If you haven’t considered incorporating weekly chiropractor visits into your wellness stack, maybe it’s time to look into it. In this deep dive, Dr. Jody Serra, the chiropractor countless professional athletes trust with their wellness, explains all of the benefits a visit to the chiropractor can provide. A biohacker himself, he gives us his favorite anti-aging hacks he has incorporated into his life that you can also add when you’re not lying on a chiropractic table.
In this deep dive, you will learn …
Who is Dr Serra and why did he become a chiropractor (0:26)
- His allergies and was sick as a child and teen had no solution until he went to a chiropractor
- He became interested in all of the issues chiropractors can solve that seem to be outside the realm of their typical services
Chiropractors solve for much more than just neck and back pain (3:21)
- Balancing the spine takes stress off the entire nervous system
- Treating the cause can help recovery all over the patient’s body
- This more holistic approach can improve reflexes, muscle contraction, balance, coordination, agility
Everyone is an athlete (8:17)
- He serves many athletes, but sees everyone as being an athlete because the better we feel, no matter the profession, the better we perform
- To be the best version of yourself, you should incorporate chiropractor visits into your wellness stack
- Much of the advantage to visiting a chiropractor centers around their ability to take stress off the nervous system
- Start getting adjusted at a younger age
How often should someone visit a chiropractor (12:39)
- Depending on the care needed, it will likely be twice per week
- Monthly visits are not often enough and may not even work
- Everyone should go at least once per week
Why do the best athletes trust him (15:15)
- 9 Hall of Famers, 4 Super Bowl MVPs, countless All-Stars and Pro Bowlers, including Joe Montana, Barry Bonds, Odell Beckham Jr,
- He has a sixth sense in his hands and the players trust and recommend him
- Palpation class story
Changes in the chiropractic field (18:59)
- Insurance coverage considerations
- A shift towards natural approaches in treating the cause, an approach taken by chiropractors for over 100 years
- Patients do research online on their own
- Technological advancements and his class four laser for cell stimulation
- Decompression therapy
How to safeguard against aging (25:37)
- Drink more water
- Sleep more, Dr Serra is a big believer in the power of naps, Making Waves by Dr Irving Dardik
- Assess your diet and how you can be improving it
- Go to a chiropractor to get adjusted
Intermittent fasting (29:43)
- The impact on steroid and hormone levels
- It helps the brain and digestive system
- He does a 40-hour fast on a weekly basis and says it’s easier than people would think
- 3-4 times per year he eats on Sunday, then waits until Thursday for his next meal
- Bone broth vs tea vs water during fasts
Saad Alam: 00:00
So we’re here with Dr. Jody Serra. We’re incredibly excited to be here. You let us come on a dime. Dr. Serra is a chiropractor by training, but trusted by some of the most elite athletes in the world to help keep their bodies in peak performance, tip top condition. So Dr. Serra, thank you so much for letting us be here.
Jody Serra: 00:18
Thanks. Glad you guys are here.
Saad Alam: 00:19
Yeah, we’re stoked.
Jody Serra: 00:21
Thank you for coming.
Saad Alam: 00:21
So tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get involved in this field? Why do you like it so much?
Jody Serra: 00:26
I became a chiropractor because a chiropractor changed my life. I started early in life. I was about seven years old and started having allergies, which kind of evolved into asthma. I suffered for probably the next ten years. I did the standard American medical approach, which is allergy testing, allergy shots, asthma medication, cortico steroids including prednisone. I was in the ER all the time. I was hospitalized.
Jody Serra: 00:59
I think, around my sophomore or junior year in high school, a friend of mine suggested I see a chiropractor and I said, my back feels fine, I just have allergies. He’s like, “I know, but my uncle’s a chiropractor and he’s helped people with allergies and asthma.” So I went to see his uncle. He was a chiropractor locally here, and he explained that the nervous system controls a lot of the function in the body, including the lungs and the glands that make the chemicals that keep the lungs open like cortico steroids. Not in those terms. He simplified it for me.
Jody Serra: 01:35
At any rate, I got an adjustment from him and, actually, I left his office and I swear I would never go back because I heard bones cracking, and I left I had a headache. I didn’t that it was a good thing for my body. But that night I went home and slept better than I had in ten years. So something had changed. It wasn’t like I was cured. I still had symptoms, but it was definitely better.
