AS Seen On

By: Stephan Spencer


Do you feel like you have a secret identity? Maybe we all have a Superman or Superwoman inside us waiting for the right moment to leap out and save the day. My guest for this episode, Dr. Chris Zaino, certainly believes that. He’s the Creator of the “I Am HERO” Movement, where he helps people shed their complacency and tap their inner superhero to win heroic victories in their lives. He is also a speaker, entrepreneur, author and former Mr. America and Mr. Universe. In his late twenties, he became a hero himself when he defied a terminal disease, which inspired him to get his Doctorate and found a wellness clinic that would expand worldwide to help thousands of patients. If you’re interested in changing your mindset, looking after your long-term health or unleashing your inner hero, stick around for some hero-sized insights from Dr. Zaino.

Dr. Chris Zaino
“No one’s coming to save you but you. You’re in control of you.”
Dr. Chris Zaino


Dr. Zaino, it’s great to have you on the show.

Thanks so much for having me.

If somebody were to ask who you were in the world in 100 years’ time or 200 years’ time like, “Who was this Dr. Zaino? What was he known for?” What would you say that would be the short answer to that question?

If someone asked me what I do, I say I resurrect heroes. That’s what I do.

Who would be some of these heroes that you have resurrected?

When your health is gone, it affects so many people.

I can’t tell you the people I work with, that’s confidential.

Give us ideas.

People who sold their company for $100 million. They are depressed and unfulfilled. I work with people, multiple hefty millionaires to someone who’s twenty years old. They feel lost, unfulfilled, numb and depressed in life because they’re not allowing themselves to express their true self for their hero. I get them to be able to embrace that, to maximize their superpowers, choose a vehicle of their message. Then be able to do something they love and monetize it.

You’ve had some heroic successes yourself, a former Mr. America and Mr. Universe. What are you most proud of that you’ve accomplished in those areas?

I’m proud of it all. All that made up who I am. I’m proud of the contrast that went through my life. I’m proud of the tough times. I’m proud of it all because, without any of it, I would never have a time machine and go back and change a thing.

No one's coming to save you but you. You're in control of you. Share on X

What did it take for you to become Mr. America? You mentioned there is a contrast there. Did you have to go through hell and back again to get to that place of being such a high performing athlete?

I don’t think it was the Mr. America part. It was beating a terminal illness, which would have been way better than Mr. America. The thing at the same time, if I wasn’t training my mind or training my discipline muscle, I don’t know if I would have been able to do that one more day, one more hope, give it another shot mentally when I came to facing a terminal illness back about many years ago.

Tell us more about this terminal illness, what you faced? How you found out? What did you do about it? How long that took. Give us the whole story.

Let’s go back to 1998 with Mr. America when I lived and I felt a certain way. I had my degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Central Florida. I was training celebrity athletes. It was a great time. I was doing covers of magazines. Internet was getting big, so I was writing for some big websites that are established and I had a great gig. I worked for Universal Studios and that’s where they film Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules. I got to be training the celebrities there. It was awesome. A few years later, I met my wife and we got married. About six months to the marriage, you’re someone who looks a certain way. Like my whole entire identity was based off, “He looks good. He feels good. He’s on the cover of magazines. About a couple of months in the marriage, I started going down with stomach bug and it’s gotten worse and worse. I didn’t think anything of it. Then I start bleeding every time I went to the bathroom. I was like, “That’s not good.”

It got to the point where I have blood in stool and sure enough cancer pops out. My dad died of cancer when I was 21. My grandfather and I never met. I was like, “Oh man.” I always like to believe that you had no control over your genetics. Whatever your gene pool was made up of was almost like a ticking time bomb or that’s the way things would be. I wasn’t taught health the right way evidently. I ignored it because you didn’t know what to do. What can you do about that? I didn’t tell anybody. I didn’t tell my wife. I kept on going to the bathroom with blood. Thirteen to fifteen times a day I go to the bathroom. I’m losing weight. My wife thinks I’m dieting or leaning out but I’m wasting. I started patterning my entire day around this issue.

When you choose to correct your problem that you have that’s affecting your life, your future, and your health, your body might be able to be in a state to heal itself again.

Somewhere at [7:00], I would stop eating at [10:00] AM so everything would go through me. It was becoming a physical issue then it started becoming an emotional issue because you were always worried. I always have the urge to go to the bathroom. You’re constantly worried about this because you had it for weeks. It’s not going away. You’ve seen blood in the toilet bowl the entire time. Any type of physical issues is going to go into an emotional issue and a mental issue. The day my wife found out it was a Sunday at the T.J. Maxx. I was in there, I did my routine. I would go on the back. I checked the bathrooms. Everywhere I went, I would check where the bathrooms are because I always felt that I needed them. I start carrying clothes in my car because I always had that urge to go. I was so inflamed. I couldn’t stop it.

They were under construction. They told me to go out to a sports authority next door. As I was making my way out of that store, I lost my bowels in public for the first time. That’s the time when I realized what has become at me. Losing your bowels is one thing, but when you see blood soaking through someone’s jeans, it freaks out people. There were probably 30 to 40 people who have seen it. There was no empathy. They were horrified. It looks like someone’s bleeding internally out of them. I ran out of there. It was embarrassing. It was a slow motion for me. I called my wife and she came to pick me up. We went to the hospital. That was the day I was diagnosed with a terminal incurable disease called ulcerative colitis.

