I think this is my most anticipated Q & A and my absolute favorite because it's my little brother and I am just so proud of the man he has become! Before I share his bio, let me give you a little brief on him. Sean has always been extremely smart and curious. Since he was little, he could hack into computers, beat most people at chess and has always excelled at school. As he got older, he became fascinated with fitness and health and became what I called, a walking encyclopedia. It has been a gift to watch the evolution of his knowledge come full circle---from his school studies, life experiences and his love of psychology and the human spirit. He has a plethora of wisdom to share and like me, thrives on doing so. Enjoy! and don't forget to follow him on Instagram.
Although getting his undergraduate degrees in Math and Physics, Dr. Sean always had a burning desire to know how the human body works and has dedicated most of his life to learning and understanding exactly how nutrition, diet, and exercise allow people to gain exceptional health!
Dr. Sean suffered years with undiagnosed hypothyroidism which caused constant fatigue, sleepiness, and an overall lack of motivation. Not wanting to go on life-long pills and becoming frustrated with knowing who to trust on the internet, he set off on his mission of devouring as much research as he could to understand how to treat his condition.
After successfully overcoming his own hypothyroidism, he ended up completely fracturing his spine in his lower back while deadlifting (i.e. spondylolisthesis). He went to a chiropractor who helped rehab him for 6-8 months without surgery. At this time, he realized that he wanted to become a chiropractic physician so that he could help others not only with neuromusculospinal conditions, but also with chronic health problems through nutrition, supplementation, and exercise!
Over the years, Dr. Sean has developed an intimate understanding of nutrition and supplementation that allows him to help others combat their chronic health issues such as Crohn’s Disease / Ulcerative Colitis, thyroid conditions, Parkinson’s Disease, and much more. He teaches that most of the evidence about natural supplements and nutritional strategies that have been shown to help various disease conditions usually never gets promoted by the media or taught in medical school, and thus goes largely unnoticed. However, by simply changing eating patterns and adopting some targeting supplementation, many people can make a powerful and significant influence on their health conditions!
What is one life hack that changed your life?
The "life hack" that has been able to change my life more significantly than anything else is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), AKA "Tapping". Specifically, I use FasterEFT, as it is the quickest and is easy to learn.
If you've never tried it before, be warned: it looks crazy! You tap all over your face, say some words, and it's supposed to help you change your emotions, behaviors, and patterns? But believe me, IT WORKS.
I got into "tapping" when I was trying to overcome my lifelong struggle with social anxiety. I was always the shy one in class. It was always very difficult for me to talk to people I wasn't close with, and I continued to feel like this irrational fear was holding me back in so many aspects of life.
I found someone online who used EFT / tapping to completely get rid of their own social anxiety. I followed it, and quickly achieved better results than anything else I tried (including therapy, CBT, ACT, NLP, etc) for the past decade or so! Since then, it has been a great help in many different aspects of my life. Most of us don't realize how much emotions / memories from our past still influence our mood, choices, and behavior today, but our past, in many different ways, is really our *largest* influencer of our current and future choices and feelings.
What/who inspires you?
The person who inspired me a lot throughout my life is my and Jesse’s dad Richard Golden. He used to be a "hot head" when he was younger, but after getting out of the Navy, he started to really reflect on his life and how he wanted to live it. By the time I knew him, he was one of the most calm, gentle, and kind individuals I have ever known. He was humble, a go-getter (started his own circuit board company in his mid 50's that excelled), always respectful, and enjoyed the small things in life. He lived by his own principles. He was always a role model that I wanted to be like when I was older.
What is one ritual that you can't live without?
Going to the gym. Lifting weights has been a part of my life since high school, and I can tell a big difference in my mood and motivation if I skip a few sessions in a row. I think that everyone needs to find some type of physical activity that they enjoy doing, and stick with it. Doing so will enhance energy levels, mood, motivation, goal-setting, stamina, and many aspects of health. Especially during these pandemic times, I think it's more important than ever.
What is one non-negotiable for you?
Growing. Evolving. I believe that when we stop trying to evolve ourselves and our lives, we stagnate, and life becomes stale. I'm 100% for enjoying and celebrating what I have already accomplished and how my life is currently, but I still need to have an enticing vision of the future pulling me forward and making me excited about what is yet to come. I never want to get settled in within my comfort zone for too long, because while it may be relaxing for a while, I've found that life inevitably ends up becoming more routine and dull. In order for me to have that zest for life, I need to constantly be pushing my own personal boundaries!
What product (health, wellness, skincare) are you currently obsessed with?
As a Chiropractor, I see people in chronic pain every day. In my experience, 80%+ of the time, their chronic pain stems from myofascial issues. Most people are completely unaware that they can actually help themselves at home by finding and removing "trigger points", i.e. fascial densifications. The majority of people completely underestimate the frequency that trigger points are the root cause of their pain, and don’t believe it until they get worked on. These trigger points are created by over use, under-recovery, poor nutrition, failed healing, or a traumatic event like a car accident. The best book I've found to help people address these issues in the comfort of their own home is called "The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook" by Clair Davies. While this book can't completely replace a chiropractor or physical therapist, it is a great resource for anyone to be able to refer to for various types of chronic pain!