Jody Serra: 01:58
The next day, I went back to him and I said, “Whatever you did, you’ve got to do it again, but you’ve got to explain it to me.” So he explained in a little more detail and I just went to him over the next two years, and I tampered off all the medication I was taking. Since then, I haven’t taken any asthma medication. I haven’t had any asthma. From the time I was seven until I was 18, I couldn’t run. I could hardly walk up a flight of stairs, nevermind run. So when I was in college, now I started to jog and started running. I went out and played rugby. The college that I went to for chiropractic school actually had one of the best rugby teams in the nation. We had a lot of foreigners on the team, so I ended up playing rugby with some of the best rugby players in the world.
Jody Serra: 02:37
That was it. I just am stoked to be part of this. I love helping people and changing lives, and seeing people go from a medical model to a natural, treating the cause as opposed to the symptom model.
Saad Alam: 02:54
The story is fascinating.
Jody Serra: 02:55
Yeah, it’s pretty cool. And it’s true. I grew up around here, so it’s been in the newspaper a couple times. People are like, I remember that kid was really sick.
Saad Alam: 03:02
If you really think about this, that just makes me question what does a chiropractor really even do, because I was under the impression that chiropractors … Like you said, there’s just lots of cracking bones, and I almost assume it’s another element of the medical field that you can sort of use. You almost make it sound like you absolutely should use it.
Jody Serra: 03:21
Absolutely. Chiropractic is, again like you said, most people think of it as neck pain, back pain, injuries, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. What we do is we take the stress off of the nervous system by balancing the spine, because the spinal cord is housed within the bones and there’s openings for the nerves to come out. If the bones move out of place, you can get pressure on the nerves which creates stress, not just in that area, but in the entire nervous system.
Jody Serra: 03:48
So the nervous system, instead of working here, works here, which is okay. People can survive here, but if you want to thrive, you’ve got to be here. So, if you can remove that stress and get the nervous system to work more efficiently, everything is going to work better. I don’t care whether you’re suffering from … if you have a cold or a sprained ankle, you’re going to heal better if you’re adjusted.
Saad Alam: 04:07
So it really is … What’s interesting, the way you’re talking about is you’re perfect fine if you … I shouldn’t say this. You’re okay if you don’t do it, but if you do it, you can be in complete optimal health, and that’s where you really want to be because you’re going to realize your potential.
Jody Serra: 04:20
Yep, absolutely. That’s exactly correct. Again, our goal is really to treat the cause. We try to dig a little deeper and treat the cause as opposed to treating the symptom. The medical model is, you have a headache, we’ve got a pill for that. You’ve got a backache, we’ve got a pill for that. You have blood pressure, we’ve got a pill of that.
Jody Serra: 04:40
My parents generation, the doctor was like the pope. You’ve got a pill, I’ll take it. How often do I take it. But today, people are questioning, I don’t know. I’ve been reading about that on WebMD and there’s some side effects. I was reading I can do some things nutritionally and maybe exercise can help. They’re taking and interest in their health and sort of wondering what the body can do to heal itself as opposed to putting in medication that might cover up symptoms.
Saad Alam: 05:07
I think that our generation right now is kind of waking up to the fact that our parents have had these horrible chronic conditions and that is a combination of over-medication, horrible food, too much stress. We’re kind of saying to ourselves, the system shouldn’t be so reactive. We can be so much more proactive engineering our health and, if we get ahead of it really early on, the things we can do for our lives in the long term.
Jody Serra: 05:31
Absolutely. It’s not just living longer, it’s living longer healthily. Nobody wants to be 85 years old in a wheelchair with oxygen, but you’d like to be 85 years old being active. We have a guy coming in here who’s 91. He still works. He’s an excavator. He still works. He drives a bulldozer or something. This guy has taking tremendous care of himself his entire life. That’s what I want to be. He gets up in the morning, drives to work. Not somebody who’s debilitated and their life is essentially over. They’re just sitting in front of a TV all day.
Saad Alam: 06:02
Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s like the dream right? 91, still driving an excavator.
Jody Serra: 06:06
Yeah, and working.
Saad Alam: 06:06
So I fundamentally believe that our generation, and the generations coming up, will live until they’re 120, 130 years old if they take proper care of themselves, with the right medical attention. So tell me … Really quickly talk about … so these guys that we see on TV, that are incredible athletes, they come to you and they trust you for some reason. What is it that you really do for them?
Jody Serra: 06:30
Well our team here, we have an integrated approach to balancing their systems, but especially the nervous system as I said. People tend to think of it as pain and injuries, but really it’s more of a neurological. That’s kind of the tip of the iceberg, neurological benefit. By balancing the nervous system, you will improve reflexes, muscle contraction, balance, coordination, agility. For somebody like a wide receiver in the NFL, they can track the ball better. Their reflexes are quicker. They can catch better. So it’s a big benefit to them.
