[00:00:00] Detective Ev: Hello and welcome to the Health Detective Podcast by Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. We bring you interviews from people who have conquered the trickiest of health challenges using the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition philosophy and similar healing modalities. Here is today’s episode about sports injuries, cystic acne, and mindset importance.
All right. Hello there, Leigh. Welcome to the Health Detective Podcast. How are you, my friend?
[00:00:38] Leigh Brandon: I’m good Evan. Thanks for having me on the show.
[00:00:40] Detective Ev: I’m excited to have you. It’s always cool to get someone from across the pond on the show. I gotta go through it one time and see how many different countries we’ve actually had on this show. It’s nice to see it expanding.
We are a United States dominated audience. But looking at the analytics recently, Canada and Australia actually go back and forth fighting for the second place. So, really exciting. It’s cool to have all these people connected. I think it’s really with this passion for the functional side of things in natural health, you connect with people all around the world. Cause there’s many people out there doing this stuff.
I want to kind of just go through your journey today. I’m really curious about the things that you’ve done and how you ended up getting to this side of stuff. Basically, Leigh started out as a super athletic person, you still are. You were interested in the weight and strength training side, not necessarily the functional medicine side. What got you into that? Was a parent competitive or did you just find a sport or two that you loved?
Playing Competitive Soccer at 6
[00:01:25] Leigh Brandon: How did I get into athletics initially?
[00:01:26] Detective Ev: Yeah. And how did you get that obsession for it? Because plenty of kids play sports like I did. I didn’t get an obsession for it.
[00:01:32] Leigh Brandon: Well, it’s interesting because my dad wasn’t sporty at all, neither was my mom. But I can’t remember a time when I was not absolutely crazy about sports. So, I couldn’t even tell you when it started. My mom tells a story about when I was about 11 months old in a baby walker kicking a football around the living room. You know, I was that young, I was interested in sports.
Growing up in England, the main religion in England is football or what you call soccer. I started playing competitively when I was six. Kids aren’t allowed to do that nowadays at age six, not 11 aside soccer anyway. But I was absolutely obsessed by sports, but particularly soccer.
Where did that come from? It is almost like I was born with it, I would say.
[00:02:17] Detective Ev: Hey, that’s a good enough answer for me. I mean, that’s actually even more validating, right? Some people are just meant to do certain things and then you’ve combined it with all these different modalities as time went on.
I was kind of wondering with that, cause we could probably jump forward to the next part. You’re into weight training, started taking it seriously around 23. I think it was really smart that you got into it when you were a teenager.
Timeline Getting into the Holistic Side
I’m not some big guy myself, but I do like being strong. I like being athletic and functional. And so, I was playing around with the weights too as a teenager. It looked pretty interesting at the time, even getting that base, if I wasn’t doing it correctly. It is really useful in your twenties when you can do these movements properly and with good form and low risk of injury.
I’m curious then, how does this football playing, weightlifting person start kind of exploring these more natural and functional things? You know this better than anyone it’s almost a disconnect between these two industries, half the time. So, did you have personal health challenges that led to that, or was it just an interest in learning? I’m curious.
[00:03:12] Leigh Brandon: Well, it’s a bit of both. I finished playing soccer when I was 23. I was actually much better at cricket it turned out than I was at football. But I finished playing cricket when I was 21. Then the sport I took up was called Night Clubbing for the rest of my twenties which took up most of my energy.
I would’ve been 27 when I actually started as a personal trainer. So, I got in that side of things. Then in 2001, I started training with the CHEK Institute. At the time it was what we now call integrated movement science. So, it was all on the physical side, it was all on the exercise side. It was all about posture and injury rehabilitation and sports performance. But then in 2004 the institute brought out their holistic lifestyle coaching program. So, from 2004 to 2006, I studied holistic lifestyle coaching. That really got me on the trail, if you like.
Then in 2006, part of the holistic lifestyle coaching level three course, we got taught functional medicine. The CHEK Institute, just like FDN did, had a very close affiliation with BioHealth Diagnostics. So, we learned a little bit about some of the tests that BioHealth Diagnostics did, and I was really passionate about learning more.
We weren’t given enough to go away and start doing functional medicine. I was kind of left a little bit, like, oh, I need more, I need more. Then it was probably within 18 months that Reed launched FDN, and I was like, oh, that’s it. That’s what I’ve been looking for. I’ve been looking for something like this.
I was probably one of the first people to do the online FDN program. Now, I can’t remember the exact year. It was either 2007 or 2008, I can’t remember the exact year.
[00:04:54] Detective Ev: That sounds right. It would’ve had to be.
[00:04:56] Leigh Brandon: Cause I know initially Reed only offered FDN as a Live class.
I kept thinking, oh, do I fly out to California to do this class? It would’ve been too much cause it wasn’t, if I remember right, it wasn’t done in one go. I’d have to have come over to California for quite a while. And back then most of my work was face-to-face. So, I took the class with Reed.
Teaching FDN in the UK
And what you may not know was, soon after I completed the course, I can’t remember exactly how long after, I actually started teaching FDN in the UK. I thought you wouldn’t know that.
Detective Ev: No, I did not.
Leigh Brandon: What I used to do was, I used to teach a weekend workshop. If I remember right, I used to teach the first two modules. And if people enjoyed the first two modules, they would then buy the rest of the program online. So, I did that for maybe a year or so.
The only reason I stopped was because in London the rents just got horrendous. To put on an event, I would’ve had to have got such a massive number of people just to break even. That was the only reason I stopped. But that was kind of how my journey started into more functional medicine type work.
