Ep. 311 Addiction and the Impact of Lifestyle on Mental and Emotional Health with Dr. Joseph Yi

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I am honored to have Dr. Joseph Yi joining me on the podcast today. He is a board-certified addiction psychiatrist specializing in holistic psychiatry and detoxification who embraces a lifestyle medicine approach to mental and behavioral well-being. 

Dr. Yi caught my attention when he appeared on the Model Health Show with Sean Stephenson. I was instantly captivated by his bright and inquiring mind and knew I had to share his wisdom on Everyday Wellness. 

In our conversation, we dive into the effects of the pandemic on screen time and addiction behaviors in children. Dr. Yi shares his expertise on the role of Fentanyl and drug overdose fatalities, challenges the notion that marijuana is entirely benign, and highlights the lack of education among traditionally trained medical professionals regarding lifestyle medicine. We also explore the transformative potential of psychedelics, including ketamine therapy, and the societal acceptance of addictive substances like alcohol and nicotine. Our conversation also journeys through the realm of low vibrational frequencies and spirituality, concluding with a discussion on the role of supplements in enhancing our mental and emotional well-being. 

I have no doubt you will find today’s conversation enlightening and thought-provoking. Stay tuned for more!

“Substance abuse does not discriminate, and on average, about three of my clients die from opioid overdose per year.”

– Dr. Joseph Yi


  • Drug addiction and overdose trends with fentanyl
  • The impact of tech addiction on mental health, particularly since the pandemic
  • The potential risks of marijuana, especially for developing brains
  • How traditionally trained healthcare professionals lack education on lifestyle as medicine
  • How hyper-processed foods negatively impact the gut microbiome and mental health 
  • How oral contraceptives suppress sex hormones in young women, leading to anxiety and antidepressant use
  • The disconnection between allopathic medicine and the impact of lifestyle on mental and emotional health 
  • How many healthcare professionals tend to struggle with addictions
  • How the social acceptability of nicotine and alcohol plays down their highly addictive natures
  • The benefits of ketamine therapy for depression and trauma
  • The importance of addressing low vibrational frequencies 
  • Dr. Yi discusses his mental wellness supplement company, Beyond Recovery, and their flagship product, a multivitamin for the mind


Dr. Joseph Yi is a board-certified Addiction Psychiatrist with a specialization in Holistic Psychiatry and Medication Detoxification (both illicit and prescribed).

Graduating as Chief Resident of Psychiatry from Cooper University Hospital (located in the heart of Camden, NJ) he gained invaluable experience in treating complex psychiatric and addiction cases. More recently, Dr. Yi has embarked on a journey exploring the realm of psychedelics, and he is eager to share his personal experiences and insights into the future of psychiatry.

Connect with Cynthia Thurlow

Connect with Dr. Joseph Yi


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:00:01] Welcome to Everyday wellness podcast. I’m your host Nurse Practitioner, Cynthia Thurlow. This podcast is designed to educate, empower, and inspire you to achieve your health and wellness goals. My goal and intent, is to provide you with the best content and conversations from leaders in the health and wellness industry each week and impact over a million lives.

[00:00:29] Today, I had the honor of connecting with Dr. Joseph Yi, who is a board-certified addiction psychiatrist who specializes in holistic psychiatry and detoxification. He encompasses very much a lifestyle medicine approach to mental and behavioral health. He came on my radar after listening to a podcast that he was on with Shawn Stevenson, The Model Health Show, and I knew I absolutely, positively wanted to bring his brilliance and curiosity to Everyday Wellness. 

[00:00:59] Today, we spoke at great length about the impact of the pandemic on not only screen time for children, but also addiction behaviors. We spoke about the role of fentanyl and drug overdose fatalities, why marijuana is not benign? The lack of education for traditional allopathic-trained physicians, nurses, and nurse practitioners with regard to lifestyle as medicine, the impact of psychedelics such as ketamine therapy, how alcohol and nicotine are socially acceptable addictions, the role of low vibrational frequencies and spirituality, and lastly, supplements that can beneficial for improving our mental and emotional health. I know you will enjoy this conversation as much as I did recording it. I will definitely be bringing Dr. Yi back for more discussions.

[00:01:57] Dr. Yi, I’ve been so excited to interview you for a variety of different reasons. And as I was talking about before we started recording, I discovered you on Shawn Stevenson’s podcast, but then I went down this rabbit hole, and then I was like, I love everything that he’s saying because he’s challenging us against the prevailing dogmatic principles and encouraging people to really think and that’s the concept of critical thinking, I think, in our kind of modern day existence is, I mean, we just get so rigidly dogmatic, we just put our blinders on and that’s all we consider and we don’t think about the fact that maybe what we learned 25 years ago is outdated. 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:02:33] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, if you even look at some of the psychiatric medications, we haven’t really done much different since the 1950s. A lot of the tranquilizers to numb people up are still the same. They’re still around and different variations of those kind of meds and the antidepressants, all the new ones that the drug reps are coming to me with, there’s some little tweak of a molecule of the old and now they have this new, cool funky name and that’s supposed to be that much better than the Prozac from decades ago, so, yeah, it hasn’t really changed much. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:03:02] Well, and it’s interesting because I trained in the inner city of Baltimore and whether I realized it at the time or not, I was given this incredible opportunity to be exposed to social issues, emotional mental health issues from one extreme to the next, from every socioeconomic status that you can imagine. And for me, one thing that really stood out as someone who’d grown up in the suburbs was how little we understand, I say we like collectively as a country about the net impact of lifestyle. And in many ways, the patients that I saw there, they were in a lifetime of, whether it was welfare or they grew up in abject poverty. And people assuming that because they were perhaps maybe getting SNAP or food stamps or WIC that somehow that was going to turn things around for them and helping so many of the people that I work with really understand that there were so many social issues that impacted these patients. How can you expect them to be in a position where they’re able to take better care of themselves when they’re dealing with, at a baseline, either abject poverty, drug abuse, maybe they’re drug-addicted parents. 

