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In our latest episode, naturopath and acupuncturist Jason Malia shares his journey of overcoming health challenges post-injury, fueling a deep commitment to men’s health.

With a blend of personal anecdotes and professional expertise, Jason delves into a wide range of men’s health issues, from testosterone deficiency to the impact of environmental stressors like heavy metals and electromagnetic radiation. He advocates for personalised health assessments and tailored therapeutic approaches, emphasizing the importance of lifestyle, diet, and hormonal balance in achieving optimal well-being.

About Jason:
Dr Jason Mallia (Acupuncturist)  Sydney Naturopath is the founder, director and principle Clinician of Integrated Health Australia. He is a Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner (Division of Acupuncture) (CMBA) and an accredited Naturopath (ATMS). Jason is a highly experienced and qualified practitioner with over 3 decades of experience and has completed studies in multiple modalities in natural and integrative medicine . Jason recently completed his thesis on integrative treatment of lower back pain . He has appeared on radio both locally and abroad and is a published writer for the Journal of Natural Medicine ( South Africa) and various other publications.

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DISCLAIMER: The Information provided in the Wellness by Designs podcast is for educational purposes only; the information presented is not intended to be used as medical advice; please seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional if what you have heard here today raises questions or concerns relating to your health



Andrew: This is “Wellness by Designs,” I’m your host, Andrew Whitfield-Cook. Joining us today is Jason Mallia, a naturopath and acupuncturist who specializes in men’s health, and that’s indeed what we’ll be discussing today. Welcome to “Wellness by Designs,” Jason. How are you?

Jason: I’m wonderful, Andrew. Thanks for having me. I’m really excited to be here.

Andrew: Thank you, mate. Now, take us through a little bit about your career, and certainly your interests in men’s health. It’s not a common speciality that we see.

Jason: Oh, look, I’ve been a naturopath and integrative health professional for 20, 25 years now. I’ve studied most major natural medicine modalities, including chiro, osteo, naturopathy, acupuncture, homeopathy, and so forth. But really, what led me to the field was injuring myself. I was a football player. Had a pretty severe football injury, which was almost amputated at the time. And pretty much was put on to a pretty severe course of antibiotics to eradicate the osteomyelitis. And this obviously spiraled me down into a pretty serious state of depression and substance abuse. And so, literally, I fell into naturopathy by looking for things to heal myself, and I stumbled across nutrition, and someone directed me to the Australasian College, and said, “You should go and study nutrition there,” and so I went along. Had no idea it was a professional training. And three years later, I became a nutritionist, and I wondered how I got there, because I didn’t envisage to be a health professional. And then, not long after that, one of the college, actually, the college Dean, said to me, “Jason, I think you’d be a great naturopath,” and I just looked at him with this confused look, and said, “What’s that?” Didn’t even know. They’re a bunch of leaf-eaters, or something. What are they? [inaudible 00:02:15]

So, that’s how I ended up a naturopath. And, in terms of men’s health, really, that was by default, obviously, being a male, being in sports, having had, wanting to increase my muscle mass, and wanting to better my performance. It’s partly to do with that, but also, a lot of women would bring in their men and say, “Look, please look after my man. He’s struggling. He’s struggling on a number of areas,” and of course, men don’t always come in on their own accord. They get pulled in by the ear, and you still see the indent mark in their earlobe. So, over the years, there’s obviously been more of a need for men, and also, men are coming in now on their own accord, which is wonderful, so…

Andrew: Right. Well, it’s good to see that change in focus. Tell us more, though, about what sort of conditions you treat. You come from a sporting background. And there was obviously that need for, I mean, not just sporting prowess, but indeed survival, with osteomyelitis. And, you know, you’re talking about severe disfigurement as a minimum, amputation as an expected. So, what sort of aspects do you like to treat? But what sort of aspects of men’s health are presenting more and more?