[00:06:05] Detective Ev: Very cool. I learned a couple of things here cause I didn’t know that the CHEK Institute had been around for so long. And it kind of makes sense.
We have so many people that are getting into business for themselves, and I hope they really register these little subtle messages that aren’t necessarily the main point of the podcast but things that you can learn. Cause nowadays FDN, CHEK Institute, these are relatively big names in our space. You hear about them; you see them at the conferences and stuff. But it’s like they’ve been in this game for decades, they’ve been out there doing this before the internet was a huge thing and before this is how you really did business.
Utilizing Lab Testing
Just always keep in mind, it’s a long-term game in business, right? You can get started and do well for yourself within a year or two. That’s realistic. But if you’re going for these massive goals, give it some time, give it some grace. Then you could play with some of these big-time people that are doing this stuff.
I liked that you were an early adopter. I did not know that at all about you teaching FDN in the uk. So, you’re like one of the best people to have on this podcast. What did this do for you as a businessperson and even as a personal trainer? Were you starting to utilize lab testing in person with your personal training clients?
[00:07:03] Leigh Brandon: Yeah. I mean, I would say when I started my CHEK training, I kind of stopped being a personal trainer as such. I still used exercise as a tool to help people. But I wasn’t kind of personal training per se. Probably even before I finished my training with FDN I started using lab tests to help clients.
What we learn in the CHEK system is to use a very holistic approach. You know, you’ve gotta be looking at things from every angle. So, if you don’t know where someone’s at hormonally or you don’t know what’s going on in terms of their gut health, it’s a little bit tricky to help them. I mean, yeah, you can probably guess from symptomology, but if you’ve got test results and they match with the client’s case that you’re seeing in front of you, then you’re in a much better position to give the client the right help that they need.
Mixing All His Passions Together
[00:07:49] Detective Ev: Right. I don’t want to jump too far ahead, but I want to start kind of connecting all of this to sports performance. Because when I was going through some of your links, one of the coolest things that caught my eye right away is something that happened fairly recently.
You were doing a podcast talking about this connection between like gut health and sports performance and not only that, but sports injuries. I mean, you have really mixed all of your passions here together. It’s not like you just completely traded off one for the other. I mean, that’s interesting because one of the things that I saw, Leigh, before I was really advanced with this stuff, and I don’t even know if it’s fair to call myself advanced.
There are people that are pretty far with this. Let’s say experienced, I’ll use that word. But six years ago, I was just about to get into FDN, I was like months away from it. I was eating vegetarian. When I say vegetarian, I mean like almost vegan. I basically just ate eggs once or twice a week. The rest of the time was true vegan.
It was a high-quality vegan diet. But we all know that that can be incomplete for a lot of people, and it definitely was for me. Because even though I wasn’t a sports person in terms of like being hyper-competitive with it or taking it super seriously, I was always very active. My parents got me involved in stuff as a kid, I always played a sport or two even if it was intramurally, just having fun with it.
Seeing Abdominal Inflammation
What’s interesting is despite having all these years of playing sports on and off, it was as a young adult in my very early twenties that’s playing pickup basketball and riding a bike, I got two injuries when I’ve never had injuries before, in almost a two-month span.
I shattered my foot, first of all. I mean, I didn’t run again normally for almost three to four years. Now that’s a separate situation about the physical therapists that I went to. It wasn’t the foot’s fault or the vegetarian diet, that was a whole separate issue. But I mean, I literally couldn’t walk from a pretty basic injury for several weeks.
Then in the same amount of time, or like right before that, actually, I have a completely snapped ligament in my wrist, proven on MRI. I just never got the surgery for it cause I have overall good mobility.
I didn’t get it back then, but I think what I’m trying to suggest is that there is something here between this gut health and overall health and the injuries that we’re getting. Maybe we can just jump right into that. Cause I think that’s a super interesting topic. What does that have to do with sports injuries for people out there that are getting hurt?
[00:09:51] Leigh Brandon: Well, there’s quite a lot we could go into. I guess probably the main issue that I tend to see with clients is when they have any kind of abdominal inflammation. We know there’s many causes of that. You know, it could be food sensitivity, it could be dysbiosis, could be SIBO. There are many things that could cause inflammation in the abdomen.
Connecting Gut Inflammation, Nervous System, & Injuries
What happens is that the nervous system sends an impulse to the brain to say, there’s an issue here. If it’s a small intestine, it’s going to send it via certain nerve pathways at certain levels of the spine. And the brain will register there’s an issue at these levels of the spine. It sends a signal back down the same nerve pathways.
But what it tends to do, it doesn’t go back to the viscera, generally. It will send a signal back to the muscle to either contract, as in a spasm. If someone’s having a heart attack, they get a spasm of the muscles in the left shoulder, down the left arm, it could be in the jaw. That’s what’s known as a viscerosomatic reflex. So, it’s a reflex from the viscera to the somatic system.
But what tends to happen most often in the abdominal wall is that the muscles become inhibited and in particular, the type one muscle fibers we call the slow twitch muscle fibers. They are the muscle fibers that basically hold everything together to keep it stable. They help to stabilize the lumbar spine, the pelvis, the ribcage, and of course our legs are attached to the pelvis and our arms are attached to the ribcage.
If you’ve got inflammation in the viscera in the abdomen, what it will do is it will cause instability in the joints of the body. Now, when you’ve got instability in a joint, it can create excess compression, torsion, or sheer. Another word for that is wear and tear. So, you get excessive wear and tear in the joints, and then over time then you start to get issues.
