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Episode #594: The Untapped Energy Goldmine Inside Every Dentist, with Dr. Uche Odiatu

Do you want to enjoy more of your day, but don’t have the energy? Get ready to bring it back with this episode! Today, Kirk Behrendt returns with Dr. Uche Odiatu, one of ACT’s favorite health and wellness gurus, with tips for tapping into your energy reserve through simple, actionable steps and mindset changes. If you’re ready to boost your life and practice, listen to Episode 594 of The Best Practices Show!

Episode Resources:

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

Register for SmileCon (October 5-7, 2023)

Listen to Bulletproof Hygiene

Read Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Read Die Broke by Stephen Pollan and Mark Levine

Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Sean Covey and Stephen R. Covey

Read#buyBooks“> The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge

Read What the Bleep Do We Know? by William Arntz

Buy the Hooga Health Book Light

Main Takeaways:

Energy is currency.

Stay physically active for brain health.

Take the time for self-care and relaxation.

Pay attention to messages from your body.

Celebrate the people you respect and admire.


“You get paid for energy. People remember your energy. You can’t hide your energy. When you walk into a room, you either have high energy or low energy. If you’re in a dark or sad place, it’s low energy. That’s why a lot of dentists know you’ve got to have more energy than the patient. You can’t have a patient with more energy than you. You, as a healer — if you want to heal, if you want to influence, if you want to convince, you need to have high energy. It’s impossible for a low energy person to be convincing. So, when people wonder why certain people are good at closing case presentations, you wonder why some hygienists are better than others at getting patients from six-month recare to three and four-month, why are they more convincing? It’s the energy that goes into the whole talk. And it’s not just words. A lot of times, people memorize words. Like, if you had a speech to give, people spend all the time on the words. But I think it’s your body language, the tonality — what you put into the words is way more important.” (2:43—3:37)

“We’re drained cognitively. We’re drained emotionally. We’re drained physically. We’re drained mentally. Then, we wonder why we can’t put more into our treatment. You wonder why, at the end of the day, you’ve given your 60% during the 8:00 to 5:00 or the 10:00 to 6:00, and your family, your friends are starving for you after, and you come home, you just have fumes left. It’s like you’re trying to squeeze out moisture and dust comes out, like a cactus. So, energy is important, not only for your patients, but your personal life.” (4:31—5:02)

“Margins are going to be forgotten. How you made people feel during a talk, or what did you remind people of, that can’t be quantified. That’s why they call it intangible. It’s beyond the physical. It’s metaphysical, and that’s where energy lies. That’s where energy lies. And you can boost it by doing certain lifestyle habits. So, it’s very mechanical. The body responds if you infuse it with certain things.” (5:46—6:11)

“Adrenal fatigue is something — we have two glands, one on top of each kidney. They pump out adrenaline. They pump out cortisol. They do it mainly for an emergency. They also pump it out first thing in the morning to get you up. That’s why the neuroscientist, Andrew Huberman, says you hijack that natural system of adrenaline and cortisol when you have coffee first thing in the morning. It’s like your tanks are already full, and you’re putting a little bit more gasoline in. The body goes, ‘What the heck are you doing?’ These neurotransmitters aren’t happy with more caffeine in the morning. You already have the energy to leave the cave, the proverbial cave, and now you’re putting more gas in the tank.” (6:21—6:54)

“Your liver releases glucose, and your body, your adrenal glands, release adrenaline and cortisol to get you up and moving, enough energy to get out of the cave. That’s why that book called Sapiens by Harari, he said we are more caveman than modern man. We might look like modern men, but there are more cavemen cells and memories in our body than not. And we’re meant to leave the cave, first thing. If every caveman and cavewoman had to eat breakfast before they left the cave, we’d all be dead. We’re only alive because, boom, the sun came up, out looking for food. Hunt or be hunted. So, lingering inside in the dark, sipping more gasoline when the body gives us enough energy to leave. And that’s never going to be programed out. It takes hundreds of thousands of years to change the genome. So, we are sabotaging it by having a big, strong cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Apple cider vinegar, maybe. Green tea, a lighter form, or just plain water, and then get going.” (6:55—7:56)

“We have energy for things we think are really important. But the team, the family, the friends —a busy dentist with two offices, ten offices, or a large team, 40, 50 people — everyone knows you’re a busy dentist, and you’ve got to put your two phones — you know you’re busy when you have two phones and you’ve got to put them face up when you’re out with friends. And they brag about you, but they never have your full, undivided attention. You just don’t have the energy. You don’t have the bandwidth to give 100% to the team, the office, your ongoing learning, your CE, the next phase of your implant talk, your friends, your family, your spirit, and your community. We have so much energy. And many people, because of poor physical lifestyle habits, they’re really 60% at all of them.” (8:54—9:37)

“Energy is currency. It’s coin. What would I rather have, a strong credit line, or energy? Energy will get me another credit line. Energy will get you through a recession. It’ll get you through family tragedy. Energy will give you that second wind when you get home. Energy will allow you to work through lunch for a kid that’s been hit with a puck and his teeth are broken. Energy will get you through lunch working on an emergency. Energy will get you to enjoy — but many dentists, when they go on vacation, the first two days they’re decompressing because they’re so adrenally fatigued. They can’t even enjoy the first two days of a seven-day vacation because the body is so exhausted. So, energy is the thing. It’s ATP. This is really cool stuff.” (9:59—10:43)

