Dr Michael Turner

Harnessing the Power of Integrative Medicine with Dr. Michael Turner - episode 232 The Art of Living Proactively (Harnessing the Power of Your Choices)

In this episode of “The Art of Living Proactively,” host Tony Winyard engages in a thought-provoking conversation with Dr. Michael Turner about achieving optimal health through personalized approaches. Dr. Turner emphasizes the power of choices and leaving a positive impact on others. He encourages listeners to live proactively and take small steps every day towards better health, emphasizing the importance of self-assessment and honest introspection. From discussing the complexities of the human heart to advocating for holistic approaches in healthcare, Dr. Turner shares valuable insights and practical tips for achieving optimal health. The episode also delves into common health concerns, such as chronic fatigue, immune system strengthening, and mental health management. Driven by a desire for excellence and a passion for helping patients, Dr. Turner’s expertise and holistic approach make this episode a must-listen for anyone seeking to live a proactive and healthy lifestyle.

Leaving a Positive Legacy:

Dr. Turner emphasises the importance of leaving a positive legacy and inspiring others. He reminds us that “The Art of Living Proactively” is all about making conscious choices to improve our health and overall well-being. By taking small proactive steps every day, we can enhance our lives and create a ripple effect of positive change.

The Power of Choice:

Dr. Turner encourages us to be patient and understand that positive change takes time. He shares inspiring stories of individuals who have achieved remarkable feats such as significant weight loss, running marathons, and surpassing their fitness goals. These anecdotes serve as a reminder that with determination and perseverance, anything is possible.

Avoiding Unhealthy Comparisons:

Michael advises against comparing ourselves to others or to a younger version of ourselves. Instead, Dr. Turner underscores the importance of being the best version of ourselves in the present moment. By focusing on our own progress and celebrating small victories, we can stay motivated and continue moving forward.

Living Proactively:

Dr. Turner introduces the concept of living proactively and highlights the significance of assessing our current state in all dimensions of health. He likens this process to the initial step in 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, where individuals admit their powerlessness and acknowledge their problem. By honestly reflecting on our barriers and patterns that contribute to less than optimal health, we can make positive changes.

The Kaizen Approach:

Our guest introduces the Japanese concept of kaizen, which means working on the process and seeing where it leads. Dr. Turner emphasises the importance of consistency and continuous improvement. By refining and iterating on our health and wellness practices, we can gradually achieve greater heights over time.

The Dual Streams of Health:

Dr. Turner delves into the two different streams of thought surrounding health in the United States. On one hand, there is a strong naturalistic side that focuses on health and wellness, organic farming, and innovations in the fitness industry. On the other hand, there is a mass-market health concept that prioritises efficiency and convenience, often leading to fast food and prepared meals. Our guest criticises the prevalence of fast food and the lack of emphasis on health, and highlights the need for balance and long-term solutions.

Taking Time for Self-Care:

Dr. Turner acknowledges the legitimate mental health concerns faced by many individuals today. However, he encourages us to address the root causes of our problems instead of seeking quick fixes. By adopting healthier lifestyle habits and taking time for self-care, we can alleviate stress and anxiety, leading to a stronger foundation for optimal health.

The Heart: An Amazing Servant:

Our guest marvels at the complexity and resilience of the human heart. Dr. Turner explains that the heart has been faithfully serving us since day 28 of life, constantly beating without us having to worry about it. He describes the intricate electrical discharge and patterns within the heart, highlighting its role as a self-generated battery. The speaker poses the question: are we taking care of this remarkable servant and life-sustaining organ?

Holistic Medicine and Preventive Measures:

Dr. Turner, with a specialisation in musculoskeletal system and sports medicine, believes in holistic medicine and integrating non-traditional approaches beyond medication and surgery. He emphasizes the importance of preventive measures such as regular screenings and lifestyle changes like incorporating nutritious smoothies and practicing intermittent fasting. By focusing on holistic well-being, we can optimize our health for the long run.

Breaking the Pain Avoidance Cycle:

Our guest discusses the pain avoidance cycle, particularly in the context of musculoskeletal health. Using the example of back pain, Dr. Turner highlights that avoiding activity due to pain leads to a weaker and stiffer back, resulting in increased pain and further avoidance. He emphasises the need to strengthen the back, regardless of whether surgery is required or not. By taking small steps like physical therapy and home exercises, we can initiate an upward spiral of increased activity, strength, flexibility, and reduced pain.

Wrapping Up and Beyond:

As we conclude this episode, Dr. Michael Turner reminds us of the importance of addressing our health proactively. He emphasizes the need for continuous improvement and the value of personalised approaches in achieving optimal health. By taking charge of our choices and making positive changes every day, we can unlock a beautiful destiny of holistic well-being.

Remember to tune in to future episodes of “The Art of Living Proactively” as we continue to explore the power of choice and living our best lives. Until then, stay proactive, stay inspired, and be the change you wish to see in the world.


[00:01:46] No pressure, desire for excellence drives me.
[00:04:29] The heart: our faithful, life-sustaining companion.
[00:07:13] Holistic approach to patient care and lifestyle.
[00:11:57] Proactive living requires honest assessment and small steps.
[00:14:59] There are two parallel thoughts in the US
[00:19:35] Breaking the pain avoidance cycle for back pain.
[00:23:26] Overreliance on technology can hinder patient care. 
[00:31:32] Common threads: lack of energy
[00:34:35] Unbroken: A powerful, incredible true life story.
[00:38:47] “Profound quote on taking action and self-identity.”
[00:42:04] Be patient, compare less, be proactive.

Guest Bio:

Dr Michael Turner grew up with a strong desire to do his best, instilled in him by his mother. She believed that giving his best effort was essential, whether it resulted in a passing grade or excelling in a difficult class. This mindset motivated him to strive for excellence and work hard in everything he pursued.

