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How to Fix Your Mitochondria

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  • Learn to understand the role mitochondria plays in recovery and sustainable health.
Chronic Illness
Robby Besner PSc.D.

Hey everybody. It’s Robby Besner and yes I’m back with another exciting episode in our Lyme series. Today, days of all days, hold on to your bootstraps because we have Dr. Lisa Koche with us today, and she’s amazing. I’ve known her. It feels like forever because we’re kindred souls connected at the hip. And she is just an amazing dynamic practitioners. She’s located in Florida on the West Coast. We get there often enough. So every so often I get a big hug, which is amazing. And she’s a shaker and a mover. She is putting together retreats. She’s putting together, she has an amazing practice and you can get her at spectrawellness.com or you can find her also at dr.lisakoche.com and that’s spelled K-O-C-H-E, right Dr. Lisa? Cool. All right. So Dr. Lisa, welcome to the healthy hotline and you’re gonna talk about so many amazing things today that I’m just kind of riveted and hanging at the edge of my seat. So to start with, why don’t we just sort of give a little backdrop on, a little bit of your own personal journey. I know you’ve had your own challenges and then kind of let’s dive into where Dr. Koche is today. And then from there, we’ll just unpack some of the super important things that you have to tell us.


Lisa Koche, M.D.

Absolutely. Well, thank you for having me. It would not be a summit with you on it if I couldn’t be involved. So I appreciate the opportunity. So, yes, as Robby alluded to, I like to say I was gifted with childhood leukemia at the age of 15, and I was diagnosed after I can’t physical. So I felt fine. Went through three years of chemotherapy, then had a mass on my ovary and had to have it removed. And they found quickly thereafter that I had to go back into chemo, which unfortunately led to chemo induced heart failure. So between the ages of 15 and 20, 21, I was really handling all and still managed to graduate at the top of my class, get into medical school with the whole purpose of trying to find the why. 

So I wanted to understand what got me sick. Why did this happen to me? And as I went through training, I would watch as countless patients would come in with similar complaints or not necessarily complaints to me, but different kinds of complaints. And we would put them through the ringer, whether it was scans or labs or other types of treatments. And we wouldn’t really answer their why either. And I would ask questions over and over again. Okay. I understand that, but why are we doing it this way? Or why is this, you know, 21 year old getting diagnosed with cancer? Whereas this one is fine, or why is this person coming in with Lyme? The other person got bit by a tick and they’re fine. 

And the answer I would get is this is just how we do it. And that was over and over again. And so I like to kind of look back at that part of my life as a gift and that I wouldn’t, I learned early on not to trust the narrative and that’s sometimes I would have to forge my own path. And I went on to start a primary care practice focused on prevention instead of treating disease. And I trained myself in vascular disease and obesity management, and started learning nutrition and hormones and all these things we weren’t taught in medical school. And I found that I got, I actually helped myself feel better because after I had my daughter, which by the way, nobody really thought I could even get pregnant or didn’t know that if the weather I could, after I delivered my daughter, I got Hashimoto’s psoriasis sinus problems. I couldn’t open my eyes. They told me I would need eye surgery. I had to have sinus surgery. 

So I kind of crashed and burned after the stress of pregnancy, which a lot of the viewers, I’m sure me, I’ve experienced some worsening in their problems or fertility issues in the first place. And it just led me further down the path of searching alternative means. And that was what led me to kinesiology and muscle testing, forging a phenomenal partnership that I’ve had the natural path in my office healing by my side now for 17 years. And I just continued unraveling and healing my own body through bringing in the best of both traditional medicine and integrative medicine. So that brought me to a focus at one point of studying things like the mitochondria, which were kind of glossed over in medical school, but play a huge role in healing from all types of chronic issues.


Robby Besner PSc.D.

Wow. What a story. It’s amazing. And I just love how you shift from people feeling, and this is a big psychological challenge that many people with chronic elements in general, but now we’re talking to the lab community. Like, why me? Like, what did I do to deserve this? You know, did it come from a prior life generation of emotional challenges and DNA or that I accumulated in my emotional DNA, so to speak. And I love how you, you sort of frame your own journey as a gift, and it’s really a different way to look at it. That’s so inspiring because through when you come out the other end of the tunnel, as you’re in that journey, you start to realize that all of these little challenges bumps in the roads and all that stuff that life gives us, the universe gives us, they really opportunities to learn and grow, find our purpose, get a tough skin, whatever it is to become, go from surviving to thriving. 

