Podcast Episode 76

Naprapathy: The Life-Changing Wellness Treatment You’ve Never Heard Of

Patrick Nuzzo | 41 Minutes | January 17, 2023

In today’s episode, we speak with Patrick Nuzzo, an alternative medicine doctor who’s opened five practices including the Southwest University of Naprapathic Medicine and Health Sciences.

After spending years formulating nutritional supplements for the natural food industry, Dr. Nuzzo discovered naprapathy—what he sees as the future of health and nutrition. This type of “hands-on” manual medicine involves nutritional counseling and techniques that optimize circulation of the body. Dr. Nuzzo’s passion for this treatment made him instrumental in the passing of the Naprapathic Practice Act of New Mexico—allowing naprapaths to practice in the state of New Mexico.

Listen as Dr. Nuzzo talks about the difference between naprapathy and physical therapy, developing a sports nutrition line for former NFL great Walter Payton, and why naprapathy is one of the best wellness treatments in natural medicine.

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Notes & Transcript


Kirk Bachmann: Hi everyone. Welcome to 2023. My name is Kirk Bachmann, and welcome back to The Ultimate Dish. Today, I’m speaking with Patrick Nuzzo, Doctor of Naprapathic Medicine, nutritionist, and author. Dr. Nuzzo was instrumental in the passing of the Naprapathic Practice Act of New Mexico, allowing naprapaths to practice in the state of New Mexico.

He’s opened five successful naprapathic practices, including the Southwest University of Naprapathic Medicine and Health Sciences, an accredited institution.

Dr. Nuzzo has developed several lines of nutritional supplements for the natural foods industry, including a sports nutrition line for former NFL great, Walter Payton. He has also developed products for Kraft, General Foods, and Anheuser-Busch.

Join me today as I chat with Dr. Nuzzo about the benefits of naprapathy as an alternative medicine, opening Southwest University of Naprapathic Medicine, and what he sees a the future of health and nutrition.

And there he is! Good morning, my friend. Happy New Year!

Patrick Nuzzo: Good morning, Kirk. It is so good to see you, and be with you, and reconnect with you after all these years. Happy New Year to you.

Kirk Bachmann: I was trying to do the math the other day. It was a little bit over a decade when I was in New Mexico with you, but you haven’t aged at all.

Patrick Nuzzo: It’s longer than that.

Kirk Bachmann: Is it? See, my memory’s going. See?

Patrick Nuzzo: Because Jackson, my son, wasn’t even born yet. Kirsten was pregnant at the time. It was 15 years ago, Kirk.

Kirk Bachmann: Oh my goodness. Fifteen years.

Patrick Nuzzo: Sixteen years ago.

Kirk Bachmann: Gosh. Well, the years have been kind to you. I’m so, so excited. I’m so beyond excited! It’s going to be hard for me to focus on the agenda today.

First and foremost, you mentioned: how is Kirsten? How is Jackson? Did you guys have a great holiday.

Patrick Nuzzo: Everybody’s great. Jackson is fifteen years old. He’s a freshmen in high school. He’s got his permit, driving.

Kirk Bachmann: Aaaahhh!

Patrick Nuzzo: Kirsten’s being a great mom, that she is. Things are good, Kirk. Things are really good. Thanks.

New Mexico Cuisine

Kirk Bachmann: I love it. So great to see you.

As I was thinking about chatting, obviously, we’re going to be talking a lot about health and medicine and inflammation and stuff today. I couldn’t resist: before we dive into our primary subject here, you reside – for our audience – in New Mexico. Remind me: outside of Albuquerque?

Patrick Nuzzo: I’m in Santa Fe.

Kirk Bachmann: You’re in Santa Fe.

Patrick Nuzzo: My office and the school is right in the middle of Santa Fe, and my house is about ten miles north.

Kirk Bachmann: It’s real easy. Land in Albuquerque, drive to Santa Fe. Got it. I love the area. I was in Taos a couple years ago – a year ago – with my daughter. I’m probably jumping ahead too quickly, but I’ve got to ask – I’ve got to talk about right off the bat – a little bit about the cuisine in New Mexico specifically. You’ve been there for a while now. What’s your typical go-to in that region?