At a young age, while playing baseball, Dr Turner received a comment from his coach that stuck with him. The coach recognised his potential but urged him to work harder to achieve greatness. This comment deeply affected him, as he refused to be someone who could have achieved greatness but fell short due to lack of effort.

Reflecting back, Dr Turner considers this event as a turning point in his life, prompting him to give his all and be the best version of himself. Since then, he has dedicated himself to continuously striving for excellence and making the most of his abilities.

Today, Dr Michael Turner is a renowned professional in his field, embodying the values of hard work, determination, and personal growth. Through his experiences and unwavering commitment to being the best, he has become an inspiration for others to unleash their full potential.

Watch this episode on YouTube

Favourite Quote

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”

Related episode:

232 – Dr. Michael Turner


Welcome to another edition of the art of living proactively. My guest this week is Dr. Michael Turner. A graduate of Stanford, Harvard, and the Mayo clinic. And he’s been practicing integrative medicine for the past four or five years. And we discuss his journey into health and medicine. Um, what got him interested in that in the first place?

And he realized he wanted to go into a real sort of patient-centered medical fields. We’ll be we discuss around that. What is integrative medicine what is pain avoidance and and the cycle around that. He talks about taking steps to improve your health with strengthening, medication when needed and mental readiness. And he also share thoughts on how medicine may change With ai, robotics and so on. So that’s all coming up this week’s episode with Dr Michael Turner. If you do like this episode please do share it with someone who you feel will really get some good value from it. And why not subscribe. Leave us a review, that would be really appreciated

[00:01:00] Tony Winyard: Welcome to another edition of the Art of Living Proactively. My guest today, Dr. Michael Turner, how are you, Michael?

[00:01:08] Dr Michael Turner: Thank you Tony. Glad to be here. It’s a pleasure.

[00:01:10] Tony Winyard: You are here for the second time and, we had a little, well, I had a bit of a technical issue. For some reason the recording didn’t store in the hard drive. Who knows how, you know, technology can be very strange sometimes, but I’m very grateful that your are back again, and it’s great to see you for a second time.

[00:01:27] Dr Michael Turner: Yes, thank you. Uh, I’m glad to make it work, you know, uh, second time’s a charm and I think we’re gonna be back in better than ever. So let’s see what happens.

[00:01:36] Tony Winyard: So, I mean, how to start off, I mean, you are, you are a graduate of Stanford, Harvard, and the Mayo Clinic. I mean, that’s a, that’s a pretty impressive CV there.

[00:01:46] Dr Michael Turner: Well, thank you. You know, I, I never felt pressure as I was growing up. I never felt like I had to do any of that. I just, Had a desire to do my best, and I had a strong inculcation of that on the part of my mom. You know, she said, you just need to do your best. If your best is getting, you know, a, a passing grade in this very difficult class, that’s fine.

But if you’re doing less than your best, I’m not accepting that, you know, as your parent, I can’t be proud of that. So I had a drive around excellence and, and doing my best, working hard being all that I could be. And interestingly enough, now that you mentioned Tony, makes me recall. I remember I played baseball growing up and one of the years I was playing baseball as a youth. I was probably about 10 or 11 years old. I remember a comment the coach made towards the end of the season. He kinda looked at me a little sideways. He’s like, you have a lot of potential. You could be really good if you just work harder, you know, and that, that just sat with me and it just nagged me.

It felt like a weight in my stomach. Like, oh no. Oh no. I refuse to be that person. Right? Like, I could have been something if I just worked harder. Oh no. He thinks I could be something, but I’m not, because I’m not putting out, oh no, I refuse to be that person. You know? So I, I think in retrospect, you know, these events shape you as you grow up and that was a powerful, uh, time and quote that sort of shook me into really trying to be all that I can be starting around age 11, 12, something like that.


[00:03:12] Tony Winyard: Was that 11 when he said that?

[00:03:14] Dr Michael Turner: yeah, yeah. Youth, youth, little league. Baseball. Mm-hmm.

[00:03:17] Tony Winyard: Oh, and so how, how old were you, when did you first start thinking about health? And that could be like a, a career for you. When, when would that first come about?

[00:03:26] Dr Michael Turner: Interesting. I would say that first came about, uh, when I was about 15 in here in the US what we would call high school my second year of high school. So we had a required health class that we took. In which we learned about different body systems, you know, the heart, the eyes, the musculoskeletal system.

And that was really eye-opening for me. Uh, it was very revelatory, very inspiring. It was as if you took the hood of the car and you lifted it up, and now you’re looking at all the parts of the engine, right? And before you’d just been an oblivious driver going from point A to point B. And now I’m, I’m learning about the insides and, and feeling really fascinated and quite frankly, blessed, you know, uh, like so.

We were given a great gift. We were given a great gift in our, in our three-dimensional body. I use the example of the heart because that’s particularly striking for me. You know, the heart is the first fully functional organ that comes together as the baby is developing, and it’s, you have a rudimentary heart at 28 days,

[00:04:27] Tony Winyard: Hmm.

[00:04:29] Dr Michael Turner: and if you think about it, that heart’s there, it’s beating faithfully, right?

And it’s, it’s the definition of life. If your heart ceases to beat for even a moment, You’re on the floor, you’re done. You know, and it’s been faithfully serving you since day 28 of your life. Love dub. Love dub in the background all day 24 7. And you don’t have to think about it, right? It’s not as if when you fall asleep, you have to worry, oh my gosh, is my heart gonna continue to be, you know, I gotta keep one eye open, make sure my heart’s going, cause I could die at any moment if it’s not.

No, it’s your faithful partner. It’s just in the background. Just doing this. All day, every day, you know, keeping you going and allowing, enabling every other act in your body, in your human experience. Right? And, and it’s complicated. You know, it’s got electrical discharge and patterns flowing back and forth.

It’s, it’s like its own self-generated battery. It has its own self-generated electrical discharge system and it’s actually has four different chambers that all have to beat in unison. It’s not just one pump, it’s four, and there’s a synchrony there. And if that synchrony goes wrong, for even a moment, you have cardiac arrest.