Jody Serra: 07:12
We’re not looking for a 50% increase in improvement, or a 50% improvement. We’re looking for like 5%, because at that level all these guys are the best of the best. They’re the fastest. They’re the most agile. They’ve got the best hands. So you’re not going to get somebody who’s 50% better. But if you can get them 5% better, they’re going to be the best. All of them deal with physical, and emotional, and mental stress. I feel it’s the person that handles that stress the best is going to win.
Saad Alam: 07:44
And 5% is actually a significant improvement right?
Jody Serra: 07:47
Saad Alam: 07:47
Jody Serra: 07:48
I mean 1% is all they need.
Saad Alam: 07:49
I was going to say, that’s all you need.
Jody Serra: 07:50
You think of the NFL, like a running back. A tenth of a second is the difference between hitting a hole and getting through it or getting tackled. Or, if you’re a defensive player, a tenth of a second is you’re either making the tackle or missing the tackle. That’s all it takes.
Saad Alam: 08:03
What about … Let’s think about the 40-45 year old father or mother of two children that is out there in kind of the corporate suites, going at it every day. How could something like this help them?
Jody Serra: 08:17
Well we have a saying, everyone is an athlete. We feel that, whether you’re a weekend warrior or a working dad, or a mom, the better you feel, the better you can serve what you’re doing. If you break it down from at football player, like the NFL, the better you feel, the better you play. For, like you said, a 40 year old, the better he feels, the better he works. The more time he can spend or the more quality time he can spend playing with his kids. For a mom, the stress that moms go through from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed, whether they’re a working mom or just a stay at home mom, dealing with those kids all day. Again, there’s a lot of stress that’s piled onto them that, if we can help remove some of that stress, they’re just going to function better and they’re going to feel better. The better they feel, the better they’re going to interact with their family and everything else.
Saad Alam: 09:11
So you’re talking about that concept of 5% better for a professional athlete. It’s literally a tenth of a second between making it or not sometimes.
Jody Serra: 09:21
Saad Alam: 09:21
What do you think are some of the things people will feel immediately after coming in for an adjustment?
Jody Serra: 09:26
Well, I would say that one of the things that I like to say to my patients, especially if they’ve been adjusted before. Saad, you’ve been adjusted. When you leave a chiropractor’s office, you feel better. It’s not just your neck and your back that feels better. You’re whole body feels better because, again, your nervous system … I’d like to say that the nervous system, when you take the stress off the nervous system and you take it from here to here, it says thank you.
Jody Serra: 09:50
So you talk to anybody who goes to a good chiropractor and you say, how do you feel when you leave that office? They’ll be like, man I feel good. When I go to my chiropractor I feel great. So that feeling, by taking this stress, as I said, off of the nervous system, getting it to function at a little bit of a higher level, instantly your body senses it. Every cell in your body is effected by the things we do or we don’t do. When you do something positive like that, especially if you’re taking the nervous system from here to here, one of the biggest systems that is effected and controlled by the nervous system is the endocrine system, which is the system that creates the hormones that determine how we feel and whether we’re healthy or not.
Jody Serra: 10:30
So, if that system has been bogged down because the nervous system is bogged down. If you can bring it up to here, instantly people feel better. The endocrine system is the endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, the things that make us feel good. It’s just like the runners high, you go out and you run for miles and you come back and you feel tired from that work out, but you’re sort of elated. Do you know what I mean?
Saad Alam: 10:53
Jody Serra: 10:53
It’s kind of the same thing. That’s the feeling that you get after you get a good adjustment.
Saad Alam: 10:57
So it’s almost like saying that, if you’re trying to live an optimal life and you’re trying to be the best version of yourself, this is just one of the things that you should absolutely be doing.
Jody Serra: 11:06
Saad Alam: 11:07
Because it’s only going to give you a higher plane to start off on.
Jody Serra: 11:09
100%. If you asked me, what’s the one thing you could do to elevate your health and to kind of stave off aging or to stay younger longer, get adjusted and start younger.
Saad Alam: 11:22
Tell me … So, that’s a really big statement. If it’s the one thing you can do to stay younger. How does this help you stay younger?
