Tick Bootcamp Hosts Share Their Lyme Journeys

Tick Boot Camp Hosts and Building Community 

Matt and Richard of Tick Boot Camp join me this week to talk about their Lyme journeys, why they started their podcast, and the importance of community, hope, and advocation. 

Find more about Matt, Richard, and Tick Bootcamp:

Tick Boot Camp Instagram

Podcast Website

My Interview with Tick Boot Camp

 

The Tickbootcamp Hosts and Their Lyme Journeys

Mimi MacLean:
Today, I have the two founders of The Tick Boot Camp Podcast, Matt Sabatello, and Richard Rich Johannesen. To get my Detox for Lyme Checklist, go to Lyme360.com/detoxchecklist. Hi Matt and Richard. Thank you so much for coming on today. I really appreciate it. And I’m excited because I want to just talk about your podcast and your journeys with Lyme as well. So I would love to, whoever wants to take it over first, why you decided to start The Tick Boot Camp.

Richard Johannesen:
Hi. So Matt, I guess I’ll be the first to start. We started Tick Boot Camp as a response to a challenge that Matt and I faced together. Matt was suffering from chronic Lyme disease, and after the time that he had spent on disability had expired and he had to go back to work, there was some unhealthy folks who tried to target him and have him fired from his job. And a mutual friend of ours contacted me and asked me if I’d be able to, willing to help Matt defend himself. And that was kind of a weird request for me as a practicing attorney, that I was being asked to help someone to defend themself.

Richard Johannesen:
But as it turns out, Matt was so sick he was unable to defend himself. So as part of helping Matt to defend himself, and as part of developing my defense, I had to learn about Lyme disease. I was generally aware of Lyme. I grew up on Long Island, and I’ve been dealing with ticks and tick bites my entire life. And I knew that Lyme disease existed, I just didn’t know it could take a chronic form. And meeting Matt, after some gap in time between when we first met and when we started to work together, was shocking to me because Matt was so sick. His physical appearance had changed. But even more importantly, his inability to process thoughts and to speak to me was unbelievably powerful and painful.

Richard Johannesen:
And then I had my own journey with getting a tick bite after I became Lyme woke. And I didn’t know what to do. I found a tick biting me at a time when I was really vulnerable. I was going through some changes in my business, and I had three children who were in different levels of graduate school, a daughter in law school, a daughter in graduate school, and a daughter beginning her college education. If I had gotten sick the way Matt had gotten sick, my family would’ve been screwed. So I actually called Matt when I had gotten bitten by the tick and I asked him for what I should do so that I wouldn’t get sick. And as it turns out, Matt really didn’t have much advice for me other than to hold onto the tick and to visit with my doctor. And I did not have a good experience with my doctor’s office, which then sent me on this research journey. And I’ll let Matt share some more of that with you.

Matt Sabatello:
So Mimi, one of the things I really want to point out here is how sick I really was and what was now the inspiration of our podcast and the Tick Boot Camp platform is I was somebody who was working full-time. I was an adjunct professor. I was in my 20s. I was running every day. And I went from being this uber healthy, fit person to being bed bound. I mean, I literally could not walk to the bathroom without fainting or falling down. And to be very blunt about it, I was peeing in a cup. That’s how sick I was. And I was out of work for a year, and when I went back, I was still very much neurologically impaired. And that was at the point of my journey where I was told, “We gave you 21 days of IV antibiotics. You’re cured of Lyme disease. It must be something else.” And I was at that confused point of my Lyme journey thinking, “Well, what’s going on? I’m still really sick.”

Matt Sabatello:
And that was a time when I went to Richard’s office to seek some help to keep my employment. And thank God we were able to win that fight, and I’m still at my job today and doing much better and actually having a lot of success there. But that was sort of the foundation or the beginning of our relationship, and the inspiration of Tick Boot Camp today.

Getting and Feeling Better

Mimi MacLean:
How did you ultimately get better? What did you use?

Matt Sabatello:
So I did a lot of things. The IV antibiotics for sure helped me significantly with the neurological stuff. I had seizures and hallucinations. Those are two of the most debilitating symptoms that I had. The paralysis was really bad as well. There were times I just couldn’t walk. I couldn’t move my legs. And the IV antibiotics, when I was done with those 21 days of IV antibiotics, the seizures stopped. The hallucinations stopped and I was able to walk again. But I still was extremely light sensitive. I still was extremely sound sensitive. I still was extremely cognitively impaired, meaning I couldn’t really process sentences. I’d think of something I want to say and the words wouldn’t come out. And that was not who I was.