Right? So, so then that just raises the question, well, we’ve been given such an amazing servant, such a faithful and loyal and true life sustaining piece of tissue and organ here. Uh, are we doing anything to take care of it?

[00:05:47] Tony Winyard: Right.

[00:05:48] Dr Michael Turner: Are we abusing it? Are we strengthening it? You know, So, so similar thoughts started to creep up and I sort of had this sense of appreciation for my body essentially.

It really kicked in in that moment.

[00:06:01] Tony Winyard: So when you, when you left high school and you started studying that further education, so when did you start to really kind of decide on a niche that you wanted to kind of go deeper in?

[00:06:13] Dr Michael Turner: Yeah, well, it was a combination. It was a confluence of a few different factors. Um, On the one hand, I knew I wanted to do something that was interpersonal, very patient-centered, uh, human to human. I could never have been, for example, a pathologist who sits and looks at cells on a microscope, right? Nor even frankly, a surgeon who spends long time in the operating room with patient-centered anesthesia.

I knew I needed to be talking to people, you know, putting my hands on them, hugging them, crying with them, you know, interacting, mixing it up. So it had to be direct patient involvement. I knew that. Um,

[00:06:48] Tony Winyard: And what, why, why was that?

[00:06:51] Dr Michael Turner: J I guess just the feel, emotional satisfaction of it. You know, I didn’t feel satisfied to be under a microscope looking at a slide.

I felt satisfied to put a smile on someone’s face or to bring a sense of relief because we finally figured out what was wrong with them. You know, I guess the emotional feedback was, was much more potent,

[00:07:13] Tony Winyard: Okay.

[00:07:13] Dr Michael Turner: for me. Yeah. And everyone has their niche by no means am I denigrating, you know, surgeons or pathologists, you know, you have to know yourself, right?

And I’m no better intrinsically in my niche than anybody else’s, but it is, I do know myself, and I know that that’s what gets my motor going in the morning. I knew that was gonna be necessary. So I knew it had to be a direct patient care. Um, I knew that had to be something to do with. Musculoskeletal system and sports medicine, orthopedics, that whole genre.

I knew I was interested in that for personal reasons. I started exercising and I always played sport growing up. We talked about that a little bit, and so I wanted to bring those two worlds together. And then finally, I. I brought together the world of just holistic medicine or integrative medicine, you might say.

Right? So that is thinking broadly about how to help people beyond traditional western education of a medication or a surgery. Again, they have their role, but they’re limited. You know, it’s, it’s like, let’s take our eye out of the telescope and back up for a second and look at a broader field of view.

And so I always looked at it as my job is to bring the most efficacious. Most value added, most pragmatic, actionable plan to the patient. And it doesn’t matter if it means you need to go get a colonoscopy to make sure you don’t have colon cancer, cuz I have some concern. Or you need to start making smoothies every day and putting some, you know, baby spinach and blueberries in there.

It could be you’ve had a heart attack and you absolutely need to be on an aspirin to thin your blood and prevent future heart attacks. Or it could be you need to start doing intermittent fasting to, you know, create better insulin sensitivity and lower your blood sugar. In my mind, there was never any distinction, so I just started to pull together, uh, a lot of what I was doing personally from areas of health and wellness and supplements and lifestyle and exercise and things like that.

[00:09:02] Tony Winyard: How long have you been doing integrative medicine?

[00:09:04] Dr Michael Turner: Yeah, I’ve been doing integrative medicine solidly now for about five, four or five years. So when I first started in my career, after I finished at the Mayo Clinic, I was recruited to work in a neuroscience center in my local town in the hospital. Uh, and so I did neuroscience rehabilitation. So this was.

Non-surgical. It was focused around people with neurologic problems, helping them, you know, get back on their feet, rehab, move forward, quality of life, et cetera. And there was some pain management involved, and there was of course, orthopedic neurologic concerns and such. Uh, But there, there wasn’t anything exactly holistic or integrative, per se, in the job description.

I started to bring that in, though I would have discussions with patients and they would ask me questions, right? So I had a increasing sense of disease with the job, and just that I outgrew the job description. At some point I said, I need to go in business for myself. So like 2020 January, 2020 actually is when I, uh, launched Michael Turner md.com.

Went into business for myself. Now I’m bringing that full integrated medicine perspective to bear and

[00:10:13] Tony Winyard: one of the reasons I asked her how long is because I’m wondering how much of a change have you seen in people’s. Um, acceptance of integrative and holistic medicine, because I think there’s been a sort of a bit of a mind shift over the last few is it’s more, more accepted now. And what would you say?

[00:10:32] Dr Michael Turner: Yes, very much so. Very much so. Uh, and even worldwide, I would say I’ve traveled a bit. I’ve had the privilege to do that. I was in South America a lot over the last. A couple years, particularly in Columbia, and you know, you can walk down the streets in Colombia and find a juice bar. Uh, you can find, you know, essential oils, right?

Uh, you can find, you know, CrossFit functional training gyms, right? So there’s this sense of naturalistic, um, prevention, sort of owning your health, I guess, um, you know, getting off of medications. Those are some common streams of thought that are really moving forward, it seems in all over the world, frankly, patients, patients like it in the end.

They just do. I mean, even my own parents, they’re always asking me, is there anything else I could do besides starting a new medication? You know, what do you think about garlic extract? Or this or that, you know, mushrooms, you know, chromium, selenium, zinc, you know, fish oil. I mean, the questions are nonstop.

Uh, to try to get healthy, short of needing a medication or get off of a medication. I mean, it’s constant. My own parents ask me that, and so there’s a strong drive towards it.

[00:11:47] Tony Winyard: So what, I mean the title of this podcast is The Art of Living Proactively. What, what does that mean to you when that that title?

