About Amish Shah.
Amish Shah was on top of the world and then he wasn’t. It turns out, health and wealth don’t always go hand in hand. When you lose your health, it’s bad. Let’s take a ride on this journey and see how Amish found his way back and learn from his experience.
Discover nature’s secret code to lifelong health & happiness: Natural Law
Welcome to the urban monk podcast. Dr. Pedram, Shojai excited to be here. Excited to share a pretty cool story. Um, old friend hadn’t seen him in a while, knew he was going through some stuff, had no idea the extent, um, got into it in this podcast. , the, the wonders of natural medicine. Uh, the horrors of misdiagnosis, all sorts of, uh, all sorts of, uh, tales to share with you here. , want to introduce you to the new reboot, go to the urban monk.com/reboot. It’s free. It’s awesome. Check it out. And you’re going to listen to this podcast. , and my buddy Ameesha is going to talk about a new film that he made, um, loves supporting the work of documentary filmmakers. Write this down. Now, if you can, if not write it at the end, the urban monk.com/natural law. So two l’s in there uh without further ado let’s jump into this conversation with the meesh
Pedram Shojai: Well, it’s certainly good to see you, my old friend. Uh, you look good.
Amish Shah: Yeah. Thank you. Good to see you again. It’s been forever, uh, you know, and so good to be connected again.
Pedram Shojai: Yeah. I gotta say, and , this isn’t gonna be a, a disclosure that you’re gonna be freaked out about, like, you look a lot better than the last time I saw you
Amish Shah: get that. I actually get that often.
Pedram Shojai: Yeah. Yeah. You look like you’ve dropped . A dozen years easy since the last time I saw you. And it was one of those things where, you’re, you, you see a lot of people once in a while and , it was one of those, what the hell happened to so-and-so moments.
Pedram Shojai: Um, but you know, you’ve been very public with your story. Um, I. And I’m glad you have, right? Because, you know, there’s a lot of, a lot of rags to riches. Uh, but there’s a, a little less of the rags to riches to rags, back to riches stories in healthcare. Right. Um, and so, yeah, I would love to. You, you were obviously in the personal development space, right?
Pedram Shojai: , but then , , you lost your way a little bit. So would love to just hear how things, what, where, where you come from sort of thing. And then we’ll talk about how things started to go south.
Amish Shah: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I kind of, I’ll kind of start with a, where I think like the health stuff started from, and then I’ll kind of jump into some of the other, you know, entrepreneurial stuff and how. The drive for success and stress and how that affects stuff, but Growing up as a kid, in America, I grew up in New Jersey.
Amish Shah: Parents of immigrants, trying to fit in. Half Indian, half American kind of guy, trying to fit in. That’s all, you know? So for me it was very awkward, I was just trying to fit in, and for me it was like, Alright, I’m going to be rich, I’m going to do this, and it’s the American way, and that’s what I always kind of grew up with.
Amish Shah: I would remember as a kid getting, um, eczema patches, uh, I would get stomach aches all the time, I would get bloody noses often, and we’d go to the doctors and they’d say Pepto Bismol or like something like that, and, uh, on your way, so, sorry son, nothing’s wrong with you, right? Uh, as I got older, that kind of kept going on, and in my late teens, early twenties, I got vitiligo under my eye.
Amish Shah: Uh, and I had a big, dark spot over here, and I still have a little bit of it, but it’s, it’s way gone compared to what it used to be. Um, and I, again, went to the doctor, like, hey, these, what are these spots? Like, coming up on my face, and like, you know, on my body, too, and they’re like, well, you know, nothing’s really wrong.
Amish Shah: We don’t really know why this happens. There’s nothing you can do about it. Try this lotion or this steroid and we’ll take it from there. And I was like, okay, here we go. And so I did that and of course and nothing really helped. Um, and so I again didn’t think anything about it and in my young 20s, I grew up in New Jersey, New York.
Amish Shah: I worked in New York for a while, did the whole kind of Wall Street thing, corporate America thing for, for many years. And just realized that that wasn’t going to be my destiny. So in 20, 2004, during the early kind of dot com boom, I decided to kind of start tinkering online. Um, before I knew it, I had a million dollar business on my hand.
Amish Shah: Um, and I was probably around 24, 25, somewhere in that range, making over a million dollars a year in my business. Uh, profitability, of course, was a little less, but it was eons more than I was making out my job at Morgan Stanley. Um, and so my profit, and I made three, four times my salary in profit in like, you know, like six months.
