Aligning Health for Optimal Performance and Wellbeing with Jo Formosa

By PeopleLeaders | People Leaders Podcast

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The world of natural medicine is a vast and intriguing realm. On our latest podcast episode, we had the privilege of exploring this fascinating field with Jo Formosa, a natural medicine specialist with expertise in Chinese medicine, remedial massage, neuro strategies, and Iovade. Jo takes listeners on a captivating journey, shedding light on the unique approach of Iovade in treating diseases by focusing on the causative factors rather than just addressing symptoms.

The conversation also delved into the perplexing concept of 'pragnya paratha,' a term that encapsulates our peculiar inclination towards destructive habits. These habits, though we're aware of their harmful impact on our health, we find hard to let go of.

Our podcast episode didn't just stop at understanding these harmful habits, but also offered insightful strategies on how to break free from them. Our guest, Dr. John Maxwell, shared his knowledge on the importance of understanding the mind-body connection and its influence on our habits and overall wellbeing.

One of the highlights of the episode was the discussion on the effects of overwork on performance. It emphasized the role of dopamine hits in perpetuating the work-reward treadmill that many of us find ourselves on. Dr. Maxwell underscored the importance of stepping off this treadmill and focusing on team wellbeing through an understanding of their individual profiles and body types.

A significant part of the conversation revolved around the importance of regular health check-ups and the need to listen to our bodies. Jo shared her experience of helping a business leader transform his health through preventative healthcare, which brought to light the importance of being proactive about our health.

Towards the end of the episode, the conversation shifted to detoxification and the power of the mind-body connection. Jo recounted her experiences of helping high-profile clients reset their bodies and the remarkable transformations they underwent as a result.

In conclusion, the podcast episode served as a potent reminder of the significance of aligning our health for optimal performance and wellbeing. Whether it's breaking destructive habits, understanding the mind-body connection, or leveraging the power of preventative healthcare, the episode offered a wealth of insights for anyone seeking to enhance their health and performance.

Episode Highlights:
  • (00:02) Ayurveda
  • (07:24) Breaking Detrimental Habits and Supporting Wellbeing
  • (15:59) Regular Check-Ups & Listening to Body
  • (19:22) Detox and Body-Mind Connection Power
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NB: This transcript has been AI generated and may contain some slight errors. Please judge our efforts accordingly 🙂

Jan Terkelsen: Well, hello everyone. I am looking forward to this interview and this discussion with Jo Formosa. Jo and I have been working with each other for years now. However, Jo to me, has been such an inspiration around my health and wellbeing.

I'm always or have been interested in Ayurveda and meditation, you know, for, for years now, but Jo has really set the bar as far as people that I have worked with and really have changed so many things in the way in which I approach my health and wellbeing.

So, a little bit about Jo now. So it started with being an Olympic hopeful and Jo had trained for years and while she endured her, you know, fair share of sports injuries representing Australia at the Olympics was within reach, however, back injury prevented Jo from actually you know, going to the Olympics.

However, what it did do is it allowed Jo to begin to study natural medicine. And she did this with, you know rigor, like she does everything. And Health Dynamics is the expression of Jo's personal journey into natural medicine.

And over time she became fluent in a number of different traditions such as Chinese medicine, remedial massage, neuro strategies, and also specializing in Ayurveda.

Now at Health Dynamics, Jo is best known for helping interstate and international patients with the most challenging health conditions such as cancer, digestive disorders, menopause, cardiovascular disease, and baby health developmental issues among others.

And and also on top of that, Jo was actually helping the Australian Olympic team and their members in their crucial role helping them to win medals.

So Jo has not only [00:02:00] experienced the benefits of Ayurveda herself, but you know, she shares it with others. So I'm just so stoked to get her on. Welcome, Jo

Jo Formosa: Thank you, Jan. That was really nice introduction.

Jan Terkelsen: Well, it's. all true.

Jo Formosa: Sometimes you forget how much you have done. Right.

Jan Terkelsen: Yes, I know, and that's why I often say to people "You know, sometimes it is good to actually step through your feedback and testimonials and what you've done," because we do, sometimes we do forget how much you've done. And you know, I'm just really excited to for you to share some of your knowledge with our listeners.

