113. The Gift in the Struggle with Dr. David Gustitus

The human body is an amazing machine.

It has resilience and capabilities most people don’t understand.

But what happens to the body when we sacrifice too much in service to others?

Dr. David Gustitus was raised by parents who divorced when he was very young, but it didn’t seem that bad because they were both on the same page about raising him and very involved in his upbringing.

He was taught the value of self-sacrifice – that you give and give and give, to the point of having very little regard for your own needs. Don’t get a big head. Don’t be full of yourself. Always put others first.

As a child, Dr. Dave had debilitating asthma. Then his mom took him to a chiropractor, who miraculously “fixed” him in about 10 minutes. He became an excellent soccer player and a great athlete.

After a stint in his 20s working for an environmental nonprofit, he found his true calling. Remembering how his childhood chiropractor changed his life and wanting to do the same for others, he went to chiropractic school and built a bustling practice. He got married and had two children. Everything seemed fine.

But fine is a 4-letter word.

While he had a great relationship with his kids, Dr. Dave’s marriage wasn’t going so well. He threw himself into triathlon training as a way of “self-medicating”. Physically, he was in top notch shape.

Then one day, while driving in Chicago with his 11-year old daughter, he felt a pounding in his chest and everything went white. Was it a heart attack? A panic attack? Psychosomatic? After repeated emergency room visits and numerous tests, it turned out Dr. Dave had autoimmune thyroid, called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Basically, the stress caused by his self-sacrifice, combined with eating the wrong food, caused his body to attack itself. A year after knowing his marriage was over, he finally asked for a divorce. Once again, he struggled to climb stairs – ironically, just a few months after running his best triathlon and becoming a Taekwondo black belt.

What was going on here?

In a moment, when you meet Dr. Dave, you’ll hear his journey toward regaining his health and prowess. Along the way, he discovered what causes people to have health problems and why society must rewire itself to stop accepting cancer and heart disease as normal.

Dr. Dave’s hype song is “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2 from the Rattle and Hum album


Invitation from Lori:

Like Dr. Dave, you may think everything’s fine even though it isn’t, because you’re on the inside looking out and don’t see the warning signs.

In my special guide, 5 Easy Ways to Start Living the Sabbatical Life, you’ll discover the steps to creating more success in your life through a counter-intuitive concept. It will open your eyes to some things you aren’t seeing just yet.

Before you crash and burn, you may need to slow down or even pull over. This means resting, reflecting, and recharging. And you can do this even if your current situation doesn’t let you just walk away from everything right now.

Take a moment to visit https://ZenRabbit.com and download it from the home page.


Lori: Hello and welcome to FINE is a 4-Letter Word. My guest today is Dr. David Gustitus. Welcome to the show.

Dr. Gustitus: Thank you so much, Lori. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m excited to be here.

Lori: Yeah, I’m excited. We’ve talked about this for a long time. Dr. Dave is my chiropractor, who I have known since—well, we started appointments in December so it was before that. Almost a whole year already. We have talked about having you on the show, and finally you’re here. Let’s jump right into it.

Dr. Gustitus: Awesome.

Lori: What were the values and beliefs that you were raised with that contributed to you becoming who you became as a young adult and then moving forward?

Dr. Gustitus: Wow. That’s a good, rich question. In my family, my mom and dad, they were on the same page. They divorced when I was four, but they each raised me with very unique perspectives. My dad was more like, “Be tough. Keep your word. If you say you’re going to do it, you do it. Follow through. Never give up.” That was my dad. My mom was always, “Just be kind, be considerate. Think about how they’re feeling.” She’s always thinking about what the other person would want, what would make it special, that interaction, that call. Who needs a follow-up to see how they’re doing. She’s always thinking about other people. Then I think that what they shared a lot was being very personable, being very friendly. I always saw them surrounded by people who knew their name, who liked them, and were excited to see them. I was surrounded by their social circles and it made me feel like that was normal and just wanted to be a person who was known in my community.

Lori: That’s really cool. And now you are. Were you instilled with values that you felt like you had to—not overcome, but maybe they weren’t all positive values and you had to work to rewire your brain, I guess, is the question?