Amish Shah: Now, it took me two years to get there, tinkering around and stuff, but I, I hit it, and I, I didn’t know really what to think or what to do about it. I was like, okay, just hold off, hopefully this thing will last. And before I knew it, that one had turned into five, and then it turned into ten. And, um, that business was just exploding.
Amish Shah: It was a, uh, one little business that I had started turned into five. Uh, and I was like this tech entrepreneur, guru, marketer kind of guy. Uh, in the, in the mid to late 2000s, before all the social media kind of influencer hype and all that stuff. And, uh, You know, what was interesting about that is it took me from New Jersey, New York, living in a modest townhome all the way to San Diego, La Jolla, square foot house with a pool on the roof, dude, and a, and a theater room, and a elevator, and, you know, I had three exotic cars on the driveway, and at some point, from all the partying, and drinking, and just Just eating whatever I wanted to, kind of just doing literally whatever I wanted to to my body.
Amish Shah: Not even thinking. Just, it’s okay, you know, just drink as much as you can, smoke cigarettes, like, do drugs every now and then, and your body will just, you know, you’re young. This is your prime life, and you made all the money, you achieved all success, you know?
Pedram Shojai: You’ve already arrived
Amish Shah: And dude, before I knew it, man, I was in the shower of that house, in the La Jolla house, man. And. You know, it was raining, like rain shower on me, and I was looking at the ocean from the shower, and my three exotic cars, literally, Ferrari, Maserati, and Audi. And I, I said I wanted to kill myself, dude. And, um, I don’t remember having those thoughts, like, like, so vividly in my mind.
Amish Shah: And I remember being in pain, like my stomach would hurt so much, and I would get these migraines. And like, that was what was causing a lot of my feeling this way. And I had all these businesses, so I had all this stress from these five companies I was running. And it was this multi, multi, you know, million dollar, millionaire kind of, like, attitude and the company and everything.
Amish Shah: We had a software company, we had a marketing company, we had an affiliate network, we had all these things happening. And, uh, I thought I had everything, but I didn’t have my health, man, like, at all, and I didn’t have my happiness. Um, I actually had gotten married that year, too, and, you know, that was supposed to be the most joyous time of my life, and I was, um, I was just in so much pain.
Amish Shah: I went to the doctor, and when I was 29, 30 years old, in that range, 2009 10, now here we are, um, my cholesterol was 387.
Pedram Shojai: Ooh,
Amish Shah: I know cholesterol is like, looked at like, yeah, that’s not a huge barometer, but 387 is actually off the charts. It’s not even like a norm.
Pedram Shojai: that’s, that’s a, that’s a get anyone’s attention
Amish Shah: Yeah, and I was 29. I was 30 years old and like, I had fatty liver and neurogenital failure and like all this stuff and I would get migraines like every day and sinus infections and bloody stool and the eczema was coming back and I was like, what the heck is going on, you know?
Amish Shah: So I decided to just push the reset button, I was like, you know, I went to a Wayne Dyer event actually, uh, and he inspired me to get rid of everything. Push the reset button, and start over, and do what I love, and not be caught up in the hype and the world around me. And that was a, that was a big shift, identity crisis for sure, um, but I did it, I sold everything off over the next two years, and I, I tried to find happiness.
Amish Shah: I was still going to the Western Medical System, getting MRIs and CAT scans, and, you know, I probably saw around 15 specialists or so, every awesome, amazing doctor here at, um, you know, in Southern California. And, um, none of them could tell me what was wrong with me. Um, and I would be in pain, and they’re like, oh, we’ll take this prescription, and, oh, I even had surgery.
Amish Shah: I had a deviated septum surgery because my nose was always clogged all the time. You know, I, I went through a lot, man. I just, I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I was in pain, and they’re like, Nothing’s wrong with you. We don’t, we don’t, nothing’s showing anything. I’m, I’m in pain every day. Like, my back hurts, my neck hurts, my head hurts, like I can’t think.
Amish Shah: Brain fog, like crazy brain fog. Uh, I, it was so bad, and, and you know some of this from acupuncture also, is that um, I was so inflamed that the, the acupuncturist that was putting needles in me, They wouldn’t stain my skin, they would pop out, because I was so inflamed that they wouldn’t stay inside of me.
Amish Shah: The needles literally wouldn’t, they would pop out. He’s like, I’ve never seen this before. He literally told me, he’s like, I’ve never seen this before. He’s like, you are extremely inflamed. So, you know, um, I went green juicing, I went meditating, I went rebounding, infrared sauna, I did what all the wellness experts were telling me to do at the time.
