[00:00:00] Detective Ev: Well, hello, my friends. Welcome back to another episode of the Health Detective Podcast by Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. My name is Evan Transue, AKA Detective Ev. I will be your host for today’s show in which my colleague, Shawna O’neill, tells her story of healing and her daughter’s healing using FDN.
She is a certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition practitioner of about three years now. I’m glad to bring you this interview because this is one of those people who shows you that you can go from a completely different job into doing this work and it can work out pretty darn well.
Shawna is someone who has been in the accounting and IT space for over 30 years now. Why switch to FDN and the natural thing? Well, like so many of the women who get on this podcast, not exclusively, but a lot of them, not only did they have their own health symptoms, but their child had health symptoms.
When her daughter started getting these things, that’s when really things started to get heated up a little bit for Shawna, she started focusing on this a lot more. I always say there is nothing better than a mom in this space because moms will figure this stuff out. They could be dying, and they will still try to figure out how to get their kids healthy. Do not mess with a mom on a mission, I always say. Thankfully, in a sense, because her daughter had these health issues and multiple surgeries, Shawna ended up figuring out some great answers for herself.
A Little More About Shawna
In addition, her daughter has been able to turn her health around completely and now helps other people with the health side of things, despite having this very troublesome childhood with health issues. I love people that take their pain and turn it into a purpose. It’s how I try to live my life, ideally.
A little bit more about Shawna. Not only has she done the accounting and IT thing for over 30 years, she did graduate from FDN three years ago, like I said. She’s a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor (CTRI), which is otherwise known as equine therapy; for 18 years she’s done this. Pretty cool. I feel like this is something that’s getting a lot more traction now. The point is, not a lot of people are doing this now. I think it’s cool that she’d been doing it for that long. You’ll hear at the end of the podcast; she is doing a fascinating mix of the equine therapy mixed with what we do at FDN.
She also graduated with a certificate in nutrition oncology from John Patrick University. This is someone who is taking a lot of different things and combining them into one. Getting the vibe from Shawna when we did the podcast together, that she’s never going to stop learning. But I’m excited to bring you guys this episode.
Like I said, it’s an episode from a real person, someone that’s not out here with a hundred thousand followers trying to promote a business or a big brand. It’s someone that is trying to help people, sharing a story. If you resonate with her, which you really might, because she’s highly relatable, then it’s someone that you can reach out to. Without further ado, let’s get to the episode.
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There are so many people out there who would love to know that these stories exist, to know that this is possible, and they have no idea. If you don’t believe that, all you need to do is listen to about five to 10 episodes on this podcast to hear stories of people who had no idea about the world of functional until something lucky happened to them, where they happened to hear about this.
I do not think people’s entire health and lives, depending on how bad their health issues are, should be dictated by their luckiness. But unfortunately, right now it is. So, a simple review is not us trying to get money out of this or something like that. Clearly, we’re doing fine, regardless. It is to get these stories out to people who need to hear that. That’s not the company asking, that’s me personally asking as someone who hosts this. So, if you like what we’re doing, please leave that review. Thank you guys so much.
Anyone Can Build a Business Using FDN
Here’s the episode.
All right. Welcome Shawna. Thanks so much for being here with us today.
Shawna O’neill: Thank you for having me.
Detective Ev: Yeah. I’m glad to be talking to you.
So, Shawna is one of our FDNthrive members. And if you don’t know what that is, we’ll touch on that later. We have a whole episode dedicated to that though. It’s a pretty cool program. It’s one I honestly wish was around when I was first going through the course. I’d always wanted something like that. I’m glad they’re doing that now.
But just like everyone else on this podcast, you have a health story. I know when I was reading your bio, you came from a completely different industry. I actually think that these are some of the best stories. It shows that people, at any time, when they want to, if they want to transition out of what they’re doing to go follow this passion, they can.
Now some people are only ever going to be clients and that’s fine. We can’t have everyone working as FDNs that has health issues. That would probably become a little oversaturated eventually. But plenty of people, they have such a profound experience with this type of work that you can’t help but want to go do this in some way.
Before we even get into the health symptoms, I’m just curious, just to be clear, what’s your background? What were you doing for most of your life?
Using Personality Type Testing
[00:05:07] Shawna O’neill: Most of my life, I was doing accounting and IT, helping now implement computer systems and making the transition. One of the big things I always had was everyone always said, you’re an accountant? Like really? You’re not the typical accountant. I was like, no. I have a lot of more people skills probably than the traditional accountant, which is probably why I eventually am moving to this kind of work.
[00:05:26] Detective Ev: You’re absolutely right there. It’s a separate conversation, but I love like personality type stuff. There’s a good joke in one of the communities that every accountant is like the same type – very introverted, very structured, not necessarily the most socially capable type, but very smart people, nonetheless, to be able to do that. Someone’s got to do those things.
[00:05:43] Shawna O’neill: We can actually touch on that cause that’s actually one of my things through the coaching is that I do use some personality type testing stuff.
[00:05:50] Detective Ev: Go figure. Right? Well, now I got to ask, what system do you use?
[00:05:53] Shawna O’neill: Well, there’s a couple different ones. But an interesting one I used in my last work was by the lady who did matchmaker.com. She does personalities and that’s how they match up people online. We did it for work because it was simple. Some of those tests you take are four hours long and do a DISC assessment and then people don’t want to do it. So, this was just a very easy, basic one. It gives you information on yourself and how to work with others.
Skills That Translate Well Using FDN
It was odd at first when they first came to me and sent me to this website. I was like, this is work. Why am I going to matchmaker.com? But it ended up being really good for work because we were stuck as a team not being able to progress and doing a new computer system. It just helps all around.
[00:06:31] Detective Ev: Actually, I looked into one time, a lot of the Fortune 500 Companies even use things like Myers-Briggs, DISC, whatever. I mean, these people use this for a reason. Kind of cool. Of course, you end up using that in your work. It’s just funny. I bring it up not trying to get into it and always other FDNs that are interested, I find in that.
Now, I’m sure these skills are really cool nowadays for you because they’re going to translate over so easily into an FDN type of business. I think what you’re talking about is a lot of the things that people might be missing out on. I’m curious though, you’re doing this, you have more people skills, like you said, than maybe the average accountant. That’s probably leading to better and better results for you. So why switch this thing up? Like what’s going on health wise, when did the symptoms start that makes you start transitioning a little bit?