[00:04:12]: There was a patient that I took care of and I remember being surprised. The mom would come in and she was always well dressed, she had her nails done, her hair done, and the child would tell me there was no food in the house or the way that they dealt with heat was to open up the oven door, and that’s how they had heat during the winter, and it was still cold in Baltimore. But for me, those social issues that impact mental health are quite significant. 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:04:36] Absolutely. And just to comment on that, you know, I trained in Camden, New Jersey, which is pretty hardcore down there. I don’t know if people know about this, but it could be a little bit more dangerous than Detroit and some parts of LA nowadays, and I trained there. And the people who would get the food stamps, they have to make a choice do I get food? Do I pay rent? Do I sell this and pay rents? Or do I buy drugs to not withdraw from the heroin or the crack cocaine? And usually the pain wins out, people will do almost anything to avoid pain. So, it’s like, do I eat and gain some pleasure out of that or do I avoid the pain and withdrawal? So oftentimes they would blow their money on the drugs and they will come to the psych hospital, Cooper University Hospital and then they would say that they were suicidal and then like I would have to admit them. And it was an endless loop of this chaotic cycle there. So, I hear you.

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:05:31] Absolutely. And it’s interesting because I’m the first person to admit that having lived in the suburbs and then training in Baltimore. And Baltimore and Camden share a lot in common on many levels. And at the time, in the 1990s, it was the highest teen pregnancy rate. I mean, at that time, it was the heroin addiction. It was the height of the AIDS crisis. And I remember, my patients would leave the AIDS floor at Hopkins and we would try to figure out where they went with their central line. And for anyone that’s listening, this is an ability for us to give IV medications right into there at central line, and they would leave. They would just pick up and they would go downstairs and they would go outside, they would shoot up and come back upstairs.

[00:06:10]: And it was almost if more often than not, the residents would say, “We just don’t understand” and I’m like “None of us can understand.” We haven’t had to deal with the kinds of pressures and issues that so many of these patients have. But I would like to kind of talk about what seems to be– I have an 18-year-old who’ll be going off to college next year, I have another teenager, and we’ve had to start having some challenging conversations, talking to them about what appears to be this prolific explosion in opiate addiction. Obviously, you see this front and center, but using illicit drugs, prescription drugs, having these conversations. And fentanyl is a drug that we used to use in the emergency room quite often, but now it’s being used at a rate and a frequency that we now have, I think it was over 100,000 drug overdose fatalities in 2021, which 70% to 80% of which were fentanyl. And I just found that staggering. 

[00:07:05] And so, obviously, you’re involved in helping people detox and deal with addictions. And so, as a parent, what are some of the concerns and fears that you worry about right now about some of the biggest threats to our children? I mean, these synthetic opiates to me are really scary and largely because kids assume if it’s a pill, then it’s safe. “Oh, if I can get a pill, it’s safe.” And the more that I’m reading, the more concerned that I get and the more I talk to friends of mine who have children in college, it’s just unbelievable, the concerns that we have. I used to think about Fent, just giving people analgesics prior to sending them off to surgery or when they come in with a trauma and now there’s more access, they’re less expensive. It’s my understanding that a lot of it’s coming through China and Mexico, so there’s greater accessibility and then a lot of people unknowingly are using drugs that are combined with fentanyl and other things that are leading to a lot of accidental overdoses. 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:08:01] Yeah. So, allow me to answer that question by leading up to the fentanyl situation. So, let’s get to the core root of what I think is happening. I mean, we had this opiate crisis way before too, but after the pandemic, I think the substance abuse and the addiction situation got a lot worse overall. So, allow me to explain what happened from my perspective. There’s a saying that the opposite of addiction is connection. And what happened during the initial phases of the pandemic, we had the lockdowns, and so many of us were disconnected. So, the kids weren’t allowed to go to school, they were homeschooled or doing the online schooling. And more and more people, because they were disconnected were now more addicted to their mobile devices. I’m fully guilty of this, the people listening to this are too. 

[00:08:45] We were checking our social media to find out what the heck is going on. I mean, you were doing that too, so we wanted information. The kids were more on social media to check that out, but also to connect with their friends. And then there was like a wave of these TikTok influencers making their dance videos, trying to distract and make people laugh, and so there were a lot of those videos, a lot of the boys were playing video games, so the greater screen time, there’s a direct correlation with screen time and increased depression, anxiety, poor focus, mental fatigue, burnouts, ADHD, so on. So, what happened was before the pandemic, the average screen time for a teenager was around 7 hours or so, which is a decent amount considering the waking time of the day. But after the pandemic, the most recently March of this year, according to the American Child and Adolescents Psychiatry organizations, 9 hours per day on average for teenagers, so it went up about 2 hours. 

[00:09:40] So, I think the increased screen time has allowed for massive dopamine dumping where they’re getting stimulated for not doing the work. Your brain will release dopamine to reward you for good behavior. If you’re going to go work out, you read a book, you meditate, you eat healthy foods, sure you get a dopamine rush, but now we’re getting free dopamine fixes, dopamine dumping. And then when you don’t see at the screen anymore and you’re looking at the outside world, the regular world is mundane and boring, so, we develop the tolerance to pleasure, and I think that is allowing people to seek other things more. 

[00:10:12] And now we of course know that marijuana is a huge thing. It’s recreational in God knows how many states now. Weed isn’t what weed used to be, we’ll get into that in a moment. And then so with that comes experimentation with other things and it escalates into the crack cocaine, the fentanyl and so on. We don’t really see too many opioids anymore, only the rich folks still have access to buy Oxycodone and so on. But the regular folks, they’re getting like little bits of fentanyl mixed in with other chemicals that we could talk about in a moment. So that’s– my concern is that technology has been like a gateway for this addiction fuel to go rampant across the world actually. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:10:52] It’s really interesting because I think back to when I opened up a Facebook account, this is when my kids were little, I mean, little, little, little. And then thinking about the advent of smartphones and I’m so grateful that my kids were born before a smartphone ever came out because I wasn’t constantly on my phone taking photos of them. I was very present. But I know that when I talk to people in the health and wellness space and how they feel like their phones, even as adults, they feel like they have to put their phone away, they have to give themselves an electronic detox. They’re like, “I’m not going to be on my phone for 24 hours.”