Jody Serra: 11:30
Only because we all have stress on the nervous system. For a lot of us, it starts at birth. The birth process can be traumatic. If you didn’t have any subluxation, which is what we call those misalignements … If you didn’t have any of that from birth, usually through infancy and toddlerhood and childhood, the bumps, the falls, all those things … We just sort of dust them off and we hope that everything is okay, but you’re developing these imbalances that, over time, it becomes sort of like the layers of an onion and you’re 14, or 15, or 17 and now all of the sudden you’ve got blinding headaches. You go to the medical doctor and what does he recommend? We’ve got a pill for that.
Saad Alam: 12:08
Jody Serra: 12:09
So, if you start getting adjusted younger, there’s less layers of that onion to peel away. We have tons of families that come in here. They bring their kids. We have infants that come in. We have babies that have been adjusted on their way home from the hospital. So we’ve got the wrist band on, a day and a half, two days old. We check them and almost all of them have imbalances in the cervical spine because of the birth process. We clear it out and good healthy babies.
Saad Alam: 12:34
Wow. How often should an adjustment be done? What is the exact definition of that?
Jody Serra: 12:39
Well, an adjustment is a realigning of the spinal bones. There’s a lot of different techniques. I know you had asked me about that. There’s a lot of different techniques out there to do it. For adults, we have sort of an analysis that we go through. So, to ask how often somebody be adjusted, we start out with what we consider active care. Somebody may be … say if they’re 40 years old, they’ve never been to a chiropractor. They’ve got headaches. Their energy level is low, pain in one shoulder and pain in one hip. So we’ll take some x-rays, do an analysis and we design a treatment plan.
Jody Serra: 13:17
Active care in a chiropractors office is typically a couple times a week. It’s like physical therapy. It’s like going to the gym. If you hired a personal trainer and said I want to get rid of this and kind of get back in shape and get my cardio up, he might design a program where you would be … some strength training and some cardio. You do a workout. He’s not going to say good job Saad, I’ll see you in two weeks. He’s going to say, I’ll see you Wednesday, I’ll see you Friday, I’ll see you Monday. You’re going to do it a couple times a week if you want to make a change.
Jody Serra: 13:47
You could do it twice a month. It’s better than not doing it but, if you did it two or three times a week, you’re going to start to see results. Twice a month, you’re not going to see anything. Same thing with chiropractic. We’re trying to change a body that’s been out of balance for a while. If we just saw you occasionally or once or twice a month, it would take forever and it might not even work because you want to really get the body used to the position where the bones should be. So it’s typically a couple times a week in the beginning. Not just in our office, but pretty much any chiropractors office. Then we move on to what we consider corrective care or lifestyle care, which can be anywhere from once a week to once a month.
Jody Serra: 14:21
But I never recommend going longer than every other week to get adjusted. I’ve been adjusted for 40 some years. I get adjusted minimum once a week.
Saad Alam: 14:28
Who does your adjustments?
Jody Serra: 14:29
Well I have an associate doctor, Dr. Rebecca. She’s phenomenal. Good hands. She was an athlete in high school. She played basketball, softball, I think field hockey. So she sees all the patients I see too. Then I have a good friend of mine, John Murray, who’s a local chiropractor. He was the guy that recommended his uncle. He ended up going to chiropractic school, so him and I played rugby together. We knew each other in high school and we’ve been friends our whole lives, so I got to see him quite often.
Saad Alam: 14:58
Let me ask you. So, if you were to think about, there’s something about you or what you do that make the best want to come to you. I know it’s hard to talk about yourself, but what do you think you do better than some others, or that you believe you’re very good at?
Jody Serra: 15:15
You know, I’ve asked myself that because I’ve worked on some of the best of the best, Joe Montana, MVP, Barry Bonds, baseball MVP, Odell Beckham, one of the best receivers in the NFL right now. I just feel like you resonate well with them. I feel like I am the best adjuster that I’ve ever been to, if there is such a thing. I also believe in results. you work on them and they have a great game. I don’t like to say that they’re superstitious, but they like to keep things the same. I’m also vetted just by years of working with pro athletes. They know that I’ve worked on these other players and that sort of gets kind of handed down to, they trusted them, they had great careers. I think I have like nine guys that are in the Hall of Fame.
Jody Serra: 16:11
We have probably 10 or 12 pro bowlers. We’ve got four Superbowl MVPs that I’ve worked on. So they’ve all had good careers and … Part of it, I will admit, is being in the right place at the right time, but also being really good at what you do. A lot of people ask me that. Younger new doctors, like what did you do? I’m like, just be really good at what you do and be the best at what you do if you can. Be in the right place at the right time and be prepared at that moment.
