Welcome to Episode #21 of the Healing Pain Podcast, with Dr. Sam Shay!
Today we are joined by Dr. Sam Shay, acupuncturist, chiropractor, functional neurologist, Fitgenes Practitioner, and author. Since the age of 6, stemming from his parents extremely stressful divorce, Dr. Sam Shay struggled with a whole host of chronic health issues, most easily categorized as severe adrenal fatigue, including severe insomnia, digestion problems, severe fatigue, inability to cope with stress, sugar cravings, salt cravings, low moods, and requiring coffee each morning (at age 6)! Dr. Sam Shay’s outlet to stress was developing a strong addiction to sugar and video games. Whenever he wasn’t studying, he would play for hours and hours and feed on sugar. Dr. Sam Shay overcame his 15+ years addiction to sugar and later his 25+ year video game addiction and now coaches individuals how reduce and eliminate excessive video gaming, sugar, and other addictions. To get Dr. Sam Shay’s free worksheet on how to “TAME the BEAST of Addiction”, go to www.TameTheBeastOfAddiction.com. Dr. Sam Shay also helps those that suffer with Adrenal Fatigue and related stress disorders. Adrenal fatigue is also related to addictions because hypocortisolism (low cortisol) is related to addictive behavior. You can get Dr. Sam Shay’s free ebook “Ending Adrenal Fatigue: Easy Breakfast guide”, where you’ll learn the best breakfasts to help end adrenal fatigue and about the 10 key pillars of health necessary to reverse adrenal fatigue. Get your free download of at “Ending Adrenal Fatigue: Easy Breakfast guide” at www.DrSamShay.com.
In This Episode With Dr. Sam Shay, You Will Learn:
- The impact of sugar and video game addiction in children.
- The science of addiction.
- How would someone know they are an addict vs. someone who is a ‘heavy user” or a ‘binge user.”
- What is unique about sugar addiction and video game addiction in today’s world compared to other addictions?
- What the biggest mistakes people make when trying to heal their addiction.
- Parents who want to help their children game less so they (the children) can study more, sleep more, and engage more.
- Spouses, partners, and family of problem gamers to provide the best support to help their loved ones.
Welcome to the Healing Pain Podcast, I am your host, Dr. Joe Tatta. It’s great to be here with you for another week. On the podcast this week I have Dr. Sam Shay who’s a Functional Medicine Practitioner. Dr Shay healed himself of two additions, both sugar and a video game addiction when he was a young child. He now has people flourished out of their addiction using a five phase mile of addiction that is simple and straight forward. He has a book on addiction which will be released within the next few months.
In the meantime, he has two great free eBooks you can check out. One is “Ending Adrenal Fatigue,” and the other is called, “Seven Ways to Gain Less: How to Unplug and Live More.” Dr. Sam Shay, welcome to the Healing Pain Podcast, it’s great to have you here this week.
Thanks for having me Dr. Tatta, it’s great to be here.
Tell us, how did you get started, I guess first in alternative medicine but also how did you get started in addiction therapy?
I got started with addiction basically dealing with my own two addictions. It was sugar and video games. Those started actually when I was six years old when my parents went through a very bad divorce. In fact, it was so bad that one of my sisters ended up in the hospital with a bleeding stress ulcer. Me and my sisters, we all dealt with the stress of the divorce in our different ways. For me, I ended up with one hand in the bag of Kit-Kats, Hershey’s, breakfast cereals, Honeycomb, Skittles, M&M’s, et cetera and the other hand on the remote controller or a game controller.
I used sugar and video games to escape, to get out of the stressful thought patterns that were swimming through my head as a six year old. On top of that, I was bullied at school, both physically and verbally for over a decade. When puberty hit and I had all that awkwardness about trying to understand the opposite sex, every time that I was dealing with a new stressor, remembered an old stressor or was projecting into the future of a future stressor, sugar and video games were my go to crutch to cope with what was going on inside me. That went through for many years. Sugar was about 15 years and video games was over 25. Even when going through doctorate school and what not, I was still playing video games just to cope with the stress of going through seven to seven, each day for however many years.
