The Natural Evolution Podcast

Season 2

Episode 34

S2E34 – Seeking Your Inner World: Breathwork & Psychedelic Therapy with Alex Manos

Having been inspired by nutritional therapy,  Alex Manos fostered an interest in functional medicine and eventually fueled his passion for transformational breathwork and psychedelic therapy. Along with his enriching experiences, Alex Manos is a co-founder of Healthpath, a company which offers functional testing, and is also the co-founder of the Applied Functional Medicine Mentoring Program, a mentoring program for nutritionists and doctors who are entering the functional medicine space.

In this episode, Alex enlightens us regarding the topics of terrain theory and germ theory, bringing us to a better understanding of the relationship between the host (patient) and the organisms. We discuss the impact of maintaining a peaceful inner world that aids us to cope with allostatic mechanisms, along with the effects of breathwork and psychedelic therapy that can fundamentally address a vibrant state of health and wellbeing.

Seeking for Alex Manos’s personal journey with Functioning Medicine, especially around gut health and the microbiome? Check out his website!

Find out more beneficial programs and resources from the professional health practitioner team on his official website.   

Or join Alex’s community on Instagram.

Listen to Episode #34

Alex enlightens us regarding the topics of terrain theory and germ theory, bringing us to a better understanding of the relationship between the host (patient) and the organisms.
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About our Guest

Alex Manos, BSc, MSc, NASM, IFMCP is one of the few Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioners in the UK. He has a master’s degree in Personalized Nutrition, for which he completed his dissertation on cortisol resistance in chronic fatigue syndrome.

Alex also has a first-class degree in Nutritional Therapy and has completed Dr. Siebecker’s certification in SIBO treatment. Away from his one-to-one work with clients, Alex lectures at various institutions and has been a clinical supervisor and mentor in the health and fitness industry.

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Podcast Transcript

Michael Roesslein: And we are live with another episode of The Natural Evolution Podcast. I’m Michael. I’m your host. And today, I am here with my friend, Alex Manos. Alex, welcome.

Alex Manos:

Thank you very much. It’s good to be here.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah, this is take two. We tried to do it about a week ago and had some tech issues. So we’re back again, going to give it another whirl. Alex is someone who I’ve followed on social media for quite some time, especially on Instagram. I really enjoy your content and find a lot of alignment and synergy.

            I told you when we spoke earlier that you always seem to post something at pretty much the same time that I’m getting interested in it, whether it’s breathwork or psychedelics or trauma and emotional things. Lately you’ve been posting, or I’ve seen things, on functional dentistry and oral health and how it relates to overall health, and I was dealing with some dental things and was in that rabbit hole and was like, “Oh, this is really helpful.”

Alex Manos:

Great.

Michael Roesslein:

So I feel like I’ve been kind of along the same progression and journey at the same time that you’ve been going through those explorations. And so, I think this will be a fun conversation that I’ve looked forward to for a while. And for those who are not familiar with Alex’s Instagram and his work, he is an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner with a background in nutritional therapy, life coaching, personal training, and massage therapy, and is now training to be Transformational Breath Facilitator and psychedelic practitioner.

            That is a pretty wide range of things. And I have experience with all of them except the massage therapy, so we have a pretty similar background. And Alex is also a co-founder of Healthpath, a company which offers functional testing direct to the consumer with the aim of making health change easier, and finally is also the co-founder of the Applied Functional Medicine Mentoring Program, a mentoring program for nutritionists and doctors who are entering the functional medicine space.

            So you’re into a lot of things. You’re doing a lot of things, working with both sides of the equation when it comes to the functional medicine world, providing services for individuals looking to gain access to functional lab testing and services in mentoring for professionals. So I believe that probably gives you a pretty broad perspective on a lot of issues, and we’re going to talk about some of that now.

            So I’m curious, before we get into any of the functional medicine-y type conversation, what was your progression there? So out of all those things, you didn’t start doing them all at once. So I’m curious, what was your progression and in what order did those certifications and practices and skills come?

Alex Manos:

Sure. So I was actually quite lucky in many ways. From 14, 15 years old, I knew I wanted to be a personal trainer. I loved exercise. I was kind of an athlete in school. From 15, started to get just injury after injury. So I started seeing a whole bunch of physios, osteos, massage therapists, and I think seeing them really kind of sparked my interest just in biomechanics and the human body. So it incentivized me to really go down this personal training and massage route.

            And when I was 18, I was diagnosed with IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. I read a book by Patrick Holford all around nutritional therapy for gut health, and it changed my life ultimately. So Patrick Holford was the founder of the Institute of Optimum Nutrition, which is a college in London that trains nutritional therapists. So that’s what then got me into nutritional therapy. I went through that three-year diploma and just felt like the kind of security I wanted to go and get a degree in nutritional therapy. So then went and did kind of a year add-on, decided I wanted to get my master’s, so I did my master’s alongside my functional medicine training.

            So during my degree, that introduced me to the functional medicine model, which was just such, I think, both simple but sophisticated way of thinking about health and how we can support an individual on their health journey. So that really sort of incentivized me then to travel to the States and to complete their certification process. And then it was only… Where are we? It was three years ago that I had my first psychedelic experience in the Netherlands.

            And I think this all came out of just feeling like there was something missing in my life. I can’t fully describe it still, but I remember listening to an Aubrey Marcus podcast and he had a guest on who had just come back from an ayahuasca ceremony, and I knew nothing about psychedelics. So I was listening to this guy talking about how they’re all vomiting, and I was like, “What the hell has this guy just gone and done?” And the very common story of I then read Michael Pollan’s book, which obviously kind of exploded on the scene and did really well. And I was just called. I was absolutely obsessed and so curious about psychedelics from those two experiences that I found the Synthesis Institute online, which are kind of a legal psilocybin company in the Netherlands. I went towards the end of 2019, and it was there… I’m nearly there, Michael.

            It was there that I had my first breathwork experience, which was actually almost more surprising than the psychedelic ceremony out there. I had this huge emotional release. Loads of laughter. That real kind of like child laughter of just full body getting involved, and that was followed by just crying with this sadness there. This is all within me just by the breath, like how have I not known this or forgotten, I would say. And that’s what then led me into training in transformational breathwork and psychedelic therapy.

Michael Roesslein:

That’s interesting. I have a few questions. Thank you for sharing all of that. What was the name of the book that you referenced at the beginning? Do you remember?

