Nat Niddam On The Future Of The Global Wellness Economy
… it’s curiosity. What keeps me going is that there’s always something new around the corner. Like I said before, we’re at such an exciting time and sometimes it’s something completely new that nobody ever heard of before, but sometimes it’s something ancient, something that’s been around — what’s old is new. I think that in traditional Chinese medicine, there are people who’ve been doing this for 5,000 years, so to lean into the teachings that they have for us and to apply them in what we’re doing today and so much of their wisdom is rooted in taking care of the spirit, taking care of the body, getting out into nature. So for me, it’s just this ability to always discover something new.
As part of our series about ‘The Future Of The Global Wellness Economy,’ I had the pleasure to interview Nat Niddam at the 2022 Biohacking Congress in Boston, Massachusetts.
Nat Niddam is a self-proclaimed science geek with a passion for human health. Nat is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, an Epigenetic Coach, and a member of the first graduating class of the Human Potential Training Institute. When Nat came across Peptides and Bioregulators her focus narrowed and she leaned into learning all that she could about these incredible compounds that can trigger the body’s healing mechanisms and even reverse Biological Age! She now educates her clients as well as her large and growing community on the podcast and the Optimizing Superhuman Performance Facebook Community on these powerful signaling molecules and how they may apply to their own journey.
Thank you so much for joining us, Nat. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve always been interested in science. I studied physiology at University, but I ended up in sales and actually in the magazine and advertising world. I organized special events and did all kinds of stuff. I never really lost that love of learning about science, and I’ve always been fascinated with the human body. I’ve always believed the human body can heal itself.
I was a fitness instructor pretty much my whole life, and then at some point in my forties, I decided that it was time to reinvent myself. I’d dealt with various health issues my whole life. When I got pregnant with my son, I got preeclampsia. So we had a very crazy birth experience. Also, seeing chronic degenerative diseases starting to pop up in my family, like arthritis or Alzheimer’s or type 2 diabetes had me thinking that there’s got to be a better way. There’s got to be a way to offset this. So those things ultimately moved me towards this place, where I woke up one day. I’d always been reading books and educating myself about health and decided all right, time to start over, and I just went back to school and studied holistic nutrition, which set me on this path.
What are your “3 things I wish someone told me when I first started my career” and why?
In some ways, I think many people told me what I needed to hear, but I wasn’t ready to listen to it.
If you’re getting into this career, one of the things you need to explore with yourself is who do you want to help? What’s the problem you want to help people solve? And what is it that you love doing? And bringing those two things together will lead you to a career in this space that you love, that feeds you, and then success follows. When you really resonate with what you’re doing, when it feeds you in many different ways, no matter how hard it gets, no matter what the crappy part, all of that goes away if you resonate and love what you do.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
There are too many to name. First of all, my husband’s massive support. I’m very fortunate. Those of us who come to this later in life are fortunate to have a support system often greater than people who start much younger. It’s much harder for them because it takes time to hit your stride and to become successful.
There’s a young woman, her name is Dasha Maximov, and she’s my partner in the women’s retreats that we started running this year. She’s incredible. Then, there are women like Zora Benhamou who runs the Hack My Age podcast, Sandy Kruse, and Sandy Kaufman. Some people start as a podcast interview subject and they turn out to be your friends and your most incredible supporters. We cheer each other on.
How has wellness played a big role in your life?
It’s been central. It’s something that’s always been very important to me. My mom was talking about wellness long before anybody else. Not necessarily in the terms or the language we use now, but she was always seeking, going beyond conventional medicine. She was seeing this woman and doing these mud-pack things and crazy massages and reflexology, like when my brother had a crazy fever they wanted to take his tonsils out. She grabbed him, ran him over to this woman, and did reflexology on his feet. She stimulated his immune system to rise and fight the infection, and my brother still has his tonsils to this day. So I think that it’s always been a part of my life, and it’s part of what led me to study physiology, and I never lost it.