[00:11:57] Dr Michael Turner: It provokes some thoughts. I like the title, um, the Art of Living proactively. Well, when I think on the proactive side, I think about, first of all, you have to come to an honest assessment of where you’re at, right? Let’s say mentally, physically, spiritually, all dimensions of health. Where are you really at?

I think that’s the first step. Um, almost as in, you know, the 12 step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, they always start with. Admit that you’re powerless and you have a problem. Right? So some people who are starting on their journey of living proactively, I would say they have to start off with an honest inventory, some honest introspection of where they’re really at and why they’re there, right?

Um, because you’re not gonna be able to change effectively. You’re not gonna be too proactive if you can’t identify what your current barriers are and what your current patterns are and how you’ve arrived at your current state of less than optimal health, for example. So that’s, there’s that I think. Beyond that, there’s definitely making a plan. Um, and I would say it needs, there needs to be baby steps, you know, because psychologically you need to be encouraged with a lot of small victories, right? So people on their act, on their path force, proactive health, um, they may think in their mind, I need to lose 30 pounds, uh, and you know, I need to drop my blood pressure by 30 points or something like this. But if they start off trying to bite off more than they can chew, so to speak, with goals that are too grandiose and they’re not really focused on their process, if they fail, they’re likely to stop. You know, they’re gonna try to lose weight. And if they only lose 20 pounds, they’re gonna say, I didn’t meet my goal, and now I feel frustrated, and I’m downcast inside.

Right? So instead of that, I actually encourage people not to pursue fixed goals like that, but actually to work on your process. There’s a Japanese word, kaizen. You may be familiar with it. K A I Z E N. That’s the idea. We want a kaizen mind and approach, which means I just work on my process and I just see where that takes me.

You know, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. It’s that idea. So I just want you focused on going to bed on time, you know, doing a little bit of exercise tomorrow, you know, have a little bit of less sugar in your, your, your mix of food and let’s just see where your weight ends up. And then we’re gonna build, you know, a couple of these building blocks.

We’re gonna start to stack them up and we’re gonna just keep refining that process and iterating on that. And a year from now, you might have 10 parts of your health and wellness process that you never had, and it’s taking you to increasingly greater heights. So that, to me, your title calls that to mind.

So you have to define a proactive. Process. It’s ultimately gonna get you where you want to go.

[00:14:30] Tony Winyard: I wonder if in the states with the, I mean obviously I don’t live there and I just, I see it from a, from afar, so I dunno how it really is. But I see all the sort of misinformation and disinformation and how the pharmaceutical companies are just, everyone seems to be on tablets and they’re just selling ridiculous prices for the, uh, for their, for their tablets and whatever.

And I wonder if it’s in some ways harder to be. Proactive with your health in in the states.

[00:14:59] Dr Michael Turner: Hmm, could be. The States is interesting because we have two different parallel streams of thought and emphasis that are both there. You know, there is a very strong naturalistic side. An emphasis, you know, the whole, the, the fitness industry, all these new innovations typically come outta the United States, even California, to be very specific, you know, so health and wellness, Venice Beach stuff, way back, and Jack Le Lane and juicing, and, you know, all these concepts, you know, the, the latest and greatest thing, it’s, it’s usually coming, uh, from the states, by and large there, the thought leadership in that area. Um, and then, you know, you had like the, the naturalistic movement, the hippies and stuff in the sixties and seventies and all of that organic farming and like all of this stuff, right? So there’s a strong, strong element of that. At the same time as you have this mass market health concept or ill health concept that’s focused around, you know, Efficiency, typically, oh, you’re working hard, you know, you don’t have time to cook, go to McDonald’s, right?

So we have fast food, we have prepared foods, we have frozen foods, and then, you know, we have. You know, a, a proud advertising slogans like, open 24 hours, you know, and I go buy some of these fast food joints. And I was like, that makes me sick to my stomach. Like, what a public disservice. And you don’t have shame.

You’re open 24 hours so you can serve someone this fatty terrible hamburger and fries in the middle of the night. You know? I mean, that’s disgusting, you know? But that’s, uh, that, that sort of thing. So there’s this, uh, Overarching, I think drive towards, towards hustling and trying to be somebody and make, make it and efficiency and work and health gets sidelined.

And then of course Ill health creeps in and then you’re looking for a quick answer because you don’t wanna modify your underlying structure and patterns. There we have the medications and you know, the psychotherapy. It’s like if you just got outside and, you know, got some fresh air every morning and looked at a tree and took some deep breaths and thought about life and had some gratitude, maybe you wouldn’t be so stressed and anxious.

But instead you went, walked to your garage, jumped right in your car, sped down the highway, top speed, walk right inside the building and jump into your work. And then you’re looking for, you know, a psychologist at the end of the day to help you deal with your stress. And again, I’m not, you know, putting down people who have legitimate mental health concerns, but we have to look at the root causes of a lot of that.

So it’s both things are existing, uh, to your point. And I think on the convenience side, there’s a sense of people wanting an easy answer, not wanting to struggle, you know, maybe as much as in other countries or cultures, just, just fix my problem quickly, rather than, oh, there’s value in this struggle and working through it, you know?

[00:17:53] Tony Winyard: Yeah.

You talked about how important it is having working with patients and being able to, to, to really help people go on the right path or whatever. Is, are you working, I mean, how big is your practice?

Is it, do you have like health coaches working with you? Do you have other practitioners working with you? How, how do you work?

[00:18:16] Dr Michael Turner: Uh, so I see patients remotely for the most part. So Zoom calls just like this, or telephone calls one afternoon a week. I am in clinic. I have several other employees, but I don’t have other providers, so I don’t have associated health coaches or other providers. I could, I guess, if I really wanted to. I’ve always just wanted to keep things simple and streamlined and sort of not have to be the boss of a bunch of people.

That was never my goal, you know? Um, so yeah, that’s how we run it and, uh, it works out really well. And I, I have a particular emphasis as well towards education and, and trying to inspire people. So the blog posts or the podcasts and such, I really wanna move more and more into that realm. You know, organizing a wellness conference or retreat.