Alex Manos:

Oh, do I remember? I don’t. It’s a green book. The author is Patrick Holford. His most well known one is The Optimum Nutrition Bible, which is a brilliant book. It’s like 1,000 pages long. It’s the thickest book I’ve ever owned. But if you search Patrick Holford, he has a very specific book around improving gut health, so it’ll be easy to find for people.

Michael Roesslein:

Okay. So how much did you have to travel for IFM? Do they have any trainings in the UK or did you have to go to the States a whole bunch?

Alex Manos:

Yeah. At that point in time, I had to go to the States a whole bunch. And to be honest, that for me was the best experience, because traveling there, feeling really immersed in the experience for a long weekend, visiting cities that I might not have visited otherwise, so it was… Yeah, I absolutely loved it.

Michael Roesslein:

Where did you get to go?

Alex Manos:

I went to San Diego, I went to Boston, I went to Phoenix, I went to Dallas, and I went to… Where did I go? I think Miami as well.

Michael Roesslein:

Wow. I didn’t know they had training. I’ve been to one in San Diego. I lived in San Diego for five years, and they had them pretty frequently there, but you got quite the US tour. Do they do trainings in Europe now?

Alex Manos:

They do now and they also do online, so you can actually do that [inaudible 00:08:06].

Michael Roesslein:

Okay. Netherlands, you mentioned the Synthesis Institute. That’s the name, correct?

Alex Manos:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

And so, they work with psilocybin, incorporate breathwork, probably some other practices, tools. You mentioned this is a legal psilocybin operation in the Netherlands.

Alex Manos:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

Are mushrooms and other psychedelics… Because growing up in the States, Holland or the Netherlands… I never know the correct term to use. I don’t know if those are interchangeable or not, but that country, to those who are interested in cannabis or psychedelics, is like this magical wonderland where you walk around and people are just frolicking and people will be tossing weed and mushrooms at you, and it just this, just this. Of course, that’s ridiculous, but that’s kind of like the imaginary creation of the Netherlands in the head of American teenagers, especially Amsterdam, because somebody knew somebody who went to Amsterdam and you could go into this place and get this thing and did… So what’s the deal there? Is psilocybin and mushrooms and psychedelics legal or is it licensed, or what’s the…

Alex Manos:

So my understanding is that truffles are legal. So when you go to the Netherlands to a legal retreat, they’re using truffles rather than the actual mushroom. So as soon as the mushroom kind of peaks up from the soil, it becomes illegal basically. So yeah, there’s a truffle-based ceremony that you do.

Michael Roesslein:

Truffles are mushrooms that haven’t come out of the ground?

Alex Manos:

Yeah. It’s kind of like…

Michael Roesslein:

I know what they are because in Italy, they’re food.

Alex Manos:

Yeah. Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

They hunt truffles here, but these truffles are not psychedelic. They’re just delicious. And the psychedelic ones are not delicious, just if anybody’s curious.

Alex Manos:

Yeah. Yeah. So it’s kind of like, I always describe it as, they look a little bit quite like walnuts, and there is a nutty flavor to it, but yeah, it’s not a pleasant thing to munch on. So you often have it as a tea. There’s like a tea ritual that you do as a group.

Michael Roesslein:

Okay. And that’s where you found transformational breathwork as well, right?

Alex Manos:

Yeah. So it’s part of the preparation you get… You get there on a Friday. There are some exercises. There’s like a Q&A and a sharing circle just to get to know one another. And then Saturday morning, before the ceremony, which for me started at one o’clock, there was a breathwork session, and it was kind of just all about obviously preparing you for the psychedelic experience. And yeah, it was just really profound and the first time I’d ever done anything like it.

Michael Roesslein:

And Ginsberg is wild stuff, and I remember the first holotropic breath class I went to and I was ill-prepared. I had no idea what was about to happen. Now, I had a lot of psychedelic experience before I ever experienced breathwork. So it wasn’t that the state that I found myself in was scary or anything. It was just completely unexpected. It was as if I’m sitting in this room and then all of a sudden, somebody had slipped me three grams of mushrooms. It was all of a sudden like, “Whoa. Hey, okay.” And then keep breathing, just keep breathing, and then trying to figure out what’s going on and my mind is trying to figure out like, “How is this happening? What’s going on?” At the same time, I’m like, “No, don’t do that. Just be in it.”

            But then, I wonder what’s happening. And by then, I knew some physiological things because I’d already been through my master’s program and stuff. So my mind’s trying to figure out what’s causing me to feel like this while I’m feeling like this, instead of just feeling like this. And it took me a couple breath sessions before I could not do that and shut off the figure outer and just have the experience.

Alex Manos:

Mm-hmm.

Michael Roesslein:

But I could see how, for someone with no psychedelic experience, that doing breath session beforehand to orient one’s self to a slightly altered state of consciousness would definitely have been helpful for a younger me who did not have that.

Alex Manos:

Right. Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

It’s almost like a safe on-ramp.

Alex Manos:

Yeah, exactly. For me, it was really helpful because it did absolutely give me a kind of sense of what might be to come, and it really was like that. The psychedelic experience was just a more profound breathwork experience in that unique experience. So yeah, it was really helpful and it made me feel safer, I think, going into it, because obviously there are a few nerves that very first time.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah. It’s so big, it opens things up too. So I’ve never paired them that close together, but I would guess that the breathwork can create a more open experience with psychedelics. It’s on my to-do list, so I’ll let you know. Are you studying and learning to become a breath facilitator in order to just learn it more yourself and have that skill or are you looking to teach, or what’s your goal with that?

Alex Manos:

Yeah. So my aim is to use that in a one-to-one setting, so to offer Transformational Breath to clients one-to-one, but also to offer it within retreat settings. So I think my midterm vision is to be involved on a psychedelic retreat as the breathwork facilitator kind of thing, and then get started, build up a little bit of experience being within a retreat setting. And then the long, long term vision is to sort of facilitate and guide some of those ceremonies as well.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah. Honestly, that’s something I would love to do as well. And I’ve been involved as like an aid, like as a helper situation and support, but it’s something long term-wise I also would be very interested in both. I’ve currently got a ban on training programs because I was in a two-year training and a one-year training that were both very intense that overlapped in 2020, 2021 while building a new platform, while running Rebel Health Tribe, while planning a move to Italy. I mean, it was very, very, very challenging.

