Skip to content

The Journey to Wellness and Health [E001]

In this opening episode of the Wellness Connection Podcast, Dr. Bryan Joseph and Dr. Jason Hamed discuss their own journey to wellness. Learn what got them started on their way of becoming  the optimal health experts they are today.

Dr. Bryan: All right, today is a great day because we’re kicking off a new journey for the wellness connection and that is an opportunity to share our journey and our hearts with as many people that are willing to receive it. Today I’m honored to be with my best friend and business partner for many, many years Dr. Jason Hamed. Dr. Jason: How you doing? Dr. Jason Hamed here or better known as Dr. J.

Dr. Bryan: And I am Dr. Bryan Joseph, and today our intention is to go back and have a throw back episode and share some of the feelings, and inspirations, and thoughts that we went through years ago when we were kids, whether being grade school or junior high, as to how we actually chose the career we chose and how we got into the journey of health and how that may related to your own journey. Dr. J let me start off by asking you a coupe questions if that’s all right. Dr. Jason: Yeah.

Dr. Jason Hamed’s Childhood Journey Towards Health

Dr. Bryan: I know your journey’s been a little bit different than mine but what was it about your environment and growing up that said, this is a direction I want to pursue, health?

Dr. Jason: It’s funny in our conversations that we’ve had over the years just on this alone I had a chance to really recognize that instinctively, it was like this natural inborn innate thing inside of me that was drawn to movement, that was drawn towards exercise. And I remember as a child being little and watching Rocky movies, remember Rocky IV. when he’s climbing up the mountain and he’s all snow covered and I’m like, “Oh that’s awesome”

Crushing it on my Huffy

The Journey To Health On My BikeI grew up I upstate New York, and so we have a lot of snow so we have these sand dunes for the trucks to come by and pick up the sand and take on the roads. And so, it happened to go by my house, so I remember as a kid riding my bike not just riding but now what I realize was an interval training,

I was crushing it on my Huffy, crushing it to the sand dune.

And then I get to the sand dune and I’m doing wind sprints up the sand dune, I think I was maybe 11 years old, 12 years old. Looking back movement and exercise and just something, I guess at the time we didn’t know it as kids as health, but I was drawn to that.

And then having an uncle who was a chiropractor and one of my mentors growing up I started to recognize that I wanted to be a doctor, I wanted to be a healer, I wanted to be a healthcare provider. He was a mentor for me so I started to learn more and more about natural healthcare and how it seamlessly fits into what I was natural drawn to with movement, and positive mindset, and proper food choices. So I just naturally evolved from a young age. How about you?

Dr. Bryan’s Health Experiences Growing Up

Dr. Bryan: Mines a little bit different. I played out in the fields playing football and those type of things, and the neighborhood ball so I was always moving, but I’ll never forget my seventh grade teacher who was a giant mentor of mine, Coach Dave Rogers.

Healthy Oreo Cookies

I remember him giving a lecture in my PE class saying that one day when you get a little bit older you guys will be in a position where you’re eating healthy Oreo cookies. And I remember going home that day and looking in what we had as our breadbox, which was basically our junk drawer at home and saying, “Gosh.” I’m looking in there at Star Crunches and Twinkies and Nutter Bars and all these things, and that statement that he shared just kept echoing in my mind that one day we’ll look down and in that breadbox there’s going to be a healthy version of these things. And then it started to get my mind thinking on a deep level saying,

“Gosh, why aren’t those things present now? Or, what are we doing to ourself right own with all this junk that we put into our body and the consumption of crap, how are we going to pay the price from that stuff?”

And I remember time going on is looking around in my family structure and saying,

“Food became the thing that brought us together and it wasn’t always good food.”

It was typically junk food but inevitably we sat around the table as a family and had most of our entertainment around lengthy dinners and deserts. Over the period of years I start to witness something that no one wants to witness, which is basically declining health of the people you love.

Experiencing food as entertainment

And when you see that you start to put two and two together you say, “Gosh, if in fact sitting around the table and just eating as your entertainment source is what you do then you sure as heck better start making better choices with what you eat otherwise you’re going to end up in a spot like everybody else that I witness, which was overweight, inflamed, hurting, depressed, and in pain with sickness and problems. So, it just got my mind thinking that maybe we should consider making some better and smarter choices with what we put into our mouth.

