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Anne-Marie Principe was at ground zero when the 9-11 attacks happened, and the amount of dust she took into her lungs caused a severe illness. Luckily, she eventually found help in an unexpected place. In this episode of the Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, hear how Anne-Marie’s experience at an unusual detox clinic allowed her to breathe in a brand new life.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome to The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: And I'm Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
Dr. Daniel Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we have been transforming lives for 30 years, using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit amenclinics.com.
Tana Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is also brought to you by BrainMD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to brainmd.com
Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome, everybody. We have a very special week for you. I figured out what we're going to call it. We'll call it Toxin Week.
Tana Amen: Yes.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Or Surviving-
Tana Amen: Surviving Toxins.
Dr. Daniel Amen: ... From Toxins.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: I consult with a nonprofit organization that deals with veterans and also 911 survivors, and when I was on a call recently with Dr. David Root, and his son Daniel, and Anne Marie Principe, that I'm like, "I have to have these guys on the podcast and talk about their stories." So Anne Marie is a 9/11 survivor, and I'm going to let her tell her story, but really at the epicenter of 9/11.
Tana Amen: Crazy.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And the impact that toxins had on her body were very dramatic, and she works with Affinity Projects to build recognition and identify through strategic partnerships, community outreach, and is involved in the New York Detoxification Project. Dr. Root Has been recognized as the leading expert in sauna-based human detoxification by challenging the status quo, I have no idea what that's like, despite the early disregard from his peers in re-purposing L. Ron Hubbard's Purification Rundown for the treatment of workplace chemical exposure injuries.
Dr. Daniel Amen: In 2017, Dr. Root and his son Daniel released their two-week health and wellness Detoxination Protocol to the public. I'm going to have them talking about it, harnessing the unique properties of niacin. Fat-stored toxins are mobilized and then eliminated versus via sweat gland activity from the sauna. I actually have a infrared sauna right next to the chair in my office where I write, and I'm sure after today I'm going to be going in it a lot more.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Anyways, let's start with Ann Marie. Can you just tell your story a bit and how you got to meet Dr. Root?
Anne Marie Principe: Absolutely. As I said before, I'm a 9/11 survivor. I had a small business downtown, so I was in the street when the first plane hit, and remained there until the towers came down, so I was one of those nicely dressed people covered in dust. Almost immediately I felt sick. I took so much dust into my lungs. We were covered, and I couldn't breathe. That day, I shook to the point where I shook my chair. I just couldn't stop shaking, so I went immediately to the hospital. When it got home, they gave me something to help me breathe. They tried to clean my lungs out. It was instantaneous that I got sick. Trembling stopped after about a week, but I just couldn't breathe anymore. It probably took me about two or three months before, I just couldn't get a full breath of air. You could hear me breathe from 10 or 15 feet away. My daughter likes to say I sounded like Darth Vader.
Tana Amen: Yes.
Anne Marie Principe: It was literally, I just couldn't get air, which is horrific, because without air you just can't function. It impacts your ability to think. It impacts your organs. It was very frightening for me. I had a five year old daughter. I was a single mom. I didn't know what to do. I went to all kinds of doctors and specialists who had no idea how to treat toxic exposure, and consequently all they did was throw medication at me. Inhalers, steroids. Probably within six months I was on 14 medications. I used a nebulizer. I used oxygen. I was stuck in my home. It was a prisoner in my home. I could not go out in the heat. I couldn't go out in the cold. I just couldn't breathe enough to do anything.
Anne Marie Principe: I had been an activist downtown. I lost my voice. I still have issues with my voice. My vocal chords were impacted from the dust. At one point, my lungs went to ... The left lung was operating at 38% capacity. The right lung was at 48%, so basically I didn't even have a full lung that I was breathing with, and it was upsetting and traumatizing and kept me feeling even more isolated, so it truly impacted me emotionally. I went to one doctor where I just couldn't even sleep at night. I was sitting up to sleep, because I would choke if I laid down flat. If I laid down flat, I would choke on my own mucus. And I sat and waited for my doctor for 45 minutes in a paper gown, and he stood outside the door and he said, "Tell her to go home. I don't know what to do for her. I don't know what she expects."
Anne Marie Principe: And I was so lost. I thought, "What do I do? No one knows how to treat me. No one knows what to do." And by luck, I went to clean out my office. I couldn't keep my company running anymore. And I ran into a friend on the street who told me about this program that was helping first responders, and she said, "You know, maybe they'll take you in. Go. This is the gentleman. Go speak to him." And when I initially went to the detox and I spoke to them, I was so sick they didn't want to take me in. They were really concerned about reliability, what would happen to me. They didn't think I'd be able to do it. And basically I said, "If you don't do this, I'm going to die. There's no choice for me here. I'll sign any waiver, and I'm an activist and I will come back and fund this place. If you get me well, I will come back and help you to help other people."