            So as soon as those two trainings got off my plate, I was like, “Okay. You’re not allowed,” because I’m a perpetual like, “Oh, that looks fun. I’ll take that thing. That’s interesting.” I got a ban, but when my ban is lifted, breathwork is the next thing, and I’m kind of just figuring out where I’m going to go and which, because there’s a lot of options.

Alex Manos:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

But that’s my next foray into training as well. And then we spoke before we were on air. I have a friend who’s been through the program at Transformational Breath and I’ve experienced those sessions, and it’s an interesting one. I’ve had some pretty transformative experiences with it. So if anybody out there is listening and you’re in the UK, definitely follow up with Alex about that.

Alex Manos:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

So we have a million topics we could talk about here. I’m curious, we had kind of planned on gut health and talking about terrain versus germs and some non-dietary strategies to improve gut health. I’d like to stick to that, but maybe on the fringes of it a little bit. So terrain theory and-

Alex Manos:

Ask whatever-

Michael Roesslein:

What was that?

Alex Manos:

Ask whatever you want. I’m an open book.

Michael Roesslein:

Cool. Terrain theory and germ theory. Honestly, because of COVID, I think that a lot more people are familiar with these terms now than they probably were two years ago, and a whole bunch of other terms around infectious disease and virology and all of that. But how would you summarize germ theory versus terrain theory, and how do you see that playing into which direction functional medicine and more integrative, holistic levels of healing are headed?

Alex Manos:

Mm. So I think the general principle is super simple, which is, germ theory is really the understanding that a specific organism causes a specific disease. So an example of that would be, there’s research talking about how Klebsiella pneumoniae, a specific sort of bacteria or bacterial strain of Klebsiella, has been strongly associated with ankylosing spondylitis in the research, and they talk about it as this kind of trigger of a specific autoimmune disease.

            And as a result of other examples here as well, there is this belief that, “Oh, if you have this one organism in the guts and you have the genetic predisposition, then maybe you’ll go on to develop this disease,” whereas the terrain theory really proposes that it’s all about the relationship that we have with these organisms rather than you having or not having the organism. And I’ve seen this in clinical practice a lot, whereby people have come to me with ankylosing spondylitis. We’ve done some GI microbiome testing. And interestingly, I can think of three clients I’ve worked with with the condition, and they all did have elevated levels of Klebsiella pneumoniae in their stool tests. So you go, “Oh, wow. Okay. This aligns with what the research discusses.”

            But in all three situations, working with them, supporting with them, in one situation, getting them off medication, on retesting, their Klebsiella pneumoniae was still there at the same amount. So it’s not like we reduced the amount of the organism that was in the large intestine and that’s why this individual got better. We improved the relationship between them and this organism, and I think that’s a lovely way of thinking about the terrain theory. And we see, in the research, numerous examples of this kind of situation, whereby even what we think is… I’ll call it a pathogenic overgrowth.

            Sometimes, it’s an adaptive response. The body’s deliberately done it for a reason. So we see in indigenous tribes, for example, that you sometimes get an overgrowth of a specific organism. That organism is known to produce, let’s say, vitamin B5. Oh, and funny enough, that host is deficient in vitamin B5. So again, it’s this adaptive response. We’re in a relationship with our ecosystem both internally and externally. And I think that sort of broader, more holistic approach is obviously what functional medicine, systems biology, P4 medicine, and all these things are trying to achieve ultimately.

Michael Roesslein:

That’s really interesting. We’ve done a lot of webinars and interviews with Kiran Krishnan, who’s the chief science officer at Microbiome Labs. And he’s like a wealth of… You just dropped that example of like, in an indigenous population, there was an organism that produces B5 and the host is deficient in B5, so they’ll be overgrown in B5. He drops little anecdotes like that multiple times per interview of little stories about how… I just immediately interpret that as to, we don’t actually understand anything, because if you put the lab test from that indigenous person and had most even functional practitioners look at it and said, “What’s this situation?” they would say, “We need to kill that organism because it’s overgrown. So let’s take whatever thing kills that and not look at the larger picture of it.”

            I’ve even had practitioner and researcher friends who are brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, who are now researching helminthic therapy and things around parasites and organisms that balance our immune system, and when we’re absent of them, we get more sick. And yet now, still, if you see any sort of parasitic organism on a stool test, even the functional approach is, carpet-bomb everything, kill that because that’s definitely causing the problem. I find it fascinating that you said, you find the Klebsiella with the ankylosing spondylosis, but they get better, but the organism’s still there.

            It means that either the metabolite produced by that bug that tends to contribute to the situation is now being cleaned up appropriately, or there’s some other… The immune system has stopped freaking out about the bug or… It’s completely about the relationship between the organism, you, and the bug, the other organism. It’s not about the organism being present. So Kiran was talking, I mean, six, seven years ago in webinars we were doing, about how he wasn’t a big fan of this hostile carpet-bombing approach to fixing GI conditions by taking 12 antimicrobials at once and all this stuff.

            And he was kind of an outlier then. And when we were talking about that, we get people messaging us, “But my practitioner has me doing this and everybody doing this,” and now I’m seeing it shift. Unfortunately, this makes things a lot more complicated.

Alex Manos:

Yes.

Michael Roesslein:

And then there’s that bug. For that bug, you take this thing. But I think we could tie in, like, “Okay, cool. Great. Way to confuse us. What do we do with this information?” to non-dietary strategies to improving gut health. So what do you think it was with those people that you were working with that caused a shift in their symptoms and the severity of their autoimmune condition, but you didn’t get rid of the bug that’s linked to that condition? What factors do you think are at play there and what variables or actions or steps have you seen people take that has a positive impact on the way that their own biology interacts with the organisms that are there? I don’t know if that makes sense or if I just-

Alex Manos:

I think so.

Michael Roesslein:

… went too long with that.

Alex Manos:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

Okay.

Alex Manos:

I mean, there are different ways to probably think about this, but from a broad perspective, it’s the environment. So change your environment, whether that’s from a nutritional perspective, a light perspective, a movement perspective, a breathing perspective, and you’re influencing these relationships. And I mean, you just can’t underestimate the role that stress plays within all of this. We’ve got experimental studies showing us that if the host is in a state of stress, then some of these organisms are producing their own stress hormones in the guts, and those stress hormones increase the capacity for certain pathogenic organisms to colonize and take hold on the mucosal lining.

            So, again, I like to think about it that the state of the host, you or I, kind of has a ripple-down effect into the state of the organisms in the GI tract as well, so a fitter host, a fitter bacteria. So we know that athletes produce more metabolites like butyrate compared to sedentary individuals. So if you’re tweaking, just by 1%, lots of different inputs, you are creating a much more harmonious, free-flowing, energetic being.

