Kamyar has established a firm bond with Lithuania and occasionally visits
the country for pleasure and business. However, Ignas recorded this
interview having drinks at the bar nearby Kamyar’s office in the downtown
of Chicago in April, 2018.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS I get the impression that many of your patients are experiencing psychological difficulties and may even have mental health concerns. Would you agree that this is your field?
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATWell, I would answer that I treat the sick, and all people suffer from mental disorders.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Impaired mental balance?
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATYes, exactly.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS [Laughs] I agree. A mental imbalance is a common occurrence. Here I remember your words about another phenomenon - human consciousness. You said it is not just a brain but a whole-body thing. Did I understand your point correctly?
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATI would say all beings have consciousness. They perceive their inner state.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS You mean living beings?
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATYes, for now, let’s limit ourselves to living beings. [Laughs]
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Okay.
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATAll biological organisms have intelligence and consciousness if we describe consciousness as the ability of that being to perceive its internal state as the external environment changes.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS How would you describe the interaction between the body of a human body and its mental or spiritual origin?
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATWe have to take into account the fact that everything has a material state. Even a thought or an emotion. And that material state… It has to do with the frequency of vibrations. In the East, many ancient cultures knew them, the concepts of chakras, meridians, and in the Mayan civilization, the concepts of rivers of life. Some things vibrate at such a high frequency that it is not detected by modern devices. Thus, everything has a material state that affects other states. Vibrations of one thing fall into other fields of vibration and thus interact.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS You mean - physically interacting? Mass is converted into energy…
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATWell, mass is characterized not only by energy but by the frequency of vibrations.
Man is a multifaceted multi-layered being. It is characterized not only by physical corporeality, both Newtonian and quantum but also by a chemical nature that obeys chemistry laws. It also has the peculiarities of life described in the science of biology. Also, man emits electromagnetic waves according to the principles of electrodynamics: this is how electrocardiograms, electroencephalograms, and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging data are recorded.
Those devices simply capture reflections of physical phenomena.
The fact that only pure physics works here is both true and not. Yes, the simple unicellular microbe succumbs much more clearly than a man to the forces of nature. The more complex the organism, the more important biological origin and physiological factors become. You or I do not obey the rules that apply to mold.
Trillions of cells create such a complex level in the body that classical or quantum physics laws apply to it to a little less than a unicellular being. A trillion microscopic interactions transform into one common phenomenon. Of course, our physical nature does not disappear. As a result, the laws of physics apply to us in principle, but man is not a moving table. Both this table and our bodies are high in carbon, but we are much more than intricate blocks of carbon. A new quality develops in us. It is found because the physical and chemical components themselves seek to transform. It is self-transformation that creates the biological organism.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Human, for example.
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATYes. Humans are made up of a trillion cells, but it is not just an abundant accumulation of cells. Each cell reaches a certain level of consciousness. It has a wall, a membrane that learns and transmits what the outside requires - through neurotransmitters, chemical compounds. Inside the cell are the nucleus and mitochondria. The latter act in their own way, increasingly reporting to the membrane how well they are doing. The membrane transmits this information to neighboring cells, can ask for their help, or send a hormonal signal to the central controller.
Thus, every cell is conscious and has specific intelligence. She is aware of both her internal situation and her external affairs. Affected by the environment, it can reorganize internal activities, adapt. Body tissues work in a similar way to people living in a family: everyone has their own personal world but understands the needs of other family members, shares worries and joys. The harmonious family is reminiscent of a tissue made up of many cells. His consciousness is different from the consciousness of an individual cell, it stems from all cells together. We can still imagine a city inhabited by many families and individuals and compare it to any body organ. The whole body would remind the society of the state: the consciousness of each of its settlements would be different. After all, in Vilnius, you experience a different feeling than in Kaunas, and you observe a different life than in Šeduva or Labanoras.
But you asked how human consciousness or the psyche affects physiology…
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Yes, please continue.
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATAs far as is known, no material basis for thought has been found. Strict materialists or reductionists would say they observe neurological activities associated with thinking. They experiment with functional magnetic resonance scanners as if capturing signs of thinking. Or opening the skull stimulates the centers of the brain, thus supposedly triggering thoughts. Therefore, they argue that the onset of consciousness is material, that it arises solely from nervous activity.
But then how can you hear a song that sounds in your mind? After all, no physical stimuli, no sound waves reach your ears at that time. Why do you dream with your eyes closed, immersing yourself in colorful images, sounds, and movements? It tells me that a certain level of thinking, emotion, and mind does not depend on ordinary matter. If a person has a cardiac arrest, no blood is lost through the brain. Still, there are cases where resuscitated patients accurately remembered every person who revived them: something stood by how they behaved.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Although their eyes were closed then?
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATYes. And the blood had stopped flowing through the brain.
