Building, Protecting, and Healing a Healthy Brain: Meet Dr. Hyla Cass

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Bodies, it turns out, know how to heal, and sometimes nature is the best pharmacist. Dr. Hyla Cass is an integrative psychiatrist and an expert on mental health, brain degeneration, and dementia. Her message: personalized prevention is possible if you know the right strategies, and so is recovery from overmedication. After more than 30 years in the field, medical researchers are coming into alignment with this philosophy and studies are now demonstrating the power of lifestyle intervention.

James Maskell:              Hello and welcome to the Big Bold Health Podcast. We are making health personal in a world of disease, and today we’re going to be talking about brain health. Now in our series, we have been now focusing on leaders, female leaders of the health movement, people who have been on the cutting edge, really changing our understanding about how to create healthy body parts. And in this case we’re going to be talking with Dr. Hyla Cass, who is a very well-known integrative psychiatrist, and lecturer, and product creator, and a lot of strings to your bow, Hyla. So, throughout this podcast we’ll be talking about this shift away from a disease centric health system to a health centric health system. And so, I guess the first question I wanted to ask you is, what is specific to the brain in terms of what does it take to create and maintain a healthy brain?

Hyla Cass:                     Well, what’s interesting is it’s connected. The brain is connected all the way through to the whole body. And, it’s so interesting that psychiatry, the way I was taught it, is from the neck up; you’re treating brain symptoms. And, that’s not where the issues are; the issues are how is your body doing, how is your overall health? And so, the good news is that whatever you’re doing for your overall health, you’re also doing to benefit your brain.

James Maskell:              Yeah, absolutely. And this conversation, you’ve been in the business of helping people recover from psychiatric illnesses, and they’re coming in probably expecting the pharmaceutical cure. What sort of a shift is that for the people that you come across to start thinking about creating a healthy brain and bring that brain back to health?

Hyla Cass:                     Well, what we know is that nature is the best pharmacist, and our bodies just know how to heal.

James Maskell:              Yeah.

Hyla Cass:                     So, take away certain problems, certain issues, certain lacks, replenish with the right nutrients, with exercise, with sleep, all of that, and the body responds just beautifully. So, we don’t have to cover over symptoms with medications that then have their own problems, side effects and whatever, dependency, tolerance; and I see a lot of addiction too. So, it’s wonderful what we have learned over the years and that we can prevent so much of what we’re seeing now in terms of mental illness, brain degeneration, dementia—we can prevent a large part of it.

James Maskell:              Jeff, I think you guys have known each other for quite a while. Am I right on that one?

Jeffrey Bland:                Yes, it goes back three decades, we were just doing a little mental arithmetic here. But Hyla is an extraordinary colleague, friend, leader in the field and a co-collaborator in what I would consider this new model of health creation. And so, Hyla, it’s really for me a personal pleasure to have this opportunity to sit and chat about this journey that we’ve been on collaboratively. I think one of the things that I take away, and we were reminiscing a little bit about the first time that we met, which I think was at your place in Malibu. And, you were hosting a variety of what then were kind of renegade thinkers, 30 plus years ago, and now many of the things that we were talking about then, that we’re considered renegade, have now come to be really considered right in the stream of new thinking, of current thinking.

Jeffrey Bland:                And, I believe that it’s really important to have a person of your stature and experience to talk about how you reflect on these paradigm shifts changing. You’ve been kind of a chronicler of watching the shift over time, and there’s still a big push back up by certain quarters within the field saying if it’s not the way we say it, it doesn’t exist. But we’ve seen more and more people coming into this field; the movement towards us is a lot greater than the movement towards them. So, how would you see, from your perspective, this transition having occurred where health creation, and what I would call personalized prevention has started to become much more commonplace?

Hyla Cass:                     Well, first of all, the science supports it. And so, we’re seeing a lot more on lifestyle. We’re seeing the American Cancer Society talking about eating your vegetables—I mean, that was unheard of. So, even the very conservative organizations are looking at lifestyle, and that’s really where to start. I have to say that for myself when I’m treating patients, just doing lifestyle modifications, the sleep, the exercise, the good diet goes so, so, so far in actually reestablishing good mental health. So, guess what? They didn’t have a Prozac deficiency.