So first of all, what's so different about Ayurveda, like what makes it different from other health approaches Jo?

Jo Formosa: Yeah. That's such a great question because I was just at the hospital on the weekend with my really good friend who had an accident in the O'Reilly's, you know, rainforest and he had to be winched out and then, you know, taken to hospital and just being in that hospital experience made it all come back to me exactly what the different approaches of medicine do, right?

In Western medicine, Western medicine is fantastic for making sure that you're alive, right? So if you're in an accident or an injury or something like that, they'll make sure all your vitals are there and everything. And they've got, equipped to do those types of things.

But then he was like, "Yeah, everything's good. You're not broken, you're breathing, you're alive. We need the bed now. Like you gotta get it out."

And you know, they sort of whipped on this moon boot. Didn't really show him how to do it. He couldn't really walk and then he needed sort of crutches.

So when it comes to the, the difference with the approaches of different medicine is we do have our Western medicine, which is great at that disease sort of process in the sense of acute, Ayurveda to, you know, even natural medicine and, and some of the other natural approaches, comes from looking at the causative factor of disease.

So it looks at, you know, how is it personalized to you and what's [00:04:00] going on for you and what's causing that issue. Chinese medicine does do it to an extent. But I studied Chinese medicine, acupuncture as well, and when I studied Ayurveda it was like, whoa, okay, this is the missing link.

And it dates back over 5,000 years, same as Chinese medicine. It's probably the most fundamental sciences? And Ayurveda is the science of life. So how it treats diseases like diabetes or, you know asthma or any sort of chronic disease is no different to how they treat it 5,000 years ago. And that's what I love about it because it looks at not treating the symptoms and not even treating the title of the disease.

It treats specifically what is causing the imbalance that's making that disease be there? For example, blood pressure or cardiovascular disease can be from three different main sources, whether it's too much stress in the body or whether there's too much heat in the body, or there's too much weight like overweight in the body.

They have three different ways, of treating that disease, not just here's a drug, like, let's get rid of your symptoms, but why is it happening in the first place so that you can actually get on top of it and have health and longevity without having to deal with that? So you know, I think that's probably the best way I can explain it.

But Ayurveda is definitely much better at treating, treating chronic disease than Western medicine because Western medicine's only approaches to give you medication.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah. And that's what I love about Ayurveda is what you mentioned is that it's individualized and also you get to the source, you're not just kind of like, you know, being superficial about it. So Jo why do people keep doing things health wise that they know are just not good for them? Why do we do it?

Jo Formosa: Oh, well there's something in Ayurveda which is Sanskrit, which is called Pragyaparadh which is mistake of the [00:06:00] intellect and, and if you go more deeper in that, it's like the crime to the intellect. So it's like a crime to actually do that.

So you actually know. Innately that that is wrong, but you keep on having the alcohol, you keep on having the coffee, or you keep on not waking up, or you keep on, you know, not going to bed until 12 o'clock or two in the morning, or you keep on working, you know, long hours and you keep hustling, hustling, hustling, and you know that you are burning your adrenals out.

But there's something that's pushing you inside that is more of a, "I need that or I want that," to the detriment of how your body needs to help you to do that. And it's only until it breaks and completely breaks where you go. "Oh. Actually, maybe those things that I've been doing for the last 10 years, 20 years or 30 years, I need to change that." But that habit is coming in, which might be the detrimental habit that you are not actually taking control of.

And I was listening to a guy called Dr. John Maxwell, and I know you know him as a business leader and he is written so many books as well. And he talks about like breaking those habits that are detrimental to yourself.

And you know, I was listening to him interviewing and someone asked him that question and he says, and the problem is everyone tries to break the five habits at once instead of just breaking one habit and say, let me focus on this one thing, and if I can work on that and I can feel the difference to that and I can find out why I'm needing to do that habit and actually go a little bit more internal and master that. Then go to the next one and then go to the next one...

And before you know it, you have actually shifted that pragyaparadh which is mistake of the intellect.

But also a deeper response to that is what is going on with your gut. Because your gut is your second brain. So sometimes the habits that you're doing or the detrimental lifestyle changes that you're doing [00:08:00] is because possibly there might be an imbalance that's going on with the serotonin in the gut, cuz the gut produces 80 to 90% serotonin.