Fixing the Root Cause of Injuries
It can also be, you start to get muscle imbalances. Then you start to get certain muscles that are overworking, and that’s when you might start to get things like muscle tears or tears of the tendons. You might even get ligament issues. That’s more to do with an unstable joint. You’re more likely to get stressed to the ligament.
It doesn’t have to be athletes. I mean, anyone can get injuries, right? So, if anyone gets any kind of injury, one of the things that I have to look at is there any inflammation in the gut? Because I can give them the best manual therapy, I can give them the best corrective exercise program. But if we don’t fix what’s going on in the gut, you are not going to get any kind of result because the injury’s just going to come back again.
It’s an absolutely crucial part of the process with sports injuries, but also sports performance. Because if you’ve got unstable joints, you can’t generate as much power or you can’t generate as much strength. So, you know, performance is reduced. Of course, if you’re injured, you’re not going to perform very well. It really has a massive effect on injury and performance.
[00:13:10] Detective Ev: I’m already making this connection from the stuff that you’re mentioning about like basketball players.
Obviously, basketball’s huge in the United States and there’s this guy Derek Rose. So, Derek Rose, when he came into the NBA, he was looked at as he was going to be one of the top point guards of all time. He would do these crazy things. He was dunking as a point guard, I mean, consistently and pretty sweet dunks, which is already rare enough.
What is the Mindset of Elite Sports Medicine?
But the thing with Derek Rose, it’s very sad, consistent injuries throughout his career over and over again, different ones, recurring ones. Now I’m already thinking, I wonder, even though he has these top people helping him out, like do you think that at that level of athletics, are they actually even thinking like that yet?
I’m sure they’re worried about diet, I get that. I’m sure they’re worried about the rehabilitative exercises he’s doing. But do you think they’re actually out there making the connections between like what does this guy’s gut health look like and his injuries?
[00:14:03] Leigh Brandon: I think it depends. Certain sports are better than others and certain sports are worse than others generally. Because quite often what you find is that people that work in medical teams, it’s because of who they know, not because of what they’ve done in the past.
But what I can tell you is a friend of mine was a strength and conditioning coach for a top Premier League soccer team over here, very good friend of mine. He also asked another friend of ours to consult with the team. There are two players worth millions of pounds each, you know, top international well-known players. They had injuries.
My colleague who came as a consultant is also an osteopath. He came in under the guise of an osteopath, but he is also a CHEK practitioner. He assessed these players, and he sent a report back to the medical doctor. His report was both of these players, their injuries are caused by gluten intolerance which is causing them to be unstable.
Not Lining Up with a Holistic Mindset
I remember one guy had ankle sprains. I can’t remember the other guy’s injury, but one of them was definitely ankle sprains. I think he also had opposite side shoulder issue, but that was actually compensating for the hip on your opposite side.
His recommendation was that this soccer player goes on a gluten-free diet. There were other recommendations of course, but that was the key one. The team doctor went, don’t be stupid. First of all, that’s nonsense. And secondly, it’s impossible to eat a gluten-free diet. We’re talking about players that are worth millions of pounds.
[00:15:41] Detective Ev: Wow. Did he end up doing it though?
[00:15:44] Leigh Brandon: No. They sack the consultant. He’s also a naturopath. But they said, we didn’t consult you as a nutritionist.
[00:15:53] Detective Ev: Okay, got it. This is insane. This is kind of what I suspected.
I even see every now and then you’ll watch these athletes who are like, I know they’re doing it for sponsored reasons too, but I believe that they actually use them. You’ll see the guys wearing the blue light blockers and stuff, like they’re trying to do it for better sleep or they’re wearing the yellow ones in the gym.
Again, I do believe some are actually implementing these protocols. But we’re at this weird time because, these players, they’re getting access sometimes to these higher-level natural type people, or they’re seeing stuff on the internet themselves. I mean, they’re humans, right? Just like you and I, they’re going on the internet, they see this person has healed this thing or that thing. I mean, they can make their own choices.
But yeah, you have these influences from the coaches, and it might not register to them as well.
The Mindset of the Majority Won’t Listen
I get it too. I don’t want to be totally lacking sympathy to this situation. Like, if you’re a coach and you’re training some of the top-level athletes of the world and they’re saying, oh, it’s a gluten intolerance that caused this injury. I mean, yeah. If you don’t have a background in this stuff like we do, it’s really easy to find that that’s like disconnected in your brain. You’re like, what is this crazy? That sounds like crackery almost, if you don’t know the science behind it.
Now maybe should they have given that person a little grace and an opportunity to actually explain themselves? Probably, but I also get it.
What you’re really saying is maybe the information’s out there for some of these people, but half the time someone tells them, they don’t even listen to this anyway. Because I feel like the athletes will do whatever they’re told cause they’re such high performers. Right?
[00:17:08] Leigh Brandon: Yeah. I mean, the story that I just mentioned, it was some time ago now. I’m talking mid 2000. It’s got better. It’s definitely got better. But there is still a lot of ignorance around those kinds of subjects.
But what’s interesting, and I just want to bring this up actually. You mentioned recurring injuries. Whilst this isn’t necessarily a hundred percent related to FDN, I think it’s an important point.
Mindset of Unworthiness
One of the things that I see, and again it’s looking at it from a holistic point of view. You often get a mental/emotional cause of recurring injuries. What it can often be, now I see this again in soccer, in England, is that a player will be called up to the England squad for the first time ever. It’s like, wow, amazing. I’m in the England squad. You know, it must be great for them and their family. It’s fulfilling a lifetime dream, playing for your country.