Dr. Gustitus: Part of it was there’s a level of self-sacrifice. Both of my parents taught me to the extent that you give and give and give because that’s the right thing to do, but very little regard for what do you need. And also not a whole lot of room for self-congratulation. I was always told, “Don’t get a big head. Congratulations. But don’t get a big head. Don’t let that go to your head.” Because what’s going to happen? I didn’t know. What does that mean? Don’t I get to celebrate that I just did something great?

I was always excited. I am an enthusiast by the Enneagram profile, the personality profile. I’m always excited and celebrating and like, “Yeah.” And they’re like, “Hey, keep it down. You don’t want to be cocky. Don’t be full of yourself.” I don’t really think I was, but I think I just was excited about life, excited about, “Look what I can do.” This is me as a five-year-old. That kind of self-sacrifice, don’t outshine the people around you, don’t forget about them, and don’t put yourself first. That’s wonderful when you’re in a servant role. But long term in terms of health, that takes a toll.

Lori: Take me back to—because I know the story—take the listeners back to the pivotal moment when you decided to go into chiropractic, because I think this is a really interesting story.

Dr. Gustitus: Well, I’ll give the first experience that I had which changed my life. I had been a sick asthmatic child from pretty much my first year of life. My mom brought me to the emergency room and the pediatrician and did whatever she could and was not getting anywhere. The medications or the oxygen treatments or the nebulizer or whatever they were giving me was not really changing the course of my illness. She finally meets a chiropractor. He adjusts me, 10 minutes later, I’m breathing better. And we’re like, “Okay, we’ll go to this guy. I didn’t care what he did, he just helped me.”

From then on, I started to be able to play around like a normal kid. I played soccer. That grew into a passion and I was able to get fit. I wasn’t running around before the chiropractic. And now I’m running around and getting fit. And I made it to a college team in division one. That wasn’t in the cards.

Then in my 20s, I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. My first post-college passion was go save the rainforest. So I worked for a nonprofit in Peru. It was actually based in D.C. here called Conservation International. They had a program throughout the world. Each country in the tropics, they had country programs. I spent a year there thinking that’s what I want to do. But I realized I’m going to have to depend on a grant-making institution for the rest of my life valuing my work. And I didn’t like the idea of being dependent upon somebody else to do what I want to do.

I learned that those who have enough money to donate can influence these programs more than I could as a worker on the program, in my opinion, because the money made the program happen. I hold myself away from that and said, “Okay. Well, what really jazzed me up and what really made the biggest impact on my life?” and I thought, “My chiropractor made the biggest impact on my life.” He taught me that my body had a capability of healing from within, that I didn’t need something from the outside, that I had the potential to be healthy. That I wasn’t like, “I am an asthmatic.” “No, you are a child who has asthma and you’re in the condition of asthma.” So he allowed my body to not be in that condition. When I thought about how he allowed me to have a fuller, richer life, I thought, “You know what? I’m going to help people with their inner ecology so that they can then better take care of the outer ecology, the outer ecosystem. So I was able to combine those two things.

Lori: Yeah, I think it’s really interesting. My eyes are watering. I think it’s really interesting that you just mentioned not being labeled as an asthmatic versus “This is a condition that I have” or “This is a condition that I’m working with or I’m treating,” whatever it is, you’re not labeling yourself as that. It’s interesting too, in other languages, which I don’t speak, I know you speak Spanish, in English you say, “I’m fat,” but in other languages, they don’t say that. Isn’t it more like, “I have fat”? It’s not taking on the identity of that.

Dr. Gustitus: Right. I mean, for sure, when it comes to asthma, if you want to say that, I mean, Tienes asthma? You have asthma. You have it; you’re carrying it with you. You’re right. It’s not so much a label. It’s a state of being right now.

Lori: To me, it would make it easier from other than conscious perspective to change that when it’s not part of your identity, when it’s not who you are, it’s just something you have, and then you give it up or you give it away or you hand it off. Psychologically and from your brainwaves, it’s easier to do that.

