146: Is Chiropractic Safe and How to Detox Safely with Dr. Hardick 146: Is Chiropractic Safe and How to Detox Safely with Dr. Hardick

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Katie: Hello and welcome to the Healthy Moms Podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com and I’m here today with a really fun guest. I think we’re gonna have a great chat about some topics that are really important to moms. Dr. B.J. Hardick is an organic food fanatic, a green living aficionado and he spent the majority of his life in natural health care from the time, actually he was a child, this is a topic he’s known about. He’s a chiropractor. He has book called “Maximize Living Nutrition Plans” which has been used in over 500 health clinics. He also has been featured on Mind Body Green, “Food Matters,” and the Huffington Post. He’s on the Board of Managers for Max Living which is a chiropractic organization dedicated to professional development and he’s presently writing their next publication, “Align Your Health.” And he’s an amazing chiropractor and has an amazing mission and I can’t wait to jump in. Dr. Hardick, welcome.

BJ: Thank you so much for having me and please call me BJ.

Katie: All right, BJ, I’m so glad to have you here. I love always kind of starting with someone’s story so those listening can get an idea of where you’ve come from and yours is pretty awesome. So can you kind of just start from the beginning and tell us your story and how you got into health?

BJ: Absolutely. You know, where do I even start? You know, I know my parents always had just this concept, this underlying philosophy that really we were created to be healthy. You know, and even in the early days before there was a lot of education or a lot of access to information they just really…they really aligned with the philosophy that the body was supposed to work properly provided we don’t mess it up. You know, so I know, even before I was born, you know, my mom really, really struggled with the fact that I was, I guess, I was a difficulty pregnancy for her and she really, really struggled with the fact that, you know, I was a C-section baby but what they realized was, okay, my mom admitted, she’s like, “I live in this lifestyle where I wore high heels and I sat at a desk for so many years of my life. I twisted my pelvis. I didn’t really take very good care of my pelvic floor. I didn’t work out.” Years later she’s like, “You know, I recognized that I had to have a medical intervention because probably I could have taken better care of myself.”

Now, that’s nothing to say if there’s anything wrong with, you know, somebody should be ashamed because they have to have a C-section but, again, I understood right from those early days in terms of even how I made it on to this earth that my mom’s feeling always was that the body was designed to operate in accordance with natural law, it was designed to work properly from the get-go and, you know, I think you even in those early days, you know, my mom felt really, really bad that I was as C-section or something but she recognized that she had a really, really twisted pelvis which really, you know, kind of interested her to the whole chiropractic world. She didn’t know a whole lot about that until she got very involved in chiropractic.

But in those early days, you know, the theory was always, you know, “Hey, how was the body supposed to work in terms of what are the foods that we’re supposed to eat, you know, what’s the amount of sleep that we’re supposed to get? You know, how can we listen to our bodies?” Because, again, back then there wasn’t a lot of education, a lot of information. It was really, really going on upon a lot of instinct. What’s been very, very exciting is as we’ve moved forward we’ve seen that, you know, there’s so much science to support this in a way of living. You know, we seen how everything is considered ancestral living or like trying to live like our ancestors but I think that was always my parent’s philosophy from the get-go. It was that if something wasn’t working out ideally, it’s like, “What did we potentially do that could have interfered with the body’s natural processes, you know?”

And again, same thing, so again, if the body was rundown it was like, you know, “Why did the body get rundown?” My parents never raised me to think, “Hey, just what bug did you pick up?” Because we know that all kids got exposed to bugs, but it was a question of, “Hey, so, why did my body get rundown?” “Why did my body become a little more succumbed to one of those bugs or one of those germs at school as opposed to the other kids who did it, you know? And certainly, what we’re the kids doing who were able to find out all those infections?” or, for instance, “Why were the kids that only spent one day at home instead of one week at home, you know? What were they doing differently?”

So as opposed to looking at what was going on in the environment the perspective was to say, “What can we do that best reflects the innate wishes of the body so the body can operate as best at it possible can, giving the body its own strength to live an abundant, healthy life, beat disease, thrive as best as we possibly can within our own limitations of matter but certainly trusting in the body’s innate potential and ability to always heal. And that really, I mean that really always was the chiropractic philosophy and that always was the philosophy of my family as well as, you know, again, look at the way the body was designed, don’t interfere with the natural processes and be able to thrive and love life and live a healthy expressive life just don’t interfere with the natural processes because the body was designed to be healthy from day one.

Katie: Yeah. I love that. But you also, you went through some health struggles of your own, didn’t you? That like kind of formed your opinion?

BJ: Absolutely. You know, so even though my parents very much had this concept of saying of, “Okay, hey…” So, you know, obviously it makes sense if you look at the way…I would say my nutrition plan like look at how the world is formed, looked down at the world from outer space. You know, the world is, you know, 70% water and the body is like close to 70% water, so what’s the number one thing we should be eating? Water. You know? Then you look down at the earth, what do you see? A lot of green. Okay, the next thing that should be going into the body, a lot of greens, you know? So my parents based all of the nutrition choices as best as possible on, you know, what foods would be naturally available to my own indigenous environment, trying to get food as close to the earth getting those into the body, you know, none of us were perfect, many of us, you know, strayed through high school and college and I was certainly one of them.

But it is true that even trying to live a great healthy lifestyle, it is true that in North America, you know, we do live in a polluted part of the world, you know? And it’s very interesting because, you know, even though I was living quite well, it is…once I got into my early years of professional practice I started developing, you know, severe digestive issues. And, of course, I thought, you know, “What am I missing? Am I missing certain nutrients or something, or do I have food sensitivity?” It was actually dealing with, you know, severe heavy metal toxicity which is something that, you know, toxicity itself I’ve written a publication on this and I’ve written a bunch of articles on my website as well. I mean, toxicity is real thing. I mean, that is something that we have to face living in North America because it is in the environment. It is in certain foods. It is in our soils. I mean, this is really the whole reason the organic food movement has existed is because of this concern of accumulative toxicity over someone’s lifetime.

So I was certainly raised to live as close to organic and healthy lifestyle as possible but, no, I mean, I found out years later I was dealing with like severe mercury toxicity, severe lead and nickel toxicity as well. And that actually got me, you know, really going pretty hardcore down the path of detoxification, purification. That’s when I really, really ramped up my own nutrition plan. That’s when I wrote the first nutrition book, because I realized that, you know, just trying to live the basics of just trying to say, “Hey, we eat a lot of fruit, we eat a lot of vegetables just doing the basics that that would be an ideal model if we didn’t live in a dirtier part of the planet where we weren’t, you know, literally exposed to petrochemicals and everything from the personal care products that we use which was completely off the radar from my parents way back then. You know, even in the plastic containers that we store food in, I mean, we can go on about, you know, air quality in homes.