And you’ve done that. And that’s just so important as a beacon for everybody out there that’s watching to understand that certainly you’re skilled, but people out there can do it too. Cause we all have that innate ability inside of us. You just have to get away from the victim mentality so to speak, to looking at all of this situations as opportunities to grow and learn. And I think that that lesson number one out there. So again, hang, hang tight because Dr. Lisa’s gonna teach us some more. So let’s keep unpacking this. I know a lot of your special, oh, by the way, she has an award-winning book. 

If you guys haven’t figured it out yet, “It’s Get Lit”, L-I-T, and you can get it on Amazon. And many of the things that we’re talking about today and if we don’t have a chance to cover them all will be covered in the book. So check that out. Okay So foundational tips for health, give us a feel for kind of things that you might feel in your practice and by her practice is multidisciplined, as she mentioned, it’s integrated and functional. So she’s one of those doctors that actually fixes people. And for that reason, it’s hard to get ahold of her, by the way, Dr. Lisa I don’t even know this. Can people find you virtually, will you do some kind of interaction with people-


Lisa Koche, M.D.

Today as of today? No, but I’m in the process of bringing in another couple of practitioners to help me with the load in person in my practice so that I can do a little bit more virtual work. With our retreats and our bigger workshops we’re trying to reach more people. I will be doing a little bit more leading and teaching and webinars online as well. So just to kind of stay tuned for that.


Robby Besner PSc.D.

Yeah. And a lot of people, by the way, that I, even that I know personally, they’ll travel in, they stay at a little Airbnb, not too far from your clinic. And then you get to interact with them for you work it out of course, with your staff. But you know that you can go and you can hang out and then have multiple meetings and so forth set up in my kind of one week, do a, almost a complete overhaul.


Lisa Koche, M.D.

That’s the best way to go, just because you can experience all the modalities. So when you talk about, let’s say, quote, unquote, “Fixing”, I don’t like using that term because I can throw all of my knowledge at anybody. But if you, the patient is not willing and able to see yourself as a healed sovereign being, then I cannot help. So I do provide a lot of amazing information, ways to look at the body and maybe differently than even all the different specialists you’ve seen, but it is the patient themselves who, who heals themselves. So it’s always a partnership with me and my patients. And what we do is we sit down and we just decide what layer needs to be peeled first. 

And that could be in most people, which I’m sure you’ve had a lot of conversations on this, on your, in your summit is, is just looking at things like the gut or balancing out the hormones or looking at your stress levels and your thyroid and your adrenals. Those things are imperative. We can’t skip over the basic fundamentals of the healthy immune system, which is based in your gut of taking a look at anything in your life, whether it is foods you’re eating, whether it’s the phone ringing, whether it is deciding if you’re gonna go partner with someone in terms of whether it’s a business venture or a relationship, is this nourishing me, or is this draining me, which is one of my favorite questions to kind of pose to people. 

Because I think a lot of times, especially if you’ve experienced a chronic illness, you sit with either conscious or subconscious guilt of putting out those around you and you learn by default to self-sacrifice and kind of become disconnected from self and do things to make it easier for those around you. And then you end up getting drained by the very fact of, of doing those types of actions. 

So I think some very basic groundwork, which is taking a look at what you’re doing to nourish yourself, taking a look at what you’re putting in your mouth every time you eat, you know, is this, is this nourishing me or draining me. And if you make a decision to have something that tastes good, just because it tastes good, fine, let’s decide that, but let’s get right back to eating a nice clean non-processed, lots of fruits and vegetables, organic type based diet. So those basics have to always be covered no matter what we’re talking about, whether it’s Lyme or chronic Epstein-Barr or Hashimoto’s or some other type of medical issue, I think anybody starting and anybody listening right now, just taking that moment to look at, and I divide this in my, in my book and to body through online, I think just taking a look at, at your body and what, how you’re treating it. 

Are you exercising? Are you hydrating? Are you sleeping well, are you taking some good quality supplements maybe that you need, have you balanced things and worked on your gut and then taking a look at your fuel because it’s imperative and by fuel, we’re talking about not just the food that you put in, but the people in your circle and the mindset of like you alluded to, if you stay in victim mode, which is a super easy place to go with chronic illness and just to share one more personal caveat, I got through all of that crazy time with my daughter. And then I was even able to have another child at the age of 41. 