Age Does Not Dictate Your Health When Using FDN
[00:07:10] Shawna O’neill: I would say they really started mid-forties. I had three kids, working full time, and had all the brain fog, the tiredness. Was told you’re fine, we ran your test. The typical, lot of stories we hear on here is just, you’re fine. I just knew, I wasn’t fine. I would go to softball games for a whole weekend with other moms. One of them is in the military and she’s deployed. I’m like, she’s actually older than me. She’s doing it. That just wasn’t an acceptable story for me. That’s where it started.
[00:07:37] Detective Ev: I like that you mentioned that because I think that is a story, not only do people get told all the time, but they buy into. There’s this subjective kind of arbitrary number that, well, I’m 40, or, well, I’m 50, or, well, 60, so I should just be breaking down.
I think Reed Davis, the founder of FDN, is obviously one of the best testimonials to this because this guy’s pushing 70. He might be 70 now. I might be missing that. I think he’s late sixties though. This guy ain’t slowing down anytime soon. This is not a broken-down body. This is a very physically active person. You would never know that he’s that age. This is what can happen when we take care of our health long term.
But of course, many of us were not aware of this stuff, just like I wasn’t. So, what happens is, yeah, all of a sudden 40, 50 years old, something goes down and then you think that’s just getting old. I’m glad you didn’t buy into that.
No Alternative Was Given
I think it’s easier for people like me who were sick when they were younger, because you understand immediately this doesn’t make sense, even if you don’t know a thing about medicine or nutrition. But I think it’s harder for people to understand this, the older that we get.
I know that you weren’t buying that, but that’s still interesting to me. Was there any other influence, like with the natural health type of thing? Did you have anything else that solidified that belief that this didn’t make sense and you shouldn’t feel this way?
[00:08:41] Shawna O’neill: It didn’t for myself until one of my middle daughters had a lot of mental health issues. I always had in the back of my mind that it wasn’t right, but I didn’t have an alternative. No one was telling me what the alternative was other than, reduce your stress and don’t work as much. That wasn’t working out.
But my middle daughter started having some mental health issues. Thankfully for her, she just refused to go on any kind of medication. She started out at like 10, 12 years old. She just wouldn’t take any medication. So, we had to do something.
That’s when we started researching. Then, like you guys talk about a lot, the Western medicine definitely has a need. I mean, when she was 12, she had her appendix out. When she was 14, she had her gallbladder out. When she was 16, she had her tonsils out. Then I was like, whoa, not that they’re not essential, but we’re running out of organs to take out. There has to be another answer.
Using FDN to Figure Things Out
When we went to her pediatrician after her tonsils, when she was about 17, she just had a lot of stomach issues. She had a lot of issues. She sent us to take a scan for her gallbladder. I was like, do you read the charts that we fill out every time we come in here? She doesn’t have a gallbladder. We literally just left. I was like, I can’t do this. That’s when I started researching and found FDN. I was like, I would rather spend my money on figuring out my own stuff, than waste money on that kind of stuff.
She absolutely needed her appendix and gallbladder at the time. But even after that, when she had her gallbladder out at 12, they didn’t tell us to put her on any enzymes to check acid until like we went to a chiropractor for something else. She was asked if we were on enzymes, and we’re like, no. No one ever told us we were supposed to be on enzymes.
That’s what started the path is when she got on enzymes, it started helping, and we just kind of snowballed from there.
[00:10:19] Detective Ev: The first time I actually learned about the gallbladder thing and the need for the biles and stuff like that afterwards, was through FDN.
For those that don’t know the simple and short today, just so there’s context, if your gall bladder gets removed, you’re going to have pretty significant issues with fat absorption and stuff. You need to supplement that, absolutely clear as day, need to supplement that. But Western medicine never talks about it.
Moms Using FDN to Save Their Kids
I’ve had family members too; they’ve got their gallbladder removed and nothing ever happens. I don’t like the story because I hate that this happened to you and your daughter, but I also acknowledge that moms really are on the front line of this work. I’ve said this before on here, there is nothing more unstoppable than a mom with a sick kid. They are the ones that are the top practitioners. They’re the best researchers that’s for sure. They’re motivated like no other person, it’s literally crazy.
And I’ve met moms that are super sick. These people can barely get out of bed and yet they’ll spend 12 hours researching because their kid is sick. I think the moms are going to be the ones that end up saving the world here. I’m glad that you ended up having that awareness.
Look, the appendix is one thing, right? We hear about this all the time. It doesn’t seem, at least right now, that there’s too many unintended consequences from removing it. But when we’re talking the gall bladder and all these other things, then you got to start and wonder. If this was happening in the quote/unquote “wild,” my child would be dead, all these different times. Something must be going on here cause I doubt that that would’ve actually happened or was supposed to happen in practice.
So, what was the first things that you guys got into, like in terms of actually implementing something? You’re doing a lot of research; you’re understanding stuff is not making sense. What were the first things you implemented?
Using FDN to Test Not Guess
[00:11:47] Shawna O’neill: We really started out with some essential oils and then we started out with some supplements from our chiropractor, on probiotics and the enzymes. Then I got into FDN. We started looking at the testing and going further, cause the chiropractor we went to had a lot of knowledge, but didn’t do the testing.
That’s another place that people get frustrated, without the testing that we do, is sometimes it’s kind of a crapshoot, our symptoms can mean 15 things. It really saves time and money in the long run to just do the testing and pinpoint where things are coming from. So, we started down that path of testing, more supplements.
She’s actually a health trainer now. She’s my exercise piece of D.R.E.S.S. that I can refer people to. That’s how we really got into it.
[00:12:31] Detective Ev: Were you going to the chiropractor before this, or was chiropractic medicine something new for you guys, like the family, when this was going on?
[00:12:38] Shawna O’neill: We actually had gone before, but we had moved and just hadn’t established one.
We had one when she was around the 10 age that told us she had trouble with breaking down sugar and red dye because he had to keep adjusting her stomach. We’re like, how do you know that? Like you didn’t test, but when she removed that stuff, that also helped a lot.
That was kind of always in the back of our mind, like that helped. We kept down the chiropractor path, but we knew there was also more that we could do.