But, so, you know, detoxification became more important to me, I say, in the last 10 to 15 years. But again, what does that come down to? It come back down to that philosophy of saying, you know, the body was designed to function properly. Let’s not mess up the body’s innate wishes, you know, so ,as a chiropractor, that philosophy was always anchored in the understanding that if we distort the physical structure of the body that that can distort the functioning of the body. Well, I also realized that there can be chemical interference in the body. You know, so there can be chemical stressors even if we’re getting in the right nutrients. I find nowadays, when people really want to conquer their health challenges, they have to not just so much look at what they need to get into the body but also, you know, what do they need to get out? You know, what do they need to remove and eliminate and that would be obviously the concern about toxicity and toxicants. Is that answering your question?

Katie: Yes, absolutely. And I’m so glad that you mentioned the detox side because I feel like this is an area where there’s so much information out there and a lot of it is conflicting and I think at least from what I’ve read. Some of the things that are recommended online could actually be harmful or create more problems if you don’t know what you’re doing. And I know that this is an area you’ve researched a ton so I’d love if you could kind of walk us through your approach, what you did yourself, and then also like what would encourage someone who just like needs to live a healthier life and is trying to like detoxify their own body. Like where would they start?

BJ: Fantastic. Well, you know, I believe, I would say that there are three kinds of levels when it comes to detox. You know, I do certainly believe that there’s a basic level of detox that everyone can do on a day in and day out basis. And, I mean, those are really, really like the general practices that most of us know and love, and then we certainly know that, I mean, to sum up the research, you know, the more phytonutrients we get in the body, the more plant-based foods, the better that does stimulate the body’s natural detoxification pathways. I think, Katie, a lot of people think of detox as something that is more clinical than it needs to be. You know, I know some folks they might not fully understand detox. They’ve said certain things like, “Hey, your body is supposed to detox. You have a liver.”

Well, yes, you’re right. But the liver can be stressed. You know, glutathione can get rundown and your detoxification abilities can become rundown and stressed significantly. And when it does, your body now has a limited ability to clear those environmental pollutants out of the body which should not be in there. So, the reality is, yes, the body should be detoxing on a day in and day out basis. And the basic things people can do obviously, yes, lots of water, lots of fiber, lots of fresh air, lots of phytonutrients that come from vegetable, we know all of these things do contribute to both intracellular detoxification because those provide antioxidants to the body. Definitely, when people consume raw foods both plant form but certainly when people do consume, you know, raw meats, you know, liver, kidney, this type of thing, it’s probably not as popular, you know, raw eggs and so forth. But the actual top source is like, you know, whole food, glutathione, or in raw vegetables. And again, that’s your body’s number one antioxidant that does contribute to, you know, cleaning out those cells, getting rid of the environmental pollutants that shouldn’t be in there.

That’s the intracellular piece of detox. And then you have extracellular detox which is, you know, once you clear out those cells, because it’s quite easy for somebody to take antioxidants or glutathione, maybe in a liposomal form or in acetylated form but then you need to make sure that you’re flushing that through the body and that’s where, you know, on the very, very basic level, this is where you look at, you know, again, how are we designed to live, certainly consuming a lot of plants. Also, one of the other basic things people can do for basic detoxification is some carbon-based elements. You know, you go to any health food store and some of the top things they’ll recommend for detoxification would be bentonite clay, activated charcoal, diatomaceous earth.

And, you know, I was with another speaker years ago, just a couple of years ago at a seminar and he brought up the perspective that, you know, because we’ve now modernized our lives and we’re living inside these homes and we really detached ourselves from the earth, you know, human beings like we’re far more sanitized than we ever used to be and we become the only species now that somehow isn’t like inhaling earthy elements on a regular basis. In fact, every other element somehow is, you know, either eating or sniffing the earth. I mean, it sounds gross but when you think about it, it’s true, you know?

So we’ve actually lost that inhalation of earthy elements and so, frankly, we find when we go get those in the body, those are magnets they do trap endogenous materials that shouldn’t be in there. They do get it through the body. So that’s where, you know, you hear about people, you know, they spend a week in the rainforest and they feel great. Well, yeah, I mean, they’re inhaling the earth and they’re probably getting it in through some of their foods. Even, you know, we wash every last fruit and vegetable. We want everything so perfectly clean. And I’m not suggesting that anybody, you know, has food from unclean sources but at the same time, you know, soil-based organisms, eating some of those earthly elements does help to cleanse the body, so get the nutrients in as well.

So those are basic things that people can do and I think people understand that this is again respecting, you know, the way the body was designed to operate in the first place. I mean, it is so bad the amount of time people spend indoors now, and I think more and more, as my life is going on, I’m constantly looking for a way to get outdoors every single day, you know. And again, part of it is just I feel that I operate better. I live in a fairly northern climate. I’m in Canada. Yes, it’s cold but I still know that when I’m outside, I’m getting fresh air, I’m getting, you know, obviously, I’m getting activation of Vitamin D which benefits my immune system and tons of other functions in my body.

But getting outside does contribute to detoxification and I say, “Hey, people if they’re not good at getting veggies in, hey, get those things in through like a greens drink or a greens powder or something but get those things in because those will help, you know, to kind of flush and clear the body both like on an intracellular and an extracellular basis.” And that’s so key. But then you get into the more advanced and like clinical levels of detox and, you know, the way I think about that is this, is that, you know, I firmly believe that the body was designed to detoxify from say, you know, maybe fungus from some mushrooms growing under a tree, the body was certainly designed to detoxify from smoke from a coal fire, for instance.

But we’ve now created petrochemical products and some of these are in personal care products that go on our skin, they do get into the body. I know in my case, I was severely toxic with mercury so that was, you know, ten times higher than what was, sorry, mine was five times higher than what was considered the acceptable level of mercury in my body at the age of 30. So, you know, my personal belief is that, you know, our body’s detoxification abilities become very, very stressed because we’re no longer just dealing with that little bit of, you know, fungal toxicity from some mushrooms in the environment. We’re actually dealing with, you know, manmade chemicals that really, you know, I mean, should not be in our bodies, it should not be in care products that we smear onto our skins, and sometimes get in the body in other fashions.

And the biggest concern with the organic food movement, for instance, has never so much been that, you know, one single inhalation or absorption or swallowing of a small dose of a chemical once would be a problem, but that it is the concern about the long-term exposure to these things. And that’s certainly where the movement fills that a lot of the studies were lacking, you know. So my personal experience has been that, yes, I mean, I have been tested for, you know, toxicity and it has been real. And at that point, that’s where I have had to seek professional expertise. And what I mean by that is my body became so stressed where, you know, like my glutathione levels were down, my heavy metal levels were so high, and my body couldn’t just quickly clear that just because I ate more fruits and vegetables. I needed to do some more advanced supplementation. And that’s really where I really see, you know, the world in the United States, I certainly looked at like what’s going on with the Institute of Functional Medicine and things that a lot of the doctors are involved there are doing, you know, other very, very advanced medical doctors and progressive naturopathic doctors are doing. They’re really looking at like, “How can we get to these advanced levels of detoxification that maybe people can’t achieve on their own?”

So I would say in any of these, you knows, there’s lifestyle choices that people want to be able to make which is minimizing the, you know, chemicals in their life. And, again, I know that those that might contest the word chemicals will say “Well, everything is chemical?” Yes, I get it but go back to that philosophy, “How was the body designed to operate?” You know, were we designed to be, you know, having our, you know, babies, you know, chew on toys and soothers that are made of petrochemicals. The answer is no. So this is something that human beings did.