What is one thing that is trending that you just can't get on board with?
In the past few years, there has been somewhat of a growing push for us to ignore our skepticism and simply put our blind faith in the "experts" or whoever is deemed to have earned "authority" in a particular field. I would urge you not to sell yourself short. Healthy skepticism and debate should always be encouraged in science and medicine, and learning to think and make decisions for yourself is, in my opinion, one of the greatest skills you can develop.
What is the best advice you ever received?
From my dad: Imagine your life is a bucket, and your worries, issues, and problems are rocks. If you put all the little rocks (i.e. small problems / worries) in the bucket first, the big ones simply won't fit. It will overflow - you'll be overwhelmed. However, if you focus on the big rocks and put those in first, the little rocks can slide right in.
The point? Don't sweat the small stuff. Continuously re-focus to the "big stuff". This needs to be intentional or else we end up getting caught up in the day to day “urgencies” instead of focusing on the longer-term important things.
Share your number one health hack.
While it's hard to pin down one, I would have to say supplementing with the combination of flaxseed oil and curcumin for inflammation and overall health.
While both flaxseed oil (a type of omega-3) and curcumin are anti-inflammatory on their own, they act synergistically when they come together. Curcumin actually helps convert flaxseed oil into the longer chain omega-3s inside our body (EPA / DHA), and especially helps get DHA to the brain where it is needed. This allows you to end up getting / making a high quantity of all three omega-3s - ALA, EPA, and DHA - without having to take fish oil, which is often rancid and contains persistent organic pollutants (POPs) unless you buy from a very high quality brand. Lastly, curcumin and omega-3s actually synergize in the way they affect inflammation as well, in a 1 + 1 = 3 type of way.
By the way, my favorite way to take curcumin is by making "turmeric tea": Boil 1 tbsp of turmeric in water for 10 minutes. (This increases the solubility of curcumin by 12-fold!) Then let it cool down, add honey to taste, add some freshly ground black pepper (also greatly enhances absorption), and enjoy! Can make and drink daily. This magnitutes it better than simply "taking turmeric" or a generic curcumin pill.
My favorite brand of flaxseed oil is Solgar Earthsource, because they store it in glass and fill the remaining space with nitrogen glass to protect it from oxidation. Store flaxseed oil in the refrigerator so it doesn't oxidize. I personally take 1 tbsp daily in yogurt or a protein shake (the sulfur dairy proteins mix especially well with flaxseed - per the Budwig Diet).
Tell us a book that changed your life
I would have to say Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. This is an older book, but a goodie. It shows how important self-image, self-esteem, and identity are to creating the life you want. One of the first major books on personal development, Maltz teaches that your whole life can change - and usually will change - once you change how you see yourself first. Many people get caught in bad habits, very limited thinking, and feelings of hopelessness, and many of these behaviors and feelings can stem from what they think about themselves, what they’re capable of, and who they see themselves as a person. Understanding this, and doing the deep work required to alter it, can be what is really necessary to make permanent changes with your life!
What is your #1 biohack for aging gracefully?
I’m not sure if this is considered a “biohack” or not, but I would have to say consuming unrefined food and good oils. The vast majority of westernized individuals consume a diet filled with refined foods and pro-inflammatory fats. The vast majority of restaurants cook their food in vegetable oil because of how cheap it is. Vegetable oils are omega-6 oils, the complete opposite of omega-3s, and are generally pro-inflammatory. What’s worse though is that they are also not very heat tolerant (which is why they get crispy when used to fry food in). This means that by the time you eat the food that is cooked in vegetable oil, it is not only pro-inflammatory by nature, but also rancid (i.e. oxidized from the heat). Consuming rancid / oxidized fats means that you are directly consuming free radicals, which increases the burden of oxidative stress in your body. This can, and does, contribute to cellular aging. In my opinion, the vast majority of foods should be cooked in either unrefined coconut oil or a trusted extra virgin olive oil. This change alone can significantly benefit health and long-term aging.
Besides oils, choosing unrefined foods means that you are not only consuming foods that still retain their vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, but also their anti-inflammatory polyphenols. Polyphenols one of the main components of plant foods that gives them their health benefits. They are what makes blueberries blue, give coconut oil its coconut smell, makes black beans black, etc. They not only provide their own own anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits directly, but they also tell our body (by activating the NRF2 protein) to increase its production of its own endogenous anti-oxidants! This is what you want to be able to continue aging gracefully and preventing chronic disease.
What is your “golden secret?”
I would say my “golden secret” is my eternally questioning mind that does not blindly accept either mainstream health dogma nor alternative health hype, no matter who the “expert” is. I am always researching, analyzing, and comparing various lines of thought so that I can distill down to the “truth” as close as possible. I think this way with fitness, health, psychology, and spirituality. It’s my belief that this sort of independent thinking is needed nowadays more than ever, and educating our children in real critical thinking skills would benefit them enormously in many aspects of their life.
Where can we follow you on your journey?
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