Matt Sabatello:
And Rich was able to see my prior to that, I was a very energetic, talkative person. And when he saw me, as he noted, I couldn’t get the words out. So that was I think the first major part to my healing journey. And then from there, the rest was natural. And at this point, honestly, I credit the Restore Kit by Dr. Rawls and some of his other protocols like the HPA balance and his Biome Boost to really helping me get to where I am today. And I don’t say I’m in remission, but I’ve definitely come a really long way to where I was post antibiotics four or five years ago.

Mimi MacLean:
And I’m sure the people who you work with are probably like, “Okay, you’re not making it up anymore.” They see you’ve come back, and so they know it was real.

Matt Sabatello:
Maybe it’s a wild journey because especially when I first came back to work, as Rich noted, I was so impaired. And for them to see me heal over the last four to five years, I think it’s been really powerful for them as well to see that transformation. And now I’m pretty much known by everybody at my job. I mean, there’s hundreds of people in my building, and I’m just Lyme advocate. Everybody knows [inaudible 00:06:34] that we do, our Tick Boot Camp Podcast. Everybody knows about our platform. And in fact, I work for local government, and every year they do a ton of Lyme awareness initiatives, and now they’ve become very supportive of Lyme now that they’ve realized how bad it can be.

Matt Sabatello:
In fact, we have several elected officials that are going to be speaking at Ali Moresco’s one year anniversary of her Advocacy Express program. And they’re going to be talking about the importance for elected officials to advocate and raise money and awareness for people like us, Mimi. So it’s been kind of interesting to see that transformation of really being targeted for termination because I was so sick, to them becoming more understanding and realizing this is real. And there’s hope people can get better. And now they’ve become part of the movement to raise awareness. 

Mimi MacLean:
That’s great. I’m so glad it’s all come full circle. So Rich, so you were bit by a tick. And then what was that journey like? What did you do to make sure that you didn’t get Lyme?

Richard Johannesen:
Well, unfortunately, I didn’t have a good experience with my doctor’s office. And Mimi, just for context, I had been bitten by ticks many, many times in my life. I grew up on Long Island. We call it the Lyme belt here, Matt and I. And ticks were always a part of our lives. During my childhood, we had a side door and a front door, and we were not allowed to enter our house in the front door. We could only enter in the side door. And right on the shelf right near the side door that we’d walk in was what we call our janky tick kit. My mom had a vat of Vaseline, tweezers, and matches and napkins on a shelf because we had so many tick bites, either ourselves or our companion animals that we were regularly pulling ticks off of us, and that was a part of my entire childhood.

Richard Johannesen:
So ticks and tick bites were not strange to us, but it became a very different experience for me when I suffered the tick bite after Matt and I started to work together because I just didn’t think I could get that sick. And from seeing Matt, who was as he had described, an uber fit young man, really articulate, really capable young man, who I’d worked with on a political campaign, to then seeing this guy sitting across from me, who had gained substantial weight, who had lost his hair, who couldn’t speak to me, I mean literally couldn’t speak to me. He went from being this really feisty, articulate, the guy who doesn’t shut the F up, to now a guy who couldn’t at all get words out to me was just shocking to me. And so when I suffered my tick bite, I literally had an anxiety attack. I’m in the shower looking at this tick, and I pull it off my leg. And I have more sweat coming out of my body than I have water hitting me because I felt like my kids were screwed.

Richard Johannesen:
I made a commitment to pay for their education. I have a small business. And if I got sick like Matt, my kids were screwed. So I was going to make sure that I didn’t get sick. And I did what old men do, I did what traditionally educated people do. I went on Amazon, I bought every book on Lyme disease, and I read every book on Lyme disease. And what I did was, I called Matt. And our friendship was born out of my post bite interaction with Matt because Matt couldn’t read at the time. He was so neurologically impaired, he couldn’t read the books that I was reading. But when I was reading the books, I’d read a chapter every night after word and I’d call Matt, and we would talk about it. And then I’d read the next chapter and I’d call Matt, and we would talk about it. And I’d read the next chapter. And we did that through, as it turns out, 32 different books on Lyme disease. But unfortunately, I didn’t have an action plan. I didn’t feel like I was in a position where I can keep myself healthy. 