And the book that I highly recommend for people, if they really, really want to dig deep into the science, well, and first of all, I’ll offer this to your audience. But I did put together an eBook called “Real Detox” which goes through my whole story which we’ll talk about more if you want, but it’s just on drhardick.com/real-detox. And, again, I go through my whole story in terms of how I, you know, discovered that I was dealing with high mercury and lead, and what I did to get it out, and what that process looked like, and I go through specific supplementation that I did, and ones that others might consider, certain foods that certain other might consider, and how they can also test themselves, test their environments, test their homes, that’s all in my eBook “Real Detox” on my website.

But then, you know, the other great book is called “Slow Death by Rubber Duck.” Have you seen that one?

Katie: I have heard of it. I haven’t read it yet.

BJ: I mean, it is amazing. It’s by two genius guys right here in Canada actually, and, I mean, you look at the realities of just… I mean, you know, you can just look at the realities of just, you know, the slow leaching of chemicals in foods, water, the air that we breathe, and a lot of it is because of our modernized industrialized society. So it is a significant and legitimate concern. And that’s where, you know, so in Max Living we talked about there being like five essentials to a healthy body, everything from like a healthy nervous system, and healthy nutrition, and healthy oxygenation through exercise, and then certainly healthy mindset as well. I wish we didn’t have to have the other essential which was like minimizing toxins. But minimizing toxins is so critical in the 21st century.

Katie: I agree a 100% and it’s sad to think, because I agree when people say, like in a perfect world the body would just naturally detoxify. That’s true, but unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world, and I say that to parents all the time like we have a unique responsibility in today’s world to be proactive with our kids because like for those of us, like you and me, who have already been through health struggles, you don’t want to wait until you have to be reactive and have to like undo all the damage, and I think that’s when moms have a really unique position is that we can, like your parents did try, like to the best of our knowledge, try to raise our kids in a less toxic environment and to support the body and keeping out the harmful levels of things.

And I know for me, like a big area of research has been plastic exposure because when I started researching this, literally, like it sent chills down my spine because they’re finding plastic under 30 feet of ice on the ice caps, the polar ice caps, and this is not normal. Basically, the entire earth is saturated now with these chemicals that are endocrine mimickers and they have all these horrible effects in the body and they are everywhere, so I’m with you on that. I think it’s a big problem. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a nontoxic world. And there are things, like you mentioned, like just going outside, spending more time getting Vitamin D or in contact with the earth that are wonderful and free, but sometimes we do have to be a little more proactive. And I’d love to hear a little bit more about your story. How did you recover your health once you had gotten to that point of heavy metal poisoning?

BJ: Yes. So I was working with an integrated practitioner from the United States, and I had actually had some lab work done, you know, so for folks that actually do, you know, because there does come a point where… and this is where…You know, I hope that my biggest message for anyone and everyone is always that when you are struggling in your health, you know, never give up on the principle of what you’re saying there, Katie, but sometimes reevaluate the application or the practice of it. Meaning, you know, the principle is still that the body is designed to heal itself, it just needs no interference. But, I mean, that doesn’t come to speak as you snap your fingers, you know?

So, for instance, you might think, “Okay, well, I’ve done what I can to detox.” Well, did you take that many layers further? You know, so in some peoples cases they literally do need to take it many layers further and get some of the proper testing done. You know, so Doctor’s Data, for instance, is probably the leading company in the United States that doctors turn to you to order like urine toxic metals tests. I mean, this is in my eBook because I just wanted people to know, you know, kind of what I went through. But, again, I had all of my urine toxic metals tested and, of course, I had to do a supplement while I was doing that. I had to do a chelating agent. If you actually look at the work “chelating,” by translation, it means you’re…it’s like your clawing something out. And again, there are chelating agents that are aggressively, you know, bind up heavy metals.

So, you know, I had to take a 24-hour test. I had to take a chelating agent. You know, back then I used DMSA but, you know, through the years, different doctors have done a DMSA, they’ve done DMPS. Oh, EDTA. But I basically took a chelating agent for 24 hours, peed into a jar for 24 hours, took that sample, sent it in, and then, sure enough, what the test showed is that, although the acceptable level of mercury would have been considered a 5, mine was like a 27, and it was completely off the chart. And the gentleman from the lab looked at it and said, “That is the highest level of mercury that I’ve ever seen on any of these tests.”

Now, what’s interesting is that, you know, we looked at my mom’s test as well and her test also showed that she was that high in mercury. And actually all of the mercury levels that were…out of the 17 levels that showed up high in me, the exact same metals, also in the same concentrations in terms of their magnitude, were also high in my mom. You know, so it was a real wakeup call that like I probably did have a lot of that passed into me through breast milk. You know, obviously, when, you know, in the early years of neurological development, obviously a baby is very vulnerable. There’s also evidence that heavy metals can cross through the placenta.

A lot of the people that have done the research here have been the very, very…almost like the functional medicine group of the dentist, you know, because dentists for many years have handled mercury and dealt with heavy metals, so there is a whole wing of dentistry called the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology and they’ve actually, you know, spearheaded a lot of the research to identify, you know, some of the risks and such associated with mercury and, you know, but they’ve also been able to put together a lot of the information identifying that, yeah, like mercury can pass through the placenta. Even on CNN, a couple of years ago, you know, Sanjay Gupta. I have a video that I play on my seminars of Sanjay Gupta. I mean, this is mainstream news. This is no longer health food store stuff. This is like you’re getting it on CNN which, you know, now CNN’s whole slogan is to say like, “We’re not fake news.” But they themselves are reporting on the fact that like chemicals can be found in babies before they’re born. You know, so fetal cord blood has tested high for hundreds of chemicals.

Environmental working group has done a bunch of these as well. So we know that yes, you know, poisons can get into the baby before the baby is even born, and, you know, listen, this isn’t about being, you know, hopeless. It’s not to then have the perspective to think, “Oh, what can we possible do? We’re all born toxic.” No, no, no. Listen, these are the cards that we’re dealt, I personally have learned so much about health, life, experience, longevity by going through this process. You know, I’ve chosen to see the process as one of a learning experience in one way in which I can help other people and get a better sense for how I can better take care of me, my family, the earth as well because I do believe that when we follow this principle that we can have a healthier planet, and healthier communities, and healthier families and so forth.

But, you know, at the end of the day, I have a lot of this probably come into me, you know, via my mom from, you know, my mom was in the lead… like she was in a lead generation, you know, so they were, back in the day of, you know, leaded, you know, lead gas, lead paint. I even spoke with people in her generation as well where like when you do upgrades, when you would like paint your house. I mean, like you would get an upgrade to use like lead paint back then. You know, so this was in their environments. You know, I know there’s plenty of folks that I met with again. This we don’t see as much as often but there is such a thing that was, you know, mercury was in paints historically as well. We know that there’s all kinds of ways we get stuff in our body. I mean, certainly, Jeremy Piven, a well-known and kind of prominent actor not so many years ago, he came out quite public about his issues with severe mercury toxicity. He felt that he got a lot his from eating a lot of raw fish because we do know that, you know, “Hey, you know, moms were told when they’re pregnant, ‘don’t eat much fish’ because of the mercury concentration.’” So this all, we never know if there’s just only one source but certainly the concern is once it gets into the body, let’s make sure we take some specific efforts to best enable the body to eliminate that .

