Program Overview

This section covers the most common questions about the 10 Pillars of Health Method

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is the best of western diagnostics with the best of natural medicine lifestyle and diet interventions. 

“Lasting health comes from the interaction of our genes with our lifestyle and environment. Personalizing this connection is the future.” -Jeffrey Bland, PhD, Father of Functional Medicine.

Functional Medicine, rather than targeting individual symptoms, focuses on the optimal functioning of the entire body and its organs. It addresses the underlying causes, using a systems-oriented approach in partnership with understanding the conditions and history in which the your health issues manifested.  Genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors all have a direct influence of long-term health and chronic health issues.

What is the "10 Pillars of Health" Method?

The 10 Pillars of Health is Dr. Shay’s proprietary process to efficiently identify all the lifestyle factors, past and present, that you can change to feel better and get better as much as possible. 

This comprehensive assessment is the best system for analyzing your lifestyle to achieve the health goals you want, whether it’s longevity, optimal weight, or you have a chronic health issue that hasn’t been resolved.

A truly unique system, the 10 Pillars of Health combines my 20+ years of experience in natural health to identify which “Pillars” are crumbling and how to repair them and in what priority so you can feel better and achieve your health goals as quickly as possible.


  • Pillar #1 – Brain & Hormones: Assesses adrenal imbalance, potential under- or over-active thyroid, xeno-estrogen exposure
  • Pillar #2 – Bowel & Digestion: Assesses gut health, digestion, bowel function, evacuation, constipation/diarrhea, absorption
  • Pillar #3 – Body & Genetics: Assesses old/chronic injuries, strains/sprains, accidents, inherited genetic vulnerabilities
  • Pillar #4 – Burst exercise and Movement: Assesses your exercise and movement patterns to assess if you are doing too little, too much, lack of variety, or the wrong type of exercise and movement
  • Pillar #5 – Bio-toxins and chemical exposure: Assesses toxic exposures such as heavy metals, pesticides, and off-gassing
  • Pillar #6 – Bio-nutrients and Diet: Assesses nutritional deficiency, poor quality food, and if you are taking inferior quality supplements
  • Pillar #7 – Breakfast & Routines: Assesses your breakfast and your morning and evening routines
  • Pillar #8 – Bothers and Stressors: Assesses sources of chronic and acute stress
  • Pillar #9 – Bugs and Hidden Infections: Infections (mould, parasites, old glandular fever, H. Pylori) & beneficial bacterial balance
  • Pillar #10 – Bedtime and Sleep quality: Assesses your sleep, including sleep disruption, insomnia, what to do if you wake between 1-4am each night, snoring, shift work, or other sleep problems
What will I receive from my initial consult?

What you will receive from your initial consult:

  1. Your customized, prioritized list “Pillar list”, including what you need to work on first to help you feeling better as quickly as possible.
  2. Your recommended lab package based on your unique situation.
  3. A written set of recommendedations of next steps so you don’t have to scribble or type frantically while we chat.
  4. A clear pathway forward.

The initial consult covers the “Ten Pillars of Health”, which is my proprietary, foundational system to assess your lifestyle, past and present so we can best determine what lifestyle changes you need to do to feel better as quickly as possible, as well as determine what functional tests are best for you.

My clinical experience has shown me that people struggle to get better because they have not been properly evaluated in a truly holistic way, covering all 10 of the Pillars of Health. Once the ‘crumbling’ pillars are identified, you’ll receive a straightforward set of recommendations to rebuild those pillars.

How is your initial consult different from other practitioners?