Jeffrey Bland:                Well, it’s interesting. There are so many institutes now, very esteemed research clinical institutes that are actually taking on board clinical trials, as you say, in lifestyle for brain function. And there’s a wonderful study that was published called the MIND study [Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Disorders] out of University of Chicago and Northwestern medical schools, in which they showed clearly that you could prevent the onset of dementia by lifestyle dietary intervention.

Jeffrey Bland:                There was a study in Finland, that is a very large study that got a lot of press in Scientific American a year ago. There’s a recent study that just was published in JAMA in, I think that was the June 25th issue of 2019, on a clinical trial in the United States looking at retention of cognitive function in older age individuals by, as you just stated, lifestyle intervention. So, these individuals that have said, “Well, there’s no proof about this. It’s just a bunch of speculation. The only thing we have proof of is drugs.” Which by the way, in the way of dementia, there’s never been a drug that’s proven to be successful. It looks as if like we have the weight of evidence on our side.

Hyla Cass:                     Absolutely. And, we look at the blue zones and what do they have? They have lifestyle, they have community, they have a sense of family, they have meals together. They exercise, they walk up and down mountains often. They walk places. Their water is clean, and not only not polluted, but also not with what we put in our city water. The things that we use to “decontaminate” the water as well as all the medicines and all the other things that are found in our water supply.

Jeffrey Bland:                Yes, isn’t it staggering? We learn more about the Flint, Michigan situation to find out that it’s not just only Flint, right? That just happens to be a tip of a bad iceberg, and there’s all sorts of stuff below the waterline that we’re experiencing. In fact, in the Great Lakes water, they find that there’s enough metabolites from antidepressants that it actually influences the life of small microorganisms, which means we’re medicating, as you stated, our water supplies, which seems almost unfathomable that that would be the case.

Hyla Cass:                     And hormones. There’s hormones in the water.

Jeffrey Bland:                Oh boy.

James Maskell:              If you took it to its logical conclusion, Hyla, just the journey that you just described over the last 40 years, do you see that there’s a time approaching where a lifestyle first approach or an anti-inflammatory approach to mental health would just be the way that it’s done?

Hyla Cass:                     Hard to predict, but I’m certainly seeing a lot more of it than I did in the olden days. And, I’m still bucking a current in a way. I still have many people coming to me on medications that I then have to reframe all of their thinking. And, in fact they come to me because of that, and I help them with their lifestyle, and help them to detoxify from the medication. So, I have some undoing to do. And, what you’re talking about is, let’s have prevention from the get-go, so we don’t have to undo what’s been done. But in that process of undoing what’s been done, there’s been a tremendous amount of learning. So, we know what can go wrong, and we know now how to prevent it.

James Maskell:              How would you compare the way that brains respond, a brain that is functioning sub-optimally, but has never been connected or used medication versus a brain that is suboptimal, but has had maybe a decade or two of medication. What is the resilience feedback like in those two situations?

Hyla Cass:                     Well, there’s no question that brain changes occur. In fact, people on benzodiazepines have a shorter life span, so can you imagine at least 10 years shorter lifespan from using benzodiazepines. So, other brain changes occur. You get depleted of neurotransmitters, or the brain messengers, brain chemicals. However, what we can do, we who do integrative medicine, we know how to replete and how to repair that brain.

James Maskell:              Yeah, I know you’ve spent a lot of your last decade at least trying to get the word out to a much broader group than just the patients that you’re sitting opposite. What have been some of the things that you’ve learned along the way as far as communicating these new ideas to populations that may be either medicated or not, but are searching for a healthier brain?

Hyla Cass:                     It’s important to start in childhood, to start educating parents. So, I really try to speak to parents in whatever forums I can, for example, if a child is exhibiting any kind of “usually medicatable issue” from ADD, ADHD, whatever, again to start with diet and lifestyle. And, there are more and more parents who are doing that, and sometimes they’re having to buck a system that’s wanting them to medicate. So, we’re at a crossroads, and what you’re asking is when is it going to be weighted more heavily to the natural way, the way that we were made, the way that we were built, the way that responds so well to natural interventions. I don’t know.

Jeffrey Bland:                So, Hyla, I’d like to take you back just for a second to, and I’m going to back in my experience. In 1982 I went to a meeting with Dr. Michael Lesser. You might remember Dr. Lesser?

Hyla Cass:                     Of course, yeah.