And if the brain can't think properly because the gut is not doing well, then it doesn't make good choices.

Jan Terkelsen: It's interesting, you know, like we, we understand, you know, the, the mind-body connection, however when we actually live our life like that, like everything, it is all connected, you know? And that's what I love about Ayurveda So I coach a lot of executives and one of their biggest issues is overwork.

So what's the impact on performance? Because unless I know, you know, the, the, the risk of that, why would I wanna change? Cause I'm getting rewarded, you know, for

all the work. So what's the impact on the performance?

Jo Formosa: So impact and you know, I, I'm the same. I've had a lot of executive clients that come to me completely burnt out. And the thing is that when you are hustling, hustling, hustling, you're doing those long hours because number one, you think you have to right.

Team is time, right? So if you're working long hours, it's normally telling you you don't have enough team, that you have equipped to actually take care of that so you can excel to the next level of your genius, right?

So if your next level of your genius is that you should be working on this because you're a greater value to the company, what you will actually start doing is doing less, but your value will be more especially if you're in that high-level sort of executive mark.

When you are younger and, you know, when you're having to just earn money, you might be like doing these three jobs to try to get, you know, through college and get through this and get through all those types of things, right?

But once you get to the point of you knowing what you're great at sometimes it's about letting that go and putting someone and equipping them and work yourself out of a job.

So you [00:10:00] get to the point where you're not hustling and working long hours. But sometimes we keep doing that because we get rewarded the dopamine hit that I'm needed. Do you know what I mean? So it's sometimes a little bit hard to let that go. So you've gotta ask yourself the question, why are you hustling?

Why are you working so long? Is it because you can't let go of that and you're worried about, you know, what that's giving you in reward that people need me. You know that it feeds your ego, it feeds your significance as opposed to how significant would you feel if you train in a quick team that you excel even more and your company excels even more and you are responsible for that.

Right? I know which one I would choose.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah.

Jo Formosa: But it is also hard to get out of your way if that you've been rewarded for that good work. And then you would have to let go of why you are special for that particular project or something like that.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah. It takes a, you know, like a higher level of thinking and feeling, you know, to, to be able to do that. So, okay. So if I'm leading a team, what's one thing that I could do to help support their well being

Jo Formosa: Yeah, I think well first of all one thing we do is having a look at their profiles and understanding their mind and body type, so, what, what is their genius and how well do they work? And, and you understand Health Dynamics, so we look at the eight different mind types, so if we, and then we break it down into four geniuses.

So if you are like Dynamo genius, you're all about the bigger picture. You know, you're all about vision, you're all about like creating that concept.

And if you are Tempo genius, you're all about making sure your ear is to the ground and making sure everything is put in place.

And if you're all about Blaze genius, then this is all about the people and how you connect to the people and who do you need to do what job.

And then if you're of the Steel genius, this is all about the data and the systems and the processes.

But then we add the body types in. So depending on your [00:12:00] body type, depends on how you will do things differently.

So someone who is more, what we call Vata dominant, so they have a lot more air and ether. They do things fast, but they can burn out quickly.

Then you have the Pitta dominant, they like things task orientated and very goal orientated and very specific and very precise. But they can get argumentative and angry and it's gotta be my way. Right?

Or if you have someone who's more Kapha body types, so they're more grounded, they're more solid, they're more resourceful, they're more reliable. But sometimes, you know, they can put their head in the sand and don't wanna sort of talk to anyone.

So I think when you understand your team and who your team is, you know how to talk to them, but you also can quickly see their imbalance. If there's something going on with them and how can you change that compass to help them to get back into flow again?

And, and, and I think that's the main thing because when people are in flow, things just happen easily and effortless and everyone's happy, right? So,

Jan Terkelsen: So, Jo if I wanted to find out, you know, what my team is, is this, where would I go?

Jo Formosa: Yeah, so you can connect with us around, you know, doing a Health Dynamics Profile for your team, and then we can have a look at like how we debrief that profile. The way I've done it before with other teams is, first of all, we take care of the person, the leader, go through that so they understand it, so they can get a bit of an understanding of the power of it.

Then we get them to do the team. Then I talk to them about the different team, and then we debrief the team together. And then we go, well, what is it that you want? What is the one thing that you would like to change as a team? And then we debrief around that and what is the one thing you would like to know about yourself?