I got pregnant with one ovary after five years of chemotherapy and no fertility. So this boy wanted to be here, but after I had him and he was delivered under general cardiac anesthesia, because my heart gave out at the end of the pregnancy, that just another time of being tested. But that was that journey was what brought in the next stage of healing modalities for me to share with all of my patients and when I’m coming up on my four year anniversary. 

So my son is now almost 10. I went in back into self sacrifice, potentially victim mode, not knowing it consciously. I had a teenage daughter playing competitive soccer. I had a toddler, I had a growing, crazy practice, a seven days a week attorney for a husband. And I just was, I had lost connection to self. I was not consciously present, honestly, in hindsight I can see that. And four years ago, I ended up on the beach, unable to walk after going into early menopause. And I had to be in the hospital for eight days and have a special type of pacemaker put into my chest to allow me to get out of the hospital. 

And then the point of sharing this crazy part is I can look back now and even that when I was laying in the bed saying, being tested again, which a lot of your viewers have been over and over again, I’m laying there and saying, what is it now? All I do is serve, I’ve learned these lessons. I’ve been taking these gifts and using them and healing other people. And the message that came through loud and clear was you’re not using the gifts for yourself. So sitting here today at the four year anniversary, my heart is healthier than it’s been in 20 years. The cardiologists don’t understand how I healed myself. I’m able to work out on Peloton. I feel amazing every day. And it’s, again, that gratitude for the gift of pushing me to the edge to realize how important our subconscious thoughts, how important self love, how important sort of sovereignty and being an observer instead of being a victim, had to become for me to heal.


Robby Besner PSc.D.

Amazing, really amazing. Connection to self. In other words that I use when I coach I talk about listening, or finding your inner voice and that as good as a doctor as you are, and maybe me as a health coach, the best doctor on the planet is the voice inside of us. And it’s very easy to get disconnected from that voice, but that is the voice that actually is your subconscious is your higher power. It’s, you’re the consummate of that dialogue that’s going on. And in my pursuit to try to bring optimal health through some of the devices that we develop, I ask and you’ve mentioned this, and it’s so important to team up with the patient and the customer to allow them to go through their own journey. 

It’s all personalized. So we’re all special, but we’re all the same in so many ways. And so my testing, what I do is I just say, “Hey, this is the general guidelines, but let’s dial that in to how your body is interpreting that.” And the only way we can do that is through the signs and symptoms and somewhat the way your body expresses that journey. And that is the individual part that I ask everybody to dial into. So if you had a little too much, the key isn’t to call me or to call you as the practitioner is to identify what that is, and then be able to make a decision on the moment, because as good as you are, you’re not standing in my shoes, when I’m going through my own journey. 

So that is such great advice to just be come more aware of that inner self, that inner voice. I love that. So, I’ve known you for so many years and one of your areas that you just you’re, it’s part of your persona is this whole, the mystery around my mitochondria. So let’s unpack that a little bit because we hear it’s the powerhouse and we hear it wears two hats and all these things about it, but being a specialist and you’re one of the ones that, it’s got to pass the Lisa Koche litmus test, so to speak, like you need to dive into the deep science behind it before you’ll put your name behind anything, and I’ve always respected that about you. So give the people out there that keep hearing those words about, oh yeah, I gotta get my mitochondria going. Like, what does that mean? What is mitochondria? And let’s just talk about that a little bit.


Lisa Koche, M.D.

Well, I love how we can go directly from me in the hospital bed asking what do I need to do to heal, because I truly believe, and if you look at where mitochondria are most concentrated, it’s in your brain, your heart, your muscles. I truly believe that by switching my mindset and finding self love and really pouring in, the discovery of boundaries and reconnecting to myself that what I was healing in large part was my mitochondria. So what, what the mitochondria is, it was its own bacteria millions of years ago. So that’s what’s so fascinating about it, meaning that it was its own organism, and it was able to exist on the planet before people were here. So if you think about something that’s able to exist, it has to have a way to sense harm. It has, it should. It’s likely sensitive to things like light and noise. And we, all we know about them is that back then, we as a species, decided to engulf them, kind of hijack them and put them inside ourselves. And so they’re in every cell except for one, which is our red blood cell that we have these “engines”, quote, unquote, but they’re, they have their own DNA, which is nudges for protein, and they have the ability to sense the external environment. 

So there’s a lot, we do not know to this day about mitochondria. This is unfolding as we speak, but one of the most, like I’d say Rhodes, that really like where I, where my road forked was when I was quizzing my daughter. Cause we learn about mitochondria in biology in high school or eighth grade. And that’s honestly about as deep as it goes. So she asked me to quiz her and she hands me the packet in the first like eight pages were about a leaf. And I was like, come on. I thought this was about that. This was about the mitochondria. 