What I realized was when I started talking and treating patients and talking to other addicts of other things, whether it was smoking or other substances, whether it was work, whether it was other types of food, even gambling or people dealing with things you wouldn’t consider to be addictive but even people who were addicted to meditating. That may sound odd for some people to hear but truly anything can be a vice and that’s only determined on how you use it.
Also, the culture in which you’re in. Whether something is recognized as a vice or something that’s considered as helpful. Like in workaholism in certain is respected and in other countries it’s frowned on. If you smoke, like in France, it’s normal. If you smoke in certain places in the U.S. or New Zealand you’re like sneered at.
A lot of vices are very closely specific in terms of recognized. That’s actually where video games is right now. Video games actually has the status that smoke had a hundred years ago. Where it’s so widely used and seemingly “benign” in air quotes that it’s effectively almost invisible. Now, there are people like me who are stirring up concerns just like there were people back in the day about smoking but really the cultural inertia is that video games is not a true addiction.
What I did was that I applied the same principals and actually formalized them and made a framework on how to treat addictions and I realized that the same framework applies to all addictions, whether it’s a sugar, video games, gambling, porn, social media, substances, work or otherwise. I basically used my multi decade experience of being an addict myself and then combined it with all the clinical work and now want to help other addicts because I know what it’s like to destroy not only myself but the people and the environment around me.
Yeah. So I’m going to play devil’s advocate right from the start which I very rarely ever do but Halloween just passed the United States of America not too long ago which is a day that’s basically filled with, not only fun but a lot of candy and sugar. If there’s a parent listening to this, they’re saying, “Well, kids eat sugar, that’s what they do. They have high metabolism’s, they have a big appetite and they eat sugar.” SO, my question would be, how do we know if a kid is actually addicted to sugar versus just kind of binging or using it, so to speak?
A couple of things on sugar. One is that if we go back to hunter, gatherer times, sugar was very relatively rare. And by relatively rare, I’m talking like a honeycomb they found, fruit, very few places on the planet had fruit around all year round. Very few, and these were highly contested areas or so isolated on a tropical island that no one really knew about them. The fruit was really only in season a couple times a year for maybe a couple days to a couple weeks, on average. Sugar, in its real dense form in the natural world was very rare. When we found sugar as hunter, gatherers, whole groups of people would run towards the bee hive. It was an event and we would gorge on sugar and so there’s a couple of key points in that.
The people, kids going crazy or frankly adults going crazy around sugar. My conjecture is that, that’s actually hard wired to go a little nuts around sugar. You’ve got so many days to eat the giant bushel of berries before the bears and the other tribes or other people from your own tribe are going to come. So, you’re supposed to go a little bonkers and stuff yourself stupid because you had to eat quickly because the berries or going to go bad or someone’s going to steal them before you.
I think that sugar, specifically fruit sugar like fructose but then all the other analogs of sugar because it rides on those similar pathways, you have no genetic offense against it. This is one level on top of it, the other complication is that sugar is associated culturally, pretty much around the world, it’s associated with love. It’s associated with celebration. Grandma doesn’t come to your birthday bringing asparagus. Maybe there’s some paleo enthusiast grandma’s now days that do that. They bring cake. They bring sugar. Sugar is associated with love and so we now have emotional element that is yoked to sugar and not just the paleolithic but the emotional aspect to it.
Now, we’ve got the holidays attached to it and now there’s an additional cultural layer on top of it where you’re supposed to and if you don’t, you’re not celebrating and you’re a party pooper or whatever. Then, you add on top of that, people who generally dysglycemic because the rest of their diet is terrible and they just go through these sugar crashes.
Going back to breakfast, for example. My first ebook was on breakfast and one of the realizations I had in analyzing breakfast cereals; all the one’s that I grew up with; if you just cover up the fact that it’s a breakfast cereal and just look at the ingredients and you compare the ingredients for breakfast cereal next to say a desert packet, they’re almost indistinguishable.
So, when people gorge on sugar, maybe it’s their blood sugar is so screwed up that it’s just their way of just trying to stay level. Now, let’s talk about a genuine addiction aspect of it. How do you know something’s an addiction? The best way to describe the word addiction, because it’s a hotly contested word cause we think of it as people shivering in the corner with needles in their arms, vomiting in a bucket.