Initial consult package includes 3 parts:

  1. The time to review of your extensive 10 Pillars of Health™ survey,
  2. the 1-hour consult, and
  3. the detailed email follow-up:

Part 1: Review of your 10 Pillars of Health™ survey

  • I don’t know if you’ve ever had the experience of going to a practitioner who only opened your file once you first walked into the room, but I have and I didn’t like it and promised to not to ever do that to someone who I would help
  • Your extensive survey will be fully reviewed prior to the consult. This ensures that I arrive to the consult with a full understanding of what is going on. This also saves you a lot of time and money as I can efficiently review the answers in writing so we can spend the initial consult time focusing on findings, clarifications, answering questions, and next steps.
  • Survey is sent via secured link which is HIPAA-compliant and results are automatically sent back to me to review

Part 2: One-to-one Tele-consult

  • Consults are done via virtual meeting room
  • Consults are 1 hour
  • During the consult, we will review in detail what  and what the next steps are (lifestyle changes, nutrition, and functional testing if required)

Part 3: Detailed follow up email

  • Concerned about taking notes during the call? You’ll be sent a detailed session note with findings and next steps so we can (literally) be on the same page.
  • Detailed follow-up email contains next action steps, recommended testing, and lifestyle recommendations in order priority to help you feel better as quickly as possible
Who is this approach for?
  • Mom-preneurs who want more energy and time for their business and family
  • Busy health-conscious entrepreneurs
  • Burned-out professionals, executives, and managers
  • “Biohackers” and “High Performance Entrepreneurs” who want a professional to review labs to quantify exactly what they need to optimize their longevity, performance, brain function, and fast recovery
  • Worn down ex-military, frontline public service professionals, and worn-out ex-athletes
  • Engineers, computer programmers, lawyers and other skeptical-types who want recommendations based on data (e.g. advanced lab testing from 3rd party labs and a clinician who will answer their nuanced questions)
  • Emotional eaters. Using food to self-sooth. Food & sugar addicts.
  • Screen addicts (e.g. social media, video games, Netflix, smart phones, computers, tablets, Youtube)
Why do you put so much emphasis on functional and genetic testing?

Test, don’t guess. Testing brings clarity, focus, and saves a ton of money in the long-term in an age where we can drown in “Dr. Google” and podcasts where one can easily chase the next shiniest health tip or supplement.

Using lab-based natural health protocols tests and identifies the dysfunction of main body systems, such as the hormone system, digestive system, liver-detox system, mitochondrial-energy system, and all the genetics that ties them together. 

Typically these main systems have become compromised long BEFORE the symptoms appeared.  The lab tests are used to determine the required natural support needed rebalance your body back to its normal state.

How long does it take to get results?

Results vary by each person. Some people feel dramatic improvement within the first month, others may take a bit longer. Our standard programs are for a minimum of 6 months.

Remember, your body didn’t fail overnight. Years of stress and illness takes its toll and it takes a proper amount of time to restore.

On average it takes one month of repair for each year you’ve suffered from a specific problem.

How long it takes is largely dependent on the diligence of each client in following their daily protocol and making lifestyle changes that only they can be responsible for implementing.

Dr. Shay is committed to assisting and empowering his clients to take back their health and experience life changing results if they are committed to doing so as well.

How long is the initial consult? How do I prepare for the initial consult?

The initial consult is 1 hour – 1 hour & 15 minutes. 

Please be in a quiet place that has a strong internet connection in case we talk by video or share screens. If you need to sit in your car for privacy that is totally fine. 

How to prepare: 

  • Clear off distractions from any devices, e.g. shut down social media, alarms, ringing phones, or other notifications. 
  • Read Dr. Shay’s ebook: “Biohack your Biohacking” as it will cover the essentials of the 10 Pillars of Health and functional testing. 
  • Optional:
    • Watch or listen to Dr. Shay’s interview with Dr. Beaver on genetics and Dr. Shay’s videos on functional testing. www.DrSamShay.com/blog

What not to worry about:

  • How messy your background is on video, e.g. if you’re in your car or your room hasn’t been tidied up. 
Does Dr. Shay offer in-person consultations?

Dr. Shay is currently not accepting any new in-person consultation requests. 

About Testing

This section covers common questions about functional and genetic testing. 

How many labs are required per person?

The number of labs recommended will depend on your individual situation including the number of issues you struggle with and the length of time you have been experiencing them.

The typical range is 2-5 lab tests.

How long does it take to get the lab results?

The results of your lab test(s) will be sent to Dr. Shay’s virtual office about 4 weeks after mailing your specimens to the lab.

At this point Dr. Shay will thoroughly evaluate your labs individually, evaluate them relative to all other labs, integrate the results with your 10 Pillars of Health history, and your health and wellness goals.