Patrick Nuzzo: It’s the chili. I love the chili here. I make a chili every week. I make a meat-based chili with green and red chili powders. It’s just so flavorful. It’s kind of my staple. It’s one of the things that I eat every week throughout the week. I’ll make a big pot of chili. I made a big pot of chili yesterday, and I’ll eat it throughout the week as my soup or a little bit of side dish. It’s always there. I’ve got say I love…. If you’ve never been here in the fall when they are roasting the chilies, it’s amazing. The smells and the aromas around here are just crazy during the fall.

Kirk Bachmann: We have one restaurant here in Boulder called Santo, which is operated by Hosea [Rosenberg], who was a winner on Top Chef. It is authentic New Mexican cuisine. It’s a really beautiful place to go. I believe that the last time I was with you at the house – Kirsten was pregnant with Jackson – that you made chili, but you used to put this little oil. I just remember these little vials that really kicked it up. Do you remember that?

Patrick Nuzzo: I think it’s the chili oils.

Kirk Bachmann: The chili oils. Yeah.

Patrick Nuzzo: You get them at the farmers’ market here, and these guys extract the green and the red chilies. I saute my veggies or my onions and everything in those chili oils. Then the meat on top of it. Yeah.

Kirk Bachmann: I love it.

Patrick Nuzzo: It’s a great memory, Kirk.

Kirk Bachmann: No, I remember you had it. It was a tough swallow, because you had us, from a health perspective, drink that with water. Straight up. It was like, “Whoa!”

Patrick Nuzzo: Kirk, that was a little different concoction.

Kirk Bachmann: We can’t talk about that today.

Patrick Nuzzo: That was my home cold and flu remedy that we make out of the yard. I get all the echinacea and the garlic and the oregano.

Kirk Bachmann: That’s what I’m remembering!

Patrick Nuzzo: That’s the cold and flu season that we make. And that’s an alcohol extract.

Kirk Bachmann: I haven’t felt that great in a long time.

Truly though, Patrick, I love classic New Mexican cuisine. My understanding is that the region you’re in has primarily been known for its fusion of Pueblo Native American cuisine – your corn, your beans, your squash – blended with Spanish and Mexican/New Mexican cuisine. From the Spanish, we got the livestock, the dairy products, the cheese – which is still part of that cuisine – and then the Spanish also brought – you just named it – garlic, olive oil, cinnamon, coriander, rice. All of which are still cornerstones of Mexican/New Mexican cuisine.

I love to tell the story that when I was a young cook in southwest Colorado, I was obsessed with Southwest cuisine. People may not remember, but in the 80s and 90s – giving away my age there – you had Mark Miller, Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe. You had Dean Fearing, the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Texas. Robert Del Grande in Houston, Cafe Annie. I just loved it. I always remember the story.

Back then, we didn’t have the internet. Really giving the age away now. So you collected every magazine you could possibly get. Went to the library; got books. “Food and Wine” was a staple back then, “Food and Wine” magazine. I’ll never forget: they did a big feature on Southwest cuisine. On the cover was some sort of chili or a grilled item, but the coolest thing in the world: they took all kind so herbs and spices – rosemary, thyme, oregano – and they wrapped it with some twine and threw it on top of whatever that entree was. Patrick, I carried that magazine cover around with me for a decade. It was my inspiration, Southwest cuisine.

In fact – this takes me way back – I was working at a Weston hotel in Portland, Oregon for a Swiss chef. I was so obsessed with Southwest cuisine, that I talked him putting a lobster enchilada with a beautiful mole on the menu. And he did! And he did. Now, the staff liked that more than the clientele. That’s neither here nor there.

We’re here to talk about naprapathy today. And we’re not talking about naturopaths or anything else. We’re talking, from what I understand, on a practice that focuses on the connective tissues of the body, and it’s very different from anything else that we’ve talked about in the past. It’s kind of an alternative medicine. Take us from the top. What is naprapathy?

An Introduction to Naprapathy

Patrick Nuzzo: Let me take you right from the start. Naprapathic medicine is connective tissue manipulation. Naprapathic medicine started right alongside chiropractics medicine back in the early 1900s. The founders were actually together. D.D. Palmer started chiropractic medicine and Oakley Smith started naprapathic medicine. Back in the early 1900s, Oakley Smith was a medical pathologist working at the University of Iowa. D.D. Palmer had his school in Davenport, Iowa.