Jeffrey Bland:                And, he was one of the founders of this whole concept of orthomolecular psychiatry, and the movement that was started in the late 70s into the 80s. And, we were in San Francisco at a meeting, I think it was the charter meeting, a founding meeting of this society for biological psychiatry. And so, we were very excited to think that you would approach psychiatry from a biological basis, thinking that this was going to be about how the brain worked and about nutrients and things. And, of course what it was, biological psychiatry, was the new drug, it’s the SSRIs.

Hyla Cass:                     Of course.

Jeffrey Bland:                And we were both… I remember driving out of there with a state of disillusionment saying, “This is interrupting biology. This is actually not working with biology.”

Hyla Cass:                     Well, that’s what’s the crazy thing. For example, the SSRIs, the serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are actually depleting serotonin. So, these people become more depressed. So, what do you do? Up the dose, change the medication, add a medication, and you know, you’re off to the races of dependency and addiction to these drugs that it’s really hard to get off them.

Hyla Cass:                     So, the individual is not having the antidepressant effect, but they’re also not doing very well. So what they really need are precursors. They really need to have some 5HTP or some tryptophan and some B vitamins and magnesium, and zinc, and so on, and some of the other co-factors. You know when you’re baking a cake, you need a lot of ingredients. So, when you’re making a neurotransmitter like serotonin, you need these ingredients. And, that’s just natural and we know this. We’ve had the science for so long. So, when you give this poor brain that’s been abused with a drug—and that’s drug abuse, by the way—that when you give them the right ingredients, and they start to make serotonin, you can start reducing the medication. They feel better, and by the time they’re weaned off, they feel better than they have in many, many years.

Jeffrey Bland:                Oh, you said something there that’s so interesting for me, and you remember this, I know I’m reporting now—I’m just reporting on what you already know, that this nutrient, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, an active derivative of folic acid that has very brain active function. There was a clinical trial done of it along with antidepressants for depression, and the clinical trial was designed to see if 5-methyltetrahydrofolate was advantageous for the treatment of depression.

Jeffrey Bland:                However, the way the study was done, and it was funded by the pharmaceutical company that makes SSRIs, is they had a placebo group, they had a group that got the antidepressant alone, and then they had a group that got the antidepressant plus 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, but they did not have a group with just 5-methyltetrahydrofolic. And, what they showed was that the combination of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate with the antidepressant worked best of all, but the real question that we all wondered is what happens if they didn’t have the antidepressant, they just had 5-methyltetrahydrofolate.

Hyla Cass:                     Similar study with thyroid. Giving people thyroid. So, thyroid actually helps the antidepressant work better, isn’t that interesting? But these people were hyperthyroid, and that’s all they needed was some thyroid.

Jeffrey Bland:                So, James, I’d like to ask you, you’re obviously a different generation that Dr. Cass and myself, so you have a young family. And so, as you look at this, being born now and moving into this as a leader in this new generation, how do you see what we’re talking about, and translating it into your generation and the parents that are raising their children?

James Maskell:              Yeah, look, I mean first of all the overmedicalization of children is something that seems like a really disturbing thing that’s happening, because ultimately those cases probably end up in the waste basket that is psychiatry. There might be a million reasons why you end up having a mental illness or what society would describe as a mental illness. That’s really nothing to do with brain health at all. We’re kind of in a weird time in the world, right, where maybe being mentally ill is probably an appropriate response to the stimuli that’s coming along.

James Maskell:              Second, the death of community. Right. There’s so many great studies that I’ve been seeing, and this is something that I’ve been up to date with, is just the effect of loneliness on brain inflammation, right? Which leads then to depressive like symptoms. And we have over the last 200 years in America, just the destruction of communities to a point that you don’t even interact most of the time with people that you know, you get all of your goods and services from random people like your Uber driver or whatever. The world’s changed completely. So, it’s kind of a worrying time to be in it. But I think that one of the things you said, Hyla, that I’ve just come to appreciate, it’s just that, what a slippery slope that you get on once you’re on the medication train. And, ultimately there are so many ways that you can seek to maintain healthy behaviors before you ever get there, because it does look like a slippery slope from where I’m standing.

James Maskell:              And, it’s something that I’ve experienced in my family, and what I want for my daughter is not to have to engage with the psychiatric profession at all. Right. And so we’re doing everything we can right now to build a healthy brain following the… I’ve got a couple of Hyla’s books in my house that I’ve read a few times.

Hyla Cass:                     Thank you.

James Maskell:              So yeah, it’s a serious consideration. And, one of the things you said at the beginning was just how intertwined the brain is with everything, and how stresses all the way through the body end up in the brain, and then the brain signaling everywhere else. So, probably the most important thing, and I don’t think my daughter will be playing football.