They put me on a ton of drugs, the worst drugs in the world. They were so harsh on my body. The drugs gave me hepatitis. The drugs destroyed my liver, but they didn’t stop it. They then started treating me for hepatitis and colitis. It got worse and worse with the best doctors in the country. I went to Dallas, Texas for the top four doctors in the world. They put me on a low dose of chemotherapy, REMICADE infusions, Interferon shots, more drugs and organ rejection medications. Nothing was working. I went from about 230 pounds, all the way down to about 158 in about four months. The only option because the drugs weren’t working, they go right to surgery. They laid it out, “You will have surgery in a week and a half. We’re going to take out your entire colon. You have a colostomy bag on your right side for the rest of your life. It will break. It will leak or get infected. You’ll have multiple surgeries. You’re sterile.”

When the responsibility is all on you, that's the only time you truly become empowered. Share on X

I was like, “What do you mean I’m sterile?” They were like, “The drugs destroyed that. You have to adopt if you are going to have kids. We don’t even know how to get you through the surgery because, in the process, we put you on organ rejection medication. We purposely shut down your immune system at the DNA level and we don’t know if you could even get through the surgery because there’s no way we could cut out your bowel and some type of bacteria doesn’t get at this. We don’t know how long you’ll be in ICU.” We were already $200,000 in the can. You’re probably looking at millions. I was like, “Oh my God.”

I’m coachable and if you said I’ve got to jump off the building or do that, I’m like, “This is it. This is the only option. Let’s do it.” I flew home to see my mom in Sarasota, Florida. She’d lost two sons already. I lost two brothers, one died from a heroin overdose that she found and one died from a freak accident. This is son number three along with his husband a couple of years before that. When your health is gone, it affects so many people. When I went to see my mom, she sent out those prayer emails. Just praying the surgery goes well and everybody wanted the surgeon’s hands to be blessed and go well.

Then one person sent a different email. It was my tenth-grade Anatomy teacher. He goes, “Chris, when you come down, I want you to see my doctor. He is a corrective care chiropractor. It will change your life.” When he told me that, I was almost insulted because I thought chiropractic is something that stretched my hamstrings or tick my ankles up. That’s all that a chiropractor did when I played sports. There was no way I have a terminal disease. What does a muscle modality going to do? It’s pretty nerve-racking. When I saw him personally, he was persisting. Here comes the part you get a part of your life. I go, “I do appreciate you being here, but I’ve tried everything. I’ve done it all. I took the drugs they told me to do. I went to the best in the world. I’ve tried everything.”

Words don't teach; experience does. Share on X

Sometimes in your life, people will say something and they wake you up from where you’re at. If you’re reading this, you could be a total victim right now or losing hope and you don’t even know it. He says, “You didn’t try it all because if you’ve tried it all, you would have had your health. I ask you on the line if you tried at all, you would have had that goal.” It woke me up. I was like, “He’s right.” I didn’t realize that I had lost hope. I had become a victim. He’s right. I clearly could have tried everything because if I did, I would have had my end result. I went to see this doctor. He sat me down and told me how the body works. He told me what your health was. I never was taught what health was with all my degrees. That the brain controls everything, check. The brain controls every cell, check. If there’s any damage or interference with that, it’s going to affect the organs. It makes sense. That’s when I found my blind spot. I don’t know whoever is reading, what your blind spot is, but I found a blind spot. I found something that was damaging my body, interfering with my body or my health that I did not know about. It’s a blind spot.

I wasn’t positive. My willpower didn’t come into play and I asked the doctor, “When am I going to get better?” He goes and he put it on me again, “As long as you have that problem there, that blind spot, your body is not in the environment to heal.” He says, “When you choose to correct your problem that you have that’s affecting your life, your future, and your health, then you might be able to be in a state to heal itself again. The day and the time, don’t ask me that. That’s not up to me. It’s between your bodies. I’ll tell you, you can get better if you continue to do something about it and don’t quit on yourself no matter what.” That answer he gave me, that’s what I needed to hear because every doctor said, “Once you do this drug or that drug or this procedure,” for the first time someone pointed the finger back in my face and basically said, “No one’s coming to save you but you. You’re in control of that. Do you want to get better? That’s your choice. Do you want to do what it takes? Do you want to live this life or you want to get better? It’s all you.” No bedside flattery, he put the responsibility on me.

You’ve got to realize when the responsibility is all on you, that’s the only time you truly become empowered. I was empowered because I had control. It wasn’t the system. It wasn’t the circumstances. It wasn’t me being the victim. I had the control. I knew that now. I had the control. I had to do what it takes. It was a long road. I wish I could tell you a week from there everything was dandy, but it wasn’t. I was seeing blood every day still. In seven months, my body healed itself from an incurable terminal disease. I gave him my purpose. I went back to school and became a chiropractor. I took 700 extra hours and became a corrective care chiropractor even after school so I could get results that other common docs do not get. In 2005, we opened up our office in Houston, Texas. We built one of the largest clinics in the world seeing 2,800 people per week at our peak, which is 28 times the average office. It was all because of this health experience. In a million years, I never would have chosen that as a wellness profession. Due to that contrast, due to an experience in my life, words don’t teach, experience does. I have more blessings than I ever could imagine. It was all due to going to that experience.

You see that experience as a gift?

There’s no victim right here. Life is an experience. Through that experience, we know what we don’t want.

An amazing gift and a blessing. Because of that, I healed from it truly. When I go on Instagram, I see diabetes victim or colitis survivor, cancer in remission, they put this all on their titles. They’re holding onto it. They’re wearing their disease as part of their significance.

That’s part of their identity.