Well, more than 50% of the time, within a week before the squad meets up, they get injured. Happens all the time. Now, you can’t tell me that that’s just physical. One of the things that I think is, growing up we often learn that we’re not worthy, we don’t deserve certain things. I think that there’s definitely a quite a strong mental/emotional aspect to recurring injuries.
Yes, there are certain players that we know have been mistreated and that’s the reason why they keep getting injured. But I also feel there is a mental/emotional aspect tied into recurring injuries as well.
[00:18:34] Detective Ev: Well, that’s something to unpack for sure. Where do people even start then? Because that doesn’t seem like an overnight fix by any means. It’s not just a few supplements or a diet change. You really gotta work on your stuff. So, where do you start with that?
Mindset is Set at a Young Age
[00:18:46] Leigh Brandon: There’s quite a lot of techniques you can use. But if I was working with an elite athlete, I would probably suggest they get hypnosis. Because a lot of these subconscious beliefs, that’s what we are really talking about, they are created normally in the first seven years of life when our brainwave state is still very low.
So normally, Delta and Theta are brainwave states, which is hypnotic states. If you grow up in an environment where you’re told that you’re not worthy and you’re never going to amount to anything, well, it becomes your reality. Because at that age, you don’t have the possibility to say no to it. Your brain is just soaking up your environment.
It’s not until the age of seven when the brainwave state increases up to Alpha and then Beta at 12 years old, that you start to be able to respond to your environment and to say yes or no to it. But by the time it’s subconscious, you’re subconscious of it, so you don’t know.
The only way to repattern that is to go into a hypnotic state and have someone like a hypnotherapist reprogram that belief.
[00:19:52] Detective Ev: I’ve heard of all this. I’m very into this kind of stuff.
In terms of applying it to this situation here, do you think that these people that got called, I believe you called it the England squad, right? They got called up for that. Do you believe that something then from their childhood is coming up basically saying, hey, they’re not worthy of this, or not deserving of that position?
Leigh Brandon: Yeah.
Detective Ev: Okay. Got it.
Did the CHEK System Influence Kobe Bryant’s Mindset?
And then you have the opposite athletes. We all know this, I mean, it’s very entertaining from a sports perspective. Like if we’re watching it, like the Michael Jordans, right? I can only do basketball, so work with me. But the Michael Jordans, the Kobe Bryants, people have almost historically looked at these people, not only as, I mean, athletic feats.
I mean, they’re amazing. Sorry, they’re athletic feats and what they’ve done. But they’ve also looked at these people, especially Michael Jordan, as kind of like arrogant or even narcissistic on the court. However, I’m not promoting that narcissism by any means. I think the side of that that worked out for him is that guy had it in his mentality, like you’re talking about today, I am the best. I’m going to outwork all of these people. You can’t beat me.
I mean, Kobe was, he was kind of the same way in a little bit of a different version of it. He was more like outward.
[00:20:53] Leigh Brandon: You’re also talking about two basketball players that worked with Paul Chek.
Detective Ev: No way.
Leigh Brandon: Yeah. Paul Chek was a consultant for the Chicago Bulls back in the day. And Kobe Bryant went to see Paul Chek to work with him one-to-one.
[00:21:09] Detective Ev: Get out. I did not know that, that’s so cool.
[00:21:12] Leigh Brandon: Paul didn’t know who Kobe Bryant was when he walked into his office. He just said, oh, you’re tall, are you a basketball player?
And I think he sorta looked at Paul as if to say, do you not know who I am, kind of thing.
Attention When Sick Connected to Mindset
[00:21:22] Detective Ev: Yeah, especially with Kobe’s mentality. He’s like, yeah, what the heck? What kind of comment is that? But okay, that’s really interesting. I definitely did not know that one, and that’s a huge credibility to Paul and what he’s done.
But yeah though, those guys were so similar where it’s just the competitive nature. And they worked really hard. But it’s this idea that I am just better than you, I’m better than your team. I can do that kind of stuff. So again, maybe we don’t want to take it that far, but we could also see the opposite side of that. That to get to that champion level, they just had this mindset that I’m a winner, I’m going to do this.
Then, yeah, you get other people where they’re really good and they get called up for the England squad. But maybe they had those deeply rooted beliefs that, hey, I don’t deserve this and now something happened to prove it wasn’t supposed to be anyway.
In terms of the recurring injuries, does that connect the exact same way or were you suggesting that with recurring injuries, like maybe someone now has it in their head that they have a weak spot or something’s not working correctly and that’s why it’s getting recurring? Can that happen too?
[00:22:17] Leigh Brandon: Well, it can be they don’t feel worthy. But the other thing as well, and this isn’t just athletes, this is human beings. This doesn’t have to be injury; this can be illness too. Again, when we are young, quite often one of the times we get the most attention or love from our parents is when we’re sick.
An Illness Currency is a Mindset
So, it might be you’ve got three or four siblings and they’re all kind of fighting for attention. But when you’re sick, you get a hundred percent of attention from normally your mother, right? So that gets hardwired into your subconscious that one of the ways to get attention is to be sick. When you’re sick, everyone’s going to rush around you.
So, what can happen is that someone gets sick because subconsciously, they won’t know that they’re doing it and if you suggested it to them, they’d think you’re crazy. They say, well, of course I don’t want this rash over my body. Or of course I don’t want this knee pain or whatever, right? But it’s not at the conscious level, it’s the subconscious level.
