421. The Holistic OBGYN on Conscious Birth & Death Practices & Traditions w/ Dr. Nathan Riley

Nathan Riley

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Nathan Riley is a medical doctor trained in OBGYN and palliative care. He joins the podcast today to talk, generally, about the role of medicine in society, what it has been and what it could be, its beauty and limitations, and working inside the system vs. outside of the system.

Nathan Riley is a medical doctor trained in OB/GYN and palliative care. In this episode, birth and death, we talk about the role of medicine in society, what it has been and could be, its beauty and limitations, working in the system and outside the system.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Nathan Riley is a medical doctor trained in OBGYN and palliative care. He joins the podcast today to talk, generally, about the role of medicine in society, what it has been and what it could be, its beauty and limitations, and working inside the system vs. outside of the system.

I really dig Nathan because he thinks way outside of the box while not being so far out that your average person gets lost in the sauce. We discuss the work of a handful of Renaissance thinkers as we go back and forth on medicine, science, and the unseen – and how they can and do balance each other out. 

He’s a grounding presence that brings a tangible optimism and hope to so many issues that seem quite the opposite at first glance. If, by the end of the show, you vibe with Nathan's approach, you can learn more about working with him at lukestorey.com/belovedholistics, where you can use the code Luke100 for $100 off his services.

00:03:33 — Experiencing Both Life & Death

  • Prevalence of surgery in maternity care 
  • Getting into the homeopathic field 
  • Bringing hospice and palliative care into the OBGYN space
  • Witnessing 1,000 births and 1,000 deaths  
  • Stepping through the portal 
  • My Last Sound by Yoko Sen (presentation)

00:30:48 — The State of Modern Birth Control

00:43:22 — Science as a Belief System

00:53:12 — Physical, Mental & Spiritual Wellness

01:18:27 — Tuning into (or Mitigating) Vibrational Frequencies 


01:42:39 — Looking Ahead with Hope

More about this episode.

Watch on YouTube.

Nathan Riley:  [00:00:01] The number one thing to remember for anybody listening is that when you get pregnant, you have no control. You're on the roller coaster and the roller coasters break is off and we're on for a ride. So all that I can do is I can make sure that there's like nails on the sides of the roller coaster to make sure that the track doesn't come on loose while you're riding it. The only things you can control are really how healthy is your soil before you get pregnant, through pregnancy into the postpartum and our physical, etheric, astral, and spiritual or high level consciousness level. And that's it. That's what you can control.

Luke Storey:  [00:00:39] Hey, party people, welcome back to another Life Stylist joyride. Show notes for this one can be found and enjoyed at lukestorey.com/nathan. Our wonderful sponsors today are Cacao Bliss, Super Speciosa, Joovv, and Magnesium Breakthrough, all incredible brands bringing you the best of the best in all things wellness. This one here is Episode 421, The Holistic OBGYN on Conscious Birth and Death Practices and Traditions with Dr. Nathan Riley. 

He's a medical doctor trained in OBGYN and palliative care. In this episode, birth and death, we talk about the role of medicine in society, what it has been and what it could be, its beauty and limitations, and working inside the system versus outside of the system. I really dig Nathan because he thinks way outside of the box while not being so far out that your average person gets lost. So if you find yourself somewhere in the middle, this is the conversation for you. 

Here's a few of the topics we cover. We talk about the brand new film: The Business of Birth Control, which I highly recommend, we'll put that in the show notes, science and the industry of mainstream OBGYNs, how he works differently as a holistic OBGYN, birth as a natural process, the relationship between chakras and the organs, Rudolf Steiner’s profound work on understanding human development, his work with Paul Chek and his family, how bio geometry can be used to optimize human health, Nathan's experience with death as a palliative caretaker, and finally his vision for the future of birth.

If by the end of the show you vibe with Nathan's approach to birth, you can find out more about working with him at lukestorey.com/belovedholistics, where you can use the code LUKE100 for $100 off his services. That's lukestorey.com/belovedholistics. Now that we've got that covered, let's go ahead and jump into this fascinating conversation with Dr. Nathan Riley. Here we are, Nathan.

Nathan Riley:  [00:02:45] Here we are.

Luke Storey:  [00:02:45] It's good to see you again. So we were just together last night. You were on a panel after this book called The Business of Birth Control. So it's cool I got to meet you there. And I'd like to discuss that, maybe not as a jumping off point. But let's first give people a little bit of insight into how you entered into the allopathic medical system, a synopsis of that because there's so much more I want to talk to you about and it's kind of a common theme here when I interviewed doctors. The kind of doctors I interviews are ones that are out of the system or working on it or totally abandoned it. But your training, your schooling, how you got into it, what caused you to become dismayed by it and move into the holistic model that you're now currently successful in.

Nathan Riley:  [00:03:33] Yeah, well, thanks for having me. It's just great to meet you. And I know we have a ton in common and it's easy to talk to somebody like you because you get a lot of this stuff, whereas a lot of my colleagues are still like, what's this guy talking about? So the elevator speech version of my story, just like with anybody, you answer more questions on the test, you're rewarded with more school, and eventually I went through college and got into med school at Temple and went to Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles, which means I was an OBGYN in Hollywood, but not serving the Hollywood stars, so to say, but the 7 million people or whatever they're stuffed into LA County. 

And that was a great place to train. We got a lot of experience with surgery, a lot of births. I've attended over 1,000 births now. And it was at least 500 or so in residency, about 300 of those were C sections. You get very, very good at surgery. And I think what drew me into OBGYN, which is a specialty you pick after med school--

Luke Storey:  [00:04:31] I'm just going to back off here for once because I know you know this story. So have you actually taken a scalpel and sliced a woman's abdomen open and pull the baby out?

 Nathan Riley:  [00:04:41] Yeah, a lot. Well, that's the reason there's 40% of babies roughly in the United States that are still born by C section. If that doesn't sound dystopian to somebody, it should be.

Luke Storey:  [00:04:54] Oh my God. That's crazy.

Nathan Riley:  [00:04:55] And the reason there are so many of them is because it's a self-fulfilling cycle. The more do you do of it, the better you get at it, and then the more you can control over an uncontrollable natural process.

Luke Storey:  [00:05:05] Sometimes I have people on and like you said, we have so much in common. I'm like, oh, we're just going to have a child. I'm like, wait, you've done what? Yeah, to the average person that's unfathomable.

Nathan Riley:  [00:05:14] And that's the major surgery we do in obstetrics, the obstetrics part of OBGYN. The gynecology part is hysterectomy, removal of ovaries, removal of tubes. There's a lot of cancer surgery, there's a lot of vaginal and vulva surgery, there's cervical surgery. The whole pelvis, the female pelvis is our domain. So 70% of your training in OBGYN is surgery. So that's why when you put them in a space that doesn't need surgery, everything looks like a nail, and you've gotten really good with your hammer. So that's why there's so much many issues with the way that maternity care is practiced in the States.

But speaking of maternity care, when I was in med school, you get to see all the different specialties. And I chose OBGYN because it was like there's a mystique. There's a mystery here. And I don't have to have the answer to the test, because there's no answer to how to have a baby. But then you get into the actual specialty training and you're expected to have the answer. What is the mechanism of control at every moment that shows that you know what you're doing versus if you're a real expert, you have to ever do anything at all. You know when to intervene and you can have some restraint. 

That's where I started really becoming disillusioned with it, where I was expected to intervene and put my hands where they don't belong, whenever I didn't feel like an intervention was really necessary most of the time. And so fortunately, I had some midwives that I trained with. I went to some home births in residency and I was like, whoa, there's a different way to do this. 

And I lost my father in med school, got to see palliative care and hospice, involved in his care and many other people's care. And I was like, whoa, the communication side, getting to know a person like this, getting to know what makes them tick, what's their greatest joy, their greatest triumph, their greatest loss, what have they grieved over in their life, what are they hoping for, that type of conversation belonged at birth, but we're only seeing it at the end of life. 

So I figured, let me do a fellowship in hospice and palliative care and bring that into my care as an OBGYN. And that's where the magic started happening. So I went to UC San Diego for a year of fellowship training, meaning I am like, as educated as you could possibly be in medicine. And I look backwards and I'm completely disillusioned with the whole process, which has been a really, really hard journey for me.

Luke Storey:  [00:07:19] You have buyer's remorse. 

Nathan Riley:  [00:07:20] Yeah, like, man, I thought I wanted that Lambo and it broke down the first year and taken out a lot. So I got recruited out to Kentucky and worked in the system for a while. I was working OBGYN shifts all night, on the weekends, out of care in the hospital all day during the week. And we had our first baby on the way. And about a week or two before the baby came, I had my one last shift. In like 3 am, I did an emergency C section. And the person who came in to help me was talking about like, some sports game or whatever. 

And I was like, I'm just over this. This is a sacred process. We're doing this emergency surgery, which this was a necessary one, but there's still a woman here who's awake during the birth of her baby, and we're cutting into her belly, removing a baby, having to resuscitate the baby, and the whole time this person wants to talk about their kids Little League game or something. I'm not bashing the other doctors, but I realized for me, I need to do this differently. So I said, it's my last day. I'm not doing this anymore. And then I went into hospice care. And do you want me to tell the story about how I lost the job? Do you want to get into that? 

Luke Storey:  [00:08:23] I love your two job losses because there are such huge wins from my perspective.

Nathan Riley:  [00:08:28] The first one was there was a disagreement between me and my employer because there was some not great practices happening. And I called them out on it. And we just determined that the Harley riding nose pierced, partial Mohawk looking dude just doesn't fit in here in rural Kentucky, in the rural Midwest. And so I went to hospice, and then there I was there for about a year and I lost my job when I took my mask down taking care of a dying man. They used to say pneumonia is an old man's best friend. In this case, he's been locked away for 18 months during this pandemic thing, has had no human love or compassion.

I took my mask down, rubbed his hand and feet with lotion, really connected with him heart to heart. We got close enough that you can feel one another at Heart-math. I mean, it's real. And this guy hadn't seen a face, let alone being touched for 18 months. I did that and lost my job because I took my mask down. And I should be thanking them because it was the universal nudge I needed to really do the type of work that I wanted to do, just what I'm doing now.

Wow. During your time in hospice, does this mean-- forgive me for being so naive. I know the answer, but I just want to hear it to get the gravity of it. So have you sat with multiple people as they left their body? Have you been present?

Yeah, more than I count. What I'd say is I've taken care of 1,000 births and 1,000 deaths. I don't know when you keep counting or what the reason for that would be. But you sit with it enough, and if you're present there with those two processes, it starts to change you and starts to give you some perspective about the greater thing. And I'm not talking about God or what our religious leaders say or politicians say. I'm talking about that deep resonance that we have with ourselves, with other people, with nature, with the cosmos. And that, obviously, is something that you can't see. Once you see behind the curtain, you can't unsee it. And when you can really appreciate some of that subtle, energetic stuff that's happening, it opens up this world of possibilities as to how we can care for one another.

Luke Storey:  [010:25] Wow. Energetically in terms of the theoretic realm in a space when life is coming versus going, is there a difference?

Nathan Riley:  [010:40] Let me answer that question with another question. Is birth the beginning or is death the beginning? People say on the book end, doctor, beginning and end, but I actually like to get people to think of it the other way around. What if birth is the ending and death is the beginning? And when you can really flip that on its head, it doesn't matter the answer to your question. 

And I'm not saying that it's a bad question. It's actually the question that we should all be asking because what we think is like, oh, this person gets older and they're not useful, they're not producing anymore, so we put them away in a nursing facility to die alone where doctors wearing a mask and not able to love them appropriately. But if we can actually reverse that and flip that paradigm on its head and think about what is to come after death and what came before birth, then we start to really create an interesting story as opposed to this medical procedure with birth, or the failure of modern medicine with death, which neither of those things are true.

Luke Storey:  [011:33] I asked that question in part because I've not been present for birth other than my own, which I don't remember or have a sense of what it was like, largely less than positive. But I have been present at the death of an animal like a big mammal at my hand. And there was something-- and I've talked about it a bunch of times in this podcast, so forgive me listeners for the broken record, but it was such a profound experience in my life to just witness life leaving the body of a being, a pretty good-sized being. 

And there was this it's like in stranger things when the fog comes, their shit got weird for about 10 minutes there. And it was so emotionally impactful. It was so powerful. And it wasn't a guilt or a sadness about what had just happened, oh, something's dying. It wasn't that. There was no intellectual process or belief around it or judgment around it. It was purely energetic. And it was like, man, I get goosebumps now. It was goosebumps of just like, holy shit. There is some stuff moving right now. 

And then I think the best way I can contextualize it was just, you're at the portal of the unseen and the seen. And there's a shift happening there. It's just wild. And that really was one of the contributing factors to give me this somewhat urgent desire to have a kid and to actually learn about birth. And I've had so many people on the podcast just exploring it as a spiritual phenomenon, did I just want more of because I just want more of everything that consciousness has to offer in and outside of this realm? So that was the basis of my question because when that happened, I had this innate sense that this is the same energy that's present when a birth takes place.

Nathan Riley:  [013:35] Exactly right. So I see them as two sides of the same coin. And I really appreciate you sharing that story because at that time, you were paying attention, you were present with the process. And if you think about how a person dies in the hospital or gives birth in the hospital, there's this cacophony of stuff happening. Everybody's moving around. They're all trying to do good. They're trying to fix this and fix that as opposed to just pausing and allowing themselves to soak in the majesty of this transformation of spirit that's taking place, whether it's a birth or death.