[00:11:35] And I think it really speaks to the fact that these devices, although there is some practicality to them, they’re designed to keep us interacting with them all the time. You know whether it’s the dopamine hit that you take, the validation of you go to a restaurant now and I can’t tell you, even with my family, we’re not perfect, but I’ll tell my kids, put your phones away at dinner, you put your phones away. But how many people go out to dinner and I see I just watch people, couples, families, and everyone’s looking at the device instead of interacting with one another. So, is it any surprise during the course of the pandemic when so many people were scared and frightened and had no idea, they were ambivalent about what would happen next, that would actually fuel this connection to technology, which then lends itself to other behaviors that can be opportunistic and also unhealthy? 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:12:24] And it’s actually an unfair battle for you, me, and the people listening to just tell our kids and ourselves, like, “Oh, let’s just put our phones away” because we’re actually competing against these dudes, these psychologists that are getting paid millions and millions to manipulate the situation and make things more addictive and increase screen time, so, they’re professionals in this, they study this.  But I think instead of saying, let’s not go towards that drug, it’s almost like we have an imprint in our minds of like, “Hey, if we want a quick little dopamine fix, we could look at the phone. If we want to feel a little better, we could have a glass of wine.” So instead of telling people, let’s stop doing this, I think it’s better to– if we have a graffiti of the phone in our mental mind, we need to replace it with a new portrait of some sort, and so, I highly recommend that you and everyone listening to this try this out. Buy chess set and play chess. Get like a mini set with your family while you guys are waiting for your food. I’m telling you; you guys will get into it. Initially, there’s going to be some resistance, they’re going to say, what is this? But once you start playing a little bit of chess or you could get those cards where it’s like the family game and you take turns asking the family questions, you get some really Kodak, beautiful moments from those kinds of questions. So, I think it’s better to replace it with something than to say, put it away.

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:13:43]: Yeah, that’s a great point. And I think for so many of us during the pandemic, what did my kids start doing again, Legos, puzzles, games that we could do as a family because we were just trying to break up the routine of being home all day long, doing school for home, working from home. Now you alluded and kind of touched on a drug that in many parts of the United States is now legalized. And I think marijuana, as you mentioned is not as benign as people would like to make it out to be. And even understanding that marijuana in and of itself is more potent. In many instances there are other things that it’s utilized with. I know vaping is a hot topic right now. And I know that that potentiates the addictive qualities of what people are doing. Let’s kind of start the conversation around marijuana, because I know in developing brains in particular, they’re very very susceptible to the net impact of marijuana. 

Dr. Joseph Yi [00:14:43]: Absolutely. So, the Bob Marley weed from back in the 70s was briefly about 4% in THC concentration. Nowadays, it’s about 15% to 20% in THC concentration per bud, okay? But forget that, now, thanks to technology with the rise of these dab pens and these highly concentrated forms, the THC levels in these juices could be up to 90% plus. And I’m telling you for the people watching this, it’s a big deal because I was a big-time marijuana advocate for a long long time. I was a musician before I became a doctor. I failed as a musician, so medical school was my backup choice, you know what I’m saying? [laughter] That’s for people who follow my social media, like you know how do you edit these videos? I learned from my music days.

[00:15:29] But, yeah, the weed now is not the weed from before. And I’m seeing more than ever, Cynthia, these cases of psychoses and manic episodes from people who are somewhat genetically susceptible because I’m not saying everyone. There are plenty of people who can smoke a lot of weed and not have these episodes, but I’m seeing, more than ever, at least, like, five or six cases a year of these teenagers that are smoking too much and then something gets triggered in their minds and they have these manic, psychotic episodes where they’re staying up or waking up in the middle of the night, taking showers, scrubbing their hands of their arms to the point bleeding because they believe that there’s a bug inside. And then what happens? We stop the weed. Psychosis goes away. So, it’s as simple as that.

[00:16:11] And I always thought that I would be a long forever advocate of marijuana for all the medicinal and recreational benefits, but my stance has changed big time since all these mutant, genetically modified marijuana strains have come out. And that’s very concerning for me as a parent like you said because for the development minds, there’s that we call we call it amotivational syndrome, that’s a fancy word of saying, it cuts off a person’s vision with their motivation, with their behavior. So, if I have a vision to become a doctor or an engineer someday or a podcast host like you someday, I’m very motivated, and my behavior would be like work hard and make the right connections and study and all this stuff. Well, if you’re smoking too much marijuana, it cuts off that connection, so it disconnects the vision with the motivation.

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:16:55] It makes sense. And so, with my both children have heard this from as long as they’ve been alive, your prefrontal cortex is not fully formed until you’re in your mid 20s. And so, I remind them that they sometimes cannot, in the moment they can’t think about the consequences of their actions. Is that part of this amotivational syndrome? Is it the impact on the prefrontal cortex or is this just in general terms what can happen? 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:17:21] You hit the nail on the head, but specifically it is a dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that connects your vision with your behavior. And that line gets severed with chronic marijuana use. And especially with the concentration these days, oh my goodness. I started using THC in my early 20s, and by that point your brain is like mostly developed, but nowadays these middle schoolers have the vape pens and the vape pens don’t smell, so they could smoke it in the bathrooms. And I hear this because I have teenage clients, they tell me about these kinds of things. So, that’s honestly a lot more scary to me as a parent than my kids messing with fentanyl.

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:17:57]: Interesting. 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:17:59] And marijuana, you know a lot, there’s controversy over people saying, “Oh, this is a gateway drug to fentanyl and all these other things.” Well, I don’t know about that because I know plenty of people who use marijuana and only stick with marijuana. But every single human being that I’ve ever met who’s ever tried heroin or opiates or fentanyl and so on, they’ve all smoked marijuana before. So, I don’t know what that says. But there is some sort of correlation there. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:18:21] Yeah, well, and certainly this is your area of expertise in helping people through this process. I thought many years ago I had read that there are people that have some genetic susceptibilities that smoking marijuana will make them psychotic or make them paranoid, and has that been your experience? You mentioned you get five or six patients a year that go through this psychosis. But I know from personal experience and I can count on one hand how many times I smoke marijuana when I was not a teenager, college age. My mom might listen to this podcast. Every time I ever smoked marijuana, it made me very paranoid. And when I say very paranoid, to the point where my friends will still laugh about this, they’re like you were the person that never ever, ever could have been someone that got addicted to smoking marijuana because you were acutely paranoid. And I remember they used to put me in a corner and I was like this must just be whatever my genetics are, but it’s also I’m a tremendous rule follower that probably helped as well. But I’m curious if you see– have you seen individuals that use marijuana as an example and one or two times and they have that degree of paranoia which seems out of proportion to other individuals who can use it without that at all?

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:19:34] I don’t think I’ve met that person who used it one or two times, but with consistent use, at some point something happens and then they have this manic spike. And just last year I had three clients who I was very close to actually, who all had the same common denominator where they were using marijuana, and it was more of like the vape pens, the concentrated forms. I didn’t see too much of that from the buzz as much as this new technologically advanced, highly concentrated, potentiated forms. And they all had these manic episodes and it was very simple where I convinced them that– to be honest, I actually didn’t believe that study when they said like, marijuana caused psychosis, “Oh my God that’s bull, that’s like their way of trying to take that marijuana stuff.” And then when I started seeing in my practice, that’s when I started looking into it, and yes, there are certain people who are genetically pre-dispositioned to have these kinds of manic flares or these psychotic episodes.