When I talk about it to you or anybody else, I’m so disassociated from that. I see it not as a disease, I went through experience and this experience totally shaped my life and shifted so many unknowns in my life. As I talk about it, as I talked about the tough times like I did with you, it created such a feeling where I could sit back and laugh about it. I guess they weren’t funny then I could tell you how many times I lost my bowels in public. There were some funny stories so I could sit back. I could laugh at it. It never defined me because it wasn’t mine ever. It was an experience I got to go through and learn contrast and learn different things along that journey. It was never mine.

It was an experience I got to go through that absolutely propelled my life and gave me purpose. It’s amazing. I wish more people could see cancer, the divorce, the molestation, the rape, the disease. I wish they could see that instead of their sign of significance and being a victim. They could see it as something that almost burnt the pure gold out of the ore. That pressure, that experience brought the diamonds out of that rock, but so many people don’t. That’s the whole “I Am HERO” Project is about. It’s taking people and calling out. There’s no victimhood here. Life is an experience and through that experience, we know what we don’t want. During that time I knew I did not want to be sick.

We focus on what we don’t want, but what no one ever focuses on is if I know what I don’t want then at the same time I have a lot better clarity of what I do want. I can tell you at twenty-something years old, I knew I wanted health and probably yearned for health to be well a lot more than anybody else my age at that time. If you’re going through a rough time physically, health-wise, relationship, financial or business, understand that instead of focusing on what you don’t like about it, receive it, “I don’t like this.” Knowing what you don’t like, can you clarify what you do want now? You clearly know what you don’t want so it added more clarity to what you do want. Like when someone gets a divorce, I always tell them in my office, “You know what you don’t want, so now you know the type of guy or at least the next level guy or gal that you want or you’re looking for because you had the experience and it didn’t work out.” It’s always switching. If you are going through a rough time, understand that that rough time is also at the same time defining what you do desire and want.

Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

A recent distinction that I got from reading the book Antifragile is that certain systems including biological systems like our immune systems and our biology in general isn’t resilient. If we were only resilient, we’d all be dead. There are antifragile in these systems. Meaning that you introduce chaos into the system and the system thrives. It’s not just biological systems that are antifragile, there are economic systems and evolutionary systems and so forth that are also antifragile. This book, Antifragile, opened my mind to a new way of thinking and a new way of seeing systems that are antifragile and not resilient. I self-identify as somebody who’s antifragile instead of resilient. For me, it’s a breakthrough. Let’s walk our readers through that seven months to healing. What did you start doing differently? Did you do any surgery or any of those recommendations from the standard allopathic doctors or did you ignore all of them? Did you get under the care of that corrective care chiropractor? Did you see that person on a daily or weekly basis? Walk us through that journey.

In the end, going with the allopathic doctors, I didn’t know what they knew but I knew something about nutrition. When they started pushing the drink Ensure on me, I was like, “I’m in trouble.” That was the start plus, “This will work,” and around the tenth time of switching drugs and it’s not working, they started to lose a lot of credibility. When I talked to this chiropractor, the fact that he very put it on me, he didn’t give me false hope. He was like, “You’ve got to fix this problem in your spine.” That was my blind spot. I ate well. I exercised. I started doing corrective care therapy. The difference in corrective care therapy is it’s almost like correcting the spine like braces correct teeth. If your spine has to be straight up and down from front to back, I had a 22 curvature of my lower spine. All those nerve roots in your lower spine would be irritated or interfered with going to your colon and all those areas. It was a very specific technique and the bodyweight and all these other stuff to physically start correcting that spine. How do I know? We could see pre and post-X-rays and compare them. It was not getting perfect. It’s not that at all, but it’s getting as much pressure off the nervous system and spinal cord to allow that brain to get life to those areas.

People say, “How was it? How do you have discipline? How do you have a positive attitude?” I didn’t because every single day, I was seeing the manifestation of what I don’t want. Seeing blood in the toilet bowl every day is reminding you of what you don’t want. If we’re in a situation or an experience, we understand that it got there through momentum. I didn’t get sick overnight. It was a momentum of living a certain equation even by defaults. Am I saying that everybody, you purposefully would put this equation to be in that crummy position you’re in? No, I think a lot of you did it by default. You didn’t know. I was looking at an equation. Not knowing, I went by health was how you look or how you feel. I didn’t know it was how you function. I had some blind spots, I didn’t know that were there.

I developed this momentum of sickness and disease. Momentum doesn’t stop. You’ve got to slow it down. You’ve got to stop it. You’ve got to reverse the process and then the body starts healing. That could be in anything like financial things or relationships. A relationship doesn’t turn great overnight. There’s work. The thing is when you don’t see momentum in the beginning, it sucks. It’s very discouraging. Until I started seeing momentum, it was very scary. I was back and forth. I didn’t have much willpower. I was scared. Even though those around me saw the result, I was getting better, but we are usually the last ones to see it for ourselves. Three months, I was off half the meds, “We’re getting there.” In five months, I was off all the meds. Between three and five months, I had my momentum. We suffer from getting scared during the momentum because all of us are afraid to make the wrong decisions. A lot of times beautiful opportunities pass us all because we’re too scared to make a decision.

My stepdad who died, he was 88. I asked him, “What is probably one of the most amazing things you could give me as far as wisdom that you learned?” He was a Russian Jew that got persecuted and went into depression. He went through it all. All this stuff in his life, he tells me this, “The toughest thing in life is to make a decision. Because of that, so many people lose out on some amazing opportunities.” I was like, “Wow.” I tattooed that in my brain. Because we’re afraid that we’re going to make the wrong decisions, that whole time we’re worried. When you see good momentum going in your favor, then you acknowledge, “I made this right.” You get excited because you’re like, “I made the right decision,” and that’s all. I started seeing that momentum. I knew I was going the right direction. When you have momentum, it’s easy. Your hope, your enthusiasm, everything goes through the roof. Everything increases. At seven months, the blood absolutely stopped and that was about years ago. I went through those adjustments. They corrected my spine and then I maintained that. I went back to school for that. I’ve been helping people with that ever since.