So one story I do like to share is there was one shift when I was a resident where a woman came in and she was in preterm labor. So she's like 32 weeks. That's way before her due date or her gest date as I call it because we had no idea when the baby's coming, but I digress. At 32 weeks the waters had opened up. And she was there and like, I don't want this baby to come at home. 32 weeks is really young. The baby's probably going to need some higher level NICU support. So she was there for about a week. And eventually we tried to-- you can treat with antibiotics and things like that to try to stop the probably an insidious infection that caused the water to open so early, but her baby came anyways.

And I was in there and I was the chief residence. I was like the main guy in charge apart from the attendings who were in the other room. And I was taking care of the mom after the baby came out. The baby is on the warmer with the whole respiratory therapy team and everything because it's at a premium, it's a really, really small baby. And they couldn't get the baby to breathe. The baby wasn't taking a breath. So they tried to put a tube in to intubate the baby. They couldn't get a tube in. They called in all these other people. And eventually, they said, we got to go to the operating room. Something's up here. We don't see vocal cords, there's a blockage, something's there.

So this woman just gave birth eight weeks before she hoped to. The baby's whisked to the operating room down the hall. They brought every surgical team up there to take a look at this. The baby was missing about 4 centimeters of trachea, which connects your upper airway to your lungs, so the main bronchi. And that's not reparable. So there's no solution. This baby's going to die. We could put a bag in there, and they did. And they just were pumping air into the lungs. But there's no way of managing this long term. We can't make a fake trachea at this point in medical sciences.

So we're in there. The woman just says, I think I just want to hold her. So they give her the baby. And she's holding this baby and the baby eventually just takes her final breaths. And I have two little girls. So I get a little bit choked up when I talk about this one, but we're in there with her. And there's the surgical staff, there's the anesthetist there, there's all these other people that are in there. And there's this noise, this clamoring of activity, clacking away on keyboards documenting things, adjusting blood pressure cuffs, the blankets until the-- [inaudible 016:22]   on your podcast, I can't remember.

Luke Storey:  [016:23] Oh, freely. I've tried to curb myself a little bit at the request of some of the parents that listen, but please be you

Nathan Riley:  [016:29] I think it's important. What she said was, can you guys just leave us the fuck alone in a very passionate way because she is holding her baby for the final moments of her life. And you could hear a pin drop at that point because everybody at that moment started paying attention, just what you did with that animal. And when you pay attention, you watch this little baby expire. It puts things into-- and I say expires, I shouldn't even use that word, the baby died. The baby steps through the portal, was in and out in the same hour. So we got to see birth and death on the same shift in the same hour.

And I tried to not give a moral of the story, but something that could be taken from that, that I bring into my practice is that if we can stop and pay attention, everything that we need to do for the person is going to be revealed to us. But instead we get stuck in this protocolized way of doing things, missing out on the fact that this is a person with her person, husband and wife going through probably the most traumatizing, challenging thing that they're ever going to have to go through. And they're probably still working on the reality of what happened that day.

But when we get so caught up in the charting and the instruments and the to-do list, the checklist, sometimes that's helpful. Right now, we just need to be present and be compassionate human beings. And within the system, you're not generally incentivized to do that. And to answer your question about the energetics, I have had a person die and then I've attended a baby on the same shift, not even that story I was talking about. One night I was at hospice patient and I had to rush to the hospital to go to my OB shift. I arrived there just in time to, quote "deliver" the baby, which is the language that we shouldn't be using because I didn't do anything. I was just there and I caught the baby.

And you have to wonder, like, was one coming in and one going out into this earth school? I mean, why not? Why can't we really start to conjecture about the reality of what's happening during these true rites of passage? There's very few of those in our life. But there's a transformation of spirit at birth and at death. And at birth, it's for the dad, the mom, and the baby. And the unit of the partnership changes. 

There's this entire transformation, but because we're so distracted with the clean up everything and wrap the baby up and get the baby shots, moments into life and goop in the eyes and everything, we get so focused on the checklist that we forget that this is something that should be held. We should hold space for this. There is a beautiful perspective and perhaps life altering experience here. But we're so distracted by everything else that we forget to pay attention. And that presence is what's lacking. It's not time, it's not safety measure, it's not protocols, what we're lacking in modern medicine is presence. And that's what I get to do every day now that I've stepped away from them.

Luke Storey:  [019:08] Congratulations on being fired.

Nathan Riley:  [019:08] I know. I should be sending them bouquets and stuff.

Luke Storey:  [019:11] What a great reason too. Your humanity had the opportunity to supersede norms. Because oftentimes, norms have nothing to do with humanity, maybe even the majority of time. That's why I love breaking norms on this show. It's one of the most fun thing is sometimes talking about those edgy, uncomfortable things, which, for me, historically, the idea of having a kid and birth was like, oh, I'm not even that. It's nowhere even near my experience because I had such a limited experience of life in many ways.

And with the death, it's like, oh my god, to face that, to face one's own mortality, this is the reality and there's so much dysfunction in the way we operate as citizens of humanity because those two things are becoming increasingly compartmentalized, especially death. It's like in American, the Western culture, at least, I'm sure there are pockets of people around the world who perhaps still embrace and celebrate death in different ways, but our version of it is like, what we see in the movies and on TV and the same with birth, it's everything's a medical emergency, everything's stressful, presence. It's like, no, the last thing you want to do is be present because you're, for most people, hitting your edge of comfort and the very fabric of your reality is being shaken so dramatically.

Of course, we've just lazily and out of our fear, don't want to look at these things or talk about these things or, God forbid, have someone that you care about pass away and you leave their body in the house for three days, which is common in some cultures, it's like when I think about doing that, it's like, oh, hell no. But yet, what if I were to do that with a high degree of presence? With presence, almost anything is doable. That's what I found in some very challenging times in my life when I've had the opportunity to not run and just be there for it come what may. That's where the magic happens.

Nathan Riley:  [00:21:21] I totally agree. And I also want to reflect on the discomfort that we all have with dying. We are so averse to the idea that we're not going to be here forever that we push that conversation off forever, until we do die. And then we've prepared ahead of time to not become worm food. Heaven forbid, I bury you in the ground and the worms and the mycorrhizae grow around you and you become reconsumed by Gaia and you're re imagined as a tree and all these other things, your molecules are broken down and repurposed to make this world beautiful.

Instead of that being the reality, which it actually is, we cover ourselves in a lead lined casket in a concrete tomb. We embalm ourselves so that somebody can remember what we looked like 20 years ago, instead of embracing the privilege that it is to die. And I'm not trying to diminish the reality that you have to say goodbye to people and they have to say goodbye to you, what I am saying is that you don't get a vote, when you're born, you don't get a vote as to whether or not you die. You only get a vote as to what your time looks like from now until then and how you die.

And if you're going to die in the hospital, the vast majority of people in the hospital would say, you can't die unless we've tried absolutely everything, even if it costs us $20 million to get every last e cut of that SA node and your heart. Once that fails, then we can say okay, they're dead, as opposed to embracing the opportunity to die one day. And if there's an opportunity, if there's a privilege of death in the future, and it's absolutely coming in the future, then why not live right now?
And it sounds so cliché, and everybody talks about this stuff, but nobody actually lives it. Presence is actually our greatest currency. It's not time. It's not material stuff you can't take with you to the grave. It's the presence you have with another person, whether it's your children, your parents, partner, your friends, your community. And that's something that I have the privilege of doing now I suppose now that I'm not confined to the protocols and the procedures of a system that won't let a person die until we've quote, "tried everything."

Luke Storey:  [00:23:34] I think about how I want to go out in a hospital bed would be probably the number one worst way apart from obvious violent death of being murdered or chopped off by a car or something, but if you're getting old and oldness has taken over, just being hauled off to the hospital and hearing all that beeping and all the EMF and blue light and gross food and water antithetical to how I would want to have my last breaths of a human experience.

Nathan Riley:  [00:24:09] There's a really cool TED talk that you would love. I think the speaker's name is Yoko Sen and the name of the TED talk is-- it's something related to what would you want your final sounds to be? And she talks about the sounds, this, again, cacophony of noise and the constant interruptions, and this applies to birth too. So you can replace birth and death here. When you're having a baby or when you're dying, what do you want the sound within the room to be? Do you want it to be the beeping, the bright lights, all this EMF circulating around you, the bright overhead lights turning on and off all night, all day, sticking with needles, taking blood work at 3 am for no reason because you're dying? Who cares about the blood work? Who cares about all that other stuff? Why don't we embrace this as a sacred transformation of spirit rather than the failure of our medical sciences?

She's a musical composer, so she's like, what if instead of all these hospital sounds, in the right angles of our ceiling tiles and all of that, what if it sounded like this? And then she plays some of her compositions. And it's like, she's already set you there. And then you can ease into that. I'm getting goosebumps thinking about it because I saw her speak at another conference and I was like, this is where we need to be heading as a society, not an over reliance more on medical procedures, but embracing of what the experience is.

And that experience is a matter of quality, not quantity. But you can't measure quality. You can't measure joy or love. You can't measure consciousness. I can't measure Luke, that Luke, you have an essence to you. So if I can't measure it, the medical system doesn't consider it important, and this is especially relevant in birth. We don't consider the experience of a woman important. But when a person goes through even the most unmedicated undisturbed birth in the hospital, something maybe doesn't feel right. It could be the constant interruptions, the constant distraction of looking inward as you're going through this incredible transformation of spirit.

Luke Storey:  [00:26:09] We were chatting about this a bit earlier in regard to EMF. It's that physics-physics and quantum physics. And both are real and both are valid, but only physics-physics is quantifiable. And so we tend to just lean into that so much. I think that's because we like certainty and there's certainty in physics and in quantum physics as real, but because it has a different type of certainty, which comes more from within, within the heart and intuition, but it also leaves that realm open for authenticity because anything can be in another realm. 

You can just make up stories of, oh, right now I'm seeing four beings behind you, Nathan. I'm like, could I prove that? No, it's in the quantum realm. It's funny. It's like one of God's tricks. I wish it wasn't like that, like God, show me your stuff. Don't keep it all pre matter. We just get, oh, this is a book. Oh, it's real. It's here. And meanwhile as anyone who's taken ayahuasca or ayahuasca has taken them rather, you know within 45 minutes that this dimension of what we consider provable and real and measurable is just a minute part of the fabric of consciousness. 

Nathan Riley:  [00:27:29] That's right. Yeah.

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Nathan Riley:  [00:30:58] They're being born.

Luke Storey:  [00:30:58  Yeah, business are being born, Ricki Lake's production and stuff. And so I've watched bits and pieces of those and went in going like, well, I already know all this, but I'm just going to go and support and maybe I'll learn something. 10 minutes into this thing, I'm like they're doing what? This is genocide. I'm like, just gripping my seat. I had no idea all these other oral contraceptives were even out. This is not something in my realm that women would typically do at this stage. But not only that, like, oh, I'm sure there's side effects and they jack up your hormones.

There's people dying, like boom, dead from taking birth control and all of these other things. And I'm just going like, I'd want to quit everything and just support this film. It's like, there's a fire, hello. Great film. I highly recommend it. I'll put it in the show notes, which you can find at lukestorey.com/nathan. And we'll find that TED talk that you mentioned and we'll put that in the show notes too. So that's lukestorey.com/nathan. So I'm walking out of that theater, just going like, wow, it's unfortunately way worse than I imagined just on this niche topic of birth control. And there was a lot of other content around just women's reproductive health and reimagining that, which was really cool.

But for those that haven't seen the film yet, what what's happening with these birth control, the oral contraceptives, specifically? And then another interesting piece that was covered in the panel in which you participated was the IUDs, the nonhormonal and the copper ones. And something occurred to me with the copper ones, I was like, duh, you have an EMF antenna inside--

Nathan Riley:  [00:32:33] You got antenna inside your womb of all places.
Luke Storey:  [00:32:36] You have like a turned off cell phone inside you, but anyway--

Nathan Riley:  [00:32:42] Well, I mean, it's a topic near and dear to me because I trained as an OBGYN. And when you train as an OBGYN, a person comes into the clinic, especially at Kaiser where you're seeing 10 people, five back to back before lunch, five back to back after lunch, sometimes up to 15 people a day. And they come to you with many issues that women experience-- painful periods, they get heavy periods, they have normal or unpredictable periods. The solution to all those is generally hormonal contraception. So don't worry about that nuisance, that bleed you have every month, just take this pill, or just get this IUD. It'll thin out, you won't even have any periods anymore. Isn't that great?

The problem with that is twofold. Number one, I think, and I mentioned this last night on the panel, that it disconnects women from the natural rhythm and flow of nature. So we've got the tides, we've got the lunar cycles, we've got the seasons. And women are gifted with 13 cycles per year. And each of those cycles is a reset, and it has its phases where you're going through the winter, through the spring, the summer, the fall, every single moon. And that's how nature intended it. But if you disconnect somebody from that, they become even further removed from their natural rhythms, not to mention circadian rhythms. And so that's the first issue. There's three issues here.

The second issue is that by me putting a bandaid on your splinter, the splinter is still there, or maybe some topical lidocaine or something. It doesn't hurt anymore, but that splinter is still there. So if I am just going to give you a birth control pill that fixes the issue you're presenting with, I'm not investigating anything upstream, any of the functional medicine stuff. We have to consider hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, you name it, the gut, they're all in this delicate orchestration. And we haven't investigated the upstream cause. So you're 15, you're a young girl, you've got painful periods. Just take this pill. You won't even have any periods anymore. Isn't that great? Fine. For some people that might be okay.

The problem is that 10 years later when you're 25 and you come off of birth control, we've never even investigated what's going on with your periods. It could have just been your body wasn't fully in its pulsotile cyclical pattern yet, but we don't know because we just squelched it out right from the beginning. So we have an underlying health issue perhaps that we never investigated. We just put a bandaid on the leak.