Therefore, there are assumptions that there are levels of consciousness that do not depend solely on brain activity.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Maybe there are such assumptions, but I would like to ask …
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATI will add …
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Yes, please…
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATEven disagreeing with such an approach, we still notice that people not only think, but also react emotionally to thoughts and appreciate them: this is good, the other is bad, this is dangerous, and this is safe. Such an evaluation of one’s thoughts causes physiological reactions in the body that are entirely unrelated to what is happening in external reality. When you are attacked by a tiger or a bear, the existence of the body is threatened, and it reacts accordingly: cortisol is released, blood vessels constrict… But most people experience similar stress, not at all due to the threat to life. They are constrained by beliefs about how things must turn out. As soon as someone turns away from what they would like, emotions arise.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Yes, very human.
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATThey are torturing us.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Perhaps by turning our heads, we would find not only examples of the harmful effects of thoughts on the body but also cases where positive thoughts, emotions, or states of mind heal the body. Or is it just an illusion? Maybe the body organizes in its own way and still causes pleasant thoughts for itself while healing.
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATWhile working in endobiogenics, I notice that there is a reciprocal interaction: the psyche affects somatics, and the body affects mental capacity. Yes, the psyche sometimes affects the body favorably. Here, a person in love feels an inexplicable communion with another person, and at that time we see an increase in oxytocin levels, an increase in endorphins, including cortisol, but cortisol, although considered a stress hormone, in this case, does not have a debilitating but a nurturing health function. On the contrary, if someone feels angry, abandoned, or disrespectful, their physiology also turns unfavorably.
Thus we see that the mental state is disturbed or soothed by the human beliefs arising from his experience, and the psyche affects the body accordingly.
I have worked in the resuscitation and intensive care units. There I studied very carefully how the body works: from cellular mitochondria to general physiological systems. This is how I approached endobiogenic medicine, researching the interactions between the digestive organs at various levels. We have found that even a person’s ability to perceive the environment depends on those interfaces.
Physiology directly interferes with brain activity. For example, TRH, the hormone thyroliberin, the most important regulator of the thyroid gland, also acts as a neuromodulator. It speeds up neurons to exchange signals more efficiently and to transmit information faster. As the frequency of signals increases, you become more receptive and creative, or more paranoid, stuck in depressing reflections. This hormone only speeds up the processes, and their direction is determined by other factors.
It may be that the person is not sick, just his thyroid is a bit weak. The body responds by releasing more TRH, and in addition to its immediate mission, it also accelerates brain activity. The patient seeks help because he is no longer in control. Such a minor disorder of an organ, in this case, the thyroid gland, causes anxiety. The person feels like a newcomer sitting in a Ferrari, unable to drive a suddenly accelerating Italian car or a cyclist sitting on a sports motorcycle.
I work with Americans who have returned from military clashes, experienced severe shocks. These patients suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Elevated cortisol levels and inflammation disrupt brain neurons. So I treat them for six weeks with endobiogenic methods that suppress inflammation and lower cortisol, and without any psychotherapy, their anxiety subsides noticeably, and outbursts of anger disappear. This is an excellent example of how physiology is facilitated psychologically.
Conversely, if a person consistently works with a psychotherapist, meditates, and is attentive, his cortisol and thyroliberin levels and the sympathetic nervous system’s activity are reduced, even without taking any medications or herbs.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS It leads me to conclude that if a person feels completely happy, then his hormonal fluctuations contribute to that happiness. Detection of abnormalities in any of the hormones and their correction can be detrimental to mental well-being. A motorcyclist or a Ferrari driver will not necessarily like to be transplanted on a bicycle.
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATI agree. Just today, one patient asked, “Is my cortisol good or bad?” I replied that there is no good or bad cortisol level. It is just right or not.
You are running a marathon, so your cortisol level should be higher. Normal cortisol levels would not suit you. The measured concentration of one hormone does not mean anything. Personality is created by many interactions between hormones and neurotransmitters. Their combination is unique. If there is a decrease in serotonin in the brain, the blood sugar will increase. It would be a mistake to try to lower your sugar levels without paying attention to serotonin.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS How would you summarize your method?
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATPeople are genetically different: some produce more cortisol, others less. Another thing: everyone can change their attitude towards the world and themselves. You can combine physiology, take psychology, but best - both at the same time. Our bodily function treatment gives patients a couple of extra milliseconds between the sensation they experience and their response. Those few milliseconds are valuable because they enable you to understand the situation and choose how to proceed.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Interesting.
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATBy correcting perceptions in this way, softening the bothering beliefs (“I can’t,” “I can’t get out,” “I will be condemned if I confuse”), we also smooth out the physiological deviations that arise from fear, anger, or resentment.
We have many ways to help. Man is empowered by various impulses of his consciousness and physiology.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Treating both physiology and psychology together is not easy to measure.
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATYes, it is not easy to weigh something when everything is closely connected. I have developed a sequence of formulas to model changes in my patients’ physiology and psychology based on objective research data. In this way, I can not only measure the improvement in their condition but also predict when it is appropriate to offer an individual diet or psychotherapy. That is the essence of personalized medicine for me.
I use both methods. I just don’t take psychotherapy, out of respect, because I understand that a long consistent three or five years of working with a psychotherapist is the best help for some.