            So another example would be if you support someone’s microbiome diversity through dietary interventions, potentially supplement interventions, getting them moving more if they are a bit sedentary, and things like this. That’s going to have a knock-on effect in regards to the relationship to certain organisms, and that might influence the amount of the organism. So something like Klebsiella pneumoniae may go down through that crowding-out type concept.

            But as you say, the way the research is moving, I think, is really exciting because we’re moving away from just being able to say, “You’ve got this amount of this organism in the gut,” to “You’ve got this amount of this organism and this is what it’s doing.” And as you mentioned earlier, it’s those metabolites that really, well, partly dictate how we would ideally interpret the results and data we’re getting from stool testing. So I think it’s a really exciting kind of next decade in regards to research and clinical practice there.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah, that’s interesting. I didn’t know that athletes produce more butyrate, but there’s so many different metabolic… Because people think… I’m not going to go totally on a rant with this, but people think that movement, exercise, strength training, or anything like that, well, it just makes you have bigger muscles or it gives you more of an athletic capability or it makes it so I don’t get winded when I walk up the big hills that are in this town that I live in like I did when I first got here.

            And that’s all true. And when I talked to Dr. Jared Seigler, he’s a functional neurology expert, he talked about movement and exercise being one of the most important things for preventing neurodegenerative diseases. Then when I talk to microbiome experts, they talk about how movement and exercise influences microbiome diversity and inflammation levels in the gut and different metabolites in the gut. So it doesn’t surprise me that butyrate is there, but again, the more we learn, the more we realize there aren’t separations between practices like, “Oh, getting your circadian rhythm in balance is good for this thing,” or, “Oh, exercise is good for this thing.”

            It’s almost like we are organisms that are designed to move. And when we move, our body likes it and the things that live in our body like it. And when we don’t, our body gets sad and the things inside our body gets sad or dysfunctional, and that goes for all the other practices as well. It’s ultra complex. We could get into the mechanisms of how some of that works, like why does exercise make you make more butyrate in your gut? That would be a really long conversation with some intense biochemistry that I don’t know if either of us can actually go into, but this stuff can all be really simple too.

Alex Manos:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

I’ve kind of come full circle with my own… I started out teaching foundational stuff because I only knew what a personal trainer knows, who knows a little bit of nutrition and a little bit of health coaching, like go to bed on time, try to manage your stress, drink water, move your body. Then I went down the rabbit hole of lab testing and functional things and integrative health and protocols and all this stuff. And now I’m kind of back to being like, “Okay. Go to bed on time, reduce your stress, move your body.” I don’t know. Are you kind of in the same…

Alex Manos:

Absolutely. And I think the thing to appreciate is that at end of the day, most people aren’t doing those things. I always have a bit of a joke with some of my clients when they email me. I look at the time they’ve emailed me. It’s like half 11:00 at night. I’m like, “Ah, I’ve got you.” And we have to have a conversation around it because a lot of people just aren’t doing the foundations, and they’re so easy. I think people don’t… It’s sometimes hard to appreciate how significant something can influence your health when it seems such a basic thing, like get outside and have some sunshine in your day.

            It seems that in the modern world, we need to kind of have a deep understanding of, well, tell me why, otherwise I’m not going to do it, while at the same time, we all know how much better we feel when we’re outside. So, again, I do think it’s those foundations that, done consistently, make a real difference. And obviously, there are exceptions to the rule, but we’ve got to start with the foundations, and I think a lot of us are trying to shortcut it with things like lab testing and supplements as a way to bypass the fact that our lifestyles aren’t conducive to vibrant health.

Michael Roesslein:

I love that about the emails. Moving to Europe has allowed me to out many people in the US because I see when people… I get notifications on social media posts that I make and I’ll see people commenting or liking one of my posts, and I’m like, “Dude, I know what time it is there. Don’t email me and tell me that you’re having this issue when you’re reading my Facebook at 2:00 in the morning.”

Alex Manos:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

And I’ve seen it a lot, and now it’s like, “Okay. Now I know the people who are awake at 3:00 AM on social media.” And so, it’s kind of funny because I never paid attention to that before, but now I get the notifications real time just like you get an email, and then you’d see the email with the timestamp, but the timestamps, I don’t pay attention to on social media, but I see the ding.

Alex Manos:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

I’m like, “Huh,” do a little math. Okay. Yeah. I haven’t worked with one-on-one clients in a while, but when I did last, I would get people come to me and they wanted to often do… They listened to some podcast and they want to run these four lab tests and they wanted be on this protocol and they want a protocol for this thing and they want this supplement and they want… Because chronic disease is complex, how you get it is complex, how it functions is complex, and what a lot of functional medicine had put forward, especially five years ago, was complex protocols and lab testing and match the protocols with the labs. And I realized, like you said, after a while, I started to regress and ask questions, very basic questions, of, here’s 10 foundational things. Where do you stand on these things? And most of them weren’t doing them.

            And it’s an interesting point you bring up that maybe because they’re easy, some of them, that we perceive like it can’t really be that effective or powerful or have that much of an influence. But as someone who has suffered with lifelong anxiety and depression and mental health challenges, I can promise anyone out there that if I stay up really late at night and get a really short night of sleep, especially if it’s for an extended period of time, if I get sleep deprivation for any period of time, it doesn’t matter what else I’m doing. I will revert to anxiety and depression and brain fog within a couple days, usually within one night. I can notice within one night now.

            And so, the simple things, the foundational stuff, now if I opened a client practice back up, it would probably be like, “Okay. Don’t apply to work with me unless you’re already doing these things because I don’t want to take your money and I don’t want you to spend thousands of dollars on lab tests and on me. Do those things.” If people are doing all those things and then still having a lot of issues, sure. People like you and the practitioners you train and work with can help, but it’s a little rant I like to go on as often as possible now.

Alex Manos:

Yeah. It’s an important-

Michael Roesslein:

Have you noticed that as well?

Alex Manos:

Definitely. I think one of the most fundamental human needs is to kind of feel safe, and I think sometimes we therefore attach to protocols the simplicity of this bug’s causing my issue because it gives us peace of mind that we’re doing what we need to be doing. I just had a consult this morning with someone who, fundamentally underneath it all, admittedly is a perfectionist, which comes from her upbringing with her parents, but that plays out in the fact that she’s highly stressed and anxious and works too much.