And as she looked at me and said, mom, they’re the same, the chloroplasts and mitochondria, what’s the big deal. So I take a look down at this drawing and the structure did look almost exactly the same. So I filed it over here and said, I know that’s important. I don’t really know what it all means. And about six months later, I was listening to a podcast as I was driving into why light seems to help our bodies and the ketogenic diet that kind of presented itself to me way before it was on every street corner, both of which work predominantly at the level of mitochondria. And I overheard the interview with its neurosurgeon. And he was literally saying over and over again, wake up people, the chloroplast and the mitochondria are exactly the same. So I was driving down the road, kind of like going, oh my God, I know that I saw that. And then it made me really start processing some more and taking things from the complex level of the science lab, where you look at this thing under a microscope, and it’s got all kinds of pieces to it. And at the level of mitochondria, you’re taking oxygen from the air, you breathe and electrons from the food that you eat, putting it through this incredibly complex set of steps and the Krebs cycle, and spitting out an energy molecule, which we call ATP. And the truth is we’re not even totally sure that that is what’s happening. 

Just like we’re questioning things like Newtonian physics. Right now, many things in science are coming under question, which is exciting. But when we look at the complexity of the mitochondria, I took a step back and said, “Well, why don’t we just look at them, plants, if we’re pretty similar to the chloroplasts, what does a plant need to grow and thrive?” And that there’s really just three or four main things, and we can do these things. So to give your viewers actionable steps, no matter how sick they are, honestly, for most people, they can still do these things, which is the first one that a plant needs is the ground. So plants can thrive because they have connection to the earth and we’re uncovering more and more how the grounding frequency for the planet is important for our bodies, how we have been disconnected because of EMF and Wi-Fi and all of those things that I’m sure other speakers have touched on, but just putting your bare feet in the grass or in the earth, incredibly healing, even for five or 10 minutes or finding devices that can help you get that frequency in the air. 

So that’s one, the grounds, number two, water. So using making sure not only were incredibly hydrated, but knowing that there’s a difference in water, it can be more structured and more alive. And I know you have an incredible tool with your pitcher, but there are other ways, whatever way you can to achieve that structured water, which can be as simple as grabbing a handful of blueberries and throwing it into your water. I squeeze half a lemon and throw in some Celtic Sea Salt in mine, just started adding a new product that I’ll mentioned in a second. But I think making sure that you’re hydrated, literally, I’d say 90% of the patients I see are, are dry at a cellular level. So if you can just pump up the water, but not just reverse osmosis flat, put it back through whether it’s a vortex like your pitcher, whether it’s crystals, whether it’s berries, finding way to structure it. 

What else does the plant need? The other huge point is light. So we know that, and this is the exciting, really exciting field that is again, uncovering more day in and day out, which is we have photo receptors. So who even knew that was a thing, but we have receptors on our cells and especially at the level of mitochondria that respond to light. So whether that’s, the mixed waves of the sun that you can get, especially before 10:00 AM, is one of the best ways to charge whether it’s using red and near infrared devices, there are lots of ways to bring light into your body. And even if you are having trouble getting out of bed, you can order a red light device and treat your mitochondria. 

They will it will trigger mitochondrial biogenesis, which basically means you can actually make new mitochondria by exposing them to the right kinds of light. And then the last being, we’ve all heard that plants, some people have green thumbs and we know plants can grow in environments where people are kinder. We bring, we bring live plants into the office. You can see one kind of over my shoulder. I am kind of meticulous about that in the, when I first hired the company to bring the plants in, they told me a story about a law firm, where they office has got the exact same amount of sun. Everything was exactly the same and it was the same plants. And I guess the one person was a little bit more kind considerate, energetically sad, had some self love and the plant was just like blooming everywhere. And the other office, they kept having to replace it. So that brings up the healing capacity of mindset. And my goal, one of my goals on this planet is to tie the science behind all of this, to the spiritual outcomes. And that’s something that you and I have talked a lot about working on together and continuing to do some clinical trials to get the science to where we need it to be.


Robby Besner PSc.D.

Wow. So we are plants or plants are us that’s revelation. And when you just described that, just that simple example of the energy and the way the plant receives that energy that’s transmitted through feelings and emotions. It reminds me of that famous study that Emoto did and where he took to a group of people and the same water source, two different days, one, he instructed one group, the first group or the same group the first day to just think about and have their minds focusing on putrid, on hate, on everything that’s ugly in the world, in their lives. And then he took that water. He froze it and looked at under a high powered microscope and took pictures of it, had the same group back, same water source second day. 