Saad Alam: 16:42
What do you think is like … After you’ve had a career within one particular … or one particular industry, you develop like a sixth sense for something.
Jody Serra: 16:51
Saad Alam: 16:52
What’s your sixth sense?
Jody Serra: 16:53
I would say the sixth sense is really in your hands. I think players feel that too. They feel that confidence. I can feel when things are just the tiniest bit out of place. I remember an exercise we did in school. We had a class called palpation, which is really teaching you how to feel with your finger tips because it’s a sense that we don’t … Since we can see and hear, it’s a sense we don’t use a lot.
Jody Serra: 17:21
So it entailed a room with no windows, from like a desktop. We would take a hair off her head, drop it on the desktop, put a piece a of tablet paper on the hair, lights out. Then you would have to find the hair with your finger tips and trace it with a pencil. Then they turn the lights on and you lift it up to see where the hair was. Then you drop the hair again. Now you put two pieces of paper, then three, then four, to the point where you can do it through like 50 pieces of paper. It sounds-
Saad Alam: 17:49
That’s unbelievable. This is-
Jody Serra: 17:50
It sounds unbelievable, but it was an exercise that we did and everybody can do it because everybody in the class could do it, just it takes time. You have to develop it. When you don’t have your sight, you’d be surprised how your fingertips can see.
Saad Alam: 18:02
That’s so interesting. When we saw your patient come in, you took one quick look at her, you saw some kind of huge misalignment. I thought she looked fine. Then, by the time she left, you’re right, what you had done had completely changed.
Jody Serra: 18:13
Well, when we look at … Almost all chiropractors use a leg check because the pelvis is the foundation for the spine. So, if we look at somebody’s feet and they’re like this … Now I’m exaggerating but, if they look like this, we know the hips look like this. So there’s different things. We lift the feed up and it gives us an idea of what we have to adjust. Then we adjust in a certain direction. Then we check to see that it’s made a change. When we left, I don’t know if you noticed, but her feet were perfect. When we started, her feet were like this.
Saad Alam: 18:39
Jody Serra: 18:40
Again, she’s been a patient for 15 years, so I can tell pretty much what we need to do as soon as I see her, what her leg length looks like.
Saad Alam: 18:49
Has the chiropractic field been the same for the past 30 years, or are there things around the corner that are new, different, have a different promise?
Jody Serra: 18:59
The field has changed dramatically, just like the whole medical world. Unfortunately, I feel that it’s based on insurance coverage. Insurance coverage, you could pick and choose your doctors. You could pick and choose the type of treatment you want to go for. Now, the scope of what they cover has pretty much narrowed. We don’t participate with a lot of insurance plans. I feel that that sort of limits people as to where they can go, but there are plenty of people out there that are willing to reach into their pocket and pay out of their pocket for an alternative type of care.
Jody Serra: 19:36
So I feel that there’s been a big … not a revolution, but a swing towards natural approaches in treating the cause rather than the symptoms. Again, like I said, my parents generation, the doctor was like the pope. If he said, “I’ve got a purple pill. You’re going to take this”, they would take it. Today, you and I and people in our generation are more inclined to say, I did some reading and I’ve done some research and I was wondering what about acupuncture, what about chiropractic, what about exercise for this? I’m reading that this could help.
Jody Serra: 20:07
A lot of medical doctors, the older ones are kind of baffled. I don’t know, you could try it. But chiropractors have been sort of on that cutting edge for 100 years. Chiropractic was founded in 1895, so over 100 years chiropractors have espoused that philosophy of let the body heal itself. Work towards correcting the cause and the body can heal itself.
Saad Alam: 20:28
So I completely agree with you. We just went to an age management conference down in Tuscon and more and more of the physician, they’re only looking for cash pay patients because that way they’re not constrained by the insurance companies. They can do what’s actually right for the patient and not just figure out how to make sure they’re billing appropriately. Are there new techniques that you think science has taught you about recently that allow you to do your job a little bit more effectively?
Jody Serra: 20:52
Yeah. There was a time when chiropractors basically … I hate to use the term, but sort of just cracked the bones. I feel that there’s a lot of technology. There’s tables that help us to move the bones a little bit more specifically and more gently, if for nothing else. So there’s not as much of that cracking. I hate to use that term, but it is out there.