The third issue is that these are toxic synthetic endocrine disruptors. Especially the pill goes into the gut and messes up your gut microbiome. Your gut microbiome interfaces with gut associated lymphatic tissue. We've got a predominance of serotonin receptors, not in the central nervous system, but elsewhere in the body, specifically, the gut. 70% of your immune system lives in the gut in that gut associated lymphatic tissue. We get immune dysregulation. We have an upregulation of binding proteins from the liver, which drops all of your other endocrine hormones down like your thyroid hormone, namely, so you end up with thyroid dysfunction. 

And so you're just not fixing the underlying issue, you're actually making your body sicker by being on these medications. And you're messing with your gut, which comes with nutrient deficiencies and mood disorders based on what I mentioned about serotonin and dopamine. And so between just those three things, we're already looking at a quite a pickle, whenever something like 70% of American women of reproductive age are being prescribed these every year. It's a pretty big number. 

So the fourth thing, which was really emphasized in the film is that there are downsides that we're not counseling our patients on because they're just low risk. Hey, it's a low risk of blood clot, but hey, the good news is, look, you don't get a period anymore. So we're over emphasizing the benefits. And I am all for a woman's autonomy 100%. If you're willing to accept those risks as I've counseled you on risks, benefits, alternatives to this, if that's the risk you want to take, it's fine. It's a still low absolute risk. But if you have that stroke or that pulmonary embolism and I didn't counsel you on it, then shame on me. And that's what I think is actually a big part of what the film illuminated. It's not that women shouldn't have the right to choose whatever contraceptive method they want. I'm all for that, if you understand all those risks that I mentioned, especially at fine print, and that giants [inaudible 00:37:04] .
Luke Storey:  [00:37:06] One of them he's referring to, and I really encourage you guys to watch the film, The Business of Birth Control. But yeah, then sadly, there were, I guess, four sets of parents who lost their daughters as a direct result of oral contraceptives. And they're opening up one of the packages to find the fine print, and they're like, may cause this or that. And so yeah, it was really, I thought, pretty smart the way that parents were now unifying was not to try to get money out of these companies, and they have big cash reserves for lawsuits, of course.

Nathan Riley:  [00:37:38] 20 billion, I think was that big sum that they mentioned. That's a lot of money.

Luke Storey:  [00:37:41] But more so they're like, when you buy a pack of cigarettes, it says, this might kill you. They want black label, warning, warning, dire warning on the packaging, which is I'm sure not-- I mean, I don't think it's happened. So I'm sure it's exceedingly difficult to facilitate that through the FDA and all the corrupt shit that's going on between them and Big Daddy Pharma. But even that, think of how many lives would be saved if a woman's like, I don't know, like, maybe my acne is not so bad. You know what I mean? Let me find out what's going on that's actually causing it. So yeah, I thought that was really smart in the film, that they're like, hey, how about this is the first step? Because you're not going to have the lobbying power to just make all those drugs illegal and taken off the market. It's not going to happen.

Nathan Riley:  [00:38:22] Right. And maybe we also shouldn't have to take all those drugs off the market. There is still good reason to have those things. The other issue, though, is that we haven't been teaching young women about fertility awareness, and about how your body works. So they're not even empowered with the knowledge of how could my body work? Do I know that I can only get pregnant six days out of the cycle? Or do I have to worry about a penis coming near me and I get pregnant, which is what I thought when I was a young kid.

Luke Storey:  [00:38:49] I thought this until a few months ago, I'm embarrassed to say. But we started looking at the prospect of having a kid. Well, how does it work? I mean, this is embarrassing, but I'm just going to be real. I literally thought you just have sex anytime and you pretty much just automatically get pregnant. Not only I wasn't aware that there's this period of ovulation wherein it can actually happen those short few days, but I didn't even know you had to keep trying or anything. I thought like the minute you don't use protection, that one time you're pregnant. I was like, wow, am I 15? Oh, am I so uneducated?

Nathan Riley:  [00:39:29] But you're not alone, Luke. This is a widespread issue.

Luke Storey:  [00:39:34] It affect most women. And in the film too, they're like, well, what's another action step? If you're a mother, talk to your daughters. This information is passed on. So I think that's a really important piece of it. And also for us men to understand too. And I did a podcast recently with Kayla Osterhoff. She was talking about these different cycles that the women go through, and it was so immensely valuable to me as someone with a mother, employees, wife, women in my life that I deeply love. I was like, oh, noted. This is how I can best serve them at this time and that time. And whether or not they even know that, I can start to actually tune into those cycles to some degree.

However inaccurate that might be, I get a sense of like, oh, this thing happen. She's probably going to be feeling like this. And after the course of some time, it becomes more real and quantifiable. So yeah, I think that was really interesting. But one thing she also pointed out is that men were on circadian 24-hour cycle. We have a new thing every day. We're basically the same every day comparatively at least. 

So I was like, oh, this is so cool. What an opportunity to be patient with the women in our lives and understand that they're going to be interested in this at this time and not this and great at this thing at this time and not great-- it's like my moods just throughout one day dictate that. But the minute I go to sleep, wake up the next day, it's a whole new thing and I just start over. It's such a different way of acknowledging those beautiful differences. 

Nathan Riley:  [00:41:08] Yeah, totally. Peyton Callahan, one of the women who hosted, she's local here in Austin, she put together a little eBook for fathers to start becoming involved in this conversation. I do think that that was one thing I would have loved to see at a screening with more of these screenings of films, like The Business of Birth Control, is that it's equally a part of our, I don't want to say reeducation, because we've never educated on it from the beginning. We were just taught, don't have sex, you're going to have a baby, and you won't be prepared to have a baby until you're financially sound or whatever.

And my wife and I having kids, I was like, man, I learned about, I'm an OBGYN. And I still had to go and review what fertility awareness methods really looked like. Cervical mucus is not something I learned about in residency. So even for many doctors, the fertility awareness process, which is a pretty ancient technology, it's really just knowing your body and how you correspond with the rhythm of nature, that is something that we can all start to educate our kids about, boys and girls at a very young age. So there are people like Peyton and Ken Vanderbeek was also hosting the event, that's a big part of the message that I think we also need to push through to anybody listening, is that it's on all of us to start understanding this a little bit better.

Not everybody wants to be checking their cervical mucus every day, I get that. It's not for everybody. But there are options for you. The problem is that we haven't even presented that as an option, because oh, you don't want to do that. That doesn't work. If it's done appropriately, you can know with 99.9% certainty when to have sex if you want to have a baby and when not to have sex if you don't want a baby. 

And I think that that's the part of the conversation that this film I think really drove home as well is that this education process is on all of us, of all ages, especially if we have kids to start inspiring them to think differently about this, not just block the sperm and the egg from meeting. But let's get to know our bodies a little bit better. And we're not automobiles. We're a part of nature. We have a cycle. We just have to pay attention, again, back to being present, be present with self as well. And that's sorely lacking, I think in how we are educating kids. And that's a different rabbit hole we won't even go to.

Luke Storey:  [00:43:18] We can go down that too. Define science as a belief system versus a practical, evolving emerging phenomenon.

Nathan Riley:  [00:43:31] Well, I think you probably took the words from my heart there.
Luke Storey:  [00:43:36] Well, elaborate on that as someone who came out of the scientism world and who's now taking some great knowledge from that, like, obviously, the stuff you learned in school and in practice is part of who you are and what you do now, but as someone who emerged out of that, and from my perspective, elevated their overall awareness and effectiveness and what you do.

Nathan Riley:  [00:44:00] Well, it's funny how doctors are trained, because I think I maybe mentioned this to you yesterday, but we're basically rewarded with getting more questions right on the tests based on the examiners preference for how you answer the question. If you make it to Harvard Medical School or whatever university for whatever profession, it's because you've done a better job at that, staying in between the lines than somebody else. Starting in middle school, you're rewarded with more school. So that's a very left brain thinking process.

So to answer your question directly, science is the exploration of truth, period. It's not a belief system. It's not a religion. It is not a dictate from somebody above. It is a curiosity. It's a process of exploring those unknown questions. That's what it always used to be. And then it started becoming a surrogate for policies and procedures given to us by the religious, political, or mom and dad, leaders. And that's problematic for me because in order to explore truth, we have to be able to ask hard questions and then we have to be able to sit with the results, whether it supports our hypothesis or not. That is the scientific process.

Luke Storey:  [00:45:05] And have the patience for the tedium of nuance. Uncertainty of nuance.

Nathan Riley:  [00:45:11] Nuance is sexy. It's fun to not have the answer.

Luke Storey:  [00:45:14] For some of us. It's just like a lot of people don't feel that way unfortunately.

Nathan Riley:  [00:45:18] Yeah. And so if you're in the scientific community, which is a misnomer now, you were rewarded as a doctor by doing the things that the hospital policies and procedures or your American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says to do, or your licensing board says to do. But if that's maybe not the right thing for this particular person, given their particular story in this particular context, then why would I put them into that box? Instead, I need to scratch my head, sit with myself for a while and really be thoughtful about it, and then create, then come up with a hypothesis, and then we try something new to help you.

But you're not rewarded for doing that. There's really no incentive structure to do that. And it never has been. In fact, that process that I described, selects for people who don't want to ask questions. They're just good at studying the book and giving the answer. And that, again, is a very left brain thinking quality, versus somebody who is a little bit more creative and wanting to say like, well, what about this? What if we did it this way? What result will we get then? Could we actually do this better if we put these things backwards and flip them around? That's what science used to be.

But instead, we've fallen into a guidelines and procedures manual, that is very automated, it's very robotic, and very sterile in a way such that even when we have things like this COVID thing that broke out, asking a question was actually grounds for you losing your license, you being de platformed. And to be very specific about that, even in our counseling, when I said risks, benefits, alternatives, that's a big part of our job. If I can't give you the risks of birth control because it's going to make you hesitant about taking birth control, and that's grounds for me losing my license, we've hit a problem. We've run into a belief system that is not scientific at all. And that's exactly what was happening with people who were making others quote, "vaccine hesitant" by giving risks of this new device.

And I have to say before this whole COVID thing, I was like, okay, with vaccines, like yeah, it's helped, kudos. We don't want to see people with polio and whatnot running around. But for this, this was an untested technology. We had no safety data, we had no efficacy data, and they were recommending it to pregnant women as soon as it was available. And I put on the brakes. And I was like, absolutely not. We're not doing this. We've been shaming women for drinking wine and having sex and pregnancy for years and now we're going to inject that new [interposing voices 00:47:43].

Luke Storey:  [00:47:44] I was like, oh, no couple shots. Big deal.

Nathan Riley:  [00:47:49] Yeah. Bill Gates knows best. He's a health care provider. So anyways, when you start asking these questions--

Luke Storey:  [00:47:55] He's an amazing pharma, though.

Nathan Riley:  [00:47:55] If you own that much land, you must be a really good farmer. All biodynamic, they're doing all the preparations. So my views on science is that people mistake science for directives. And that's not what science ever was about. It was asking the big questions and being prepared to be wrong. And as a doctor, admitting that you don't know or admitting that I did something wrong is grounds for you being the laughingstock of the whole hospital or your whole medical school class. So you fake it until you make it.

Luke Storey:  [00:48:29] Could it not be that the science stumbling block here could not be perhaps better summed up by saying the science is settled? It once always irked me because it immediately negates that it's science.

Nathan Riley:  [00:48:44] That's antithetical to science, inherently, yeah.

Luke Storey:  [00:48:48] True science can ever and will never be settled. That's what science is is being unsettled, and digging and digging and digging to find truth. I guess there is, I would say an absolute truth, but perhaps not in the realm of the physical so much.

Nathan Riley:  [00:49:03] I think that's probably why a lot of our early scientists, the Tinkerers, the Edison's, these da Vinci's, they've got their hands in so many different spaces. They're creatives. They're artists. They're thoughtful about bigger questions and micro questions. They can go real deep or real big. They were the Renaissance men and women. Hildegard of Bingen comes to mind, this sixth century nun, who was also a brilliant chemist and was a composer and did all these other things, figuring out how does different sound help facilitate healing in her patients. And this is like sixth century stuff with a harp or something.

And chanting, like Gregorian chanting, how does that facilitate healing? Asking these really cool questions while also mixing herbs up and trying to experiment with this and that, that is a scientist. And I think that the reason that we had such great breakthroughs in science even just a couple of 100 years ago, is because you were allowed to be thoughtful and curious and creative and fail 100 times before you get that one thing that works. Nowadays, if you don't do what is told to you to be done as a doctor or a consumer of medicine, you now are the black sheep. And that is antithetical to this belief system, the scientism that you described.

And so fortunately, I don't have any of those rules that govern how I do things, which allows me to be very creative, and to use some of these other technologies I've been talking about. That's not paid for by insurance, because I don't work with insurance. I just go straight to the person who needs me and I can say, hey, look, I've been really, really thoughtful about this, probably more so than your doctor-- I don't say that, but I know I am, because I don't have somebody telling me that, hey, if you do it this way, or if you break outside the lines you're going to lose your job. So those golden handcuffs are pretty tough on a lot of doctors and nurses and nurse practitioners out there.

Luke Storey:  [00:50:52] I can imagine. The thing I always think about because I brag on allopathic medicine quite a bit, but think about, you're saddled with 400 grand in debt from medical school. You don't have time to be thoughtful. You have to build a practice or book more hours or however it works because you got that on your ass for however many years. And it's not like, even just the way the whole system is set up for how much time you get on an average medical visit, it's just one after another, 15 patients a day as you're talking about earlier. So it's just the whole thing is just so systemically broken based on that reductionist scientific pseudoscience way of thinking.  

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So the answer then, and this is what we can go into now, nice segue there, Luke, is, so we know what the problem. I think if you're listening to this show on a regular basis, you're definitely like somebody sounded the alarm and red pilled you like there's something wrong, which is great, because we need that shock and awe sometimes in order to be motivated into action. But I'm always like, okay, cool, cool. So it's all rotten to the core. You can't really get in and tinker with it much because you'll just be squashed by the machine itself and just consumed by it.