Jeffrey Bland:                Yeah. Well, there’s another part of this that I wanted to talk to Dr. Cass about, and that is, there are school systems now in the United States in which two thirds of the elementary school children, boys in the class, are being medicated for behavior related, what they consider dysfunction, which gets a label, somewhere in the DSM, as some form of ADHD or something of that nature. So, it begs the question, are we really seeing an epidemic of frequency? Why is it so frequent in boys? And, is it really the boy or is it the social system in which they find themselves that lead to the diagnosis that leads to the medication? And so, it’s a very complex duality, I think sometimes like a dog chasing its tail. You get into that vicious cycle. So, what is your perspective on how this all plays out?

Hyla Cass:                     A part of the problem too is that these children are being fed breakfast cereal, highly sugared breakfast cereal, and then they go to school, and that certainly makes them jumpy. And, they often don’t have recess, or they don’t have enough recess, and they don’t have enough sports in school, and they don’t have a way to work off their energy. And then they’re boys, they are boys, they have testosterone. Even little boys have some testosterone, and they need to have an outlet for their energy, and they don’t. The whole concept of schools, of children sitting in rows and listening, that is not how we learn. We learn through movement, through doing, it’s bizarre. It’s the factory model of schools. We no longer are in the industrial age, but we’re still having the industrial age education except for the more progressive schools.

Jeffrey Bland:                Yeah, I think that’s such a really beautiful point for all of us to pay attention to. That when you talk about brain health, as you said in your introduction, it is the full environment of exposures and experience that really patterns the brain. So, it’s how we eat, think, look, act, breathe, all these various things, the community we have, as James was saying.

Jeffrey Bland:                So, I think for people searching for answers, that’s why we want Big Bold Health. We want to be assertive and not passive about the concept that these solutions are available. You can achieve health, but you’ve got to be bold, you’ve got to be courageous. You can’t listen to the party line. You have to seek out your answers. It’s individual to the child or to the person, and not just take a formulaic approach. And, I think that’s why we’re sick and tired, so to speak, of being passive about this topic. We want to be aggressive and bold to really tell people there are options for health that are accessible to everyone.

Hyla Cass:                     And by the way, something else for the children is free play. Going outside and playing, hanging out with their friends, building forts, climbing trees, being in nature.

Jeffrey Bland:                Yes.

Hyla Cass:                     Nature is a big healer and the big teacher.

Jeffrey Bland:                Hear, hear.

Hyla Cass:                     In Japan, they do forest bathing—there’s an actual name for it, and other cultures do as well. Be in the forest. It’s so healing. We are made to interact with the plants and the trees and the earth, grounding, and so on. So, these are the things we need to really take advantage of to be fully healthy.

Jeffrey Bland:                That’s beautiful. Thank you.

James Maskell:              Absolutely. So, this has been Big Bold Health. We’ve been here with Dr. Hyla Cass. It will take some big and some bold action to step out of the norm and maintain a healthy brain in this current environment, but that’s what we’re here for at Big Bold Health. I’ve been here with Dr. Jeffrey Bland. We’ve had integrative psychiatrist Dr. Hyla Cass here. Thanks so much for watching. We’ll see you next time.

 

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  • Use the Site to advertise or solicit to anyone to buy or sell products or services, or to make donations of any kind, without our express written approval.
  • Gather for marketing purposes any email addresses or other personal information that has been posted by other users of the Site.

COMPANY may host message boards, chats and other private/public forums on its Sites and on other platforms. Any user failing to comply with the terms and conditions of this Agreement may be expelled from and refused continued access to, the message boards, groups, chats or other such forums in the future. COMPANY or its designated agents may remove or alter any user-created content at any time for any reason. Message boards, chats and other public forums are intended to serve as discussion centers for users and subscribers. Information and content posted within these public forums may be provided by COMPANY staff, COMPANY’s outside contributors, or by users not connected with COMPANY, some of whom may employ anonymous user names. COMPANY expressly disclaims all responsibility and endorsement and makes no representation as to the validity of any opinion, advice, information or statement made or displayed in these forums by third parties, nor are we responsible for any errors or omissions in such postings, or for hyperlinks embedded in any messages. Under no circumstances will we, our affiliates, suppliers or agents be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information obtained through these forums. The opinions expressed in these forums are solely the opinions of the participants, and do not reflect the opinions of COMPANY or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates.