For example. Yeah.

[00:19:01] Tony Winyard: And is that from your teaching days that that comes from.

[00:19:05] Dr Michael Turner: Largely. Yes. Absolutely. I enjoy that. And the sense of just scaling up your impact, right? If I see a person for a half an hour and one-on-one, that’s fine, but if I spent half an hour writing a blog post that I put on SubStack and 10,000 people read it, what’s the better use of my time? Right? So, um, there’s that sense of just scaling up the message

[00:19:27] Tony Winyard: Hm.

[00:19:27] Dr Michael Turner: different ways.

[00:19:29] Tony Winyard: What the, the pain avoidance cycle. I know that’s something you talk about. Tell us more about that.

[00:19:35] Dr Michael Turner: Yeah, that pain avoidance cycle. Um, So the typical as regards their musculoskeletal health or pain typically would be the context. So someone comes in and says, oh doc, my back pain is terrible. Right? It’s just terrible. It’s achy all the time. Um, maybe they had an m r i, they might have said, the surgeon said, there’s nothing to do surgically for your back.

So they’re just sort of languishing. They might have done physical therapy a little bit, didn’t do much right. And they’re gonna tell me that their back hurts. And so they don’t feel like being too active. So they sit a lot, which means that their back gets weaker and stiffer, which means it hurts more when they try to do anything, which means they sit more, which means it gets weaker and stiffer.

Right? So now we’re in this death spiral, I’ll call it. We’re just looping around, we’re going down the drain, right? And uh, this is a so-called pain avoidance cycle. Uh, we have to spin that in exactly the opposite direction. We have to intervene and go upwards with this thing. And I know from my background in training that back strengthening is always a good idea.

There’s no two, there’s no such concept as your back is too strong, right? It’s an oxymoron. It’s like saying the foundation of a house is too strong. You know, there, there’s no such thing. So it’s always helpful to strengthen your back, whether you just had surgery, whether you’re trying to avoid surgery, you know, whatever.

So I know that eventually I have to get this person moving again and strengthening. So how do we do that? Um, the first part usually is to deal with that pain, right? So on the side of medications, I will have the person take some more aggressive pain medications upfront to at least get them comfortable at, say, for half an hour a day so they can reinitiate their physiotherapy or at least their home exercise regimen.

Right. Um, and then also I give them a mental talk about so-called safe pain cuz there’s safe pain and there’s unsafe pain, right? You’re an athlete, you understand safe pain is just that soreness you feel when you’re done with that workout. You know, uh, your calves are burning cuz you’ve been doing some v jumps or uphill sprints or something like that.

That’s safe pain, unsafe pain. Your stomach, you know, feels like it’s gonna explode in the middle of the night for no good reason or something like that. Right? You have sharp pain in your temple, uh, or something, right? So we have to try to have that little distinction and then, Which psychologically gets them thinking, I know it’s gonna hurt right now for a minute, but that’s all right.

That’s safe pain. I’m just putting my tissues through a little bit of stress and strain that they haven’t been accustomed to, but this is okay because they’re gonna remodel, they’ll get stronger, and I’m actually on my path to getting better. So mentally they’re ready to deal with a little bit discomfort.

We give them some pain medication, and then they start their upward spiral now, which is. I do more so I get stronger and more flexible. So I hurt less, so I can do more, and I get stronger and more flexible and I feel good about what’s all happening and we spiral them up. So that’d be the example.

[00:22:32] Tony Winyard: How, do you have any thoughts on how. Well, I guess specifically your practice, but also more generally, medicine might change in the next few years with what? With AI and all the sort of stuff that’s going on now.

[00:22:46] Dr Michael Turner: Yeah, there are a few ways that I can see it changing, not necessarily for the better. Um, but one, one thing I think would be good would be the personalization of medicine. And this gets actually a lot into the human genome project. This gets into the ability now to rapidly assess for different genetic variations through, you know, a skin swab or, or something like that.

So this personalized, genetic based medicine is a concept that’s already been rolled out, and it’ll come more and more to the forefront. And that’s a very good thing, for example, a given medication. Based on your genetic profile, you may need to avoid that altogether or need a higher or lower dose for it to be effective.

[00:23:25] Tony Winyard: all.

[00:23:26] Dr Michael Turner: But we, but Right. But we’d be great to know that ahead of time. Right? So that’s an example or a given genetic mutation means that you’re a very high risk for colon cancer. You need to start getting screened earlier than the typical person, right? Or breast cancer, for example. So, The idea of a patient knowing specific genetic markers and specific app, their specific applicability to health and wellness, and to your point, being proactive is very important, and that’s gonna just continue.

Um, I think there’s gonna be an emphasis more and more on imaging, you know, as technology progresses, of course, we’ve had wonderful things like CT scan, M R I, et cetera. There’s gonna be more emphasis on imaging and machines. That’s not always great because if it’s not coupled with actually talking to the person and you know, even a physical examination, you can start to go kind of far field.

So, For example, if I did an M R I of every person walking down the street, I’m gonna start seeing a lot of abnormalities. Let’s just say the case of back pain. This is a well-known example. I can take a hundred people who have no back pain. Tony, they’re not complaining of back. They think their back’s great.

And I take a picture of an M R I and I start to see all kinds of problems. Right. So if those people were subjected to routine screening by their mri, they’re gonna think, oh my gosh, I got a problem in my back. I need to go do something. You know, I didn’t know I had a problem. I thought I felt great. But the MRI shows an abnormality, right?

So the correlation between what you see on a picture and what actually produces symptoms is not a hundred percent by any means, which always therefore means you need to talk to the patient and think through this, you know, is this an incidental finding? Is it relevant? That’s the question. But when there’s an overreliance on technology, that discussion tends not to happen.