Dr. Gustitus: Totally. The idea that is often used around here, in our country anyway, in the western world is “You’re diseased. You have a disease.” I love the analogy of disease is like darkness. There is no lamp for darkness. There’s only lamp for light. And darkness isn’t a thing. You can’t add darkness. All you can do is take away the light. Our body—if you’ve heard the term entropy, entropy is a state of disorder. The universe tends towards disorder, but the first thing that it’s in is a state of order. There’s order in galaxies, there’s order in our solar system, order in a planet. You go down to living things, we have order. The more organization there is, the more life there is. And as something ages, whether it’s a planet or a solar system or a galaxy or our bodies, we go towards disorder. But the amount of energy and life that there is within us, the more order there is. The disorder isn’t really the thing, it’s a condition. And the more energy we have, the more we can be our true self.

Chiropractic allows the body to better communicate with itself, to organize that order, and to create literally more order within your body by helping your internal energy and communication system to work better. Just like adding more light to the room, you’re not taking away the darkness, you’re just outshining it. That’s what disease is really like, the lack of order or lack of organization within the body. So it’s kind of a cool way of thinking that “I just need to stop pouring things into my body or exposing myself to environments that suck away my order and my life and my energy, and add things to my life that will give me more energy, more life, more vitality.”

Lori: It’s all about going from chaos to calm.

Dr. Gustitus: For sure.

Lori: There’s a—what am I trying to say here?—correspondence to what you do and what I do is that staying calm in chaos.

Dr. Gustitus: There’s some chaos in growth, right? The Big Bang, if you want to stay with that big universal analogy, the Big Bang was chaotic and growth is chaotic. But at the same time, then it leads towards order. Well, ideally. Not all of things we try to do, especially as humans, creates order after the chaos. But we seek it. When we’re sitting in a puddle of whatever, we want to clean it up. We want to find order, organize things again.

Lori: For sure, growth is messy. That’s a requirement of growth, but it’s not required to stay in that mess and to live there all the time.

Dr. Gustitus: Right.

Lori: So you went into chiropractic. I’m sure you started out with a thriving practice because you just have that magnetic personality and people are attracted to it. Then at some point, everything looked great in your life, but it wasn’t. Because that is obviously why you’re on the show, fine was not fine. What happened?

Dr. Gustitus: For sure. I’m cruising along. I was married with two kids. Chiropractic practice was going fine, my kids were going fine but my marriage wasn’t going fine. Did I acknowledge it? No. Having grown up in a household where parents’ divorced, I never ever wanted to do that. No matter what it takes, don’t do that. So I ignored all the warning signs. All the signs on the road said, “Bridge is out, bridge is out.” And I’m just cruising down 55 miles an hour blasting through all the gates.

Lori: I’m going to jump this bridge.

Dr. Gustitus: I’m going to jump this sucker. What am I doing? I’m self-medicating with triathlon training. I was doing just sprint triathlons. Don’t be too impressed, but just like a little—

Lori: That’s still impressive. Come on.

Dr. Gustitus: Well, I don’t know. I’m in awe of the people who do the half Ironmans and all that stuff.

Lori: You’re welcome to celebrate here. I won’t say anything about not celebrating and getting a big head.

Dr. Gustitus: I don’t have a big head about it. Let’s say that I followed my parents’ advice. I was doing that as a way of burning off stress, burning off energy, and getting my mind off of things. Little did I know that I had some sensitivity and vulnerabilities in my body.

I went with my daughter for a week in Chicago to a dance workshop. It was an all-week work workshop. We’re in Chicago. When my parents divorced, my dad moved to Chicago, and I went to see him many times growing up. And he brought me to this place that had Chicago-style Italian beef with this certain kind of French fries and chocolate shakes. It was not very chiropractic, natural, healthy food but stuff—

Lori: Sometimes you got to, whatever.

Dr. Gustitus: Exactly. I’m with my daughter and I’m like, “We got to go there for lunch. We only had about 45 minutes, but come on, it’s right around the corner. Let’s go from the hotel and go there.” So I scarfed down this Italian beef sandwich, it was delicious, and French fries and a chocolate malt. I hadn’t had that food in a long time and my body’s probably like, “Whoa, what did you just do?” And I didn’t even think about it. We literally ate fast. “We had to get back because your afternoon session is starting in 20 minutes.”