[00:20:24] But three of them, it was a relatively quick fix, just letting go of the weed. And then they’re like, “Oh my God, you are a genius” and I’m like, “No, this is just very simple, just remove the toxins, it wasn’t anything crazy.” I did have to give these people some medication so that they could sleep. Because when they’re having a manic episode, they have way too much energy, so I have to give them some sort of antipsychotic mood stabilizer. I do believe that psych meds can be helpful for some people sometimes. I just don’t like the way that psychiatrists going about it with medicating everybody for every situation there is, but I did have to do that for a little bit and then afterwards wean them off, no weed and then that’s it. And then people would actually challenge that and they would test it again and then they would have another psychotic episode and then look Johnny, you get it now, right so.

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:21:11] A plus B equals C. And let me be clear, I never had a psychotic episode, but I do recall that paranoia was enough to reinforce never doing it again. Now, I want to kind of go back to fentanyl because in our conversations you had mentioned there’s an animal tranquilizer. There are drugs that are being mixed with fentanyl that are kind of potentiating the impact of fentanyl and I think I’m on a fentanyl curiosity focus at this point. But xylazine, am I pronouncing that properly?

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:21:39] Oh, yeah, yeah absolutely. So, it’s crazy, Chris Rock, the comedian said take all the illegal drugs away and people will figure out new ways to get effed up [unintelligible 00:21:50] or whatever it is. And xylazine is a different form of a medication called clonidine, I don’t know if you ever heard of clonidine. I’m actually a huge fan of that medication. It’s a great medication for people with anxiety, restlessness. If they can’t sleep too well, clonidine can help. It’s actually a blood pressure medication, but I use it for all the behavioral health benefits with sleep, anxiety, also with opioid withdrawal. Clonidine is amazing for that. It actually helps with anxiety and restlessness that comes with it. So xylazine is a hardcore form of clonidine, it’s an alpha-1 agonist, it suppresses the release of norepinephrine, which is a neurotransmitter that’s kind of like involved in that flight mode where it allows you to feel more alert and focused. So, xylazine and clonidine suppresses the release of norepinephrine. But xylazine is like a horse tranquilizer, it’s hardcore, much more powerful than clonidine. 

[00:22:44] So, somehow someone figured out that if you mix some xylazine with a little bit of fentanyl, then it drastically has a synergistic potentiated effect. And the people are shooting this up and they’re having necrosing ulcers throughout their body from the lack of oxygen going to certain areas. This thing is so addicting right now. I have a patient who is pretty wealthy, but their son is in the hotel right now as we speak with his girlfriend because the family kicked him out and him and his girlfriend cannot stop using xylazine. And they’re– essentially this is a little graphic, but they’re lying on the bed right now shooting up xylazine, barely eating. They can’t eat, they’re so weak right now, they can’t even go to the bathroom, they’re pooping in a bowl next to their bed. This is how sick things have gotten for these people. They can’t go to the bathroom to take a shower, go to the toilets, this is what’s happening. But apparently, whatever they’re feeling, it feels good enough where they don’t feel like they need to move or eat anything, so this is a terrible thing that’s happening in the Philadelphia area. I don’t know if you’ve seen videos of these people that look like zombies just [crosstalk] that’s a xylazine, fentanyl gas. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:23:49] It’s interesting. So, background as an NP, I spent 16 years in Cardiology. So, clonidine was one of these drugs we could never get our patients off of. If they got put on clonidine to control their blood pressure, the joke was we could never get them off. And so, understanding that this is a derivative of that, but magnified so substantially. And so, I think these kinds of conversations are helpful to at least build awareness. One of the things that has kind of come up in conversations with friends of mine who are ER physicians or NPs or docs is Narcan. And how years ago in Baltimore, if an EMS personnel saw someone that was unconscious, they gave Narcan before they did anything else. And several of these friends of mine have actually talked about sending their kids to college with Narcan because it’s become such a big problem. And I don’t know, this is probably controversial to ask you this, but it was like one of those things that came up in a social conversation that friends of mine who were kind of that world, they’re so concerned about opiate overdoses, fentanyl in particular, that they’re kind of sending their kids to college with Narcan. And Narcan is very accessible on college campuses for this reason. 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:24:58] Yeah, yeah. And I know it’s crazy because substance abuse does not discriminate. And I would say on average, about three of my clients die from an opioid overdose per year, probably like maybe one via suicide or like two via some sort of a drug overdose and they use fentanyl. And the last few people who died, like they came from affluent communities and families. You would think that it’s like the guys in certain parts of Philadelphia or Baltimore and so on, but these are like one of my clients was son of a judge, you know these people who own massive companies and their son get caught up with the wrong people, so, yeah, it happens. So yeah, I would actually support taking some like that to college just in case. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:25:47] Both my boys this past summer took programs at a university in North Carolina and I had to have this whole conversation and they’re like, “We don’t do any of those things.” I said, but you’re going to be exposed whether it’s when you’re there or when you go off to college or in high school, it will happen. Those conversations need to be had. And I generally end up being that parent that everyone kind of like boxed like, “My kid would never do that.” And I just said, I’ve seen so much and certainly you’re in the thick of things. But let’s kind of pivot and talk a little bit about why is it that healthcare professionals are given such little guidance and information about lifestyle as medicine. I know that you’ve been very outspoken about this, that you’ve stood up at some of these medical conferences that you’ve attended and really challenged people to say, has anyone done a study looking at physical activity and its impact on mental health and everyone looked around the room like, “What are you talking about?” 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:26:41] Oh, yeah, I think you’re referring to the story I told about the president of the American Psychiatric Association at the annual meeting. And then the guy came out, gave a speech, he said, they’re going to be– We have all this funding for all these new studies on gabapentin and this medication and that drug. And I just raised my hand and said, hey, are there any studies on the link between nutrition and mental health and addictions. And he just paused and he kind of looked around the room and he said, “Ahh well, not currently, but if you want to send me some articles suggesting that there is a link, we’d be happy to look into that.” That’s basically him saying, no, I don’t know. And I don’t know, I think it was at that moment that I just realized, like, man, these guys are just like– it’s not that hard, right? 