Jason: Oh, look, I love to treat low testosterone. It’s a special interest of mine, having, you know, being a man in my 50s, I’m always looking to optimize testosterone for myself, but I also see a lot of young men coming in wanting to do the same, and, but I often get conditions related to, you know, prostate, of course. Your general health conditions, such as gut problems, and, you know, acid reflux, you know, all that kind of stuff. But we typically treat a lot of chronic disease in my clinic, and so, you know, your autoimmune diseases. And cancer support as well. So, but we see a number of male health conditions, often related to toxicity, of course. It’s a bit of an epidemic.

Andrew: Now, take us through that one. That’s really interesting. Toxicity. So, you’re based in Sydney, right?

Jason: That’s right. Yep. In Annandale. Yep.

Andrew: Okay. So, things like lead, dioxins, with regards to the…

Jason: Ah.

Andrew: I remember the Olympic stadium building. There was a whole release of dioxins into the water table there.

Jason: Yep, Yep. Look, I talk about a lot in my talks, and how I believe toxicity is the main cause of most health problems, and especially EMF, electromagnetic radiation, which has been shown to have a strong impact on testosterone as well. But toxicity, we see a plethora of different toxins, you know. You’ve got your phthalates, which is, you know, atherogenic in nature, and blocking your testosterone. You’ve got a lot of, you know, heavy metals. In fact, myself, I was heavy metal poisoned, and in my book, “The Wounded Healer,” I talked about how I slipped into a pretty severe chronic fatigue as a result. So, mercury toxicity, from dental fillings and from tap water and what have you. In my case, it was a broken sphygmo, sphygmomanometer, that actually vaporized, which caused my toxicity. But we have… Yeah, yeah. That was a freak thing that happened in the clinic, just smashed it, and then it just vaporized and had no idea it was vaporizing at the time.

But, look, toxicity is rampant. We quite commonly do hair analyses, and see astronomical levels of mercury, lead, and aluminum. We’re seeing a lot more titanium these days. I’m not sure if it’s because of the titanium implants, but we’re seeing a lot more of that. So, these are all things that potentially leach our manhood. So, things like our zinc gets depleted, and what have you. Yeah. So…

Andrew: Yeah. What about the old culprits? You know, lead is a cracker.

Jason: Yeah.

Andrew: You’ve mentioned mercury. But also, things like, from the workmen, tradies, using…

Jason: Yes. Correct.

Andrew: …working with CCA. Yeah, with the, you know, the green timber. Do you still see that, or because we’ve moved away from that, on to a more…what are we… I think we’re using a type thing now, aren’t we?

Jason: I wouldn’t say… I don’t see as much lead as I used to, interestingly, and I think that’s since they’ve removed lead from lead paint. In fact, I was fortunate enough to meet the man who was instrumental in that, the late Jason Bawden-Smith, who passed away. He was instrumental in getting the lead out of lead paint, and, but since that time, we’ve seen quite a decline. I see a lot more mercury and aluminum, actually, than anything. But in terms of professions, you see a lot of, I see a lot of builders in my clinic. In fact, we had a men’s retreat recently, and all builders. And all overweight, and all showed signs of toxicity. And it’s no coincidence, then, that the building trade is way up there when it comes to the trades that have the most toxicity, along with hairdressers, and, you know, mining workers.

Andrew: Yeah. So, do you find, when we’re talking about these, as you say, overweight tradies, they’re not just toxic. Other comorbidities as well? You said they’re overweight, but, yeah, you know, do we also see low testosterone in these males, or is that a function of other things?

Jason: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, with the toxicity comes, a lot of the time, nutritional deficiencies, and when you’ve got nutritional deficiencies, we all know that zinc is an epidemic. Zinc deficiency is an epidemic. And so, we see a lot of these deficiencies come along with that. So, absolutely. You see a lot of deficiencies, as well as the toxicity that accompanies that. But you see them a lot of time come in with, say, high blood pressure. They’ve been on a medication. And that blood pressure actually is affecting their manhood. So, they’re actually not able to get an erection, and so they come into the clinic. They don’t tell me that at the beginning. They’ll say, “I’m here for my gut,” but it turns out that it’s actually about their erectile dysfunction. So, they don’t often…you often see it when they fill in their reports, their intake form, they don’t actually put why they’ve come to see me. They’ll tell me in the clinic, in private.