Using FDN to Take Control of The Family’s Health
[00:13:05] Detective Ev: Chiropractors, I find that this happens a lot of the time, they can be a great bridge into this. I know some chiropractors that do phenomenal work and do tests, but this is typically how it goes.
They have a lot more knowledge than the average person. Certainly, they can help with some like base level stuff. But if we’re trying to get really deep, that’s not usually their profession. And most of them don’t pretend that it’s their profession. They’re there to help assist with the basic stuff, but the labs are definitely the next level.
How did you even hear about FDN? Because if I’m getting the story right, compared to some people that you’ve heard on this podcast, cause you’re a listener, it sounds like that was a pretty fast transition. This didn’t take necessarily five, six years, right?
[00:13:40] Shawna O’neill: Right. Yeah, just really in researching and coming across articles and on Facebook. I came across, probably on Facebook, honestly, is where I came across the most. Just called for a consultation, like, is this the right course for you and all that kind of stuff.
I got Stephanie, which I don’t know that she’s still with the program, it’s been several years. She just talked through the whole thing, and it just seemed like a really good fit. That’s when I was like, again, I would rather spend my medicine. At least I feel like I’m in control for one. And if nothing else, I have enough education when I go to the doctor to say no, this isn’t right.
Using FDN to Get Educated Health Wise
[00:14:13] Detective Ev: One has to wonder, if you were going to a doctor that was not even aware that your daughter’s gallbladder had been removed, what other mistakes are made.
I always have to say this, I’m sorry to sound like a broken record. But in case someone’s listening for the first time, guys, it’s not a condemnation of Western medicine. What society has done is put that system on a pedestal as if it’s perfect, it cannot be wrong. Yes, these people are highly educated. They’re some of the smartest individuals in the world. It’s still ran by humans. FDN is still ran by humans. We make mistakes. They are going to make mistakes.
It’s the third leading cause of death, if I’m not mistaken, every single year, is these types of issues that we have with Western medicine. Yes, use it, it’s a good thing. But it is great to be educated as well. The people that never do that in any capacity, if you are in that system long enough, there’s going to be a mistake made, virtually guaranteed.
What’s cool for you then is you’re going through FDN. Again, people take so long to find it, unfortunately, that they’re kind of on the up and up by the time they get here. Maybe the course itself is great for the knowledge, but they get like minor benefits when they go through the course itself. Then others, like you, this is a good percentage of people, not the majority, but a good percentage, they’re still not feeling so great when they go through.
So, what did you find on the lab tests that we supply with people in the course? Was there a lot of healing opportunities on there?
Using FDN to Get Through the Layers
[00:15:27] Shawna O’neill: There was several. A lot of it was my cortisol and stuff. It was really high in the morning, but I had to peel myself out bed. When I first took the test, she’s like, hey, do you jump out of bed, and you’re ready to go? Cause your cortisol is really high in the morning. I’m like no, negative.
By putting on some supplements, reducing stress, adrenal support, and thyroid support, even though I was told I didn’t need any thyroid support, those are probably the two biggest things that have got me through a layer and I’m working on the next layer. There’s always layers.
The other big thing for me is I did a hair analysis. Some of that information was really good to support trace minerals and things, and kind of get those up to speed. Again, it’s just a layer and I’m getting ready to work on the next layer.
[00:16:10] Detective Ev: For those listening, the HTMA test, it’s not included in the main course, but it’s one of the literally like 65, 70 labs that we get access to upon graduating. These things are great. They’re nice, additional, like course correctors.
I’ve just used one for the first time recently. Believe it or not, after five years, it was the first time I used it. I’m sitting there slapping myself and thinking, wow, I don’t know why I hadn’t used this before. It’s very cheap, very cost effective compared to most tests. I couldn’t believe that it’s notable, like you really do feel it.
Using FDN to Work on the Gut Piece
Then I think this test became more useful with the invention, if you’ll call it that, of Vykon Customs. This is a person from FDN that actually used this test that’s been around for decades and makes these customized formulas for people so that they don’t have to take 20 supplements.
That was the issue with HTMA historically, from my understanding, is that you could get some great results, but you got to buy 20 different things. I have my Vykon Customs literally right in the other room. It’s great for me because I do ketosis a lot. It’s very high in the salt, very high in potassium. I can notice that feeling when I take that thing almost every single time, especially if it’s prior to exercise. I’s pretty cool.
What else is, if anything, a part of this next layer for you? You said you went through a few years ago, is that correct?
Shawna O’neill: Yes.
Detective Ev: All right. Unfortunately, at that time, like myself, we were only including a couple of lab tests in the course. Nowadays, you’re getting like five tests when you go through the course.
So, what else did you end up adding on for the next layer?
[00:17:30] Shawna O’neill: Well, I’m getting ready to add on another GI test and an OAT test. I think my next level is more gut healing but what also includes taking the bad stuff out. And not everything shows up on the GI MAP.
I think looking at parasites is a really big deal. I live on a farm. I grew up out in the country. I’m pretty sure there’s some hiding in there. So, I think that’s my next layer.
Using FDN to Find an Uncommon Parasite
[00:17:51] Detective Ev: My friend and business partner, he’s a dog trainer. He had some weird symptoms going on and he shares this publicly, so that’s why I’m saying it. We ran a GI MAP on him, and I got Dustin for the mentor thing. There was a parasite on there, Shawna, that I had never seen before. He said, this is so funny that you bring this to me because, what is his career?
I’m like, he’s a dog trainer. He trains dogs, and he loves these things. I mean, he lets strangers’ dogs lick his face and stuff. I’m like, oh my God. Knowing what we know now, just never, please guys, don’t do that. Sure enough, he had a parasite that the only other time Dustin had seen that was with another dog trainer. It’s something that’s typically spread through animals, specifically dogs.
I’m like, wow! Who would ever even think to look at that, let alone make the connection? Cause I could find it, but I didn’t know that. There was no research on this. So, this is anecdotal to a degree, but Dustin said the only other time I’ve seen this, he’s probably looked at hundreds, if not thousands of GI MAPs, this is the only time he’s seen it, is in another dog trainer.
That’s why we got to, I usually have my shirt, “test don’t guess.” That’s why we have to test to not guess because how could someone possibly predict that that’s what’s going on that specifically in their body, right?