 

COMPANY has no obligation whatsoever to monitor any of the content or postings on the message boards, chat rooms or other public forums on the Sites. However, you acknowledge and agree that we have the absolute right to monitor the same at our sole discretion. In addition, we reserve the right to alter, edit, refuse to post or remove any postings or content, in whole or in part, for any reason and to disclose such materials and the circumstances surrounding their transmission to any third party in order to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request and to protect ourselves, our clients, sponsors, users and visitors.

 

Registration

 

To access certain features of the Site, we may ask you to provide certain demographic information including your gender, year of birth, zip code and country. In addition, if you elect to sign-up for a particular feature of the Site, such as chat rooms, web logs, or bulletin boards, you may also be asked to register with us on the form provided and such registration may require you to provide personally identifiable information such as your name and email address. You agree to provide true, accurate, current and complete information about yourself as prompted by the Site’s registration form. If we have reasonable grounds to suspect that such information is untrue, inaccurate, or incomplete, we have the right to suspend or terminate your account and refuse any and all current or future use of the Site (or any portion thereof). Our use of any personally identifiable information you provide to us as part of the registration process is governed by the terms of our Privacy Policy.

 

Passwords

 

To use certain features of the Site, you will need a username and password, which you will receive through the Site’s registration process. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the password and account, and are responsible for all activities (whether by you or by others) that occur under your password or account. You agree to notify us immediately of any unauthorized use of your password or account or any other breach of security, and to ensure that you exit from your account at the end of each session. We cannot and will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to protect your password or account information.

 

Limitation of Liability

 

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE, SHALL WE, OUR SUBSIDIARY AND PARENT COMPANIES OR AFFILIATES BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES THAT RESULT FROM THE USE OF, OR THE INABILITY TO USE, THE SITE, INCLUDING OUR MESSAGING, BLOGS, COMMENTS OF OTHERS, BOOKS, EMAILS, PRODUCTS, OR SERVICES, OR THIRD-PARTY MATERIALS, PRODUCTS, OR SERVICES MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE SITE OR BY US IN ANY WAY, EVEN IF WE ARE ADVISED BEFOREHAND OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. (BECAUSE SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF CERTAIN CATEGORIES OF DAMAGES, THE ABOVE LIMITATION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. IN SUCH STATES, OUR LIABILITY AND THE LIABILITY OF OUR SUBSIDIARY AND PARENT COMPANIES OR AFFILIATES IS LIMITED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY SUCH STATE LAW.) YOU SPECIFICALLY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT WE ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY DEFAMATORY, OFFENSIVE OR ILLEGAL CONDUCT OF ANY USER. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH THE SITE, ANY MATERIALS, PRODUCTS, OR SERVICES ON THE SITE, OR WITH ANY OF THE SITE’S TERMS AND CONDITIONS, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE USING THE SITE AND THE PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND/OR MATERIALS.

 

THIS SITE IS CONTINUALLY UNDER DEVELOPMENT AND COMPANY MAKES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, IMPLIED OR EXPRESS, AS TO ITS ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS OR APPROPRIATENESS FOR ANY PURPOSE.

 

WITH REGARDS TO CONTENT RELATING TO HEALTH & WELLNESS ON THE SITE:

THIS SITE OFFERS HEALTH, WELLNESS, FITNESS AND NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION AND IS DESIGNED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON THIS INFORMATION AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR, NOR DOES IT REPLACE, PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT. IF YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR HEALTH, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT WITH A PHYSICIAN OR OTHER HEALTH-CARE PROFESSIONAL. DO NOT DISREGARD, AVOID OR DELAY OBTAINING MEDICAL OR HEALTH RELATED ADVICE FROM YOUR HEALTH-CARE PROFESSIONAL BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU MAY HAVE READ ON THIS SITE. THE USE OF ANY INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS SITE IS SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

 

NOTHING STATED OR POSTED ON THIS SITE OR AVAILABLE THROUGH ANY SERVICES ARE INTENDED TO BE, AND MUST NOT BE TAKEN TO BE, THE PRACTICE OF MEDICAL OR COUNSELING CARE. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS AGREEMENT, THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE AND COUNSELING INCLUDES, WITHOUT LIMITATION, PSYCHIATRY, PSYCHOLOGY, PSYCHOTHERAPY, OR PROVIDING HEALTH CARE TREATMENT, INSTRUCTIONS, DIAGNOSIS, PROGNOSIS OR ADVICE.