Some people call it an illness currency. There’s a currency involved in being ill. There’s a benefit to it. And the benefit is that their subconscious believes that they’re going to get attention.
And again, it’s something that I see personally quite a lot in my practice.
[00:23:35] Detective Ev: Wow. I think we could do two hours’ worth easily of just this kind of stuff. I feel like everyone that listens to our show, especially if they’re this far into the podcast, they’re very receptive to this message.
But it is something to keep in mind with clients. It’s something to approach delicately, because as you just said, that’s the obvious response. It’s, no, of course I don’t want this. And you are absolutely correct. You probably don’t consciously want it, but on this deeper level, it provides you with something.
A Restrictive Mindset that Hurts
I think the longer we’re sick, especially if we were sick when really young, I’ve had to check myself in a million different ways. I’m still working on this because that was an identity almost. From five years old to 19, I have always had something wrong with me.
First of all, I feel great thankfully. But I am the least strict that I’ve been with certain protocols and diet stuff. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still live a lot differently than most people. I’m still an FDN, that’s for sure. But I’m the least strict I’ve been in the last six years, and yet I feel the best. My skin’s the clearest, right? I don’t have a lot of the weird symptoms that I’ve used to have. It’s kind of strange.
And there’s a limit to this, right? I’m not going to go start eating pizza, drinking alcohol, and staying up till three in the morning. I don’t think that’s going to work for me personally. There’s this fine line where I was actually being so restrictive that that was hurting me worse than anything.
So, maybe it’s a little bit of a different belief at the time, but it was a mindset thing more than anything. I have to be super restrictive, and if I go outside of these restrictions, I’m going to break out. I’m going to get depressed, I’m going to feel bad.
I used to eat chocolate once a month. And when I ate the chocolate, I’d get a little breakout right around my chin. I believed that that was going to happen. I eat chocolate, dark chocolate, organic, but I’m a chocolate connoisseur. I eat chocolate almost every single day of my life now, yet I don’t get those breakouts anymore.
Example Client of Mindset Injuries
Really nothing else has changed in my life. So, how did that happen? It’s almost like I just started realizing, okay, dude, it’s not chocolate. It’s this fear and worry I have around the chocolate that’s actually breaking me out.
[00:25:26] Leigh Brandon: Well, that’s called the nocebo effect, isn’t it?
[00:25:29] Detective Ev: Yes sir. Absolutely.
[00:25:31] Leigh Brandon: I had a client once who, she came to see me. She was a hair stylist. So, she spent all day with her shoulder up at 90 degrees, cutting hair, right? The shoulder is lifted up all day.
Well, she came to me with supraspinatus tendinosis. That’s wear and tear on the tendon of the supraspinatus muscle, which is on the top of the shoulder there touches to the arm, the humerus. Obviously, she couldn’t work, and she’d been to see a number of doctors who’d all told her that you can’t rehabilitate supraspinatus tendinosis.
She said, what do you think? I said, well that’s rubbish. I’ve rehabilitated quite a few of those in the past. She’s like, okay, great. So, we started working together.
I think she was seeing me once a week, something like that. I was doing manual therapy and was doing exercise with her. Obviously, she was following nutrition plan and her shoulder got better. Then her left hip started to hurt.
Okay, so we started working on her left hip. Time would go by, her left hip got better. Great. But then her right shoulder started hurting again. We kept getting this seesaw of right shoulder, left hip, right shoulder, left hip. She came in one day and said, you know what? I think this is in my head. And I said, oh, that’s interesting. I think you might be right.
Trying to Find a Truth Mindset
Within about a week, she never got pain after she realized that herself. Because what she was saying was, she didn’t know anything else than being in pain. So, she kept thinking, soon as my shoulder got better, I was going to start feeling pain in my hip. But when my hip got better, I was going to start feeling. So, there’s the nocebo effect. Soon as she said it to herself, that was almost enough to heal herself.
[00:27:15] Detective Ev: That’s amazing. It’s really powerful actually. Cause you know how hard it is to come to those realizations on your own time and think about that. Yeah, this is exactly what I was trying to say.
It’s like, I talk to a lot of people on this podcast that got sick when they were in their twenties and thirties. But others are like myself, and they were sick really young. Like you, I almost identify that I am just a sick person, or I’ve had these kinds of things going on. Even if you’re getting better, you’re just like, well, yeah, I’m always going to be different than other people though.
And that’s tough. We gotta watch out for that. We gotta acknowledge the bits of truth. Like, yes, I’m not going to go eat gluten tomorrow. I don’t care. You’re not going to get me to do that. And you’re not suggesting that.
It’s walking this fine line though between what are the actual things that I need to do to keep myself healthy versus these fake rules and restrictions or ideas that I’ve created that’s actually causing pain for this woman. When all of a sudden, she can kind of turn that pain off. And this is real.
Mindset: The Nocebo Effect
I love that you brought up the nocebo effect cause it is weird how many people don’t know. They’ve all heard of placebo, they’ve all heard of nocturnal, but they haven’t heard of like nocebo and diurnal. I always find it funny that people haven’t heard of those.
That’s a real phenomenon, guys. You’re actually causing something bad because of the belief, and that just shows what the human mind can do. I think it’s hard to comprehend, maybe I’m just speaking for myself. It is hard for me to comprehend, but it’s very real.
I mean, think about how a new medicine gets to the market. We actually compare it to the placebo. It is that real, that that’s how pharmaceutical companies have to get these things to the market in America, is by comparing it to the power of the human mind. It’s kind of weird when you word it that way.