Andrew: That’s actually a really good clinical point, with men who are having problems with erectile function, either attaining or maintaining an erection. Look for blood pressure as well.

Jason: Absolutely, yeah. So, if they’ve been on a medication, you must look, and ask them that question, “How, sir, how’s things happening in the bedroom?” Or, you know, and then they’ll say to you, “Ah, as a matter of fact, I’ve had a bit of a decline in the last three months.” And so, “What happened?” Then they say their medication started. So, they’re often looking for an alternative to the current blood pressure medication they’re on, because they certainly wanna still have a good love life.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. What about, you were mentioning younger patients, younger men as well.

Jason: Oh, yes.

Andrew: Are you finding that younger and younger men are having issues with testosterone levels?

Jason: Yes, absolutely. The research is showing that it’s affecting all ages. And since 1987, there’s been about a 1% per year, in all ages. So, that’s, if you do the calculations, that’s, like, about 40-odd percent. I mean, some other studies are a little bit more modest in that calculation, but we all agree that we’re not the fathers…we’re not the men our fathers were, you know? So, basically, yes. We’re seeing a lot of young men. And the interesting thing about young men is they’re experimenting with a lot of new medications that have come out, such as SARM, selective androgen receptor modulators. And so, it’s inconclusive as to what they’re doing. We don’t exactly know what they do. And so, I had a young man recently, and he showed the testosterone levels of an 80-year-old. And he was in his 20s. So, my first question was, “What have you been doing?” And he said, “I’ve been taking SARMs.” So, it was non-existent, and so we’ve been working with him for some time. He was a good-looking, you know, strapping lad, full of muscle, and I found it very hard to believe that his testosterone level was actually that low.

But the interesting thing about young men, they’re the ones that are more likely to come in, would you believe? They’re, the young men of today, they’re a little bit different of the men of yesterday. They’re more likely to seek help, especially when something like this is happening. Yeah.

Andrew: Okay. So, take us through this, though. This is a really interesting picture. What do you think are the causes?

Jason: Oh, look. I think there’s a lot of substance abuse, and I think there’s a lot of stress, and I think, definitely, mobile phones have something to do with it. I mean, if you look at, they did a study on rats. They found that one hour exposure of EMF per day reduced it by 50%, reduced the testosterone by 50%. So, that was a…

Andrew: Wow

Jason: …remarkable finding. We’re seeing a lot of links to vitamin D deficiency. So, people who are night workers, who don’t get morning sun, you see a lot of depletion of testosterone as a result of that. You’ll also see a lot of young men experimenting with diets. So, low-carb diets actually cause low testosterone. And a low-carb diet, in relation to protein, actually. Deficiencies with saturated fat. So, you know, we went on this thing of reducing all our saturated fats. But in fact, saturated fats actually promotes testosterone. And so, there’s a number of factors. I think plastics have definitely got something to do with it, because you’ve got about a, you know, they’ve done a study and they found that about a credit card per week that we’re ingesting. So, imagine that over a year. So, and imagine phthalates have a huge impact. And so, we see a lot of estrogen-dominant men as a result. And so we do a lot of testing, and find that quite often.