 

Termination

 

We may cancel or terminate your right to use the Site or any part of the Site at any time without notice. In the event of cancellation or termination, you are no longer authorized to access the part of the Site affected by such cancellation or termination. The restrictions imposed on you with respect to material downloaded from the Site, and the disclaimers and limitations of liabilities set forth in these Terms of Service, shall survive.

 

Refund Policy

 

Your purchase of a product or service or ticket to an event may or may not provide for any refund.  Each specific product, service, event or course will specify its own refund policy.

 

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

 

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the “DMCA”) provides recourse for copyright owners who believe that material appearing on the Internet infringes their rights under the U.S. copyright law. If you believe in good faith that materials hosted by COMPANY infringe your copyright, you, or your agent may send to COMPANY a notice requesting that the material be removed or access to it be blocked. Any notification by a copyright owner or a person authorized to act on its behalf that fails to comply with requirements of the DMCA shall not be considered sufficient notice and shall not be deemed to confer upon COMPANY actual knowledge of facts or circumstances from which infringing material or acts are evident. If you believe in good faith that a notice of copyright infringement has been wrongly filed against you, the DMCA permits you to send to COMPANY a counter-notice. All notices and counter notices must meet the then current statutory requirements imposed by the DMCA; see http://www.loc.gov/copyright for details. COMPANY’s Copyright Agent for notice shall be annettegiarde@bigboldhealth.com.

 

Assignment

 

This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of COMPANY and our respective assigns, successors, heirs, and legal representatives. Neither this Agreement nor any rights hereunder may be assigned without the prior written consent of COMPANY Notwithstanding the foregoing, all rights and obligations under this Agreement may be freely assigned by COMPANY to any affiliated entity or any of its wholly owned subsidiaries.

 

Dispute Resolution

These Terms of Use shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington and any dispute shall be subject to binding arbitration in Bainbridge Island, Washington. If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.

 

Class Action Waiver

 

You may only resolve disputes with us on an individual basis, and may not bring a claim as a plaintiff or a class member in a class, consolidated, or representative action. Class arbitrations, class actions, private attorney general actions, and consolidation with other arbitrations aren’t allowed.

 

The arbitrator may not consolidate more than one person’s claims, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a class or representative proceeding or claims (such as a class action, consolidated action or private attorney general action) unless all relevant parties specifically agree to do so following initiation of the arbitration.

 

Severability

 

If any clause within these Terms of Service (other than the Class Action Waiver clause above) is found to be illegal or unenforceable, that clause will be severed from these Terms of Service, and the remainder of these Terms of Service will be given full force and effect. If the Class Action Waiver clause is found to be illegal or unenforceable, this entire Provision will be unenforceable and the dispute will be decided by a court.

Privacy Policy

Effective Date: March 2019

 

The following Privacy Policy governs the online information collection practices of BIG BOLD HEALTH LLC (“COMPANY,” “we” or “us”). Specifically, it outlines the types of information that we gather about you while you are using the www.bigboldhealth.com website (the “Site”), and the ways in which we use this information. This Privacy Policy, including our children’s privacy statement, does not apply to any information you may provide to us or that we may collect offline and/or through other means (for example, at a live event, via telephone, or through the mail).

 

Please read this Privacy Policy carefully. By visiting and using the Site, you agree that your use of our Site, and any dispute over privacy, is governed by this Privacy Policy. Because the Web is an evolving medium, we may need to change our Privacy Policy at some point in the future, in which case we’ll post the changes to this Privacy Policy on this website and update the Effective Date of the policy to reflect the date of the changes. By continuing to use the Site after we post any such changes, you accept the Privacy Policy as modified.

 

How We Collect and Use Information

 

We may collect and store personal or other information that you voluntarily supply to us online while using the Site (e.g., while on the Site or in responding via email to a feature provided on the Site). The Site only contacts individuals who specifically request that we do so or in the event that they have signed up to receive our messaging, attended one of our events, or have purchased one of our products. The Site collects personally identifying information from our users during online registration and online purchasing. Generally, this information includes name and e-mail address for registration or opt-in purposes and name, postal address, and credit card information when registering for our events or purchasing our products. All of this information is provided to us by you.