Anne Marie Principe: And I met Dr. Root. They took me into the program. I was so sick that the first responders would stand behind me, because they were afraid I was going to fall over. I was yellow. I had jaundiced from the steroids. I was about 40 pounds heavier than I am now. I'd always been really trim and athletic and in shape, and popping steroids, and sitting at home being depressed is just, you eat your feelings, and I ate a lot of feelings, and the weight just slowly started to come off. I started to be able to breathe without oxygen or nebulizers, and it took me quite a long time because I was so gravely ill. But eventually I was breathing on my own, and since that time I've probably had one or two asthma attacks, serious ones, but other than that, I don't use any of the controlled asthma medications. I use a rescue inhaler whenever I need it, which is not that often. I certainly have been through some other illnesses and tribulations since that time, but once again, I feel that detox didn't just save my life at that time. It gave me 18 more years that other people didn't have. So it was-
Dr. Daniel Amen: How long after 9/11 did you start the program?
Anne Marie Principe: I'd say it was March of 2002. March, 2002.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Okay. So about six months or seven months afterwards.
Anne Marie Principe: Yeah. Six months.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And what kind of business did you have downtown?
Anne Marie Principe: I had a model and talent agency downtown. I had about 100 employees, so it was really difficult, because this was my livelihood. This was a business of 20 years that was successful and took care of me and my daughter, and I just couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't physically handle working anymore.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Yeah. So you lost your health, you lost your income, you lost your identity.
Anne Marie Principe: I almost lost my life. I almost lost my life.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And you almost lost your life, but you didn't.
Anne Marie Principe: I didn't.
Dr. Daniel Amen: It's so exciting. And David, I know you're in Sacramento. Tell me, how did the program get to New York, and a little bit about how you got involved with detoxification.
Dr. David Root: First of all, I spent 20 years in the Air Force as a flight surgeon pilot, and I retired in 1980, and decided I'd go into occupational medicine. So I opened the practice in Sacramento, not knowing a soul, and hung out my shingle basically, and started seeing patients. And early on, probably in early 1982, I had two patients who had been painting the inside of a 750,000 gallon water tank with no exposure control. They had no personal protective equipment or anything inside this tank as they were spraying and painting, and they both developed a true toxic encephalopathy. Now, I didn't see them until over a year after their exposure, and I'm scratching my head trying to figure out, "How in the world do I deal with exposure that's that far in the past? What do I do for them?" There was really not much of anything in the medical literature.
Dr. David Root: And by happenstance, serendipity, I received about the same time a trifold folder just in the mail, which indicated, "Hey, come see our detoxification program." I had never heard of it before, and I thought, "This is really kind of far out." So I threw it in the trashcan and I kept thinking about it. And after three passes in and out of the trashcan, I finally called and went down and looked over this program, and it was the Hubbard Detoxification Program, which had started up in Sacramento, but not related with the Church of Scientology directly, in any case.
Dr. David Root: And so I went down there and they gave me a binder, a large three ring binder with medical documentation for each step in this program. And I took it home over the weekend. And I read through the entire binder, and it made sense. When you look at the different steps, the whole scientific background made sense to me. So I said, "Why not?" So I started treating these patients through that program, and though I didn't get the kind of improvement that I'd looked for, I was still getting definite improvement from both of them, and later on, incorporated the program into my medical practice.
Dr. David Root: So fast forward to 2001, September, the towers go down, and by this time I'd treated probably 3,000 or 4,000 patients with different types of chemical exposures, most of them drug abuse, but some toxic exposures from work. And apparently some of the first responders who were struggling had heard of the program, and my telephone started ringing, "Hey, can you come help us?" So my team and I put together a program. That is to say we decided we'd go back to New York and at least look over the situation. So by, I think it was January or February, we went back to New York and looked into the situation. And yes, the medical directors that were involved in dealing with these poor folks who had been exposed felt that maybe it might help, but unfortunately there's no money. So basically they said, "Go back to the left coast, and get some money, and when you're set up we'll be glad to see what you can do." And I'm sure that they were thinking that, "Well, we won't see these guys again."
Dr. David Root: So anyway, we did that, and we were able to get some private funding, went back and opened up a clinic, and I think it was probably later than March when we finally opened the clinic, but it was not too much after that, and we started seeing patients. Anne Marie was one of the early patients, and one of the worst than I had seen. I wasn't there full time. I was in and out, back and forth from Sacramento, but I was able to get her involved in the program, and it was an absolute situation that I was very, very concerned about for her wellbeing. I didn't know whether she would be able to tolerate the program, and indeed she started improving, as did almost all of the other exposed people. So that in a nutshell is how I got involved in the New York situation.
Dr. Daniel Amen: All right. When we come back, we're going to hear a bit about Daniel's story, and then let's talk about the protocol, and how specifically you helped them. Stay with us.
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