Richard Johannesen:
My doctor’s office had failed me. They were absolutely incompetent, despite working in the Lyme belt. Actually couldn’t even get in to see my doctor, Mimi. When I called the doctor’s office the day of the tick bite after speaking with Matt, the gatekeeper wouldn’t give me an appointment. She says, “You’re not sick. You don’t need to come in.” I was jumping up and down and she finally said, “Well, the doctor’s too busy. She can’t see you for six weeks. But I’ll get you in to see the PA next week.” I ended up going in to see the PA and I did what Matt asked me to do. I brought the tick and I showed them the tick. And I said, “Hey, here’s the tick.” And he hands it back to me and says, “Yeah, I don’t need to look at that.” And I was like, “Are you going to test it? Is there anything you can do?” “No, we don’t need to. We’re just going to put you on doxy. Five days of doxy, you’re going to be fine.”

Richard Johannesen:
And actually, one of the things that he said to me that really pissed me off was he said, “Had you come in earlier, I could’ve given you a day of doxy. But because you got in here so late, I’m giving you five days of doxy.” And I was like … It was just one bad experience after another. 

Mimi MacLean:
Why didn’t they just give you one day of doxy over the phone? Right? Okay, you have a tick. Great, I’ll just send in one day of doxy. 

Richard Johannesen:
Well, as it turns out, either one day or five days wasn’t going to be enough either.

Mimi MacLean:
Doesn’t matter.

Creating The Tick Bootcamp Podcast

Richard Johannesen:
But I didn’t know that at the time. So at the end of our reading journey, quite frankly, I was more frustrated than I began the journey. So I then turned to Google Scholar and I started downloading all the scholarly materials that were available. I would read those articles. I would call Matt and we would again talk about those. And this went on for months where we’re having these conversations. And my frustration level was getting higher and higher. And then Matt kept saying to me, “You really should go on social media, Rich. You really should look into interacting with people who’ve been on the journey. There are a lot of them. They will help you.” And I was like, “Listen, I’m not going on social media. I’m an old man. Social media is not a place where I’m going to have any success. I’m not going to get into a bathing suit and show off my dad bod in exchange for getting information. I’m not doing this. The only time I go on social media is to try to limit my children posting inappropriate things, which I never had much success with either. So no, I’m staying away from social media.”

Richard Johannesen:
But when we got to the end of the journey, I was more frustrated than when I began. As it turns out, the real experts were not the people who I thought were going to be experts as a traditionally educated person. They aren’t the people at universities, or in doctor’s offices, or in medical centers. They were the people who’ve been on the journey. When I finally went through the part of my growth experience and I accepted Matt’s invitation to participate and with folks and interact with people, the folks who’d been on the journey, we found the real experts. And that’s how we started the podcast.

Mimi MacLean:
That’s great. That’s great. I love that. And so how long have you been doing it for?

Matt Sabatello:
So we’ve been doing this for almost two years now, Mimi. And it’s been a very wild journey. We actually today are going to be interviewing our 220th guest on our podcast.

Mimi MacLean:
Wow. So is that one a week? I can’t even do the math. No, that’s more than that.

Matt Sabatello:
Two a week, yeah. And we take Christmas off and New Year’s off. So we do two a week, and about two years, and it’s been … We’ve learned so much. And I’m sure as you can relate, Mimi, we keep thinking we’re going to hit a time where we just can’t learn anymore. But just yesterday, last night, we interviewed somebody, and we had pages worth of notes of new content that we didn’t know before about Lyme, tick borne illness, and just all things chronic Lyme disease. So there’s so much to learn, and I think that’s the part that’s so successful about our podcast is people keep coming back because there’s so much more information that they can use to help themselves heal and make advancements in their own health.

Mimi MacLean:
That’s true. That’s really true. I’ve enjoyed your podcast. You’ve had some great people on there, a lot of people on their Lyme journeys. What would you … I know right now you have a Tick Boot Camp program. I don’t know. You changed the name of it. If someone were to get bit, or a preventive program. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Richard Johannesen:
Sure. So one of the things we did, Mimi, is we asked every one of the guests that we’ve interviewed at the end of the podcast, what they would do if they were bitten by a tick. And it was inspired by my experience. I wanted to have a step by step guide to follow when I suffered my subsequent tick bites. And by the way, I’ve been bitten by ticks twice since my first tick bite two years ago. And Matt has been bitten by ticks twice since we started this journey together. And my experience is very different now because I have a blueprint. I have steps I can take to protect my health. I have steps I can take to help and enhance my immune system to defend me against the pathogens that are going to be spit into me. And we put that up on our website. We put up the steps for the post bite, which we call our tick bite blueprint. And we actually have now expanded that, and we created something that we call the Lyme Freedom Formula, which is the ACRE formula.