The toughest thing in life is to make a decision. Because of that, so many people lose out on some amazing opportunities. Share on X

The issues that you had with your spine was that spinal damage from the bodybuilding that you did to become Mr. America and all that? Was that genetic do you think or a combination?

I parallel that to if someone walked into MD Anderson with an eight-centimeter tumor and asked that same question. The doctor would say, “We don’t care how it got there. It’s got to go.” If my teeth were rotted right now at 40, why did it get rotten? It’s because I never knew how to take care of it. I think it’s not knowing how to take care of it. When I was twelve years old and did a scoliosis test, they sent me home, “He’s got a slight deviation in the lower spine.” Even when I was aware, we weren’t educated to even know to do anything about that. It’s a combination. It’s that recipe again. You bring these things and it compounds over time.

I never had pain. That was the thing because I always thought health was a pain. If I had it, there’s something wrong. If I didn’t have it, it was great. I had zero pain. There was nothing. I had no pain, no nothing until this thing hit me. I realized and you couldn’t see it as lean as it was for a contest. You didn’t see it. I was like, “Wow.” I was on the wrong map because I thought it was how I looked and how I feel not knowing that health is how we’re functioning, not merely the absence of sickness or disease. That’s the total reason why five to six people statistically die of heart disease and cancer. It’s amazing as Americans act like it’s not going to be them, but five out of six of them are going to drop.

The reason heart disease and cancer are so prevalent are number one, those two diseases take the longest to kill you. They take decades to develop and kill you. The reason why they kill you? There’s one answer, you don’t feel them. You can walk around with cancer and not feel it until it’s too late. You can walk around with 99% clogged artery and not feel it until the heart attack. If we’re going to walk around thinking health is how we look or how we feel, then you’re choosing to become a statistic. That’s what we have to have a different approach to what health is. It’s not about reacting. Health is our natural state of being. Well-being is a natural state, sickness isn’t. Sickness is the absence of that. When you start to realize that sickness is the absence of what we were born with.

Disease, it’s not a real thing. It’s the lack of. It’s the absence of. Instead of chasing the disease and masking it, we need to restore well-being and function that we originally came equipped with. The system is putting people on more drugs and more surgeries. I do believe those things save lives in a crisis situation, but it’s doing nothing to the person to take control of their health. It’s doing nothing for the person to make changes like, “I’ll take this pill. It’s a magic vitamin.” It’s not a magic vitamin at all. That’s what it was. It’s a combination of the compounding effect of very different variables for all of us on this line. I will not blame something. It’s the things I didn’t know. It’s ignorance. It’s the default. For many people, they know it. Everybody knows smoking is not great for you. They are like, “I’ve been smoking for four years and I’m still alive. I’m smoking for twenty years, I’m still alive.” They feel they got away with it, but they didn’t. You’re not getting away with it. They feel like, “I could eat. I don’t eat that great but I’m doing better than her. I’m doing better than him.” You think you’re getting away with it. You’re not. What’s happening is a disease is such a compound effect that you never feel because it’s so tiny every day. It’s so slow. It’s so small on a daily basis. When that day comes and hits you and you’re like, “What happened?”

There are no vacancies for nursing homes in my area. No one ever planned on being there. Everybody reading, the time to start planning an amazing health is absolutely right now. There should be no reaction. There should be no scare, “We did your blood profile.” There should be no, “That was a scary moment.” I tell people, you should never have to go through an act of health terrorism. Terrorism is very motivating. They put a gun to your head and all of a sudden, you’re motivated. We should never have to get to the point of losing our health or having a financial crisis or relationship crisis to say, “I’m going to start making changes,” that you knew you could make now.

The reason heart disease and cancer are so prevalent is because those two diseases take the longest to kill you.

Like you said, very likely to die from heart disease or cancer, five out of six. Let’s say you’re comfortable in your 40s. You’re not in the best of shape, but you’re not horrible. You’ve got a bit of belly. You’ve got not the best diet. You don’t work out that often. You’re not hitting the gym every day or every other day. What are some powerful actions for this person to take and start rolling out these changes? It can feel overwhelming like, “I need to hit the gym every day. I need to change my diet. I love sweets and processed food. I’m lazy. I don’t like to cook extravagant meals for myself that are super healthy. I don’t want to spend tons of money going to the fancy organic restaurants or going to the juice bar every day because it gets pricey.” It’s overwhelming for somebody who doesn’t have unlimited resources, money, time, etc. They’re under the gun to perform at work and all that. How do they start?

What you described is a person who probably got their routine down over the course of eight to ten years. They added one thing and they got good at another thing. The funny thing about time and money is not doing that, not taking care of your body, you’re choosing the most expensive route. The average person is going to spend $1.5 million with cancer bills. If you’re diabetic, you’re worth $250,000. I played sports so we always look at the team. We always looked at the threat. The number one threat to death is sick debts. The number one cause of death, the number one cause of bankruptcy is medical bills. When you realize that not doing that is you’re choosing the most expensive product and time. What people don’t realize is thousands of dollars are running through their fingers and their hands on stuff that is self-sabotaging or bringing them against their goals.