            She tried intermittent fasting while exercising, first thing in the morning. She wouldn’t eat till 2:00 PM, in a stressful job. And health is so complex and deep, and I think it can become overwhelming and scary, especially when there’s things from a psycho-emotional perspective that we don’t necessarily really want to go and rehash. So we look for answers outside of ourselves. We look to control the diet because it’s easy to do for a lot of people, or we want the supplements or we want to move our bodies as a stress buster.

            But fundamentally, we have to think about health as a consequence of our behaviors, and a lot of behaviors and habits we have are a way to manage our inner world. And therefore, we all really just need to look inwards for answers to how we can get better rather than looking outwards to a protocol or even a personalized protocol from a practitioner who knows what they’re doing. So I think one of the most biggest recommendations I have these days is, don’t look and don’t expect me to give you some protocol. We need to ask the right questions because you have the answer within yourself but we just need to create a safe container for you to be able to go there.

            So how do we help you overcome this kind of perfectionistic tendency which is creating so much stress, which means you’re never going to improve your gut health until we deal with day-to-day stresses that you’re under? So yeah, I think it’s… That’s how kind of deep, I think, it goes often with the types of clients I work with. You’ve got to understand someone’s childhood whenever you’re dealing with someone with chronic, complex health issues, because it often, to some degree, will come back to the fact that their nervous system developed in a world which was stressful and scary, and therefore their allostatic load is much higher than someone who lived in a really safe, loving environment.

            And at the end of the day, that’s one of the most common themes that I see with my clients, ultimately. There is some degree of stress and trauma early on in their lives, sometimes in their adolescence or adulthood as well obviously. But this concept of resiliency, allostasis, and allostatic load, for me, is such a powerful paradigm and way of thinking about all of this stuff.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah. I’m glad you brought that up. And allostatic load, I just wanted to find really quick. That’s kind of like the analogy of the bucket. Right? Like, you have the bucket and your bucket can hold this much crap, and that can be stress, it can be chemicals, it can be disrupted sleep, it can be all these things. And people you’re saying that have that kind of background, their bucket starts at a higher level being full, kind of, or it’s a smaller bucket or both or… Allostatic load is like the combination of the things that disrupt the physiology.

Alex Manos:

Allostatic load is often defined as like the accumulative wear and tear of the allostatic mechanism. So we have homeostasis, we’ve got a set point, super basic example, 120/80 for blood pressure in the doctor’s office.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah.

Alex Manos:

Allostasis is the partner of homeostasis. So allostasis is the fact that you go into a stressful experience and your physiology, it becomes more flexible, it adapts to the environment, and then will return to that homeostatic set point after the stressful experience. So cortisol goes up and then comes back down to normal. Every time you initiate that allostatic mechanism, there’s a bit of wear and tear in your physiology. So if you’ve got a really sensitive stress system because you had to develop hypervigilance because you’re in a… let’s just call it a troublesome home environment, you’re experiencing more allostatic mechanisms. Your stress response is kicking in more frequently throughout your life. As a result, there’s more wear and tear in your physiology.

            And some researchers use the term allostatic overload, which is at the point where there’s so much wear and tear, you now have symptoms or a diagnosis or a disease. And there’s a really interesting paper that talks about your resiliency zone, which is literally, think of two lines parallel to one another, and we want to just consciously cultivate the widest resiliency zone possible, and that’s where learning all sorts of different tools helped. That’s where your physical resilience comes into it, but your emotional intelligence comes into it, your spirituality comes into it, and everything down to things like microbiome diversity comes into it, because we talk about a resilient microbiome being one that is diverse.

            A diverse microbiome is able to withstand perturbations better than one that is less diverse. So it’s every kind of… From subcellular mechanisms through to the whole organism. We’re talking about the same sort of principles.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. The two trainings that I’ve been through most recently are entirely focused in that area of mental, emotional trauma, energetic, spiritual nervous system, child development, neuroscience, all that kind of stuff. And I’d be curious, I didn’t have that knowledge and background when I was working with people with complex chronic illness. So I don’t know that it was 100% true, but I’m guessing, like what you mentioned, if you chase things back, most people with chronic conditions and chronic health issues, you could trace it, not necessarily back to starting at a certain point, but that kind of set the tone for where they’re at.

            And I love the line that you used that they have the answers. It’s just asking the right questions. And one of the trainings I completed is Dr. Gabor Maté’s Compassionate Inquiry training, and the whole program is… It’s mostly for therapists. I was one of three non-therapists in my cohort. But that’s all it is, is learning to ask the right questions. You learn to ask the right questions intuitively in a session with a person to help them find the answers that they need. And you don’t give them answers at any point. It’s not about giving advice. It’s not about telling them what to do. It’s not about any of that. It’s literally just asking questions. Inquiry is in the name of the modality.

            And I think that it will benefit doctors and health practitioners and nutritionists and coaches as well to learn some of those skills. Now that I’ve been trained on both sides of healing, and I hesitate to use that term, sides, but that’s how people kind of look at it, is there’s the nutrition, health, fitness, wellness, functional medicine side, physical health, and then on the other side is the mental, emotional, spiritual, energetic, trauma.

            The more I’ve learned on both sides, I’ve learned there’s not sides, that we’ve kind of created sides that’s not a real thing, and that the one thing you do over here impacts everything over here, just as much as one thing that happened over here impacts everything over here, and there’s literally no separation. And I think that the breathwork that you’re learning to do… And I see your posts about this and how…

            I mean, we could talk… You said non-dietary interventions for gut health. Anyone out there listening that has IBS or Crohn’s or chronic GI symptoms, I would challenge any one of them to honestly be able to say that they haven’t noticed a worsening of their symptoms during periods of stress or emotional disruption or grief or loss or feeling unsupported or any of those things. Are you seeing a lot of correlations? Would that fall under the non-dietary?

Alex Manos:

Yeah, absolutely. And we’ve got really good research backing this up. So we know that yoga therapy is just as effective as the low-FODMAP diet for people with IBS. We know that cold therapy activates the vagus nerve and provides this anti-inflammatory benefit. I was speaking to a colleague two days ago, who was speaking to someone over the weekend. They went and did an ice bath kind of event. And a client of his who has inflammatory bowel disease went and did kind of an ice bath. Within 24 hours, completely came out of flare he was in and has had his best gut health for an extended period of time since.