So, yeah. The causes of testosterone deficiency, I believe, is, it’s multifactorial. But of course, you’ve gotta look at the individual, because what’s happening in their lifetime obviously has something to do with it, but it’s where they started their lifetime and their genetics. So, as you know, genetics plays about 20% of the role. And your exposome plays about 80% of the role in what a person presents with in the clinic. So, in my clinic, we go, it’s about the why-versus-what continuum. So, they’ve come here, they’ve got the what going on. So, we wanna understand the why. So, the why is what they started the world with, with their genetics, plus their exposome, gives you what’s happening today. And that’s a model that I work with to demonstrate to the patient how we work, and also to get it clear in their heads how it’s gonna unfold. But yeah, the genetics has a lot to do with it. So, SNPs, polymorphisms have a lot to do with it. So, they have issues with estrogen clearance. You got phase 1, phase 2 detox issues, and conversion. You’ve got SNPs that relate to easier conversion to that potent DHT, which can obviously lead to prostate issues and what have you. So, you gotta look at the genetics. I think, in those difficult cases, you really gotta understand their gene profile.

Andrew: Yeah. So, when you’re talking about assessments, are there standard ones that you always do, or very often do, like you’re talking, genetics? If you’re talking about toxicity, you might look at a hair mineral tissue analysis. What about gut function, things like that? Take us through your intake in your assessments.

Jason: Yeah. Oh, look, when we see the patient for the first time, of course we wanna, you know, we wanna give them the best bang for their buck, so we wanna know what’s the test that’s gonna give us the most information, and help us to get the most clinical information to help them get to their goal faster. So, gut microbiome, we do a lot of testing. I think I’m probably the highest, for the microbial one that Metagenics released some time ago. I think I’ve prescribed so many of those, I think I’d have to be a top on the list.

But, then, of course, you gotta look at… I do a preliminary health screening in my clinic, and we use a scan, and that gives us an idea of how they’re functioning. So, we use a bioimpedance scan, along with an interstitial scan, which gives an idea of their organs, and from there, it’s like a triage nurse. We direct the patient to the right testing protocol. So, heavy metals comes into it. Of course, hormones, salivary hormone profiles, for men. And the interesting thing about men that’s a little bit different to women in the way they, what they expect. They want you to test. They really want data, and they want evidence. So, you know, they often come to me and they say to me, “I heard you do a lot of testing,” and so, yes. We do, we’re very big on testing. And, yeah. So, that’s probably some of the standard ones we’ve run, and of course, for the more serious conditions, we run other screenings, you know, for cancers, what have you. We run a lot of the RGCC oncogenomics tests, for tissue…so, for cell-line-specific extracts treatment. Yeah, so…

Andrew: Right. Okay, gotcha. So, I mean, it’s hard to sort of… I’ve got to think about asking a patient group question, because you deal with these different groups, so I can’t ask a broad question. It’s kind of [crosstalk 00:16:05] quite interesting. So, let’s say, if we go back to young men, we’re talking about testing, looking at heavy metals, looking at pesticide residues, phthalates, things like that. And also stress. I’m imagining that they wouldn’t be at least yet the age group, maybe they would be, that are on statins, which has been a confounding issue for testosterone.

Jason: Absolutely, yeah. Yep.

Andrew: But any medications that are rearing their heads? You mentioned substance abuse. Anything that we’ve gotta be aware of to ask our patients about?

Jason: Antidepressants. So, if you look at antidepressants. Antidepressants can affect a number of things, of course. They can affect our…one of the number one side effects is weight gain, right? But, so, why does it cause weight gain? It affects the liver, right? And most medications, in general, they have some kind of effect on the liver. They put more load on the liver. So, if we have a patient standing in front of us who’s got poor phase 1 or phase 2 detoxification pathways, automatically, any medication, but often an antidepressant, will slow their detox of estrogens, and therefore, create estrogen dominance. So, you’ve gotta look at, you look at the drug specifically, but I think drugs in general, as well. But other medications, I would say, for the young groups, I mean, they’re partying a lot, right. And they’re using amphetamines, and they’re using drugs that are stimulating cortisol, and of course, they end up in a sympathetic-nervous-system-dominant state, which then pushes their production to cortisol rather than testosterone, so you get a shift from making testosterone to cortisol. So, you got those kind of things. And I think, in young people, the thing that I see quite commonly is they’re over-training. They’re overdoing it. So, that’s also affecting their cortisol levels. It’s affecting sleep. I had a young man just the other day, he was only 16 years of age. He had terrible sleep. And it was affecting his energy levels, all the things related to low testosterone. But I should point out that, would you believe, low human growth hormone is quite, it’s a bit of an unsung hero in terms of…not unsung hero, but a bit of a hidden…

Andrew: An issue.