[00:27:25]: It’s really not that hard to just think about the basics of what your body is made up of, your body is made up of organs, organs are made up of tissues, tissues are made up of cells, your cells do a million biochemical processes per second, and it runs on nutrients, vitamins, minerals, water, oxygen. And everyone listen to this, I imagine you have a pretty intelligent audience. I mean, you don’t even have to be that intelligent to know that you are what you eat and how you think and how you behave, so is it that much of a stretch to believe that if you put healthy fats and healthy proteins and amino acids and certain vitamins and minerals and nutrients and good water that you will actually function better as a human being, and that could lead to better mental and physical and spiritual health. Is that far of a stretch to believe that? But you’re absolutely right. And the people need to know this.

[00:28:12] There are less than 5% of American medical schools have any sort of nutrition in their curriculum. And a little bit of nutritional studies that we had in my medical school, they taught us to memorize the structure of triglyceride fat molecules, cholesterol molecules, what LDL looks like versus HDL. Like what do I need to do? Any of the audience here care if I draw a picture of what HDL looks like versus LDL? Or should I say, “Hey, man, you might want to eat these kinds of fats because these are great for your brain health,” they didn’t teach us that. So, I don’t know what kind of training you had, but my training was pretty much garbage when it came to nutrition and wellness. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:28:50] Yeah, it was literally the food guide pyramid. And then maybe it transitioned to my plate. And I can tell you in Cardiology, we told everyone to fear fats, fear eating animal-based protein. I cringe, I always say, now I know better, so I do better. But when I look back to when I was a baby nurse practitioner, I mean, a lot of what came out of my mouth, it was what we’re taught, but it certainly isn’t accurate at all. We’re wondering why we have escalating rates of metabolic disease and diabetes. And I think the most recent statistic I read is that 60% to 70% of Americans consume hyper-processed foods, 60% to 70%. I mean, just understanding what those foods do in the gut microbiome, how they impact healthy neurotransmitters. I mean, people don’t stand a chance. Is it any wonder and then you kind of sprinkle in the synthetic oral contraceptives that young women are given to fix their menstrual cycles from a very early age? And is it any wonder all these young women are on antidepressants?

[00:29:51] I have really lovely young women that were babysitters for my kids when they were younger. And over time, we all became very close, and they would share every single one of them was on. And these are healthy, well-adjusted people. And they would say to me, just unknowing, like, “Oh, I was put on oral contraceptives to fix my skin or because my cycles were wonky. And then, like, two years later, then I’m on antidepressant, then I’m on antianxiety agent. Is there any connection?” And I remember the first time that I was asked this, I thought to myself, we have whole generations of women that are put on oral contraceptives, sorry, I’m going off on a tangent on oral contraceptives and we’re really not thinking about what’s the net impact of suppression of all their sex hormones so that they don’t get pregnant? I mean, I understand for many people that’s the desired end result, but at what expense? 

[00:30:45] And these hyper-processed foods, how it’s impacting healthy neurotransmitter production, what’s the net impact? And so I think it’s so common now, even women. Like, I’m a middle-aged woman, how many patients have come to me and they can’t sleep, they have terrible anxiety, terrible depression, and what they really need is progesterone, when they typically get prescribed as something to help them sleep, which I know that’s kind of allopathic medicine. It’s like we’re trying to find a solution to a problem. And I’m not being critical, I’m just saying that when these things kind of come up, it just really makes me think how disconnected we are as healthcare professionals in many instances to how lifestyle really net impacts our mental and emotional health. 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:31:24] Absolutely. And during my third year of medical school, during my OB/GYN rotation, the residents and attendings were basically heavily endorsing that we should be prescribing oral contraceptives to all girls because it could drastically reduce the incidence of ovarian cancer, if I remember correctly, as long as you’re not smoking, it’s a great thing, It’s super safe and it’s great. I’m the guy that got a D minus in OB/GYN, so I’m not the expert in Gynecology. Well, just naturally, as a human being, if you have the ability to think and reason, if you’re messing with your hormones, that’s a big deal. And I’ve spoken to other holistic gynecologists since and they’re saying “No, don’t get on this kind of stuff.” So, it could totally affect your mental health, anxiety levels and so on. So, yeah, I’ve been on a mission to try to encourage my female clients to maybe get off of these kinds of things, but they don’t want to, they’re scared, they’re scared so that’s that. 

[00:32:22] And going back to something else you said about nutrition and the Western allopathic system. I mean this in a very professional way, but I think you’re a lovely lady, you look great. I think I look pretty good, too. And we’re both like graduates of the Western system. But you notice that a lot of the Western graduates don’t look very healthy. They’re usually overweight. I actually believe that instead of these continuing medical education credits, like us taking these quizzes, however many you need to take, we should do a fitness test. If you’re going to be a doctor or healthcare professional of any sort, you should be healthy enough to advise other people on the health, test that, do 10 push-ups, be able to run a ten-minute mile, that’s not that hard to do, so that’s my rant on that, but no, there’re so many people who are super unhealthy and I look at them like, “Wow, I can’t believe that you actually have a running business right now,” people actually go to you for medical advice. It’s just bizarre.

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:33:17] Well, imagine one of the first hospitals I worked at as an NP. It was a leading Cardiology center for Baltimore. And I remember sitting at lunch one day and I looked outside and one of the cardiovascular surgeons was smoking in between cases. And I thought to myself, you know, if you’re telling your patients they need to stop smoking, but you yourself are continuing to smoke or yourself are not doing all the things that you’re encouraging your patients to do, get more rest, eat more vegetables, whatever it is, more water, drink less alcohol. We really do need to be the example because maybe it isn’t as challenging in your 20s and 30s, but I can assure everyone listening, the older you get, the more challenging it gets to remain as healthy as you once were and so it becomes even more fine tuning, what I got away with 15 years ago, I can’t get away with now, and I’m okay with that, I’m in a good place. 

[00:34:11] I would love to kind of talk about alcohol because I think in many ways this is one of these substances that is socially acceptable. But I can’t tell you how many people I’ve encountered in particular over the last 10 to 15 years that are fully functioning alcoholics. They may not realize it, but I do think that alcohol can be one of these drugs, substances that in many ways is socially acceptable that people may not– first of all realize that they have a problem, but also because it’s so accepted socially, people don’t even blink an eye if someone is inebriated at a party. And it’s like every time you see this person they’re inebriated or every time you see them, they’re fall down drunk. I’m curious what your thoughts are from your perspective. 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:34:56] Yeah, I believe that as it stands now, drugs like fentanyl and sufentanil and xylazine, these things may be the most deadliest, but as far as the most addicting, where people lose control over themselves to sustain a certain habit, I would say nicotine and alcohol by far the two most addictive substances we’re facing right now. And you’re absolutely right, because it’s socially acceptable. It’s really hard for the guys who had a drinking issue. And then they went through rehab, the detox and everything. And then now they come back home and the families are like, you’re expected to be normal now. Now you got to go take out the trash, you got to start doing this, you got to be a dad. And it’s like, “Yo, man, my brain has been on alcohol for the past 19 years. I’m still trying to adjust and trying to figure this life thing out.” And now people are just expecting your brain to just, “Oh, you’ve been to rehab and detox for a month, so now you should be back to baseline.” I don’t think that’s fair. I think people have to be more understanding and compassionate towards these people that are in recovery, because the detox is one thing, but the recovery process, especially in the beginning, can be really difficult.