Right? So then otherwise, if you think too many things, like this test can be used in lots of different avenues, but if you were making one compass change, that might be enough of a change of the direction of going more north. Right. And going towards your, your, your vision [00:14:00] and having everybody in the same line.

Right. As opposed to people sort of all over the place following their own, you know, pathway instead of follow the pathway of the vision.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah, that would be very powerful.

So some people take their health for granted because, you know, poor health can just creep up on us slowly. What are some of the early warning signs? And it's interesting if you are listening to this, listen, you know, like really check in that are these coming up for you right now?

Jo Formosa: Yeah, I like that question cuz there's a guy called Dr. Peter Attia. So Dr. Peter Attia, he's a medical doctor and he went to study to be a surgeon and he realized through his whole medical training and his surgery and everything like that, he's like, "This is not for me. I don't think I can practice like this because we are just practicing to stop people from having disease."

And he talks about like Medicine 1.0 is like when they realize that there's bacteria and viruses that can kill you. So then they realized they had to sterilize. Right? And that doctor got sent to an asylum because they thought he was crazy. Right? Back in the day.

Then Medicine 2.0 is they learned that you have to give a drug or something to stop the disease process.

So, but Medicine 3.0 is what is about longevity. And so one of the things he talks about is chronic disease happens, doesn't happen just overnight. It's 10 years, 20 years, 30 years in process.

So one of the things we do, and then one of the things he says, which was so nice to hear it from a medical doctor, is regularly look at your pathology results, right?

So a lot of doctors do not like to do your labs because they're like, you're not sick, but you are not sick and you don't want to be sick. So I really encourage my clients to do certain labs and there's certain things that we ask to get done specifically. So as soon as we see that needle change, your blood is the last place that it shows up.

By the way, if it's showing up in your blood, it's already been happening in your [00:16:00] body for a long time. So those types of things. So that's number one. The second thing is listen to your body. If you have signs of some sort of imbalance, some sort of symptom, whether it's pain, whether it's your bowel has changed, whether it's energy, whether you're not sleeping, whether it's agitation in certain sort of situations.

The body is giving you signals that something is wrong and you're not aligned with nature and you're not aligned with your body type. So, you know, sit up and listen and go, "Well, what do I need to do to change to make sure that I don't have those things?"

Because, you shouldn't have those symptoms. And we take our car in for a service to get you know, grease oil and change at least twice a year or when the clock says you should do it.

Unfortunately, there's not a clock you know, on us to say, "Ding, Ding, you need to go get a checkup now." But we should do that on a regular basis with, you know, and I'd say your doctors, medical gps, are not equipped to do that.

They are equipped to do your bloods. But not necessarily. They're quick to have a look at, is this happening? Is this happening? Is this happening? Because they have seven minutes to have a conversation with you. If you're not sick, there's nothing that they can do. So just making sure you're aligning with, you know, maybe an Ayurvedic practitioner who can feel the pulse or ask you very specific things to make sure that there's stuff that you are so aligned with your body, and everything is working properly.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah. Spot on. And as far as, you know, like going for a grease and oil change one of the best things that I've done with you was the detox. It absolutely shifted so many things for me. The biggest thing was around alcohol. I'm still surprised, you know, that, you know, I would be a glass of wine every night. Now I just, I don't know, there's just

Jo Formosa: Don't it. need it

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah. Don't need it. So, thank you. Thank you. So Jo have you an example of a business leader that you've worked [00:18:00] with that changed their health and what was the biggest shift that made the difference?

Jo Formosa: Yeah, well there was one particular guy that came to me and he had some challenges going on where he'd been in business for some time, quite some time, leading a fairly big team, a fairly big organisation internationally. Revenue was high, you know, but cost to him was, you know, CEO, so obviously everything relies on him, and he's responsible for so many people.

So what I see a lot with business leaders is they really struggle to be vulnerable because they have to hold everybody up and so they can't be looking like they are weak or that they need help or they need support. So they internalize a lot of these things inside their body and your body has to try to deal with that process.

And I remember him coming to me where some of his bloods were changing, some things were happening. He had some PSA reading that was starting to creep up and, you know, cholesterol was happening, so all of the signs were starting to happen, that their body is starting to break down and he just didn't feel good.