So answer seems to be you just go into a parallel universe and do your own shit and start your own way of doing things and publicize that and share that and have conversations and be present for them. And then all of a sudden, there's this parallel system or thing that's built. And everyone is preferential to that because of the very nature of its inception being based on love and compassion and reality, and curiosity and all these things you've described.

So I want to hear about the tools that you use now that you've pulled the parachute off on your own flying through the sky with your practice, which sounds fascinating too from what I've listened to, but you I think, dabble in Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, the work of Rudolf Steiner, the stuff you're working on with the Paul Chek Institute, it seems like you have all these bases covered. So what are some of the things that you find useful in your practice now?

Nathan Riley:  [00:54:39] I wouldn't say I'm an expert in any of those things. I'd say I'm a relative expert in allopathy. But even the word expert sort of is that it's like settled now you know how to do it. But for me, there's this really interesting curiosity as to how all of these technologies can be merged into a more comprehensive approach to human health, the human experience, we can say. So I've got this allopathic tools, which are mostly surgery and pharmaceuticals. We know those all tools well because we've all been through that. And if you're listening to the podcast, you're probably not into those things anymore.

So I've got those tools available. And I sometimes still order medications or imaging or labs or whatever from the typical way. On the other hand, and by the way, allopathy still has its means. If you get into massive car accident, we're not going to bio geometry our way out of hemorrhaging from your carotid artery, I get that, maybe like a massive blood infection that's in your brain and your meninges, pretty serious thing, you're going to die quickly. Barring that, there's not really that many reasons to go to the doctor. And this is coming from a doctor who doesn't ever go to the doctor. And I don't doctor myself, I just take care of myself.

So the vast majority of people who come to me are people who have been somewhat disillusioned by the system, or they want to have a home birth, or they want to conceive and are struggling with that. So the home birth thing is special because the major reason you would need a doctor or the operating room for a C section is because of complications. The baby and the placenta are not communicating well anymore, what we call placental insufficiency, maybe the baby's underground because the placenta is getting sicker before it has to, you've got hypertensive disorders, gestational diabetes, all of these things are completely preventable by getting your health in order before you get pregnant. The problem is that most of the people providing maternity care, including midwives don't have all of that knowledge.

So I bring all the lifestyle stuff that you've talked about into preconception care all the way through pregnancy into postpartum. And what we know from the data is that diet, movement, sleep, hydration, mindset, and-- what am I missing there? Oh, EMF mitigation is a big one, and breathe work and breathing. If you can just follow those seven principles, you're probably never going to need me. And that's okay by me. Because when I went out of the convention model, I figured I could do home birth. I'll get a whole kit and I'll drive around and deliver babies or attend births.

And then I realized I'll just step back and support all the midwives around the country. So I've got a collaborative program where I do just that. And even if you've taken the greatest care of yourself-- and let me actually go back a second, the research shows that even movement alone decreases the risk of bad perineal lacerations of fetal growth issues, of placental issues, of gestational diabetes, of hypertensive disorders, you have shorten labor, you have faster recovery, you have less likelihood of needing a C section, less likelihood of needing a vacuum or forceps assisted delivery. So those are all the things that you need an OBGYN for.

So if you can just get those seven principles in play, even one of them or two of them, you have a much greater chance of being able to exercise your autonomy, staying with a midwife and having a home birth. The other part of that is that if you have a midwife, she has licensing that is telling her that if they develop X, Y or Z, you can't care for them anymore, you could go to jail. So the midwife has to say, sorry, you have to go and see an OBGYN now. 

On the flip side, if your midwife could consult with me or you consult with me, I can give you my full rundown, give you risks, benefits, alternatives, and if you decide you want to have a home birth, you've consulted with an MD. You don't even have to go into the system. So that's the other thing that I do. The midwife will say, hey, Nathan, I got this thing. Do you think that this needs anything? I was like, you know what, let's present them with risks, benefits, alternatives. Here's the data. Here's what it all shows. She's like, thank you. You don't even have to go to the clinic. You don't even have to go to the hospital. Stay on course and have a baby.

Luke Storey:  [00:58:21] Dude, your phone might be really ringing on this podcast.

Nathan Riley:  [00:58:24] Well, that's great. I can do that. I mean, that's easy for me to do.

Luke Storey:  [00:58:26] I hope this is scalable because that's one of the concerns that I and some people have around just having not even free birth, but just say a doula or a team of doulas, female support, male support, doing it at home, no medical interventions, hopefully everything goes okay. There's that school. But then when you get into the midwifery, it's a little tricky because then there's a certain-- and tell me where I've got this wrong or maybe elaborate on it, but one of the categories of license for a midwife is more tied in and answerable to the medical system. 

And then there's these confines around time windows, and well, if you're hanging out for the home birth too long and you pass a certain time, certain midwives with a certain license they're dependent upon then cannot help you get admitted to a hospital or you show up at the hospital and they're like, no, get out of here. You waited too long. You tried to do home birth. You lose. There's that piece. So that's very interesting if what you're saying if I have a grasp of it is that even the medicalized licensed midwives could consult with you as the OBGYN, and still, hopefully, if everything goes well, avoid the end hospital experience that wasn't their preference in terms of their style of birth.

Nathan Riley:  [00:59:44] That's right. So something like a hypertensive disorder, gestational hypertension or preeclampsia. If the midwife suspects that there's a hypertensive disorder brewing, they may say sorry, now that we know this, we got to go to the clinic. You go to the clinic, the OBGYN shames you, makes you feel bad for having home birth, that scares you out of having a home birth in some ways, and perhaps they even give a diagnosis, what we say is risks you out of midwifery care, meaning now that this person has this diagnosis, that midwife, based on her licensing parameters, can't care for you in the home anymore.

There's always nuance. It's not just slap that diagnosis down on the chart, because now you've actually altered the entire course of what she hopes for her birth. So let's take a more nuanced approach. Let's look at everything across her prenatal care. Is this more likely hypertensive disease or not or can we just keep monitoring? Nine times out of 10 it's not, but we love to be able to swap those diagnoses on there because it gives us something that we can do, like, oh, it's definitely gestational hypertension. Now we have to induce you at 37 weeks. You get on that train in the medical system and you can't get off sometimes.

So instead, you consult with a more open minded, open hearted OB who had a home birth-- and our second baby at home two hour labor, breathed the baby out through effigy breath work, which is a fantastic story. But I really believe in that. And if a woman wants to exercise her autonomy, she can only do that if a person is not coercing her into doing something she doesn't want to do. And that's, unfortunately, how many OBGYNs operate. So I consult with the midwife. The midwife says, hey, I consulted with an OB. We're good to go. And that's that. We stay on the course. 

Luke Storey:  [01:01:17] That's super cool. It reminded me of this, and I interviewed people recently about this, but I can only remember so much. Are there not three license tiers or categories for a midwife? Or maybe there's two and then there's one that has left or is not part of that system, but still is trained as a midwife. Could you illuminate that?

Nathan Riley:  [01:01:37] Yeah. So there's, I wouldn't call them tiers because then that suggests that there's an hierarchy category at which I would be the top, and I don't like that schematic. On one corner of the triangle is the OBGYN. Then you have a certified nurse midwife, which generally trains within the hospital system. They sometimes will go into home birth as well. But in most states, including Texas, you have to have a Texas licensed MD as your collaborative physician if you want to prescribe. And so every OBGYN in Texas I've heard is really, really not all that great to work with.

So I've had a couple people reach out from Texas. One woman last night actually was like, hey, can we collaborate because I need a doctor? So I have to get licensed in Texas to be their collaborative physician. But I digress. That's a specific distinction between a certified nurse midwife and a certified professional midwife, which is generally licensed. But you could also be a CPM that says, thanks, Stape. And no, thanks, I don't need your permission to do this.

Luke Storey:  [01:02:34] They'll do the three.

Nathan Riley:  [01:02:35] Yeah. But then there's also independent midwives who don't even have a CPM. They don't read up that. It's like being board certified. And you say like, thanks, but no, thanks, Board, I don't need your [interposing voices 01:02:45]. So people like Maryn Green have a new birth, who I showed you that video earlier, she is an independent midwife, gave her licensed back. Doesn't even I think have her CPM credential anymore, but she's attended more births. And I would trust her with anybody because she's that good. 

She's just as present and she pays attention. And she approaches it with respect and compassion for informed consent and for the right to refuse treatment. And that's really all you need. And she knows when she has to transfer. So that's the type of person that even though you're not super educated at the CNM level, or OBGYN level, I'm happy to work with you. And I can be your consultant, and I will back you up whenever you need something like a baby's breech or something. I'll even show up at home and I'll assist with that.

Luke Storey:  [01:03: 28] So cool.

Nathan Riley:  [01:03:29] Spreading myself as much out as I can.

Luke Storey:  [01:03:32] I love this. I can't help but wonder like, how's it you have time for this? It sounds like just one client to me it was like overwhelming. But I think then I'm not you. And I acknowledge your humility of saying you're not an expert in Ayurveda, or Chinese medicine or some of these other modalities, but you do borrow from them and are learning more and more, but you were talking about the chakra system and the different organs. I thought that was really fascinating. And I was shocked that I'd never heard that. Could you share that?

Nathan Riley:  [01:04:03] Yeah. Well, this is a core attempt, I think. It has overlaying a 16,000-year-old practice of Ayurvedic medicine, with our very, very contemporary allopathic medicine, and saying like, oh, the chakra system does make sense because it corresponds with organ systems. But it actually does work out this way. So if you consider, there's seven chakras crown all the way down to root. And the root and sacral chakras are really my domain because the second chakra is specifically geared towards the organs of the pelvis, the reproductive organs.

The first chakra is interesting because it's associated with our adrenals. And then, of course, we have associations all the way up the chain, but we're just focused on those two. If you think of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, it corresponds with those lower chakras as well. In the first rung, or the first chakra, your root chakra, that's where we have that sense of security, safety. People are stressed out all the time, don't feel like they have the roof over their head and they're making enough money and whatnot. That's something we all struggle with. So almost everybody has the first chakra issue.

That leads to second chakra issues. And the second chakra issues are related to reproduction. So whenever a person who comes in with fertility issues, we always do a chakra loading through a health assessment questionnaire that I actually learned how to do that through the Chek Institute. But it's basically head to toe assessment of what's bugging you-- skin issues, eye issues, belly issues, vulva issues, vaginal issues, whatever. And if you associate those each with the organ systems, you'll find that a lot of women with conception issues or even really any reproductive health issues, it's a first or second chakra issue, and almost always a second chakra issue.

So that second chakra, interestingly, through the Ayurvedic lens is not just associated with the reproductive organs, it's also associated with creative expression. Do we have a voice in our relationship? Do we still paint and dance and sing like we used to? Or are we just head to the grindstone, living out life, driving our commute every day, do our stuff, at the end of the week TGIF, get hammered on the weekend and do it again on Monday. That's where there's no creativity. And a lot of doctors suffer from this because there's no creativity for the reasons we mentioned.

So I'll get a lot of women who have first and second chakra issues. We have to do some adrenal support. That's also like, do you feel safe in your environment? Do you feel like you have enough? If you have enough, objectively, you've got a billion dollars in the bank, why are you still trying to get more? That's something we all struggle with. That second chakra is fun, though, because that's where we start painting together, we start dancing together, singing. Just go sing in the shower. What's a good song that you like to sing? Go and belt it out in the shower. Drive and sing on the way to work. Start expressing yourself. Find your voice in your relationships. Find your voice with your kids.

And that actually starts to get that prana flowing again through the lens of Ayurveda. Similarly, in Chinese medicine, we've got chi, and I also utilize that where we have a yin and yang of everything. So yang, we're all in yang excess. But yin is where the magic happens. That's where you slow things down, make sure your mouth isn't getting dried out during workouts, you're doing slow yogic movements, you're resting, you're digesting, you're relaxing. And you're maybe doing some tai chi and qi gong as opposed to CrossFit every single day.

So between those two energetic systems, we can oftentimes rectify everything without spending a single dollar. And that's why it's so important. Because even if we look at the functional medicine approach, let's get the million dollar workup of Luke's glucuronidation, and methylation and sulfation and all this cellular stuff happening at the mitochondrial level, let's get all that worked out. If you're still not feeling your best, is it possible there's something happening within the emotional, mental, or spiritual bodies that's not corresponding to who you want to be or where you want to go? And that's why these other technologies which are way older than the reductive Cartesian view of the human system, which is blood work and then replete, blood work and then replete, it gets us so far, but it doesn't get us far enough, especially whenever conception and birth is a spiritual process more than anything, calling in the spirit of that baby.

If your baby is coming into a womb governed by an energetic system that feels like I'm not enough, or I'm not expressing myself, life isn't fun, why would the spirit of that baby want to find its way in there? And it could also be something physical. I'm not saying that that isn't always the issue. I'm saying that it's far more complicated than just, let's jack you up with hormones and force your body to call in this baby, dragging that baby in as opposed to inviting that baby by getting some of the more energetic processes and alignment. And this probably sounds woowoo for a lot of people because I'm a doctor, but it works. And that's all I need to know.

Luke Storey:  [01:08:38] It won't sound woowoo to our people. If anything, they'll be like, wait, he's a doctor. Hang on. He still has his license hold up.

Nathan Riley:  [01:08:46] Was it the LSD or am I actually hearing?