            So though we’ve got so many tools, breathwork, we have published research showing us and case studies published that breathwork can help with significant IBS, IBD. It’s not even people with basic, low-level symptoms who have a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome. We’re talking about people who have been hospitalized sometimes and have lost 20 kilograms in weight because they can’t eat, who are getting better through breathwork interventions.

            And we understand some of the mechanisms. There’s some really interesting research around the diaphragm and essentially the muscular coordination involved in having a bowel movement and how, if we had issues in potty training, for example, we can actually develop an uncoordinated firing sequence, which means they were just not very good at having an easy-to-pass bowel movement, and that will obviously manifest as being constipated, which is actually my background.

            So when I was five, I had a terrible, embarrassing accident at school. And basically, to cut a long story short, from that event, my mom said to me that, “You never went for a poo at school since that day.” And I was five, so we’re talking about a long period of time of not going to have a bowel movement during a working day. And that obviously led to constipation. We know chronic constipation’s going to lead to dysbiosis and a slow buildup of environmental toxins in the body that’s going to compound dysbiosis, impact the biliary system, and just, you have this cascade of things that can happen.

            So, again, it’s just an example of sometimes, if a client says to me something like, “Alex, I can have a glass of water,” or my client this morning, “I eat lettuce and I bloat,” it’s like, “Okay. This is not a dietary thing.” There’s nothing particularly fibrous in water that’s going to explain why you’re bloating. There is potentially a diaphragmatic or a gut-brain axis thing going on here that needs to address, and that’s where suddenly those non-dietary interventions for gut health really kind of come into their own.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah. Thank you for sharing all of that. And the people don’t realize often too that how we breathe has an immediate and direct impact on the nervous system. Actually, they go both ways. So the nervous system gets heightened, the breath gets shorter, gets more shallow, gets faster. The nervous system relaxes, the breath tends to naturally become deeper, slower, and more diaphragmatic. And you can do that. It happens automatically going that way and you can influence it going the other way. They’re linked mechanisms.

            And we’re using breathwork as a pretty wide term. Some breathwork is rather stimulating to the nervous system, so that’s different. There’s also ways you can breathe that are calming, and that’s what fascinates me most, is that I’m starting to understand that breath is like this set of levers that we can use to control the physiology in a way that’s more effective, more direct, more fundamental than any diet or supplement or other thing that we can do.

            And this is not a secret. This is not a new thing that science is figuring out. If you read the oldest texts that are known to man, this is discussed in Vedic texts and things like that. They figured this out forever ago and then we ignored it for a really, really long time. Yeah. I just feel like there’s a million different things that we could link to a million different things right now. So it’s these non-dietary… And diets… I mean, yes, processed foods are going to cause problems, and seed oils and unprocessed things and lots of sugar and all the things that everybody kind of knows now are not good for your gut, no matter how much you’re breathing or how much we’re doing meditation or going in cold water or saunas. I think I’ve seen you post… That’s the thing.

Alex Manos:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

People are like, “Do you miss anything from the States?” I got rid of or sold my infrared sauna that was in my house, and I have now not been in a sauna for three months, and I used to go in it three or four times a week, and I can feel the difference significantly in how I feel and in my body, and I’m scrambling to figure out a solution to that right now. And I know that’s First World problem completely, but hot, cold, breath, meditation, yoga, you mentioned… I’ve never heard that statistic either that yoga and you said a low-FODMAP diet had equal outcomes.

Alex Manos:

Yeah. Yeah. So being compared directly in studies. Take two groups of people with IBS, one does yoga, one does the low-FODMAP diet for eight weeks or whatever it was, and the outcomes are pretty much the same. And if you think about what that’s actually saying, then you cannot do anything with your diet if you have IBS, but you can go and practice yoga three times a week, and that will have the same impact, and you think, “Wow, think of how much stress some people go through when they restrict their diet like that.”

            And it’s not to say that the low-FODMAP diet doesn’t have a role to play still. The way I look at it is, the restrictiveness of this diet needs to match the severity of the symptoms and how debilitating they are for someone. So if someone’s really struggling and they’re struggling to get to work or be a good parent, then yeah, we’re going to throw everything at it to get the biggest improvement in the shortest amount of time. But when you’ve certainly got those symptoms that you’re still able to do what you want to do, do we need to go into a restrictive diet or, actually, can we incorporate other things that not only are going to improve your gut health, but probably have ripple effects into all different areas of life?

            When I’m consistent with my strength training, I’m a different person generally. I’m happier. I feel a bit more confident in myself. I sleep better. Just generally, I think, in other areas of life, I’m a better human. So yeah, it’s finding those things that give you these ripple effects, I think.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah. And I think a lot of people out there can resonate with that, and it’s not going to be the same thing for each person. And the yoga, I mean, there’s different aspects to that too. There’s the stress management aspect. There’s the relearning how to breathe aspect. There’s the moving and stretching and the fascia and everything else that’s going on, and the actual massage of the inner organs, which yoga teachers will talk about all the time when you’re in yoga. It’s different blood flow. It’s all these things.

            So if you’re out there thinking how would yoga do that, it directly impacts every aspect of the physiology that would improve one’s gut function if you understand the mechanisms behind IBS. But it doesn’t have to be the one thing. Somebody out there might be like, “I hate yoga,” and it’s like, “Okay, cool. Do you like cold? Do you like hot? Do you like breathing? Do you like meditation? Do you like nature?” I’ve done entire interviews and episodes on things with people who we just talked the entire time about research behind what happens when you’d be in nature.

Alex Manos:

Nice.

Michael Roesslein:

I mean, and there’s a book now called Forest Bathing, and I was like, “Have we gotten to the point where we need a whole book to tell us that we should go in the forest and that it’s nice to be in the forest?” And so, find your jam. Find the thing that makes your physiology feel good, and you know what it is.

Alex Manos:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

Right?

Alex Manos:

And the caveat is that it’s just… I guess to think about this from the other perspective, is sometimes I think deep down, we know that if we do something, it’s going to bring stuff up. So there are people whereby breathwork is going to just trigger them and they’re going to go into a panic or something. Yoga could be similar. So, again, it comes back to how safe does someone feel. And I think they don’t necessarily have to know that consciously, but underneath, there’s something which is like, “No, I can’t go and do that because I know that I’m just going to maybe break down,” or that something’s going to happen and they’re going to have to feel that pain that they’re just suppressing.