Jody Serra: 21:19
Also, we do use a class four laser. When I do work on the athletes I bring a class four laser with me. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that-
Saad Alam: 21:26
Jody Serra: 21:26
-but a class four laser works off a specific wavelength of light, that every tissue cell the light touches is stimulated to produce more ATP. If you remember from high school biology, ATP is the fuel for the cells. It doesn’t matter whether you eat steak and eggs or peanut butter and jelly, it all gets converted to ATP in the cells. The laser light stimulates those cells to produce something like seven times as much over the next 48 hours.
Jody Serra: 21:54
So what that does, everything the cell does, it’ll do it seven times faster. Repair, regeneration is the big thing, but also nutrients in, waste out, that type of thing. So the cells just work faster. So it’s one of the few modalities that we’ve added to our practice in the last 30 years that I feel really speeds up healing.
Jody Serra: 22:10
We also have decompression therapy. I grew up in the ’60s and 70’s, somebody had a bad back. You’d hear, he’s in the hospital. They put him in traction. You may have heard that, but you don’t hear it anymore because … Traction, the concept was good because the disks are actually sort of fluid filled. So, when we lay down at night, they sort of refill with fluid. When we’re sitting and standing during the day, they’re compressing. So you’re actually a little taller in the morning than you are in the evening because, when you wake up and get of bed, the disks are fluid filled.
Jody Serra: 22:42
So the idea of traction was good, but the practice of doing it was not good because they didn’t take into account the muscles that surround the bones, like the muscles in our body. They move joints, but they also protect joints. So, when you pull on a joint, the muscles, just as if I were to pull your arm towards me and put my foot in your armpit, without you thinking about it, you’re going to pull back because you don’t want me to pull your arm out of the armpit.
Jody Serra: 23:04
So, when they would pull on these spinal bones, muscles would hold on for dear life. Back in the ’60s and ’70s they’d medicate these people to the point where the muscles gave up, and they ended up with a lot more problems than they went in with sometimes. So you’ll never hear of anybody doing traction in a hospital anymore, but they developed these, sort of an outpatient protocol where they would do work with physical therapists, and they developed these tables that were traction tables. They found the more slowly and gently they did it, the more kind of intermittent treatment, they got better results.
Jody Serra: 23:34
So they sort of followed the research and developed these decompression tables, which do it very slowly and gently. There’s a technology built into the tables today which, since we have computers and things that work so quickly, when the table senses the resistance … It has sensors built into it and it senses the resistance in the muscles. When it senses that resistance, the table backs off. They’ll do it up to 40 times a second.
Jody Serra: 23:58
So just like a dog whistle that you can’t hear, you don’t feel 40 times a second. So you get this gentle traction. If you did it once, you’ll feel great for a couple of days. This is just for people with bad disks in their back or their neck, which is about 20% of our patient population. 80% of the people who come in here don’t need it, but for the 20% that did, it’s a Godsend because we used to have to send these people to the orthopedic surgeon or the neurologist. They ended up with surgery, which is about a 50% success rate in my experience.
Saad Alam: 24:27
I watch my father go through it right now. It’s completely debilitating.
Jody Serra: 24:31
Look at Tiger Woods, the richest golfer in the world, can afford the best doctors, the best rehab. It doesn’t matter whether he has coverage or no coverage, five back surgeries. Finally, the fifth one seems to have worked, but four failed back surgeries. Again, most of us don’t have those resources to be able to do that, so he was fortunate.
Jody Serra: 24:49
So that’s a technology that we added too. There’s only three companies in the world that make the real decompression tables. They are very expensive. You can buy a small house for what the table cost, but it was worth it. So we have the best of those three, and patients come from all over for it. We have people that have come from Hoboken, people from south of Trenton, people from up above Newton, New Jersey, people from Allentown, Pennsylvania. So they’ll drive a long way to do it. They’ll do the therapy here. It only takes about a month, and then we send them back to a chiropractor.
Jody Serra: 25:20
The after care is basically you just need to maintain the alignment. So they have to go to a chiropractor. They don’t have to come to us, but they have to go somewhere.
Saad Alam: 25:26
So, 30 years old, 40 years old, 50 years old, we start to feel a little bit of age. What are the basic things you think we can do with those ages to actually safe guard from age?
Jody Serra: 25:37
Well, if you haven’t done anything to that point, I certainly would see a chiropractor and get adjusted. Beyond that, I think in my experience, 36 years of doing this, people don’t drink enough water. I think everybody should hydrate more. People should drink more water than they’re drinking. When I say that to patients, sometimes they’ll be like, I have a liter of diet coke every day. That’s not good. Or I drink six cups of coffee, or I drink cool aid. Drink water. Get some good water. I don’t care if it’s … There’s Kangen water, there’s reverse osmosis water, there’s well water, spring water. Drink water. That’d be number one.
