The Map to Mitochondria MasteryDec 07, 2021
What is the Map to Mitochondria Mastery?
The Map to Mitochondria Mastery summarizes our signature 5-step process for walking clients through cellular healing. While every client's process will look different according to their bio-individual needs, virtually everyone will follow this outline and move in this order.
Continue reading to learn more about the approach and what's involved in each step.
Healthy Mitochondria, Healthy You
Our mitochondria are our energy factories. They rapidly produce molecules called ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), which our bodies use as a power source. Without ATP, our bodies can’t do anything – from muscle movements, to digestion, to healing
This is important because when mitochondria are stressed, they stop producing ATP and instead move into a secondary defensive role. They go from being in “energy” mode to being in “battleship” mode (also referred to as Cell Danger Response).
The Role of Mitochondria in the Immune System
You can think of your mitochondria sort of like the canaries in the coal mine. They help to sound the alarm and communicate with the body’s immune system at the first signs of something going wrong.
When mitochondria are met with a stressor in the body, they basically scramble from inside of the cell to outside of the cell, and this works to signal the immune system and draw its attention to the area where there is a threat.
While this process is normal and necessary for a proper immune response, the conditions in modern life can often result in this process running amok, with too many mitochondria shutting down their "energy factories" and getting stuck in "battleship" mode.
When this happens, there isn’t enough energy to power the body, and by extension, to heal. This is why the mitochondria are key to healing and especially healing disease.
What functions do mitochondria perform?
In general, you need well-functioning mitochondria so that your body can:
- Produce pure water for your cells (an energy production byproduct)
- Upregulate detoxification
- Stimulate death (apoptosis) of cells that are damaged to prevent mutations that lead to cancer
- Fight viruses
- Carry out cell signaling, which is vital for immune function and cell death
- Produce heat
- Repair DNA
Why do mitochondria get stuck in battleship mode?
Battleship mode comes on because of stress. In most cases, stress is brought on when a cell comes into contact with some kind of toxin.
Here are the most common stimuli that can cause the Mitochondria to enter into “battleship mode”:
- Heavy metals
- Radioactive elements
- Severe oxidative stress from:
- Pro-inflammatory and processed foods
- Unhealthy microbiome
- Plastics and phthalates
- Cigarette smoke
- Chronic psychological stress
- Chemical cleaners, chlorine, and deodorizers
- High blood sugar levels
- Lyme disease
Mitochondria VS The Toxicity Bucket
The reality in modern life is that we are exposed to infinitely more toxic chemicals, radioactive elements, metals, and oxidative stress than ever before in history:
- The Environmental Protection Agency has over 80,000+ toxic chemicals registered in its database! Most of these have not been researched for their impact on human health. And many of these do have studies showing deleterious effects on human health, and are allowed to circulate anyway.
- Water databases show that radioactive elements, endocrine disruptors, and metals are ubiquitous in municipal water supplies.
- We live in homes made out of synthetic materials with poor ventilation and spend limited time outside, increasing our exposure to molds and other variables that lower our air quality.
- And the list goes on…
All of us are dealing with some level of toxicity that we carry in our body. You could think of an individual’s toxin load as a kind of toxicity bucket whose level is dictated by a person’s unique history and stimuli. Those people who have been suffering with chronic illnesses for many years likely have toxicity buckets that are quite full, while healthy children probably have very little in their toxicity buckets.
Each of us also has a certain level of mitochondrial function – a rate at which our mitochondria are able to stay in “energy” mode versus convert into “battleship” mode. You could think of our mitochondria function like a battery with a certain degree of charge in it. Those with chronic illness will likely have a low charge in their battery, while younger, healthier people will have close to a full charge.
Taken together, populations with chronic illness have an overflowing toxicity bucket, and a low mitochondrial battery charge. This creates a see-saw kind of imbalance. The gap between the low mitochondrial charge and the high toxicity bucket can be considered a healing deficit. The body will never be able to heal or begin lowering the toxins in its bucket if mitochondrial function is lower than the toxicity levels.
Therefore, the goal of our approach depicted in the Mitochondria Mastery Map is to both:
- Raise up mitochondrial function
- Lower toxicity contributing to mitochondrial dysfunction
In doing this we can achieve a rebalancing, where our mitochondria battery is closer to full, and our toxicity bucket is lower, allowing the body’s natural healing processes to finally get on top of managing what’s in the bucket. This is when we achieve a healing surplus.
The Order of Operations
However, the order in which we attack these toxins and how we go about supporting the mitochondria is of the utmost importance! Going in the wrong order risks putting too much pressure on our drainage system and mitochondrial collapse. Let’s take a look at each step on the Mitochondrial Mastery Map and explain why we move in the order we do.
Step 1: Support & Drainage. (30 to 60 days)
When we start by boosting the mitochondria, it’s going to help all of the other steps on the map to work better and will also work to increase tolerability and prepare the body for detox.