People make thousands of dollars a year. No one makes a couple hundred bucks a year. Where does all that money go? It’s not to rent. They spend it on stuff that doesn’t matter. There’s no judgment here because people do what they want. My office is next to a Starbucks line and you’re absolutely right. That person who said all those excuses are waiting in the Starbucks line for twenty minutes. They woke up early to sit in a line to pay very expensive money when they could have got all that at home. They could cook the same coffee at home. One reason is that they wanted to. When there’s the obsessive desire to want to, then they’ll do it. Unfortunately, it does take a scare. I used to say I would go first to the diet. The reason I’m not going with that because I feel if you could get moving, there’s something about moving that makes you feel better. It makes you more alert. When I exercise, I don’t want to eat crap. It’s like an act of self-love. You get those endorphins going. It’s an antidepressant. Exercise or moving becomes a mood elevator that gives you the enthusiasm to start making our next better decision or the enthusiasm to maybe not have that sugary fruit.

Something about moving and exercise creates a chemistry change in your body that will be the stepping stone to making better choices versus eating better. Eating better is good and you’ll feel great. Even though eating better gets long-term better results, the thing with exercise, if I’m a person who you described, I feel exercise will get them a quicker win as far as how they feel. We’re all looking for the quick win, “I feel amazing. I feel great. I was alert. I didn’t feel like this. I slept well.” If we’re looking for a quick satisfying win, I would go out and exercise first for sure.

It’s ironic. These people get up early. They get less sleep to stand in line or sit in their car in line for twenty minutes to get a sugary Frappuccino with whipped cream on top giving their immune system this dose of horrible stuff, put their white blood cells to sleep and all that, instead of using those twenty minutes to do high intensity interval training or something.

You have enough info to stack. Meaning that, “If I have this coffee with sugar first thing in the morning, my white blood cells are going to sleep.” It’s costing a lot of money. Your good future pace. No one sits there and counts it out, “This can cost me $1,500 a year sitting in this line. This is twenty minutes times twenty hours a month. That’s 100 minutes. That’s an hour and a half sitting in line.” You do an hour and a half and you’re like, “It’s fifteen, sixteen, seventeen hours a year sitting in line.” No one in the future pace and says, “I’m wasting my life here plus I’m waiting in line to do something. My white blood cells go to sleep.” Cancer is eight times more receptor sites for sugar, then you’re like, “I didn’t know that.”

Health is our natural state of being; sickness isn't. Share on X

What’s great about what you said is you have enough info to stack it to where you almost lose the motivation to sabotage yourself like that. It could get so bad, you could stack it to the plan and future pace it. You are like, “I lost my craving for that. I don’t need to walk into work with a green goddess on a cup to give me any type of significance.” Then you start switching to what I call acts of love. If you exercise, it’s an act of love for your body. Every time you eat right, it’s an act of love. It’s like saying, “I love you.” to yourself. The only relationship that counts. You start seeing because the reason why we do that is that we’re sabotaging. We have hunger, anger, guilt, shame all those things start to get in there. You nailed it.

The importance of educating yourself is that you’re able to stack. You could probably list off so many things about coffee in the morning on one side of the stack that all of us would be like, “I’ll never go get coffee with sugar in the morning again.” You built such a stack against it. You’re proving, you’re wasting time, you’re wasting money. You’re taking years off your life. Your grandkids are not going to see you and you’re doing this to yourself because you wanted to. You need to want to do something more productive and healthier so you could see your grandkids. You can have joy and freedom later on in life. You could not be dependent and just at the top up your life. If you start stacking things against each other, you can see what’s the best decision you do. It takes some type of logical thought process and it has to be big enough to start shifting the emotional craving or reason why they do that to themselves every single day.

They need the leverage. If that means tying it into their behaviors, their bad patterns to the impact on their children or the impact on their spouse or on their parents. Whichever loved one gives them the most leverage like, “I don’t want to do this to my little kid. I don’t want to leave them before it’s time and not be able to walk my daughter down the aisle.” You need that leverage instead of blissfully going through life. Ignorance by choice. You know better. It’s true that you don’t know what you don’t know, but there’s a lot that you do know. When you pick up that Odwalla juice that has 47 grams of sugar, you choose not to ever look at the label. You are like, “I don’t want to know that. This is the green machine. I think it’s good for me. It feels good for me to have this.” Then you choose not to look at that label because of that. You’re not only hurting yourself, but you’re also hurting the people that you love.

All of it. It’s the feeling. It’s like how can we future pace it? This is what you do. This is something I do to become successful in multiple areas even multiple million-dollar companies. If I’m going to make a decision, I will sit down. I will play it out of my head, vision it until I get an emotional response. I’m going to use coffee. I’m thinking about drinking it, “It tastes good. That’s good.” It’s like, “I’m going to feel like crap the next day.” When I feel like crap the next day, I’m not going to be on my A-game. I’m going to be on my C-game and then I’m going to be less productive. If I have to do a talk, I will be sluggish. I’m not going to have the enthusiasm. I’m not going to be able to take care of my patients and do the work I was able to do. That sucked for one day.” Imagine if it is day after day. I start losing business. People start quitting. I’m not on my A-game so I’m not producing the way I should. You keep on pulling that onto you like you almost get disgusted. There is a visceral response at the point where you literally feel the consequence down the road in the future. You could come back to present reality and be like, “I’m not going to do that.”

The number one cause of debt and bankruptcy is medical bills.