Jody Serra: 26:17
Number two, I’m a big believer in sleep. I’m almost obsessed with sleep. I think a great night sleep … only because that’s when we do our repair and regeneration. So I am also a believer in napping. I tell people I nap all the … that I nap usually three or four days a week. People say, that’s because your old. I say, no, I started doing it when I was 20. When I was in college I used to nap. When I was first in practice, we’d take a break between 12:00 and 3:00 and I would nap for at least an hour.
Jody Serra: 26:49
I feel it’s helped me. There’s a doctor, Irving Dardik. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of him. He was on the Olympic Medical … He was actually the Chair of the Olympic Medical Committee, I think in like 1960 or something like that, but he wrote a book called Making Waves, and he talks about how our lives are based around waves. We sleep in cycles. We eat in cycles. We have hormonal cycles. He developed the first, what I would consider, high intensity interval work outs. He calls it wave training in his book. So that was something he talked about is, all of us have this down cycle of sort of energy in the middle to late afternoon. If you’re not a coffee drinker, if it’s just all things being equal, if you got a good night sleep, middle of the afternoon you might be tired. So it’s almost 12 hours after one of the deepest parts of your sleep at 3:00 to 4:00 AM. He feels that we should take naps then.
Jody Serra: 27:41
So it validated what I’ve been doing for the last like 25 years, but I’m a big believer in that. So I would say, if you’re not getting a good nights sleep, figure out why you’re not, whether it’s your mattress, your pillow, your dog. Whatever it is, make sure you get a good night sleep. If you can nap, nap. Most people can’t, but some of the cultures, like European cultures where they do take a little siesta, they’re healthier. They have less heart disease. They thought for a long time it was the red wine, and then they found that they feel now, at least some of the research I read was they feel it’s more that resting in the middle of the day.
Jody Serra: 28:19
Then obviously the last, most important thing is diet. Look at your diet. Look at what you’re eating. There’s a lot of great diets out there. I tend to lean towards a paleo diet. Even if you don’t do it strictly, I think if you trend towards it, it would make you healthier. More fruits and vegetables obviously. Less processed foods. If you’re going to eat meat, try to find grass fed, organic, that type of thing. That would probably be my … I would start trending towards those.
Jody Serra: 28:52
Get adjusted. Look into sleep and diet, and hydrate yourself.
Saad Alam: 29:01
Do you think that there’s a way you adjust a 30 year old versus a 50 year old differently?
Jody Serra: 29:06
No. The analysis is basically the same. As I’ve said, patients in their 80s and 90s, the adjustments are gentler. We might use some more instruments than hand, but the analysis is the same. Basically you’re looking for interference in the nervous system and you want to clear that out so that the nervous system functions at a higher level, which is going to kind of … It’s like dominoes. The endocrine system’s going to function higher, then all the other systems which are controlled by those will be functioning at a higher level. So your health goes from here to here.
Saad Alam: 29:36
One thing you should do outside of chiropractic practice to safe guard yourself from aging, what do you think that thing is?
Jody Serra: 29:43
First of all, I think everybody should get adjusted, number one. Number two, if I had to pick one thing I think that would be most important to help you to stay healthy and stay younger longer, intermittent fasting. I’ve been doing it for seven years. If you read any of the research, there’s a litany of things that it is good for. When you hear fasting, people tend to think of weight loss, but it’s really … it lowers the insulin, it raises the human growth hormone levels which are almost impossible to do naturally, but fasting will do it. It changes really the body’s steroid and hormone level. That’s the biggest thing.
Jody Serra: 30:27
If you change that body chemistry, it helps the brain, it helps the digestive system, detoxes us. It helps the body to cleanse itself of sort of abnormal cells, which could eventually end up being cancer cells. So tons of research out there, tons of great websites, tons of resources on intermittent fasting. There’s a few companies out there. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Bulletproof coffee.
Saad Alam: 30:51
Jody Serra: 30:51
Love what they do. Their thing is like, hey, you eat in a six hour window. You’re fasting for 18 hours, and start it with a cup of Bulletproof coffee, which I think that’s great.
Saad Alam: 31:00
Jody Serra: 31:01
Yeah. I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I have coffee every day because of the benefits of it. I tend to do a longer fast. I like to eat … normally I tend to fast on Wednesdays, so I’ll eat normally Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday night I have dinner. I don’t eat again until Thursday morning.