Amish Shah: Something’s gotta give here, I gotta figure out how to get better, and granted I lost some weight, and started looking better, but the pain was not going away. I would still get my migraines, I would still get my sinus infections, brain fog, back aches, stomach aches like you wouldn’t believe, like, knives were being stuck through me.
Quick interruption here. Just want to remind you. Uh, no, from our sponsor, which is me, the urban monk academy. Wants you to check out what’s new in the academy, go to the urban monk.com. Check out the store, lots of new things in there. Um, I am really doubling down on helping provide solutions to all the problems that people face. My series of come in there. Uh, have brought in some certain technologies and products. If you haven’t been in the store in a while, go give it a look, give it a Gander. And. Uh, Enjoy the rest of this podcast
Amish Shah: Um, and I decided to kind of look into my lineage a little bit and I discovered and kind of re stumbled upon Ayurveda. Now, again, I kind of grew up with it, not knowing what it really was. My parents would give me concoctions for stomach aches and sprained ankles. They’d wrap turmeric around it. But I didn’t really know about it near the day.
Amish Shah: Um, and I was like, I think this is going to save me. Because a lot of the core tenant was around the gut and I would always feel a lot of what was going on. In my gut, and weird, weird bowel movements, diarrhea one day, constipation two days, no poop for a day and a half, then all of a sudden diarrhea, and it was just like, I didn’t know what was going on.
Amish Shah: So, you know, um, it was crazy, and when I started discovering Ayurveda, I decided, hey, I’m gonna go for this detox retreat at Ayurveda called Puncha Karma. On this detox retreat, I’m gonna start recording a film. I had sold all the businesses off, I had a little bit of cash. And I wanted to document ancient wisdom.
Amish Shah: And this was from my heritage and my lineage, so I was like, you know what, why, why not? And I had already, um, shot another documentary before that, and that one, that was going to become my new career. It’s a documentary filmmaker kind of, um, career. So, um, I went to my first retreat, and I felt great when I came back.
Amish Shah: Um, but within two or three months, I started going back down. And so then I started incorporating herbs, I started incorporating teas, and started kind of following a little bit of Ayurvedic diet, and it helped, don’t get me wrong, and I would go to these Panchakarma detoxes once a year, just to keep my body from, you know, it was just too much pain, I had to go, and at some point, uh, in around 2016, 2017, I just called it quits, I said I’m just in too much pain, I actually don’t know what’s wrong with me, I feel like shit every day, um, sorry, part of my language, but, um, I can’t, I can’t function anymore.
Amish Shah: I can’t run my company. I have to shut everything down. Uh, and I just kind of disappeared. I kind of disappeared from the scene. Disappeared from hanging out with friends and family. And, you know, I couldn’t, I had two young children. Couldn’t help out around the family. I was in bed by like 7 o’clock. Like, it was just tough, man.
Amish Shah: It was a tough situation to be in. And I just progressively started getting worse. Uh, the left side of my body started shutting down. My left eye stopped moving all the way to the left. And I had all this like hardness in my neck and left side of my body. I couldn’t move my body all the way to the left and the, and, and…
Amish Shah: I wish I could tell you what was going on, you know, at that time. Uh, somewhere around 2017 or 18, uh, 17, actually yeah, 17, I decided to take a random trip, uh, to India to, um, and, sorry, I should back up. While this was happening and I wasn’t feeling well, I, I was shooting various experts, uh, on, in, in, for the movie, so, Deepak Chopra, Sri Sri Ravi Chandra, Mimi Guarnari, like, Dr.
Amish Shah: Vasant Lodge, uh, you know. Uh, amazing experts around the world, scientists and experts and doctors around Ayurveda, hoping that one of them would have the answer for me. I’m like, please, if you knew someone who was getting migraines and doing this, so then I would follow a little bit of their protocols.
Amish Shah: And it would help me feel a little better for a little while. I’d do the detox retreat and then I’d come back and it was like this up and down and my labs were just kind of going up and down all over the place. Just wasn’t the best. So again, I went to India in 2017 after kind of saying, you know, this is my last straw I don’t think I could do anything for this documentary anymore and I was kind of gonna kind of like my last straw So I went to India in the hopes and China in the hopes of something else was gonna heal me So I went all over to these monasteries and temples and churches and Buddhist, you know grounds and Hindu temples and just praying for some help.
Amish Shah: Um, and then I just thought that this was going to be the end of my life soon in the next like five years at some point. Uh, and I, and you know, I told my wife, like, I have to, like, this is horrible for me. And she knew it. You know, just praying. And on that test, uh, on that trip, I took a test at a startup.