There’s two authors out of the U.K. and I’m so embarrassed, I can’t remember their names but the book is call, “It’s Not Okay to be a Cannibal” Now you replace the word addict with cannibal and you’ll now get a real understanding of what an addict really is. An addict cannibalizes themselves, their environment, the people around them in the name of their vice.
So, how do you know if someone is addicted? That it is destructive to themselves and others around them. That is the way you know you’re dealing … Now, there’s formalized signs, they have higher levels of tolerance, so they need more stimulation, they have withdrawal symptoms, they have deceptive behavior, that’s a key one. They’re using it to emotionally cope, they’re continuing despite consequences, they’ve missed out on opportunities. There’s about nine major criteria. You have to dissect out all those specific nuances, particularly around sugar, to really understand if someone’s addicted, particularly children. If you go back to are they cannibalizing themselves and others?
For example, I have a patient of mine whose son will literally rip apart everything in the kitchen like pull out all of the pots and pans, go through grab, make a makeshift hammer and try to bash into the cupboard. That’s a very extreme example. A less extreme example is you take the sugar away and the kid throws a massive temper tantrum; banging their head on the wall, being destructive, moping; and it lasts for days. Then they begin to emotionally manipulate you as a parent because they want their sugar. You have to really think, are they being destructive to understand, are they addicted or not? So that was a very long answer to a short question but sugar is uniquely convoluted. Video games are convoluted for a completely different reason. Each vice actually has their own set of convolution, whatever the word is.
In your response, I think it brought up another interesting point and a question that I want to ask you. Based on the average American diet or the Western diet, shall we say, you mentioned dysglycemia which is a fancy way of saying blood sugar regulation problems. What percent of kids would you say, between the ages of five and 18, let’s say, struggle with this?
What percentage? What percentage isn’t? Is a more accurate question. The reality is, is that kid’s systems are so responsive to sugar; it basically gets their brain like cocaine or heroin. There’s even studies out there that sugar’s more addictive than heroin. The problem is, is that the brain is developing so rapidly and is so fragile, in a sense, at a young age that one hit of sugar can rapidly change … How geeky can I get on the podcast?
No, please geek away.
Okay. Geek Out. All right. We’ve got these things in our brains called dopamine receptors. Dr. Ken Blum was the original researcher who published and co-authored an article called, “Reward Deficiency Syndrome” I believe it was in 1990 was the original paper. Somewhere plus or minus 22 years. Forgive me Dr. Blum, if you’re listening to this.
I actually had the privilege of chatting with Dr. Blum for about an hour on the phone. He’s very concerned about video game addiction as an up and coming thing. In the whole concept of Reward Deficiency Syndrome is basically your brain has a barrier. It’s like a castle and it’s got so many gates and if you let too much sugar into those gates and inside the castle everyone gets all crazy over sugar, the king is smart and says, “Okay, we need to shut some of the gates. We can’t let this party happen every time.” You shut down your ability, your receptors, your ability to receive dopamine, which is the reward neurotransmitter from eating sugar.
So, you eat sugar, you get a hit of dopamine which is the reward chemical. It floods into the castle and through the gates called these receptors and you go nuts. Then you shut down some of these gates so you pull away some of the receptors so the same hit of sugar or whatever your vice is, isn’t as effective because now you can’t get as much into the gated castle. This is what is called Reward Deficiency Syndrome. You have a deficient response to your reward because you can’t get the same stimulus from the same amount of the vice. So, now you’ve got to eat more sugar, more frequently, in higher dosages to try to cram more sugar through fewer gates.
The problem with children is that their reward centers are really developing so it sets up a template for the rest of life. If you over stimulate too early, too hard, you rewire the brain. The scrabble word for rewiring, it’s called neuroplasticity, I know you love neuroplasticity.
I love it too, that’s why I went into functional neurology. The brain is very adaptable. But the good news is that you can readapt later on, I mean that’s we’re in functional medicine is you can change their blood sugar, you can change their lifestyle, you can change their inputs and you can change that think there is … There is a certain amount of damage that’s done but you can undo a huge chunk of it depending on how early and how extreme your initial stimulus was. Of course, other factors; how you grew up, environmental, [inaudible 00:15:25], et cetera.