[00:36:03] So that’s something that a lot of people go through in my practice. And I would say that this happens all the time too. A lot of people, they stopped drinking for a couple of months or so, and then they said, “Hey, you know what? I believe that I could start drinking responsibly again.” In my 18 plus years of doing addiction medicine, I would say maybe one person has been able to prove to herself and me that she can do that in a socially acceptable manner, every other person has failed now. We, of course, know that people don’t like being told what to do, so when I say, “Hey, man, listen, 18 plus years, there’s only one person that was able to prove me wrong on this.” They were like, “Well, I’m going to be the second one.” They all fail, end up going to a hospital, rehab, all this stuff again.

[00:36:41] So, yeah, it’s really really addicting. If I could come clean on something, I recently let go of the nicotine vape pen. I believed that that would be a less dangerous, safer form than the tobacco that I was smoking for many years. And when I did the nicotine vape pen, I came to realize shortly afterwards that that is exponentially more addicting because you’re smoking that nicotine all the time, it tastes good, you could do it inside, It doesn’t smell, so you could kind of get away with it indoors. And then when I finally let go of it, my God, I actually went to a couple of meetings, AA meetings, because I didn’t find no Nicotine Anonymous meetings. I went to AA and it was interesting because during the break, these people are like, “Hey, my name is Johnny and I’ve been sober for 50 plus years,” but they’re all going out afterwards smoking cigarettes, so it’s like, damn these two, it has the best of many many good people out there for sure. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:37:35] Yeah. I’m the adult child of an alcoholic, so I grew up– You know whatever your normal is your normal, but growing up with an alcoholic parent who I view compassionately. I talk about this parent occasionally on podcasts in a respectful way, but I can attest to the fact this is someone who had a successful job and very professional, but as soon as that person came home until they went to bed, they drank and it’s really been sad to kind of watch the trajectory of what has gone on. And I actually was reading about the trajectory of your decision to actually stop using nicotine and vaping, and I think I saw you talking about how you started getting really even more physically active, you were like climbing mountains, because now you’re looking for a distraction from that habit that was formed. 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:38:25] Yeah. And maybe this could be a good segue into psychedelics for the first time in a long time, because, honestly, Cynthia, I’ve been getting very burnt out of psychiatry doing the same thing over and over again. I make my living by helping a lot of my clients come off of psychiatric medications. Not just illicit ones, but psychiatric meds. People have been prescribed Zoloft at a certain time in their life. They were very anxious and depressed at that time. Their life situation is better, now they want to be off of it, they don’t know how to. So, I do a lot of that. I help people taper off the psych meds, which can be a lot more challenging than the heroin and other illegal drugs out there. So that’s kind of like how I’ve done my work. But more recently, I’ve been getting burnt out of doing the same thing over and over again.

[00:39:10] So, I’ve been introduced to ketamine by a friend of mine who’s a holistic psychiatrist out in Santa Barbara, California. And he said, look, if you’re getting burnt out, you got to start looking into ketamine treatment. And I’m like, “Dude, that’s the stuff that I used to snorts back in Twilo during my clubbing, raving days. You’re telling me that this is legit?” And he’s like, “Ah, dude like that’s–” What we’re doing now is at a different level than what we used to do when we’re partying, so I actually got trained by him. I actually flew out to California, got trained by him, ketamine therapy. And ketamine is a really interesting drug. It’s been around since the 70s. It’s actually a derivative of PCP, not to freak people out, but it’s super safe because it’s very short acting, it’s an anesthetic, it’s a dissociative anesthetic. If a child gets into some crazy motor vehicle accident and needs to be intubated and needs to be sedated, they’ll give them ketamine 300 to 500 mg.

[00:40:01] The dose that we use for the psychedelic antidepressant journeys for ketamine treatment is about a 10th of that, 50 mg, a fraction of what we give kids during surgery, so it’s super safe, short acting. It’s different from other analgesics like opioids and that it doesn’t suppress your breathing. In fact, when people OD from fentanyl, that’s how they die, they stop breathing. Fentanyl doesn’t do that and it’s very short acting, so you’re kind of in and out. 

[00:40:25] But ketamine, I would say from my experience of training in that I’ve seen certain things in my subconsciousness, because that’s one of the things that psychedelics do, they allow you to get a glimpse of what’s underneath there. You know like you saw that picture of that iceberg, the tip of the iceberg is your consciousness, underneath that 95% is your subconsciousness that dictates and governs your behavior. So, when I got to see that, I saw myself accepting a vape pen from some very evil, demonic looking-like figure and I had this awakening like, “Wow, evil has evolved.” You would think that evil is like some dude that’s red with a pointy horn and a tail and a black trench coat trying to do evil bad things in the world, but it’s evolved into this vape pen and getting me to kill myself by taking this. And it didn’t matter how much my family and my doctor friends were like, “Dude, you’re board-certified addiction psychiatrist, you got to let this shit go,” went in one ear, out the other. But once I saw that it had such a meaningful impact on me that I decided that I was never going to bow down to evil again. And yeah, that’s what got me to stop. So sometimes people have these psychedelic experiences, whether it’s on psilocybin or ketamine, you could have these profound psychedelic insights where it could get you to make instant changes for the better. That’s kind of how I finally was able to stop the vape pen.

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:41:43] That’s really interesting. And for me, my experience with ketamine, when my now 18-year-old son was 4, he fell and broke his arm pretty badly. And I remember the pediatric ER doctor said, we’re going to give him ketamine, but you probably don’t want to be here because he’s going to be a little bit out of it. And I remember I was there when they gave it and I was like, “Nope, I’m done, I’m leaving.” I’m glad to know that there are drugs that are evolving to a point where they provide so many benefits to patients. So, when someone needs to use ketamine, is it something that’s ongoing? Is it a onetime thing? I mean, how does that work? We’ll speak in generalities, do most people need more than one or two exposures to ketamine to get the benefits? If it’s like addiction or antidepressant therapy, how does that work? 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:42:33] Yeah, generally we recommend at our practice about three to six ketamine appointments, and it’s a two-hour appointment. So, the first hour is with me and I do the ketamine injection, and I’m holding space during the initial phase of the psychedelic experience. And then the second hour is with the therapist. And then during that hour, the person is more conscious to kind of explore what they’ve experienced and talk some of their feelings through. And ketamine, in a way, kind of acts like as a truth serum. People are just more open to just sharing how they really feel about certain things. So, it’s really cool in that way, I would say. So, generally we recommend six treatments for people who are financially struggling, we’ll say, okay, do at least three, but the way it’s supposed to go is the first week, second week, third week, four week weekly, and then the next two treatments every other week, and that’s kind of like the first course. And if people want to continue with it, I recommend do it maybe once a month. 