            And that’s when you can get to a point where you’re ready for something like breathwork or a psychedelic ceremony. That’s why safety and the set and the setting is just so important. So I just want to add that because maybe it resonates with someone and it’s important for us to appreciate that we have to feel ready. As you say, it’s got to be something you enjoy. It’s got to be something that you feel drawn to. And that’s very important from a psychedelic perspective. Don’t force your first ceremony because it’s trending at the moment. Are you feeling called to it? Is it a good time in your life for it? There are lots of important questions for all of these sorts of things.

Michael Roesslein:

And who’s going to support you, and what’s that going to look like, and what’s your preparation for this, and what’s your goal with it? What’s your intention? What are you going to do afterwards? Psychedelics have been a part of my life now for, oh man, a long time, 20, 25 years.

Alex Manos:

Wow.

Michael Roesslein:

And I’ve talked more people out of using psychedelics than I have encouraged them to, and people are always confused by that. They’re like, “Why? Did you have a bad trip or something?” And I’m like, “No, I haven’t.” And they’ve been immensely impactful for me. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. I would’ve never made it this far. And I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. I wouldn’t be alive. My life would have ended. And so, I can’t use words that would accurately describe how powerful it’s been for me.

            And it’s not for everybody. And they’re so much, like you said, trendy now that it’s like, “Oh, cool. I read this book. I’m going to go do ayahuasca in this person’s basement on Saturday and I’m going to cure myself and heal all my things.” And no, you’re not. Don’t do that. And I’ve had friends who have fallen into that and then called me and being like, “I did this, and now I’m all messed up. What do I do?” And I can tell you, it’s much harder to deal with that than it is how you were previous. It can definitely…

            I’ve seen psychedelic-induced psychosis. I’ve seen people who… It took a lot of work to get them back to a baseline of where they were before, because it can be very unsettling and very ungrounding and very disorienting and very confusing and scary and all of those things. So I’m glad you brought that up. And breathwork too should have a facilitator. It should have a trained person. It should have prep, integration, those questions, and set and setting.

            There is a podcast that somebody recommended to me that it feels appropriate to mention recently that is called… I just made a list today. It’s called, I believe, Cover Story and it is about the underside of the psychedelic world.

Alex Manos:

Ooh.

Michael Roesslein:

Not just about what can go sideways if you’re not responsible with it, but actual things that have happened that are less than integrity-filled and dangerous and hazardous. So I always try to be a counterbalance when I talk about… Or I try to be balanced when I talk about psychedelics. I’ll never be an evangelist. So I’m glad you brought that up. And the same thing goes with cold and hot and all those other things.

Alex Manos:

Oh, yeah. It’s a really good point. Some people should not be doing cold therapy.

Michael Roesslein:

I can’t. I’m the first one to admit it. I have a horrific… I do not feel good after I do it, before I do it, during it, anything that has to do with it, and I’ve tried to do some figuring out as to why. I’ve read things about different types of fatty acids. I’ve read things about different kinds of nervous system responses. And I would rather get punched in the face repeatedly for the amount of time versus being in any sort of cold water. And I know that there’s immense benefits to it. I’ve seen the research. Your posts have shared a lot of it. I could name the checklist of incredible things that happen. And right now, for me, that’s not my thing because the amount of stress that it causes to do it.

Alex Manos:

Yeah. And it goes by… It’s like an Eastern medicine principle, isn’t it? Kind of the fire and the earth and things. Some people need the warmth. And generally, I’m someone that can do the cold, and I love it. It gets me really in the moment, and we have a lot of fun going down to South East England in the winter and jumping in the Atlantic. But generally, I am more someone who can sit in the sauna for two hours at a heat that people can tolerate for two minutes. The warmth is what nourishes me, I think, a lot more than the cold, but I enjoy both.

            So, again, what is your current state, ultimately? Because as you say, it’s a stressor. So do you have the capacity to withstand that stress and the energy to mount the stress response? There’s this really great paper on mitochondria health, and one of the takeaways is this idea that you need energy to mount a stress response. So if you’ve got mitochondrial dysfunction, you can’t create the energy to mount the stress response. And that might be why some people can be very apathetic, for example, because they literally just don’t have the energy to mount the stress response, and you need to mount the stress response to kind of live. It isn’t a bad thing per se. It’s a really interesting way of thinking about it.

            So if there’s mitochondrial issues going on, then is that one of the mechanisms that might explain why some of these things can actually exacerbate our health, like exercise?

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah. Yeah. I’ve worked with clients who feel terrible when they exercise, so then we have to do things that are more like qigong and restorative yoga and walking and things like that, because what happens if you have a big stressor and your body can’t mount a stress response to it, then what happens in the physiology? The thing that the benefits usually come from is the stress response and then the return back to homeostasis. If you don’t have that, you’re just throwing a lot of stress in a system that’s already maxed out or it would be able to handle that.

Alex Manos:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

Okay. Now that we’ve gone in 117 different directions, which is kind of where I thought this would go, but I want the… People are like, “What am I supposed to take away from this conversation?” I think it’s that there’s so much that you can do. There’s so much that you can do that influences your health, and it’s not even things that you’re intentionally doing. It’s everything we do, influences your physiology. It influences your health. We’ve talked about a bunch of things that are conscious decisions like, “I’m going to go to a psychedelic ceremony. I’m going to do breathwork. I’m going to go to a yoga class. I’m going to go in the woods. I’m going to go hiking.” But, I mean, literally everything that we do impacts our physiology, impacts our microbiome, impacts our brain health. There’s no separation.

            And I really enjoy the way that you tend to piece all those things together and, yes, that the complexities of how they all work are mind-boggling, because sometimes I talk to those folks, the ones who fixate on that, like that’s their role in life, is to understand the biochemistry of what happens when you go in a cold and then this happens and this and this and this, and this happens and your mitochon… I’ve had those conversations and that’s great, and I think that some of that can get overwhelming for the layperson who just doesn’t feel good, especially the person who doesn’t feel good.

            My wife has autoimmune conditions when she’s been in a flare, and then I’m like, “Look at this article I just found that talks about rheumatoid arthritis and this thing and this and this,” and it’s like a journal article and she’s in a ton of pain and hasn’t slept in two days. Not the time. These things are also very simple and ancient and not secrets and been practiced forever. And what would be just… I don’t know if we’re going to… We’re coming out of time here, so I don’t know what you’d like to add at the end of this all-over-the-place conversation or a takeaway for people to consider after we just talked about all of those different things.