D.D. Palmer reached out to Oakley Smith, because Oakley wasn’t interested in manual therapies. He reached out to Oakley Smith as a pathologist to try to prove the subluxation theory of chiropractic medicine, because that’s basically what chiropractic medicine is based on. The subluxation theory is the malalignment of the bony structure and the falling out of alignment of the bony structure.

Oakley Smith came in and actually disproved the subluxation theory, which created a rift between the two of them, and they moved apart. Oakley Smith wrote the book, “Modernized Chiropractic” that D.D. Palmer built the entire chiropractic profession on. Oakley Smith’s belief was it’s actually the connective tissue, the ligaments, when tightening down, pulled bony structure out of alignment. They don’t fall out of alignment. In order to bring them back into alignment, you have to treat that connective tissue that’s pulling it out of alignment, versus just forcing the bony structure back into alignment. It’s a longer treatments. It’s a more specific treatment.

Oakley Smith developed a science called chartology and chardosis, which is taking findings on the spine, and based on those findings, you then design a treatment to then correct the spinal malalignments. Really, as a school and as a profession, my mission in the school is to grow the profession. We need to do that by proving the science of naprapathy as well. Oakley Smith has got a treasure trove of books out there on this chartology and chardosis. We have, within the school, the Naprapathic Research Foundation. We are working on that science, to bring that science to the forefront. Medicine, right now, will accept manual therapy as a very solid component of taking care of people.

Kirk Bachmann: Let’s back up just a tiny bit. From a pragmatic perspective, that’s a lot to absorb there. I can remember – let’s call it 20 years ago – when you treated me in Lake Zurich, Illinois. For me, I didn’t have pain. I didn’t seek you out for fixing something. For me, it was more preventive. I wanted to feel great.

For our listening audience, walk us through. I’d come to your office in Lake Zurich. Literally, I felt like it was kind of like a massage therapy session, in a weird kind of way, for the graphics. Walk through what a typical session might be. For me, it was a half hour. I felt I could slam dunk when I got through with one of those sessions.

Patrick Nuzzo: It is a half hour session. A naprapathic treatment is a full half-hour session. We work the entire body, but we concentrate on areas of complaint. You didn’t have a lot of complaint, but stress is a big factor in our well being. Repetitive motion is a big factor in our well being. As you have people come into the office, you’re going to find tension patterns based on sleeping positions, sitting positions, working positions.

Naprapathic treatment is all about anti-inflammatory medicine. We increase circulation. We decrease inflammation. We increase range of motion. There’s three forms of connective tissue. Connective tissue is ligaments, which hold bone to bone; tendons, which hold muscle to bone; but the most prevalent connective tissue is called fascia, or interstitial tissue. There’s a layer of muscle. There’s a layer of fascia. There’s a layer of muscle. There’s a layer of fascia. For you chefs out there, the fascia is the gray matter in between the layers. It’s the skin. You look at the chicken, you see the gooey stuff in between the layers. That should be viscous and gooey. When you’re moving your head, or you’re moving your shoulder, those muscles should roll over that viscous fascia. Stress, dehydration, sitting positions, sleeping positions tend to dry that fascia out. When that fascia dries, layer to layer of muscle glues. When you’re moving, it doesn’t glide over. It acts like a fulcrum and pulls bony structure out of alignment.

So as a naprapath, we are trained to seek and find tension. Tension is what I would always find on you. Even though you didn’t have anything that was bothering you at the time, we would always find those areas that were patterns that would put you out of alignment. That’s how you prevent things from hurting.

Kirk Bachmann: I’m feeling better just listening to you. I’m feeling looser.

That was brilliant, actually, Patrick, and not even scripted or rehearsed. I love that visual so that people understand. Silver skin is what we call that –

Patrick Nuzzo: Silver skin.

Kirk Bachmann: -little layer. Beautiful analogy.

What, Patrick, attracted you as a practice, as a study?

Patrick Nuzzo: I was blessed. My uncle was a naprapath. My uncle studied with Oakley Smith. I grew up around somebody who was really influential in my life that I loved. He was my doctor. If I didn’t feel good, I would go see my uncle and get a treatment. He would give me herbs, and he would tell me what foods to eat. I lived this lifestyle my entire life, Kirk. I’m 69 years old and I’ve never taken a prescription medication in my life, Kirk.