And the case would be, cancer is a good example. You can do PET scans and things that will show up like, you know, possible cancer sites, and then everybody’s in a tizzy and worried and getting biopsies and going here and there, and it’s really nothing in the end. Right. But, um, so there’s that, that just needs, you know, wisdom.

I, I would say, associated with it. Um, on the, on the other side, to your point, I think about ai. And robotics, for example, robotic surgery, there’ll be a point where. For routine appendix, you know, there really probably won’t even be a physician there. There might be someone to hold your hand and you know, put, put you under.

And then it’s almost like you press a button and the robot just starts doing a preformed set of activities. And maybe there’s one doctor in a back room overseeing 10 robots at the same time, who can press the stop button if something’s not looking right, you know? But just like you’ve seen the assembly lines of how cars get built, the robots know what to do and just grab and move.

These things are gonna be pre-programmed to make an incision, go round, fish this thing out, cut it, snippet, et cetera. Um, is that good or bad? I mean, I dunno, that’s a debate. Uh, probably be some efficiency and you know, there, um, but I think on the negative side, if you think about AI and healthcare, we’re in danger of losing the human connection. It’s becoming over relied on these technologies and ultimately I think that’s very, uh, alienating. It’s a little off-putting. Right, but I’m, I’m afraid that the growing newer generations won’t realize there’s a difference and their expectations will just be shaped, right. They’ll think they’ll, they’ll lose the idea of going to see a human being and having a doctor who actually knows you and cares about you in three-dimensional space that you can reach out and touch, and he’s like listening to your heart and doing, you know, very antiquated things like that because now I just, you know, ask the AI what’s wrong with me, and then I go to some place and get some scan or something, and there’s a human element.

That’s gonna be missing. And although that human element is imperfect, that human element is also satisfying and necessary, I think, for the soul of the person, right, to truly feel cared about and healthy. If we just submit ourselves to robots and ai, I don’t know how cherished, appreciated, understood, valued, you know, sympathize with et cetera, we’re, we’re really feeling, uh, in the end.

And so, It’s a bit of a more interpersonal world. I’ll just use example in the UK, this is more common than the US. My sister lives there, I might have mentioned it. She lives out near Cambridge. But anyway, I remember the first time I went to the UK and there to a little store, you know, to check out, buy some simple groceries, and there was no one to check you out.

It’s self-checkout a hundred percent. You grab a thing, you walk over here, you scan it. There’s one person here who’s a security guard. Just make sure you’re not a thief running off of stuff. But pretty much it’s just nothing but you and a bunch of machines, you know, check it out and it. I, you know, how did I feel about that shopping experience?

Not great. It felt like some new, faceless, soulless world of tech. You know, this is how I buy food. I grabbed the food over here and then I scanned this other machine and something, you know what I’m saying? Um, in the US that’s not as widespread. We still have actual people checking out for the most part.

But things like that, I think are the wave of the future, unfortunately.

[00:28:24] Tony Winyard: I wonder if there’s certain aspects of health I, I mean, maybe I’m being naive. I think there’s certain things that AI won’t. Not so much that it can’t replace, but people, it won’t be replaced because people do prefer the sort of human touch in certain areas. I, I just wonder, you know, well, I, I guess it depends on how far you look ahead.

There’s certain things I think are just, people will always prefer some elements of health dealing with another person rather than a machine. Yeah.

[00:28:56] Dr Michael Turner: Yeah, I agree. There’ll always be that need and that that, that preference there. I mean, being a healer will never go out of style in one way or the other as it’s defined different words. You could call it health coach, you can call it, you know, psychologists. I mean, there’s different avenues of that, but a.

That person you go to, to unburden yourself and be encouraged, inspired, and have your problem solved there, that will never go away. Um,

[00:29:25] Tony Winyard: Yeah. Tell us more about you. You touched upon your podcast. Tell us more about your podcast.

[00:29:31] Dr Michael Turner: sure. It’s called Manna, uh, Manna. You can find that on iTunes. Spotify. My intention there was to provide high quality health and wellness information from an integrated perspective. Which is fine and good, but there are still a lot of people doing that. Right. Um, but I, what I tried to make unique about it was what I call spiritual encouragement.

You know, that side of things, really paying attention to our soul, our spirit, our emotions. So integrative health and wellness, combined with a dose of spiritual encouragement is what I called it. You know, uh, that’s really what I tried to do. So we have different subjects that we talk about, and. I’d rather enjoy it, you know, very much I get excited about making a podcast episode or for example, I’ll put this episode out, you know, when we’re done recording and, uh, it’s great.

[00:30:18] Tony Winyard: So how long have you been doing it?

[00:30:21] Dr Michael Turner: Uh, not too long. I think our, I’m just getting started in the podcast realm really. So I, maybe six months, something like that. Six, eight months.

[00:30:28] Tony Winyard: Right. And is it pure, do you do it just more for the enjoyment or is it also, does it help your business in any way?

[00:30:38] Dr Michael Turner: It helps my business to a degree. Um, it’s mainly on the side right now of just education, inspiring, you know, putting my name out there and making connections with like-minded people. It’s not a big business generating income concept that any by any means right now, but, um, like what it is, even in its current state, you know, I get feedback.

Hey, Dr. Turner, I listened to your episode the other day. This is what I thought or encouraged me. You know, people I didn’t know had even listened to it. Right. Will get in touch with you and tell you something about it. So that’s a good feeling.

[00:31:12] Tony Winyard: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:31:13] Dr Michael Turner: Yeah.

[00:31:14] Tony Winyard: So going back to the, the integrative medicine holistic approach that you’ve got, do, I’m wondering sort of patients that come to you are, is there a common thread in, in as much as certain conditions, or I dunno, diseases that people have? Or is it pretty widespread?

[00:31:32] Dr Michael Turner: There are many common threads, actually. Good point, actually. Yeah, the, the human experience coalesces around several themes that I end up addressing in integrative health. So one of them would be lack of energy. Super common. People just say, I’m just tired. Uh, I feel like I have to drink caffeine to stay awake in the afternoon or have a cup of coffee to get going.