Richard Johannesen:
So A stands for avoidance and what steps you can take to avoid coming in contact ticks. The C is checking, and how to properly check for ticks. The R is is how to properly remove a tick. And then the E is the early intervention. What we have on our platform right now or on our website is the early version of our removal and early intervention. And we’re going to be building that out and releasing that sometime over the next couple of months.

The Tick Bootcamp Blueprint for What To Do If You’re Bitten

Mimi MacLean:
That’s great. Now what would you say though right now if someone were to call you and say, “Okay, I got bit last night. What do I do?” 

Richard Johannesen:
I would have them go onto our tick bite blueprint and follow the steps on the blueprint. Now I think what’s most important to keep in mind is that if you find a tick biting you, again, based on my experience, I had an anxiety attack in the shower when I saw the tick biting me. Right? And the good news is because I was in the shower, I pulled it off and I held it, and then I wrapped it in a piece of toilet paper. I didn’t throw it away. I didn’t let it go down the drain, but that was just fortuitous. I didn’t manage my alarm system that had gone off. I just luckily held onto the tick. Right? But what happens with most people is they lose the most important piece of evidence they have available to them, which is the tick. Right?

Richard Johannesen:
Because you can test that tick and you can find out what pathogens, at least those pathogens that are testable that are in the tick, and you can use that to tailor how you’re going to ultimately boost your immune system. And what we actually did when we first started this podcast is we actually sent my tick from my first tick bite to a company named Ticknetics. And we had them test my tick to find out whether or not there was information that I could’ve used to treat myself, again, I guess it was a year later. And as it turns out, it was a really enjoyable experience to have that information. So what happened with my doctors testing me was they actually gave me doxy for five days. And then they brought me back six weeks later and they tested me for Lyme disease, and only for Lyme disease. Well, as it turns out, the tick that had bitten me was a lone star tick. And a lone star tick does not harbor Lyme. Right? 

Mimi MacLean:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). 

Richard Johannesen:
So the first flaw in my interaction with the doctor is, the doctor didn’t even want to look at the tick. And I did point out to … I’m sorry, the PA. When I interacted with the PA, I said, “Hey, this tick has a white spot on its back. Does that mean anything to you?” He’s like, “No, it doesn’t mean anything. Don’t worry about it.” And we were having this back and forth. And at the time, I didn’t know that it should’ve been significant. It had a white spot and it was a female lone star tick. I know that now. I didn’t know that then. And that would’ve guided my approach to testing, for example. One of the things that I would do now is I’d want to be tested for alpha-gal. Right? Because lone star ticks are the ticks that cause people to suffer from that meat allergy. I was never tested for it. I wasn’t treated for it. Right?

Richard Johannesen:
The other thing that we had learned when we had the tick tested is that it actually had Anaplasma. As it turns out, when I was talking with the microbiologist who did the test, she said, “Well, the good news is the doctor should’ve treated you with doxy anyway, so you lucked out and the pathogen that was in your tick was a pathogen you were treated for that maybe you would’ve wanted to have doxy for a little bit longer. Maybe there would’ve been some other tools you’d want to use. But, at least it did cover you because you had this broad spectrum antibiotic, and Anaplasma was going to be [inaudible 00:17:25].”

Richard Johannesen:
So the first thing we’d want folks to do is we want them to recognize that their smoke detector is going to be set off, and that emotionally, they’re going to want to engage in behavior to get rid of the tick and not hold onto a most important piece of evidence. So we’ve made some recommendations on our website about how you could calm yourself down before you’d remove the tick. Then you’d of course want to hold onto the tick and have the tick tested so that you can tell her your treatment. And then there are a number of different steps that you would take to both give yourself some protection, for example, we recommend that you use bentonite clay and you use the bentonite clay to suck out any of the pathogens. We recommend that you put antibiotic cream on the bite because there’s a great deal of research that shows that using antibiotic cream will actually be very helpful in attacking the pathogen and going down the pathway where the pathogen has gone.

Mimi MacLean:
Gone in.