Amish Shah: Uh, it was a startup convention, part of Entrepreneur’s Organization. So I went to it, and it was a startup in India that was measuring genetic diseases. So it can measure by a swab what diseases you have. But not just diseases, epigenetic expression of the disease, so how much it’s actually expressed. So I was like, whatever, a hundred bucks, they swabbed me, it’s a startup, I was like, great, hopefully I get my results.
Amish Shah: 2018, I get the results, and they’re going through my report, and they’re like, oh, the things that run in your family, heart disease, I’m like, yep, runs in my family, in fact I had it for a little while, uh, and, um, they’re like 1. 3x, Diabetes, 1. 3x, and I also was pre diabetic at some point during this process, and I’m like, what the hell, how am I pre diabetic?
Amish Shah: Uh, and then, uh, thyroid, same thing, because it runs in my family, and then it said celiac disease, and it said 5. 6x, and when I saw that 5. 6x, I was like, no way, like this, what the heck, like, is this, are you serious? Uh, and so it turns out I have celiac disease, um, and I stopped eating gluten, of course, and the mistake I had made with Ayurveda was that I did not see a practitioner on a continuing basis.
Amish Shah: I just kind of was like, oh, I met someone, got some wisdom, and I’ve incorporated it in. And the Western system, I had doctors telling me to my face that there’s no way I was allergic to gluten or I had a problem with gluten. Um, rheumatoidologist, allergist, they told me to my face, there’s no way I was allergic to gluten.
Amish Shah: And so, for me, I just, you know, not that I ate it a lot, I cut a lot of it out just to be healthy in general. But it comes in everything. I mean, it literally comes in everything. And celiac is a severe response to gluten. And for 38 years of my life, I ate gluten, basically. And so… I made a dedication to Ayurveda because they’re really good at fixing gut issues.
Amish Shah: I had eight to twelve ulcers at the time. Some of them were so big, they were, you could, you could see them, they’d pop out of my, my stomach. Um, and, um, I spent, um, you know, within the first 60 days of really working with an Ayurvedic practitioner, I started feeling amazing. 90 days, even better. First year, I was like on cloud nine.
Amish Shah: Um, and to reverse a lot of the physical body damage that it had done to me with my neck and my eye, I did a ton of yoga, breath work, exercise, you know, and that took me a while. That took me a little longer to reverse the physical. Um, but there I was, you know, in 2021 in meditation, and I remember feeling.
Amish Shah: I was happy, I was healthy, I was uh, thinking about my family and like hanging out with them and smiling and cracking jokes again and like, it felt back to normal. Like I was like, wow, I feel like I would have never thought I could feel this happy or this kind of joy or this kind of freedom in my life.
Amish Shah: Um, I couldn’t remember the last time I felt like that. So I called my editor and I was like, remember all those 40 interviews that we did on Ayurveda? Like, it’s like, this was the hit that I needed to like. Ayurveda saved my life, you know, it, it gave me another chance at life. Um, you know, I had to cut certain things out, of course, I can’t eat gluten.
Amish Shah: Um, and I reincorporated certain things that I can eat now again, not gluten of course, but other things like I had to cut out along the way, dairy, alcohol, coffee, uh, caffeine, things like that. But that’s the beauty of Ayurveda is that it helps you heal and then we find out what the root cause is and then you can slowly start reintroducing the things in balance.
Amish Shah: And your, your body has a certain balance. And so, they, the last two, three years, now, we’ve put together and finalized the film, and we’re launching it, and, you know, I’ve seen so many outside of my just testimonials, when we went to these retreat centers, we would bring the film crew with us. And, I mean, the stu the stories we have on film, I mean, like, you, you can’t explain these things, that Western medical system just can’t explain, like, you know, stage four cancer, like, gone, reversed, with Ayurveda.
Amish Shah: thyroid conditions, MS, children, and autism. Like, I, I am, I’m floored. The more I learn about it, I’m like, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t understand. And so it was wild. You know, Ayurveda is a 5, 000 year old medicinal system. It’s been around for thousands and thousands of years, tested across the whole. Indian subcontinent with billions of people in the subcontinent.
Amish Shah: That’s the data that they had of each other, you know, like, this stuff works for this. So, it’s cool that modern science is finally starting to catch up. Um, you know, some of the things like turmeric, ashwagandha, shilajit, you know, holy basil, all these come from Ayurveda. Massaging, that comes from Ayurveda.