Saad Alam: 31:20
Oh wow. So I do two 16-18 hour fasts per week. You’re doing like a 36 hours, almost 40.
Jody Serra: 31:29
Yeah, 36. Yeah, it’s almost 40. If I went … It’d be 48 hours if I went until dinner time on Thursday. If you don’t eat on a particular day, but the next day, it’s funny, you’re really not hungry.
Saad Alam: 31:41
Jody Serra: 31:41
You’re like, I could go … So just last week, I went from dinner time on Tuesday. I didn’t eat until I think maybe 3:00 in the afternoon on Thursday. Sounds impossible to somebody who hasn’t done it. Once you do it, you’re like, I can do this.
Saad Alam: 31:54
So you’re actually in ketosis right now probably, assuming you’re fasting.
Jody Serra: 31:58
Yeah, today is Wednesday, but I didn’t because I wasn’t sure. I nap really hard those days. I knew I was going to have a shortened lunch break, so I didn’t do it today. So I probably … The other thing too that I should mention, a lot of people, they might be vegan or vegetarian or paleo, and they become very, for lack of a better word, Nazi about it. Oh I can’t. I tell people, listen, trend towards it. If you want to be vegetarian, and you go to your friend house and they’re serving tacos, have the tacos. You know what I mean?
Jody Serra: 32:28
You don’t want to create more stress in your life by trying to live like a monk. So, if I miss a Wednesday, I can fast on Thursday. If I miss a week, I do it the next week. Usually about three or four times a year I’ll do a three day fast. For those, I like to eat normally on the weekend. I’ll eat Sunday night, supper time. Then I don’t eat until Thursday.
Saad Alam: 32:49
Jody Serra: 32:49
So I won’t eat Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. I drink a lot of water. I know a lot of people do bone broth and stuff like that. I have done it. I have done whey water, but I find water itself, just good clean spring water, works the best for me.
Saad Alam: 33:03
Wow. That’s pretty amazing to go that many … Do you notice anything dramatically different about yourself after?
Jody Serra: 33:11
Yeah. You feel sharp and clear and clean. It’s hard to describe, but I’m 61 years old. I ride a bicycle. I can get on my bike and pedal out 100 miles. That’s not an exaggeration. I do it … [inaudible 00:33:27] I do it all year long. This time of the year, not so much. I get kind of fat and lazy in the winter. But once the spring comes, I’m 30, 40, 50 miles, two or three days a week. Summertime, it’s like 40 or 50 miles, four or five days a week. I feel that that’s part of my lifestyle. It’s not just like, hey I exercise or hey I eat right. It’s a combination of those things.
Jody Serra: 33:50
So part of my lifestyle is the intermittent fasting. I can still train on those days. On Wednesdays, I go to the gym at 5:30. I come here. We work from 8:00 in the morning until 7:00 at night. I take a nap in the middle part of the day. I come home from work. I go to sleep, wake up Thursday, and I can eat. So it’s pretty easy. I always say it’s like, if you were a kid jumping up near … growing up near a river, and they had a bridge or something. When you were younger and your older brother and his friends might jump off this bridge, you’d be like, I can’t do that. I can’t do that. But then one day you do it and you’re like, that wasn’t so bad.
Jody Serra: 34:22
So fasting, to me, is like that. People say to me all the time, I could never do that. I’m like, hold on. If I offered you a million dollars to skip food for a day, I could do that.
Saad Alam: 34:32
Oh yeah, of course.
Jody Serra: 34:35
But my thing is, once you do it, it’s like jumping off the bridge. You’re like, piece of cake. It really is.
Saad Alam: 34:40
Now, you know what’s amazing. When I first started fasting, right around that 12 hour mark when the hunger really kicks in, you tend to go, I need to reach for something. But the moment you realize that’s actually a good thing, and it shifts your entire perspective, so you’re like, oh let me just fight through this for 45 minutes.
Jody Serra: 34:57
Saad Alam: 34:57
And, after I get through it, hunger subsides, you feel a little bit sharper.
Jody Serra: 35:00
The other thing I do is find hot drinks. If you were to find Chamomile tea with just the tea, not honey and lemon or anything like that. That, for some reason, feels like that. Chamomile is supposed to calm you down, but I feel like just a hot drink, even if you just had hot water with lemon. That’s why I think a lot of people do bone broth, they warm it up. It’s almost like a cup of soup. There’s benefits to bone broth too but, as I said, I tend to just do water.
Saad Alam: 35:27