Richard Johannesen:
We would recommend of course you take a number of other steps to enhance your immune system. Initially, we were recommending using something we learned from the Buhner protocol, which was going to be a [inaudible 00:18:26], but we’ve sort of learned from there and the recommendation we would use now is that we’d recommend that people use the Restore Kit. And again, there are a number of other steps on our blueprint that we’d recommend.

Protocols and Advice on At-Home Treatments

Mimi MacLean:
Yep. So Matt, I know you guys probably get the same similar requests that I do. I often get emails of I’m sick, I know I have Lyme. I don’t have money, or my doctor is a six month wait. Is there anything I can do from home? Do you guys get that kind of request a bit? I do. And I was just curious how you respond to people if they ask you that.

Matt Sabatello:
So our general response is we try not to give too much medical advice.

Mimi MacLean:
Of course.

Matt Sabatello:
We usually refer people to Lyme doctors who’ve been on the podcast. But I do share anecdotal experiences that I’ve been through that have helped me from home because you know some of these specialists can take months or years to get into. So if somebody’s suffering from chronic Lyme and they’re telling us they’re having specific symptoms, there are things I think in general that you can do with your primary care doctor that will help you feel better. And one of the things that seems so basic but have been so powerful for me is having your doctor just run a full blood work panel. Right? And I was extremely vitamin D deficient, which was causing a lot of symptoms for me as well. 

Matt Sabatello:
And once I got that, my vitamin D levels back, I started to see some symptom relief. And then I also noticed that my vitamin B levels were nonexistent too. So working with that and improving those levels and taking some supplements, I’ve been able to get my levels back up and see some positive improvement in my symptoms. But from a microbe standpoint or a pathogen standpoint, if people are waiting to get into a Lyme specialist, I think the thing that I wish I knew when I first got sick, Mimi, almost six years ago, is that you don’t have to wait to get pharmaceuticals. There are natural things that can and will help you heal. And you can get them at your door within a few days. Right?

Matt Sabatello:
So if you think or you know you have chronic Lyme disease and you’re waiting to see a specialist to treat you, you can literally go on, and there’s so many protocols out there. Rich and I just, we both happen to love Dr. Rawls and the Restore Kit, which is chronic Lyme protocol. And you can order that, have it in a few days, and start that protocol. And you will literally be treating Lyme disease while you’re waiting to see your doctor. And it also helps you from the standpoint of building up your immune system because we know so many people with chronic Lyme have an autoimmune reaction. Or they have a diagnosis of something like lupus, or one of many other autoimmune diseases. And the benefit of herbs and natural medicine is many of them, like these immune modulating herbs, can actually help reset your immune system so it doesn’t attack your own body like it is today.

Matt Sabatello:
So they have a lot of antimicrobial properties that are not just against the Lyme bacteria, but many co-infections like Anaplasma, Babesia, Bartonella, you name it. They also help kind of reset your immune system, and it can be a really strong foundation for people to start treating with natural medicine that they can get on their own before they see a Lyme doctor.

Mimi MacLean:
It’s true because I feel like, and I’m sure you’ve felt this way too, when you’re desperate and you’re sick, you kind of feel like you’re just grasping, almost like you’re drowning, and you just need to grasp. And the only one that’s going to save you is a doctor. And so that’s when you kind of … And then you go for six months and it doesn’t work. And then you go to the next one, and then the next one. And all of a sudden, you have a whole closet full of whatever they recommended. And everything’s different. Right? And so I think until you stop and just take a deep breath, there’s so much you can do at home that people don’t really talk about. It could be just make sure you’re drinking eight to 10 glasses of water. Make sure you’re eating well and get the sugar and the alcohol and all the crap out of your life. There’s just a lot of basic things that you were talking about. Just build up your immune system, and like what you’re saying, go back and get your vitamin D. I would even throw in there mold or parasites.

Matt Sabatello:
Yes.

Detoxing and Healing from Lingering Symptoms and Infections

Mimi MacLean:
Have your regular practitioner test for those two things. Right?

Matt Sabatello:
Heavy metals. Yeah, for sure.

Mimi MacLean:
Heavy metals. 