Jason: …cause of some of the symptoms, because, the actual, the symptoms are the same as low testosterone as well. So, you’ll get a patient sometimes will say, “My doctor says my testosterone is normal. But I’ve got all the symptoms of low testosterone. Can you check me out?” So, I check them out. I do a salivary hormone profile, and yes, it’s normal. So then you gotta expect HGH, right? So, and then, if you really look at the picture, you’ll find often they got lack of sleep, which then affects their human growth hormone production, because it’s initiated in the first half an hour of sleep, with the right levels of GABA.

So, that’s where the microbiome comes in, because we often see high GABA consumption in the gut, which is affecting their sleep. And then when, you know, bodybuilders talk about it all the time. “You must sleep, and you must eat.” And they got it right. You know, you have to sleep well and you have to eat well if you wanna build muscle mass. So, yeah. So, that kind of thing. We see that kind of thing quite regularly. So, GABA is a wonderful treatment, I find, for those people that are constantly stressed, not switching off, not able to recover well, you know, got the symptoms of low test, but actually, it’s actually not low test.

Andrew: Yeah. That’s really interesting. But one would say, “Ah, such a simple answer for low, lowered growth hormone production.” Not that easy to achieve, particularly in those men in their young and silly days, out partying all night and things like that.

Jason: Exactly.

Andrew: Not that I ever did that. So, let’s go into some of the other things that you use in clinic. Like, it’s a question that I ask because it’s easy, but I get that every patient’s different. I understand. But something about, let’s say, more common nutrients and therapies that you might employ.

Jason: Yeah. Oh, look, I mean number one on the list, we mentioned it before, zinc. You know, I think the world, the study they’ve done on worldwide, they show that 25% of people were deficient in zinc, and that was also depending on socioeconomic situation. However, in my clinic, I would say it’s more close to 80% to 90%, when it comes to male health, zinc deficiency. So, I’m very big on zinc supplementation, zinc sulfate and zinc bisglycinate. Of course, we gotta watch how much we give, because it can upset the gut, and, you know. But, you know, typically, about 50 to 100 milligrams of zinc. So, zinc’s usually top on the list. Of course, you’ve got, depending on the condition of course, are we talking about low test? I mean, in terms of young men, we often use, you know, estrogen blockers, would you believe, more often than test boosters?

And, look, DIM’s out there, and so is indole-3-carbinol, and the, you know, the community’s split in terms of which one to use. I mean, DIM, of course, is the byproduct of the breakdown of indole-3-carbinol. But there’s not enough data to really tell us what it actually really does. Indole-3-carbinol has a lot more backing research, and it’s showing that it can, you know, block estrogen. So, that’s the one I use, the indole-3-carbinol, especially for estrogen dominance, male and female. We typically use a lot of…

Andrew: What about sulforaphane in that regard?

Jason: Yeah, look, I was using that a while ago. I didn’t see the significant changes that I’d liked with estrogen in men. Because I always retest, of course. We always retest. And I just find, indole-3-carbinol, I’m just more comfortable with that one. I’m comfortable with more of the data there, and it’s just a bit of a bugger that it doesn’t come in capsules. It’s only in a powder form. But, yeah. Boron’s another one that’s an unsung hero. That’s a very good one for blocking estrogen. A lot of people don’t routinely get boron checked. But I do have a machine, a resonance machine, that actually can detect if boron is low.