Kirk Bachmann: Unbelievable.

Patrick Nuzzo: And I don’t really plan on doing that anytime soon.

Comparing Naprapathy to Other Practices

Kirk Bachmann: I appreciate that transparency. I only ask that question because so many people that I speak to on the show and in life that are involved around the peripheral of alternative medicine or have found other ways to heal have had life experiences that sent them in search of other. Which I love.

I promised my daughter, Kirsten – ironically, another Kirsten – she’s a physical therapist in the Northwest. She loves her practice. I promised her I would ask – again, just for a visual so people can really understand – how does physical therapy differ? How does it fit in? How do they complement each other, the two practices?

Patrick Nuzzo: Physical therapy is very complementary. The biggest difference between naprapaths and physical therapists is we do spinal manipulation. Our focus on the body is spinal manipulation. We work the connective tissues to bring the spine into alignment.

Physical therapists help rehab, help get people back from surgeries, help people get back from injuries. Wonderful practitioners, but they’re not going back to the spine to align the spine. People ask, “What’s the difference between a naprapath and a massage therapist? Or between a naprapath and a chiropractor?”

A naprapath works through the soft tissue to get to the bony structure and bring alignment. A massage therapist, if somebody has a spasm, they’ll work on the spasm. They’ll work on the muscle and try to get the muscle released. They don’t go back to the spine to adjust the spine to get that spasm that started off the spine to release. A chiropractor just finds the malalignments and does the adjustments without the soft tissue work. A naprapath works soft tissue and then it works bony structure to bring alignment. Very similar to a physical therapist.

A physical therapist is working soft tissue with ice, with heat, with exercise, rehabilitation. Spinal alignment is what’s not within the physical therapy practice. As a matter of fact, we target physical therapists in our education. They become a doctor of naprapathic medicine and a connective tissue specialist in 18 months, mostly online with some immersive weekends. To add a relevant spinal manipulation component to their practice, they can become a doctor of naprapathic medicine as well.

Health on All Levels

Kirk Bachmann: It’s so interesting. A few of my notes, working the soft tissue – pretty clear there. Rehabilitative exercises. Postural counseling. I think I need to sit up straight just talking to you.

In the book – we’ll get to the book in a bit – the use of effective properties of heat, cold, light, water, radiant energy, electricity, sound, air. We’ll get to nutrition in a minute, but can you talk about posture and some of these other effective properties, how that impacts how a person feels? Inflammation.

Patrick Nuzzo: We’ll go by posture first. Everything in the body moves through neurovascular bundles: nerve, lymph, blood. Branch off the spine, take that nerve, lymph, blood to every part of your body. If you’re slouching, if you’re in bad positions, you’re not giving the body the ability to do its job. By slouching and not having good posture, you’re actually kinking the hoses, those neurovascular bundles. By standing straight and having a good posture, you’re getting good circulation and good energy.

You mentioned radiant light and heat and ice. Those are all parts of our scope of practice as a naprapath. We’re able to use light and heat and air and sound as different healing techniques. There’s a lot of different machines – ultrasound machines, infrared machines, laser machines – that you can use all to increase circulation. That’s what it’s all about. Without circulation, there’s no life. Diminished circulation is diminished life. Diminished circulation is inflammation. Inflammation is pain. We need to reverse all that stuff.

Naprapathic medicine attacks inflammation two ways. It attacks it manually by making posture recommendations, by doing spinal manipulation, by making sure that the individual is getting the treatments that are necessary to sit aligned like you’re trying to sit aligned right now, Kirk.

Kirk Bachmann: My producers are going to be like, “Wow, Kirk! You’re sitting at such attentions!”

Patrick Nuzzo: And then we go at inflammation from a metabolic perspective. Food is medicine, guys. You are in the industry. Food is absolutely medicine.

Kirk Bachmann: I love that.

Patrick Nuzzo: Our job is to eat food that is grown in restored, regenerative soils from organic sources that we can get nutrients out of it and feed this body so we can get circulation. In the meantime, as you’re getting food from regenerative, [rejuvenating] sources and soils, you’re helping save the planet. You’re helping save the soil. You’re helping save the planet. I really think that we need to take on a lifestyle that takes care of ourselves, that takes care of the soil, that takes care of the planet. We bring health on all levels.