So I had to go through a process. I got tested, I found that it was very, very high, and then for me back then, you know, I had to do some very, very specific supplementation and detoxification protocols for, you know, for about a year and a half because, again, the body can’t heal overnight. The body can’t heal overnight, it was never designed to heal overnight. However, you know, one thing that I’ll often tell people is, you know, never lose hope in the body’s ability to heal itself. You know, one thing to remember and this kind of goes back to the whole chiropractic philosophy. It goes back to a lot of the philosophies of eastern medicine, is that although the physical matter of the body gets old and weak and tired and might get wrinkly through your lifetime, don’t ever forget that…kind of what we say in chiropractic is the power that made you is still the power that heals you. You know, and that inborn innate intelligence, that is strong from the time you’re born until the time that you die.

You know, so never underestimate the power of the body to heal itself. Yes, there are limitations of matter and, yes, there is aging, you know, but again, when the body can move, when the body can operate, there is that life in the body and most, you know, eastern medicine and chiropractic principles and vitalistic principles are all about, not just so much focusing on the disease but enabling life in the body to express itself as best as it possibly can. It’s a philosophical difference from the way we look at healthcare here. Healthcare here, yes, the body is seen to be a little bit more mechanistic, you know, the body seemed to be, you know, bits and pieces and parts, and the body is the sum of its parts, you know.

But, again, the vitalistic philosophy is that the body is something much more than just a sum of its individual parts, that there is a life force, that there is a life energy. And you know what? I can certainly tell you that there had been plenty of mechanistic scientists who have gone down this path, and the more they research they realized, you know what, their stuff were never gonna be able to determine about the body. And that’s where there is an understood and recognized philosophy of vitalism which recognizes the body’s innate ability to heal. And, frankly, this is what people like Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra, and now the late Wayne Dyer have spoken about for many years. So it’s well-accepted in the vitalistic sector of medicine as well, plus there’s been, you know, books written on this now for, you know, 30, 40, 50 years.

So, anyway, not ever questioning my body’s ability to heal itself. I just knew that it would take time. I always tell people, “Hey, you know, if the body were to heal itself, it takes two things. It takes time and it takes no interference.” Because if I was to continue to interfere with my body, if I was to continue to have, you know, say go down the road of Jeremy Piven and continue to consume a lot of, you know, high mercury fish, that’s probably not gonna help myself. I have to eliminate whatever interference there is there, and continue to just let the body heal itself. So I did a lot of, you know, supplementation through those years. You know, back then there weren’t as many, you know, polished detox kits necessarily. You know, working with my own integrative doctors, you know, I did a lot of chelating agents, you know, so back then it was on DMSA and DMPS. At times those were in supplementation forms, sometimes they were by prescription, you know. And, again, you know, I will say this too, Katie, my mom really, you know, when…because my mom doesn’t even like taking vitamins.

You know, my mom is so hardcore saying like, “Hey, wait a second, you know, vitamins are outside and I’m supposed to get my nutrient from my food.” And you know what, I agree with her 100%. The problem is a lot of the foods are depleted of their nutrients now, so she gets the fact that she has to take vitamins. But when she was thinking, “Wait, why do I have to take like vitamins and supplements, you know, get mercury and heavy metals out of my system?” Well that’s because getting, back to your point earlier, is that, yes, that is more of an “outside-in” model. Well, yeah, like heavy metals and, you know, plastic accumulation in the body that is outside-in.

So, you know, the goal then is to take the most conservative steps as possible that respect the body’s innate wishes as best as possible. This is where we get into now what you call a hack. Right? So we never use the term biohacking 10 years ago but that term now pretty much means, “Okay, what are these…?” you know, a biohack is almost like a “jiminy switch” like, you know, what can I do that still respects the body’s great creation? But what can I do that is not so much treating a disease but it’s going beyond those basic protocols that’s gonna best enable detoxification to my body or best enable my body to live in this environment that we’ve created in North America.

So I did a lot of, you know, supplementation or I guess hacking. I’ve never really call it that but it is a biohack to some degree. It’s taking certain supplements and even prescribe supplements back then, you know, to really bind up and trap mercury, get it out of my system. Back then it was a lot more difficult. I think there’s been a lot more advanced protocols developed now. But, sure enough, I went in…and the other thing too, I went on a very, very strict, you know, back then what we would now call more of a ketogenic diet, you know. So I wanted to ensure that my body had the best ability to heal and I knew it couldn’t have any inflammation and, therefore, I needed to reduce sugar and anything that turned into sugar.

So this is still my advanced nutrition plan that I teach to people which is, you know, I don’t really call my advanced nutrition plan a ketogenic plan but in essense, you know, when you eliminate grains and sugar and your higher sugar fruits, you’re bordering on a keto diet for sure. But again, I don’t think that, you know, I don’t think a higher sugar fruits like, you know, pineapple and papaya and mango are a bad thing, you know, God put them on this earth. However, it is true that some people therapeutically do do much better when they eliminate those higher sugar goods from their body and that is kind of like a hack, in a sense, to best enable the body to heal and detoxify.

So I did that very, very strict for about a year and a half. I actually re-tested all my heavy metals a year and a half later and I had cleared 90% of the mercury that was in my system. And what’s very important is that people are gonna do a follow-up test with anything, whether it’s a food sensitivity, or their weight, or a level of toxicity. It’s so important that you retest, and you retest the same way. All too often I’ll meet individuals who will have done a test but they don’t redo the test, you know. So they find that they have a food sensitivity to carrots. Then they eliminate carrots for a period of time. Well, they never retest themselves to find out whether or not they can reintroduce those things.

So, again, if you’re gonna use some of these very, very advanced, you know, functional medicine approaches to test your body’s sensitivities and toxicities and deficiencies, always retest to find out, you know, how your body is responding because the body isn’t static, you know, the body is dynamic. It’s always changing. So that was my journey and, you know, I really…I did not like seeing that test come through, Katie, when it said that I was, you know, full of mercury and lead, thallium and nickel but it really, you know, helped, I would say, set me on a path to help a lot of other people because I thought, “Man, if I ate, you know, clean and pure as a kid and, you know, I had chiropractic care and my parents, you know, bought the best food for me, and I was a vegetarian, you know, for many, many years, if I was dealing with that, boy, what might some other people will be dealing with?”

So that was kind of like one of those classic stories that people say as one of your best days but it’s also one of your worst days. And I would really say, in the last 10 years, I’ve really dedicated so much of my time just to ensuring that people can, again, you know, not only understand the practical steps but get grounded in that philosophy of respecting the body’s innate design and abiding by it so that we have the best opportunity possible to thrive. That’s what it’s all about.