We also start with a focus on drainage to ensure the toxins we target will be properly eliminated. There are many different organ systems involved in drainage, depicted int he funnel below. Each lower step on the funnel must be working optimally in order for the steps above it to work well (i.e. start with your colon before you support your liver!). Otherwise, you'll experience a bottleneck which will result in negative symptoms.
Drainage is much different than detox! Detoxification is the process of eliminating toxins from the body. Drainage, on the other hand, refers to how well your body’s exit pathways are working.
- Are you able to eliminate your body’s waste efficiently?
If detoxification is like cleaning out your house and putting the garbage on the curb, then drainage is how reliable the garbage truck will be in coming to collect that rubbish and get it off of your property. An unreliable garbage truck means a trash problem on your property.
The same is true for your body! If you are not moving your bowels 1-3 times a day, sweating, supporting your liver, kidneys, and lymphatic system, then you aren’t ready to detoxify at all. In fact, any attempts at detoxification will likely result in the recirculation of what you’re trying to get rid of, which will make all of your symptoms so much worse.
These Herxheimer reactions can include symptoms like anxiety, chills, headache, and tachycardia. This happens as bacteria, fungus, parasites, viruses, and other pathogens are killed off, because they release endotoxins into the tissues and blood. If the body cannot keep up with the influx of die-off toxins, Herx reactions occur.
I prefer to tackle drainage from the bottom of the drainage funnel on up:
- 1st the colon. You should be moving the bowels 1-2 times a day for a healthy individual. For suboptimal individuals, 2-3 times a day.
- 2nd the liver + bile. We support phase 1, 2, and 3 of liver detox with a special emphasis on Bile movement.
- 3rd the lymph. We use epsom salt baths, massages, and dry skin brushing to make sure the Lymph can carry all of the waste to the liver.
- 4th the kidneys. We use targeted herb and enzyme support to ensure the body’s primary filtration system is not getting clogged up.
- 5th the mitochondria. We leverage charged particles, with fulvic and humic acids to kickstart the mitochondria back to “energy” mode.
Step 2: Parasite Cleanse (60 – 120 days)
The Gut needs attention right away but is ultimately the last to heal. Chronic parasitic infections are a modern-day health epidemic. We move into addressing parasites early in the journey because literature has shown that they act as sponges in the body and can harbor other damaging substances that they may release as they die.
Helminths (worms) contain toxins and infections like:
- Pathogenic bacteria including Lyme and Coinfections
- Heavy Metals (can eat their weight in heavy metals)
Many practitioners currently miss this. If we try to address Lyme, mold, or metals first, it ultimately translates to time wasted. A typical Lyme protocol, for example, may work for a little while, but the infection will always come back if parasites have not been addressed because the bacteria will just hide in the helminths and reemerge when the protocol is over. The same is true for metals, mold, and chemicals. There will always be more to get rid of unless you get rid of the safehouse (the parasite!).
Parasites and Viruses
When parasites are present chronically over time, the body’s TH2 immune response becomes elevated while the TH1 immune response is lowered. This makes it extremely difficult for the body to go after viruses. Parasites also harbor viruses and can induce the body to produce viruses. If you deal with chronic EBV, HPV, etc. you likely have a parasite issue that needs addressing first.
Bring any drainage support that is needed with you from step 1.
Spend 1-2 months focused on gut-oriented parasites using various herbs, mimosa pudica seed, and a quality binder to mop up everything the critters release as they die.
Spend another 1-2 months targeting systemic parasites, making sure to increase lymph drainage support and binding as needed.
Be persistent and consistent! The body is ready to release different layers of parasites at certain times, there’s eggs to consider as well. After you think you’re done… go a little bit longer!
Step 3: Mold + Metals (120 – 180 days)
Now that we’ve lowered your parasite load, busted biofilms, and have opened up your drainage pathways, we can begin to go after what was living in the parasites and biofilms: heavy metals and mold.
Metals and mold go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly. When the body has too many heavy metals, it will actually allow fungus to take up residence because that fungus will help to eat the metal and break it down, providing a buffer between the dangerous metals and your tissue. This is why those with chronic candida infections will never be able to get rid of the problem until they address their metal burden, and it’s why we always need to plan to address these two together.
Mold is important to address before we address Lyme and other pathogenic bacteria, as its presence is known for making these types of infections much worse. You could think of it like the match that lights the infectious fire caused by pathogenic microbes. Many will be unable to clear Lyme and co-infections without meaningfully addressing mold first, which when eradicated results in a big boon for the immune system.
- Bring any drainage support that is needed with you from phase 1.
- We incorporate two different fulvic acid based binders focusing on Heavy Metals and on the biotoxins produced by molds. Fulvic acid is the strongest “chelator” in science in that it’s incredibly efficacious at removing metals - except it isn’t really a “chelator”, it’s actually much safer and gentler. It nourishes, repairs, and gives nutrients as it cleans your tissue.