It’s never too early for “deep thinking” about health

Dr. Jason: Did you actually have those thoughts when you looked at that Oreo cookie box did you actually start thinking that way, even at that young age?

Dr. Bryan: I’ve always been a relatively deep thinker just like you. Dr. Jason: Yeah, right. That’s probably why we work together.

Dr. Bryan: Here we go a little bit deeper. I remember seeing many of my siblings, not siblings but my relatives, my uncles, and my parents on a number of prescription medications, and when I look around and say,

“Gosh, they’re on so many medications and if in fact the medications were helping them to be well they would already be very well, but it wasn’t the case. These were people unfortunately that I love that were already overweight and hurting.”

And then I start thinking backwards a little bit and reverse engineering and seeing it wasn’t just the medicine that got them there, it was the poor choices that they made. And that coming back to your Huffy experience on your bike, food was one of the choices, but there were several other choices where they chose not to ever exercise or move.

Before there were organic options

Dr. Jason: I think though if we’re really going to be honest not only with what we went through as kids, and we saw in our families, and how it shaped us, we also gotta be honest, you and I both know we always can recognize where someone’s journey is. You can’t always assume that they had the same intellect, or the same thought process, or the same resources, or the same opportunities. I go back to my upbringing and the same obviously with your roots, same ages, there wasn’t Google, there wasn’t as much information. Things that we now take for granted like gluten free shopping, Paleo. Dr. Bryan: Yeah, organic those things.

Dr. Jason: Oh yeah, and now there’s like a freaking work out center every block. I grew up in a town where there was a bar or a wing shop or a church every corner, a Catholic church, that’s what people knew. I got bars, I got buffalo wings, and we got Mass. That’s what we did, right?

And I look back now and I think part of what shaped me, like you … and you made me think of it as you were talking, was watching my brother grew up. As you know for the listeners, my brother grew up with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and he had it they estimated since he was two, and I watched how devastating that was for my brother. And I watched the mornings where he would get up and he’d be so inflamed, and in so much pain. And my father would just pick him up and carry him to a tub full of cold water just to help calm his body down.

Looking back

There was so many things I look back on and like your family because I know how important your family was to you and still is and mine’s same is, they made a lot of amazing choices with respect to the feelings and the connections. There were certain choices they made, my mom and dad were amazing folks, they were amazing parents, they did a great job with what they had. Yet, the same token is we also made some choices nutritionally, at the time we didn’t know they were only making my brother’s RA worse. And so, all of the great doctors that he did see … and they were, they were …

Dr. Bryan: And none of that clearly is intentional, they’re not trying to make their kids worse.

Dr. Jason: No.

Dr. Bryan: None of us are.

Dr. Jason: None of us are, nor are those doctors. I still believe this and I know you do to, these doctors are good people we believe that at least.

Dr. Bryan: Yeah.

Everyone has their own wellness lens

Dr. Jason: And they’re trying their best through the lens of which they see health and how to help health. Now we may not always agree with that lens, but I’m not doubting their character and these people were good people trying to help myself with my allergies, and asthma, and my brother, but yet now as we fast forward 30 years now, 40 years we can clearly see that some of those means of just more steroids, more things for my brother, Albuterol sprays for me and my asthma weren’t really the missing link. It wasn’t like I was walking around missing the gene for Albuterol and it wasn’t like my brother was missing the gene for Prednisone, why he was so swollen, but there was multi-factorial things and only putting everything through a pharmacological approach wasn’t getting me or my brother healthier.

The role of stress in our journey to wellness

Dr. Bryan: I think it’s real safe to say that there’s two things when you’re saying this that come to y mind is, number one is, all of our choices throughout our lives and sometimes we’re a little bit ignorant as to what are right and wrong choices because of the environment of the family we grew up on, but all of our choices ultimately start to compound over a period of years and decades, and then it creates either great outcome that we’re excited about in terms of the quality of life and the health that we have, or the opposite and those choices … and we’ve had this discussion many times, boil down to just this overarching umbrella concept called stress. And we can break it down if cruising on the Huffy bike back in day is a form of movement then stress can be movement oriented or physical stress.