We use your standard stuff, that crosses over to women as well. You know, a lot of gut support, you know, supplements. Actually, a product that I… A lot of men come in with a lot of acid reflux, you know. I’m not sure whether it’s because they eat a lot of pies and beers, but it’s predominantly men that come in, I find, with, and especially the distended men. And there’s a great product that I use. It contains zinc carnosine, and some mastic gum and licorice in there, and it’s a wonderful product, especially if that acid reflux has led to, say, gastritis. It’s a wonderful product. So, but in terms of test production, there was a systematic review done on all the herbal extracts. And surprisingly, what came up the top was fenugreek. Fenugreek really shone really well in terms of lifting testosterone, shortly followed by Tongkat…Ali? Which…

Andrew: Tongkat. Yep. Tong-kat.

Jason: Oh, yeah. Tongkat Ali, I can never pronounce it. But I’ve used it myself. The only thing with that one is you gotta watch men or people with anxiety, and sleep issues, because it can actually stimulate, be a bit stimulatory, and create some anxiety. The community’s split on Tribulus. Whilst Tribulus is great for, you know, erectile dysfunction, it’s not great for testosterone production. There’s mixed evidence. It sort of goes… And I find that myself. I mean, you try it in certain men, and then they just, they make sure they never run out. They always wanna get a backup. And then you got the other type, they go, “Nah. Didn’t do anything.” So, it’s about 50/50 with Tribulus.

Andrew: Gotcha.

Jason: So, Tribulus is, it’s still used quite extensively, and, you know, we use, of course, some of the traditional Chinese medicine formulas, panax ginseng. There was a wonderful formula that contained panax ginseng with licorice, and some bupleurum, which unfortunately got discontinued. It’s still available as a Chinese medicine formula. But that product was well-rounded. Because panax ginseng by itself isn’t that effective for testosterone, but in combination with other herbs, it works a dream. It’s obviously that naturopathic, synergistic approach, and that Chinese medicine formulation that’s winning there, so…

Andrew: Yeah. So, Tongkat Ali has been registered, I think it’s from mid-2022, on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, even though there’s no company yet that’s brought a product out. What about other herbs that, they’re not approved yet by the TGA, but things like Fadogia agrestis, and shilajit? Shilajit? What about that?

Jason: Shilajit, yeah, look, I do use shilajit. Yeah, I do use it. That’s highly nutritive. So, that’s, has got some evidence behind it. But the one that a lot of people are using, a lot of young men are using, is turkesterone, the insect steroid. The one that…

Andrew: Oh, yes. Yes. Insect plant, right?

Jason: That’s unfortunately not… Yes, insect plant. Sort of, the structure’s very similar to testosterone. I’ve used it myself, and I find it does work. It does give… But I find that, like a lot of the T-lifters, once the levels have increased, they stop working. So, Tongkat’s like that as well. So, once it gets you to a healthy testosterone level, it doesn’t take you over. It keeps you in that threshold, and it pretty much stops working, so cycling is a good idea.

Andrew: But isn’t that what we want to achieve, though? I mean, isn’t that one of the beauties of herbs, that, if it’s high, it’ll bring it low?

Jason: Yes.

Andrew: Lower it. If it’s low, it’ll bring it up to normal, but it won’t overdo things. We’ve found this with, for instance, ginseng, years ago, you know, with blood pressure. Low blood pressure, you can use Korean ginseng to normalize it up. High blood pressure, just using a small amount of ginseng, you can bring it down. But don’t go overboard, like the ginseng abuse syndrome that was noted by these bodybuilders and things like that.

Jason: Yeah. Absolutely, yeah.

Andrew: So, can I ask, then? So, when you’re using these, I mean, let’s say testosterone-supportive herbs, all of which we’ve spoken about there, do you look at doing the pre-test for their testosterone, possibly their estrogen metabolites, and a post-test, so that you’re making sure that nothing’s going awry? Yeah?