After evaluation we will contact you to schedule a follow up appointment to review your results with Dr. Shay and he will recommend a wellness protocol.

Do I have to do the labs all at once?

It is ideal to the tests all at the same time, within 1 week or so. This way we get the most accurate assessment of how your body is doing. Additionally, this will give us the clearest and quickest way to assess what are your highest priority issues and give us the ability to formulate the ideal program for you. 

If you need to space out the tests for any reason, that can work too, we just have to modify the program as we go. 

Who does the lab review and wellness program design?

Dr. Shay personally does all lab review sessions and will design your protocol. Dr. Shay may also cross-check lab assessments with niche experts specific to the lab test(s) in question, including consulting with the lab scientists from the labs themselves. Cross-checking is a pivotal service Dr. Shay provides for his clients, as having a second pair of eyes on your labs can be extremely helpful. Your personal data and names are anonymized when your labs are discussed with niche experts. 

The rest of our team helps with follow up, nutritional and lifestyle coaching as well as with disseminating all of our health and wellness educational information.

Can I order my own test kits through labs or can my regular doctor order the lab tests for me?

Our authorized laboratories are only able to sell test kits to licensed practitioners.

Dr. Shay uses specific lab tests from small lab companies that exclusively offer functional medicine tests. Larger national labs and local hospital based labs are not helpful for these types of highly specialized tests.

Additionally and more importantly, you’re paying for interpretation time, not just the test. The interpretation time includes interpreting the tests, cross checking and collating all results, bullet-point summaries of all important points, cross-checking everything niche experts and/or the lab scientists, as well as Dr. Shay’s time to put together the entire set of recommendations for lifestyle, nutrition, and diet going forward.
What laboratories does Dr. Shay use and why?

Dr. Shay has learned over many years that the accuracy of your lab findings and the quality of the professionals performing the lab tests is the key to you uncovering what’s going on.

Quality is not equal across all lab companies. Many times we see “normal” test results from regular lab companies and our lab tests find many “functional” problems.

The lab companies used for Dr. Shay’s clients have the highest testing standards and the most consistent lab results year after year. These are not replacements for regular medical tests, these tests are only used to detect “functional” issues rather than medical problems and aren’t meant to diagnose or recommend protocols for diseases.

What if I have labs from 6 months ago or older?

Not all labs are created equal and not all lab tests within each lab are relevant to your situation.

If you do have labs that are all of the following:

  • Recent: ideally under 6 months, and up to a year.
    • Note: not all labs age well. If you have an ongoing issue that has a historical trajectory, those may be useful. Yet in general, functional labs lose their relevance precipitously after 6-12 months. 
    • Exception: Genetics tests from reputable, accurate labs do nt matter how long ago they were run as your genes don’t change, while functional labs do change. 
  • Relevant: Your prior labs are relevant to your current situation.
    • Not all labs that were run in the past are necessarily relevant to what your priorities and needs are now. 
  • From a high quality lab: Your labs are from a reputable lab that functional medicine practitioners have vetted and used for years and decades.
    • For example, Dr. Shay is unaware of any serious functional medicine practitioner or functional medicine practitioner training programs who uses “Viome” as the ‘go-to’ stool test preferentially over the other major stool testing companies used by the functional medicine community. Yet Viome seems to be a popular stool test amongst the public. Dr. Shay will not evaluate a Viome test because it has not been vetted and endorsed by the functional medicine community at large. 

You may be charged extra for prior lab assessments depending on volume and complexity of the labs you bring to your initial consult. 

What type of lab samples are run? Can I do these at home?

Lab kits are sent to your mailing address. Most labs are done in the convenience of your own home, such as saliva, urine, stool, cheekswab, or bloodspot testing. 

On occassion, certain other labs would require a blood draw from your local pathology lab, mobile blood draw clinic, or walk-in hospital with a walk-in lab. 

How long is the Report of Findings (ROF) for reviewing labs

The Report of Findings (ROF) is a critical portion of your lab package as it’s the time that Dr. Shay explains what the lab findings are, what they mean, and what the next steps are to move forward to achieve your health and wellness goals.