Using FDN to Heal the Gut
[00:18:54] Shawna O’neill: A lot of people don’t believe it. But you know, all the animals we have, we worm all of them. We have horses, we have dogs, we have cats. We worm them all, quarterly. Once you learn about it, then you’re like, yeah, it makes total sense. Like, why wouldn’t we do the same thing?
[00:19:06] Detective Ev: The more tribal parts of South and Central America still, if you go down there, a lot of them have these practices yearly, if not multiple times a year, where they take extremely spicy foods and peppers and stuff. They will do this because it actually, in theory, can clear out some of these parasites and other bacteria. It’s fascinating that they even recognize that there would be a need for that without any labs, any science. Kind of strange what humans can do.
So, what are you up to now? Have you been practicing for the last few years or where are you at with the business side? I know it’s something you’re obviously pursuing if you’re in Thrive.
Commercial Break – You Can Do This
Hey, there are folks, it is Detective Ev popping in here really quick. Maybe you’re listening to this episode thinking, Hmm. This Shawna person has come from a completely different background. She was doing accounting and IT stuff for over 30 years. She has a family and yet she still was able to make the changes necessary to go through FDN, start taking clients, earning an income with it, and now she’s pursuing this. Maybe, just maybe, I could do the same thing.
If you’re thinking that way, I believe you are absolutely correct and you could do this. Now this is assuming you actually want to, right? Maybe you’re just listening to this podcast for educational reasons. If that’s the case, that’s perfectly fine. But if you’re listening to this thinking sometimes or wondering, ah, man, I wish I could do that, there is literally no way you can’t. It’s a self-paced course. We have people that have been well over 70 years old that have gone through the FDN system. I got to find these people and get them interviewed, because I know that there are people who are over 70 that have gone through the FDN course.
So, there is no excuse. You can absolutely get it done. And before you make a commitment like that, though, we understand this is a big thing. It’s a large financial commitment. It’s a large time commitment. It’s a big life commitment, I suppose, because you’re basically committing to this idea of changing careers. That’s at least the reason that a lot of people go through FDN. You don’t have to go through it for that reason, by any means, but a lot of people do that.
Commercial Break – Try the FDN Course for Free
So, if you’re going to do all those things, then we would like to offer you something. We think you should have the right then to be able to actually get to know about the course before you go through it and make those commitments.
That’s why with no credit card required, we don’t charge you randomly and automatically after some trial, it’s nothing like that. No sleazy tactics. We let you try the course for free. You go to fdntraining.com/tryfdn and you can try the first part of the course completely free.
Again, no credit card required, no sleazy stuff. We’re not here to do that. We know that there are people out there that want to take FDN. We just got to show them that this is for them. So, everyone wins in this situation. fdntraining.com/tryfdn to try the course completely for free.
All right. I know that one was long-winded. I apologize.
Back to the episode.
Educating Moms Using FDN
[00:21:46] Shawna O’neill: Right.
Yeah, I really started out just for my own family because there’s a lot of anxiety, mental health. I had teenagers at the time I was going through it, and they would come home and be like, my friend went to the doctor, and they got put on another medication. Does that sound right?
It’s kind of evolved and I’m still working full time right now in accounting. But I’m starting to transition and really work with moms who are discouraged and being told that it’s just the way it is. It’s not. We just have to be able to educate them. If I do nothing else but educate a mom for herself or her kids that can even, go to a doctor.
If you don’t want to coach with me, but you wanted to go to the doctor and you’re more empowered by knowing nobody knows your body. You’re the only one that knows it. Like no matter what they tell you, no matter what I tell you. You’re the only one that knows.
[00:22:36] Detective Ev: I find your kids very impressive that they have this awareness, especially with the younger one that had the appendix removed and stuff, when she was younger. That sounded like that was kind of on her own accord about knowing that medication might not be the best route for her. That doesn’t even sound like it was imposed by you guys. Is that just how she thinks? Where does she get that from?
Influencing the Family Using FDN
[00:22:52] Shawna O’neill: Yeah, I don’t know where it came from, but it started our journey. I was just like, please, just please, take the medication, you know, when you’re in a state with a child with mental health, because you can’t work on it sometimes until you get past a certain point. But she just, for whatever reason, just refused to do it.
It’s opened up a lot of eyes and she works with a lot of her friends. She has older sisters, younger sisters. We’ve all kind of evolved, you know? They’ll hear me. I talk about when I watch a webinar, when I watch a podcast, I’ll talk about it. I think it’s just evolved for them, that’s what they go to now.
[00:23:25] Detective Ev: I appreciate you mentioning from a mom’s perspective that sometimes, especially with the mental health stuff, there’s a place for medication. You surely know this at this point, I do work in the mental health space and I’m as holistic, as functional as they come.
People, sometimes they give me a little side eye, not in our direct community, but kind of like on the outskirts of our community, because I believe, and I will say that I do think, if the option is between a kid who is suffering with depression, anxiety, or whatever, and no treatment at all, versus like medication, I would bet my money on that medication every single time.
Now I don’t think that’s going to work a hundred percent of the time. I’m saying where I am gambling, where I am betting the money. People say, well, that didn’t work for you. You know, look what happened. I’m like, yeah, I have a cool story now.
Stacking Meds Is Dangerous
But you missed the parts where I almost died using drugs and driving cars on substances and stuff like this. Yes, I took personal responsibility for my life eventually, but they missed the thousand times I got lucky before that if I was on a medication.
This one, my parents, I think, were right with this one, cause they didn’t want me to take Xanax. I was like 15, Shawna, and I have an addictive personality. I ended up abusing that stuff two years later anyway. That would’ve been a nightmare for me at 15. But the SSRIs, yeah, maybe it would’ve been worth a try at a younger age and giving it an honest shot, seeing what happens after the three to four weeks, just to calm things down.
Or similarly, I think this is what you were suggesting, where it kind of gets you over that first hump. It gives you the motivation to actually implement the new habits that need to be implemented. Because if someone’s done, man, I mean, they’re done. You can’t get them to even take a capsule sometimes, like a supplement, because that’s how resistant they are to treatment and stuff. So, I appreciate that perspective. I think that’s neutral and that’s where we need to be with this stuff.
[00:25:02] Shawna O’neill: Yeah. Sometimes they’re not in a state to listen to a holistic side until they can get calmed down, like you said.