Luke Storey:  [01:08:49] So second chakra, interesting. Of course, I'm always relating these things to my life. And when I left the house, Alyson decided a few days ago to start learning guitar and starting to learn how to sing. When I woke up this morning, I heard this beautiful voice and I was like, what is that? Is there a mantra plan? And I went out in the living room I was like, oh, it's Alyson singing. It was really good too. She plays around and folds around singing and we sing and to just be silly, but she's actually singing, singing. I was like, holy shit. And it was the most beautiful not just because it was her and I love her and she was singing well, but it was just the vibration of that song and now so thinking about her in the past couple of years of us being together really moving into her feminine and putting her book out, Animal Power. Get it right now at animalpower.com.

Nathan Riley:  [01:09:38] But it's a beautiful book, by the way. She sent me a PDF version.

Luke Storey:  [01:09:42] Oh, thank you. We'll have to get you a real one here.

Nathan Riley:  [01:09:44] That'd be great.

Luke Storey:  [01:09:45] But just watching the feminine in its essence and watching that emerge and expand before my eyes over the past couple of years has been really beautiful and related to that second chakra. It's like oh, that's what was happening this morning. There's so much more with that presence. It's oh, that sounds nice. Okay, I'm off to work. What is actually happening there I guess it's the way my mind and spirit work is she's not just singing. There's something happening here as we move into this next phase in life.

Nathan Riley:  [01:10:18] 

She calling. She's inviting. That's what it is. And that's a beautiful way that I love how you just said that, she's sending out an invitation. And even if that invitation isn't enough, even if that's not what actually needs to happen, you guys are going to be growing closer. And then someday, when you're not thinking about this, bam, a baby comes. It happens a lot in our infertility workup. And I loved your interview with Cleopatra because the myth of infertility is real. 

There's a very, very low percentage of people who truly can't get pregnant. It's a matter of taking your foot off the pedal and relaxing a little bit, because in the reproductive endocrinology world, which is the specialist of OBGYN that go into IVF and all of that stuff, oftentimes, I saw people going in for their consultation and just being in the consultation and handing the reins over to somebody, they go home, they have sex, and bam, a baby happens. So it wasn't something that was wrong. 

And anybody out there who's listening, you're not broken. You're not missing that magic ingredient. Sometimes it's just a matter of taking your foot off the pedal and sending out the invitation. That's sometimes all that has to happen. But that's the deep work that even Cleopatra talks about. I asked a lot of the same questions that she asked her clients, like what do you need? What is your maybe need to come in? I mean, that's a really important thing that we don't sit with. Instead, we go back to Rene and say, thank God, he's here because we just have to pump you up with the right stuff, but this is more than just a physical process. This isn't a broken leg. The womb is the yin, it's the moon. It's inviting. That's the space of acceptance. And if you're in yang excess all the time, you're overshadowing the yin, and you need to nourish that yin in order to invite that in. And that comes from all those activities that she's doing.

Luke Storey:  [01:12:01] So cool. Thinking even about that interview with Dr. Cleopatra, again, I'm just going into it knowing virtually nothing about the topic at hand, but wanting to learn. And I think I had the perspective, man, we have a fertility crisis. There's so many women that are infertile. And she was like, actually, no, it's just the term is used loosely when it's in the vast majority of the time totally fixable with some of the things that we're discussing here. There are actually a very-- I forgot the percentage but exceedingly small percentage of women that are truly medically infertile.

Nathan Riley:  [01:12:35] It's like 1 to 2%. It's extremely low.  

Luke Storey:  [01:12:40] I've heard this term thrown around a lot like oh, she's infertile, they're in fertile, I might be in fertile. I'm in fertile, so I'm going to go fix it. It's not actually what you are. There's just perhaps an imbalance.

Nathan Riley:  [01:12:50] And it could also just be like, hey, you guys are working through your own things. And you guys are evolving, consciously and unconsciously, into a space where wow, that invitation is now feeling good. And like I said, as soon as you turn your back on the thing, it creeps up and bam, a baby happens. And if it doesn't happen, it's also not a failure on anybody's part. It's not that you didn't figure out the magic solution. Sometimes it doesn't happen, and that's also a part of this journey together for you and Alyson to go through that together. And then someday it just happens when you're not expecting it.

What I'm saying is that the possibilities are out there. It's just not a matter of, we got to get this done. Let's hijack the system and make it happen because that almost always makes it happen in a way that you guys aren't totally comfortable with either. So I just want to honor that process because I think a lot of people go through this and they think, what am I doing wrong? I'm a failure. My body's broken. It's not. It's not that. We have to take the pressure off of ourselves and give ourselves a little bit of grace because this is a sensitive thing. It's an issue that requires a little bit of grace and a little bit of self-love. So don't be too hard on yourself.

Luke Storey:  [01:14:03] Yeah, and also trust and surrender, right?

Nathan Riley:  [01:14:08] Surrender is a big one.

Luke Storey:  [01:14:10] It's like how many things are really under our control whether you believe in God or not, which I happen to firmly believe in all the gods? There's something happening that makes the acorn become the oak tree. Whatever that thing is, that's what I call God, I guess. But that thing has its own order and its own plan. And as I've observed in my life, mostly through painful realizations, is that the plan that I had is often so limited, so short sighted, and sometimes so astronomically doomed for failure, but the plan that God had in mind was way, way better than anything I could have come up with.

And then it's only through the process of surrendering your attachment over time and time again to how you think things should be or should go, letting that go and just throwing up your hands and being a willing participant in this game in which you have very little say. And then seeing the thing that happens as a result of that surrender is infinitely cooler than whatever your little pea brain came up with as a vision. 

This happens to me continually over and over and over again at infinitum. Now it's getting to be funny when I have ideas of like, no, I have to control this. It has to go this way. Hit resistance, drop it, let it go, surrender. And then I was like, oh, my God, thank God, I didn't get what I wanted. That was so lame. It's just so minuscule compared to the magic that's unfolding as a result of that deep trust.

Nathan Riley:  [01:15:46] And I think the psychedelic journey is actually a really good allegory if anybody else has had that out there. If you resist it, it sometimes doesn't go anywhere. But as soon as you surrender and you just open your mouth and exhale, and you lay into that, and just drop into the current, and like grandmother or whatever, take over and you start dancing with it, that's when stuff starts unfolding for you. 

Resisting and trying to control the experience is something that we all really struggle with at times in our life. It's as simple as like trying to force the land to grow one plant when the elemental beings in Steiner's philosophy and biodynamics, they're going to be pushing up different plants. It doesn't matter what you want. It's not your decision. You have to surrender to the process of nature. And we have to get back into that rhythm. And then things unfold the way that they're going to unfold. And it's not on us to try to make everything fit into the hole that is cut out for.

Luke Storey:  [01:16:44] Absolutely. Take me back to the third chakra and so on.

Nathan Riley:  [01:16:49] I don't remember them all the way up. Third chakra is related to the digestive system if I recall. The fourth chakra is related to-- that's where it were up at the solar plexus. We get up to the throat, [Interposing voices 01:17:06], the thyroid. The reason I don't remember them all is because generally speaking, I start with that mother and daughter issue down there, the first and second, the mother being here's what the primary issue is. The daughter is a result of this one being gunned up. 

And as you go up the chain, I've been finding that if you get those bottom working in order, then the other start to fall in line as well. You could also start at the crown and go downward. But because most of my clients are starting down there, we just work up the chain and stuff just starts to figure itself out.

Luke Storey:  [01:17:41] Having your first consultation, all right, let's do the pineal meditation. It's like, wait, what's happening down here?

Nathan Riley:  [01:17:47] That's exactly right.

Luke Storey:  [01:17:48] It's the fire or ice. Let's start with one.

Nathan Riley:  [01:17:50] Yeah. I don't have them all memorized. So when I do have to go up there, I just get my chart out and I start remembering like, oh yeah, that's right.

Luke Storey:  [01:17:56] I just thought that was fascinating, the overlay of this ancient, ancient technology. And then I'm always looking for correlations. And correspondents like that, I think it's so interesting, like ding, ding, ding, anything I can find, I think to intellectually validate something that I sense innately is so, it just helps with the buying. I'm like, okay, this felt right, but now there's some empirical evidence or a correlation that helps concretize my commitment to that particular path or idea.

Nathan Riley:  [01:18:28] And even with bio geometry-- we didn't talk about that, but bio geometry is really cool because we're talking about the energetic fields of the Earth now. And they borrow from themes in Chinese medicine, feng shui, for example. They borrow from Ayurveda. In fact, when you're measuring your personal wavelength with a pendulum, you turn your hand over because there's a chakra on your palm. That's not even incorporated into the seven main chakras. There's thousands of chakras within Ayurveda. We talk about the seven because it's the Neo-Tantric new contemporary version of tantra of Ayurveda [Interposing voices 01:19:03]   yeah, exactly. It to look so cool on your wall, but if there's a whole bunch of lit up dots all over the body--

Luke Storey:  [01:19:07] You just need someone sitting like Buddha and all colors of the rainbow and there you go.

Nathan Riley:  [01:19:12] It's easier to paint that way.

Luke Storey:  [01:19:14] Yeah, totally.

Nathan Riley:  [01:19:15] So you use the back of your palm instead of the front. So bio geometry is borrowed from all these philosophies. And I love that. And actually anthroposophy as well. It borrows from anthroposophy as well. So when you consider that like, okay, instead of us-- in allopathy, the mistake we make is that there's one way to do this and everything else is hogwash. What if we borrowed from all of these technologies that have been around for way longer than our Internet and they've been demonstrating this over millennia? Why not just lean on that a little bit and let's look at what works for each individual person? So I would never say one modality works for everybody, which is why I borrow from a whole bunch. And I can always fall back to surgery and pharmaceuticals if I have to. I haven't had to for a while because a lot of this stuff really matters.

Luke Storey:  [01:19:58] That's super cool. Yeah. So the correlation of the chakra system and Ayurveda and the yin and yang fundamental principle of Chinese medicine, that's a lifetime of study right there.

Nathan Riley:  [01:20:09] Yeah, exactly.

Luke Storey:  [01:20:10] Even if you just wanted to go deep into those, you'd probably just scratch the surface within one lifetime of committed study. So I am much the same-- well, probably more of a generalist because I don't actually do this for people, but I think some of us just have a mind that's just perpetually curious. And you go down one thread and you find oh, my God, there's a whole school and then you just going, and there's just an infinite amount of truth available to explore.

Nathan Riley:  [01:20:41] That makes it so much fun to be like, we'll do what we do as well, especially for me, because I've got  a Chinese medicine doctor friend. I've got an Ayurvedic medicine friend. I've got a tantric practitioner friend. I got Doria Cream. I'll send her questions with bio geometry. And I can pick and choose how I incorporate this into the care because I don't want to be an expert in all those things. You don't go to the hardware store to buy eggs. You go to the hardware store to buy hammer and nails. So you can't expect to go to the doctor's office expecting nutritional advice. We have nutritionists in the hospital. We have physical therapists. The doctors do surgery and pharmaceuticals.

And I still have the skills to do surgery and pharmaceuticals, but if a person is coming to me and I know that I sell nails, but they need eggs, let me get you somebody who knows everything about eggs, and then come back to me and we'll revisit this. That's to me what personalized medicine is. I think that's where we're going. But it's not coming from the conventional industrial medical or medical industrial complex. It's coming from thoughtful people. I think I'm one of those people. But there's a lot of people in your life as well who are trying to make sense of all of this stuff, and actually going back into history to see what we can bring into the contemporary care of women or people who are dying. It's the other area that use this stuff.

Luke Storey:  [01:22:05] People often asked me why I'm so obsessed with red light therapy. I've been doing it for years, and frankly, I plan to continue forever due to its incredible benefits. Thousands, yes, I said thousands, of peer reviewed research articles have demonstrated the benefits of red and near infrared light for things like skin health, reduced pain and inflammation, and faster muscle recovery. I love to do my red light first thing in the morning to get the red light I might get from watching the sunrise.

And as red light therapies become so popular, there are several different red light therapy companies now, but I personally use and recommend Joovv for a few reasons. First, they offer a wide selection of configurations from small handheld devices to large setups that can treat your entire body. I personally use both. Another feature I love with Joovv's latest generation of products is something they called ambient mode, which utilizes lower intensity red light designed to be used at night as a healthy alternative to bright blue light, which protects your melatonin levels, and as a result, your sleep. 

This is what I use in the kitchen at night in our temporary apartment to balance out the blue light of the nasty overhead lighting. So if you want to get down with some red light, Joovv has got you covered. And for a limited time, they're offering all my listeners, including you, an exclusive discount on your first order. Just go to joovv.com/luke and apply my code LUKE to your qualifying order. That's J-O-O-V-V.com/luke. And of course, some exclusions apply as this is a limited time offer. So hurry up and grab your Joovv now.

Let's touch on the bio geometry. So I've been in contact with Abraham Kareem, the creator of this incredible technology. And he's been writing a book and then we're going to do a podcast and follows through. And he lives in a couple other countries, and so it hasn't happened yet. But I've been using that stuff quietly. I haven't talked a lot about it because I don't really know how to explain it yet. But I just trust him and I hear his interviews. I read his stuff. Whatever he's doing feels true. So I bought his technology and I've done my house and stuff like that. But when you came in, you now have learned or learning how to be a bio geometry-- what is it called?

Nathan Riley:  [01:24:30] Practitioner.

Luke Storey:  [01:24:30] Practitioner?

Nathan Riley:  [01:24:31] I guess, yeah.

Luke Storey:  [01:24:32] And then you got out your pendulum for those listening that missed it. And you're just doing some testing on the environment here. And then I was like, ooh, let me do a boost on my FLFE service, which is this quantum energy consciousness elevating subscription service that I have on my office and house and stuff. I've talked about it a lot. But we're at the level 540 just as a given which is a really nice vibration in your home, but you have one daily boost of 600 which is really high using the David Hawkins scale of consciousness as a point of reference.