[00:43:26] I don’t believe that you have to suffer from severe depression to have a ketamine experience. Sometimes it’s good for people to have a different perspective on what– just maybe step out of their normal routine of consciousness and experience a different perspective. And that’s what I think ketamine is really good at allowing people to do. Another thing that’s very, very important about ketamine is that you of course know about the dopamine reward center. Now, there are some people who experience something called anhedonia, which is a fancy word for lacking pleasure and joy in things that used to give them joy and pleasure, such as like listening to music, going for a car ride, hanging out with their buddies and so on.

[00:44:04] There are some people who just have no emotions anymore, they just don’t feel joy, and the reason being, what we’re noticing is that there’s something in the brain called the habenula center, habenula, and it’s like this pea-size structure in the midbrain, and it’s responsible for holding on to a lot of dark, depressing, disappointing memories. And some people have such childhood, traumatic, disappointing memories that this habenula center is so overpowering that it has a grip on the dopamine reward center that it’s near impossible for people to just think positive and feel good about life. 

[00:44:39] So, when we did the ketamine treatment, ketamine has this unique ability to blot the habenula center and then the dopamine reward center can breathe again. And people, when we see like instant, within 30 minutes of people saying, “Oh, I feel better, oh my God, this is the best I’ve felt in a long time.” That’s the grip of the habenula finally letting go and the dopamine center able to breathe again. 

[00:45:01] So I know it’s really weird for me, Cynthia, to be advocating chemicals because I’m a holistic guy. I have a supplement line, so I like to promote naturopathic means. And I always say that if I could do it over again, I would have become a naturopathic doctor. I would never go back to the Western medicine system. But having said that, this is one of the few cool things that are coming out from Western medicine that I will say has made a huge impact on not only myself, but on my clients as well. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:45:25] Yeah, it’s really exciting. And obviously this is something that I have very little exposure to, but I have been hearing from colleagues that they themselves or their own patients have had profound changes. Now, you had a recent post on Instagram which I interacted with that I have the same prevailing feeling. I think one of your children brought something to you and I don’t know if it was a musician, but they had this mask and these kind of demonic properties to a lot of music that you’re seeing. And so how do we help our children or our teenagers make sense of imagery or things that they see or music that they hear that really celebrate evil or celebrate things that are not healthy for them?

[00:46:12] Because, again, our children, our teenagers, they’re still young people, and they’re so impressionable; obviously, monitoring what your kids are doing is certainly important, but that post and I encourage my listeners to go check out your Instagram account because it was very– and you can tell that you have this music background because it was really compelling, you were very drawn into what your children had brought you and you were talking about this prevailing sense of evil that kind of is targeted towards our youth. 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:46:38] I really appreciate you bringing that up and the kind of words behind that, because not too long ago, I brought that up to a group of my wife’s friends. I mean, my wife has her group of friends, and I was invited to the dinner party, and I just kind of brought it up. And people looked at me like, you really do believe that these artists and entertainers and some of these people in Hollywood are involved in the occult and stuff.

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:47:01] Low energy. 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:47:04] Yeah. It’s not like I want this. Like this sounds bizarre to me. It’s not like I want this but that’s what these people are into, so I’m just stating the obvious. And more and more normal people are seeing it too. And you look at any these artists like The Kid LAROI, The Weeknd, Doja Cat, I mean it’s just like blatantly in our faces. And Doja Cat recently had this promotion of her bloody statue in random parts throughout California and different parts of the states, so, yeah, it’s happening and my message was that we can’t just fully protect our kids from not watching these things. In fact, what happened was, my son who was watching chess videos and then the thing that was recommended was Halloween thing, but this Halloween thing was like super creepy even for me, I was like “What is this video?” 

[00:47:51] So for people yojimd is my social media account. If you want to check out the video that’s pinned on the top, that’s the one, it’s called the spiritual warfare. But yeah, that’s no joke. This is actually happening. And it’s like the cool thing amongst these kids because they’re being influenced by these artists that they look up to. So, I actually consulted with a bunch of these highly respected, namaste folks, people in the spiritual community, and they’re saying that this is a spiritual war that’s happening. And the more that people are exposed to this kind of nonsense, the lower our vibrations get along with them and the more we are accepting of this evil, demonic ass things because they’re trying to normalize this for some great agenda that we don’t need to get into here.

[00:48:32] So, what I did was I sat my kids down and I had an honest discussion with them. I said, look guys, I know this might sound really weird but some of these artists, in order for them to get really, really big, they have to be a part of a club. And part of the club means that they got to do all this weird demonic stuff, so the next time you see it, can you do me a favor and point it out to me? And then what my daughter, my sons, they’re doing is like, “Oh, dad look at this, look at Katy Perry’s video here, like they did this” and it’s like, “Oh, look at that album cover.” So, now we’re able to call it out and it doesn’t have that much of a subliminal power on us anymore because we recognize and we’re aware of it, so I know it’s very weird for me to even advise that to parents here, but it’s everywhere, so I’m asking you guys to check out the post and do your own research and you’ll see it. Once you see it, you cannot unsee all this weird demonic stuff that’s happening. And I think we should have a heart to heart with our kids so that they can make the best decision for themselves moving forward because we’re not going to be able to police it all the time. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:49:29] And I think that’s important, especially now that I have two teenagers and we have these open, honest discussions. And actually, I showed both of them your video and said, have you guys seen things like this? And one’s into country music, and the other one is really into rap, but he actually brought up the fact, he said, “Now I’m more cognizant and aware of it, I was kind of not paying attention to it, but now that you’ve called attention to it, I’m probably going to be much more conscientious.” And for anyone that’s listening, I think, when we talk about spiritualism and it’s not something I’ve really discussed much on the podcast, but it’s certainly something as a parent and as someone who is pretty attuned to what my kids are doing, it’s definitely on my radar. And I think when we talk about this low vibrational frequency, I mean, I think we’re really speaking of protecting your energy, protecting the energy of those you love, I’m not a Pollyanna, but I do think we have to be realistic and proactive with our kids and not just kind of sign off like, “My kid’s old enough now. I don’t need to worry about it.” Yes, you do. Just like my teenagers, even though they’re bigger than me and they think they know all, we’re still having those conversations. 