Dr. Jason: Right.

Dr. Bryan: That has to be attuned to. I may not have been on the Huffy bike but inevitably if I’m colliding with other individuals with football pads on that’s a physical stress. And over a period of years of compounding that’s going to come back to haunt me, but it’s not just physical in terms of a bike or a football, but just sitting at a desk. For so many people out there that just sit at a desk at a computer day after day or a recliner watching their favorite shows their bodies are under tremendous amount of physical stress.

Dr. Jason: Doc, you mean you know it, we know it. What’d you always say? The curse of knowledge, is that what you say?

Dr. Bryan: Yeah that’s one of them.

Lack of movement

Dr. Jason: Yeah, so it’s one of those things were we study the research, we’re around it all day and we just think that everyone else realizes that, and honestly it’s not intention this thing because we’re so inundated, everything you’re saying 100% right. The research is coming out by the volumes right now demonstrating that the lack of movement is killing people. It’s literally a protracted suicide. It’s what I like to call the micro traumas, so everyone gets, hey listen, if I was in a football and I got my bell rung when I was 17 everyone understands, yeah I could see how that could hurt you.

Dr. Bryan: Knock out punch Mike Tyson.

Dr. Jason: Right, exactly. You see the guy’s head snap back like, “Oh, that’s going to hurt.”

Dr. Bryan: That’s going to be a problem.

Getting smarter about your bodies

Dr. Jason: Yeah. But what they don’t realize, what our experience and my experience has been is most people aren’t aware that looking down at a cell phone for several minutes times thousands of times in a day adds up, and ends up being for our five, six hours in a day total times weeks, times months, times years looking at a computer screen. We live in an area out here in St Louis where many people have a 30, 40 minute commute minimally and that’s not even bad compared to most places in the country. Now all of a sudden you’re looking at hours and hours in a car, then you get to work and you’re sitting at a desk for six, seven, eight hours, not moving. I love the standing desk, that’s wonderful, it’s a great start, but still if you’re just standing and then looking down at a screen you’re still again, still putting compound stress. So you’re right doc, there is a lot to this physical stress aspect, or lack of movement stress.

Dr. Bryan: So clearly one of the things that we hope to share over our journey of having our episodes is to share how you can move your body in a smarter way and understand that what we believe is, motion is life.

Dr. Jason: Yeah.

Stress from our food choices

Dr. Bryan: In order to have a positive effect with the physical stress that we all have exposure to how can we improve upon that? Which, we will hit on that. So, let’s move over to another type of stress. You’re talking about movement there, but earlier I said I sat around the dinner table at home and watched myself and everybody around me pummel in all sorts of fun foods from cakes, to pies, to treats just like your buffalo wings and everything else that you had back home. So, that’s not physical stress that’s more of a nutritional or chemical stress that actually starts to harm us, what’s your feel on what you see in terms of the nutrition or chemical stress in our society?

Dr. Jason: Well first and foremost again like you there is really not a space in my body that’s judgemental about it because [crosstalk 00:12:32].

Dr. Bryan: No we both love our stuff.

Dr. Jason: No, I know, exactly. I’m not going to stop eating chicken wings, I love it. I love chicken wings and we just recently had, had Thanksgiving, I love just cutting loose and enjoying, however, what I have recognized some of the patterns of watching my brother be sick, watching me be sick, watching my brother not be as affected as much by RA due to some choices he’s made and watch my own breathing, and my own body change by changing some of the things that we’ve worked on.

And then openly, in my own family my mom making improvements in her health by changing some of the foods not only what have I experienced, but also what we’ve studied and what we’ve seen is if we can as a culture start getting away from sugars, if we can get away from over doing it with processed foods and return back to what I like to call Godly food, just eating what is made of the Earth or animal protein if you’re eating animal protein.

Food is fuel, so choose wisely

Dr. Bryan: I think that’s why we say food is fuel.

Dr. Jason: Right, exactly. Yeah exactly right man. It’s like looking at food for what truly is.

