, your B vitamins, other minerals which are all necessary and it is often they work in teams, in concept, these nutrients anyways so it’s good to get them in a combined mix. So that’s really the default, a nice multivitamin, maybe an age specific one because some of the age specific ones like the one Blackmores makes might have more the thing called “Lutein” in it which is good for ageing eyes. It helps our eyes and then other nutrients which we might need more of as we age, as the nutrient surveys confirm. So I think to simplify, it comes down to that and then listen to your body – are you getting cramps or are you still really tired or what symptoms might you be getting that may require just a singular additional adjunct to help address a particular symptom?
Dr. Drew: To all our listeners and particularly all of our listeners whom I know some of them are my patients and that is don’t forget your two liters of water.
Pam: Absolutely. I do believe in that myself. I do, yes.
Brian: Isn’t one of the problems when you’re talking about older people is that by and large they’ve grown up if they have a pain, or they’re not feeling well or whatever, they go to the doctor and they’re not used to taking multivitamins or omega-3 or fish oil or whatever it might be. And now we’re talking about people between early 50s and mid 70s or whatever. Is it much harder to turn those people around than say younger people if you get a 25 year old or whatever? Are people still around at 25, I have no idea. They’re more likely to take these supplements.
Pam: I sometimes find it’s, if not the reverse, so I do find that the Baby Boomer kind of generation, they’re great advocates. They’ve got an open mind to natural therapies and to complementary medicine because they’ve recognized that that drug they might have been taking wasn’t working or had the side effects, and no that doesn’t apply to all drugs of course but all that they see that the value of an integrative approach – that makes sense to them. So for many people, the years of experience have taught them that there’s no one magic pill and as I said, the whole thing makes sense and there’s a lot of advocates because of that.
Wayne: Now we might just move towards the end of our show because I do have another guest I want to introduce shortly from the U.S. who’s sent us in a song about being a Baby Boomer and we’re just going to have a chat with him and play you the song in our closing credits. But before I move on to Michael, Pam can I say thank you for joining us today. It’s been a pleasure having you with us. I always enjoy talking to experts because even complex things are made simple enough for me to understand. So thank you for joining us.
Pam: Thank you very much for having me on, it’s been a great pleasure talking to you all.
Wayne: And the last word perhaps, Bron?
Bron: I suppose I go back to what I often do about growing old and loving the stage of life that you’re in. And if we can continue to learn as Pam has said, learn about things that can be helpful to us, let’s do it.
Wayne: And Brian?
Brian: Look, I think I agree. One of the things that Pam has touched on several times as Drew almost every week, is the holistic approach. I think if you’re happy with yourself, naturally you’re healthier and if you take a holistic approach to your medicine, your supplement, and indeed your eating habits. I think if you have a balanced diet, it accounts for an awful lot.
Glenn: I think Pam gave it to us early on when talking about basics and getting back the foundations which of course bring the 1960s jukebox for me, the foundation’s had “Build me up buttercup” so the supplements build us up. ‘Now that I’ve found you, I won’t let you go’ – so that’s omega-3 fish oil or tablets. There’s actually a song called “Stony Ground” and I think even that it’s Pam Stone and stony ground it’s actually been “Stony Groundedness.” Thank you very much.
Brian: Sounds to me like you’re on a magical mystery toll there Glenn.
Glenn: You got to carry that weight a long time.
Wayne: And a last word from you Drew?
Dr. Drew: Yes look, for our listeners in particular and first thanks for having Pam along but for the listeners, wellness begins with yourself and so focus on yourself and trust yourself as a person. But what I want our listeners to do is to always, always look at bringing in a complementary and alternative support mechanism or into your medicines and your health and convince you GPs for heaven’s sake to open the doors and to let collaboration with complementary medicine become a normal part of your holistic healthcare. If you’re a Baby Boomer, push the issue with your GP because it has to be driven by the patient.
Wayne: And because we’re going to close with Michael, thank you all for being with us, our regular panel – Glenn, Bron and Brian – thank you for being here. Pam Stone from Blackmores, Director of Educational Partnerships of the Blackmores Institute, thank you for making yourself available today, I know an hour is a big commitment and we do appreciate your time. In order to keep the lawyers happy, I do have to say that this show is provided for educational purposes only and none of the advice that’s been given by any of our speakers is intended to be taken as clinical advice. If you wish to seek clinical advice, please pursue an individual consultation with a professional of your choice. The information that’s been available in this podcast is for entertainment only.
It’s not every episode that we have a special guest but today, we’re joined by a special guest, Michael Popienko is here to talk to us. And Michael contacted us, he is one of our audience from the U.S. and he contacted us to share with us a song that he’s written and we’re gonna have a chat to him about his song and his life and then we’re going to close the show with his song. So stay listening because at the end of the show, you’ll be able to hear the song in full. Michael, welcome to Booms Day Prepping.
Michael Popienko: I’m glad to be here. I’m glad you enjoyed my song and I was kind looking thru the internet and saw your blog and your thing that you were doing. I thought you might take an interest in it because I heard that song in the beginning of your podcast, Baby Boomers. So I said, “Ah, that’s interesting, that’s cool,” that’s another way of looking at it.