[00:28:41] Leigh Brandon: Yeah. I don’t know if you’ve heard the story of someone who was told they had stage four cancer. They had, I can’t remember the exact time they said, you know, four weeks to live, or whatever it was. And on the day, four weeks after he was told he had cancer, stage four cancer, he died.
They did the autopsy, and they couldn’t find any tumors in his body, he was misdiagnosed. Because the person believed the doctor, that was enough to kill him. That was the nocebo effect.
[00:29:11] Detective Ev: Is this something that’s supposed to teach a lesson or is that an actual real story?
[00:29:15] Leigh Brandon: As I understand, that’s a real story.
[00:29:15] Detective Ev: Wow. Yeah, I guess I wouldn’t doubt it. Like why couldn’t it do something like that? But that’s crazy.
Mindset: A Strong Relational Connection
I think this just proves the point. We gotta be so careful what we are listening to and what we’re consuming. I hope it doesn’t get to this point for anyone on this podcast, but if enough people listen, I guess statistically it would for at least one or two. If you get a terminal diagnosis, if you’re going to die anyway, you might as well get a second or third opinion.
I think it’s kind of hard to get it out of our own heads when we heard it from this authority figure. So, go get the second or third opinion and hear it from another authority figure. Of course, yes, all of us pass away one day. But that’s kind of nuts to know that this person believed this so deeply that, that ended up doing this for them.
It’s a little bit of a different story, but it’s a similar concept. I had a friend of mine in high school, her grandmother passed away and the grandfather and grandmother had been married, I think for like 50 or 60 years, at the time. It was beautiful. It was one of those long-term couples.
The grandfather without any health issues, nothing going on, he was just older, he died about three weeks after the grandmother, right after the funeral happened and stuff. Now the cause of death was simply old age. But when you look at it like that again, I think you get what I’m saying. It’s conceptually similar where he lost his point for living.
He said, all right, I’m done. The second he said it in his own mind, I’m done, his body’s like, okay, we’re out. You know, we’ll go visit your wife. It’s a beautiful story cause he lived a great life.
Mindset: The Power of the Mind
The family, as sad as they were to lose both of these people thought it was really amazing that you can love someone so much that you survived 50, 60 years with this person, and within three weeks of them being gone, you’re gone as well. It’s as beautiful as it is sad. But I think that shows the power of the mind. When he said it’s done, it’s going to be done.
The Buddhist monks do this as well. I don’t know if you ever studied those. They’ll actually tell their groups, their monasteries, at the end of their life when it’s approaching. They already know that it’s coming, and it’s not because they’re in the hospital on IVs and all this stuff. They literally just know it’s their time. They’ll bring everyone around. It’s beautiful. That’s kind of cool.
I didn’t think this is where this podcast was going to go today, but this is interesting to know that you consider this. I mean, you have years of expertise in this, that you consider this to be a big part of these injuries.
So, let’s reverse back a little bit and actually try to quantify this. If I’m someone that is dealing with these recurring injuries trying to be bulletproof when I’m performing in sports or weightlifting or for the rest of my life just as I’m getting older, and I do want to do this, how much do you think percentage wise, if you could quantify it somehow, is put into the mindset stuff versus like the gut health actually taking care of oneself? Is it hard to tell?
Mindset: Affirmation Statements
[00:31:42] Leigh Brandon: Well, the mind controls the physical body, right? So, one of the things that I find really useful with my clients is affirmation statements.
Now, a lot of people think it’s a lot of woo-woo nonsense. But you know, we know that everything in the universe is a vibration. Everything’s vibrating, isn’t it? An idea is a vibration. How do you brainwash someone? Well, you tell them the same thing repetitively over a long period of time. We’ve had a bit of that over the last three years, but I’m sure we don’t want to go down that rabbit hole.
You know, I can tell you from my own experience sometimes. Let’s say my knee starts to hurt and I’m walking along the street. I’ll say, oh, what’s that? I start limping. And I think, oh, no, what have I done? My first thing is, oh geez, will I be asked to play tennis at the weekend?
I just say to myself, stop, stop. My knee is strong. My knee is strong, my knee is strong, my knee is strong, my knee is strong, my knee is strong. And about two minutes later, my knee feels absolutely fine.
So, what I do with clients is I sit down with them and help them come up with affirmation statements for them to use. I don’t know where this number came from because it came into my head. I didn’t make it up. But I recommend if someone has an affirmation statement, they need to say it 60 times a day. I don’t know where the number 60 come from, but it seems to work cause it has to be repetitive. You’re basically brainwashing your own body.
Mindset Combined with D.R.E.S.S.
Obviously, the affirmation has to be in the present tense. You might start it, I’m happy and grateful now that I have completely clear skin every day. What you don’t want to do is to say, I’m happy and grateful now that I don’t have acne. Because what you are creating is the vibration of acne. Well, that’s the thing that you don’t want.
It can take a bit of coaching to actually get the right words for the person. I try and get the client to come up with the words, but sometimes I just try and help mold them. Cause quite often they’ll want to use the negative word, you know, I don’t want, or I want to get rid of my belly. Things like that you tend to hear. If you’ve got a big belly, you don’t want to be talking about that. You’ve gotta talk about what you do want, which is the flat tummy or belly or whatever wording you want to use. I find that really powerful.