He didn't feel sharp, he felt foggy in the head. He was cloudy. He was going through day by day, like it was a groundhog day. And because you're a leader, like you are exceptional anyway. You will get up and do what needs to happen no matter how you feel. So you will just keep pushing through. But he was pushing through but with not the vitality that he needed. Right?

And I remember saying to him, and his wife said to me at the time, "I don't know how you got him to agree to this, that like, this is so weird." I, he was that bad that he left it too late. I said, I need to work with you and detoxify you. Normally we do our detox over 28 days, but he didn't have time cuz he's flying in and out doing.

I said, "You need to give me two weeks solid. Two weeks straight." So we did detox and we did body work and cleansing and whatever, but I said, "You had to take two weeks off work and you had to stay home." You weren't allowed to [00:20:00] holiday.

So we had to tinker in his garage and do all these different things and just be with himself and his wife was like, "How did you do that? That's just like impossible for him to do."

But that's actually probably was a lot of the healing process as well. Him just being in himself and getting things done around the house that was building up, because that's also a pressure as well. Well, you're doing all this work at the office, but home stuff is building up.

Anyway, after we did the detox process and we went through that, he said to me, And excuse my French, "I don't know what the hell you did to me, but my brain is..." this guy was like, he, I think he was about 58 at the time. "My brain is like, I'm 20 and I am just on super uber fire."

And so in that year what he did is he took the company that was listed and unlisted the company in that period of time in one year, which is very stressful. But that detox was very pinnacle for him to make those massive changes in the company. And he said to me, "I would not been able to do that without my brain and my body being in its best prime form."

Because you know, you think about if you put leaded petrol into a diesel car, that car seizes up and stops working.

So it's the same thing, you know when you are dealing with like, you know, executives are like, what I would class the high performing athlete in the office. Right. So they have to be treated their machine, like you know, treating an athlete's body because they have to be on that much level of fitness inside the organisation, as good as an athlete is on, you know, that process.

So I, I think that's probably one of the best examples I've seen. And then there was one other where I worked with a guy who was chairman of a big firm and every time he flew, he was getting bronchial [00:22:00] infections and so, and asthma, and he'd been on asthma meds for some time. So we worked with him.

Got him to the point that he was flying. So he went from Brisbane manager to national manager to CEO to chairman and then now I still look after him, now he's retired.

He was much better when he was in the organizations cuz his EA dealt with all the appointments. But now he is not, it's a little bit more challenging. Right?

So but just to see, he, he wouldn't have been able to do that because he wasn't able to fly without getting sick. Right. So I think they, they were two very great examples.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah. Oh, and I've seen so many over the years with you as well, Jo and you know, like we can deny this the body-mind connection, however, once you have kind of made a commitment and gone through the process, you'll be surprised at how good you can actually feel.

Yeah, it's amazing.

So, Jo how can people find out more and make a connection with you?

Jo Formosa: Yeah, I think if you if you want to know more about how you can perform at your absolute best or how your team can perform at its best, then just connect with us by email. You can send one directly to me, Jo@healthdynamics.health that will get directly to my assistant. Or you can, you know, go to our Health Dynamics website as well.

So I'm sure that that might be in the information as well, Jan.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah, for sure. And we'll put it in the in the newsletter as well with the link. Thank you so much, Jo. Like, whenever I speak to you, there's always something that I learned. For me, it's like the team is time. You know, I, I just love those little catchphrases so thank you and I will definitely pass that on.

Jo Formosa: Yeah, I think if I was to leave you with one thought is, remember what is health? Health is a dynamic expression of life. So the reason Ayurveda is so different is when you are dynamically expressing your personalized self, that how [00:24:00] you were born and what your potential is, then that's when you're really expressing your yourself, and that's when you can really be in your purpose and be what you are actually here for.

And then that gives you joy and happiness and, and fulfillment more than any job or money will give you. It'll be internal that takes you through life.

Jan Terkelsen: And who doesn't want that, Jo

Jo Formosa: Exactly, exactly.

Jan Terkelsen: Oh, that was lovely. Thank you so much Jo Really enriching conversation.

Jo Formosa: Awesome. Thanks Jan