We’re driving down the road, this short drive, I’m about to turn left, and I will pass out. I had a whiteout experience. People talk about blackout. Well, for me, everything went white. Literally, my body is just kind of sitting back. Then what I remember is I came to and my heart was pounding on the inside of my chest like a piston like bam, bam, bam. And that was the moment. I’m thinking, “What just happened?” I had no idea. But this crazy sensation washed over me. I nearly blacked out, feel this pounding in my chest. And I’m like, “What does that mean?” I had never experienced it before. I had no reference point of what did that mean. My daughter is sitting next to me, jamming out to some music.

Lori: She didn’t notice?

Dr. Gustitus: I go, “Hold on a second.” I’m trying to turn left here, by the way. It’s my turn to turn but I didn’t move because I’m, “Ugh.” I mustered up the courage to keep driving to get over to the parking lot of the hotel. I just said, “I think I’m not going to watch this afternoon. I’m going to go lay down.”

It continued to happen. Not the same thing, but I started to have these waves of experience of where my heart’s racing and then it’s calming down again. Something’s not right.

Then we went to dinner with my brother and his family, and it started happening again. Like this bigger thing of, “Whoa, I’m about to pass out again.” I said, “Brother, can you take me to the hospital? I think I need to get checked out.”

Anyway, fast forward, five hours there in Northwestern Memorial Hospital, downtown Chicago, “You’re perfectly healthy. You’re an elite athlete. Look at you. You have nothing wrong with you. We can’t find anything. That’s the good news. I suggest you follow up with your doctor. Are you sure you’re not under stress? Maybe it’s stress. Are you sure it’s not in your head? It’s all in your head, right?” When doctors say that to you, you just want to strangle somebody.

Lori: Because you know your body and you know there is something.

Dr. Gustitus: Yes. Growing up with asthma and all that stuff, I was very aware of my body and these things that would normally—

Lori: Especially as an athlete, too.

Dr. Gustitus: Yes. Things that would normally happen to me that were wrong or indicators of something being wrong, that was not one of them and that was off the radar.

Anyway, I went for six additional ER visits. Two of them were roadside ambulance calls because at the time, I thought, “This was it.” Because they were getting worse. But no one event—nothing took me out. I survived them. But everybody kept telling me, “You’re fine.” Then I got a reputation at the local hospital. After the third visit, they’re starting to ask me psych questions. And I’m like, “Buddy, this is not normal body function. I’m sorry that you can’t find it, but there’s something going on here. Somebody’s got to find it.”

So a cardiologist checked me over. He said, again, “You have very high vagal tone, which is an indicator of athletic fitness and cardiac function, neurological function, and that lowers your heart rate.” He’s just chalking it up to that, “You’re really, really fit.” I’m like, “No.” So he wrote up a script and one of it is, “If you want to get your thyroid checked, that might be a good thing to do, maybe.”

So I walked out with an option to check that out if I want to. Finally, I did. And lo and behold, my antibodies for my thyroid, the carrier hormone thyroglobulin antibodies—thyroglobulin is like the bus that carries thyroid around—they were 592 and they’re supposed to be below 30. There’s something right there.

It turned out that I have autoimmune thyroid or called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Very well regarded or well-known now. Very popular, in fact. That was how I learned about it. It is determined that people, on average, take about six years and four doctors to get an autoimmune diagnosis. Because they’re just floundering, fighting their way around. And with what I know as a chiropractor studying the body, it was still confusing.

Lori: Right. This is the point. You have all of this medical knowledge, you are practicing, and you still didn’t know what was wrong. You still had issues. You still had health issue and it still took you a long time to figure out what it is. And you were in good health to start with.

Dr. Gustitus: Yes. And everybody, all my friends around me were like, “I think you’re just having panic attacks. That’s all it is. It’s just panic attacks.” I’m like, “Yes, I’m stressed. Totally. I get it. But this is not what stress does to me, I don’t think.”

Lori: Right. You were right. Stress obviously precipitated, and if it didn’t cause it, it triggered it.