I’ve gone to a number of Tony Robbins events and he’s very good. He has you visualize a limiting belief. Let’s say it’s, “I’m lazy or I’m disorganized or I don’t take good care of my body or whatever,” and you take that limiting belief. You project that into the future five years. Five years from now if you don’t shed that limiting belief, what is life going to look like ten years into the future? Who is that going to affect? Who have you hurt because of that limiting belief twenty years into the future? What relationships have you lost? What damage have you done? Whose lives have been lost because of this horrible, disempowering belief, that you have, that you’re holding on to?

He future paces it and makes the imagery stronger, more powerful. He brings that closer to you. It’s a process he calls the Dickens Process. I wrote an article for the Huffington Post about this. It’s in his event, Unleash The Power Within and it sounds exactly what you’re describing of future pacing and taking that all the way through to its conclusion. What is the endgame if you keep that same pattern, that same dysfunction throughout your adult life? He calls it the Dickens Process because he watched a movie, the Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol movie during Christmas season. It came to him like, “This is the ghost of Christmas future that was taking Scrooge into the far future. The impact that his horrible ways of being impacted people’s lives. He was like, “What if I do that in a group environment and get the entire audience to do that?” Let’s help our readers make some decisions because that’s where your stepdad who said, “Make a decision.”

He said, “The toughest thing in life is to make a decision.” The thing is anxiety is present until you make a decision. Once you make that decision, you feel amazing. We were talking about the experience. Experiences teach not words. No matter what, understand you can get it wrong. You make a decision. You’ll never know how the other way would have gone so don’t worry about it. You make a decision and then you zigzag. You course correct it. You do whatever it takes and maybe you make a decision and it goes amazing. That’s awesome. What could be even better if you make a decision and you learn something? You learned something you never would’ve learned if you didn’t make that decision. That sets you up for a major win right after that.

Saying, 'I love you,' to yourself is the only relationship that counts. Share on X

You realize, you can’t get it wrong. You can learn. When stuff happens that you don’t like, you’re like, “That sucks, but what can I learn from it? What has it defined that I clearly want now?” You’ll never get it wrong. Going into life knowing that I can’t get it wrong, make a decision. In all your life, there’s so much decision fatigue. There are so many decisions that need to be made in your lives. If you could get a piece of paper and say, “I’m making a decision, making a decision, making a decision,” it will feel like life enters your body again and you make a decision and you go for it. Then it’s okay to course-correct. You hit the wall, course-correct and then learn. Basically, I say after that, embrace the unknown because you don’t want to make a decision because you’re not sure what’s going to happen. That’s the unknown. The unknown is what makes life. Every day we live Groundhog Day when we’re used to the certainty of it, but the unknowns contain the nutrients that create the life you desire. Living the same day in the same recipe in the same equation gets you the same thing. When you throw unknowns in there and you embrace the unknown, you’ll be like, “I don’t know. This is scary. I don’t know where it’s going to take me.” It contains the nutrients that build and the particles that the build that life you truly desire or want or at least lead you to something that’s new and exciting.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable because that’s where all the joy and that’s where all the juices.

I know but we’re trying to be certain.

Many of us are certainty-driven. We’ll take a less juicy passionate deep relationship just to have the certainty of somebody that’s going to do the same thing every time and not surprise us. Let’s switch topics here and let’s talk a bit more about chiropractic because there are not regular chiropractors who will do their regular adjustments. There’s Network Chiropractic, which Donny Epstein founded. I’ve had him on the show. He is an amazing guy. It’s an amazing technology he’s come up with. There is corrective care chiropractic. I’m not even sure how many different forms of chiropractic there are, but could you compare and contrast them for us?

The best way to do it is like art. There are different styles of art. There are different ways to do it. Unfortunately, it’s all lumped in. I love what Donny does. That guy is a genius. It is so different than anything else. It’s energy therapy and it’s all lumped into chiropractic. There are different techniques. I think different techniques work for certain different people. That’s why I like I never judge right or wrong. It’s like what’s the thing that’s going to benefit that person and for some people, it might take you a couple of different people because it’s not just the technique, but then the doctor has an art. There are certain doctors that they might know the science, they might know the philosophy, but they can’t deliver the actual service of it. For me, I adjust with my hands and I’m on the top in the world and people say that, but it’s like an art of mine.

I can’t teach it. I could teach someone the science and the philosophy, but I can’t teach that art. All of us have unique art. Going back to the hero, the art is your hero. Everybody, you have unique art in what you do. It’s an intuition. It’s a feeling. It’s unteachable. When you could embrace and have the pride, the ego, the confidence, and humility to say, “This is my art. This is the unteachable touch. This is the unteachable intuition I have for things.” The people I coach, they always make great deals of investing. I’m like, “How to do this?” They say, “I just got a gut feeling.” It’s ridiculous. That’s his art. We all have our unique arts. Some people like low force, high force but the principle is this. Here’s the big border. The body is a self-sustaining healing organism. The natural state of the body is health, wellness, balance and well-being. The absence of function or the interference of the body’s ability to do its job then creates disease. Disease will lead to dysfunction in the body. It’s about restoring ease to the body once again.

There’s a bunch of interference. There could be physical. Physical could be literally me adjusting the spine, physical interference from moving that. Then we get to talk and you are like, “How about the toxic interference? I got to tell people.” You get to a perfectly functioning nervous system and then I give you cyanide or I give you pesticides and you’ll die. That shows you anything that will chemically alter the function of the body is also an interference. You get emotional things. There are so many variables. That’s when you search for those variables and those unknowns. I like corrective care.