You know, I don’t have any energy to go to the gym at the end of the day or do projects at home. Something like that. Uh, or sometimes people have frankly been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, you know, for example, even. Um, and that is a complicated. Problem, but it can be solved. You know, it, it gets down to hormone levels many times.

It gets down to the quality of people’s sleep. It gets down to their diet, their exercise, or lack thereof, certain supplements and all of that. If we start, you know, addressing all of those realms, we can start to turn the energy, uh, problem around for people. So that’s, that’s very common. Um, I would say very common actually in, in, since the age of covid, a little bit more would be questions about people’s immune systems.

So they’ll say something like, I don’t want to get covid, or I don’t want to, you know, be getting this seasonal flu anymore. You know, how can I strengthen my immune system? Is there anything I can do to prevent this? Uh, and then there are questions of cancer prevention. So people say, I have a family history of X, Y, z, cancer.

Um, you know, what do I need to do to screen for that? Or how can I be proactive right? Towards, uh, not getting it? Which is interesting because your immune system and, and cancer prevention tie in, a lot of people don’t quite understand that. Your immune system is not just surveilling your body and detecting fungus, bacteria, et cetera, that don’t belong.

It’s actually surveilling, detecting incipient cancer cell production that doesn’t belong as well and destroying it. So I tell patients, a strong immune system is an anti-cancer immune system, and so therefore, thankfully there are steps that can be done to actually boost your immune system. It’s not, you know, uh, unknown knowledge.

There are. Integrated medicine, things that can be done starting tomorrow, that will boost your immune system. So that’d be another one. Another one I think would be, uh, mental health. So people might say, do you have any natural approaches to helping my anxiety? Um, I don’t wanna be on medication, or I wanna take less of my medication.

Um, Then sometimes there’s just cognitive health and people might say, you know, my parents came down with Alzheimer’s. I feel like I’m starting to forget things. I’m starting to slip a little bit mentally. I’m not as sharp at work. It got worse after I had Covid and you know, can you help me with that?

[00:34:06] Tony Winyard: Right.

[00:34:07] Dr Michael Turner: be something, right. Uh, and then there are some more traditional concepts of, you know, weight loss. Or you know, fitness performance, you know, I want to have a little more energy from my workouts or gain more strength or something like that. So those would be maybe my top six, seven

[00:34:27] Tony Winyard: Right.

[00:34:27] Dr Michael Turner: people come with.

[00:34:30] Tony Winyard: Is there a, does a book come to mind that’s really moved you for any reason?

[00:34:35] Dr Michael Turner: Yes, truly this is the most powerful moving book I have ever read outside of the Bible, and it’s called Unbroken. By Laura Hillenbrand Unbroken. It’s actually made into a movie. I would encourage people to read the book first. The movie is, is Subpar, uh, compared to the story that’s told in this book, and I won’t, you know, take too much time to go through the whole thing.

But in short, it’s the life story of a guy named Louis Zamperini, who, uh, was an Italian-American guy who grew up sort of poor in Southern California. Um, Decided to train seriously in running and qualify for the Olympics. And so he participated in Olympics that were in, uh, Nazi Germany, I think in the thirties, 36 Olympics, I believe. Um, he almost wins a medal. Um, and then he goes and fights in World War ii and he’s a bomber pilot, gets shot down in the Pacific, and he was the person who has survived longest in the open sea in a life raft. That was his claim to fame. So you have the story of him surviving in the open sea and then he gets captured as a P o W and then he’s hidden away in this camp and nobody even knows he’s alive.

Um, they tell his mom, officially, your son was lost over the Pacific. It’s over. You know, here’s the American flag. We’re so sorry. Our condolences right. Meanwhile, his mom refused to accept this. She says, I know he is alive. I can’t accept this. I know my son’s out there somewhere. Turns out she was right. He was in the, A hole in the ground, you know, in a Japanese island as a p o w.

Nobody knew that. Mom knew it somehow. I mean, it’s fascinating. So then, so then, then there’s the war ends. He comes back, but he has P T S D. He becomes an alcoholic. His marriage is falling apart. He doesn’t know how to get his feet underneath him. Then he has a come to Jesus moment and has a spiritual awakening after going to a tent, uh, revival service. And then in his new spiritual journey, he realizes he, he needs to forgive the guy who is torturing him in the Japanese p o w camp. And so he goes on a search to find this guy and to forgive him and to build a relationship with him. So now the, the final part of the story is that, and then it fast forward to the very end in the, uh, Olympics in Nagano, Japan, I believe in 96 or something like that.

He was a torch bearer. So now he was actually through his friendship with the Japanese government and people and making amends, he’s now carrying a torch as an invited guest in their Olympics game, bringing it full circle from when he participated in Hitler’s Olympics in the thirties. It’s a just incredible arc of a story with so many themes about overcoming perseverance, redemption, forgiveness, tragedy, hope.

I mean, it’s just. Amazing. And, and it’s so well written and it’s biographical and so I, I kind of love that, you know, it’s like truth is stranger than fiction. I, I don’t get too excited about fiction stories, but I get excited about the real life stories that, you know, it actually happened. You know, people actually went through this stuff, you know, so Amazing book, unbroken.

[00:37:37] Tony Winyard: It sounds like an amazing book and it’s, it’s a shame that such a powerful book, I mean, as you just described, it was not a great film cause that deserves to be a great film, doesn’t it?

[00:37:48] Dr Michael Turner: Truly, truly, I, I wonder what you think. If you end up reading the book, let me know. But it was spellbounding, I couldn’t put it down. Page one. I was reading it for three hours. It was one of those kind of books like, wow. Yeah.

[00:38:00] Tony Winyard: So, so Michael, if people wanna find out more about you, maybe if they want to work with you, they wanna find out more about your website, your podcast, social media, where, where would they Guy? go?