Can you share with our readers what innovations you are excited about in the health and wellness industries?
I was talking about this with someone today. It is such an exciting time to be in this field. We’re kind of on the cusp of being able to impact longevity and healthspan in a meaningful way. I’m particularly fascinated with the topic that I presented today which is bioregulator peptides. We’re only just learning about it, and it’s becoming available for us to leverage.
As you know, COVID-19 changed the world as we know it. Can you share some examples of how health and wellness companies will be adjusting?
I think they need to redouble their message. I believe it’s about communicating with people, how important it is, and how much power they have over their health. As a society, we’ve surrendered control of our health. We hand it off because it’s so much easier. After all, it’s so much responsibility to own your health, but we have to take it back at the end of the day. So we have to know that, and in the face of this pandemic, it’s been about what you can do to take charge of your health and protect yourself. Because if we know one thing, we can’t rely on other people to protect us. We can’t rely on our governments. We can’t rely on the public at large. It’s not their responsibility to keep us healthy.
So what can we do to keep ourselves healthy and resilient? I think what health companies can do is make this message available to most people. A lot of these technologies are expensive, and a lot of the supplements are costly, so we need to make them available to the people who need them the most. If there’s one thing we know it’s that if we’re not sleeping correctly, if we’re not hydrating, if we’re not managing our stress, if we’re not eating the right foods, if we’re not saying no to that second, third, or fourth bottle of wine, we are harming ourselves. I have people in my social circle who think I’m completely crazy. We make our choices. If we feel compromised, if we feel nervous, we are fully empowered to take whatever measures we need to keep ourselves healthy, and those who are less worried, who are taking care of themselves can go out into the world in a different way. It’s all of our responsibility to get the message out to people in a way that they can understand it and in a way that they can afford to apply it so that they too can take part in this because it can’t just be left to the people who can afford this stuff.
In my work as a Board Certified Wellness Coach who caters to the cancer survivor community, I have found the theme of “second chances” to be a powerful motivator. What keeps your spirit still firing?
I think it’s curiosity. What keeps me going is that there’s always something new around the corner. Like I said before, we’re at such an exciting time and sometimes it’s something completely new that nobody ever heard of before, but sometimes it’s something ancient, something that’s been around — what’s old is new. I think that in traditional Chinese medicine, there are people who’ve been doing this for 5,000 years, so to lean into the teachings that they have for us and to apply them in what we’re doing today and so much of their wisdom is rooted in taking care of the spirit, taking care of the body, getting out into nature. So for me, it’s just this ability to always discover something new.
You are a “wellness insider”. How would you describe the “perfect wellness experience”?
I want to feel charged up. I want to feel vibrant, alive, joyful, and grateful. I think that for us to be well in every way, shape, and form is really about how we feel in our skin, and so to have that centeredness and groundedness to be able to feel grateful for what we have, to be open to new experiences, and to be able to have the gift of connection with other people. I think that’s where it all begins.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I think it’s my podcast. I believe that the podcast is my way of sharing as much information as possible with as many people as possible. I love the latest supplements. I always love the new stuff, but I look for physicians doing great work out there because I want to highlight them. I want to share their wisdom, both to inspire people who could be their patients, but also to inspire other physicians, physicians who may not yet be on this path that seeks to be more curious and more open to new things. We don’t have enough physicians yet who have embraced all this thinking. We still have a lot of physicians who are still very caught up in the machine that they were brought up in and not that there’s no value to it. I mean, it’s a spectacular foundation, but at some level, there’s so much beyond that where they could be helping so many more people in a more meaningful way.
How can our readers follow you online?
You can find me through my website, which is natniddam.com. There’s the Biohacking Superhuman Performance podcast. I managed to use most of the alphabet letters in that name. I have a Facebook community called Optimizing Superhuman Performance, and I’m on Instagram @nathalieniddam
This was very inspiring, Nat. Thank you.