FAQ

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 finest 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, Ph.D., Father of Functional Medicine.

Rather than targeting individual symptoms, functional medicine focuses on the entire body’s optimal functioning and organs. It addresses the underlying causes, using a systems-oriented approach in partnership with understanding the conditions and history of your health issues.  Genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors all directly influence 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 “Pillar list,” including what you need to work on first to help you feel better as quickly as possible.
  2. A recommended lab package, based on your unique situation.
  3. A written set of recommendations for the 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 swiftly 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 evaluated adequately 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?

The 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. A 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. So I promised myself not to ever do that to someone who needs my help.
  • Your extensive survey will be thoroughly reviewed before the consult. This ensures that I arrive at the right consult having a full understanding of what is going on. This saves you a lot of time and money as I can efficiently review the answers in writing to spend the initial consult time focusing on findings, clarifications, answering questions, and next steps.
  • The survey is sent via a 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 a 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 the 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 ordered 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-soothe. 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 had become compromised long BEFORE the symptoms appeared. The lab tests are used to determine the required natural support needed to 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 a minimum of 6 months.

Remember, your body didn’t fail overnight. Years of stress and illness take 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 mostly dependent on each client’s diligence 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 changing results if they are committed to doing.

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 with 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 depends on your individual situation, including the number of issues you struggle with and the length of time you have experienced 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 assess your labs individually, assess 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 do 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 most transparent and quickest way to assess 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. More extensive 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 essential 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 lab tests is the key to you uncovering what’s going on.

Quality is not equal across all lab companies. And, as an expert, Dr. Shay never compromises on quality. We often see “normal” test results from regular lab companies and our lab tests find voluminous “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 not 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 your current priorities and needs. 
  • From a high-quality lab: Your labs tests 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 functional severe medicine practitioner or functional medicine practitioner training programs that use “Viome” as the ‘go-to’ stool test preferentially over the other major stool testing companies in 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 the 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 homes, such as saliva, urine, stool, cheek swab, or bloodspot testing.

On occasion, 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 Findings Report 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 reserved for a high volume of functional and genetics labs.

 

Investment

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

What is the investment for consultations?

Investments vary on the 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 focuses 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 committed to highly investing in their health to 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, tests, - test kits, and supplements?

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

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 the USA: TransferWise, Paypal, Credit card (via Paypal).
  3. Soon to be accepted: Bitcoin and Ethereum.
How are Dr. Shay's clients billed?

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

Lab package fees are due in full before you receive 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 you cannot make your appointment for any reason, please let us know within 36 hours so we can reschedule accordingly.

A $140 cancellation fee will be charged if the appointment is canceled 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 can be provided to 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 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 discount for students/elderly?

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.