Dr. Bryan: All day long I tell patients that it’s kind of funny, we look at what we put into our car in terms of the gasoline that we use, never would we chose to put Snicker bars and Skittles in the gas tank and expect our sport car to actually run at a high level. It’s asinine but inevitably we do it all day long with our body. Food has gotta be looked upon as fuel, and another thing that we hope to share over the period of time that we’re doing this podcast is how you can easily incorporate food as fuel into your life, and, which foods to potentially stay away from that you may not be aware of, that they’re actually causing chemical stress to your body.

You don’t have to be perfect, but you should be aware

Dr. Jason: Yeah. I think also too, let the listeners realize that you don’t have to be perfect.

Dr. Bryan: Right.

Dr. Jason: That’s something that openly you know I’ve struggled with in the past. I tried to be so rigid …

Dr. Bryan: But more rights than wrong, right?

Dr. Jason: More rights, yeah. I like that. Yeah, more rights than wrong so literally create the cellular safety bank if you will, create so much good things in a non-inflammatory way that if you do have a great time, you’re going back home to Peoria and you’re going to your favorite pizza shop then you go and you enjoy it. If I’m going back home and I’m having wings and pizza and whatnot, and some beers or whatever, I’m not going to kill myself, but I’m also not going to wake up the next day so inflamed, so snotty, and I can’t breathe because I’ve created enough capacity.

Dr. Bryan: Right, knowing you did the right thing for your body maybe for five out of seven days.

Dr. Jason: Right.

Dr. Bryan: That compounds over time.

Dr. Jason: It goes back to what you said, yeah. Those compounding choices over the day, over the week allow you to have that fun on the weekend.

Emotional Stress

Dr. Bryan: So if we know we have physical stress that we’re all kind of aware of, but now we know we have chemical stress or nutritional stress that we’re all becoming aware of, what is the third form of stress that you see that has got to be put into our forefront to be able to keep us all well?

Dr. Jason: Clearly emotional stress. Clearly.

Dr. Bryan: So, talk on that. What do you mean by that?

Dr. Jason: We are, and I say we because it’s again through the filter of a healthcare provider but also being very transparent in regards to the stress I know I deal with data for. It’s tough, it’s no joke, life is not easy. It’s not this kumbaya experience that I think that many people feel or are misled to believe that it is. It’s stress, it’s stressful.

Dr. Bryan: My perspective is all day long so may of us internalize thing called stress, this illusion that something is really wrong or that we’re threatened, and consequently our body’s dealing with laying down, poor hormones, or bad hormones that are eating at your body all day long and you do that in a series of compounding days and what do you thinks going to happen to your body?

The Compounding Effect

Dr. Jason: Yeah, disease. I tell people, you blow out your nervous system, you just blow it out.

Dr. Bryan: Right.

Dr. Jason: You overload. It’s like you said again, the theme of compounding choices has come up and you know during some of our workshops where I like to talk to people and make it really so they can feel it, I use a discussion of, “Hey, let’s pretend you and I got in an argument.” If you’re listening right now think of an argument you just had maybe or just make one up in your mind. When you’re going through this argument with someone are you relaxed of are you tight?

Dr. Bryan: Oh heck yeah you’re tightening up and sweating.

Dr. Jason: Right, and you’re getting all worked up. Now, fast forward 10, 15 minutes later you leave that argument with that person and you replay the argument with a friend or family member, what happens to you again? Are you relaxed or do you get tight again?

Dr. Bryan: No, you get that same feeling.

Dr. Jason: And every time you see that person male or female in the office, if it was someone in your office, how do you feel? Do you get relaxed and you’re joyful or are you getting more stressed?

Dr. Bryan: No, threatened like you’re going to fight.

Dr. Jason: Right. Now multiply that times every other thing in your life.

Dr. Bryan: Well think of you’re nailing something.

Dr. Jason: Yeah.

Money can lead to a form of stress

Dr. Bryan: Imagine if that same threat was how you view money.

Dr. Jason: Right.

Dr. Bryan: Worried as to whether or not you’re going to have enough money to buy groceries, or make your car payment, or just stressing over the concept of spending money. IT’s no different than that threat of an individual.

