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The Tree

a large tree depicting fall, winter, and spring environmental changes all at once

  • Main Ideas

    Learning Objective

    Your health can be viewed like a tree that has roots that feed the branches and leaves.

    Behavioral Objective

    Begin thinking about the "root" causes of what is influencing your health for better or worse.

    Key Thought

    Our environment is the major influence on our physiologic function which determines our health.

  • Main Ideas

    Learning Objective

    Your health can be viewed like a tree that has roots that feed the branches and leaves.

    Behavioral Objective

    Begin thinking about the "root" causes of what is influencing your health for better or worse.

    Key Thought

    Our environment is the major influence on our physiologic function which determines our health.

  • Read*


    What we see on the outside doesn't necessarily reflect what is happening on the inside... so also for our health. Jamie Wright, D.O. shares an interesting perspective on how we might begin viewing our health to enable us to address better the influences in our environment that may be detracting us from enjoying a healthier and more fulfilling life.

    "The Tree" of Effects and Causes

    Here's an interesting way to think about health: if you think about a tree, the leaves, branches, and such that we see visibly are like the result. It's the effect of something. If you have a brown spot in your yard, it's the effect or the result of something that is the effector. In the human health world, we might call this a peculiar behavior, signs or symptoms, or some laboratory data, so that's the stuff that we can objectively see.

    In many ways, we have people who look well, but they tell us they're not. It's harder to see that. We often can't see it clearly in their behavior, body looks, or general vital signs. We often can't even see it in the data because the types of testing we conventionally perform don't always reveal it, or the advancement of our testing can't reveal it now. We're relying on their symptoms, but when the symptoms don't match this lovely-looking person in front of you that tells you they're miserable and they're hurt all the time, they have brain fog, it's a little bit inconsistent until you maybe dive a little deeper under the covers.

    If the tree and the leaves are the effects, signs, and symptoms, the tree roots may be the cause. The roots here represent the physiologic functioning or dysfunction in the case of disease. The physiologic system is malfunctioning, but some level of function occurs if the organism is alive. Again, that function is the best that the organism can do, given the environment that it is in, outside and inside: outside the body, inside the body, inside the cell, and the epigenetics or genome. We've got these signs and symptoms here, the root, physiologic drivers as a cause, but what's supporting the physiology here?

    What is Environment?

    Anything and everything that can influence our physiologic function.

    • Food
    • Physical Activity
    • Air
    • Mindset
    • Sleep

    You can classify environment as anything and everything that can influence or does influence our physiologic functioning: food, physical activity, the air we breathe, our mindset, and how we sleep. This is because our physiology must respond to everything that's coming at it.

    Everything is the environment.

    You get this cycle where all these things of life, the food, the fitness, and by fitness, I mean that broadly. Sedentary would be a form of fitness. Sleep or lack of sleep, the physical spaces we live and how we think, all of these things are interacting, and the arrows probably go back and forth and all over, interconnecting, but this creates our wheel of health, our wheel of wellness, our vicious cycle of disease, or our vicious cycle of well-being.

    When I share this view with others, it resonates with them, even those you would not necessarily consider to be on a high intellectual plane. People intuitively understand that everything in their lives is connected because they feel it and have been feeling it their whole lives. Just by pointing it out in this simple way, I believe that we can help others connect the dots between their environments, how they're living, the decisions they're making, and how they're feeling and then begin to make changes that will promote a vicious cycle of health.

    Lifestyle Guidance Must Be:

    1. Simple: the TRUTH
    2. Persuasive: "That's right..."
    3. Within Reach: "I could do that..."
    4. Measurable: "I know where I've been..."
    5. Goal Directed: "I know where I'm going..."
    6. Meaningful: "My life will be better..."

    That's where we get into how to assist our patients or augment the treatment plans that we have for them. How do we equip them to live a not health-autonomous life, if you will? I call this lifestyle guidance. I've been studying human behavior, behavioral economics, linguistics, and different things in the field of the brain and how the brain thinks and how we respond to things for a long time. Right now, that needs to be in place when we're helping a patient establish a goal or believe something so that they can go on to take some actions that will have an impact.