Katie: Yeah. I love that. And to highlight a couple of things you said, you mentioned you having heavy metals and that you noticed the same problems in your mom, and I know you probably seen it too. There’s some really interesting research about heavy metals being passed on from mother to child.

BJ: 100%.

Katie: Yeah. And so I think that’s a huge key, like for anyone listening who’s in the childbearing years or who’s considering being pregnant, it’s a great thing to like figure out, you know, way before you conceive if you have the time to do it. And I know that like, not to lay any mom-guilt on anyone, like we always do the best we can, and there are things you can do even if you had a baby and you already have high levels of these things in your body. But if you’re in that preconception phase, that’s a great thing to do and to focus on right now.

I also love that you started talking about sugar, and I want to go deeper here because I’m a 100% with you. I think there’s a time and a place for every natural food, but I’ve noticed, at least from my research, like these higher sugar fruits like pineapple and mango, the people who live in the environments where they grow naturally tend to do great with them, or even people who are in those environments because you have all these factors like the extra sun, and like all these things that change your metabolism slightly. But I’d love to go deeper on sugar because it’s definitely a soapbox of mine and I know it’s one that you speak about a lot also. So to start, I’m just gonna leave it with what are your thoughts on sugar?

BJ: Well, I think we’re a 100% on the same page when we talk about foods and getting them from your indigenous sources. That’s for sure. And I’ve never felt that there’s one diet for all people. So some people frankly will do better on more sugar and some people do better on more fat. You got to look at where your genetics come from, how you individually do, all of the multitude of factors. But the problem is this, even when we look at those higher sugar foods. Now, I’m a Caucasian, my background is certainly not from a part of the earth where pineapple grows year-round. You know, pineapple would be, I mean, I’d have to travel to even taste it.

You know, my genetics are probably a lot more, you know, driven to thrive a upon your northern foods, root vegetables, nuts, seeds, animal products for sure. You know, so what’s interesting is that when we look at…and I’ve written about this on my website, that the problem is not, you know, fructose when it comes from a fruit. The problem is when we extract out any, any, any of these macronutrients. So my big thing right now, Katie, is getting people back to whole foods because I do think it’s important that we demonize sugar. We extract fructose from corn. We have high fructose corn syrup. There’s nothing good to say about it, period. And we know that the sugar industry hid the information from the public and this was going on in the 1960s. I mean, this has been common knowledge now. And we know that sugar is used, you know, because it’s addictive. So we know that the food industry uses sugar because it creates that, yeah, we call it the sweet spot. It creates that spot at which you basically want more of the food because it tastes so awesome. What a lot of people don’t realize is when they have like a white flour, you know, in Canada those little soda crackers they’re called Premium Plus. But even though like those white crackers, they might not say that there’s X grams of sugar in there but, I mean, once you start to digest that white flour you are dealing with sugar. I mean, it breaks down that quickly.

So some of these people look and say, “Oh, well, it’s 40 grams of carbs, but there’s no sugar.” Sorry, once you start salivating on in your mouth, it’s sugar. So people really, really have to be careful with anything that is refined. You actually look at sugar when it comes, like, so for instance, think of corn, you know, and I’m not the biggest fan of corn. We could maybe talk about that another day. But you think about high fructose corn syrup or think about fructose extracted from a fruit or…well, the reality is if you’re having that whole fruit, if you’re having a whole orange, I mean, that actually might help someone start to feel satiated. It might help them start fill up because there’s water, there’s minerals, there’s fiber, there’s lots else in there. We haven’t just extracted the sugar out and made say like, “orange juice” which is never gonna fill someone up.

I remember I didn’t pay a lot of attention to nutrition when I was in school. I just, I hadn’t gone through my own health challenges yet so I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have. But I do remember this, I do, my professor saying like, “Hey, you look at that glass of orange juice, you know, you’re dealing with like, you know, four to eight oranges in there, you would never have four to eight oranges. If you extract out the sugar from a source, it does create problems because we’re not designed to be, you know, taking whole foods and extracting nutrients out of them and would like sugar for instance.”

Now, I also find the same problem, and I won’t get off the sugar topic, I promise, but I also find in the last number of years, going back 5 to 10 years ago, “Oh, we need more protein, we need protein powder, everywhere. So add protein to oatmeal and add protein to a shake.” Well, you know, here’s like, Katie, like how’s that any better like we’re extracting protein from peas and soybeans and we’re extracting sugar from oranges, neither one of those is a whole food? Now, I will admit that I have had whole food, you know, meal replacements certainly when I’m exercising more because I don’t want my body to get into protein deficit. I wouldn’t say that’s being a hypocrite. I would just say the reality is it’s a bit more of a hack. Over the years though I’ve definitely tried to look for like meal replacements and smoothies and shakes that still fit more of whole food balanced model as opposed to just protein, you know, or like just tons of sugar before I run, and then just tons of proteins after I lift weights.

I mean, that is no way to live and it’s no way to really look at like a sustainable model of the earth either. The thing that I think is kind of crazy right now is, you know, with the keto diet. Everybody is just trying to have fat left, right, and center, you know, so everybody is doing, you know, ketone bodies and just trying to get pure fat added into smoothies and so forth. And again, I think you look at our ancestral history, no one in our ancestral background ever ate the percentages of fat the way a lot of people do on ketogenic diets. It does happen to be very therapeutic for some people but, listen, let’s just get back to eating real whole foods. There’s a difference between a therapeutic diet versus just living the way we’re designed to live, eating whole food.

So, you know, sugar, I think for folks, the biggest thing is just don’t even have it in the house, you know, because if it’s in the house you’re gonna find a way to use it. You’re already going to be bombarded when you go to a restaurant, they are using sugar in things. You can ask around as much as you possibly can, as much as I ask the server, hey, what the ingredients are of everything. I still don’t feel I always get a straight answer. So the best thing is when you’re trying to make good choices for your family, it’s like, look what you do at home. So start by having it not in the house. If people are really, really hooked on sweet stuff, yeah, I mean, you know, there are other options and we will use…on my website which is drhardick.com, I mean, again, I keep talking about my mom. I love her to death. She has really worked hard the last number of years to help us work out like all the recipes using things like dates and banana purees and, yes, stevia which is a plant-based sweetener. You know, there’s certain sugar alcohol sweeteners that can work on a limited basis that don’t cost too much gaseousness. Again, they’re not exactly whole foods but people can use things like xylitol and erythritol if they really, really, really feel like they need that birthday cake. They’re not gonna have the same impact on blood sugar as a true sugar.

But what’s great is, you know, when people do start consuming less sugar, their taste buds change. And people usually go, they’re crazy for two weeks. So the goal is you got to just get it out of the house, stop eating it, commit to doing two weeks with no grains and no sugar, and people will kind of go crazy for two weeks but, you know what, two weeks later they don’t even miss it because the body just starts to get used to a new way of eating. And I have yet to meet anyone who gave themselves two weeks of getting off sugar who was still craving the stuff two weeks later, unless they cheated. And if they cheated they still probably want sugar two weeks later. But if they just get it out, you know, it sets up a different hormonal response, they just start doing so much better, and it can be done.