Dr. Jason: Or the fact that you’re really repressing something inside of you that you want to get out. You’re an artist inside and you’re not letting it out. You’re literally walking through your days not expressing what’s your soul purpose. Or, you’re not totally connected to or you know you’re not honoring your relationships whether it be with your wife or your husband, those are all compounding stressors and you and I both, we’re dads, it’s tough, and trying to take care of ourselves, and make sure we’re there for our wives, they compound.

Dr. Bryan: The quest of trying to be perfect.

Dr. Jason: Yeah. Which is an illusion too.

Dr. Bryan: It’s an illusion.

Dr. Jason: Yeah, it’s absolutely an illusion, you’ve said that for a long, long time.

The right time to take action

Dr. Bryan: Well here’s one of the things that I continually come back to in our discussions is, all right we have physical, chemical, and emotional stress but what’s going to move the needle for people? What’s going to make today be the day that I’m going to change? We see so often … and we’ve had this discussion, and at least my perspective says, we all wait for New Years for that New Year’s resolution to say it’s time to finally change, or what a lot of people do is they experience some form of threat or pain like for instance when you’re sharing the story about your brother or what I saw around my family. Or, let’s just say you’re the smoker that knows they shouldn’t be smoking, but you don’t change, you don’t have any bit of inspiration to change until you actually have a heart attack and then the doctor says,

“If you don’t quit smoking you’re going to die.”

Dr. Bryan: Why do we have to wait for that element of motivation? How can we change that? How can we get our mind to say, “now’s the time I gotta be motivated?”

Dr. Jason: You know Bryan if I had that exact answer I think that we’d be leading massive movements and changing healthcare like yesterday, openly. I believe there has to be an absolute teachable moment in someone’s life, they have to be willing to embrace something new. They have to be able to recognize that what I’m presently doing isn’t working and I have to do something different. And often …

Dr. Bryan: For most people though don’t you think that they don’t feel like anything’s broken or wrong until there’s an extensive amount of pain?

Dr. Jason: That’s exactly right, exactly right. They’re walking around unaware. And at one point in my career I was angry at these people for being unaware and now I’m not. That was a long time ago, now I recognize that it’s just not necessarily people’s fault, it really isn’t. Our culture has really just got us snowballed to think that, hey if you aren’t in pain right now, if you’re not dying right now then you’re fine.

Looking good is not the same thing as feeling good

Dr. Bryan: That’s that whole analogy, if I look good and I feel good then I’m good.

Dr. Jason: Right, exactly, which you and I both know that we’ve seen it many times with healthcare providers, we’ve seen it in our family where someone looks a certain way.

Dr. Bryan: Boom, stroke.

Dr. Jason: But done, right. Heart attack.

Dr. Bryan: Yep.

Dr. Jason: Oh by the way you have cancer. What? Like my dad, my dad was a great example of that. My dad at 52 if you looked at the guy on the outside you would have thought, well that’s a guy that’s in good shape. Little did you know that he was a smoker. Little did you know that he consumed soda for his breakfast, and little did you know he was growing a brain tumor. Then all of a sudden boom, overnight he goes from apparently look good, feel good, to okay 18 months later he’s dead.

Dr. Bryan: So when someone like your dad gets the diagnosis, and this is not just your dad but anybody. I believe that is the teachable moment. It’s like, “Okay you have a problem and you know you have a problem, it’s been shown and proven that you have a problem, now you have a choice.”

A second chance in our journey to wellness

Dr. Bryan: And so many people then have that moment of inspiration where, Hey I’m getting a second chance, not every body gets a second chance.

But people say,

“Okay, I got diagnosed to be a diabetic and I’m overweight, okay now I get a second chance to try to change this.”

Or, whatever the condition will be, and I think one of the challenges that when we run into when someone finally gets over the hump that says, “I’ve got my second chance, I’ve got an element of motivation and I want to be well.”

Then they go into the stage of, “Oh my gosh, I don’t even know what to do to be well. I didn’t study health. I didn’t become an expert in this thing called health. I dedicated my career to vending machines or towards accounting, so how all of a sudden do I just turn it over? Do I go to Google? Do I go to a cookbook online? What do I do to start getting educated to get well?”