Wayne: Well we had an opening song and now we’ve got a closing song. Michael tell us a bit about yourself. I know you’re a tennis coach and a grandfather and you do a lot of other stuff. Fill us in whereabouts in the U.S. are you and what do you need to fill in your day?
MichaeI: I’m a tennis coach. I’ve been living here in Atlanta, Georgia in case the audience doesn’t know, it’s the world capital of tennis believe it or not. We have the largest league metropolitan area population of tennis players in the world, about nearly, 80,000 people are playing tennis in this city.
Wayne: One of the things that I don’t think a lot of our Australian audience will get is just the sheer scale of the United States. I mean Australia’s got a population of a bit over 22 million or something like that and we think our cities are big when when they’ve got 4 or 5 million living in them but compared with big cities around the world and big populations as you’ve got in the US, we’re just on the small fry side of things.
Michael: Now that’s a good thing too.
Wayne: Australians are mad keen sportsmen I will admit and we do have a very active tennis scene in Australia.
Michael: Yes, you do and you have some great players who came out of there as well. Actually, my first role-model was a Rod Laver. He is left-handed, I love the guy.
Wayne: Well it’s always good to have something in common with your heroes. And Michael, you’re still an active working coach, you haven’t retired yet?
Michael: No, I haven’t. I’m actually teaching the best test of my life right now Wayne. I’m a mental coach and I have gotten better in teaching my students to get better faster because that’s what they want.
Wayne: And it’s interesting, I’m in the same age record as you, I’m 63 now. And I have to say this getting older thing isn’t all bad, it’s nice to be a bit more confident about what you know and what you do and have some experience to be able to back up what you believe. So it’s not all bad this getting our business.
Michael: Yes, you hit that right on the nail. I like that attitude. When you said that, when you liked that you wrote me in your email you said, “you’re in it to learn it kind of resonated with you” and I don’t want to stop learning. I say this, if you’re thinking and I looked it up, it’s been known to cure Alzheimer’s and dementia. So it’s a good thing to keep on thinking.
Wayne: I was going to come to that line right now as a matter of fact because in the whole song and in the lyrics of the song, it’s the line that resonated most with me and if I’ve got it right it says, “yearning and learning and never quite satisfied.”
Michael: Yes, I mean who doesn’t want to know why we’re all here, how did we get here, I mean it’s the ultimate question, the curiosity and I think I still don’t want to know it all. I think the more they’re unanswered questions, the more my curiosity gets magnified and I enjoy living.
Wayne: In its own way, nice that there’s still things that we want to do. There’s still things to pursue, and things to know and things to see. So it’s great to know that we’ve got some listeners in the U.S. and I do appreciate you reaching out to us.
Michael: Absolutely. I think you’re doing a great thing and Baby Boomers have a lot to say and I think as I wrote part of the song at the end and the third verse, when I was speaking about, “we have a lot of money coming to our hands” and not all Baby Boomers are rich or anything but they possess a lot of power and what we do with that power, wealth and what will have to our grandchildren and stuff like that. I was trying to invite and bring into the song that don’t just sit around and retire, do something to make it a little bit better for the children, there’s still yet to come.
Wayne: A lovely sentiment. Michael, for people who are listening to us and who he is on shortly and want to reach out, how can people reach out to you?
Michael: They can go to my website, michaepopienko.com.
Wayne: Just for people who are not fully up on there, is it Russian?
Michael: It’s Bell Russian actually.
Wayne: So some people are not well up on their Bell Russian, it’s spelled POPIENKO, Michael Popienko.
Michael: Yes. And I have a website there, you can go to iTunes and pick up a song there too. It’s on Spotify.
Wayne: And there’s a bunch of others as well?
Michael: Yes, there is. I’ve actually written over about 150 songs and that CD that I put together was a pretty much a story in it and of itself and it had to do with tennis. I was teaching a lesson and it may be a 10-second window of my life, a gentleman who was walking by with his daughter and he asked me, “Do you give tennis lessons?” And I had all my equipment there and I go, “Yes sir” because I want some lessons for my daughter and then he started taking lessons too and I started doing some lessons. I said, “Well what do you do for a living?” And he goes, “I’m a music producer.” And I said, “Oh really? I’m into the song, the bell of the treason.” He shared with me that I’m not doing things right. I should probably do a whole package and I can get much better efficiency out of my resources and stuff. And lo and behold, I called my mom up and I said, “You know mom, you know about my inheritance?” She said, “Go for it.” And the two guys that were my arranger and producers, they were fantastic musicians and they’re a big group here now out of Atlanta called “Yacht Rock Revue” and they play all the music. You and I Wayne love to listen to music and they play it to the tee. Well I was in the studio with two fantastic musicians and Wayne, I’m a beginner. I had the resources and it goes like this, your producer will ask you Wayne, he goes “What do you want that song you wrote to sound like?” And once you tell him, your job is over and he interprets what you said and he does the best he can to produce it. So that’s our album, that’s what happened.
Wayne: Well it’s a great album and a great effort and I’m a big fan of Being a Baby Boomer, the song by Michael Popienko. Michael thanks for joining us today, it’s been a pleasure.
Michael: Absolutely. Thank you Wayne for inviting me into your show.
Wayne: And that’s our episode of Booms Day Prepping and here to close the full version of Michael’s song, “Being a Baby Boomer.”