Matt Sabatello:
And I think the one thing, Mimi, that I want to focus on too is we learned a new word last night. And we’ve heard it before, and I never really liked the word intuition, but they interviewed Liz Walcott, who used the word body confidence. And she said, “I just knew there was something else going on. I knew there was something wrong. But I was with a doctor. I got a little bit better, and I got stuck and I plateaued.” And that’s sort of where I was, and I wish I was able to lean in on my body confidence and know that something was wrong and pursue other modalities to treat myself far sooner than I did. And I think looking back on my journey, and everybody’s different, but I would’ve loved to have done the IV antibiotics for six weeks rather than four weeks, and coupled that with some really intense herbal therapies like the Restore Kit and some detox protocols because I was getting so sick when I was on the IV antibiotics because I was [inaudible 00:22:57] and I wasn’t properly detoxing or removing the die off that was happening for me.

Matt Sabatello:
So I think there is, for people that are very much I believe in Western medicine, you can combine Western and Eastern medicine. In fact, many doctors will recommend that. And I think that’s another good approach people can take if they want to hit it from both ends of the spectrum.

Mimi MacLean:
Well, you bring up a really good point about detoxing. Right? Because I think that’s so pivotal because a lot of people who are not getting better from Lyme is their body’s not able to detox for some reason. Right? So just look at ways to detox at home, if it’s a sauna, if it’s jumping on a trampoline, if it’s taking a bath. Right? I mean, there’s so … And that is just so therapeutic.

Matt Sabatello:
Dr. Burrascano, I don’t know if people are familiar with him, he’s one of the early Lyme leader doctors here from Long Island, New York, who his license was almost taken away from him. And he literally had to spend over $1 million dollars to just keep his license to keep helping people in the Lyme community here in New York. And we interviewed him a couple of months ago and he told us that without movement and without getting your body to get some circulation and light exercise, you’re never going to be able to fully recover from tick borne illness. And it took a while of us researching and really kind of leaning in on them to elaborate on that. 

Matt Sabatello:
And it kind of made sense because as we’re starting to [inaudible 00:24:09] these pathogens, if we can’t detox, if we can’t get our blood circulating, if we can’t get our lymphatic system moving. For those who don’t know, our lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump, so if we don’t naturally find a way to move our lymphatic system, we’re going to be poisoning ourselves. We’re going to be having these toxins in our body that aren’t being flushed out. So one of the things that I’ve been able to do gradually is rebounding, as you noted, Mimi. So I literally go on a little mini trampoline every day. And I’m up to a couple hundred bounces every day, and that’s been able to get my lymphatic system moving. And I’ve been seeing some really great results just doing that a couple of minutes a day, a few hundred jumps that I worked up to. And that’s been really powerful.

Matt Sabatello:
And even just walking is something that is really, really powerful. And when I was bed bound, there were things I could’ve done as well, stretches and things. I could’ve done literally yoga in my bed. There’s YouTube videos for it that I wish I would’ve known the importance of moving when I was bed bound because I could’ve felt better than I did by doing some gentle movement when I was at my worst.

Future of the Tick Bootcamp Podcast and Platform

Mimi MacLean:
You never think you’re going to get better from just moving a little bit because it’s so painful. You’re like, “I can’t move. I can’t move my arm. How am I supposed to stretch or whatever?” That’s kind of the place I was at. So Rich, what’s your plans with the Tick Boot Camp going forward? Where do you see it going?

Richard Johannesen:
We see it going in two directions, and I think the first thing that I’d like to do before I even give you that is I’m a little concerned about the desire on the part of people who are sick to find a particular doctor who’s then going to make them better because I think that sort of emphasizes the unhealthy relationship that we have with our doctors, I had with mine, and I think most people have with their doctors. So the question you had asked Matt sort of triggered a different kind of response from me, which was, well if somebody’s waiting for their doctor, or they’re waiting to get into a doctor, and they’re therefore paralyzed because they don’t think there’s anything they can do, or they don’t have any money, I think defines the really important challenge we’ve identified during the course of interviewing the 220 folks we’ve interviewed, and that is that the industrial medical complex has put us in a position where we think that we hand our health over to someone else. And that person or those people are then going to give us some solution that’s going to make us better.

Richard Johannesen:
And that’s a mindset that I think has to be broken. The mindset has to be, I’m going to heal myself and I’m going to find a team of people, or I’m going to build a team of people who are going to help me find frameworks that are going to help me to get better. So there’s much that people can do to get better. And that’s really the spirit of our platform, Mimi, to sort of bring together the two questions you’ve asked me. We’ve put up the framework for our podcast and our platform, and we have four pillars, and the first is validation. Lyme disease is an invalidating experience and we believe that if you listen to the stories of other people who’ve been on the journey, you will find a place where you’ll have validation, where you will be able to accept that you’re sick, despite your doctors telling you, you’re not sick, and your family members telling you, you’re not sick, and your intimate partners telling you, you’re not sick. You’ll get that validation.