Kirk Bachmann: My good friend, Farmer Lee Jones would be so happy to hear. That’s a TikTok reel right there, by the way.

Patrick Nuzzo: Let’s do one, Kirk.

A Lifestyle Example of Nutrition

Kirk Bachmann: I love it all. Let’s move on from the deep tissue manipulation. You are also a nutritionist. You just started to touch on that a little bit.

Patrick Nuzzo: Before I became a naprapath, I studied nutrition. That was in my early 20s. I really did it mostly on experiments. I was 22, 23 years old. I decided to become a vegetarian. It was early 70s, living in Chicago. There was really no organic stores, but it was an experiment. I became a vegetarian. I did it for almost nine years. But that diet wasn’t so good for me! By the time I was 30, my hair was starting to thin. I was starting to lose my hair. I wasn’t getting the strength that I wanted. I started looking into body types, my type, blood types. I’m a type O blood. I’m Mediterranean, so my natural diet is as a carnivore, a meat eater. My diet and nutrition – I studied in school – but it really was a lifestyle experience for me.

My whole 20s and 30s, I experimented on diet and fasting. I work with Patricia and Paul Bragg, who wrote all the fasting books in the 60s and 70s. That was part of my journey through nutrition. I developed products for them, and I developed products on my own just by learning and reading and sourcing and researching. My study in nutrition has been a lifestyle, and book learned, but it’s been a lifestyle.

I always said, in my early 20s, I started getting into this nutrition thing. I knew in order to have an impact out there, you had to be an example. If you can’t live what you believe, you’re not very convincing out there. I’ve tried to live my life in the beliefs of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, Kirk. I’ve been doing it since the early 70s.

It’s taken me into the school. I don’t know if I shared this with you, before we wrote the book “Anti-inflammatory Medicine,” but Southwest University of Naprapathic Medicine is in the process of getting a Master of Science in Anti-inflammatory Medicine program to offer to individuals. We should be able to get that project up and out by this summer.

Kirk Bachmann: Amazing.

Patrick Nuzzo: To doctors, to physical therapists, to nurses, people who are working in the industry. It’s a pretty important aspect. We treat stress aches and pains without drugs. You’ve got to do that by reducing inflammation metabolically and manually.

Kirk Bachmann: How important is the daily consumption of water?

Patrick Nuzzo: Oh, God, Kirk! Water is life! Our body is made up of like 84 percent water. If you take a sponge and you put it in the sink, and you go back tomorrow, what’s the sponge look like? Hard and crusty. If we’re not taking water in and hydrating, our tissue gets hard and crusty. Remember, we talk about the neurovascular bundles that have to move throughout the body. If the tissue is dry, you’re not getting as a good a flow as it [does] if it’s nice and puffy. Hydration is a key. It’s absolutely a key. You’ve got to drink that six to eight glasses of water a day. It’s not a [cliche]. It’s necessary. It’s part of your intake. It’s part of your daily habit. Just like stretching. Just like breathing.

Kirk Bachmann: So happy to hear you say that. Gretchen is constantly telling me to stand up straight and drink more water. Water, water, water.

Patrick Nuzzo: There you go. I told you, I like her more all the time.

Working with Walter

Kirk Bachmann: I see Sweetness back over your right shoulder there. I don’t know what I’m at liberty to discuss, but you worked with the late, great Walter Payton, Super Bowl champ from the Chicago Bears, for a long time. Can you talk about that?

Patrick Nuzzo: Sure I can. Walter was a patient of mine. I met Walter in 1979. I was just starting to get into naprapath school. I was doing massage out of a club in Palatine, Illinois called the Charlie Club. Walter was a member there. This is how I met him; I had a pair of inversion boots.

Kirk Bachmann: I remember those.

Patrick Nuzzo: I was in the club. I was hanging on the boots in the club. This guy walks up to me. I didn’t know it was Walter. It was one of the first days I was there. He just struck up a conversation. He wanted to get the boots on. He got the boots on, and when he was hanging, I started working on his back. He started asking me questions. I told him what I was doing. We became fast friends. I worked on Walter throughout his entire career. I’m sad and happy to say, I was with him the night before he passed away. I treated him all through his illness, because he was in a lot of pain. I would bring relief to him. He was a trusted friend.