I would very strongly encourage parents listening to this to be very judicious about sugar. My mother was a medical doctor, so was my father. My mother thought it was good parenting to allow one candy bar a day. Back in the eighties and because she’s a medical doctor, that was at the time seemed very culturally generous.
Now, in retrospect, 30 years later, I now know the breakfast cereals I was eating was a hit of candy, the Ramen Noodles or Spaghettio’s for lunch was a hit or sugar in the form of refined carbs, the bagel I had for breakfast instead of Honeycomb was also a hit. Then for dinner, pasta was another and then in between, you’ve got my candy bar, maybe desert after dinner or a candy bar at school.
The of course, at school, you horse trade with sugar. Sugar is the currency of little children. Every day was a minimum, four hits of something sugar or refined sugar of some type. I would very much encourage parents to not kid themselves. That refined carbohydrates, processed grains or anything less than glorified sugar, what they’re feeding their kids. Especially since I’ve gone into genetic testing and being able to check the AMY1 gene and see how many copies of their ability to … Basically how many copies of the AMY1 do they have in order to make the pac-men or breakdown start. I have two. I only have two copies of this gene, it’s the lowest number you can have they keep going up to 20. To me, I thought I was gluten intolerant, in reality I’m starch intolerant because I can’t break down edible starch fast enough and that become inflammatory, irritating my gut.
Genes don’t change. You can modify how they express. I remember eating all these carbs was so bad for me growing up, I had terrible digestive problems growing up. Diet is now becoming more complex and yet at the same time, most simple as time goes on. It’s like, let’s get back to basics. We cannot genetically test for a number of things and when in doubt, if our great-great-great-great grandparents could have recognized what the food is and how it was prepared, probably not food, it’s probably just a food product.
Kids, I’m very particular on because I was very effected by multiple hits of sugar and then on top of that, you have the screen stimulus and the two go together. One hand in one thing and one hand on the controller.
We talked a lot about sugar, let’s switch a moment to video games. How does a video game addiction differ from, let’s say, a sugar addiction in children?
There’s a different neuro pathway that is stimulated. Now, I haven’t really seen anyone talk about this except for me when I’ve written about it. It’s called the tectospinal reflex. For the scrabble enthusiasts out there, tectospinal basically means … Tecto refers to a part of the mid brain which controls the reflexes to hearing or seeing a sudden change in sound or vision. If you see a fly in the corner of your eye when you like dart, you don’t even realize that it’s a fly until you actually see it.
What the tectospinal reflex is, is it’s a safety mechanism. If you’re walking through the jungle as a hunter, gatherer and you see a flash of orange in the corner of your eye, you’ve got to be able to turn to look quickly and see. Was that foliage? Was that a tiger? What was that? Whenever there’s a rapid change in color, motion or brightness, your eye targets to whatever that is. Like a police siren is the best example. It’s changing color, red and blue, it’s a change in motion because it’s moving and it’s a change in brightness. The light in your face and then it goes away. That’s why everyone initially targets when they look at the police siren.
So, what’s a video game? It’s an unrelenting barrage of rapid changing color, motion and brightness. Not only that but you’ve got the sound components. Like if anyone plays Candy Crush, all of those little word sounds or whatever. So, what you have is a child or an adult that is like. Just rapidly doing these micro, the technical term is a saccade but it’s a target, you’re targeting your eyes to that rapid change in color, motion and brightness.
Here’s where that’s damaging. Every time you fire this reflex to change- By the way, tecto is the part of of the brain stem, the spinal refers to the outbound of that reflex where you turn your neck, spinal, to look at that. Every time that reflex fires from a rapid change in color, motion, brightness or sound from playing a video game, you fire the sympathetic nervous system. You fire the stress response system which effects your sympathic dominance, it effects your adrenal glands, it effects your blood sugar, it effects your hormones.