Alex Manos:

Two things come up. One is kind of I guess… I think it can be really helpful to work with a practitioner who has that breadth. I think in society, we are conditioned to almost really look up to those people, and I’m not criticizing this at all. But we have a society that conditions us to go to the expert who knows everything about this one thing. And this is one of the challenges with the academic system. You go from your degree to your master’s, then you specialize in the PhD and you know all about that. But go and speak to a gastroenterologist about how… I don’t know, about the gut-kidney axis, and then likely not going to know much about the gut-kidney axis.

            So I think it’s important that the practitioner that we work with is someone that has the breadth of knowledge, because that I think is far more important, at least initially, than having someone who’s got lots of depth to their knowledge but is very narrow, if that makes sense. And then the second thing which may be the overarching conclusion from today is, the body is far more wise than the mind and most of us need to get out of our head and into our body, and that’s where the somatic stuff I think can be so powerful. That can start very simple. That could be going for a walk barefoot on nature and connecting with the ground and getting back into our senses, and then that can feed into something like holotropic breathwork down the road or a psychedelic ceremony.

            But the body’s far more intelligent than we give it credit for, going back to this idea that so much of what we pathologize arguably is actually just an adaptive response in the first place. So why? Why is the body doing this? And what am I genuinely doing that is cultivating health? So in my psychedelic practitioner program, we’re in little pods of six, seven people, and three of mine are psychotherapists, and we’ve had quite a few conversations about how they’re frustrated with the current paradigm because it’s all about pathologizing an individual. It’s like, “Here’s my manual. You fit this, and therefore you have this diagnosis.”

Michael Roesslein:

Do they use that same giant book of diagnoses over there? Is that worldwide or is that an American thing? The DSM?

Alex Manos:

DSM, yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah.

Alex Manos:

It’s the same in medicine.

Michael Roesslein:

Think about a book that needs to be lit on fire.

Alex Manos:

It’s the same in medicine. We create these terms that then people attach to for safety and because it gives them an identity sometimes. And we just have to sort of break that all apart. Our current society is… There are problems at that level that then ripple down into individual existence. So going back to psychedelics, one of the biggest problems we have is, psychedelics don’t fit in the current culture. You can’t go for a weekend psychedelic retreat, come back, and expect you’re going to be happy in your, not even nine-to-five, but seven till six. And that’s why the preparation, integration, community, network, support is just such a fundamental part of this.

            So I think any tool that you can have or you enjoy that’s going to get you into your body to allow that innate intelligence to arise within is fundamentally how we can get to a really vibrant state of health, but through that is likely going to be huge challenge because of the society we live in in the modern world. And at least that… I guess I’m projecting here. That’s part of my general [inaudible 01:02:25].

Michael Roesslein:

No, no, no. I think that’s totally spot on. This culture, and by this culture, I mean we live in different places, but most of Western society has adopted the same culture and same systems and same everything at this point. It’s one big homogenous… I like you said seven to six instead of the nine-to-five too, because if you have an inkling or some little gut feeling that something is kind of inherently wrong with the way that everything is, going on a psychedelic retreat, you’ll need some help when you get out of it.

Alex Manos:

Yeah. Or you’re just going to shut down further. Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah. Well, that’s what showed me how messed up everything was, and it shined a magnifying glass on it, but then it’s like, if nobody’s there to help, you do know what to do with that. It can be really overwhelming. But I love your two points, look wide and be with somebody, work with somebody who can look wide and see the larger scope, and then they can help you find those hyper-focused individuals who can… “This person needs a little help here and they need a little help here.” I know people who do that, and they do it really, really well. And they don’t need to know anything else, those people don’t. They just do that thing, and then let’s send them there to do that. So looking wide instead of going with a specialist right off the bat, and then the body is wiser than the mind.

            And I resisted that because the mind was the way that I kept myself safe. I could outsmart and clever everyone and everything. And now, I’m being interviewed for a summit next week, and my talk is entirely on somatic practices that bring you into the present moment.

Alex Manos:

Nice.

Michael Roesslein:

And three years ago, I would’ve never wanted to do that. Not even talk about it. I didn’t know about it. But if someone were to try to get me to do the things that I’m going to talk about now as the teacher, I would’ve been like, “Not cool, pass.” And the answers that people are looking for, that’s where they are, but it’s not all that’s there.

Alex Manos:

Yeah. Beautiful.

Michael Roesslein:

And so, you get all of it. You don’t just get the thing that’s the nugget you’re searching for, but in my experience, it’s ultimately worth it, but having a guide is very important. So just thank you for tying those together. You put a much better bow on this conversation that I feel like was fueled by my ADD than I was able to do, and I appreciate the work that you’re doing and all the things that you’re tying together.

            If somebody wants to find you, I think there’s three different spots. Probably they could go to find… If it’s a health practitioner, there’s one. If it’s a layperson, there’s probably a couple. We’ll have the links down below. You gave them to us. But if people are only listening and they’re not seeing right now, where should people go to learn more about your work or check out anything that you’re doing?

Alex Manos:

Yeah. So my personal contact would be my website, which is just alexmanos.co.uk. If you are a practitioner interested in mentoring, then afmmp.co.uk is the website for my mentoring program. And Healthpath is healthpath.com. So that is for the public. If they’re interested in functional testing, if they’re trying to get some answers around gut health, or if they’re curious in the microbiome, then we offer those kind of tests with a practitioner who’s interpreting the test results. You kind of complete symptom surveys to give us the context of why you’re doing it, and then we create some health programs on the back of all of that data.

            And we also have Healthpath Pro, which is for practitioners in the UK, nutritional therapists primarily. And it’s growing into a one-stop shop. So this is where we offer… You can create your supplement programs. You can order your testing. You can provide food plans. You can provide your resources. There’s dozens of CPD resources in there as well. So that’s kind of the practitioner version.

Michael Roesslein:

Beautiful. For those who don’t work in tech or websites or backend things like we do, there’s a lot that goes into all of that functioning, so cheers for setting that all up. I hear you talk about that and then I immediately start to think of the logistics of the backend of a website and how all those things would work and managing all the different populations, and it’s a lot more difficult than it sounds. So kudos to you guys for setting that up. And it sounds like an amazing resource for people in the UK.

            And thank you for doing mentoring. The more practitioners that we can get on board with this type of wide-scope vision and approach, the better off everybody is going to be. So cheers to that, and I look forward to collaborating more in the future.

Alex Manos:

Yeah. Likewise, Michael. Thank you for having me on.