- Introduce an anticandidal formula to tamp down on inflammation and clean up lingering residues.
- Finally, we emphasize sweating, and oxygenating your internal terrain to create an environment inhospitable to mold.
Step 4: Lyme + Co-infections (30 to 60 days)
The goal with this phase is to conquer chronic microbe challenges and optimize wellness for the long-term by promoting immune cell activity deep within the body, such as joints, organs, and nervous system.
Lyme, its co-infections, and other pathogenic bacteria are everywhere. Yet, Lyme often goes undiagnosed due to its reputation as “the great imitator”, working to mimic other diseases. Due to this, it is estimated that only about half the people who have Lyme are diagnosed.
Lyme has over 150 different symptoms associated with it and can vary how it presents from person to person. Many mistakenly believe that a “bullseye rash” must appear after a tick bite to confirm Lyme, however, it has been demonstrated that Lyme bacteria may take on different forms that do not result in this outcome, and so in reality only about 30% of people see this rash.
Even if you do not have Lyme, you may have a co-infection like Bartonella, Babesia, Erlichia, or Rickettsia. These infections are ubiquitous and are difficult to detect, yet eliminating them can make the difference between getting stuck in a cycle of negative symptoms and moving forward in your health. What’s more, the methods and therapies we use in this step will work to eliminate virtually all pathogenic bacterial presences, even beyond those associated with Ectoparasites.
- Bring any drainage support that is needed with you from phase 1.
- Support the Lymph. Lyme and its co-infections love to hide in the lymphatic system, so adding in therapies and herbs to support lymphatic flow provides a synergistic effect that allows a deeper cleansing.
- Cycle through targeting antimicrobials for Borrelia, and the most common co-infections: Bartonella, Babesia, Erlichia, and Rickettsia. These herbs will also address a wide swath of pathogenic microbial presences, allowing the immune system to finally get ahead.
- Often, the biofilms these microbes are housed in will dissolve as we deal with the infections. It’s important we continue binding the metals, mold, and biotoxins being released to minimize their impact.
Step 5: Virus + Clean Up (30 - 90 days)
Viruses — the tiniest of microbes — could be a big obstacle in your recovery from complex, chronic illness. Yet, they’re often overlooked. A virus is simply genetic material surrounded by a protective protein shell. These microbes can’t replicate on their own. Instead, they trick their host’s cells into making copies so they can spread. Once inside your cells, they “cut some of the tripwires” that would alert your immune system to their hostile takeover.
If you have complex, chronic illness, certain long-term viral infections may be contributing. Examples are Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus. Sometimes these appear alongside chronic Lyme disease and mold toxicity. These types of chronic viruses can alternate between being active versus latent. This means they can appear, disappear, and then be reactivated when your immune system is down.
Even further from people’s radar are retroviruses. These are viruses that hide in your DNA. Though retroviruses may not initially be active in your body, they may be activated later. In some cases, other viruses such as Epstein-Barr may activate retroviruses. Chronic inflammation may also activate retroviruses. Lyme disease and mold toxicity are other common culprits that promote viral activation due to a weakened immune system.
After all of the work your body has done at this point in your journey, it’s likely that the pathogens, toxins, and inflammation you’ve been addressing have activated some viral activity. So we spend the last part of our process working to clear these viruses and quell any residual inflammation they may be causing.
- Mega support your mitochondria. Your mitochondria help defend you against viruses. But viruses can manipulate your cells’ mitochondria to promote their survival. For example, viruses can impair your mitochondria’s ability to produce energy. Viruses can also destroy mitochondria, reducing the number of mitochondria in your cells. Therefore, we need to give your mitochondria an extra boost during this phase.
- Anti-viral therapies. Medicinal mushrooms and herbs can help lower viral loads and boost the immune system.
- Push detox. Toxicity plays a significant role in how well your immune system functions. So, improving your drainage and detoxification is vital to overcoming a viral challenge.
- Bind with Bio-Active Carbons. Lab research has shown that humic acid — a component of Bio-Active Carbon — triggers the death of liver cells when infected with a harmful virus. Also, Bio-Active Carbon may inactivate viruses and pull retroviruses out of your DNA. For example, lab studies suggest Bio-Active Carbon may help combat herpes simplex virus 1, cytomegalovirus, and HIV.
- Soothe inflammation. After kicking up everything in the first 4 steps, we need to work on soothing your tissue and cleaning up inflammation with targeted support.
The journey to better health is not always linear, and, in some tough cases, can take months or years to see real progress. But in following a mitochondrial-centered approach that focuses on improving function at the cellular level, you can root out illness at the source and promote healing at the deepest level. If your cells are working correctly, they can adapt to modern phenomena. Our work is to nudge them back into their natural energetic state by supporting stimulation that is otherwise missing from modern life, and by alleviating modern toxicity that inhibits their activity.
If you’re interested in walking the path outlined in the Mitochondrial Mastery Map, we’d love to work with you! Click here to learn more about the program and apply.