Nathan Riley:  [01:25:03] That's so cool.

Luke Storey:  [01:25:04] 600 is what you would feel if you walked into a cathedral or something like that. It's quite spaced and I like to boost those when I do podcast. And then your readings went up on the thing. I was like darn, there's empirical evidence there that something is happening that's positive. But anyway, break down what you know about bio geometry, how you're starting to use that, because already, you're like, oh, I'm not an expert, but the stuff you told me before the podcast was already infinitely more than I know. So please, elaborate.

Nathan Riley:  [01:25:34] Well, I always give that caveat that I'm not an expert because it's why I haven't written a book. Once you put it on paper, it seems like it's there and it's destined to live forever. And if I learn something new, I can't go back and change it. That's not really true. But that's why I always give that caveat that, hey, it's an evolving process for me. If I were to say I'm an expert in all these things, I would be leading people astray. But I will say that bio geometry is the most whoo out of the closet I've gotten since I've been in medical school.

And really what it really pertains to is the subtle energetics of any biological system, which is polarized. You've got a polarity to your body. There's a polarity to plants, etc. But the fields that govern the energetic fields around the Earth are not polarized. But they produce this grid of what governs how biological systems do. And so when you consider how a plant grows, you see trees sometimes grow up and they get this weird, normally, like, 90 degree turn around something. It's possible that there's a grid line there. And that's why plants grow in these strange ways. There are grid lines.

Luke Storey:  [01:26:47] What!

Nathan Riley:  [01:26:48] Yeah, the problem with human is we don't grow in one place and grow around the grid lines because we're not stationary. So as you're going through your life, you're passing through all of these grid lines. And now with EMF everywhere, the field that would govern how a normal healthy human would grow-- and we'll get into that in a second because this is actually relevant to embryology, instead of being governed by, let's say, the natural quality of these fields, you're now also having to deal with, perhaps, detrimental impacts of electromagnetic frequencies.

So a lot of people don't believe in this stuff. But the people who do believe it are turning to blocking technologies. And you've got a lot of those in your new renovations, which I'm so stoked to check out one day. But you can't block it all the time because when you drive down the street, you're still passing through all of these fields. And so bio geometry is the creation of shapes, two dimensional and three dimensional, that create vibrational frequencies that allow you to re harmonize with the fields of Earth without having to worry about the detrimental impacts and de harmonizing impacts of these other fields that are not biological at all.

So the way I can try to help people demonstrate how this might be impactful is consider a developing embryo, which is again, my specialty is how does a baby grow? Let's look at chromatics. The vibration of a tin plate with salt granules on it at different frequencies creates this incredible geometric pattern. So you can do this with bodies of water as well. You get like a big blob of water blast it or vibrate it at different frequencies and you get these incredible 3D geometrical shapes. So with the changing of a frequency of a moldable bunch of stuff, bunch of matter, you get these different patterns.

Well, if you look at a zebrafish developing under a time lapse, you get to cells meet then create an embryo, and the embryo divides and divides and divides and divides and divides. After a couple of thousands divisions, you get a billion cells there, and you start to see them all migrating to where they need to go. There's no person up there playing chess that's moving those pieces into place. Maybe there is, but who's to say that we're not seeing a similar something happen there when we look at chromatics?

So if you consider that there's all these billions of cells that are carefully orchestrating their movements and nudging and bumping along and going to the spot where they reside, there is no intelligence there apart from some greater field that's telling those cells where to go when in the embryological development. So if we go through our entire life being bathed in this anti biological field of EMF and everything else, what if we can mitigate the effects of that, not just block, but mitigate it because you're going to be bathed in it when you go to the grocery store or whatever else.

And that's where the shapes of bio geometry, these 2 and 3D shapes which are signatures that can be attachments on your windows, attachments above your door, on coils around your water pipes, what if we could actually change the quality of how these non-biological fields or waves impact the field that would otherwise be life giving within any polarized biological system? And that's what the practice is all about. 

And we did just demonstrate it in your room here that even if you were to put some stickers up on your windows, I could just do one through in one room, you might find that you sleep better that night, you might find that you're less agitated, you might find that your digestive system's working a little bit better, that your sore shoulder doesn't hurt as much anymore. We just don't know. 

But they've done some pretty incredible studies in small towns across Europe and they found that people are floored by the results. Ever since they put these big cell phone towers up in this tiny town of Hamburg or whatever, in Switzerland, the cows aren't getting as much mastitis, the cows are delivering babies at a higher yield every year or whatever. The people that are living in the town have less depression, less anxiety. They're sleeping better. And they're all like, hey, the cows did better, but we're happy with it too.

So they've done true experiments to see if this stuff works. And Abraham Cream, the that guy you've been chatting with is so humble about it that he-- the one story I love to tell is that they were like, hey, so can you change? Can you fix the town? He's like, you want me to fix the town? And he was like, then leave the cell phone tower there. And they're like, I guess that sounds pretty crazy. And he's like, yeah, okay, I can do that. And through some of these very, very basic shapes, which again, emit a vibrational quality that helps you harmonize a biological system with the surroundings, they're seeing these incredible results.

So when I started looking at the research, and it's like actually well-done research and started experimenting with in my home, I was like, there's something to this. So I'm now going to be incorporating that into my practice. And I haven't started doing it entirely because I want to really understand it, because I'm a total skeptic about a lot of things. But then I see it happening. And I'm like, okay, let's go deep. And then down the rabbit hole we go. So that's where I'm at with that. I'm excited.

Luke Storey:  [01:32:08] Wow, that's super cool. Yeah, you've reinvigorated my curiosity about it. And the town in Switzerland, that was the first thing that caught my attention was reading that study. And being such a fanatic about EMF and cell towers and such, it seemed apparent to me, and it sounds like it is, and I'll further find out from the man himself, but this is something that could be adopted. And you could harmonize every cell tower in the world for very little money. I mean, imagine like literally just rogue people like me, just kooks could just go around and like bang man, do a bio geometry on every cell tower that you see there.

Nathan Riley:  [01:32:44] The beauty is you don't even need to go to the tower. They use these emitters on buildings so that it's aimed in the direction of the cell phone tower.

Luke Storey:  [01:32:51] No way.

Nathan Riley:  [01:32:52] This is incredible. I can't wait for you to talk to him.

Luke Storey:  [01:32:54] Holy shit. See, I envision him just going around and putting the stickers on the cell towers something, oh, this is cool.

Nathan Riley:  [01:33:00] There are these like big emitter things that you learn how to use in the advanced course. But again, if you're just looking at your home surrounding, these are like little plastic stickers with specific angles drawn in. And that's all it takes to harmonize your home. And then you get a little further and yeah, then we could talk about harmonizing the world using some very simple technologies, which is why it's so cool to me. It's simple as alcoms lasers, the simplest solution is the best solution.

Luke Storey:  [01:33:25] And it gives me hope too because sometimes I just look at the state of affairs, and I don't know. I think we're too fucked up.

Nathan Riley:  [01:33:31] Well, that's why I'm building my own life raft over here for people that want to do medicine a little differently.

Luke Storey:  [01:33:39] Tell us a bit about what you've gained from Rudolf Steiner and that whole perspective. I don't know a lot about him, bits and pieces over the years, but I've not really gone headfirst into that realm, but it seems to pique your interest.

Nathan Riley:  [01:33:55] It has, yeah. So this really goes again, back to like, if we're only looking at the physical, Rene Descartes set us up for this. I think therefore I am like yeah, mind, body, great. That's important. But whenever you're with birth and death, you realize that there's something more energetic happening there. And Steiner does a really nice job of trying to help us answer what is that initial spark of life that distinguishes a plant from a rock? And what is the force that distinguishes an animal from a plant? And what is that separate force, that field, whatever you want to call it, that separates a human from an animal?

And it gives this fourfold understanding. You've got physical, etheric, astral, and the eye. And as an organism develops, and this is what Waldorf schools are all based on, it's based on seven year cycles, so 7, 14, 21, 28 all the way up to about 60 is how their development paradigm looks. And of course, this is developed back in the early 20th century. So they didn't go beyond 60 because not a lot of people lived into their 80s and 90s. But on that seven year path, at some time when you're being embodied with these subtle energetic bodies, something disrupts it. Let's say you have a trauma at seven years old, it may disrupt the individuation process as Steiner says and lead to something downstream like an autoimmune condition. So that's where you would have to actually support the eye energetic body in re incorporating these subtle, energetic bodies into the total biologic organism.

And that might require us to do a whole biography of your entire life history, and then use specific remedies which are generally homeopathic to support the eye or the astral or the etheric, whatever's actually plaguing you. So an autoimmune condition that's really common in women's health is endometriosis. A lot of doctors don't consider it autoimmune, but I'm pretty darn sure it is. And the reason I know is if you they go on like the walls protocol or a strict paleo protocol, their symptoms go away like that. So there's something to it, and we know it's inflammatory.

But what Steiner actually says about auto immune disorders is that as this person is individuating, something disrupted the individuation of the eye into the organism. So we have to support the eye later in life so that we can complete the individuation that didn't happen earlier in life. And so you do that through quartz. You mentioned silica earlier, quartz, phosphorus, those types of homeopathic remedies will actually be a treatment, a lasting treatment for somebody with an autoimmune condition.

But it isn't always that simple. This is just one piece of the puzzle. I have to say, when people go to an anthroposophic medicine doc, they generally find relief from lifelong injuries or symptoms that have been plaguing them for their entire lives. So again, it's like there are doctors doing this around the country and they're doing it with incredible success. When all the little OBGYNs have to offer surgery and pharmaceuticals, I'm going to go with the other guys because they're actually doing something to help other people.

And it's learning an entirely new field for me, but why not? Why not? Because it's going to help me understand myself and my clients a little bit better if I can start looking at this as more than just the deficiency in aspirin or a deficiency in a major surgery that might kill you on the operating room table. And that's how we're trained to do it in the medical model, not passionate, and it got good reasons to have it. But it's also not doing much for something like endometriosis or a lot of these other issues that are plaguing women.

Luke Storey:  [01:37:35] I think that's what's frustrating to me, although I agree, if I'm hit by a bus and we walk out of here, like, don't put some ashwagandha on it. You know what I mean?

Nathan Riley:  [01:37:42] It's like wait, let me get my pendulum.

Luke Storey:  [01:37:45] I'm all for going to the hospital. Put me back together. But I think, for me, it's just like when I know things are fixable because I just believe in the complete, energetic potential of every living being, you look at something like fibroids, and it's like what, that doesn't need to be happening. I mean, I don't know how to fix it yet, but someone does or someone knows why that's even happening. And so many things like that just seem-- because I guess I've overcome some things not so much on physical disease, but mental and emotional for sure. To some degree, some might argue, but I just know that miracles are possible. And not only are they possible, they're everywhere. And they're infinitely abundant once we start believing in them, or at least finding someone else who can lead us down the path of believing and then experiencing.

Nathan Riley:  [01:38:37] That's so much more fun too. Imagine you work your whole life and then in your mid 30s you realize, I have every answer I possibly need as a doctor, like that's boring too. Why wouldn't I want to go out and explore some other modalities for treating? A C section, it takes me 30 minutes to do one of them, historically most dangerous surgeries that we've ever done. And it's because of all the blood flow to the uterus. 

Great, I "mastered" that. I'm using air quotes because I don't really ever feel like anybody's a full master. But now that I've done that, is this just the thing I do for the rest of my life? But I want to also explore maybe some other possibilities. You did mention fibroids, which is an interesting story because the one thing I'm finding works best for fibroids is something called pelvic steaming. Have you heard about pelvic steaming?

Luke Storey:  [01:39:21] Is that different than yoni steaming?

Nathan Riley:  [01:39:22] It's the same as yoni steaming.

Luke Storey:  [01:39:23] Same, okay, less hippy word.

Nathan Riley:  [01:39:25] Well, no pelvic because men can do it as well. And we don't have yonis. It's good for the testes and the penis and the anus.

Luke Storey:  [01:39:32] Are you serious? Oh, God, don't tell me this. I'll be off doing this shit.

Nathan Riley:  [01:39:34] I need to get you a stool.

Luke Storey:  [01:39:36] Oh, God, it's if I don't do enough weird stuff already. Oh, boy. No, carry on.

Nathan Riley:  [01:39:41] Yoni steaming. But yeah, it's a blend of Chinese herbs. You boil up in a pot of water, it comes up through a hole in the pot, your client will have a blanket over their shoulders and just have some alone time. Let the steam come up in through there. It can help with cervical dysplasia, which is the early precancerous stage of cervical cancer, early endometrial dysplasia or hyperplasia, we call it with atypia, that's the precancerous endometrial stuff, fibroids, polyps, fertility issues, tubal disease, PCOS, severe endometriosis, a lot of this stuff is being is reversed by people who are doing vaginal steaming, and it cost them $100 with a woman I set them up with my cell phone. I'm like, listen, you could pay me for all my time in the world. Let me just get you to see my friend Adrian. And they go and see her and I never hear from them again. And that's it.

Luke Storey:  [01:40:30] Does Adrian or anyone like her have a website or are there leading thought leaders in the yoni steaming?

Nathan Riley:  [01:40:38] Yeah, Keli Garza, The Steamy Chick, I think is her name, yeah.

Luke Storey:  [01:40:44] So we'll put that in the show notes at lukestorey.com/nathan. I mean, this is something I've heard of in the periphery but I've never delved into obviously.

Nathan Riley:  [01:40:51]   A lot of women have heard about it, but they think it's tangential in some way. This could actually be all the thing you need, especially if you have cervical disease, and you're worried about getting cervical cancer, and we're getting your immune system and your adrenals back on board so your body can learn from this virus as opposed to start growing tumors in your cervix and into your pelvic sidewall. It a pretty serious thing. Cervical cancer, it's a horrible disease. But it's not a bad guy coming in. It's your body has been inadequate at incorporating the message from this virus. It's that exorcism theory, Bruce Lipton and all of that. I really believe in that.