And I only work with the patient for one or two years. Sometimes just four meetings are enough to teach a person self-education. I rely on both physiology and modeling of psychological difficulties. I developed methodologies to help overcome the inability to properly enjoy praise and hear the words of lovers. I use herbs to correct physiology, which improves psychology accordingly, even without psychotherapy.
By looking at the data reflecting psychological trends, I can say whether a person feels he has lived a meaningful life, whether he is lonely, worried in the crowd, or catches the energy of others.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Do you see such things from blood tests alone?
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATYes, from blood tests alone. And then, I can teach some skills to improve the patient’s condition.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Don’t you even need to listen to the anamnesis, hear the personal history to come to such conclusions?
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATI just need blood tests and a conversation with the patient. But I don’t ask, “Do you feel lonely in the crowd?” I tell him, “You seem to feel very lonely.” And the person is surprised, “How do you know that? I haven’t told anyone that, not even my wife, psychotherapist, or priest. I really feel that way all the time.”
It depends on the subconscious, and I can teach you how to develop the ability to control your subconscious mind and get rid of restrictive beliefs.
My endobiogenic approach intertwines harmoniously with physiology and psychology. I work as a psychologist, internal medicine doctor, and stress management endocrinologist. Not a single prominent thinker predicted that medicine would turn in that direction: the doctor would have to be an endocrinologist, an expert in internal medicine, and a psychologist.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS It gives the impression that there are precise combinations of active ingredients to deal with every slightest mental upset. Is it possible to discover them?
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATSome psychological disorders can be completely remedied with herbal substances, but sometimes this is only possible by controlling them until the patient can change on his own. This requires willpower effort and specific skills.
If a person suffers from anxiety, I would seek to regulate his sensitivity to cortisol and adrenaline by prescribing natural preparations. That may be enough to make the anxiety go away. If a patient still complains of constant obsession with anxiety, I could stimulate the synthesis of GABA acids in his body until a person gets rid of disturbing beliefs. Until he overcomes his fears, the body will respond accordingly. My herbs will only support the dam to keep it from collapsing, but will not reduce the water pressure.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Or maybe you just need another herb or molecule to relieve that pressure?
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATMaybe. However, my experience and approach say that challenges and difficulties create opportunities to grow. For a person who has achieved peace and desires something more, it is worth resorting to self-development. If all patients did this, I would be out of work as a doctor, but that is my highest goal.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS You would probably have to look after them anyway. People are so prone to losing their balance…
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATBut they also tend to learn.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS You mentioned the importance of a will. What is its source?
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATWill means openness to change. As long as a person feels like a victim, he or she is closed to change. Once opened, it opens. Perceiving difficulties only as a threat to our comfortable life, we remain closed, and seeing them as an opportunity to grow and strengthen, we open up. By developing openness to change, we perceive the future as an area of freedom: many roads with weak barriers.
Sometimes a patient who finds me - I don’t advertise, patients find out about me from each other - wants to be heard. I am open to their stories, sympathetic to their suffering, and that is often enough because the desire to be heard is essential to a man on this Earth. We have been missing this since childhood.
When a fallen child clashes in the knee, the loving father attacks him, saying, “Nothing like that, all is well, nothing happened.” And the child is not well. Otherwise, he would not cry. He feels weak because he has not been able to stay on his feet, scared, maybe even deadly. For him, it is a crisis of existence. By saying that all is well, the father calms himself, not the child. The father feels guilty for not protecting him, and thus underestimates his suffering, his fear, which is truly the fear of dying. Of course, the father behaves in this way completely unconsciously.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Strangely, but that’s exactly what I experienced today before we met. My six-year-old collapsed in the park and crammed the road. I don’t remember exactly what words I was trying to calm him down, but I probably acted like the father you just told me.
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATIt’s so natural for every parent. And the child just wants confirmation: “You are scared, it hurts. Let me hug you and kiss you to make you feel better.” Recognize the suffering, show the way out, and offer help.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Is that your principle?
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATI create space. As they say in California, I hold the space and allow the patient to fill it. Sure, patients tell all sorts of facts about their symptoms, but they also fill that space with emotions: how they feel sick, how the illness changes their relationship, their self-confidence, their ability to feel like a man or a woman. The person feels listened to, and that feeling creates a therapeutic relationship between us.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Your method seems exceptionally comprehensive.
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATI try to be comprehensive. [Laughs] Otherwise, I would feel inadequate for the other person.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Your blood tests are also extremely comprehensive. But if I were to ask you for one indicator from which you can mostly judge a patient’s condition, what would you say?
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATTotal blood cell count. This simple indicator is closely related to the response to stress. It changes abruptly - in minutes or seconds, but very well reflects all systems’ performance, even psychological aspects.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS What about cholesterol?
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATAbout 70% of cholesterol levels depend on hormonal balance, not diet.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Do you think it matters what that level is?
K.H.KAMYAR HEDAYATNot very. It is more critical for me to understand how the body handles my cholesterol. If a person has a slight increase in cholesterol, and the test data also show high testosterone and signs of inflammation, it will seem much more serious to me than the other case where the cholesterol is very high, and the inflammation has no odor. It is essential to see the whole picture.
I.S.IGNAS STAŠKEVIČIUS Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your views and experiences.