Amish Shah: Um, you know, marma points, um, living your purpose, dharma, that all comes from Ayurveda. A lot of this comes, the wisdom comes from Ayurveda. And so it’s beautiful, and we call the movie The Natural Law because Ayurveda is living in balance according to nature. And when we live outside of these kind of natural laws, that’s when we get, you know, ill health, we get disease, we get off, thrown off balance, or we get sick.
Amish Shah: And it’s put together in such an easy, beautiful way to understand, um, that it’s time for a resurgence of this. It’s time we actually look at this ancient medicine that cataloged 10, 000 plants medicinal, and all different kinds of medicinal plants, and 30, 000 different recipes from everything, from a stuffy nose all the way through cancers.
Amish Shah: You know, um, so it’s a very powerful ancient myth.
Pedram Shojai: There’s a lot to unpack here. Um, A few threads. Start with the one where you were talked down to and misdiagnosed by multiple doctors in this culture. Right? That is a, a very common thread, right? I’m telling you it’s not this piss off. I don’t know what it is, but I’m telling you, I’m, I’m so smart that I don’t know. Um, and. They just missed your diagnosis. Like celiac is a diagnosable illness. Obviously taking gluten out of your diet, change your stars. Right now there is the, the noxious agent that you have obviously, uh, immunological issues with, and then there’s the gut healing, right, which is a long road to recovery.
Pedram Shojai: And I don’t know of a system better than Ayurveda for that, right? I’ve done PK a few times. I spent a fair amount of time in India myself. It’s a lot of gut work, right? It’s a lot of re inoculation. It’s a lot of things to, to heal the gut. And you know, I’ve done a lot of work on this. You know, obviously in my history is the gut is the basis of the body’s health, right?
Pedram Shojai: Um, And so good on you for going back to your tradition to really kind of dig backwards. Curious, did any of these Ayurveda, like what’s the system within I, I mean, I, you know, yes, you did it in India, but you did it with genomics and probably, you know, transcriptomics or something, trying to figure out what your, um, predisposition was for epigenetic expression and, you know,
Pedram Shojai: You know? Hallelujah. It came up with the thing that a lot of people missed. Did any, is there any language for Celiac in Ayurveda? Like, were, were these clues coming up?
Amish Shah: Yeah, so that’s a good question. And so, according to Ayurveda, I was… Okay, so… The basis of Ayurveda is that everything in the universe is made up of the five elements. And those five elements are space, or ether, everything kind of this empty space that we talk about, which is not really empty, but that’s a whole different conversation.
Amish Shah: Uh, air, right? Wind, air, all that stuff, we’re breathing air. Then there’s fire, so there’s the sun, we have fire to cook our food, there’s fire on Earth. Uh, there’s water and earth, so space, air, fire, water, and earth. Everything in the whole entire universe is made up of these five elements. Now, when these five elements combine, they create forces.
Amish Shah: So, ether, or space and air, combine to make vata. Fire and water combine to make pitta. And water and earth combine to make kapha. And those three forces, or doshas as they call them in Ayurveda, basically make up everything in this universe. We’re all made up of all three, but in different quantities. So when we’re born, where both of our parents were at the time of conception, your, your parent, your mom might have been more water, or your dad might have been more fire, or whatever it was, that becomes your constitution.
Amish Shah: That’s what you’re born with. Now, when we live our lives and we’re hit with these stresses from the outside, boom, you get, you know, social media, you get computer, you get food, you get environmental, you get all these toxins and traumas, uh, relationships, whatever it is, these traumas come from the outside and it sets that balance of vata, pitta, kapha off a little bit.
Amish Shah: And one may get elevated. And when that one gets elevated, it starts off as a small symptom. I’m having a migraine, I’m having a headache again, or I’ve got a stuffy nose, or it starts off something. Small or this, I got a little, little eczema patch, something that you don’t really recognize. You’re just like, oh, whatever.
Amish Shah: You move on. And they say slowly over time, there’s six stages to that. And eventually in the sixth stage or fifth stage, it becomes nameable, nameable. You know, I have psoriasis or I have X, Y, Z disease. Um, so Ayurveda, when they were looking at my body, they said I was. I was very high in Pitta. I was too much heat inside of my body, way too much fire going on in my body, and that was showing up because of my celiac.
Amish Shah: Um, and drinking, and whatever else I was doing. And now that I was born already a little high Pitta, it was setting it off to go really high, creating ulcers, creating all kinds of stomach, and… Um, you know, anger and temperament, and these kind of pitta qualities. Now, each of these vata, pitta, kapha have different qualities associated with them, and even diseases associated with them.