Richard Johannesen:
The second thing we wanted to do in our platform is we wanted to create a community. We wanted to find a place where people can connect with one another, just like I was able to connect with people who were giving me advice when I was on my journey. We’re finding that many, many people are connecting through our platform and they’re working together, in some cases even developing businesses together. So you want to have that community, you want to have people who understand what you’re going through and can support you through that. We want to make sure that people have hope. And one of the things that we really enjoy about doing our podcast is we’ve interviewed 220 people who’ve given other people hope. Your podcast for example, when we interview you, Mimi, we loved your podcast because you left everyone with hope and belief that they could get better. And that’s a really important part of this.

Richard Johannesen:
And then the last thing that we’re hoping to do is we’re hoping to find models for people so that they can find someone else on the journey who’s had a certain level of success. And they could use the steps that person is using. Matt calls these the hacks, but they will have hacks that they can use they need to make the changes. So the goal of our platform and what we’re hoping to do moving forward is to touch on all those pillars, to create validation, or a place where you can get validated, create a place where there is community and you can get support, create a place where you can find the hope that you’ll need to heal, and you’ll need that long before any information or any frameworks that a doctor’s going to be able to give to you. And then of course, find models for your healing journey.

Mimi MacLean:
That’s so true because it really … I love how you talk about how you kind of have to take control of your journey and not give that control because your body can heal itself if you let it. You just have to figure out why it’s not doing that. Right? And it really comes down to, I was just talking to another gentleman who his wife passed from cancer. And it’s not much different. Right? You’re on this journey that your body is fighting itself. And he said, “Really, I’ve learned that it comes down to four things. It comes down to your sleep, your exercise, your food, and stress.” And so it’s stopping and making sure all four of those things are in check. And if any of those things are out of line, you’re not going to heal no matter what you have, if it’s Lyme, cancer, an autoimmune. And so stop and make sure. Where am I missing in this journey that it’s not working? 

Mimi MacLean:
I think for anybody who’s listening, who listens to both of our podcasts, some doctor is not going to get you to the finish line. And if you don’t have the money to get to that expensive doctor because none of these doctors are covered by insurance, it’s not worth going completely broke over because there’s a lot you can do. I mean, look at Dr. Rawls’ protocol like you guys talk about. He healed himself with it, and so he’s there to help too. You don’t need to go to a doctor to do that.

Richard Johannesen:
Look, I think there’s a danger, and that’s one of the things that I want to emphasize. We on our podcast have interviewed over 200 folks who have used the star doctors or the star doctrine. I’m not going to mention any names because I’m not looking to be critical of anyone. And what we find is that more times than not, the star doctor did not make any difference in the journey that someone who’s gone for it made a very limited, had a very limited impact on that person’s experience. I think the feeling that if you get into see star doctor A, I’m going to get better is dangerous on two fronts. First, it puts you in a position where you’re paralyzed and you’re not doing any of the things you need to do to prepare to heal. 

Richard Johannesen:
But even more importantly, you’re going to be let down. That doctor is not going to heal you. You’re going to heal yourself using that doctor and other people on your team that you’re going to build to help you to understand the signals your body is giving to you. And that mindset has to change or you’re not going to get better. It’s just simply the reality of what we’ve seen with 220 guests that if you’re waiting for the star, you’re not going to get better. 

Mimi MacLean:
It’s true. Well, this has been amazing. Is there anything we want to end with, or any other thoughts to leave the listeners?

Matt Sabatello:
Hey, Mimi, I just want to say that I think something that’s so important and that is personal to me is if you don’t have hope, you’re not going to get better. And I was there for many years, where I thought where I was, was the best I was ever going to be, and I was wrong. So I don’t care where you are in your journey, don’t think you’re stuck and don’t think you can’t get better. You can. Don’t give up. Listen to your body. Keep trying to find a team of doctors and keep working on improving your health and trying things because you can and will get better. And I think it’s very dangerous to just get comfortable with where you’re at and not believe in that hope that you can get better from tick borne illness.

Mimi MacLean:
It’s so true. Rich, for you?