[00:50:38] Now, I would love for us to kind of wrap up the conversation today. You mentioned that you have some supplements that for you have been very efficacious with your own patients. I’m curious what they are. Obviously, I’m going to encourage listeners to go check out your content. Got an amazing website. What are some of your favorite supplements that you’re utilizing in your work or things that you think most of your patients need? 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:51:01] Yeah, that’s a good question. So, I’ve had problems or challenges with psychiatry for a very long time. If I could just share a little something, my third year of medical school was the only time in my existence that I didn’t want to exist. Now, I wasn’t going to kill myself, but I had those thoughts that I didn’t want to live anymore. And that’s a pretty dark place to be in. And it was during my surgery rotation some girl that I was in love with dumped me and the way she dumped me was really cheesy too, she ghosted me. You ever have that kind of a dump where they ghosted you? Didn’t even have the courtesy to give you a reason why they wanted to break up with you. So that happened, and it was in the midst of my surgery rotation, I had to get up at like 4 o’clock in the morning. I was barely eating, barely sleeping. I was just so depressed.

[00:51:45] And then the program director came up to me and she said, you are so depressing that you are like a black hole, you are making all the [Cynthia laughs] residents and attending and medical students depressed around you. And when someone doesn’t want to exist and you hear that, that doesn’t make you feel very good, trust me. So, then I said, okay, well, do you think maybe I should take a leave of absence, like for my mental health? And she said, no, I think you need to see a psychiatrist, she said. I went to see a psychiatrist and I told them all my problems, the girl situation and surgery and malnutrition, lack of sleep, all this stuff. And you know what he said? He said, I believe you need to take Paxil. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:52:22] Oh, no. 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:52:24] And I said, of all the antidepressants out there why? because I was like I wanted to be a psychiatrist at that point, so, I knew what Paxil was, it was antidepressant, SSRI medication. I said, why Paxil? And he said, well, because Paxil has a side effect of weight gain and because you’re so malnourished and you’re so skinny, this would be good for you. He didn’t want to talk to me about nutrition. He didn’t want to talk to you about sleep, exercise. He didn’t want to talk to you about grief from the loss of a loved one. So, this is the kind of stuff that happens in psychiatry all the time. So, I’ve been frustrated with medicine in general. And what happened was I started looking into these medications. So, let’s just say it’s Zoloft, Prozac, these are very common antidepressants, they artificially raise the level of serotonin in your system. 

[00:53:08] There’s not an ounce or a single molecule of serotonin in Zoloft or Prozac, but with whatever’s inside, it artificially slows down the breakdown of it, which helps accumulate the actions of serotonin. So, I started thinking where does serotonin come from? Well, serotonin comes from tryptophan an amino acid that could be found in turkey, pumpkin seeds, avocados, bananas, and some of these beans and nuts and health foods. And I realized that most of my clients who are struggling with depression, anxiety, so on, they don’t eat very clean. And I don’t like to use the word diet. They’re not eating smart, wants to eat dumb. So, I said, “Hey, how about you eat smarter?” And they said, “Oh, yeah, you know what I will do that.” So, I list the names of the foods like, “Hey, you should eat more of like these pumpkin seeds and turkey and eggs and beans and nuts, avocados, bananas.” They don’t do it. 

[00:54:00] For whatever reason in my practice, maybe it’s different with yours, exercise and diet is like kryptonite to most of these people. So, I had this idea like, okay, how could I make this super simple for you to get these essential nutrients in so that your body could produce dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, endorphins, these positive neurotransmitters efficiently? How could I get you to comply? And that’s how I came up with the idea of mental wellness supplement company called Beyond Recovery. And our flagship product is something called Mental Wellness. It’s like a multivitamin for the mind, one scoop a day. It has all the ingredients that I recommend for my clients including the right B complexes, the magnesium, tryptophan, tyrosine and DLPA and magnesium and so on, and other herbs that synergistically work together to help raise your serotonin, dopamine, and endorphin levels.

[00:54:53] So that’s in a nutshell, like how I came up with the idea and the people who have been– I initially started prescribing these supplements individually, and then they were all complaining that didn’t want to buy eight bottles at once, it was too difficult to carry around, so that’s how I came up the idea of like, why don’t I just mix all this stuff together? Just very simple idea. So that’s kind of how the idea was born. And that’s what I recommend for every single one of my clients as a mental wellness multivitamin to start today. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:55:19] I love that. And one thing we really didn’t touch on, but is something that I was very drawn to when I initially heard your story, was your trajectory from parental expectations to getting into medical school, to leaving medical school, to becoming this whole journey, which I think in so many ways, maybe at the time, all of those decisions maybe didn’t make sense. But now, retrospectively, I’m sure it makes sense, because it’s made you a very unique provider and someone that has all this life experience that you bring to the work that you’re doing with your patients, and for that, I’m so very grateful. And when I was preparing for this interview, I was laughing to myself and saying, I could do two or three interviews with you, so I hope that you will consider coming back so that we could have more conversations, because there’re so many different directions we could have gone in, but I really bonded over the whole conversations about both training and [unintelligible 00:56:12] where crime and drug abuse are just kind of proliferative. 

[00:56:17] Please let my listeners know how to connect with you on social media, how to get access to your website if they’d like to work with you. You’re also on the East Coast, which makes it easy, and get access to your supplement line that you were talking about. 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:56:29] Yeah, Instagram is my main channel, so it’s @yojimd, Y-O-J-I-M-D. And the mental wellness supplement line is beyondrecovery.com. Just the way it sounds, beyondrecovery.com. And, Cynthia, I really enjoyed hanging out with you and your lovely audience here. You have such a calming energy, I got to tell you. So namaste. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:56:51] Thank you. 

Dr. Joseph Yi: [00:56:52] I’d be honored to come back on your show. The only issue is that you’re so popular that this month interview was scheduled, like, six, seven months before. For the people listening, she’s like, do you want to do an interview? I said I’d love to. All right, well, here’s the October, November schedule. This is like in February or March, [unintelligible 00:57:09], you are way too popular right now. So, yes, whenever you want to have me back, I’d love to. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:57:13] Awesome. I would love that. 

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