And you know what’s amazing, it’s like, I mean, think of all the different taste that we’re supposed to experience: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, pungent, you know, right? And also some of the sweetness and the deliciousness that just naturally occurs in certain vegetables. So, unfortunately, a lot of us are missing out on the true flavors of actual whole foods just because we’re just so, you know, addicted to the taste of sugar and then not even like letting some of those other flavors in.

And what’s also very, very interesting is I’ve, you know, through the years known Sayer Ji of GreenMedInfo quite well. He has a number of great articles on GreenMedInfo talking about just like the healing benefits of all the foods that fit into that bitter category. We continue to see that the foods that fit in that bitter category, they’re all super healthy, provide great benefit to the body. So it’s about getting a variety in there. And, you know, if you live this way and you do eliminate sugar, most people do say, you know, “I don’t keep sugar in the house, but then I took the kids to a birthday party, out comes the birthday cake, and you know what, my kids had a little bit of it, but then they just put it aside, right, because they’ve developed a different taste palate.” And you know what, there’s nothing wrong with having a couple of bites of cake if the kids were at a birthday party.

The problem is that if they’re addicted to it because they’re having it all the time. So that’s the thing that I’ve consistently seen is that when we lick the sugar habit, as the book is called, you know, the desire is just not there, and people realize that they feel like garbage when they consume it. So that’s me and my relationship with sugar.

Katie: I’m absolutely in alignment with you on that. And I agree, that’s my advice to moms all the time. It’s just don’t even have the sugar in the house, and I think you answered it perfectly. The objection I usually get is, you know, it’s not balance to raise your kids with like a really severe position on any food or like where you’re like depriving them and then they feel like it’s a treat and then they want to go out and eat it. And I think that’s the key is we are responsible for what we serve in our own homes, what we put on the table for our kids. And we don’t have to serve sugar here. And I am the same where we don’t do that. But, also, if they eat a bite of cake at a party, it’s not going to ruin all that work at home, and that also gives them a balance. They were like getting the chance to try those things but we’re not just feeding them at home.
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Katie: And I love what you said about fasting and ketosis because I’ve seen the same thing.

People who are like drinking MCT oil or coconut oil and try to stay in ketosis, and at least the studies I’ve seen, there are tremendous benefits to fasting and to being in ketosis for as far like cancer research and longevity. But almost always, and when this happens in natural populations, it went in line with a ton of vegetables because that’s what they had. So it was like green vegetables, tons and tons of green vegetables which are also estrogen binders, which also help with hormone production. They have all these other benefits. And so that’s my take on keto, and I do go into ketosis quite often but I’m going into it with tons of green veggies, moderate protein, and only some healthy sources of fat and that’s when I feel great personally.

And I think that if anything, the research, at least from what I’ve seen right now, is bearing out that the true answers, like you mentioned, nothing works for everyone. And the answer is variety because even being in ketosis all the time your body adapts and it’s not actually good for you, and I noticed that a while back for myself. If I try to stay in ketosis too long, I would eventually start feeling bad. So, to me, the answer that works for me is being ketosis sometimes but then sometimes spike your carbs from natural sources and eat a couple of sweet potatoes or, you know, sometimes fast and sometimes don’t, and don’t like let the body ever adjust to it. So I’m curious what your take is on fasting, for instance, and getting in and out of ketosis, but I love what you say about sugar.

BJ: Well, I mean, again, I do believe that the body historically had to go periods of time without food, you know. And you know what, that was probably by design and certainly there’s an evolutionary argument to it as well about, you know, strength and wellbeing and beating disease. And there’s also some spiritual principles of fasting as well. But, you know, I would really, really emphasize that I think, and I wrote two articles on my website about this. I do believe, personally, based on what I’ve seen and based on what I’ve researched, that females in particular should take a different approach to fasting than men. Now maybe not to say all females but some females should take a different approach in fasting to some men. And again, this isn’t to be, you know, chauvinistic or anything, this is just literally saying if, again, if you want to look at like how our bodies were designed to operate, well, you know, women were the ones that would be breastfeeding children, you know?

As you know newborn babies, I mean, sometimes like, you know, like a third of your life is breastfeeding and then the other third is sleeping. So, I mean, women would not have necessarily been the hunter-gatherers when there were kids around, so I do say that if women want to attempt with fasting, there’s a few couple of tweaks there. The one thing as I say, “Okay, maybe do a fast but not quite as long,” you know. If your body wasn’t designed to be that hunter-gatherer, yeah, do a fast from, you know, 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 in the morning. You know what I mean? It doesn’t have to be from like 6:00 p.m. until 2:00 the next day. The other snacks you can do that won’t spike insulin would just be pure fats, you know. But, again, what would that be? You know, pure coconut, pure avocado, that type of thing. You want to stay away from like protein or anything with sugar because those things can spike insulin.

Listening to your body is so key as well. You know what I mean? So there are these little hacks here but people need to listen to the body and see how they do, provided they give themselves a little bit of a chance. Because I will say that people’s self-understanding of whether or not they should have more or less sugar, or whether or not they should or should not fast, sometimes it’s still confused because the body is dealing with so much stimuli from the environment, you know. So, we’re not sleeping enough, we have too much television going on, we get so many social cues telling us that we’re hungry. Turn off the television. You’re probably not that hungry. Turn off the television. It’s the television that’s telling you that you’re hungry, you know?

I mean, the body was designed to be able to go through some periods of time without food. But the body certainly cannot, you know, stay in that state of ketosis through foods. It doesn’t have to be through supplementation. And I would also say this, there’s a number of arguments that some caloric restriction actually does play a role for longevity. Now, I’m not a fan of caloric restriction just because we have low calorie foods at every meal. But, no, I mean, when somebody does have two meals a day and it’s high fat foods, I mean, you know, one of the arguments for fasting is you take your three meals a day and you put them into one or you put them into two. I’ve never seen anybody truly able to do that.

Really, there is just, you know, you are gonna be restricting some caloric intake, and you’re gonna…you’re focusing more on when you consume the foods not on what you consume. Frankly, I would focus on still getting in good quality but during a little bit more of that tightened-up window. But, again, it’s different for everybody and I think there’s still a lot of research to emerge. I mean, I don’t know that there’s any one perfect way to fast. I went to a conference last year and I was talking about intermittent fasting, and a gentleman said to me, he said, “You know, I think I have it figured out. I think the fasting window has to be 36 hours.” And I thought, “Please don’t tell me that.” You know, I’m like…and this is just when I was starting and I was getting good at like 16 hours.

But, again, it does make sense to me because the body was designed to go periods without eating. And, also, you know, sometimes we have, like I said earlier, we have so many of these social cues telling us that we need to eat all the time, and that really screws with our brain, but trust me, there’s heavy marketing dollars behind that stuff. So that’s how your body is supposed to respond when you see the colors, you know, red and blue and all these things to get your blood pressure going. So, you know, fasting, I do it I just…I urge people to, you know, monitor how they do individually and recognize that there’s biological diversity.