I’m working on an article called “Digital Castration” which hasn’t been published yet but my conjecture is that the repetitive, unrelenting barrage of visual stimulation is now altering the stress response of the people engaging in these games and now engaging what’s called pregnenolone steal, which is more geek Scrabble speak for shifting your hormones away from sex hormones like testosterone an estrogen and progesterone and androgens into cortisol.
Now you’ve got a generation of hormonally neutered children from being over stimulated from this tectospinal reflex. That’s the stimulus aspect, now sugar, it’s visual input and then of course you get emotionally involved and your character and you’ve got this displaced humanism where your character gets hit with a sword, that’s you getting hit and you get the stress. Then you get the hero’s journey thing where there’s really no rights of passage for boys anymore except maybe martial arts but now you’ve got the hero’s journey of shooting the thing or clobbing the thing or whatever. So, there’s that emotional Joseph Cambellion experience now that it’s a nice, little neat package.
You don’t have to go fast in the desert for 10 days, you can just play God of War and there you go. You slayed a demon, slayed a giant. The other aspect of video games that makes it a bit more complex than actually any other addiction out there is that it’s freaking everywhere. Okay? Everywhere. Every piece of digital media has now video games attached to it. Watches, phones, individual hand consoles, individual at home consoles, computer games. Everyone is a dealer who has a smart phone.
In fact, just to put a fine point on it, Blizzard Entertainment; who are the owners of Diablo and World of Warcraft; they bought out the makers of Candy Crush and all subsidiary games back in November of 2015 for 5.9 billion dollars, that’s with a b. Okay. You know why? Because three to five million people are coming online through smart phone technology in the next three to five years. That’s why. Big money. Big, big, big money in this and you can thank Kim Kardashian for now, getting a whole generation of little girls hooked on this thing with their stupid A-List game, not to mention the content she’s teaching these children.
The video games, it’s harder. I remember in the 1990’s my sister gave me a modem-ectamy where she removed the modem cause I was addicted to online games back in the early nineties. Back then, this was dial-up, there was no ethernet, there was no wi-fi, there was no video game cafes. There was no wi-fi connections or anything that you could get a little hot-spot. When you got a modem-ectomy you were done. I couldn’t drive yet so I had no access to the internet.
Now days if a parent wants to deprive their kids, deprive’s the wrong word, if they want to restrict the access to video games, they can just go next door, they can hack into the wi-fi signal of their neighbor next to them. They can go to school, in the public library. You can’t get away from it. So it’s more accessible than any other vice on the planet especially because there’s no legal restrictions around it besides maybe the ratings of games.
This is true; South Korea had to implement what’s called a Cinderella Law where it was illegal for children the age of 16 to game between the hours of midnight and six AM because video gaming is such a problem over there. The funny caveat to this story is that they’ve had to alter the law because in South Korea, you can’t get online unless you put in your unique government identification number.
Big brother. Right?
What was happening when they enforced this law against children under 16, the rate of identity theft skyrocketed. They had to alter it to say, with your parents permission, you can play between … If you’re underage you can play between 12 and six AM.
So, video games are different, but they have a similar stress response like sugar does. They have the same emotionality to it. Although it’s not the same as love, it’s more adventure, excitement and the call to arms of any child is, “I’m bored.”
Mm-hmm (affirmative) Sure.
Single most stressful thought in children is, “I’m bored,” and they reach for video games.
Talk to me about your practice and the framework you’ve developed in helping, both obviously, parents and children to free themselves of the addiction and video games.
Sure. If we go dovetail right off that concept, “I’m bored,” the framework to treat; now whether it’s in the clinic or helping people online or through online courses or whatever; the frameworks the same and it’s applicable to any addiction. It’s the BEAST model. B-E-A-S-T, it’s a cycle.
All addictions begin the B, the beliefs. Believing a stressful thought. The top three stressful thoughts for children and teenagers are, “I’m bored. No one understands me. The world is unfair. For adults, it’s a different major set of thoughts. Obviously there’s plenty of others but these are the major ones; “There’s not enough time. There’s not enough money. There’s too much to do. I have to make a decision. He, she hurt me. He, she rejected me. The world is unsafe.”