Becoming Supernatural: How Common People are Doing the Uncommon

Joe Dispenza is a chiropractor. He broke his back. He went through an experience, and through that experience, he literally focused on meditating and healing his back. Years later, he’s stable with no surgery. He runs huge things all over the world. What I love about him is when people talk meditation, if you listen to this like he’s talking meditation. I get it, the woo-woo of meditation because they want to keep a traditional. What Joe did was he demystified meditation with brain scans and showing real data. Anybody if you read the book, Becoming Supernatural, you are like, “It makes sense. I’m going to start doing this.” I like the logical part of it. I like to be able to look at an X-ray and say, “There it is, you’ve got a twenty-degree curvature there. There is our baseline.” Three months later, “How are you feeling?” “A little bit sorer.” “That twenty is now a ten. I know you’re healing. I know you’re correcting.” We don’t go by symptoms, we go on correcting. Then the body will heal and restore itself.

I like being able to look at something and not guess. That’s why I chose this method. That’s the one I did because it made sense to me. For me, that means congruency. I’m big into congruency. That’s why I’m in shape. If you see me, it’s like, “Why am I in shape?” Because my patients keep me accountable. If I’m going to do a nutrition talk, I can’t be 400 pounds. If I’m going to tell them to exercise, I’ve got to make sure I did my cardio. If I’m going to tell them, “You need to ground yourself personally and love yourself and take time for yourself in the morning,” I have to do that as well. My patients, if I know I get to teach them something or lead them and guide them, I have to do it myself. I’d be a wreck right now if I didn’t have people that I hold myself accountable to. Congruency is big. Me being congruent was doing the actual technique that helped me and then I added to it. I evolved it. That’s why I like being able to see an X-ray change. I like to have a system and a protocol to see the results versus going on a feeling, “I feel better.” I realized for me going on how I feel, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. By the time you feel bad, you lost about 40% function of that area. We don’t want to wait until we feel bad.

That reminds me of a quote from Peter Drucker, “What gets measured, gets managed.” You’re focusing on what’s very measurable and being able to course correct it if the measurements aren’t coming right the way that you want them to.

Somebody got worse and she was like, “Why am I worse?” I was like, “You’re not worse.” These areas stabilize. They correct and I go, “What you’re seeing is something new popping up.” I was like, “Because you live under gravity.” Living life causes the body you have to adapt under stresses. That’s what caused so many variables. I said, “I want to objectively see what’s going on every so often, so I could take a course correct.” She was like, “Everybody thinks I’m getting worse.” You always hear this, “I went in and my cholesterol was high.” I’m like, “Chill. Here’s a book. Educate yourself on what cholesterol is and that’s not the term of heart disease. What did you do in the last couple of days?” “I was outside gardening a lot in the heat.” I’m in Houston, so these people were not used to exercising, they exercised for two, three days in a row in the high heat. They got dehydrated. I’m like, “Cholesterol helps heal parts of the body. It has beneficial healing properties so your liver probably raised it a little bit to help recuperate. It’s like the glue of the body.” They’re like, “I didn’t think about that,” because that’s what happens. They see a number and it freaks them out. The first thing they want to be put is on drugs. I’m like, “No.” I don’t say chill and tell them what I think. I say, “Chill, I want you to read these things and educate yourself so you don’t panic and do something that’s going to cause more harm later on.”

If I know what I don't want, at the same time I have a lot better clarity to know what I do want. Share on X

What do you think of muscle testing as a way to get a read on whether something is good for you or harmful?

I love it. I used to think it was absolute crap. There was a 115-pound little lady who came over one of my buddy’s house with a tray of probably 800 little vials. There were different foods that would hold it. When the energy field of my body didn’t want it, I don’t care how hard I try, my muscles blew out. I could hold my arm up so I know it was no BS. I was like, “This is a bunch.” I was trying. I was like, “I couldn’t hold it because it interferes the energy field.” Since then I adopted it. I don’t even do it in my office maybe my patients do it, but I adopted it from my family. What I do is every month, I’ll test them on the foods they’re eating and the vitamins they’re having.

What I mean by a blowout is you hold your muscles strong. If you hold something and if for whatever reason it is interfering with the body, if the body doesn’t need it or want it, whatever it is, that muscle gets weak. With your two fingers, you could push it down. If it’s something your body requires and likes, your muscles are hard as a rock as far as you could hold your arm out. It’s cool to be like, “I had all these supplements I was taking and my wife tested me.” A lot of them my body didn’t need anymore. How cool is that? I definitely incorporate that more for fun because it definitely looks like a parlor trick if you ever check it out. I definitely see a great validity in it because how long do you take vitamin D for? Once your blood levels are normal? I don’t know. Some call it body talk and all that stuff. The muscle testing has some validity for sure without a doubt especially when 115-pounder would make my arm collapse without even trying, I knew there was something there.

I was skeptical too and then I met Christian Mickelsen. He was in the program as well. He did a muscle test on my wife. I was watching dumbfounded. He was surgical in his ascertaining of what the issue was. He didn’t even have things for her to put in her hand like two different kinds of vitamins, supplements, foods and things like that. He was just asking her questions and then pushing on her arm with two fingers and seeing whether it was weak or strong and it was amazing. I’ve had Christian on the show.

When he worked on you and you felt it, it’s like no matter how hard you try, you could not hold your arm up. No matter how much you could say this is BS, you could be seen enduring it. It’s like, “When that arm goes weak, it drops. When it’s strong, it’s strong.” This is a perfect example of an experience, where you are like, “I totally opened up a whole new area of my life.” It’s just a whole other dimension of health and energy like Donny. You watched his work and you watch what Donny does. There are so many dimensions to health. It’s not food, exercise and breathes clean air. A lot of times we don’t realize the corona radiata is still with us. There’s that energy field that is us in this physical body and what he does is amazing. We’re not used to seeing that. We’re not used to seeing someone their spine starts to wave in the air and you’re like, “This lady is nuts. Is she a hyperspiritual person?” Then you do it and you’re not crazy, you’re like, “What’s going on with me?” It opens up a whole new dimension. There are a hundred other dimensions.