In terms of percentages, again, if you’re using a completely holistic approach, it doesn’t mean that you don’t look at your nutrition, you don’t look at your exercise, you don’t look at getting to bed on time, all the D.R.E.S.S. stuff. You’ve still gotta do all that. But for me, the most important is the mind.
[00:34:24] Detective Ev: Wow! You’re making so many connections for me today, and I hope other people are having this experience. I didn’t know that you worked with people with acne. I kind of already alluded to that in this podcast today. That was one of my biggest health symptoms.
Mindset: No Worrying
I started breaking out at nine years old. By the age of 18, it’s one of the worst cases you’ve probably ever seen. Now, if you’ve worked with people, it might be up there for you. The average person, it’s one of the worst cases they’ve ever seen because most of these people just don’t leave their house.
Over the last several years, my skin’s been really good. I’ll still get an occasional breakout here and there. It’s nothing that I ever felt too worried about. But if I got more than just one or two, I’m starting to worry so strongly about it coming back. You know, oh, what am I doing wrong?
Then you want to know something odd, I never really grew a beard before. I actually only started growing a little small goatee in the pandemic. And then I let the full beard go, recently. Now I didn’t change anything else. Grant you, it was only one or two, but I stopped even getting the one or two pimples. I realized that recently. I’m like, what changed?
You know what changed, Leigh? Because I have a beard, I’m not worried about acne anyway. In my head, I’m realizing, well, if I break out, no one can see it, so who cares? Me not worrying about it led to me not breaking out. How weird is that? Well, it’s not weird because we know this stuff.
But it’s just so interesting to know that this last several years, I think the reason that one or two breakouts had always been happening no matter what, even if they weren’t a huge deal, is because in my mind somewhere since nine years old when I’ve looked in that mirror. It’s validating, unfortunately, in a bad way.
Mindset: The Mental/Emotional Issue of Acne
I’m looking at someone who has acne and I have identified that with myself. I just have acne. So, at 27 years old, healthy as can be, eating better than everyone that I know, still getting a couple of breakouts here and there. It almost didn’t make sense. Then the second I grow the beard, it’s like, well, I don’t have to worry about the acne anyway. Go figure, the acne goes away. It’s cool.
[00:36:11] Leigh Brandon: There’s also a physiological reason why that might be the case as well. When you are stressed, what does that do to the gut lining?
[00:36:18] Detective Ev: Sure, well, of course makes it more permeable.
[00:36:20] Leigh Brandon: Right. So, straight away you’ve probably helped your gut because you’re not stressing out about your skin.
I suffered from severe cystic acne from age 13 to 31. I took antibiotics for 18 years. I used these horrible creams and cleansers. All three of those things just made everything worse. Even by the time I started my FDN training, my gut still needed a lot of healing to recover from all those antibiotics. And I’m not sure if my microbiome will ever fully recover from that.
Talking about acne, people think of it, it is just a skin condition. I think it’s more of a mental/emotional issue because it destroys people’s self-confidence and self-esteem, which affects every aspect of your life.
I get a lot of satisfaction from helping people achieve clear skin. And I’m actually 90% of the way through writing my latest book, which will be called Eliminating Adult Acne for Good. I’m hoping that’s going to be published this year. I actually do an online coaching program for people with acne as well.
Practitioners Needed for Acne Sufferers
It’d be good if I get the book out cause, obviously, not everyone can afford to do a coaching program. Working hard to get that out this year if possible.
[00:37:34] Detective Ev: I love you, man. This is amazing! I feel like, other than your passion and proficiency in playing sports, I feel like we’re very similar outside of that. This is cool to hear.
I do other things outside of FDN, so I’ve always tried to help people with the acne side, but I don’t run a full-time FDN business by any means. I’m just so excited to hear that you have this book coming out and that you work with people one-on-one with that and other things.
There’s no shortage of people that need help with this. We need so many practitioners that have this as a niche or at least offer these services to people. The good news for you guys as coaches, if you’re ever interested in this about acne sufferers, is we’ll do whatever it takes. We will try anything.
The stuff that I’ve tried, honestly, it’s almost embarrassing because you get so desperate to figure out the thing that’s going to work. So trust me, your FDN labs, your few thousand dollars program, I’m being honest, that is nothing compared to what some people have done.
I, thankfully, have not done this one, but if you go onto forums, you will hear about people telling others to take their own urine and mix it in a serum and rub it on their face. I’m not laughing because it’s not really funny. These people are told to do this and they think that that’s the solution. Imagine being that embarrassed and that uncomfortable with yourself that you’re going to do something like that.
Antibiotics for Acne Makes it Worse Eventually
So again, a few labs, dietary changes, mindset stuff, yeah, most acne sufferers we can get on board with things like that. I’m glad that you got that figured out.
I’m very sorry that they had you on 18 freaking years of antibiotics. Was that constant or on and off?
[00:38:59] Leigh Brandon: Pretty constant.
My first visit to the doctor was, here’s some creams and cleansers, but they didn’t do anything at all. In fact, they just made my skin worse. Then one of my school friends, he was kind of three months ahead of me in his acne journey, he came in one day and said, oh, I’ve just got these pills from the doctor, and it seems like they’re working.
Then I went back to the doctor and said, oh, my friend’s got these. He went, oh yeah, I can give you these. What I experienced, what my friend experienced, and what I see a lot with people that come to see me is they say, initially it worked. It did initially, three to six months, it does get better. But then it comes back, and it comes back worse.
Which again, if you’re destroying your microbiome, your gut microbiome, of course it’s going to get worse. It’s just so, so important to, again, use a holistic approach. But the one thing that I was going to say, which has just gone outta my head, what was I going to say? I can’t remember. Can’t have been that important.