If you take any of those stressful thoughts, then you go into the E, the emotional, physical stress response to those stressful reliefs. That could be anxiety, depression, rage, resentment, jealousy, fear, butterflies, muscle tension, physical pain, change in posture; an emotional, physical stress response.
Then you [inaudible 00:27:25] that you need to A. That’s the ties with a vice. Sugar, video games, social media, movies, television, searching Wikipedia, news, porn, gambling, work, gossiping; whatever it is. That’s where it gets vice specific is in the third phase, not the first phase. So, we believe a stressful thought, an emotional, physical stress response and that’s the ties with the vice.
As we smolder in the consequences. Now, smolder, even if you didn’t realize, smolder was actually an acronym. Anyone who’s been through that cycle, that captures the emotionality of what it’s like after you use. So if you smoke or binge on food or video games or whatever.
Smolder, so that’s the consequences of the vice you just did. The acronym stands for societal consequences so like smoking in one country versus another. Monetary consequences, obviously gambling and other things of higher stakes with the monetary. Occupational consequences slash educational, depending on your phase of life, legal consequences, domestic consequences, energy slash health consequences and relationship consequences. I made those seven because each vice has a wildly different degree in intensity in those seven types of consequences but they’re the same seven categories for all vices.
Once we smolder, S, smolder in the consequences, then we T have terrible thoughts about the consequences we just rendered from the vice we just used to deal with the emotional, physical stress response. Those terrible thoughts; this is really key; those terrible thoughts are usually completely different than the initial stressful thoughts that began the cycle. The T stressful thoughts are, “I’m worthless. I’m a piece of xyz. I’m weak willed. I hurt my job, my health, my career, my relationships, my finances and if I B, believe those terrible thoughts then I feel bad and want to numb out and I have consequences, and I have more terrible thoughts and I believe those and I feel bad and the cycle goes round and round and round and round.
That’s the BEAST cycle. It’s a very simple to understand. I’m sorry, it’s a very secular model. I really want to make a final point on this. It’s a secular model meaning that anyone from no religious faith to full religious faith can use this model because I intentionally made it secular. It can be used by anyone.
I make a point on it because there’s a lot of people who go into other addiction treatment programs and there’s a lot of theology in it. That doesn’t work for them and then they lose the opportunity to deal with the addiction and then they get stuck because they don’t have an alternative. That’s secular. This is why I made it secular specific.
Once we understand this five phase model, then what happens is that now we can look at where we’re at. Oh, I’m stuck in the emotional, physical. Oh, I’m smoldering. Oh, you can now identify what phase you’re in and then more importantly, step out of the cycle and there’s a separate blueprint to correct course for each of the five phases.
So for the belief, as we resolve the root of addiction by resolving the underlying stressful beliefs. Keyword is underlying. Not, I’m bad or cigarettes or sugar or video games are evil, that’s in stage thoughts, not beginning stage. We resolve the root of the stressful thoughts, there’s several ways to do that.
For the emotional, physical stress response, that’s where you, the R work is resilient. This is where functional medicine comes in. We rebuild the hormone system, the biochemistry, the body, our sleep, our breakfast, our neurological rehab; we look at genetic testing, we look at epigenetics; this is where all of functional medicine sits, is in the resilience phase.
At the eighth, the anesthetized phase, where we reach for the vice itself, that’s where is gets really granular and specific on your situation and your vice. It’s we restrict the vice, we remove the vice and then we replace it. We have strategies around the is it within reach or not? There is room to deal with them, we don’t just only hit on dealing with the belief systems, we actually have spaces for all aspects of the cycle for addiction.
For the smolder phase, well that seven point list becomes your checklist to make amends. You figure out what’s the damage that’s been done and then you pick the smallest, easiest, most winnable step to make amends and correct course in each of those categories so it just becomes your checklist.
For the T phase, where you have terrible thoughts about yourself, the R word for the smolders reverse the damage. We reverse the damage in the smolder phase. Then in the fifth phase, the terrible thoughts is we reach out for help. The reach out for help phase, this is where 12 step get their people. When they have people with terrible thoughts about themselves and they, “I am helpless in the face of my addiction, I need help.”