Dr. Gustitus: For sure. Going back to that conversation about order and disorder, the chronic stress, I mean, when you’re in chronic fight or flight, all unnecessary and non-immediate functions of the body are postponed. All energy is diverted away from your digestive tract, your immune system, your prefrontal cortex for focus and concentration. All these things. It’s all about survive. And all the energy, taking the living room chairs, the furniture, throw that in the fireplace because everything needs to be burned to keep this fire burning. It’s not about sitting around the living room and hanging out and having a chat. Like in the body, all those long-term maintenance and repair functions, they’re not done. Over time, that disorder started to creep into my body and my immune system started to forget who is me versus who was an invader, and so it started to attack.

Lori: Then it just attacks everything, right?

Dr. Gustitus: Yes. It started to attack my own body.

Lori: Wow. Okay. How long did it take you, one, to leave the marriage after that, and two, to get to restore order to your body?

Dr. Gustitus: Tough. It is tough because I still didn’t want to accept and face that issue. It took me a year to ask for a divorce. Then to restore order to my body, that took, I think, two years just to get back to a point where I could begin to recover. Hit the bottom, stabilize, and then start to get strong again. Because in my lowest point, I was struggling to get up the stairs. I mean, this was only a few months after my last race and it was my best race. It was in August of 2015. That was my best race, fastest of all, swimming, biking, and running. I was a Taekwondo first degree black belt before all that—going to class, breaking boards and sparring, and all that stuff. I thought I was done. I thought all of those things were going to be never to be revisited because… not in this condition. I was worried that I was going to push myself over the edge. My big comeback started in 2018 when my taekwondo instructor, Joe Peterson, who’s now a grandmaster, he’s seventh degree or eighth degree—

Lori: How many degrees are there?

Dr. Gustitus: Nine. Well, maybe there’s ten, I think there’s nine. That’s all I’ve heard of.

Lori: I’m just curious. I don’t know. A lot.

Dr. Gustitus: A lot. But he invited me back. He said, “You can go at your pace. You can come to class and if you can only do 10 minutes, then do 10 minutes. Do something. You’re welcome to come. I understand if you don’t.” I was thinking, “I really wanted to. It’s a sense of normalcy. I want to believe. I don’t see how.” Because right now, thinking 10 minutes, it sounds exhausting. And I started to climb back. I think it took me a year and a half. Then I went for my second-degree black belt, and that was a seven-hour test on a Saturday.

And my wife… During this whole process, I think I was talking all about me, but I reconnected with a woman that I dated in 1994 for three months when I lived in D.C. before I went to Peru, to the Amazon, and then Chiropractic College and all that stuff. We dated, broke up, and then we went our separate ways. Then we both got married, both had two kids each. When the divorce was imminent, we’d already asked for and accepted we’re going to divorce, we just hadn’t signed the papers, she reached out to me with a hamstringing issue. She’s a runner.

Lori: Wow. Just totally random?

Dr. Gustitus: Yes. She said, “I know you’re a healthcare provider and I’m struggling to find an answer for my hamstringing problem and wondered if you might have some answers or some ideas of what to do.” So we started reconnecting and talking about life and “Hey, how’s marriage? How’s your family?” “It’s good. It’s fine. It’s fine. It’s fine.” “Oh really?” “Yes.” “Okay.”

Then next conversation, “It’s not that fine. Well, no, it’s not fine at all. It’s really terrible. And I’m looking for something better.” “Well, I hope the best for you.” “Will it be great to check some time?” “Yes.” “Okay. Talk to you soon.”

Little by little, we started to reconnect and we fell in love again. And challenge was that we were far away. I was in Milwaukee and she was here in D.C. But we went forward, we met up again. Our three-month prior relationship, it was rekindled again. And we got married in 2018. It was terrific. I don’t know. It just feels right. Just not trying so hard. Anyway, keep going.

Lori: Well, you are different people when you’re in your 20s than you are when you’re in your 40s. You weren’t ready for each other, I guess, at that point until later. It’s always so interesting to me how the universe arranges things. It had you touch base in the beginning, then it’s like, “Nope, not time yet,” and then brings you back together. All of the synchronicities are so fascinating to me.