    It's got to be simple. To me, the simplest stuff is the truth, and that little wheel of wellness seems to resonate with people as being true. Another truth that resonates with people is coaching around food and nutrition, the idea that, "Hey, you're a living being, so doesn't it make sense to put living food into a living being instead of a synthetic or highly processed food?" People go, "Yeah. That makes sense." By their nature, truths are persuasive, and you know that you have resonated with someone when they say to you, "That's right."

    The goal or the idea has to be within reach where they feel like, "I could do that." Probably, it should be measurable so everyone can know where they've been, goal-directed, meaning, "I know where I'm going," and meaningful, "This thing I'm trying to do will make my life better in some way that matters to me."

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Since COVID-19, and the ensuing economic challenges in the USA economy, we respectfully ask that you allow some additional time for delivery for the carriers (USPS, UPS, and FedEx). Most orders still arrive on time, or near on time, but some may run late. We make every effort to get your order packed and into the carriers hands the same day, or by the next business morning if your order came in later in the previous day after carrier pickup, but we have no control over any delays that may happen within the shipping carrier's delivery system. Please order earlier for the time being if you are time-sensitive.

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Shipping Options

Country Option Schedule Cost
United States Standard 3-6 Days $4.95
United States Priority 2-4 Days $9.95
United States Free 7-10 Days $0.00
International FedEx International 4-7 Days $79.95*
International GlobalPost International 12-21 Days $39.95*
*International shipping costs may be higher depending upon package weight and destination. We will contact you for your approval of the additional amount if this occurs. may use the email or phone number provided on your Order to call or text you regarding Order Status or to inform you of changes to the Order Policy.

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International Shipping

Shipping anything these days internationally is expensive. COVID resulted in more rigorous customs import processes, and now with much higher energy prices, international shipping rates are higher.

FedEx is the most reliable and faster carrier, at least for now, but they are expensive. Our FedEx international shipping fee is a minimum of $79.95. It usually makes more sense to get several months of supply (3 months or more) in one order to minimize the shipping expense per order over time. While the added weight of additional items may increase the base shipping price by a little (usually 10-25% depending upon total weight and destination), it is usually not by very much relative to shipping an additional small order later.

We also offer a lower-cost international shipping option using GlobalPost International for $39.95. So far, they have been reliable in getting packages correctly delivered but it takes 2 - 4 times as long to get the package delivered. Packages may take longer to process in the receiving country's customs process and status updates may not be reported as quickly. Please be patient if you choose this option to save money.

Some International orders may cost more to ship depending upon weight and location. If that happens we will contact you first and get your approval for any additional charge before proceeding. International orders may also be subject to additional customs fees and duties/taxes based upon the destination country's customs import laws and policies. These fees are NOT known or included on our order form and are typically charged and collected by the shipping carrier when they are delivering the product to it's final destination once the package has cleared the destination country's customs process. It is recommended that the buyer research custom import fees for the products/services they are importing beforehand to be aware of potential, additional fees.

Shipping Refrigerated Products

Our manufacturers formulate their probiotics to ensure their products retain viability until they reach the consumer. Probiotics that are recommended to be refrigerated remain so until the time of shipment, then shipped alongside an ice pack to ensure potency (Note: Ice pack will not arrive frozen, and product may not arrive cold). Orders placed on a Thursday-Sunday requiring cold shipping will not ship until the following Monday.


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Changes, Returns and Refunds

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If we have made a mistake on your order, or the product arrives in a damaged or unusable condition, we will make every reasonable effort to right the situation quickly to your satisfaction. Problems of this nature must be reported to us within 5 business days of the package delivery date documented by the carrier status.

We accept returns subject to when the return is requested and the condition the product is returned in. All returns must first be authorized by contacting us. In your request, please let us know why you are returning the item(s). We will respond promptly with authorization, the return address, and a return shipping label if appropriate.

If your order has already shipped you can return any un-opened products within 30 days of receiving your order for a 100% refund of the price paid for the product, less the actual shipping charges we incurred to get the product to you originally and then returned, less a $10 restocking fee. Un-opened means the protective seal on the bottle or container, or the shrink-wrap on the box or kit, has not been broken and the product has not otherwise been damaged in any way. You may use the original packaging for the return or acquire your own. We will provide the return shipping label. We DO NOT accept returns for NuMedica products once the protective product seal has been broken.

Upon receipt of returned product(s), we will refund your credit card within three business days for the product(s) returned.