Every day, we live Groundhog Day when we’re used to the certainty of it, but the unknowns contain the nutrients that create the life you desire.

It was cool and mind-blowing to see other people have this wave pattern go through their spine after Donny worked on them. To see my wife for the first time get entrainment from Donny and see her spine move like an ocean wave, that’s a whole other world to see somebody that you live with and you know intimately and see that effect on them. It’s crazy amazing.

What makes us so skeptical?

We get locked in our own patterns. It has to do with being certainty-driven and having our cognitive biases. It’s getting worse now too with being in this filter bubble of the same opinions that are reinforcing our own belief systems because of Facebook and all the social media. Even Google now with their discover thing that you scroll through another news feed and it’s Google’s news feed in the Google app. You’re in an echo chamber getting the same bad ideas shot back at you over and over again by the people who have those bad opinions and bad ideas that you’re getting reinforced. That’s what I think. I want to make sure that our readers have something to do as a next step that relates to the hero’s journey. I know your hero’s journey is a little different from Joseph Campbell’s. That’s another thing. You’ve got a whole process a four-step methodology and for folks who are interested and feels some resonance here from what we’ve been discussing and your viewpoint on things. What would be the next step for them to take?

When it comes to “I Am HERO Project,” it’s very counter-intuitive with most personal development. It’s a lot of what we talked about now. It’s like finding your truth because most of us, we live out other people’s values for our life like, “I need to go to this school.” We were living up to everybody else’s ideas, but we never took the time to see, “Who am I? What do I want? What do I desire?” Living out of the people’s values creates a secret identity. I have something called The Hero’s Secret Sauce. Of all the things I went through, whether it be winning piano titles or Mr. America, building a huge wellness clinic, of all the factors if we distill it down, what are five common factors to all of those that everybody can apply in their life now and start winning?

If you go to,, you’ll be able to have access to a program I’ve made for you. It’s no cost whatsoever. There are a couple of videos, a couple of cool PDFs in there. What’s it going to take to get through that transition if you’re facing something and you’re going to do it and you want to bridge the gap between where you are in reaching it? I could tell you those areas. There are five main things that will definitely help you achieve that. That’s my gift to you. Another thing, if you want to keep the conversation going, go to Instagram or Facebook, Instagram mainly and it’s @DrZaino. We do content every single day and Lives every single day. I answer all my comments and all my messages. That a priority to me. You could ask any questions, it’s me answering. We all rise together.

What if they wanted to get treated in your clinic, do you have multiple clinics? How would they act on that?

I have an exclusive clinic in The Woodlands, Texas in Houston. The deal with chiropractic, is I have to be there to deliver a service. If there’s any type of high-level coaching or what I call my Hero Rises Mastermind. It’s more personal coaching and that you can contact me through Instagram or one of those. My email will be with any of those so they could reach out through a message there.

Dr. Zaino, thank you so much. This was amazing, inspiring and thought-provoking. I hope that our readers take massive action from what they learned and make some decisions. We’ll catch you on the next episode of Get Yourself Optimized.

Important Links

Checklist of Actionable Takeaways

?Never lose hope when faced with adversity especially when it comes to health. Always look for the possibilities.

?Have a positive mindset. My brain controls everything and what I feed into has a direct effect on the state of my body.

?Take control of my own health. It’s not someone else’s responsibility, but me.

?Recognize that life is an experience. I must learn to embrace the journey and see challenges as an opportunity to find my true purpose and gift.

?Strive to change a habit that’s no longer serving me whether it be about health, finances or relationships. Build a momentum out of it until a desired outcome is achieved.

?Don’t be afraid to make a decision whether it’s good or a bad one. The most important thing is I am learning.

?Stop chasing the disease but focus on restoring well-being and function that I was naturally born with. Health is our natural state of being and sickness is the absence of that.

?Start now because tomorrow is never promised. Make each day worthwhile with choices towards the path of a healthy lifestyle.

?Constantly find ways to get myself moving. Dr. Chris says that every time we eat better and exercise, that’s an act of self-love for our body.

?Make sure to check The Hero’s Secret Sauce and learn how I can embrace my inner superhero authentically and start winning today.

About Dr. Chris Zaino

Dr. Chris Zaino is a world-renowned speaker, author, entrepreneur, Former Mr. America, Mr. Universe, and IFBB Pro Bodybuilder.

After defying a deadly terminal disease in his late 20’s, Dr. Zaino leveraged his experience to get his doctorate and becoming one of the largest wellness clinics in the world, seeing thousands weekly.

Dr. Zaino created the “IAmHeroProject”, to resurrect Heroes from the complacency of their secret identity, so they may live heroic lives once again, by expressing and experiencing true love, now, in every area of their lives, through his 4 Step methodology “HeroRises”.

Disclaimer: The medical, fitness, psychological, mindset, lifestyle, and nutritional information provided on this website and through any materials, downloads, videos, webinars, podcasts, or emails is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical/fitness/nutritional advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek the help of your physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, certified trainer, or dietitian with any questions regarding starting any new programs or treatments, or stopping any current programs or treatments. This website is for information purposes only, and the creators and editors, including Stephan Spencer, accept no liability for any injury or illness arising out of the use of the material contained herein, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the contents of this website and affiliated materials.


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