Amish Shah: So, in Ayurveda, what I was doing to maintain what was going on, and at least just try and live a normal life was not eat anything that was pitta causing, that was pitta producing, so I’d stay away from spicy foods, fire, right? You want to stay away from fiery foods. Um, spicy foods, you want to stay away from sugary foods, because that converts to fire and more of that in your body.
Amish Shah: So I started replacing them with bitter foods and herbs and I started drinking some teas and that was keeping me kind of just doing this, you know, um, but then I’d get that bout, you know, go to my, go to my daughter’s friend’s birthday, have a little piece of cake, boom, back on my. back on my butt again.
Amish Shah: So, you know, that was my journey. That’s not everyone’s journey. And so, it’s not only used for disease, it’s used for simple things like an ear ache. It’s used for daily life and daily principles. And the key to it is to kind of use it so that you don’t get sick. And you live within these, um, daily and seasonal kinds of rituals where you prevent illnesses from coming to you.
Pedram Shojai: Yeah, it’s interesting when you know the body’s having a fire like reaction. Um, One thing is to not add to the fire, obviously, but then it’s like, why does this keep happening? You gotta find the noxious agent for you. It happened to be gluten for someone. It could be, you know, uh, not properly sealed paint cans in their kitchen.
Pedram Shojai: There’s so many things that can be in your environment, um, that ex that you get exposed to, whether it’s through the air, through touch, through food that can set you off, obviously. And I What a, what a shame. You li you lost. Some of the best years. I don’t, I don’t even know how to say this without making it sound horrible.
Pedram Shojai: You lost some of the best years of your children’s lives.
Amish Shah: I mean, I, I still go back and I am like, like, uh, like I, you know, I, there’s certain things I can’t get back, you know, and there’s one certain thing I just only so much I can do now, you know, and for me, I show up a hundred times more like I’m getting goosebumps right now just talking about it. I just have to show up for them a hundred times more.
Amish Shah: Yeah.
Pedram Shojai: Well thank God you came back. I mean, you could have been a dead guy. Right? And that’s also part of it is you thought you weren’t gonna make it.
Amish Shah: No, I told my wife I wasn’t going to make it actually. I said. You know, through all the meditation and through all the Ayurveda and through everything I’m doing, the one message I get is no one can figure out what’s wrong with me. And I’m just gonna die. Like, this is my, this is
Pedram Shojai: Mm-hmm.
Amish Shah: Uh, and she just, we, we just started crying that day.
Amish Shah: I mean, what, what, what can we do? Because we didn’t, we didn’t know. And I would tell her, I’m like, I don’t know why I act like this. I don’t know why I feel like this. Like, I’m sorry I can’t help change diapers. Like, I just, I can’t. I physically cannot, you know?
Pedram Shojai: Well, it’s not from a lack of trying. I mean, if you were a guy that was holding a bottle of gin saying that it’d be a different story, like you tried to change your ways, right? You were going to all the doctors, you’re doing the thing. And I think a lot of our listeners have had . Maybe not as aggressive of a story, very similar experience where, you know, they felt very kind of talked down to, or mansplained, you know, their health condition.
Pedram Shojai: You know, even with your vitiligo as a kid, it’s like, I can tell you from my medical training that I know definitively what this is. I don’t know how to fix it, but I’m so smart. I’m telling you what I named this. Right? You’re like, dude, I, I didn’t come here to hear
Amish Shah: Ha, ha, ha, ha, this
Pedram Shojai: can you make the spot go away or.
Amish Shah: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. No, it’s so true. And, you know, I’ve gotten everything. Like I said, I even had surgery, man. So, you know, it, it, it’s kind of weird because it’s like, you know, I’ve heard people say this. It’s like, you can’t really blame the doctors even. It’s like the system that’s actually broken.
Amish Shah: You know, the doctors are educated one way, and they don’t, they really, they don’t actually know. They actually don’t know any better. They literally go into a computer, they go by textbook, and they’re like, Oh, this is this, and you should probably take this drug, or get this surgery, or go see this other doctor.
Amish Shah: Because that’s what it sounds like. Um…
Pedram Shojai: And, and, and that’s why they should be afraid of AI coming for their jobs because they’re just following algorithms and they’re not listening. You know, the problem too is there is, uh, an accepted canon, an accepted body of work. X means Y on your rheumatology panel, therefore you don’t have celiac now.