A lot of my daughter’s friends are, not on one, but if one doesn’t work, they give them another one. I’m like, these guys are 15 to 17. Their brains are still developing and you’re throwing all this at them. What chance do they have to even think straight?
Dealing with Depression Is Complicated
[00:25:22] Detective Ev: And that’s the opposite extreme. That’s what people envision when they hear me say I’d rather them on medication. Like, well, you want that? I said, no, no, no, no. I’m saying this is probably, maybe only a slim chance, but probably the best odds of this kid not dying. Because I’m thinking in the extremes, I’m thinking suicidal ideations, I’m thinking of substance abuse to the point of overdosing. Yes. I do believe that these things do an overall good job at preventing those more often than not.
Now, there’s obviously some evidence that shows when people get on these SSRIs, that motivation that we talked about to actually go start the lifestyle habits, unfortunately, there’s evidence showing, for those that don’t know, that suicide rates can go up slightly when people start SSRIs.
I know this sounds so weird to someone who has never dealt with the mental health stuff, but like, you’ll get this. The theory is because they actually get more motivation. They’re like, what do you mean? They didn’t even have the motivation to take their own life?
It’s like, depression is complicated. I’ve been there myself. It’s a pretty complicated thing. So yes, I do believe that that’s possible. If anyone from Western medicine’s listening and I hope that they are, we need that in between, right? No one’s arguing the no medication, but what you just described, Shawna, that’s not okay either. The solution when the medication doesn’t work is not stack on another one to a developing brain when we don’t even fully understand the mechanism of most of these SSRIs.
Asking the Right Questions to Find Root Causes
We know that there’s long term side effects, especially with the benzodiazepines. You need to be asking, why does Shawna’s daughter or whoever, why is this person, Evan, presenting with panic attacks when he came from a good home and there’s nothing real bad happening in his life? He’s not getting bullied. He’s not fighting with people at school. Why is he dealing with panic attacks? You know what I mean?
Shawna O’neill: I agree with that.
Detective Ev: You’re getting me on my passionate thing. I want to throw it back to you, sorry. But yeah, this is an important subject. I’m actually glad that it took this route today.
When you went through the course, what were some of your favorite parts of it? Because it seems like FDN was a really pivotal thing for you because you weren’t in this space for 10 years before. It was kind of your transition and you’re still here with us three years later doing this stuff.
So, what were some of your favorite parts about the course? It doesn’t have to be even stuff that helped your health directly. It could just be the mentorship or whatever.
[00:27:23] Shawna O’neill: Yeah, I think the course being online was helpful for me cause I was still working, but I had a long commute. I was able to do a lot of it while I was commuting. I still had all my kids at home at that time, so giving us the ability to work that in as needed. Like you didn’t have to be, Wednesday at six o’clock, you had to clear your schedule every time.
AFDNP Provides the Best Caring Support
But then the mentorship was really good. I had a great mentor and it just really helped open my eyes to what we don’t have education in, even young adults or whatever. I like that. And after the course, even more, I like the AFDNP. We have such a great community that the times I feel like an imposter and like, I’m from accounting, what do I know about health? I can go that page.
I always tell people, it’s not what I know all the time, it’s who I know. I can go get any answer, I can help you, or I can get myself in the right direction if I haven’t dealt with that before. So that’s one really great thing I like about it.
[00:28:17] Detective Ev: Seriously, because I’ve tried to verbalize it for a while, I think what you just said about, it’s not always what you know, it’s who you know, is the best way I’ve heard AFDNP described. Because I have said this on this podcast, I would pay the cost of tuition of FDN just for the access to AFDNP.
I think people think, oh, it’s overselling, or he is hyping it up. But that’s the thing, I could go there with anything. My parents could be sick as heck, my sister could. Something could be happening to someone that I love and if I can’t figure that out, all of my money is going to be put onto those people. Someone in there not only is going to be able to figure it out, but it’s the fact that they care.
Using FDN and The Mentors to Understand & Correlate Test Results
You know, they’re staffed mentors in AFDNP and yes, they are paid to help. They are looking at questions and stuff. But when do you ever post anything that’s, like hashtag mentors, to get their attention, that’s not also commented on by the community? People that don’t get a dime for helping you but go out of their way to give an informed answer, cite something, give links, give references.
So, yeah, it is who, you know. And we’re lucky to know some of the best in the world when it comes to this stuff.
[00:29:19] Shawna O’neill: Even being able to do the tests and have the medical director program because that’s another thing that really solidified taking FDN for me coming from, like you said, a business background.
I was like, I don’t want to be a doctor. I don’t have that kind of time. I don’t want to get in the Western medicine. But the additional testing is, I think, really huge for our community and being able to do that through the program. But having the mentors to help you through the testing, like you said, we have 65 tests, we don’t know them all. If you get one you haven’t done before, you have the backup that someone’s going to help you with that.
[00:29:52] Detective Ev: It’s one of those things to the person who hasn’t even started the course yet, the medical director thing can be a little confusing. I understand that because the question becomes, wait, we spend like 140, 160 hours, whatever it is, teaching these six tests, basically five labs and one additional test that’s not a lab, but then I have access to all this other stuff?
Using FDN – A Continuous Educational Experience
FDN, from my understanding, when Reed created this, as the course itself, the course is designed as a one stop shop.
You could go in as an accountant, someone that does not have a background in this stuff, and you can go from day one to the end and could go out and actually start a business with this. You might need some more support on the business side and that’s why we add that in. But if someone already had a business, let’s say, and was not in the health space, you would know what to do. You could make a living just off doing that and you could really help people. That’s amazing.
FDN doesn’t limit you because if you want to be that continuous learner, if you want to be the person that’s never going to stop, that’s what the advanced courses are for. We’ve got more of those than you could ever do in a practical amount of time. Most people have not done all of those. Then you have the access to the extra labs so you can continue to learn for the rest of your life.
Then you can, I don’t want to use the word “specialize,” cause it’s not correct in the literal sense, but you can niche down. If you want to become someone that really focuses on the mineral imbalances and you believe that there’s a category of people that would greatly benefit from that, okay, cool. Well, we have access to one of the best HTMA trainers in the world, Kendra Perry. We’ll get you in her course and start doing those things.
Freedom to Try New Things Using FDN
Even, Shawna, when I ran that HTMA on myself, I would never do this with a client, but for myself, I didn’t really know anything about the test. I thought it was cool from my understanding. I could go to the medical director program and basically get one giant supplement, my Vykon Customs and that would work for me.