 

We also collect and store information that is generated automatically as you navigate online through the Site. For example, we may collect information about your computer’s connection to the Internet, which allows us, among other things, to improve the delivery of our web pages to you and to measure traffic on the Site. We also may use a standard feature found in browser software called a “cookie” to enhance your experience with the Site. Cookies are small files that your web browser places on your hard drive for record-keeping purposes. By showing how and when visitors use the Site, cookies help us deliver advertisements, identify how many unique users visit us, and track user trends and patterns. They also prevent you from having to re-enter your preferences on certain areas of the Site where you may have entered preference information before. The Site also may use web beacons (single-pixel graphic files also known as “transparent GIFs”) to access cookies and to count users who visit the Site or open HTML-formatted email messages.

 

We use the information we collect from you while you are using the Site in a variety of ways, including using the information to customize features; advertising that appear on the Site; and, making other offers available to you via email, direct mail or otherwise. We also may provide your information to third parties, such as service providers, contractors and third-party publishers and advertisers for a variety of purposes. Unless you inform us in accordance with the process described below, we reserve the right to use, and to disclose to third parties, all of the information collected from and about you while you are using the Site in any way and for any purpose, such as to enable us or a third party to provide you with information about products and services. If you do not wish your information to be used for these purposes, you must send a letter to the Online Privacy Coordinator whose address is listed at the end of this Privacy Policy requesting to be taken off any lists of information that may be used for these purposes or that may be given or sold to third-parties.

 

Please keep in mind that whenever you voluntarily make your personal information available for viewing by third parties online – for example on message boards, web logs, through email, or in chat areas – that information can be seen, collected and used by others besides us. We cannot be responsible for any unauthorized third-party use of such information.

 

Some of our third-party advertisers and ad servers that place and present advertising on the Site also may collect information from you via cookies, web beacons or similar technologies. These third-party advertisers and ad servers may use the information they collect to help present their advertisements, to help measure and research the advertisements’ effectiveness, or for other purposes. The use and collection of your information by these third-party advertisers and ad servers is governed by the relevant third-party’s privacy policy and is not covered by our Privacy Policy. Indeed, the privacy policies of these third-party advertisers and ad servers may be different from ours. If you have any concerns about a third party’s use of cookies or web beacons or use of your information, you should visit that party’s website and review its privacy policy.

The Site also includes links to other websites and provides access to products and services offered by third parties, whose privacy policies we do not control. When you access another website or purchase third-party products or services through the Site, use of any information you provide is governed by the privacy policy of the operator of the site you are visiting or the provider of such products or services.

 

We may also make some content, products and services available through our Site or by emailing messages to you through cooperative relationships with third-party providers, where the brands of our provider partner appear on the Site in connection with such content, products and/or services. We may share with our provider partner any information you provide, or that is collected, in the course of visiting any pages that are made available in cooperation with our provider partner. In some cases, the provider partner may collect information from you directly, in which cases the privacy policy of our provider partner may apply to the provider partner’s use of your information. The privacy policy of our provider partners may differ from ours. If you have any questions regarding the privacy policy of one of our provider partners, you should contact the provider partner directly for more information.

 

Be aware that we may occasionally release information about our visitors when release is appropriate to comply with law or to protect the rights, property or safety of users of the Site or the public.

 

Please also note that as our business grows, we may buy or sell various assets. In the unlikely event that we sell some or all of our assets, or one or more of our websites is acquired by another company, information about our users may be among the transferred assets.

 

Google Analytics

 

We also use Google Analytics Advertiser Features to optimize our business. Advertiser features include:

  • Remarketing with Google Analytics
  • Google Display Network Impression Reporting
  • DoubleClick Platform integrations
  • Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting

By enabling these Google Analytics Display features, we are required to notify our visitors by disclosing the use of these features and that we and third-party vendors use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookie) or other first-party identifiers, and third-party cookies (such as the DoubleClick cookie) or other third-party identifiers together to gather data about your activities on our Site.  Among other uses, this allows us to contact you if you begin to fill out our check-out form but abandon it before completion with an email reminding you to complete your order.  The “Remarketing” feature allows us to reach people who previously visited our Site, and match the right audience with the right advertising message.

You can opt out of Google’s use of cookies by visiting Google’s ad settings and/or you may opt out of a third-party vendor’s use of cookies by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page.

 

Facebook

 

As advertisers on Facebook and through our Facebook page, we, (not Facebook) may collect content or information from a Facebook user and such information may be used in the same manner specified in this Privacy Policy. You consent to our collection of such information.