Pedram Shojai: Piss off. You’re wasting my time. Whereas that body of work has been expanded upon, but just not updated in that guy’s universe yet. had someone early on been like, well, let’s just run, you know, one of these Cy Rx arrays. There’s so many ways to,
Amish Shah: I was just like, my, my joints hurt, my back hurts, my, like, my body hurts. Like something is, you know,
Pedram Shojai: Yeah, I could tell you, and you know, and I’ve obviously, I didn’t have it as bad as you, um, because everyone would’ve heard about it. But I, for years was like, you know, gluten bug, gluten bugs me maybe a little. No GI symptoms, no real like, oh my God, running to the toilet or anything. But I was feeling older. And my injuries, my old nagging injuries were like starting to really kind of creep up on me. And then I’d be like, dude, why the hell are my knuckles sore? Right? Like, yeah, I used to punch a lot in the martial arts and stuff, but like why did I wake up with sore knuckles? Right? And it took me a while, ’cause I’m an idiot, right?
Pedram Shojai: To really understand the latency period
Amish Shah: Yes, yes, that’s
Pedram Shojai: It could have been from the thing you ate three days ago, right? And that’s hard to put two and two together
Amish Shah: It was so
Pedram Shojai: life has so many variables.
Amish Shah: Even with some of the journals, the food journals I would keep, it’s like, I don’t even know, it’s like, what, what, what is it? You know, and I tried cutting out alcohol, and guess what, boom, still get knocked down. I’m like, dude, what the hell is going on? And then, you know, so you try and try and try, and then, yeah, you know, some of it is also my fault for not, um, working with an Ayurvedic practitioner.
Amish Shah: I thought I was smart, and, you know, I thought I was like, I was like, I’m a pitta, so that means I just continue whatever they told me after my panchakarma, and that should be good enough, right? Um,
Pedram Shojai: Well in, in all candor, I, you know, and this is, you know, with all due respect, ’cause I come from, you know, a doctorate in Oriental medicine is The systems, whether it’s Ayurveda Oriental Medicine, or Allopathy in and of themselves, I believe are not complete. And I think we live in an era where it’s like, you know what?
Pedram Shojai: The genomic testing and the celiac diagnosis would’ve really helped
Amish Shah: yeah, it was
Pedram Shojai: decade earlier.
Amish Shah: it was amazing, yeah, exactly,
Pedram Shojai: And so these paradigms need to stop. Kind of in, you know, kind of doing their own thing and coming together into a new understanding of medicine that’s respectful of all the ancient wisdom and everything. The Ayurvedic doctors knew all of it.
Pedram Shojai: Um, but you, you know, again, you went to the motherland, um, and did some genetic testing, which comes from the allopathic systems. You know, it just,
Amish Shah: And, and our, our film, our film gets into that too, it’s like, we’re not trying to say Western’s better, Eastern’s better, bashing the Western system and bashing, in fact, look, we’re just here, I think integrative medicine is really the key. And, you know, if you get hit by a car, you have a stroke, you have a heart attack, you break your arm, go to the hospital.
Amish Shah: It’s not the time to find out if you’re about to pit the kapha or if you need an Ayurvedic practitioner. That’s not the time. Go to the hospital. Western medicine is great at acute issues. They’re amazing at trauma, right? And so what we want to focus on for Ayurveda is lifestyle diseases, stress caused diseases, food caused diseases, environmental caused diseases, everything else that we’re like, we don’t know what it is, autoimmune, we kind of label it under this big bucket of autoimmune, um, and it’s like, oh, we don’t know what that is, it’s just Life diseases.
Amish Shah: Yeah, so that’s where Ayurveda can really help and and really Reverse things there. And so how do we bring how do we marry these two is is the key? Um, you know, how do we bring all these different sciences together and, and figure out a holistic approach, an integrative approach?
Pedram Shojai: Yeah. Yeah. I love it and I, yeah, couldn’t have said it better myself is, look, you are advancing a body of work that has 5,000 years and billions of people and un unbelievable amounts of anecdotal and human to human evidence behind it. That is very easy to dismiss by, you know, the fraternity boy club, right?
Pedram Shojai: And that’s just, those days are over, right? Those guys need to chill the hell out, and we need to look at everything objectively because Allopathy has. Been abysmal with chronic disease. So let’s call a spade a spade and let’s look at the chronic disease epidemic and look at systems like Ayurveda and Chinese medicine and you know, and all the natural systems that are much better suited to deal with this chronic disease epidemic.
Pedram Shojai: And you know, it’s very easy for chronic disease to stick around because it’s a profitable model for the drugs. But it ain’t great for a guy who missed a decade with his kids. Is it?
Amish Shah: You know, no, I mean, the answer is no. And, and so honestly, that was the big thing for me and it was like, for all the people that I witnessed healing on my journey of filming this over the course of 10 years. was like for all of them and for all the future people and everyone else that’s in pain. Because I, I, I just, I regularized it.