So, I figured, okay, well what can this hurt? I want to try something new. I’ll give it a shot. To be able to do that, not knowing anything about HTMA, and getting that medical director console. And Ryan Monahan, my God, I love that guy. You know, he just threw it down for me, explained all this stuff. I’m like, so what does this really mean? He’s like, at the end of the day, it means this. But if you didn’t understand that, take this supplement and you’re good to go.
It’s rarely that simple in the world of FDN. We never want it to be that way. But once you graduate and you use those things responsibly, it can be. Cause I would never do that with a client, but it’s fair to do it for yourself. It’s kind of cool.
You mentioned you’re getting into the organic acid testing and stuff, you said. Have you ran that before? Or is this going to be your first time?
[00:32:06] Shawna O’neill: I have ran it before and I’ve done some work on it. So, I’m eager to retest it.
[00:32:09] Detective Ev: Just cause that never comes up on here, I’m fascinated. What did you find on there that maybe you didn’t find on some of the other labs?
FDNthrive Helps with the Business Side and Dealing with Clients
[00:32:14] Shawna O’neill: Probably the biggest thing was just not metabolizing some things, which pointed me back to some gut health and doing some stuff like that. There wasn’t a lot on there. But there’s some different things on there that were interesting. Just another layer of it for me.
[00:32:27] Detective Ev: I want to transition to FDNthrive because I think this is a good time to talk about it. Sometimes we get so caught up in the stories we never get to talk about like Thrive specifically. I think this would be good to hear from like your perspective.
We’ve had Joe Pate come on and that’s wonderful. I highly encourage people to listen to the episode. But of course, there’s always going to be, I guess, a bias because Joe works with FDN. It’s like me hyping up the podcast, you know. It’s like, I think this podcast is good, but I also host it. So fair enough.
Why did you join FDNthrive and how would you even describe what that is to someone that doesn’t know it. It doesn’t have to be a perfect definition. I just want to know what it is in your eyes.
[00:33:03] Shawna O’neill: For me, it was really a good transition because I had a lot of people start coming to me and I wanted to now take the step to do it for a business. But working with clients and stuff was still a little foreign. You get a lot of foundation in FDN, but the actual business side of it and actually working with clients is a little scary when you don’t come from that background.
FDNthrive Teaches How to Niche Down
That’s really the reason I joined it when I talked to Joe about it. I told her what I was wanting to do and she was very much like, yep, that’s what we’ll do. We’ll do it. We’ll show you. We lay the groundwork, get your websites, your emails and all that stuff. We also do talk a lot about working with the client and niching down and being good at what you know.
You don’t have to do the same thing forever, but you have to start with something that you can be passionate about and understand and evolve from there. You can’t solve world hunger starting off. And I think that’s kinda where I got to. I have a lot of different people coming to me and I wanted to help everybody. So that was a draw for me, is to help niche that down and make a good message.
[00:34:05] Detective Ev: There’s a music store near me. I’m not a musician, but that’s where I got the microphone stand and all that kind of stuff. Right? I think we, and I did this myself at one point, we limit ourselves cause we think, oh, once I niche down, I can only work with those types of people. That’s not the point.
The point is if you try to speak to everyone, you actually end up speaking to no one in our very, very busy world.
People are bombarded with advertisements online. Actually, I want to encourage everyone that’s in business, when you get yourself caught up in the next ad or you’re about to buy something, and you’re kind of like, how the heck did this just happen?
Niching Down Making the Client Connection Stronger
Go back and see how specific they got with their messaging to you and realize how that messaging would not relate to most people that you know, because it was for you. That’s what the niche point is. I could still go to the music store and buy a stand. It’s not like I’m not allowed in there. It’s not like no one’s allowed to work with you.
But the point is you’re able to attract clients in that way. That’s why, yes, you’re allowed to help everyone. You should help everyone. We’re not treating anything specifically. But from a business perspective, it just makes sense that if I had a mental health background and a lot of GI issues as well, I should probably choose one of those two things to talk about most.
Or cystic acne. My God, that would be a great one to talk about because I can resonate with that. Versus someone like you, who, as far as I know, has never had cancer. Thank God. If you’re talking about that, you might sound educated, but it’d be a little bit of a disconnect for someone who has dealt with those struggles, you know?
So, what is the niche for you? What did you end up like kind of choosing to focus down with?
Shawna’s Ideal Client
[00:35:26] Shawna O’neill: Really, I’m looking at, again, a kind of twofold niche. But it’s myself – a discouraged woman, mid-forties, fifties, that just does not believe what they’re being told and that believes there’s more for them from a health perspective. Then in doing that, you’re educating the mom who gets to the kids.
If I knew this stuff when I was 20, like I give my daughter kudos, she’s 21. Through her journey, she’s learned a lot of this. If I would’ve known that stuff when I was 20, I could avoid a lot of heartache and a lot of health ache.
[00:35:56] Detective Ev: Even at 21, is she maintaining a lot of the stuff that we talk about?
[00:36:01] Shawna O’neill: Yeah. She just knows, again, for her mental health and for her best wellbeing, that’s what she needs to do. Like if she doesn’t go to the gym for three days, we’re all like, hey, you need a ride to the gym? You can tell that she’s very routine oriented and it helps. That is what we need. We need to educate people so that they do what’s good for them and they keep doing it.
[00:36:22] Detective Ev: That’s so cool. How is she doing that from the social perspective? Like does that affect that part of her life?
[00:36:26] Shawna O’neill: Sometimes. But she’s transitioning to online training. She just keeps putting it out there and she’s very steadfast, and this is what worked for me. She’s not going to compromise, I guess.
Don’t Compromise Your Values
[00:36:37] Detective Ev: That’s the best thing. Perfect. I like that. I mean, hey, I was doing this stuff at 21 as well. I guess, if your story’s severe enough, eventually, feeling good outweighs the supposed pleasures that you’re supposed to get.
It sounds so funny now listening as a 26-year-old, but it sounded very appealing as a 20, 21-year-old. Like, oh, I go to college, I get to basically just hang out with my friends and we watch Netflix. We party all night and I get to meet cool girls and stuff. You know, it sounds appealing at that age. I mean, yes, you would’ve made great connections, but you’re kind of destroying your body for four years straight, if not more, depending on how long you go. And I’m going to guess that there would’ve been some regrettable relations with women at that time. You know what I mean?