Katie: Yeah. I think that’s such an important point and, yeah, it definitely should go without saying, but we should say it, if you’re pregnant or nursing that is definitely not the time to fast, period. Because you’re growing a human. But now that I’m not in those phases of life, I’ve been experimenting with it as well and I found, yeah, for women, I think, just shortening the eating window because, by definition, we all fast while were sleeping anyway. So don’t try to just fast for days on end but just extend that window a little bit. Like, for me, I stop eating typically after 4:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. I just feel better when I don’t eat at night. And that’s what’s worked well for me and I think, like you said, it’s different for everybody. And, well, you mentioned about the caloric restriction. The research is, unfortunately, super strong on that, like we know that if you restrict calories you live longer and you have less cancer risk. But I think your point is good that there’s two ways to do that. You could eat less food or you could eat less often.

And both of those have the end-result of reducing calories and, personally, I think it’s easier just to stop eating earlier at night, that’s been easier for me. And that’s the busy time of life for moms anyway, at night. So it’s one less thing I have to do and I can work on stuff but, I think you’re so right, finding what works for you is the key and it’s gonna be different for everybody.

BJ: And I really believe that with any nutritional changes, again, you want as little interference in the body as possible. Now, I will say this, you know, if people have a number of diseases, if they’re taking certain mediations to control their metabolism as well, or to control cholesterol levels, or control their blood pressure, I believe, yeah, that’s gonna make it harder to listen to your body because your body is being controlled by certain medications that you have been prescribed to take, you know. So that makes it tough for someone. I mean, it’s very, very tough for someone to listen to their body when their body is operating based on something from the outside-in that is designed to change the metabolism of their body. So that does make it difficult for someone, you know? But when we can clear out as much interference as possible, and you start to listen to your body, even then you still got to give yourself a couple weeks. You know, so many of us, we’ve just been raised to think, “I need three meals a day, I need breakfast first thing in the morning.” I mean, I used to think I needed a giant bowl of oatmeal. I mean, I did heavy carb breakfast every single day of the week, and then when I thought of giving that up, never mind not eating breakfast at all, yeah, it took a couple of weeks before my body shifted.

But now, you know, I’ll get up, I’ll have water in the morning, I don’t even necessarily do coffee or sparkling water, I just do water, and, again, I realized that, “No, no, no my body doesn’t need as much food as I always thought it needed.” But again, so much of that depends on you, what you’re doing, what your needs are, obviously, nursing, pregnant, all of that. You have other needs that you need to listen to those. People, if your hormones or rundown if you got a thyroid problem or adrenal problems. Again, listen to your body. You probably need more good fats getting in the body, more throughout the day. And if you don’t have a gallbladder, that can change your metabolism of fats as well. So there’s so much to listen to there. But it’s exciting stuff. I really, really think we’re in a very, very, you know, great era right now. You know, I mean a lot of the stuff that you and I were talking about, this was very, very bizarre health food store stuff like back when I was in college 20 years ago. But nowadays it’s becoming, you know, more and more mainstream. I think it was just something that I just saw in USA Today about, you know, splicing out the keto diet.

So people are starting to look at the stuff that The Natural Health Advocates have looked at for so long and they’re taking a very, very seriously, and are seeing great results, so it’s an exciting time.

Katie: Yeah. I think that’s so key and you’re so right. I’m excited for the future too. I know we’re getting close the end of the our time but I want to, if you still have the time, talk a little bit about chiropractic because I think it’s become much more well-known, the benefits of chiropractics, in the last couple of decades, and it’s something I’ve integrated into my life for at least the last, I’d say, 15 years. But I would love to hear from your perspective, as a chiropractor, the benefits, and also if you could just touch on a few of the FAQs I often get from moms are like, “Can you do chiropractic on babies? Or is it safe for kids? Like when should you not do it?” So I’d love to get your take on all of that.

BJ: Absolutely. I mean, so the fundamental premise of chiropractic is that the body is a self-healing, self-regulating organism, and that because the brain runs all functions of the body, and it’s housed in the skull, it communicates through the body through the spinal cord which comes down through the spinal column. The premise of chiropractic has always been based on identifying distortions in the spinal column that can interfere with the natural functions of the body.

One of the most research techniques that I think has ever existed probably the most researched chiropractic protocol called “Chiropractic Biophysics” based out of Idaho. I can’t even begin to count the number of research papers that they have put out to correlate structure and function. You know, their model has always been structure determines function. So certainly, when there’s distortions in the body, think of it on a postural basis, you can also think of it on an individual vertebral misalignment basis, you can think about regions of the spine misaligning. One thing I respect is that there’s many different approaches to how chiropractors analyze the spine and how chiropractors adjust the spine.

But the goal of the chiropractic adjustment is always to relieve stress off of the spine, improve the mechanics of the spine and, therefore, reduce stressors on the central nervous system and best enable the body’s natural healing processes. And, you know, that kind of really was the foundation for, you know, everything else that I ever learned about nutrition or detox or you name it, is best enable the body to heal itself. You know, chiropractic really isn’t focused on treating disease. You know, chiropractic is focused on not helping the person, but addressing the person.

You know, helping the person become as healthy as they possibly can so that they can battle and conquer whatever they possibly can by letting the body heal itself. You know, again, chiropractic, rooted in chiropractic philosophy emphasizes that there’s an innate intelligence that the body is designed to heal itself, that the body knows how to heal provided there is no interference. You know, so in chiropractic, you know, classically you would look to the spine and certainly there’s mechanical issues, I mean, clearly people know that if they’re pelvis is twisted that can cause aches and pains in their back, and can cause shooting pain down their legs. I mean, this is really the most mechanistic view of chiropractic that we can consider.

But certainly, reducing stressors on the spine, taking pressure off of the nerves, that way you can relieve a lot of things like back pain and sciatica, same thing for people whose necks are cranked way forward because they sit at the computer all day long. Yeah, I mean, if you take the weight of your head and jut it forward two inches, I mean, it creates tremendous stress through the joints in the neck, tremendous stress through the whole spinal column really and, yeah, you need to be concerned not only about the mechanical pressure on those joints when you get into those horrible postural positions, but also the impact that it has on the central nervous system which is housed inside the spinal column.

So, therefore, you know, chiropractors have always been, you know, a focus on improving the structure of the spine for the benefit of improved expression of the central nervous system which really runs all functions in the body. So when I was a little kid, you know, actually my father is a chiropractor, and when I started working in his office which then became my office when I purchased it, when I got out of the school and started seeing patients myself. But even when I was a little kid, I mean, I remember people coming in not to treat their conditions but just…but I do remember people coming in with conditions, right? So I remember people coming in with digestive issues, I remember people coming in with allergies, I remember people coming in with vision issues. I remember people coming in with headaches.

And, you know, my father’s message was never that he could promise that the distortion of the spine was the sole cause of their digestive issues. But he always would emphasize that the body is better able to heal itself without those spinal stressors which are known as subluxations, that’s a chiropractic term at least, that it’s better off without those subluxations complexes than it is with them. And then sure enough we’d have people come in, I mean, little kids with constipation, and little kids with allergies, and people with sciatica, and people with respiratory issues, and I remember kids that used to, you know, have to use a puffer. They didn’t have to use their puffer quite so often.