Dr. Gustitus: I agree. I consider her my angel. Because when I was struggling so much, she was there encouraging me and helping me see that I’m going to get through it and recover. Without her, I wouldn’t have... I don’t know. It would’ve taken me a lot longer if I hadn’t gotten through all that.

Lori: What were the mental things that you were working through all of these challenges? Because you’re talking about physical ailments and finding solutions to that. Because I know you’re also into personal development stuff. How did you get into that? Was that always a piece of it? Or did you find that more when you were in that really troubled time?

Dr. Gustitus: I don’t know how you feel about Tony Robbins, but I read his book when I was 16. Unlimited Power, I think it was.

Lori: That’s where I started too.

Dr. Gustitus: I was just like, “Wow.” I think I read Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking. When I was exposed to these ideas, it was like, “This really changes things.” It opened my mind. Nobody around me was thinking that way when I was 16. But I started to realize that there are two ways of looking at any given situation. Everybody else looks at it and then the positive way, looking at possibilities. That was all in my head.

I think my dad—I give him some credit for putting those ideas into my head for the first time. Then when I was going through all this, I didn’t have a point of reference for how I could heal. I think initially what was so hard was nobody around me had autoimmunity. Nobody understood it other than a couple of practitioners that I linked up with. And once I found somebody who had gone through their own recovery, then I could truly believe what could happen.

Even as I’m saying that, I’m realizing I really need to reach out to more people to help them to be their guide. Because I felt so lost initially, because what I was told medically—you try to research it in Google and all you get is “It’s a permanent condition, it’s not going to change. You need these medications to suppress your immune system, blah, blah, blah. There’s nothing you can do. You're 100% victim. Deal with it.”

With my whole asthma journey, I’ve never been a victim. It’s always been fighting my way back. I’m going to overcome this because I saw that I could. So now it’s time to learn how to do that with this issue and to see my body and my vitality on the other side, and to start believing that each step of improvement, each healing phase was just one more step towards getting me back towards normal. That became my way of chunking it down into something that, “Okay, I’m not going to leap this mountain in one jump. I had to take it a step at a time.”

Lori: Cool. The personal development, was there anything else that you used other than what you’ve already talked about to help you? I mean, there’s a lot. There’s the personal development. There’re all the things... I think I know the answer to this already. You have a chiropractor who works on you.

Dr. Gustitus: Yes. Personal development, if you’re including what I do for myself, my own health regimen—

Lori: What’s your routine now?

Dr. Gustitus: Oh, goodness. That part is a whole universe. First, I had to learn what are all my triggers. I did a bunch of blood tests and figured out all the things that my body was reacting to. My immune system and its disorder, it started to pick a fight with all these different things from all these foods, from turkey to—

Lori: Hey, you want a piece of this? Come on, all of you.

Dr. Gustitus: My Irish, Italian, Lithuanian, French, English, whatever, all of them came into this fighter. We’re going to pick a fight with everything in the universe. It was benign foods like turkey and parsley and cilantro and onions and garlic. And plastic. I did a chemical sensitivity test and found that I’m creating antibodies against plastic.

Lori: Are you eating a lot of plastic?

Dr. Gustitus: Apparently. And formaldehyde. I must have inhaled too much of that as a TA in chiropractic college because I was in the lab for two years teaching anatomy. All these things that I’ve been exposed to, over time I started to develop a reaction to. So if you get another exposure, it starts that inflammatory cycle again and you have to calm that down.

Then on the other side, you have to eat foods that are high in nutrients because your cells are starving. Most people’s cells are starving. But when you’re trying to recover and get your body to heal, you need to give your body optimal nutrition. Whether it’s cancer or immunity, heart disease, you name it. I have, on average, three cups of dark leafy greens every day. I have the rainbow selection, so three cups of different colors. I go and have broccoli, cauliflower, cruciferous ones every day. I watch the type of meat that I eat. I have a whole bunch of supplements that I take to boost antioxidants and all these things. So that regimen is really strict. And I get a swift kick in the backside by my body if I don’t. It’s nice to have a built-in regulator that tells you when you’re not doing things right.

Lori: “Wrong way. Turn around.”

Dr. Gustitus: The feedback is immediate. It’s not like you eat something, “I feel so good after that pizza or that donut.” No.