And the reason I know that is because if we boost your immune system and make you healthy, you clear that virus and your cervix goes back to normal. And one thing that can help with that is vaginal steaming because it's the increased blood flow to the cervical tissue with the incorporation of this blend of herbs that provides a great rebalancing through the lens of Chinese medicine, re harmonizing with your environment, as opposed to forcing your body to do something that it doesn't want to do like chopping off your cervix, or endometrial cancer, getting your whole uterus removed. And a lot of women don't want that, believe it or not, everybody, but that's the only option that we give them. This can just keep you out of the operating room.

Luke Storey:  [01:42:05] Meanwhile, over here, there's something that's been going on probably for all of recorded history. Women have figured out like, hey, these herbs work for this. Let's heat them up and sit on the pot. I mean, this didn't just come out of nowhere. It's like, think about the first humanoid that ate a psychedelic mushroom. There was one first person and there was one first woman who was like, I don't know, let me try it for this. Spread the word it worked.

Nathan Riley:  [01:42:32] Like, guys, guess what I just found in that pile of poop over there.

Luke Storey:  [01:42:34] Yeah, totally.

Nathan Riley:  [01:42:34] I've been tripping my balls off all day.

Luke Storey:  [01:42:39] I've heard you talk about this-- well, I was going to say utopian. But I want to say that it is possible because in this reality, anything's possible. But we've talked about some of the ways in which we approach birth and death that could be improved upon, and you're talking about all these different ways that you're doing it and helping to build awareness around these ideas. But I know that you also have a vision that's like next level. And you're actually taking some steps to see this come to fruition. But let's just pause and paint for us a picture of what the most holistic, beautiful birth and death experience could be like, the environment, the energetics, what's actually happening or not happening, as you see it in the foreseeable future.

Nathan Riley:  [01:43:30] Yeah, I appreciate that question, though, because it's pretty much what I think about anytime I'm alone is like, how could we reimagine the way a baby is born, or a way a person dies? And since this project is currently really just focused on providing better care for women who want the most autonomous birth that they can dream of, what comes to mind when I start thinking about that experience is, instead of having all the lights and the noise and the interruptions and the sharp things that you didn't consent to and maybe a non-consented vaginal exams and all the clicking on computers and all these visitors in the room, it's like the whole squad comes in when you have a baby and you're exposed there through this incredible process, instead of that, what if we actually-- this is something I took from Charles Eisenstein and his wife Stella, what if a baby emerged into a world with angelic singing? And I'm not actually saying there's a bunch of white people standing there singing, maybe I am.

But if you imagine that environment where we have this incredible harmonics and beautifully situated room that's free of EMF and amber lights are lit and there is no these harsh overhead UV lights and all these noises that don't belong there, but actually quiet or singing or a woman just roaring in the rapture of birth-- yes, it is very painful for many women. It also is simultaneously very exalting. There's a rapture and ecstasy of this transformation that's taking place. What if it was just her screaming and moaning, and smiling and celebrating with her partner? What if that was the birth experience?

So what we want to do is create an environment where it's very nature immersive. So we want to provide grounds for what could be the most autonomous, beautiful birth that a person wants to have. Maybe they don't necessarily feel equipped to do it at home or maybe they want to do it even better than at home and they want to be immersed in nature, they're going to be getting all the greatest food, and they're going to be surrounded by people that are holding space for her to exercise her sovereignty over this incredible process. It's called the Indie Birth Midwifery Institute. And it will not only be a place where women can come to give birth, but let's say that they have a vaginal breech baby, their baby's butt down, or they've got twins, and they can't find a home birth doc or a midwife team that will attend their birth at home, so their only option is the hospital and they're like, I'd rather drop dead than give birth in a hospital, then we have a safe space here for them to do it.

We're probably going to do it in Kentucky because that's where I live and I love it right now. And Maryn Green, who's my counterpart on this project is in Kentucky. We've got a whole bunch of big names in the project-- Stu Fishbein, Charles Eisenstein is on our committee, Rixa Freeze, David Hayes, a lot of other people that are big names in the birth space, who value informed consent and the right to refuse treatment and shared decision making above all. We all believe that a woman even, if a baby is breech, deserves the right to choose how she has her baby, and to be treated with respect and compassion and a soft caring touch and gaze at all times.

So Indie Institute, it's a place for women to give birth on their own terms. And it's a place that honors this as a sacred process. And we're going to honor that mostly by offering an opportunity for midwives, doctors, men, women, whoever is called to the care of birthing women to come and train with us. We're going to do the core competencies of what it means to be a midwife or a doctor or whatever else, but we are focused on the independent midwife, not necessarily a CPM CNN that we were talking about, but a person who is called to do this, not because some licensing board gave them permission, but because they feel called to do this in the right way. But all comers are welcome to come and learn from us.

Level 2.0 would also be to offer end-of-life care in that same way. And then level 3.0 we're going to be developing food sovereignty and all of the other biohacking functional medicine approaches to living, birthing, and dying in the optimal way. And that's the grand vision. That's the life raft that I'm building because I don't think we need to burn the system down. I think we still need this system, that whenever 40% of babies are coming out through the abdomen, we're doing something wrong. And I really want to start to correct the ship and move the needle a little bit. I think the way that we approach birth is best served through the wise woman model of care, women caring for women. And that's where we're headed.

Luke Storey:  [01:48:00] Badass, dude.  The show you're listening to would not be possible without the support from our friends over at Super Speciosa. These guys make an incredible line of kratom products. If you're not familiar with kratom, and I'd be surprised if you weren't because I talk about it quite a bit on the show, it's an all-natural herbs related to the coffee plant that has been used in Thailand and other South Asian countries for centuries. It helps energize your mind while at the same time relaxing your body. It's really an incredible plant medicine.

And Super Speciosa only has one ingredient, pure kratom leaf. And the issue with this herb is that there's a lot of really shady characters selling it online and gas stations, you might even see it at a liquor store, and there are issues with contamination such as heavy metals, molds, etc. These guys test for purity. And they also select the very specific strains that are going to achieve the desired result, whether that's easing pain in your body, relaxing, chilling out, or even prepping for a workout.
So this is a great social lubricant for me and something that I've been using on a regular basis. And I've looked far and wide, trust me, to find great strains, and also, as I said, to find a clean version of it. Now if you're going to check this out and you're new to it, I would encourage you to try their signature Super Speciosa strain. It's the most popular, most well rounded and also bestselling. So be ready to check out some kratom. Here's what you do: go to getsuperleaf.com/luke. And if you want to save 20%, use the code LUKE at checkout to save 20% on your entire order. Again, that's getsuperleaf.com/luke. In closing, I want to hear about your two births, the birth of your children. What were those experiences like and how did they differ?

Nathan Riley:  [01:49:57] The first one we were in San Diego when we got pregnant. I got recruited out to Kentucky and we had a baby a few months after moving to Kentucky. So we found an OBGYN. My wife made the decision to have a hospital-based birth because that's where she felt most safe. For anybody out there questioning home birth, free birth, hospital birth, you do birth where you feel the most safe and most seen. And if that's in the hospital, that's also okay because you can have a beautiful birth in the hospital. If you feel afraid of having a baby at home, then maybe be in the hospital and vice versa.

But my wife felt better being in the hospital. It was her very first labor, six-hour labor. We were midnight going to bed and she started breathing a little faster. And she was like, I'm getting a little more than Braxton Hicks right now. So I was like, why don't we get on and walk around a little bit downstairs? I made her lemonade. She was like no lemonade. Lit some sage. No sage. And she started pacing. I was just trying to be as supportive as possible. And eventually she got on all fours on the ground and was doing like child's pose on the couch. And I could tell like stuff's moving along here.

And you don't know how long labor is going to be. It can be three days. So she was bracing herself for three days of this. She's a tough woman. My wife is a force to be reckoned with in so many regards. And for her to look like she was in pain, that's a lot. So I said, honey, why don't you go draw your bath upstairs? And I walked her upstairs and she's in the bath and she started like arching her back and rocking back and forth and like the tigress is coming out. And I said, honey, I think it might be a good idea if I just gently check to see where we're at because she didn't want to go to the hospital. I didn't want to have a baby in the car. And I could see stuff transitioning. So I checked and it was all head in the vagina. It was like baby's going to come out.

So I was like, honey, let's get out of the tub. And I'll get you your towel. I'm going to go get the car ready. And then I moved like the road runner. I was like, we got to go. And then I was like, okay, babe, let's go to the car. And we got in the car and we draped over the backseat. If anybody's ever in this position, drape over the back seat, your partner is facing backwards in the car. Just lean over that seat. That was a great trick that my friend Felicia Soko, who is an international doula and birth educator she taught me that. Drove to the hospital, got there, they had a tub ready for her. She got in the tub and like an hour later, out came a baby. No lacerations and we took very, very good care of herself. We had a great OB that just stayed hands off the whole time.

And that was her experience from my perspective. I won't share what she was going through. That would be for another time. But let's just say that it left some things to be desired from her perspective. So the second time around, not even two years later, we weren't trying, but it just again, we weren't even thinking about it. And sure enough, I left my stuff where it doesn't belong and--

Luke Storey:  [01:52:43] Oh, it does.

Nathan Riley:  [01:52:44] Oh, it does, yeah.

Luke Storey:  [01:52:46] That's the only place it belongs.

Nathan Riley:  [01:52:49] That's right. You're right. It's better than 1,000 other places. Come on.

Luke Storey:  [01:52:53] Talking about life force here.

Nathan Riley:  [01:52:57] Come on, man. So we got pregnant again. And then this time around, we were in the middle of this COVID thing, because the first one came two weeks before hospitals started shutting down, not letting partners in the room with births, taking the babies away from moms during the births. It was a nasty environment. I'm so glad we had the baby before that. 

But this time around, we were worried about that happening too, swabbing during labor. Imagine what I just described, and they're trying to stick a five-inch stick down your nose. It's like, no thank you. So we were really thoughtful about this. And my wife said, let's do a home birth. And we found a midwife. And we were 35 weeks, so we're really close. Found a midwife last minute, got all this stuff ready at home. And then the day that she went in labor was on her due date. 5 pm her waters opened. She had been feeling good that day.

Luke Storey:  [01:53:45] Why don't you use the phrase "her waters broke"?

Nathan Riley:  [01:53:49] It's just less violent. It's less negative.

Luke Storey:  [01:53:52] That's only where [Interposing voices 01:53:53]   prior to you reframing.

Nathan Riley:  [01:53:55] Well, plus it also inspires that idea that you go and you break everybody's water when you get onto the labor and deal and let's get labor going and go in there and do this invasive amniotomy we call it where you go in and use a little hook and you break the water bag.

Luke Storey:  [01:53:55] It's brutal.

Nathan Riley:  [01:54:07] Yeah. I don't like doing that anyways. So instead of breaking the water, the waters opened. It was a passive process.

Luke Storey:  [01:54:15] I like that. 

Nathan Riley:  [01:54:15] Yeah. Language is everything in this world. So waters opened at 5 pm. Mom did a little reiki on her. And then I asked my mom and her husband and my mother in law, like, I think you guys should go. I think we got a baby coming. So we had them all leave. And then we called her friend Sarah, who's a breath worker. She's the front and center of effigy breath work, which if you've ever tried it, I'd love to link you up with her because she's got some mad midwifery witchy stuff in this breath work. 

And I know there's a lot of cool breath work out there, but we chose this one because it is very grounding. If you're not pregnant, it actually takes you in outer space in 20 minutes and 60 minutes. I mean, it's full psychedelic experience for me and for my wife as well outside of it with a lot of trauma release, a lot of chakra, there was like a full kundalini experience. A lot of like that puppy-dog sobbing after the breath work, that stuff is just coming out and you're not even crying. It's just trembling out of you.

Luke Storey:  [01:55:14] I love that stuff.

Nathan Riley:  [01:55:15] Powerful, powerful medicine in pregnancy.

Luke Storey:  [01:55:18] Tell us her name again so we can put in the show notes.

Nathan Riley:  [01:55:19] Sarah Charmoli. I've got an episode with you. I'll send it to you because she does a really nice job of explaining it. But we figured that'd be a nice way to start the labor. So we decided we breathe with her. So at 6 pm-- remember waters open at 5. 6 pm, an hour into the labor process, Sarah comes over. We start breathing. 40 minutes into that, I'm off in outer space on Neptune. And she's tapping me on the shoulder. I don't even realize that she's like, men, I think it's time. Baby's coming. So we're only an hour, 40 minutes into the whole labor process, let alone three days. 

And our midwife and there's a doctor that's filling a home birth practice who attended as an apprentice and a midwifery student, they all came up and they stand in the corner like, eyes wide like there's this heavy tribal music playing and we're like [breathing deeply]   I mean, intense environment. And my hands are all cramped up from the hyper oxygenation [Interposing voice 01:56:13]   yeah. My mouth is all mangled, and 6:46, an hour 46 after the waters opened baby is out asleep. 

And Stephanie said it was an ecstatic birth. And you've heard that term before. This was an absolutely-- I don't think she would say it was pleasurable, but she used the word ecstatic, which is why I'm stealing that. And for her, it was very healing from the first birth in the hospital. We didn't even get in the tub. It was right in our bed where we probably conceived this baby, which is a beautiful full circling. And the baby was asleep. Little Everly Rosa was totally asleep on her chest. 