You know, I remember even one of my first patients when I started incorporating a lot of nutrition was a guy who had high blood pressure. We started adjusting him, and his blood pressure issues went away. And I figured he started to incorporate some of the nutrition plan that I had recommended and he hadn’t. It’s just that, you know, we know that there had been studies done on the role of the nervous system and its control over things like blood pressure. So we do know that structure does influence function. And that’s where people with, I would say, with any health condition, if they felt stuck, they shouldn’t feel stuck until they’ve at least tried chiropractic.

So questions related to kids, yeah, I mean. Again, it’s kind of funny because we talked about kind of my history, about me being a C-section baby. Well, yeah, like what kind of stress do you think my body went through before I could even get on to this earth? You know, I tried to come out the natural way, you know, they twisted and tug, didn’t work. Then they had to, you know, unzip my mom, higher up, pull me out the opposite direction. There is such a thing as a traumatic birth, you know? So there’s a great organization within chiropractic called The international Chiropractic Pediatric Association. The International Chiropractic Association also has a council on pediatrics so they’re two different organizations that do a ton of continuing education on how to address, you know, those slight distortions that can occur on any of the bones of the skull and the upper cervical vertebra when they are traumatic births, or for babies that might have been subluxated in utero where the mom had a severely, severely twisted pelvis.

Now, I’m gonna give you though the contrast on this because it might be a question that you’d often get is, you know, with babies, I mean, people say, “Do babies really need adjustments?” Well, hopefully, no. I mean, hopefully no. I had a little baby come in to get checked yesterday. The baby is two weeks old and the mom has taken very, very good care of herself. And, again, I don’t want to…you used the term “mom guilt,” and I don’t want to shame anyone, I mean, if somebody is not able to exercise through their pregnancy or they’re up against, you know, some type of condition and they’re having difficulty. But this mom, I would say, took very, very good care of herself through her pregnancy, she received adjustments every two weeks, you know, she remained really, really sold with her food, the baby flipped from head up to head down on time, she was able to exercise through her pregnancy and, you know what, the baby comes out and baby was born within two hours.

Now, but you know what, it’s the one that I have seen, you know, we never want, you know, moms to feel like there’s like a badge of honor just because you have a quick delivery, but I think it is something that more moms would love if they could have one. But, by no surprise, this baby popped out like a football after basically two hours, the baby’s head was down, there is no version process used so meaning a physician did not have to turn the baby’s head or lift the shoulder out. There were no forceps used. There was no vacuum extraction device. I mean, a vacuum extraction is a vacuum suction cup that goes on the baby’s head to extract the baby out of the womb if the baby is having difficulty getting out. And one of the issues that we often see and this is what I’ve learned a lot through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association is that you know like deliveries should be, I mean, the ideal position for a mom would be in a squatting position where the baby would come out with the assistance of gravity as opposed to when moms are on her back and the birth canal is 20% smaller and were not able to engage those muscles.

So, certainly, babies that are born when moms were more in that squatting position, you know, the pelvic floor muscles are used, they kind of push on the baby’s butt, the baby comes without any stress on the baby’s neck. So, yeah, I checked the baby yesterday and there was no adjustment, you know. However, the flipside of that is I worked with a mom within the last year whose baby was posterior and certainly there was an attempt to turn the baby internally before they induced delivery. So that baby has had a severe rotational issue in the baby’s spine, and the baby couldn’t rotate to one side after going through this birth trauma. So, again, I do believe, deep down in my heart, that if we were born onto this earth without interference, and then we didn’t start getting into car accidents, and we didn’t start using cellphones, and sitting at desks and all this, we’d probably need a lot less chiropractic here. The body was designed to heal itself.

Unfortunately, look at what we’ve done to the body including, even sometimes, as early as the birth process. So, that’s why a lot of wellness chiropractors do look at babies. In fact, I would say the majority of wellness chiropractors do look at babies. There are certain certifications where chiropractors can work specifically to get those certifications, and it’s also very, very beneficial. We’ve seen, too, moms through their pregnancies as well. We know that Larry Webster, he was kind of known as like the grandfather of chiropractic pediatrics. He was a professor at Life University for many, many years. I mean, he developed the in-utero constraint technique that proved to be very, very successful for moms whose babies weren’t flipping by week 32 which is a really, really just super gentle adjustments of the pelvis that just relaxes things, best enable babies to flip on the baby’s own. I would say a much more conservative approach and much safer than maybe some of the more manual attempts to force a baby to turn.

So I do believe that chiropractic can and should be a critical piece of people’s healthcare, and it’s part of a health team. You know, most of my patients, I take care of a ton of nurses and people within the medical profession that actually consider the chiropractic root to be aligning with how to not get sick, and then we have emergency medicine for when we do get sick. So, you know, chiropractic has always been, you know, a family thing for me, and I certainly take care of kids. And I think if people are looking around the country for people that they can go see, I think it’s probably fair to say that most chiropractors, a good percentage of chiropractors, because obviously your audience have a lot of kids, chiropractors that generally are aligned with the wellness philosophy probably have gone through a lot of the schools that also think about pediatrics and whole family health so it’s not too difficult to go on to some of these website.

I mean, obviously, I fully endorse the International Chiropractic Association and the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, and obviously Max Living, the organization with which I’m involved, and there are others as well, and I’m sure I’m not naming one or two, I’m sorry. But I certainly know that if people are looking for a chiropractor who really embraces wellness, you know, go to their website, and I believe if there’s information on there, about kids and families and growing up healthy with preventative checkups, I mean, I know it sounds cheesy but the old adage is that, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We certainly have seen that when kids receive spinal care, making sure that their posture alignment is strong through their lifetime, and that they’re free of subluxation complexes, using a number of tools that we can use to identify those things, I’ve certainly see kids live much healthier and happier lives, and that’s what it’s all about.

So I think, you know, to me, chiropractic isn’t just a profession. It’s also, it really is that philosophy. I mean, I know it’s called like eastern philosophy or maybe more of the vitalistic philosophy, but that chiropractic philosophy really is rooted in the basis that the body is designed to heal itself provided there’s just no interference.

Katie: Yeah, such a great point. And I think this has been an awesome, like really knowledge-packed episode, and I appreciate your time so much, BJ, for being. This has been really great. And all the links you talked about, I know you have blogposts on several things we’ve mentioned, I’ll make sure those are in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm along with the link to your ebook that you mentioned so people can find that. But realy quick, just let people know where to find you online.

BJ: drhardick.com, so that’s D-R Hardick, which is spelled H-A-R-D-I-C-K dot com, that’s easiest. And, of course, it’s Facebook/drhardick, Twitter @drhardick, Instagram DrHardick.

Katie: Easy enough. Thank you so much for your time.

BJ: Thanks, Katie.

Katie: And thanks to all of you for listening. And I will see you next time on The Healthy Moms Podcast.

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.


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