Like I’m a pretty monogamous person. I actually value that. That’s just who I am. It’s not a religious thing for me. It’s just who I am. I think I would’ve compromised a lot of my values. And some people are not like that. That’s perfectly okay. If two consenting adults want to do their thing, that’s fine. But I think a lot of people actually are compromising their values cause they think that’s what we’re supposed to want at that age, because that’s what society tells us we’re supposed to want.
So, I commend your daughter for just being able to go outside of that box and say, hey, I’m actually not going to do that. I’m going to take care of my health. It sounds like she’s having a lot of success with things.
Going Through the Layers and Sticking to It
If you had to quantify it, Shawna, and we’re not looking for perfection here, I’m just curious. How much better would you say you are percentage wise from when you went to that chiropractor for this type of stuff for the first time versus now, like having gone through FDN?
[00:37:59] Shawna O’neill: I would say probably a good 80%. There’s a lot of layers other than the testing that we go through. There’s trauma effects on the body. There’s all those layers that you get into. You have to get through one layer before you can get to the next one. And you can’t get discouraged that your family member or friend is doing something that worked, and it didn’t work for you.
I think that’s been the hardest part of my journey. I did the MRT test also and took out some things that I was eating very regularly, which really helped me with the brain fog. I’m 52, and even from my perspective, it’s very hard to go out with the family or even go to a family dinner and be like, no, I don’t want bread. Corn’s not really good for me. You know, this and that.
They’re like, just one time. I used to do it a lot and I would get a lot of setbacks. Probably just in the last year, I’ve had more mental capacity to just, I don’t want to feel that way. I don’t want to get up in the morning and have brain fog.
Facts Tell, Stories Sell
So, I just started explaining to that. Especially my husband, when we go out to eat or whatever. He is like, can you just have a beer and piece of pizza with us? I’m like, I sure can, but you’re not going to like me tomorrow. So, you know, it’s your choice.
And just helping to educate other people. It’s very hard in social settings at any age. You just have to decide if you want to feel better all the time or just some of the time.
[00:39:11] Detective Ev: That’s where our stories become very powerful. There’s actually a saying that goes, facts tell, stories sell. When we’re dealing with like family or whatever, very rarely, especially if they haven’t dealt with the same things, some of them, at least, when you’re telling the facts, you could list it off all day. It’s not going to necessarily make sense. But when we use our stories, this can be a great way to connect with family.
Because for me, thankfully, some of my stuff was very outwardly obvious that I dealt with. I mean, I just had a video from about six years ago when I was just getting into FDN on Facebook, where I was into natural health. I was going to a naturopathic doctor, and I was documenting a lot of the stuff.
I mean, Shawna, I look sick as heck. I’m just talking slow, now you can’t shut me up. My eyes are drooping, I’m super pale, like not in a normal Caucasian sense, just like, the color is just going out of the skin. I didn’t look good. That became my story.
Tell Your Story to Help Them Understand
So, I’m the weird one at the family parties and the Thanksgivings and the Christmas and stuff, but they get to see this is so obviously working. Like why would we not want this EV that goes and plays with the cousins and is the jungle gyms (I’m the oldest cousin), for four or five hours straight versus the one that was literally sneaking drugs before he went to these events because he felt so sick all the time and was trying to cope with that? I would choose that version any day and so would my family.
That’s why we got to just tell them, hey, this is how I felt. This is what happens when I do this. We can give them the facts all day, sometimes it doesn’t work. But just letting them know that, hey, do you want the best for me? Well, oh, of course. This is what works.
I got to say, there’s a huge market for someone that has a good entrepreneurial spirit to create a business where it is a chain restaurant for people like us, we could go to safely, you know? Like a big chain, the no gluten, none of the BS, just all the kind of good stuff. You get some good local ones depending on where you live but I’ve never seen a solid chain that does that yet. Someone’s got a gold mine waiting there, if they jump on it at the right time.
[00:41:02] Shawna O’neill: Yeah. Big opportunity for that.
Using FDN Combined with Equine Therapy
[00:41:04] Detective Ev: So, then what’s your biggest goal right now? I know that you said that you want to do FDN as a business. Would you love to just be doing this full time, and this is the only thing that you’re doing? I’d love to know where you see yourself kind of in the future with FDN.
[00:41:15] Shawna O’neill: I do want to transition to doing it full time with the caveat of I also do equine therapy. I’ve been doing that for a long time. I just got back into it, kind of took a break with my kids doing all their sports and everything in school. I’m at a barn now where we’re doing equine assisted learning. I was trying to figure out how do I do the two together?
I sat down with their director, and I just told her, my goal is really, I love horses. I love working with them. They can do a lot for your mental health. I also love health coaching. She’s like, well, why don’t you just do them both here. I was like, Can I do that? Like how does that work? The equine assisted learning is very much teaching life skills. Health is a life skill. I never made the connection, it’s so easy.
I started working with, we have a lot of kids and teenagers come through that have the mental, the ADHDs and all those kinds of stuff. We can do a lot through the horses and talk about health at the same time. Obviously, I can’t do that online with the horses, I do want to do the coaching online. But I do want to work that in, also.
Subconscious Connection to Horses
[00:42:12] Detective Ev: This is interesting. Must have been years since I stood near a horse. You see them from the road, I live in a farming area like that, that’s fine. But it was just maybe like a month and a half ago with my girlfriend and my mentor. He’s like a mentor in a kind of spiritual sense. He’s a cool guy. He has these horses and I stood next to them; they are magnificent animals.
Then you see those like fail videos online where people get kicked by these things. I was standing next to this. I’m like, you’re lucky you’re not dead in a fail video when this thing kicks you. I mean, these are some big animals.
But it’s one of those things where when you look at them, you could kind of feel. I don’t feel that connection with like a spider. Right? But when you look at a horse or like when I’ve seen like gorillas in a zoo or something, there’s a consciousness there. It’s very weird. It’s very interesting. You can kind of feel that there’s something there.
Maybe that’s only been brought up once on this show and it was very briefly. Like, what does that look like then? If I’m a client, I’m a 15-year-old kid coming and I have ADHD or whatever, how does the horse get implemented into the other stuff? Like what would that look like?