[00:39:57] Detective Ev: I don’t know if this will trigger anything. We had the cystic acne, the antibiotics.
There’s a Different Kind of Suffering with Acne
[00:40:01] Leigh Brandon: I’ve remembered. So, I remember, I was in my mid-twenties. I had a mortgage; I had my own home. I remember thinking if someone came to me and said, if you pay me 25,000 pounds and I guarantee I can get rid of your acne, I would’ve remortgaged my property there and then. Not a doubt in the world.
Luckily it didn’t cost me quite that much. But, you know, all my training I did with the CHEK Institute, also my training with metabolic typing with Bill Wolcott, and FDN, probably not even half of 25,000 pounds.
Detective Ev: It’s worth it, man.
Leigh Brandon: Absolutely.
[00:40:38] Detective Ev: People don’t get it. It’s literally worth it when you’re suffering. I’m not comparing it and I know you aren’t either. We’re not comparing it to the cancers. We get that it’s a different type of suffering. But even the overweight thing. I know it’s not as bad as the United States, but it’s not too much better over there.
Even the overweight thing, there’s so many people that are overweight that even though you might feel very self-conscious, you could still look around and see a bunch of other people that are overweight. Cystic acne, so many people hide that when you have to be out in the world. And I mean, you were very active. Like if you’re going out and doing stuff, you don’t see a lot of others.
Like, I didn’t know anyone, at all, ever, who looked like me when I was 17, 18 years old. I did not know anyone who looked like that. You feel so much different than others.
The Mindset Piece of Acne
I mean, forget dating. This is the self-worth aspect, where it affects your self-confidence. I didn’t even have the thought in my head that I could date. Because I’m like, I wouldn’t date someone who looked like this. Why would they date me? I mean, that’s a terrible way to live your life and think like that.
I just love that you’re doing that work and helping others with it. It’s amazing. I also appreciate your transparency with the antibiotics and saying, I don’t know if we ever can fully heal this. I, thankfully, was not on 18 years, but I was on 20 rounds over about a 10-year period. I’m in the same boat where I’m like, I don’t know if this is ever going to be a hundred percent normal.
But thankfully we have access with what we’ve done to the best functional people in the world, and we still feel pretty okay, we’re doing good in our lives. You know, maybe it takes a little bit of extra supplementation for myself, just to keep me on track. That’s a small price to pay for what I’ve been able to achieve and what we’ve been able to do.
[00:42:05] Leigh Brandon: I was just going to add one more thing there. Something I try and get across to people that are suffering from acne is that a lot of the treatments, because they’re not looking at dealing with it at a causal level, what you are probably doing is you are hiding, or you are masking the root cause. So, the root cause is going to continue going.
Acne is a Blessing in Disguise
The way that I look at acne, as horrible as it is to experience, acne is a blessing. It’s a blessing because it’s a warning sign. It’s a warning sign that there is something internally that is out of balance, and it’s given you the opportunity to change.
Now, if you go and get Roaccutane or whatever treatment you want to use and mask the symptoms, oh, great. My skin’s great. But your liver’s in a terrible state, your gut’s in a terrible state. Well, maybe 10, 20, 30 years down the line, you may well have a life-threatening disease. It could well be something like cancer.
Do you want to go down that route of a quick fix, but you’ve still got the root cause bubbling away underneath that you might have to deal with much further down the road? Or would you rather deal with the root cause right now and not only get clear skin every day and get your self-confidence and your self-esteem back, but you’re actually improving your overall health and you’re reducing your risk of illness and injury as you get older?
[00:43:31] Detective Ev: I love the warning sign thing because you are absolutely right. Yeah, it’s a warning sign that we should be thankful for. In the grand scheme of things, it’s relatively harmless physically, but it’s highly motivating emotionally, right? No one has died from cystic acne alone.
So, before you get that thing that that does get you, it is, it’s a motivating thing and it makes you want to take some action. It sucks that people don’t know what the action is, but then we got people like you out there doing the good work and helping others. That’s what I want to finish up with today.
Where to Find Leigh Brandon
I have two things. One is just where people can find you and also what exactly do you do? Because you have been doing this for a while. I’ve probably confused the audience. I’ve touched on multiple areas of your experience. So, if I’m going to your website or I wanted to learn just about Leigh, like who is your ideal client and who do you work with?
[00:44:16] Leigh Brandon: So, if people go to my website, that’s bodychek, so, bodychek.co.uk. You’ll see on the website there’s basically six main areas that I work with. You’ll find on there lower back injuries, knee injuries, shoulder injuries. Then there’s skin conditions, gut issues, chronic fatigue.
[00:44:39] Detective Ev: So, you do a lot of different things, and that’s after years of doing this, right? Nice. That’s fun to be able to address all those things. We already will have all your links in the show notes below so people can find that stuff there.
Conclusion – Signature Podcast Question
I want to finish up then with the signature question for this podcast, and I’m interested in this. I don’t know what you’re going to answer with because you could probably go a million different ways.
The signature question that we’ll finish up with is if I could give Leigh a magic wand and you could wave it and get every single person in this world to do one thing for their health, whether that’s you actually get them to do one thing or you can get them to stop doing one thing, what is the one thing that Leigh would get them to do?
[00:45:15] Leigh Brandon: Take responsibility for their own health.
[00:45:19] Detective Ev: I love that. Thank you so much for coming on today.
[00:45:23] Leigh Brandon: My pleasure.
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