This ROF will cover your customized plan for lifestyle, diet, nutrition, implementation, and accountability over the next 6-12 months…the typical length of a comprehensive program based on your comprehensive lab package. 

The Report of Findings can range from 1-1.5 hours depending on the size of the lab package, the complexity of your situation, and so forth. Rarely a Report of Findings is 2 hours long, but that is reserved for a high volume of functional and genetics labs. 



This section covers common questions about investing into these comprehensive programs. 

What is the investment for consultations?

Investments vary on type of consultation and time. Dr. Shay has limited space in his calendar and does not accept all new inquiries as clients. Dr. Shay invests a tremendous amount of time and focus on your individual situation and you should be inspired to invest in yourself to achieve the results you want. 

Dr. Shay works with a select number of individuals comitted to highly investing in their health so they can get the customized attention they are looking for. Additionally, this model allows Dr. Shay to free up his time outside of consultations to write and publish his knowledge on addiction, wellness, sleep, fatigue, and the 10 Pillars of Health model on scalable platforms (e.g. YouTube, podcasts, summits, books, etc) to help everyone around the world.

What is the investment for the lab packages?

Lab packages are customized to your needs and the investments differ accordingly. 

What is the average investment I will incur for my initial new client consult plus test package?

This depends on which lab package(s) are most appropriate for your situation. 

Does the new client consultation investment include follow-ups, test test kits, and supplements?

The new client consultation is an assessment of your health and recommendations on what tests are required to understand the state of your body systems.

The new client consultation fee does not include any follow ups, test kits or supplements. It does include extensive wellness resources including videos and printable handouts.

What type of payment does Dr. Shay accept?

Methods of payment are: 

  1. USA: Venmo, Check, Direct transfer, Paypal, Credit card (Via Paypal). 
  2. Outside USA: TransferWise, Paypal, Credit card (via Paypal). 
  3. Soon to be accepted: Bitcoin and Ethereum. 
How are are Dr. Shay's clients billed?

Payment is due prior to consultation as Dr. Shay invests his professional time into reviewing your 10 Pillars of Health Survey and other documents prior to your consult. 

Lab package fees are due in full prior to you receiving your lab kits. 

Checks are accepted if received and processed prior to your consult. 

How much time do I have to cancel or change a scheduled consultation?

If for any reason you cannot make your appointment, please let us know within 36 hours so we can reschedule accordingly.

A $140 cancellation fee will be charged if the appointment is cancelled with less than 48 hours notice.

Note: Legitimate emergencies do happen within 36 hours. The cancellation fee can be waived on a case-by-case basis. However, if an individual client has a repeated pattern of ’emergencies’ for rescheduling, Dr. Shay may choose at his discretion to not waive the cancellation fee. 

Does Dr. Shay take any insurance?

We do not bill insurance companies; it is up to each individual to determine whether their insurance plan provides coverage for consultations, supplements, and lab tests. 

If not, what is able to be provided for that can help with reimbursements for consultations and/or test kits?

Most insurance companies will not reimburse for these types of consults, labs, and supplements. We cannot nor will not guarantee reimbursement. 

A paid-in-full receipt may be provided to you to submit to your insurance, yet there is no guarantee that any descriptions of the reasons for ordering the tests or coding will be accepted by your insurance companies. 

You are ultimately responsible for all investments for your program. 

Does Dr. Shay offer any kind of discounts for students/edlerly?

There are no discounts available at this time. Dr. Shay has several online courses (no labs) that share his best practices for general use. These are available on www.DrSamShay.com/shop

Does Dr. Shay offer any discount if more than one family member will be signing up to become a client?

There are no family discounts as Dr. Shay devotes the same quality time to each individual he works with. 

Schedule your free 15-Minute Discovery Call

See how the “10 Pillars of Health” method & functional testing may the missing link!

If you are a match for this type of in-depth services, we’ll book an initial 1-hour appointment, covering all the 10 Pillars of Health, what functional testing is best for you, and you’ll receive an action-plan specific to your needs so you can feel better as quickly as possible.