Lori: That’s good, though. I think a lot of people have that but they don’t pay attention to it. They just accept that this is how it is and go on. And they don’t have to. Because that’s what they’ve been taught. They don’t know any different. They just assume because everybody around them is the same way. That this is just how life is, this is how health is, this is how the body is.

Dr. Gustitus: It’s interesting to observe other people go through their journey, too. When you cut out junk foods, basically non-food, they’re foods for taste, not for nutrition, and you cut those foods out and then you introduce one after a while, and you get really, really sick. And you feel like, “Man, I can’t eat that at all. Before that never used to cause that much grief for me, but now it makes me feel really, really sick. I don’t like this. I want to go back to being able to tolerate my beer or my pizza or my donut once in a while.”

Well, think about that, though. Your body has gotten to a point where now it’s cleaned out and it’s aware of what is really good for you and it’s aware of how bad those things are truly for you. But we’re conditioned to accept that they’re okay and this being fine with how our body is working is the cultural norm, right? We see how generally sick most people are in our country. Cancer in one out of three or one out of two, I think. In heart disease, one out of three, one out of two people. All these conditions are extremely widespread and prevalent, and we take it as it’s just the way it is. We’re genetically wired that way. But it wasn’t there 100 years ago. Our lifestyle’s changed so radically and we’ve gotten sicker.

Lori: Again, it’s about rewiring the belief that this is not how it’s supposed to be. This is not normal. Our society accepts that as normal and expected, and it’s not.

Dr. Gustitus: I don’t know if you saw the documentary about the Blue Zones Book that just came out. It was Live to 100 or Life to 100 or something. It was on Netflix.

Lori: I haven’t seen it, but I remember you mentioned it.

Dr. Gustitus: It was so inspiring just to see the actual video footage of all these 100-year-olds or older people who are very, very functional into their 90s and early 100s. And you realize they don’t eat crap all day long and they don’t sit around on a couch and watch TV. I mean, maybe they watch some, but they don’t watch much. They’ll sit around and watch their family together playing a game. That’s their TV, is family time, social time with their loved ones and close friends. To see that they’re enjoying their life and not spending their last 10 or 20 years miserable, sick, and inactive, that to me is the payoff. You get to go out in a decent, respectable, functional state.

Lori: Right. Because what’s the point of living to old age, whatever that might be for you, if you’re not doing it healthfully?

Dr. Gustitus: Totally.

Lori: We could go on for a whole other conversation around the social interactions that they have and all of that, the Blue Zone thing, but we won’t. I got two more questions for you.

Dr. Gustitus: Okay.

Lori: You’re pretty energetic already. When you need an extra boost of energy, what’s your hype song?

Dr. Gustitus: My hype song is anything from YouTube. But in particular, I still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking for live version from the Rattle and Hum album.

Lori: Okay. How many times have you seen them in concert?

Dr. Gustitus: Four times.

Lori: Okay. Awesome. All right. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes so everybody can rock out to it.

Dr. Gustitus: Cool.

Lori: Then lastly, if somebody wants to know more about how to continue this conversation with you, maybe they have an autoimmune disease or they have something that they haven’t figured out, like their body’s telling them something and they’re getting these same kind of diagnosis as you got, like, “Nobody knows what it is,” or if they just want to continue a conversation about what is possible with chiropractic, how do they reach you?

Dr. Gustitus: Probably easiest is go to my website. There’s a Schedule Now button there. So you can schedule an appointment with me. You’ll see my schedule right there so it’s probably easiest. It’s wholebodyhealthchiropractic.com. Then you’ll see my popup video of me telling a little story snippet of what I’m all about. Then click the Schedule Now button. You’ll see my availability and you can create an appointment right there. That’s probably the easiest way. Or you can find us on social too, Instagram and/or Facebook.

Lori: Okay. I’ll put links to all of that in the show notes as well to make it really easy.

Dr. Gustitus: Fantastic.

Lori: Dr. Dave, thanks so much for joining me today on FINE is a 4-Letter Word.

Dr. Gustitus: Thank you, Lori. It’s been a pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Lori: All right.

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