Moments after we got to breastfeed her. We watched a movie that night. People brought us food. And they had even had to wake the baby up to get the Apgar scores, which is the first scoring of like, how's the baby transitioning? Do we need to do some little oxygen or whatever, and she was a 10 out of 10, which I've never even seen a 10 out of 10. But they gave her a 10 out of 10. 

And when you're at a home birth, when you really get to see that on a woman's terms, it changes everything for you. So I was already way out of the system at this point, but that was so validating as to how powerful this can be if we're just present with the process and just allow the spiritual transformation to unfold. And when it's your own wife, you get to see her in the most beautiful light possible. She's giving birth to your baby. And lots of tears, lots of oxytocin through both of us. And the smell of a newborn baby is probably not as appealing to some people, but when it's your own baby, it's like--

Luke Storey:  [01:57:50]  Is that a thing?

Nathan Riley:  [01:57:51] Well, there's like this sticky vernix. It's like this white creamy stuff that's all over them. And it's like the most incredible skincare product. You just rub it all over you. But the baby has it on it. It's like a lubrication and skin preservation. But then the amniotic fluid has a certain smell and everything just has a smell. There's some blood involved. So it's a combination of all this, but when it's your own baby, you just want to be covered in it. It's this amazing experience. So when people are like, oh, he's a fan of home births, but does he really believe it? Yeah, I really believe it. I've been there. I've done it. And when you trust in the process, oftentimes things go well. It doesn't mean you never need a doctor, you never need to transfer to a hospital, but most of the time, things just go well. And we just have to let the universe answer the call.

Luke Storey:  [01:58:35] Thank you for sharing those stories. I just think about, of course, not being a woman, so I have no fucking idea. But I know when I feel safe that my entire experience is changed, especially if I feel safe during a time in which I shouldn't or have ample opportunities to not. But to me, the whole thing that you describe and your vision for living this world too, the underlined word I hear is safety. It's just safe. The woman needs to feel safe. And back to your points, maybe for some that's in hospital and for some it's elsewhere. But that's what I take away from this is like imagine how smoothly things could go if people aren't on edge.

And if we can reframe, particularly the birth experience as not a medical emergency, but something that's totally normal and natural, that we've been doing for fucking ever, and not that things didn't go wrong and won't go wrong and all of that, but then who's the one judging saying it's wrong?

Nathan Riley:  [01:59:49] According to who?

Luke Storey:  [01:59:50] Am I God to say that there shouldn't have been this miscarriage or a baby didn't make it or whatever? These are realities of life that humans have found ways to reconcile and face throughout time.

Nathan Riley:  [02:00:01] I'm so glad you brought that up, because that's actually an important point. In our efforts to reduce neonatal mortality, meaning a dead baby inside the uterus, fetal demise or a dead baby after birth, we've been willing to completely perverse the entire process of birth in order to make that number zero, but that's an impossibility. It's an asymptotic relationship with bad outcomes. 

There will never be zero bad outcomes. That's a part of being mortal, which goes back to our fear of mortality to begin with. I'm never going to die, and babies should never die. Well, actually babies sometimes do die. And that's not because it was a failure of the medical system any more than it was a failure to keep a 95 year old on a ventilator and continuous dialysis and an artificially elevated blood pressure medications. 

It's not a failure. We're mammals. We are still organisms that have to face mortality. And our inability to recognize that leads to traumatizing procedures, traumatizing exams, traumatizing language, which is fear based because you don't want your baby to die. Sometimes babies die. That's not a chess piece to be used to coerce a woman to do something that she doesn't feel right. Her intuition isn't telling her to do. That's on you as the doctor to be okay with a person exercising their autonomy, even if it might lead to an outcome that reflects poorly on the hospital and your practice. It's not your job to save them or their baby. It's your job to provide them guidance so that they can make a decision that feels right. And sometimes babies die. And we are just not okay with that.

Luke Storey:  [02:01:42] That's interesting because on one side, you have this primordial innate value for preservation of life. I mean, we see a bug that's a non-threatening bug and we would go out of our way to save its life because we don't want it to die whereas other bugs like cockroaches, one might smash or what I've started is vacuuming up. And if Alyson sees me, I have to go let it loose which I think helps my compassion grow in the [Inaudible 02:02:02]   when it's 3:00 in the morning. So part of it is just yeah, we want to preserve life. We're wired that way. We want to proliferate as a species.
But then on the pathological side of that, perhaps there's this atheistic egotist attachment to form that's like, because if I don't believe that I'm any more than a body, then there's this whole other depth of attachment through the body.

Nathan Riley:  [02:02:43] That's right.

Luke Storey:  [02:02:43] And if I believe that that embryo infant baby is only that, then that's all there is. 

Nathan Riley:  [02:02:50] That's exactly right.

Luke Storey:  [02:02:51] But from a more expanded point of view, I mean, you can go out and out and out and out into the furthest depths of the cosmos with this, which I don't even know if I'm capable of doing. But maybe as far as I could go out is that there are spirits floating around and they want to come into this plane as part of their karmic plan. And they're zooming around looking at all of us, picking the appropriate parents that are going to help facilitate their evolution if they can come back here again. This is really my view of it.

And they and God that created them also have a plan that may or may not include that first shot into existence. We don't even know that it's not part of that soul's plan to come in and be like, oh, cool in the uterus for a little bit--

Nathan Riley:  [02:03:41] Like that baby without the trachea that I told you about.

Luke Storey:  [02:03:43] Yeah, it's like who would I be to have the audacity to say, it shouldn't be that way?  It should be the way that I think or that my genes have programmed me to believe that everything has to live in flourish. And it's just not the way it works.

Nathan Riley:  [02:03:59] It's just not the way it works.

Luke Storey:  [02:04:00] It's so cyclical, but if you are in the limited perspective of yourself as only being this body, this is the only shot I've got, then out of that, of course, you're going to build systems that cling and cling and cling to the detriment of the end desire even. Now, it's like this machine eating itself because we don't know that we're more, that there is more.

Nathan Riley:  [02:04:03] You just brought to mind a story I heard recently from Jennifer Summerfeldt who is a trauma therapist. I think she lives up in Canada, but she told me about a client who had gone through a C section and really felt really bad about it. And she met this baby in a regression therapy inside the uterus. And the baby pointed down to the cervix. It was like, I didn't want to go through there. She's like, well, why baby? Well, look, it was like cobwebby and had this dank cellar appearance down inside the uterus. The cervix is the exit of the uterus.

And she was like, oh, you came out through the abdomen because you didn't want to go through there. And then she, in the therapy realized, oh, there was some trauma in the past. And that energetically was appearing as in her mind's eye, these cobwebs. It’s like an unsafe place. So the baby didn't want to go through this place that had this energetics of trauma and decided I'm going out that way. Get me out some other way, which actually was very therapeutic for that person. And because we blame ourselves when we have a C section, we blame ourselves when something bad happens. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, you're giving yourself too much credit.

And having said that, people who come to work with me, the first thing I say is, you're responsible for what happens with you and your baby. And that means you have to be able to surrender control and know where your decision making is actually needed because we can't guarantee you anything. And for the things that you can control, I want you to really work on those so we can minimize the likelihood of a bad outcome happening, which goes into all the lifestyle stuff I've been talking about.

But the number one thing to remember for anybody listening is that when you get pregnant, you have no control. You're on the roller coaster and the roller coasters break is off and we're on for a ride. So all that I can do is I can make sure that there's like nails on the sides of the roller coaster to make sure that the track doesn't come on loose while you're riding it. But that's the best we can do. We're not in control of this. And this sense of control of our nature is really, I think misguiding us in a lot. It's also then making us regret things that we've done or feel remorse for decisions we've made.

And the only things you can control are really how healthy is your soil before you get pregnant, through the pregnancy into the postpartum on a physical, etheric, astral and spiritual or high level consciousness level. And that's it. That's what you can control. So let's work on those things. Let's minimize the likelihood of a bad outcome. And let's also be prepared for the reality that sometimes childbirth is just dangerous. And safety, let's throw shit out the window, let's throw permission out the window, let's throw allow out the window because you're the one that's in charge and you've got full ownership over the outcome. That's the person that I work with. And that's not everybody.

Luke Storey:  [02:07:32] Awesome. Thank you for all of that.

Nathan Riley:  [02:07:35] Amen.

Luke Storey:  [02:07:35] I got another question for you and then we'll wrap it up. Who are three teachers or teachings that have influenced your life and your work you'd like to share with us?

Nathan Riley:  [02:07:42]   Wow, man. Richard Fenyman was the first hero of mine. Surely You're Joking, Mr. Fenyman! was a book that I just randomly stumbled upon in the library. And he was on the Manhattan Project. He was one of the only people to ever see a nuclear blast go off very early days of developing the nuclear technology. And he was also a seeker. He was a questioner. Even though he was like one of the world's leading theoretical physicist, he was just constantly curious. And I really, really love that. And if you read that book, he was like a drummer in Carnegie Hall. Really an interesting guy. You'd love that book. He's like a polymath in so many regards like a modern-day renaissance man.

The second would be, I think, Paul and Angie Chek have been extremely and Penny Chek, the Chek family has been a great teacher of mine because there's all these gurus out there that I don't find that a lot of people who are talking about the right way to be are actually practicing it. And I've learned that through the Chek family, that they really, really believe and practice what they preach. And it may not be right for everybody. It's not even right for me in many regards, but most of the time, when I go there, I leave with something, realizing that like, wow, this is what it means to live the life that you're actually guiding people down yourselves. Those are two that come to mind.

The third, and the most important is actually my wife. My wife embodies somebody who really knows who she is, and is not afraid to be who she is, and who shows up for people in service to people without losing track of who she is and why she's here. And the amount of emotional intelligence that she brings into our relationship is unparalleled to any relationship I've ever had. 

We met when we were 15 actually. We started dating when we were 15. And then we split up when I was in med school, and the stars brought us back together and we got married and now have two kids and we're very much in love. But the way she shows up to life and is able to just sit in silence to contemplate is very, very different from me, as you can imagine. I'm very go go go and she is very much the yin. I'm the yang. She's the yin. And the amount of intuition she brings into our life is an incredible guidepost for me. And I don't think I could possibly be anywhere that I've gone without her.

Luke Storey:  [02:10:12] I know the feeling, my friend.

Nathan Riley:  [02:10:14] I'm sure you do.

Luke Storey:  [02:10:15] I've never been asked that question of the three people. But I was like, oh, when you said it, I was like, oh, that would definitely come out of my mouth, at least I would hope. It's an incredible gift to be in alignment. It makes your life so rich to be able to be in a relationship with someone that you view in that way.

Nathan Riley:  [02:10:35] Yeah, and from a relationship standpoint, perfection is never the goal. A perfect relationship is one where I can be perfectly imperfect, flaws and all and just let them hang out and for her to just accept me and love me through that and vice versa. And I think she does that better than I do for her. And so it's a constant exercise for me to remember that, like, perfection is not the goal. And to love somebody unconditionally is to love them and allow them to express those flaws, perhaps even work on those flaws, without the goal of perfection, but with a goal of being able to be seen and witnessed through the pain, the joy, the sadness, the ups and downs, and everything in between. And I think we all need that in our lives, especially us men who are holding everything very close to our heart, not willing to open up. She's definitely been the person who I cry with, I get mad with, I get happy with all very unapologetically. And that's been very, very helpful to me as a man.

Luke Storey:  [02:11:32] It's funny you say that because I've got to be in such deep shit before I'll ask for that, you what I mean? I don't know what it is. It's just a male thing or what, but I'll just hold it together, hold it together, hold it together, and there's this pressure cooker of just life happening. And then once it gets to a certain point, I'm like, okay, honey, I got to share this, which was a day yesterday. And I got really good, insightful, practical advice. And I was just thinking, oh, thank God. If I would have figured this out on my own, I probably would have done something really-- I ended up doing what I wanted to do, but I needed a sounding board that was unattached and had some wisdom and intuition online. 

And I go, am I feeling into this right? Well, let's look at all sides of it and see, and then we'll proceed and I proceeded. And it was like we nailed it. It was such a great decision. I mean, not a huge decision in the great scheme of things in life, but a decision that was like a $25,000 decision, pretty big in that realm, in the 3D realms. I was like, oh, thank God for the wife, man. Yeah, that's beautiful. Thank you for sharing that.

Nathan Riley:  [02:12:43] Thank you for honoring me with your time. I know you're very busy. And you've got a lot of deep thoughts. And I'm just glad to spend some time with you today.

Luke Storey:  [02:12:52] Likewise, thanks for joining me, man. That's it. And that's all, folks. That brings another episode of the Life Stylist to close. Next week's episode is number 422. It's called Stem Cell and Laser Treatments for Hearing Loss and Tinnitus with Dr. John Lieurance. And that show next week, folks, is going to be a doozy because it will be a part of my entire experience of going to Dr. John's clinic in Sarasota, Florida. advancedrejuvenation.us, by the way, is where you'll find them and actually getting this treatment done on myself. 

So as I record this, I've not yet undergone the treatment. But by the time you hear this, it will have happened. So wish me luck in reverse, I guess you could say. But I'm really looking forward to not only experiencing his clinic, but also that particular treatment. Because as I speak into this microphone right now, my left ear is ringing like someone who has a freaking whistle inside of my skull. And it's been that way for many years. Not to mention, I find myself walking around the house saying, what? What? a lot because I'm half deaf in my left ear. So stay tuned for not only that episode, but for the results that I hope will follow. 

And remember, if you were intrigued by Nathan's approach to birth in this episode and are pregnant or soon planning to make babies, you can find out more about working with him directly at lukestorey.com/belovedholistics. You can also use the code LUKE100 there and he's going to give you 100 bucks off his services, which is pretty cool. You can also find that link in the show notes on most podcast apps. All right, my friends. That's it. I'm outtie. I'll be back next week with Dr. John Lieurance.



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