Amish Shah: I made it normal. I normalized all my pain. I normalized everything that was happening to me. Uh, I figured it was a part of getting old and, and, you know, and you know, maybe I’m just a guy that’s gonna die young and all that stuff. And you, you, we, we don’t have to put up with it. We don’t. And, you know, we are our own doctors.
Amish Shah: We are the… The best doctors is ourselves. And in fact, Ayurveda has two really amazing, um, kind of, kind of sayings that I’d like to say, one of them is that the best doctor has no patients. That’s the first thing that’s said in Ayurveda. Why? Because the doctor has educated and informed the community on how to heal, how to live life, how to manage disease, how to manage these things.
Amish Shah: So there’s no patience. The second thing is that there’s no such thing as bright doctors, only brilliant patients. And so it’s up to us to take the cue to take our healing into our own hands and really find those solutions. And I really feel Ayurveda has. A lot of those solutions where you can take it into your own hand and you can do it yourself.
Pedram Shojai: Yeah. Love this. Love this. I gotta say, you hit it well. Um. Last time I saw you, I didn’t realize that you were that sick. Right. I mean, obviously we were in a busy social context and all that, and that’s where I think a lot of people feel lonely and abandoned and shamed and all these things. Right? It’s like, I can’t let all these health people know that I’m sick.
Pedram Shojai: I, you know, I’ve failed. Right? Like it’s, it’s hard to ask for help.
Amish Shah: so true. I didn’t, I didn’t share it with people. I didn’t, I kept it to myself. I didn’t really know what was going on. I didn’t have a diagnosis, you know, and I didn’t know. I thought, you know, for, for the longest time I blamed it on so many different things. I thought it was mental, psychological problems for us for a while.
Amish Shah: I thought it was demons and spiritual stuff. I thought it was, you know, I went to every avenue to, to, to figure out what the heck was wrong with me. And, and that’s, you don’t tell people about that usually. You know, I think my wife kind of knew most of it, you know, and she was probably the only one. But outside of that, not many people.
Amish Shah: Maybe my parents a little bit, my sister here and there, you know, closely. Close family, but
Pedram Shojai: First of all, you’re blessed to have a great wife, right? A lot of, a lot of people are in a position where people give up on him, right? They say, you know, S screw this guy. So, you know.
Amish Shah: She could have very well done that. I, yeah.
Pedram Shojai: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’re blessed to have a devoted partner, right? That’s, that’s, that’s a wonderful dance.
Pedram Shojai: That’s, that’s grace. Right? And now look at you. You went from a guy who’s covering it up really well to a guy whose, you know, emperor’s got no clothes and you made a film about it.
Amish Shah: I mean, yeah.
Pedram Shojai: I. Yeah, here you are. So I’m actually planning on watching, uh, tonight with my family. I missed the premier. We were outta town.
Pedram Shojai: I’m gonna be watching it tonight with my family. Um, we are going to be offering a free screening of the film, um, the urban monk.com/natural law. Go there, there’s an invite to see the film. I invite you to watch it and then tell me what you thought and tell me what it provoked and brought up for you. Um, look, I, I have a lot of respect for people who go through healing crises and journeys and I, you know, selfishly I have a lot of respect for documentary filmmakers ’cause I know how much work it’s It’s, it’s a labor of love. Um, and. You’ve put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into making it. I haven’t even seen it and I’m proud of it. You know what I mean? Like, it takes a lot of work to document a journey like this, especially a personal one with some, you know, pain points on it. So I’m gonna watch it.
Amish Shah: Yeah. You inspired me to include my personal journey in it. Um, before it was actually just going to be a bunch of doctors. And they were like, dude, you gotta put your story in it. And I was like, ah. I don’t want to put, I don’t know, I don’t want to put me in there. Like, yeah, so thanks for that. I appreciate that.
Amish Shah: Yeah.
Pedram Shojai: You’re very welcome. No, it makes it real. It makes it human and it makes it relatable. It’s, you know, these talking heads don’t relate the way human suffering does. Right? Like I got choked up when I was just thinking about how many years of your kids. Lives you missed, right? Like, it’s just that that hits, that hits hard.
Pedram Shojai: So look, I’m gonna watch it with my kids and my wife tonight. Um, honored that you took the time to do it. Um, thank you for your time here. Um, and again, uh, the urban monk.com/natural law. And, um, let me know. Just go ahead and, um, I’ll put a wave for you to comment back. Let me know, um, what your feedback is, um, and happy to support your work, Amish.
Pedram Shojai: Thank you.