Jason: Absolutely. Absolutely, yes. And, I mean, just the other day, we had a gentleman, he said, “I was doing great on the formula you gave me, but I’ve just plateaued.” And so, that’s a sign that you’ve gotta change things up a little bit, of course. But, so, we’re now doing our follow-up screen, to see if it’s had an effect. And if it’s had an effect, and it’s increased it, then why is the person still feeling deficient? So, there might be some other component to his health that’s affecting. So, yeah, absolutely, I’m a big fan of testing and retesting, because you wanna see… I mean, I’m a person who loves clinical evidence. I don’t so much get hooked into the scientific evidence per se only, because the interesting thing about a lot of the studies is they don’t really specify who they’re testing. So, for instance, with, you know, individuals, they don’t say that the person’s got this polymorphism, and this person doesn’t have this polymorphism, or this person has this blood type and this… So, it’s, I asked a scientist recently, did they ever factor in blood type when they do their science, and they said, “Absolutely not.” They said, she said, “But we should, because there’s such a vast difference in the blood groups in how they respond.” So, yeah. Absolutely, we always test and retest. I’m a big fan of that.

Andrew: There’s a, it’s one of those horrible things that any researcher has to face, and that is how much money have they got to throw at the research that they’re doing? The other thing, of course, is that you’ll get the answers to the questions that you ask. And I’ve seen, you know, for instance, you know, “vitamin D doesn’t work in cardiovascular disease.” So, “how long did you give it for?” “A year.”

Jason: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.

Andrew: Right? “How much did you give?” “400 IU.” Right?

Jason: Yes. Yes.

Andrew So, you often get the answers to the questions that you ask.

Jason: Yep.

Andrew: So, I totally take your point, that it requires a dedicated expertise, expert clinician, to sort of interpret research, and put it into the clinical field.

Jason: Absolutely.

Andrew: Jason, you do a lot of retreats and things like that, I understand, as well, right?

Jason: Yeah, well, [crosstalk 00:30:07]

Andrew: Take us through… Yeah, take us through that.

Jason: Look, men’s retreats that I do have just started. I just finished my first one here in the Blue Mountains, because I live in the Blue Mountains now. And I thought it’d be a great opportunity while I live up here to start retreats, and I thought to myself, “Who really needs it?” And then, the next person that walked in my door of my clinic, I think it was a very stressed-out male, and I thought to myself, “It’s the men.” And so, it became very popular amongst the women, of course. I mentioned it to the women, and women are like, “Oh, please take my man.” So, we’ve run these retreats now, where we address what’s known as the man code. And so, there’s eight components that I’ve identified that affects people’s, men’s health, well-being, mental health, and life of purpose. And interesting…we’ve mentioned a few of them already. So, these are things like toxicity, stress, poor mindset, a lack of connection to a purpose. I mean, they got a pocket full of money, but they’re not happy in their jobs. Things like, you know, poor diet, overweight. But there are eight components that we address individually, and by the time the men leave the retreat, they’ve got a toolkit, just like they have at their jobs, on how to look after their health and live a purposeful life. So, that was a very successful event. I was very happy with it. So, the boys have already signed up for next year. So, I imagine it will grow. Yeah.

Andrew: Well, yeah. But it, like, it’s really good. We often see and hear of women’s groups going on retreat, and it’s accepted. But it’s not very well-accepted, if you like, that men go on retreats. And yet it’s so important, because I feel that, in our culture, we’ve lost this… You used the word correctly, connection. Purpose. We’ve lost that connection to purpose.

Jason: Absolutely. And you knocked it on the head. I mean, it’s, in the old days, and you mention “retreat.” It’s a very feminine thing. It’s a very female thing, you know. But with men, I think they’re slowly coming on board with these kind of ideas, that it’s not such a feminine thing. So, it’s about your marketing, and I think it’s who’s pitching it as well. So, if I was, like, you know, a female Yogi promoting it, it might not attract a male. But being a male myself, and, you know, into exercise and training, so it attracts other men, of course. So, “If it’s okay for you, then it’s okay for me.” So, yeah, it’s, I think it’s, with men, it’s how you pitch it to them. So, but when they came, it was interesting, with the men’s retreat. You saw some of them were, like, a bit unsure what was gonna happen. But when they got involved, they got stuck into it. And it was, like, amazing, so… And these are just your normal, burly blokes, have a meat pie at the pub.