Richard Johannesen:
Yeah, Mimi, I just want to invite folks to be a part of the community because one of the things that Matt didn’t share with you is that the process of participating in the creation of the Tick Boot Camp platform and the creation of our podcast is actually what caused Matt to heal. In the beginning, Matt was not even able to honor his commitment to participate in the podcast and I’m doing these interviews by myself. The guy who doesn’t have Lyme was interviewing the people who did have Lyme. And as time went on and as Matt became a part of this community, it allowed for him to go through a healing that he didn’t have the ability to heal before. So I think it’s really kind of Matt to give credit to his doctors who had given him some early antibiotic treatment. I think it’s kind of him to give credit to Dr. Rawls and his great protocol, which by the way, I’m on myself. I am on the Restore Kit myself, even though I don’t have Lyme disease, because I believe that’s the best way to be cellularly healthy and prevent myself from getting sick. 

Richard Johannesen:
But it really is the validation of the community and the hope and the models that Matt has been able to learn through interviewing other people on the journey that’s allowed him to heal. Matt’s available to everyone for free by just listening to The Tick Boot Camp Podcast. 

Building Hope, Community and Connection Through Tick Bootcamp

Mimi MacLean:
No, it’s so true. And one thing I think we haven’t touched on, which I think we have, but not specifically, is being open, being willing to do things like Matt, I’m sure there’s things that you’ve done that you never thought you’d be doing in your life in order to heal. Right?

Matt Sabatello:
For sure. And Mimi, it’s so funny you bring this up because last night when we were interviewing Liz Walcott, she talked to us about how powerful biomagnetism was for her in her healing journey. And we had to admit, and I feel guilty that when we first heard about biomagnetism, I’m like, “That’s crazy.” I was very judgemental of this particular muscle testing and using it as a way to actually treat various pathogens. And we’ve been proved wrong. I’ve been proved wrong time and time again because people on the podcast have come on and said it’s been spot on to tell me what’s going on in my body. And using magnets and using biomagnetism, I’ve been able to get such relief. And in fact, Liz told us last night that she was ending up in the hospital because of excruciating chronic pain on a regular basis. And because of biomagnetism, that stopped her pain. Her pain was at a minimal amount and she never ended up in the ER again because of biomagnetism. And I was so judgemental of that.

Matt Sabatello:
And that’s one example of I think we need to open up our minds to be willing to try things. And I always like to look at it. What’s the risk? And really, there’s virtually very little risk to biomagnetism. And if you can get great relief, why not try it? And I think we have to be open to those types of things, Mimi. And I certainly wasn’t, and I am now.

Mimi MacLean:
Yeah. I mean, we’re all energy. Right? That’s what we are and what it comes down to. So what’s affecting our energy? And that’s why bio magnets work.

Richard Johannesen:
So Mimi, I think in the end, it’s actually the action takers who get better, people who are open to trying anything and who are willing to pivot when they’re reading the signals that come from their body and they continue to take action. And it isn’t the action that you’re taking by going to a doctor, although that is an action, it is not the only action. And it’s not the action that you’re taking based on the resources you have available to you because there are many steps that you can take. And what’s most important I think if we were to sum this up from my perspective is healing is going to have to be individual. Right? 

Richard Johannesen:
And you’re going to have to come up with your own individualized healing plan because of the so many different factors that can be different between not only the pathogens that are spit into you, but your own body and how you began this journey both emotionally, physically, and spiritually, that you’re going to have to come up with your own healing journey. And you should look to others so that they can give you clues about what you can try. And if you’re open to everything, you are constantly taking action and you’re pivoting when you get to a place where you’ve either plateaued or the protocol’s not working, you will ultimately get to a place where you can live your best life.

Mimi MacLean:
This has been great. Thank you so much, Matt and Rich. I really appreciate your time and everything that you’re doing in the Lyme community to bring awareness. 

Matt Sabatello:
Same. Thank you, Mimi. We appreciate everything you do for the community. Thank you for having us on today.

Richard Johannesen:
Mimi, we love you. Thank you.

Mimi MacLean:
We love you guys. Each week, I will bring you different voices from the wellness community, so that they can share how they help their clients heal. You will come away with tips and strategies to help you get your life back. Thank you so much for coming on, and I’m so happy you were here. Subscribe now and tune in next week if you want to learn how I detox, and you want to check out my Detox for Lyme Checklist, go to lyme360.com/detoxchecklist. You can also join our community at Lyme 360 Warriors on Facebook, and let’s heal together. Thank you. 

 

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