This is the entry point for people who journey into the 12 step world. What I say is that it’s not necessarily the journey to 12 step, just recognize that’s a spot you need to reach out for help. There’s people that you should reach out for help with, there’s people you should not reach out for help for. The people that will bully you and say you’re weak willed and just basically affirm how terrible your thoughts are, those are not the people to reach out for.
It’s usually people who have been through an addiction successfully themselves and they are compassionate, empathetic but they also have that wonderful little jujge of tough love where they’re not going to let you b-s yourself.
Supportive but they’re giving you some tough love at the same time.
It’s a great framework but tell me, what are the … You’re the first person that I’ve talked to that has this kind of framework toward addiction. Where does someone make a mistake like if they’re trying to deal with this on their own or trying to just read some books, what’s the biggest mistake someone makes when they’re trying to heal their own addiction on their own?
If you do the framework in reverse you’ll see the exact points where people make the mistakes. Biggest mistakes people make and I went through this myself, I mean the model I created was absolutely a mixture of observing my own journey of 25 years as well as working with patients and researching.
People fixate on the terrible thoughts and all they do is focus on, “We’ll, I guess I’m not a bad person, I’m not a bad person.” They just try to use secret themselves into spiraling. They focus only on the terrible thoughts about the damage that’s been done. Or all they do is damage control about the vice and hope the vice is going to go away. Or all they do is try to push away the vice and it keeps coming back like a cockroach.
For example, one of the best visual essays on addiction and someone getting stuck in that third phase of only trying to deal with the vice itself and not backing up the cycle due to their resilience and belief systems, the move is called, “Flight” with Denzel Washington. That is the single greatest visual essay on addiction I have ever seen. He nailed that thousand yard stare of someone who wants to use but just that look, like I knew that look. As soon as he did that, I’m like, “He nailed that.” They’re thinking about it but they’re not saying anything. What he did, spoiler alert, all he did is he went back to his old farm and went to the 27 places that he was hiding alcohol in the farm. He just removed the vice but he didn’t back up and deal with his resilience and beliefs and spoiler alert, he relapses at the worst possible time.
The mistakes people make is they don’t actually back up the cycle far enough to get to the root of addiction. All phases are valuable but some are more valuable than others.
Excellent. I know you practice, obviously in New Zealand. So you’re off, you’re not in the United States of America but I know you have some online programs. Tell us how we can learn more about you and what kind of offerings you have for people.
Sure. I do Skype consults with people so if people are in the States or Canada, or Australia or I can dish in U.K., I’m still available. The people want to have a full checklist, like a full worksheet to walk through this BEAST cycle. I’ll explain, it’s a five page worksheet. One phase per page.
They can go to tamethebeastofaddiction.com It’s all one word, no hyphens or dots. Tamethebeastofaddiction.com They’ll get this five page worksheet, they’ll also get a free instructional video about the model and they’ll get some other goodies as well and opportunities to work with me and learn about my online course as well, if they want to go deeper. They can just go to that website and learn more there.
Excellent. So I want to thank Dr. Sam Shay for being on the Healing Pain Podcast this week, talked about a really important topic of sugar addiction and gaming addiction. Please make sure to share this video, podcast with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, whatever social media outlet they use. Stay connected each week to me on drjoetatta.com and The Healing Pain Podcast and we’ll see you on the next episode.
Thanks Dr. Tatta.
About Dr. Sam Shay
Dr. Sam Shay is a “health detective”, solving people’s health mysteries, from mystery fatigue, mystery pain, gut health, hormone imbalance, and addictions. He was supposed to be the 3rd generation medical doctor in his family, yet decided to shift laterally into natural medicine. He is an acupuncturist, chiropractor, functional neurologist, Fitgenes Practitioner, and author of two free ebooks: “Ending Adrenal Fatigue: Easy Breakfast Guide” and “7 Ways to Game Less: How to unplug and live more”.
Dr. Sam Shay healed himself of two addictions: Sugar addiction and video game addiction. He now helps people flourish out of their addictions using a 5-phase cyclic model of addiction that is simple, secular, and straight forward. He is writing his book on addiction, which should be released in the next few months.
Learn more about Dr. Shay at: www.DrSamShay.com.
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