We had a great run together. We developed some products together, a little before our time, I might say. We developed a product called RPMs back in 1989 that was a green tea extra, caffeine-based product. We got some slack on it back in Chicago back in the early 80s. “Walter Payton’s promoting pep pills.” It was really a phenomenal green tea extract elixir that we formulated. We made some products called Stay in Shape. We made a meal replacement drink. We made a sports drink. We made something before PowerBar came out. We had some sports. But when he passed away, the family decided not to go further with the product line. We just put that away. It was a great effort. It was a great time, but we shut the product line down.

Productive Partnerships

Kirk Bachmann: Beautiful stories. Great memories. Patrick, when developing a product line, whether it’s with or for a major athlete or a brand, like Kraft and Anheuser-Busch, what makes – in your mind from an entrepreneurship perspective – what makes great partnerships like that work?

Patrick Nuzzo: I think everybody’s got to know their role in it. That’s the most important thing. I’m a subject matter expert. Even now, I’m doing that with curriculum, Kirk. I could develop curriculum for anti-inflammatory nutrition per se. One of the things that we’re going to go after [is the] cannabis industry, and develop a cannabis pharmacopoeia to let people know how to use cannabis for anti-inflammatory purposes, for pain purposes. You’ve got to know what your strength is in the partnership. You’ve got to be able to stay in those silos and support each other in those silos, Kirk. That’s what I see as most important.

The Path to Creating an Educational Institution

Kirk Bachmann: That’s great. That’s great feedback. Sounds like a lot of collaboration and respect is super important, like with anything.

Let’s talk a little bit about Southwest University of Naprapathic Medicine. That’s your life’s work. You’ve been on a journey to normalize alternative medicine. Starting an institution where people can receive accredited training and education is just spectacular. Huge step. What was that road like? And the road continues! Walk us through that.

Patrick Nuzzo: This is where you and I started. This is where our friendship started. This is where I met Paul. I was still in Illinois, going back and forth to my office in New Mexico, my office in Lake Zurich.

I came to New Mexico to do a retreat center. I don’t know if you remember that or not, but I was working with adult survivors of childhood trauma when I was in Illinois. I moved to New Mexico. I opened a retreat center in New Mexico, and I started bringing groups of patients out there. Every other week, I would go back and forth between Chicago and New Mexico, and I’d bring a group of patients out once a month.

The weeks I wasn’t bringing patients out, I was treating. I’m going to tell you this story because this is why it happened, how Southwest University of Naprapathic Medicine happened. I would treat patients in the retreat center the weeks I was here. This was August of 1999. I got a phone call from this gentleman who said to me, “My name is Benny. I broke my neck in a car accident. I heard you could help me. Could I come in and get some treatments.”

The next week I was there, Benny walked in my office – beautiful, old New Mexican man. T-shirt, overalls. Nicest guy. Started treating him, do what I do. Came in every other week twice a week. After about three months, Benny walks in. This is about October. He walks in my office, he looks me in the eye and says, “Doc. I’m sleeping through the night. I’m taking about a third of the pain medication that I was taking. I feel like I got my life back. We need to get you licensed here in New Mexico.”

I thought, “What the hell is Benny talking about?” Well, Benny turned out to be Senator Ben Altamirano. And Senator Altamirano. was the president pro [tempore] of the senate here in New Mexico for 34 years. He introduced the Naprapathic Practice Act in the year 2000. It took me four years to get the Practice Act passed and signed into law in 2004. It made it possible for naprapaths to practice in New Mexico. I never thought to do this.

As we’re at the bill signing, Governor Richardson signing the bill into law, Benny looks at me and says, “Doc, you’ve got to bring a school here now.”

“All right. I could do that.”

So I get a license for the school in 2006. It’s right when I met Paul. Paul is working where you were working, Career Education Corporation. I started talking to Paul.

“Paul, I’ve got a license. I gotta do this.” I went and started a school. I’d never thought about anything like this before, but I knew that if I started a school, I had to get the school accredited because that’s the reason that naprapathic never moved. There’s one school in Chicago. Nobody ever accredited it.