Dr. Jason: Yeah. That’s the quandary that you and I see. There’s so many “experts” out there you don’t know who to trust. Before we even unpack that I think there’s one more way that people could become aware, because you’re right not everyone gets a second chance.

Dr. Bryan: Right.

Recycling someone else’s pain

Dr. Jason: 50% of the people that have a heart attack don’t wake up, that’s the reality. Speaking from my own experience, and I’ve seen this with others is I think you have to recycle pain. And what I mean by that is this, you have to be able to look at something that happened to someone you knew or care about and how that made you feel, and then leverage or recycle that pain to make you change. So, watching my dad die literally was an awful moment, but I had a decision I could wallow in it and then just let it maybe this depressed and whatnot, or I could find a way to say, “All right. If I have the same genetic structure as my father,” which I have 50% of it. “So, how can I now make different choices so I don’t leave Whitney and my kids? So, I can be here as best I can, be here for my grandkids.”

Dr. Bryan: This is what I find so cool. You’re already in the journey of going to chiropractic school to become a doctor, you witness that your dad gets threatened with a life threatening condition and it wasn’t just an ah-ha moment that I have to make better choices for myself but all your better choices have then had the opportunity to educate other people, which is the intention behind this entire podcast on how you can actually start to change you. Not everybody dedicates their entire life to saying, “I’m going to figure out how to run a 40 in 3.2 seconds, or I want to be able to do 100 burpees, or I’m going to eat perfectly Vegan and organic.” However, there are shortcuts and there are roadmaps.

We believe and we hope to be able to gather some of the great resources that we’ve had exposure to from professors across great colleges, doctors in all different aspects of healthcare, and people that are just experts in health and help to fast track or even lay down some shortcuts for the people that are listening to this to say,

“How can I get educated quickly and how do I incorporate the diet that’s right for me or the movement that’s right for me, the thought process that’s right for me?”

Dr. Jason: Yeah.

Dr. Bryan: I think that, that journey of feeling and expressing your pain in your own family is wonderful in one way, if you use it help other people avoid what you had to experience.

Dr. Jason: Well said, I 100% agree.

Why we are starting this podcast

Dr. Bryan: And I also think that’s, that one of the biggest callings as to why we’re wanting to do this podcast in the first place is so many people are out there and they might say,

“I made the decision, today’s the day I’m going to get well. Today is my day, and I’m going to Google and I’m going to figure it out.”

And then like within two or three weeks it fizzles off because there is no accountability, you feel like you’re alone, you’re not connected, you’re no where on the same path as other people and it’s no way to actually be a part of a community that can actually push you to be better.

And I think that’s the essence of the Wellness Connection is to bring the family together and let everybody be connected in that journey to wellness, of keeping a sense of motivation in front of you, educating you on what to do, and then ultimately as a group we’re in this together, we’re not perfect but we want to hold each other accountable to a higher standard so we can enjoy the quality of our life, wouldn’t you agree?

Dr. Jason: 100%. The only way that anything worth truly realizing in my life has come because I’ve been accountable to somebody else. First and foremost I gotta be accountable to myself, but then whether it be with you, whether it be with Whit, whether it be to my kids, whether it be to my patients, whether it be to family, to friends when you have accountability, and a structure, and a framework that’s success, because you’re going to get tempted, I’m going to get tempted, we’re going to want to stray on some level, but if we knew you have a culture, if you know you have a family, if you know you have that accountability framework then you know you have people you can rely on. You can tune back in, you can reset, you can recalibrate and say, “Okay, the week I made some bad choices but boom, getting back, I’m listening to what the Wellness Connection’s talking about, I’m getting me fired back up again. All right, now I know where my true North is, I’m headed back this way. This is my accountability.”

Wrapping up our first episode

Dr. Bryan: So I think let’s just wrap up today and say that our goal for you is to continue to provide ways to keep you motivated in your own journey to wellness, help educate you, hold you accountable, be in this game together, bring the best of the best, keep you on the cutting edge of what we get a chance to get exposure to so that they can live a life of health and journey towards wellness the same way we get that opportunity to do so.

Dr. Jason: Yeah, 100% agree.

Dr. Bryan: All right, let’s go on this journey together. Thank you so much for joining us on this podcast.

Check out our page for more of our podcasts.

Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.