Equine Therapy – Matching Energy with the Horse
[00:43:10] Shawna O’neill: A lot of time it’s just teaching energy and balance. We always have them, like when you come in, you need to assess your energy. Your horse is energy, and you need to try to match it up. Horses are very good of mirroring back where you’re at on a day-to-day basis.
So, if a kid comes in there, is all crazy and whatever, the horse is going to spook, run away. You have that opportunity to say, look what the horse is doing. Now, if you’re calm, they’ll come up to you. It’s just like building that control into them and helping them with the horse. Sometimes you don’t recognize it when people tell you, but when the horse shows you, it’s a really good visual.
[00:43:42] Detective Ev: Wow! Are the kids receptive to this? Cause I feel like this can go one of two ways. I feel like kids could actually be highly receptive to it in one sense. Then I could picture the rebellious teenager, that totally wasn’t me, kind of fighting back against it.
Are they open to the idea that like their mood is affecting this animal?
[00:43:58] Shawna O’neill: The majority of them are once they see it. Like I said, parents can tell them all day long and I can tell them to a certain extent and they listen, cause I’m not the parent. But then when the horse shows them. I’ve had several teenagers like at risk teenagers and teaching respect to the animal and space and boundaries.
Processing Emotions Nonverbally with Equine Therapy
There’s so many things you can correlate. They then have a different perspective with the horse, cause it’s like, you wouldn’t disrespect your horse, you wouldn’t walk up and slap your horse. Why would you do it in the real world? It helps translate a lot.
[00:44:26] Detective Ev: This is so cool. That wouldn’t have been something that I would’ve been open to even six years ago, like getting into natural medicine. I was very lab focused and just, the stuff I could see, the data, right away. But I find this stuff really cool. I think this has a lot of validity.
You have that connection that I described there, like, there’s this obvious connection, but you take away the verbal necessity. What I mean by that is, I think a lot of kids, I know for myself, especially if we’re talking about ones with mental health issues, you have a lot going through your head. There’s a lot of stuff going on emotionally, and it can be very hard to express that verbally to a family member or friend or a counselor.
I feel like there’s a therapeutic aspect here where you have this connection. You got to keep yourself in a better place. You got to manage those emotions. But I also don’t have to say that, I don’t have to sit and say, I’m angry today or sad necessarily. I could go through that emotion and process that with this animal. That’s a really cool line of work and I’m glad that you’re offering that.
Where to Find Shawna O’neill
That leads me to my next question then. So where can people find you? I mean, it has to be in person. So, I’m sure you’re using coaching online.
I know that it’s in person, obviously it’s a horse. What I meant by that is you probably are offering coaching online as well. Right? Like, could I work with you from Penn?
[00:45:32] Shawna O’neill: Yeah. Right now I’m working on my website. So when I get that done, I’ll get it to you for the show notes.
[00:45:46] Detective Ev: Got it. I didn’t know if we wanted to shout that out. That’s kinda cool.
[00:45:48] Shawna O’neill: It’s a little new to do that combination. But I think once we get clients and even if it’s in their area, like it doesn’t have to be with me. But I don’t know, the whole D.R.E.S.S. protocol can be wrapped into it in different aspects.
[00:45:59] Detective Ev: Just fun, if nothing else. We need kids back outside. I think just standing outside instead of being locked in on the computer is probably therapeutic in and of itself.
Shawna O’neill: It is. It definitely is.
I love people that just come on and are just, they’re like me. They’re just everyday people. Just working jobs, like doing stuff. Then we had these experiences that happened. We went and we turned it around and now we’re choosing to help other people with it.
The Benefits on the Other Side
I’m so glad that your daughter got back on track, especially at a young age. Because again, I, from personal experience, thank God, I’ve never had an organ removed yet. I shouldn’t say yet. I’m going to say ever. Let’s put that out there to the universe. I know what that can be like. It can be socially isolating; it can be tough.
But there’s another side of this, where if you start actually focusing on your health and doing these things at a young age. She sounds just like me with the routine thing. You know, you end up becoming a routine person, a goal setting person because you’ve achieved this stuff with your health. It seems to translate over into other parts of life. I’m glad you guys are doing well.
Obviously, we will have that in the show notes. I don’t know when the website’s going to be done. I’m saying this live, but it’ll be a few weeks before this is out anyway. Hopefully it will be out by then and we’ll update it accordingly once it is.
Health Detective Podcast Signature Question
Now with that said you already know the final question I’m going to ask you today. The question is this, if I could give Shawna a magic wand and you could get every single person in this world to do one thing for their health, whether that’s actually do one thing or stop doing one thing, what is the one thing Shawna would get them to do?
[00:47:19] Shawna O’neill: Even knowing the question, it’s a hard question to answer. I think I would say to trust your body and your instincts. That gut instinct is something. If somebody tells you something or you read an article and it doesn’t resonate with you and everybody’s doing whatever, keto or whatever, and it doesn’t fit for you, then just trust what your body’s telling you when you do something.
We Need More Leaders
[00:47:42] Detective Ev: All right, guys, that’ll do it for today’s episode with Shawna O’neill. Shawna, thank you so much for coming on and just being a real person with us. We love that kind of stuff. I love bringing on people, like myself, who don’t, again, as I mentioned in the beginning, don’t have a hundred thousand subscribers or followers or nothing like that.
We’re real people who are doing this as work. And yes, it takes some learning for some people to figure out how to do this as a business and a career. But it is possible when you put in the work and give it enough time. So, thank you for being an example of that. And thank you for what you did for your daughter.
Thanks for being a leader. I think we need a lot more people like that leading the way for others out there who don’t have the ability to fight for themselves at such a young age. Yes, that could be for your kid, but it could be for students. It could be for people in your local community, it could be for nephews or nieces.
There’s a lot more people than just your kids that can be positively impacted by you acting like a leader. So, Shawna, we commend you and thank you again for coming on.
And I will be back very soon with yet another interview. We got a pretty cool one coming up. I’m going to leave that one secret. Then after that we have one with a very good friend of mine. He is an extremely successful physical therapist that does work online and thinks very functionally. You’ll love his story. It’s a super high energy podcast since we are great friends and have a lot of rapport together. So, look forward to that in the upcoming episodes.
I’m looking forward to talking to you guys again soon. But until then, take care.
You can always visit us at functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com.
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