[00:38:08] Dr Michael Turner: Thank you. I think the easiest way would be my sub stack address, so it is d r Turner, https://drturner.substack.com/ and that is an integrated site where I have my wellness articles, I have my podcast, and also there’s a link out there to my proper website where people can get in touch if they wanna be a client.

So Dr. Turner dot sub stack.com.

[00:38:34] Tony Winyard: And I know obviously all those links will be in, in the show notes below as well, so you can, you can check them out there. And just before we finish, Michael, do you have a, is there quote that comes to mind that really resonates with you for any reason?

[00:38:47] Dr Michael Turner: Thanks for asking. Tony. There is, there are. I have a rotating, I guess, mental, uh, Window of quotes kind of going through my mind at different times. But this one has resonated in times past and I think perhaps one of the most profound. So, um, it’s a derivation of a quote that goes to Rabbi Hillel, h i l l e l, who was a rabbi in Europe, I think in Spain in, uh, the Middle Ages or, or maybe no, was like maybe at 14, 15 hundreds.

Um, but there are four parts of this quote that are very profound, and the quote goes, if not me, who, if not now, when? If I am not for me, who will be? If I am for me only, who am I? And each part, each stanza there has a different profound impact, right? If not me, who, in other words, change begins with me, right? Be the change you wanna see in the world. You know, um, oh, I’ve wanted to do such and such. Well, if not now, when get start now, you know, don’t, don’t, don’t prolong, you know, be, be this change in the world and start now and then if I am not for me, who will be?

In other words, you need to become your best advocate. You need to, uh, to, to push yourself forward. You need to believe in yourself, self-confidence, that kind of thing. Right? But if I am for me only, who am I?

[00:40:17] Tony Winyard: Hmm.

[00:40:18] Dr Michael Turner: If, if I’m living just a self-absorbed life where it’s about promoting self and my ego and becoming the biggest, grandiose version of, you know, everything self-interested, who am I in the final analysis?

I need to have enough confidence to believe in myself, but it needs to be not about myself. At the end of the day, it needs to be about leaving a world a better place than you found it, et cetera. So that’s, that’s my power quote.

[00:40:39] Tony Winyard: It is powerful, isn’t it?

[00:40:41] Dr Michael Turner: Yeah,

[00:40:41] Tony Winyard: When do you remember how old you were when you first came across that?

[00:40:47] Dr Michael Turner: Adult life, maybe three or four years ago, you know, not a long time ago.

[00:40:51] Tony Winyard: Was it something that as soon as you saw it, it just hit you? Did it like have immediate impact or did it need to take a while to sink in when it really meant?

[00:41:01] Dr Michael Turner: No, it had some pretty immediate impact. I was doing some thought at the time about subconscious mind, positive attitude, you know, priming your mind for just. Success, you know, broadly defined interpersonally in service to your community, et cetera. So I was looking for quotes and I have a little habit. I write them up on a note card and I stick ’em on my bathroom mirror.

I literally tape them on my bathroom mirror and I’ve always got four or five at any given time. So I’m brushing my teeth, wash my face in the morning. I’m looking, these quotes, getting ’em in my mind. And I knew that that’s important cuz it primes my mind to be approached my day in a certain way. And anyway, I came across it, it, it hit pretty immediately.

Um, And, uh, it just seemed to encompass that sense of action, that sense of drive, that sense of confidence and that sense of service that I wanted for myself, you know?

[00:41:54] Tony Winyard: Well, before we finish, Michael, is there anything you’d like to leave, uh, the audience we have anything, any last sort of comments or thoughts or anything?

[00:42:04] Dr Michael Turner: Yes, definitely. I always like to leave on a note of inspiration, you know, positivity for people. Let’s just say as regards your health and wellness. You know, your show is the art of living proactively. Um, no matter where you’re at with your health and wellness, if you’re not quite where you wanna be, you know, it’s okay.

Just be patient with yourself. First of all, things can turn around. I see this all the time. I mean, I’ve seen patients who have lost tons of weight and started running competitively, you know, and completed a half marathon, right? Or people who have climbed a mountain and done different things, so, It’s easy to compare ourselves to people sometimes or compare ourselves to our younger self and get down on ourselves.

But as regards health and wellness, it’s not really about anybody else, and it’s not about your youngest. Or a younger version of you. It’s about being the best you that you can be now, you know, and there’s some acceptance that goes with that. But then there’s also a healthy dose of encouragement that goes with that because you might be just surprise yourself how healthy you could be if you took some small proactive steps every day and worked that process, you know?

And there’s a beautiful destiny waiting for you on the other side, which is to say your optimal state of health, you know, feels good. And uh, I’m sure you can, you know, attest to that Tony.

[00:43:12] Tony Winyard: Well, it’s, um, I, I said at the start of the, just before we started recording, that my experience is often when, for whatever reason we have to record in the second time, it often proves to be better. And, and that’s continued again cuz I think this was a, a better episode than the one we would’ve put out if it hadn’t been for technology going wrong.

So, so thank you. Thank you very much.

[00:43:35] Dr Michael Turner: Oh, you’re welcome. It was a pleasure. There’s a reason for everything, so thank you for having me on Tony, and, uh, I’ll look forward to staying in touch. You know, it’s, I enjoyed it.

Next week episode 233 with Sheila Carroll, M D. And she’s a board certified pediatrician and obesity medicine physician. As well as a certified life and weight coach. She’s a mum. And she has a message that all parents need to hear and believe so they can hardwire the habits for health, into their kids.

So we talk about things like what parents can do to help kids who struggle with their weight. Why is it important to focus on health more than just a weight? Why are so many people struggling with weight and health in society nowadays? And she talks about why parents are the best people to actually help their children more so than, than doctors. So that’s next week episode 233 with Sheila Carroll. If you enjoyed this week’s episode please do share the podcast with someone who gets some value from this. Subscribe, leave a review. All of those sorts of things would be hugely appreciated and i hope you have a fantastic week