Andrew: That’s very cool.

Jason: And these are your normal guys, not guys who really had much to do with natural health, or… So, that was a nice little outcome.

Andrew: I gotta say, that’s a real well done for you, because it’s very common that there’s, let’s call them the blokey blokes, right? It’s very common that the blokey blokes are left to their own devices, that, you know, they’re the ones that aren’t very demonstrative in normal circles. They’re not emotionally out there, if you like. And yet it requires somebody like yourself to say, “Mate, this is something you need. We all need to do this together.” It’s a real interesting thing about connection. Yeah, very well done.

Jason: Absolutely. Thank you, Andrew. I was just gonna say, the…oh, I forgot what I was gonna say now. It was relation to the supplements, actually. If you have a look at the supplements, even the supplements are all geared for women. You see a lot of women’s formulas out there. How many companies, if you really look at it, how many companies have a good male health formula? I mean, you’ve got the multivitamins, men’s multivitamins, but there seems to be a lot more emphasis on the research in putting together female formulas, PMT formulas and menopause formulas. So, I’ve been telling some of the supplement companies, we really need some reformulations to happen, because a lot of the men are left to their own devices, and they pretty much listen to Andrew Huberman, or they listen to some of these guys online, which can be beneficial, but not specific enough.

I mean, I had a young man who took, you mentioned Fadogia, took, heard, a young man came into my clinic who’d been taking Fadogia. Developed a kidney disorder, as a result of taking Fadogia. So, I mean, these are the kind of things we’re seeing. And so, I mean, this guy’s huge, this Andrew Huberman. I like him myself. He’s great, what he’s done. Great at what he does. He’s got great research. But unfortunately, it’s not targeted to the individual. So, I think men need a bit more individualized support. We actually need the supplement industry to actually support them as well. And mostly local supplement industries I’m talking about, because there’s plenty overseas. So, yeah.

Andrew: Jason, where can we find out more? You’ve done your first retreat. We’re looking forward to more of that. Any other stuff that you do to support men?

Jason: Oh, look, at the moment, it’s pretty much the retreats, but, I mean, if men wanted to get on board our men’s health program, you can go to my website. There’s a lot of information about our men’s health program there. We tell them that, we talk about the process, and how it all works. Collect the data, do the testing, and so forth. But, yeah. Look, they’re your main avenues.

Andrew: Jason, you’ve just run your first retreat. We’re looking forward to more. That’s fantastic. What other resources have you got to help men out?

Jason: Oh, look, I’ve got a book called “The Wounded Healer,” which I wrote a few years back. And in that book, it gives a lot of the components that we actually talk about at the man code retreats that we run. So, in that book, there’s a wellness program. So, that book also tells you where I come from, and how I got into this field, and talks a lot about the mindset. So, it’s a great add-on for a lot of people, in general in my clinic, to understand more the mindset side of things, rather than just the health side of things. So, it’s about helping people to not only, you know, connect, to get their health right, to get a bit more clarity in their life, to connect to a purpose, which makes them live a happier life, I guess.

Andrew: Well done, Jason. Jason, thank you so much for taking us through this very important topic, very often overlooked. And let’s face it. Men aren’t usually the demographic that is seen in clinic. And I think we’re very lucky to have somebody like yourself, with your history, and certainly your dedication to men’s health out there. Well done.

Jason: Thanks so much, Andrew. And it’s been a pleasure joining you today. So, yeah, look forward to doing more of this kind of work. It’s quite a passion, and something I love to do every day, and I’m quite blessed to wake up and do this kind of work.

Andrew: And thank you, everyone, for joining us today. We’ll have all of the show notes. We’ll have as much information as we can up in the show notes. And of course, there’s the other podcasts on the Designs for Health website. I’m Andrew Whitfield-Cook. This is “Wellness by Designs.”

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