We opened the school in 2011. Graduated my first class in 2014. Petitioned for accreditation in 2015, and then got accreditation from the Distant Education Accrediting Commission, making Southwest University of Naprapathic Medicine the first ever accredited school of naprapathic medicine.

Now, we will see the growth of this profession because anti-inflammatory medicine and treating pain without medication is such an important piece in health care right now. We can train already-licensed practitioners – already-licensed chiropractors and physical therapists and M.D.s and nurses – in 18 months how to do spinal manipulation, and how to use manual and metabolic therapies to help people with their suffering and pain. Without drugs. Without drugs.

The Potential Growth of Naprapathy

Kirk Bachmann: Love the passion. I was just going to ask, considering the demand for natural treatments and preventative practices, and that becoming more mainstream in the world of medicine – you just said the growth rate of naprapathic medicine is on the right path. How can people find out more about this field?

Patrick Nuzzo: Obviously, you can take a look at my website: sunm.edu. I have a book out. We have a couple of books out on naprapathic medicine. They’re available on Amazon. It talks about the history of naprapathic medicine. It talks about the anti-inflammatory aspects of naprapathic medicine. You can contact us at the school if you have any questions.

We’re a profession that’s absolutely in the right position. We’re ready for prime time. The profession is 130 years old, not dissimilar with what you guys did with Escoffier. You took a 100-year-old brand and you brought it out and made it relevant. We’re going to do the same thing in medicine with naprapathic medicine. It’s been there forever, and it’s been obscure, and it’s been hidden. But with the accreditation and with the outreach that we have, I really feel that we’re going to see some great turns.

One of our graduates, Dr. Beau Hightower. He was a chiropractor who came through this accelerated or immersive program. He is an influencer on the internet. Dr. Hightower has a million-and-a-half followers on YouTube. Just two months ago, in October, he posted a video of he and I of why he left chiropractic for naprapathic medicine. It talks all about the anti-inflammatory aspect. We’ve had almost 230,000 views since October on this.

Since that has happened, we’re getting more and more momentum, more and more people looking. Now, with Escoffier and talking with you, Kirk, and bringing this out there, I have no doubt we’re going to see this start to get some legs here, Kirk.

Kirk Bachmann: I love the momentum. Just to clarify: in terms of licensing to practice naprapathy exists in two states, New Mexico, Illinois. By attending Southwest University of Naprapathic Medicine, students have the ability – graduates have the ability – to become licensed –

Patrick Nuzzo: In those two states. But already licensed practitioners – a chiropractor, a physical therapist – who already has a license to do manual therapies can come through our program and add this connective tissue specialty to their license. They don’t need a special license to be a naprapath. But we are going to other states to get license. We are introducing practice acts in other states as we speak. But we also are able to – the strengths that we’re going to go into and open our programs, we’ll go in there with an 18-month program first to already-licensed practitioners so we can develop faculty to teach our students who want to come through the full three-year program. There’s a big opportunity here for people who have a passion for manual medicine, who have a passion for helping people without pharmaceuticals.

Taking Care of Ourselves to Take Care of More

Kirk Bachmann: Well said.

I wanted to take a moment to talk a little bit, again, about the book. Some of this is repeat, but it’s really important. Patrick, as you know, I’m a fortunate kidney transplant recipient. I received my existing current kidney from my father almost 40 years ago next month. My dad’s 86 and he’s still doing great. Inflammation for me is a real trigger. It is something that I know I need to control personally. It’s the enemy of staying healthy. Nutrition plays into that, as we’ve discussed. You mentioned water being really important. I have to be super, super cognizant of what I put into my body. In recent years I’ve kind of shifted over to a predominantly plant-based diet, which makes me feel good. That’s good.

I wanted to just emphasize, in the book, Chapter 5 specifically resonated with [me]. I just wanted to visit it one more time. “There’s no shortage of stress.” In terms of the elevator speech, Patrick, it’s all about being an evangelist for what you believe in. I believe in classical cooking methods. You believe in this approach to taking care of your body. If you only had a few minutes, and you were with a governor or a senator, and you had to summarize the art of naprapathy, what would you say?