 

We abide by Facebook’s Data Use Restrictions.

  • Any ad data collected, received or derived from our Facebook ad (“Facebook advertising data”) is only shared with someone acting on our behalf, such as our service provider. We are responsible for ensuring that our service providers protect any Facebook advertising data or any other information obtained from us, limit our use of all of that information, and keep it confidential and secure.
  • We do not use Facebook advertising data for any purpose (including retargeting, commingling data across multiple advertisers’ campaigns, or allowing piggybacking or redirecting with tags), except on an aggregate and anonymous basis (unless authorized by Facebook) and only to assess the performance and effectiveness of our Facebook advertising campaigns.
  • We do not use Facebook advertising data, including the targeting criteria for a Facebook ad, to build, append to, edit, influence, or augment user profiles, including profiles associated with any mobile device identifier or other unique identifier that identifies any particular user, browser, computer or device.
  • We do not transfer any Facebook advertising data (including anonymous, aggregate, or derived data) to any ad network, ad exchange, data broker or other advertising or monetization related service.

 

General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR)

 

The GDPR took effect on May 25, 2018, and is intended to protect the data of European Union (EU) citizens. 

 

As a company that markets its site, content, products and/or services online we do not specifically target our marketing to the EU or conduct business in or to the EU in any meaningful way. If the data that you provide to us in the course of your use of our site, content, products and/or services is governed by GDPR, we will abide by the relevant portions of the Regulation.

 

If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA), or are accessing this site from within the EEA, you may have the right to request: access to, correction of, deletion of; portability of; and restriction or objection to processing, of your personal data, from us. This includes the “right to be forgotten.”

 

To make any of these requests, please contact our GDPR contact at annettegiarde@bigboldhealth.com

 

Children’s Privacy Statement

 

This children’s privacy statement explains our practices with respect to the online collection and use of personal information from children under the age of thirteen, and provides important information regarding their rights under federal law with respect to such information.

  • This Site is not directed to children under the age of thirteen and we do NOT knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen as part of the Site. We screen users who wish to provide personal information in order to prevent users under the age of thirteen from providing such information. If we become aware that we have inadvertently received personally identifiable information from a user under the age of thirteen as part of the Site, we will delete such information from our records. If we change our practices in the future, we will obtain prior, verifiable parental consent before collecting any personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen as part of the Site.
  • Because we do not collect any personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen as part of the Site, we also do NOT knowingly distribute such information to third parties.
  • We do NOT knowingly allow children under the age of thirteen to publicly post or otherwise distribute personally identifiable contact information through the Site.
  • Because we do not collect any personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen as part of the Site, we do NOT condition the participation of a child under thirteen in the Site’s online activities on providing personally identifiable information.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule

 

The US Department of Health and Human Services provides:  The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically.  The Rule requires appropriate safeguards to protect the privacy of personal health information, and sets limits and conditions on the uses and disclosures that may be made of such information without patient authorization. The Rule also gives patients rights over their health information, including rights to examine and obtain a copy of their health records, and to request corrections.”

 

You acknowledge that our operation of the Site does not constitute the practice of medicine, and specifically does not create a doctor-patient relationship between you and Dr. Jeffrey Bland, PhD (the “Doctor”).  The information provided on the Site is for educational purposes only. 

 

Notwithstanding the fact that the Site does not create a doctor-patient relationship between you and DOCTOR, our preservation of your personal health information shall be HIPAA compliant.

 

For purposes of this Privacy Policy, “patients” are those individuals who have secured the in-person services DOCTOR.  If you are a patient of DOCTOR, you will be provided with a copy of DOCTOR’s HIPAA Privacy Statement, which governs the information collection practices of patients’ personal information by DOCTOR.

 

How do we store your information?

 

Your information is stored at the list server that delivers the Site content and messaging. Your information can only be accessed by those who help manage those lists in order to deliver e-mail to those who would like to receive the Site material.

 

All of the messaging or emails that are sent to you by the Site include an unsubscribe link in them. You can remove yourself at any time from our mailing list by clicking on the unsubscribe link that can be found in every communicaiton that we send you.

 

Changes to this Policy

 

This policy may be changed at any time at our discretion. If we should update this policy, we will post the updates to this page on our Website.

 

Questions About this Policy

 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding our privacy policy please direct them to:

annettegiarde@bigboldhealth.com