Then he asked the group to just hold hands and talk about love and, and everything that’s beautiful in their lives. Same deal, froze the water, took high powered pictures of it. And the difference in the way that that water had actually received that energy and interpreted it in its form, one was kind of ugly and putrid. And the other was beautiful crystal clean, just like you see from snowflakes. And now that is, our bodies are whatever. If you drink a bunch of water, it’s 72 or 74% hydration, your brain is like 81%. Your cells are like 98%. So the structure of the water and the intention you’ve put into the water through your thoughts and your words and your prayers, why are so many religions built around prayers and hymns and vocal songs and, and chanting. 

And then holy water, will you touch this water? That’s been empowered with all this great positive energy. Where do you think it’s all coming from? What does it all mean? It’s all the same stuff and we all have the ability to do it. It’s just shifting your consciousness. The things that you’re talking about, these are so primal and amazing and simple, and we can all do them and amazingly inspiring. So, wow. What we’re nearing our close. We only have a few minutes left. So thankful for the time that you’ve dedicated to give us these tips. So are there any things that we might’ve left out that you feel are important to share with us today before we have to go?


Lisa Koche, M.D.

I think just understanding that we don’t make a 180 in a day and allowing the space and forgiveness for maybe how you’ve handled a diagnosis, how you handled relationship issues that have popped up while you’ve been sick, or while somebody you love has been sick, holding grace and space, and just starting from today and taking baby steps. Let’s get maybe think about ordering a red light, but you could today just go out in the sun for five minutes. If you can’t tolerate five minutes, do it for one minute, put your feet in the earth. If you can’t get outside, maybe consider grabbing one of the grounding tools that you have access to. Hydrate and structure. Like it just, it doesn’t have to be an immediate dramatic shift. It’s just take it from where we are in this moment. This is the moment that matters is the only moment that matters. And let’s see what we can do to just make our healing possible, because I do believe anybody and everybody can heal their body completely.


Robby Besner PSc.D.

Wow. Wow. How powerful is that? So you said something that I needed to close with that was so heart felt for me. And it’s really, it’s a difficult process to find a specialist and someone that is so sensitive like you, Dr. Koche And so many of the Lymers out there watching. They’ve gone through a litany of practitioners, some of them, they went to there, weren’t lying. They are looking at your, your symptoms. They think, they look at the blood labs and all that, and they go, you’re crazy. 

Go see a psychiatrist. There’s nothing wrong with you, but the individual knows innately that there is, and that things are off you, you touched on the relationship when you find a great practitioner like yourself, about the teaming effect that it’s not just, the all on the doctor and all on the patient, that there’s really a teaming up. And the frustrations that are around that when you’re a practitioner trying to impart knowledge, but the patient isn’t ready for it yet. And I use a phrase in, in when I hit that wall with people that we’re coaching, which is, if you will let me, I will love you. And it’s sort of lets it all that lets it all drop, right? So it is all about sharing and it is all about communication. 

It is all about love and making that connection. And it’s so important that all you Lymers out there understand that you need to let it go a little bit, let go of all that, those shackles and burdens and walls and sort of the prisons that we’ve all created around ourselves, shed that. And in your closing, what I thought was so beautiful is living in the now all you have is this moment. So let’s make the most of it and the best of it. And I so appreciate all the tips you gave us. They’re foundational, they’re primal. You can get started right today. You can get inspired and it could just be as easy as putting your toe. Now that the weather’s changed, just get outside in the morning and get some of that fresh sunlight and embrace the day and be happy you’re here and that you’re breathing and that, you’re alive. And so thank you so much for today and all of your amazing work, spectrawellness.com, Dr. Lisa Koche superstar. Thank you for joining us and get her book “Get Lit.” It’s amazing. You can get it on Amazon. Thank you again, Dr. Lisa, you’re amazing.


Lisa Koche, M.D.

Thanks Robby. 


Robby Besner PSc.D.

Have a great day. Appreciate you.


Lisa Koche, M.D.

Thank you. You as well, take care.


Robby Besner PSc.D.

Hey everybody. It’s Robby Besner thanks so much for joining us today. Please share this content with anyone that you think might benefit from it. And we’re looking forward to having you with us tomorrow for another great interview.


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