Patrick Nuzzo: The art of naprapathic medicine is the ability to get the body to function at an ultimate level: nerve, lymph, blood flow. That’s what life is all about. Two things affect nerve, lymph, blood flow. Many things, but two things in particular: what you put in your body physically and what comes at your body emotionally. Stressfully.

Stress is a huge factor. Stress tightens people down. When things are tightened down, it’s like stepping on a garden hose. You step on a garden hose, the water doesn’t flow real well. If you have tension in your neck or shoulders or your jaw, you’re tensing down on vital veins and arteries that go in and out of the heart that go and enervate the rest of your body. Stress is oppressive.

If you eat foods that are loaded with chemicals and sugar and additives, your body has to work and fight hard to get that out of the system, which creates inflammation. When inflammation is there, pain is there. When inflammation and pain are there, stiffness is there. Mobility decreases. Your quality of life is really diminished. You’ve got to get manual therapy, get nerve, lymph, blood its optimal opportunity to function at its best. Metabolically.

It’s not what you do 10 percent of the time; it’s what you do 90 percent of the time. You’ve got to just eat well. You’ve got to eat foods that are alive. You’ve got to eat foods that people tend to and people take care of and people put love in to grow. You get that. It’s nurturing. When they do that to the soil, they’re healing the planet. They’re healing you. They’re healing the planet. Let’s get on it.

It’s 2023. Let’s take care of ourselves to take care of the soil to take care of the planet.

Kirk Bachmann: Let’s have the courage to do it. I love it. That is a great elevator speech, can I just say.

Patrick Nuzzo: Thanks, Kirk. I’ve had 40 years to perfect that.

Dr. Nuzzo’s Ultimate Dish

Kirk Bachmann: Listen, before I let you go today, the name of the podcast is the Ultimate Dish. We’re talking about food. I need you to put your chef toque on right now. In your mind and in your life, Patrick, what is the ultimate dish?

Patrick Nuzzo: Oh my goodness. You know I’m going to go back to my Italian heritage here, Kirk.

Kirk Bachmann: I love it. I love it.

Patrick Nuzzo: I just made this dish for New Year’s Eve. It’s my grandmother’s and my mother’s recipe. It’s eggplant Parmesan. Of course, you have to start with a glass of red wine.

Kirk Bachmann: Just to kick it off.

Patrick Nuzzo: You can’t possibly begin cooking without a glass of red wine. Eggplants. Organic. Sourced. You take them, you peel the skins off the eggplants. You peel the skins. You slice them thinly, you put them in egg dip and an organic bread crumb. You can either flash fry or bake those. I bake them most of the time. Then I take them. I do four eggplants for a 9×14 casserole.

I’ll slice all those eggplants. I let them drain overnight. The next morning, I take my marinara sauce. I put it down. I put the eggplant down. I use four different blended cheeses. I layer five times with five layers of cheese, the marinara sauce in between. Eggplant Parmesan. comes on. It’s magical, man.

Kirk Bachmann: I love it. It’s like a casserole. So are you slicing the eggplant cross-section or lengthwise.

Patrick Nuzzo: Cross-section.

Kirk Bachmann: Cross-section, so you’ve got disks.

Patrick Nuzzo: So they’re round. What I did for New Year’s Eve. It was a big party – I either serve this as a main dish. What I did New Year’s Eve is I did appetizer. I did 1×1 squares, little toothpick appetizers. The thing goes quick, man. It’s a good side dish. It’s a good main dish, Kirk.

Kirk Bachmann: I love it. That’s a beautiful way to kick off 2023, and our chat was a great way to kick off 2023. First recording of the year. So great to see you. So happy for your success. Let’s stay in touch. Thank you so much, buddy.

Patrick Nuzzo: Kirk, thank you. It was just really great to connect again. Please bring your wife and come and visit.

Kirk Bachmann: We’re going to get it on the calendar. Absolutely.

Patrick Nuzzo: Let’s get it on the calendar. Very good.

Kirk Bachmann: And give my best to Kirsten as well, okay?

Patrick Nuzzo: I will do it. I will absolutely do it. Take care, Kirk.

Kirk Bachmann: Thanks, Patrick.

And thank you for listening to the Ultimate Dish podcast, brought to you by Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. Visit escoffier.edu/podcast, where you’ll find any materials mentioned during the podcast, including notes, links and other resources. You can also browse other episodes and subscribe.

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