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Total Health: James Motyka of FuncRoot Solutions On How We Can Optimize Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing

Discover and write out your life’s purpose statement and ensure your daily decisions align with your purpose statement. For example, my purpose statement is, “Provide value to others through my words, thoughts, and actions” and I make sure to provide value to people every day of my life.

Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing?

As a part of our series about “How We Can Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing James Motyka.

James Motyka is a Functional Medicine Specialist, Integrative Health Practitioner, Doctor of Pharmacy candidate (class of 2022) and healthcare strategist. As the founder and CEO of FuncRoot Solutions, James provides hardworking, pressured, and worn-out people with their personalized minimum effective dose of holistic health so they can regain their energy, eliminate stressors, and biohack their life. He believes people should feel empowered over their health in order to fulfill their life’s purpose.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

My family history is filled with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, cirrhosis, and physical disability, which has significantly reduced my family’s lifespan below the national average. From a young age, I was motivated to live a long healthy life, free of disease. I took my health seriously and always stayed active. Whether it was weightlifting, running, or playing sports, I made movement a priority in my life. After learning the benefits of movement, I was curious to learn about medicine.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

In 2019, my mother developed cirrhosis and chronic kidney disease. At one point, her care team only gave her two weeks to live. It was then that I sought out unconventional answers to address her issues through holistic medicine approaches. The two-week expiration date given to my mom turned into three years, which defied everyone’s expectations. Finding solutions for my mom that were limitations in the eyes of our conventional medical system stimulated my passion for using lifestyle and holistic medicine to achieve optimal health.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

My friend and colleague Kristina Telhami provided me with a ton of guidance and support these past six months. Back in July 2021, I was scrolling through LinkedIn and came across her post, indicating that she launched her health and wellness business called Top Health Solutions LLC. Knowing that she was also a pharmacy student with similar interests, it inspired me to do the same. I direct messaged her and congratulated her for her incredible achievement. This led to a discussion, and she recommended I reach out to an amazing person named Christine Manukyan, who later became my mentor. Three months later, I launched my business FuncRoot Solutions, and Kristina is still encouraging me to succeed.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

When working with one of my first clients, I sent them a health intake form on DocuSign to fill out in advance of our health consult, and once I received it, I realized I did not make the text boxes big enough to fit their entire explanation, so I was only able to read small portions of their responses. My client laughed about it and we discussed their health intake form in more detail during our meeting. My takeaway was to create a standard DocuSign template for future clients.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

The book titled, “Unconventional Medicine” significantly impacted the way I look at health. At the time, I was a second-year pharmacy student and was being taught conventional medicine approaches, in which chronic disease states are managed and cost our US healthcare system trillions of dollars each year. After reading this book, I understood the importance and impact disease prevention and lifestyle medicine can have. It resonated with me because I wanted to help reverse my mom’s chronic diseases. I was determined to play an integral role in reducing the trend of chronic diseases worldwide and reducing health expenditures in our economy.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is, everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you … the minute that you understand that you can poke life … that you can change it, you can mould it … that’s maybe the most important thing.” — Steve Jobs

This quote inspired me to pursue my passions in functional and integrative medicine, areas where I can make the most significant positive impact possible. This quote shifted my mental state to a growth mindset, one where my capabilities are limitless.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

Outside of working with clients 1:1, I am in the process of doing a live launch for my business FuncRoot Solutions, in which I will offer people a free 5-day course on the topics of stress, sleep, energy, and supplements. Additionally, I will explain the solutions I offer to male clients ages 25–35 looking to regain their energy, eliminate stressors, and biohack their life. I am also working on launching a website and writing a book. I hope my solutions and story will inspire others to not only seek out answers to their health issues, but also empower them to become a CEO of their health state.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives: Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

3 Great morning habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness and energy

  1. Start your morning off with a glass of filtered water with lemon/lime, and minerals to effectively hydrate your body. Getting optimal sea salt in your diet can increase blood flow to organs and stave off feelings of fatigue.
  2. Get 5–10 minutes of sunlight exposure each morning, ideally getting light on as much of the body as possible. Doing so will tell the body to release cortisol and make you feel awake. This also sets the tone for a quality night of sleep later in the day.
  3. Morning or evening meditation will put your mind in a relaxed state, helping to eliminate racing thoughts and increase focus. and amplify a state of flow, or even put you to sleep. Depending on the type of breathwork, it’s possible to be put in a state of flow, or a restful state for bedtime. All of this can be done in a matter of 10–20 minutes.

Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.

I enjoy SOMA rhythmic breathwork because it incorporates both music and visualization, aimed at reducing stress, anxiety, and enhancing CO2 tolerance to improve oxygenation to the body. The tracks I listen to are for morning and evening, ranging from 10–20 minutes long. The SOMA nighttime meditation puts me to sleep in less than two minutes after meditating, which has been especially beneficial when I experience an inability to sleep or racing thoughts at night. The SOMA morning meditation is twice as long, but significantly enhances my mood, motivation, and energy levels in the morning. It incorporates gratitude and energy generating breath techniques.

Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Blocking off multiple periods of the day to move. I personally foam roll, walk, or stretch as part of my morning routine every day, and ensure I get at least an hour of walking in each day.
  2. Perform resistance training 2–3 times per week to optimize physical performance and reduce the risk of sarcopenia, osteoporosis, and increase insulin sensitivity, which can serve as a tool to help prevent diabetes. Examples can be weightlifting or performing workouts with resistance bands
  3. Adding strategies like cold and heat into your lifestyle to increase recovery and improve physical performance. This can be anything from a 2–5-minute cold shower or ice bath, 20 minute sauna, or sauna blanket.

Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

I think misinformation about food is one of the main blockages preventing people from integrating healthy eating habits into their lives because people are confused about what to eat. Every day, someone argues that one diet i.e., keto, carnivore, vegan, etc is a panacea. What some people might not realize is everyone is biochemically different, so one diet might work for someone, but fail for another. Another blockage is produced from big food & agricultural company marketing. Grocery stores are stocked with processed, refined, and sugary foods, and these companies make their ingredient labels difficult to read, so the average health consumer falls for terms like “no-added sugar”, “organic”, or “non-gmo”, yet the back of the food label also has harmful additives, preservatives, and seed oils.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Investing more time into your best relationships. Once I started to invest time into my best relationships (friends, mentors, family, and myself), I became more focused and happier with my life.
  2. Taking time away from your worst relationships or eliminating them. This can mean anything from spending less time around friends who bring you down or breaking up with a partner because they don’t support your personal goals and emotional wellbeing.
  3. Spending at least 5 minutes every day doing what you love. For example, it can be writing, reading, dancing, watching hilarious YouTube videos, singing, or stretching.

Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.

Smiling is powerful and contagious, especially as it relates to emotional wellness. It can change someone’s mindset, instilling energy and happiness into oneself and other people who observe smiling. However, I also think it’s important to not force a smile and refrain from bottling up when unhappy. It’s okay to not be okay, and people will get the emotional support to smile again in the future.

Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Daily gratitude practice. I write in a gratitude journal every morning and evening for 5 minutes, which positively affects my mindset, helping me live in the present moment, making every day worthwhile without worrying as much about the next.
  2. Saying or thinking positive affirmations like, “I am perfect, I love myself, I believe in myself, there is nothing I can’t accomplish”
  3. Discover and write out your life’s purpose statement and ensure your daily decisions align with your purpose statement. For example, my purpose statement is, “Provide value to others through my words, thoughts, and actions” and I make sure to provide value to people every day of my life.

Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?

Being in nature allows us to cut off all the technological input we get on a daily basis, giving us the time and focus to admire the incredible environment around us. Doing this can cultivate deep thought and a feeling of connectedness to our soul. In essence, this would give our soul a chance to tell us what it truly wants, which is an opportunity to develop spiritual wellness.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Inspire others to develop and achieve their mental, physical, and spiritual goals, so they can reach an optimal health state to make an extraordinary impact on the world.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)

I would love to have breakfast or lunch with James DiNicolantonio because his unconventional ideas, posts, and books, motivated me to pursue my passions in holistic medicine. As a pharmacy student, I see him as a role model in the field of pharmacy, expanding the scope of what pharmacists have to offer in the areas of nutrition, performance optimization, and overall health and wellness

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Follow me on my social media accounts!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/james_holisticfarmacy/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-motyka-253a5613a/

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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