“Many dentists are discovering sciatica, reflux, ankylosing spondylitis, bulging discs, knee issues, or chronic pain. This is the body, and the body is always telling you messages of comfort or discomfort. So, reflux, not comfortable. If someone is living with reflux, the body is telling them, ‘I’m not comfortable. I’m putting this acid in your mouth to tell you something is not sitting quite right right now.’ Reflux is a message. You don’t have reflux on your honeymoon. But why is my stomach spitting up acid into my esophagus, into my mouth? Why is this acid, which digests food and kills parasites and viruses, in my mouth? It’s trying to kill you — or it’s trying to give you a message, ‘Keep it up. I’m going to dissolve that sphincter. Keep it up. I’ll have you on meds in the next 20 years.’ So, the body is always giving us messages of comfort or discomfort, comfort or discomfort, ease or disease.” (17:20—18:11)

“We need time off. People think going to the gym is important. You only grow in the days you don’t go to the gym. People spend all their time on how to work out, how to work out, how to work out quicker, better, with more intensity. No one asks, ‘How do you relax? How do you rest between the sets?’” (19:13—19:27)

“If you want to biologically turn back time, we’ve got to learn how to rest, replenish, and take care of the machine.” (20:20—20:26)

“[Your] iTero is important. Your CEREC is important. It’s all important. But your number-one tool as a dentist, as a hygienist, as an assistant, is your body.” (20:32—20:38)

“If someone wants to get rich, they’ve got to get rich mentally first.” (21:22—21:24)

“The average North American, 95% of meals eaten outside of the home is fast food. So, you need to nip that in the bud. One way to do that is to bring nuts with you. Almonds — I try and mix mine up with pistachios, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, walnuts. All kinds of different benefits, having a variety.” (21:45—22:01)

“[Nuts are] something you can snack on either on the way to work — if you have this on the way home from work, what happens is you don’t attack that fridge like a long-lost lover. You will actually get home and have time for the dog. You might get home to give yourself 10, 15 minutes to chat with your significant other about the day and his day or her day if you have something to cut your hunger off at the knees. So, travelling with a bag of nuts, this might cost $18. You keep it in your car, it’ll last six months. It could be frozen. It could be hot. Keep it in the glove compartment. On the way to a study club — I would say focus on the conversation, not the food. A lot of people get to a study club famished, sucking back the free food, sucking back the alcohol. If you have food in your belly, I can now focus on talking to Kirk, or talking to Kois, or talking to Christensen instead of jamming down the food because I’m starving when I got there. So, this is an easy car hack that gets people focusing on the conversation, not the food.”  (22:10—23:07)

“I have unconscious competence when it comes to lifestyle habits. What dentists are thinking about is called conscious competence. It takes energy to count your macros, look at your app, look at your fiber app, and work out. The ideal sweet spot is unconscious competence. It’s the highest level of attainment, whether as a dentist, or as a mom or a dad. Whatever you do, if you’re really good at what you do unconsciously, it’s become part of your cerebellum. It’s part of your habitual pattern without thinking about it. That’s the perfect place — Michael Jordan doesn’t have to think about his three-point throw. Automatic. Stops, plants, and it’s up. That’s unconscious competence. That’s where you want to be with health, family, reading, money. Wherever you have unconscious competence, that’s where you have supreme joy in life.” (26:07—26:49)

“Being physically active is one way to keep your brain like a Chia Pet. People who are sedentary, your brain is not as good as someone who is physically active. You have a youthful brain if you exercise. These are neuroscientists [making these claims]. The one way to [get] neurons to last longer and grow longer is to have a continuously curious environment, continuously stimulating. So, I liken that even to cars. If you’ve driven Volvos your whole life, get a Ford F-150. If you’ve had four-door cars your whole life, get a two-door coupe. Don’t go to your favorite restaurant. Every now and then, go to Thai. If you like going to Cabo San Lucas, go to Maui. Have an active vacation. Change your vegetables. To be curious and having a stimulating environment is one way to keep your neurons living a long time.” (30:26—31:09)

“Energy is youth. It’s curiosity. It’s enthusiasm. It’s the sizzle. People want to know how it’s done. They want to spend time with you. Usually, friends that we like to spend time with are high energy people. And we do have low energy people that we need to nurture and bring along. You can’t ignore your cousin and your uncle. But somehow, there are certain people, when you leave the conversation, you feel physically tired. You get emotionally drained. Jim Rohn used to say spend less time with them — still love them. Return their call. But make sure you spend time with high energy people because it’s contagious.” (31:25—31:56)

“Read outside of dentistry. Don’t just read your journals from Kois or Pankey. Pankey and Kois are amazing. But read something else.” (36:20—36:28)

“The space between you and what you want, you can close that space by meditation, prayer, and celebrating another person’s success. They say any time you cut someone else down or we’re critical, we lengthen the space between us and what we want. But admiration, or you admire someone, you close the gap.” (37:00—37:19)


0:00 Introduction.

2:28 Energy is coin.

4:08 Don’t stay at 60% energy capacity.

6:11 Adrenal fatigue, explained.

7:58 Listen to the warning signs.

9:48 The value of energy.

12:09 Work versus a calling.

15:03 Balance family and business.

18:12 Working all the time is not productive.

20:59 Ways to build more energy.

23:51 Build unconscious competence.

26:50 Embrace self-care.

32:23 Earn your dessert.

34:34 A tip for night readers.

36:01 Last thoughts.

Dr. Uche Odiatu Bio: 

Dr. Uche Odiatu has a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine). He is a professional member of the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), a Certified Personal Trainer (National Strength & Conditioning Association) NSCA, and the Canadian Association of Fitness Professionals (canfitpro). He is the co-author of The Miracle of Health (c) 2009 John Wiley (hardcover) & (c) 2015 Harper Collins, and has lectured in Canada, the USA, the Caribbean, the UK, and Europe. He is an invited guest on over 400 TV and radio shows, from ABC 20/20, Canada CTV AM, Breakfast TV, to Magic Sunday Drum FM in Texas. This high-energy healthcare professional has done over 450 lectures in seven countries over the last 15 years. 


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