We caught up with the brilliant and insightful David Getoff a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
David, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. We’d love to hear about how you went about setting up your own practice and if you have any advice for professionals who might be considering starting their own?
While I was running my home repairs business in the 80’s and early 90’s, I was also teaching a course I had developed called Everyday Home Repairs for Women Only. I taught this course through the adult education departments of Grossmont College, Palomar College and San Diego State University. I very much enjoyed teaching women enough about their home plumbing, electricity, tool use, the best adhesives and wall anchors etc., so that they would no longer be taken advantage of by dishonest or poorly trained tradespeople. During this time and the preceding decades, I was continually studying my passion of nutrition and holistic health and medicine. After successfully turning around my mothers end stage 3 month cancer diagnosis, I realized that counseling people to improve their health was really what I wanted to devote the rest of my life to. A seemingly amazing thing happened as I announced in each of the three college classes that my course would not be offered next semester because I would be opening my practice in nutrition and health. These same women that I had been teaching how to repair toilets and faucets, how to safely replace light switches and electrical outlets, which glues to use or which wall anchors to use to get the best results, began coming to me asking for an appointment for themselves or their family for various health issues. I was immediately booked up a month in advance before I had even designed a business card. To say that I got into my practice in a strange unduplicatable way would be an understatement. I have been busy ever since and loving helping people improve their health and the health of their loved ones.
David, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I got into traditional naturopathy and clinical nutrition in what some people refer to as bass ackwards. I had not studied nutrition or medicine in college and in fact did not decide to go back to get an accredited bachelor of science degree in nutrition until 1995 when I was 43 years old. Even then, it was only after investigating the many different nutrition credentials to determine which had the most meaning. I had already learned from many holistic MD’s and PhD’s that registered dieticians (RD’s) were still being taught a great deal of incorrect information due to their organization being funded by big business and big pharma and the fast food industry, so I did not want to get that credential.. After determining that the credential I wanted was a board certification in clinical nutrition (CCN) from the clinical nutrition certification board in Texas, I phoned them to see what was required. When I learned that one of the requirements was a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree, preferably in nutrition, I decided to go back to school. I received my degree in 1999 and only then was I allowed to take their five hour exam, which I passed, to get my CCN credential. I continually spent many thousands of dollars every year attending holistic medical conferences, clinical nutrition conferences, and 3 to 5 day seminars from top holistic physicians such as Jonathan V. Wright MD, and top medical herbalists like Amanda McQuade Crawford. I also took multi-year trainings in various fields such as German biological medicine with Dr. Thomas Rau and a 3 year program in homeopathy from the Homeopathic Academy of Southern California. Because my knowledge far surpassed simply clinical nutrition, I phoned the attorney for the California business and profession office to ask what words I could use and found out that I could call myself a naturopath as long as I didn’t call myself a doctor or use any initials which would have represented that I was a doctor. Since doctors are the professionals which were not able to help those who were coming to me for my assistance I didn’t want that title anyway. Since the field of naturopathy much more accurately represented all the many fields I was trained in, I have been using that word ever since even though I never attended any of the naturopathic “medical” schools although I was flown in to give an all day lecture at one of them. Although I continue to attend many conferences, many of them, and a holistic dental school in New Jersey, now pay me to lecture at their venues so I get to attend these for free. More recently, one of my favorite organizations, Low Carb USA, developed a credential of MHP for metabolic health practitioner. I completed all of their requirements and added that to the ones I already have attained. What makes me different from all the other health practitioners I have met over my 29 years in practice is two things at the very least. The first is that I have never met a single other practitioner who pays to attend multiple scientific conference and seminars every year. They all tell me either they can’t afford the time off (I am self employed so I can take whatever time off I need to be the best) or they say they wouldn’t learn anything important enough to spend the thousands of dollars. How can you know that unless they attend a few every year? I have never attended a conference where I did not learn something that was worthwhile. The second major difference is the way I personalize my work to each person. There is an energy technique called applied kinesiology (common name muscle testing) which when done properly, which is all too rare, can divulge information that is not accessible any other way. As a simple example, I carry 7 different vitamin C products, 5 different vitamin D products, 4 different magnesium products, 4 liver support and 4 kidney support products etc….. I never know which will be best for each individual until I test them for each one. I have yet to meet another medical practitioner in any field, who customizes this way, unless I trained them.
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
In July of 2021 I began to feel out of breath from even walking a few steps. This story could fill a book but I will shorten it here.. I ran some blood tests and found that I was critically low in many values such as red and white blood cells, hematocrit etc. I stupidly continued to work thinking that I really needed to investigate what was going on with me but not doing much until I passed out twice and my wife called 911. I ended up in Scripps Mercy hospital and after numerous tests, scans and a bone marrow biopsy, a very nice and highly respected oncologist, Marin Feldman Xavier, told me that I had Acute Myeloid Leukemia. One of the websites on different forms of leukemia that I looked at had- “AML is also the most critical because it progresses rapidly”. Dr. Xavier made it clear that in my age group (I was 69 then) it was incurable and that I likely had two months to a year but that maybe if I was extremely lucky, I might last two years. I spent 29 days in the hospital which was an experience I would not wish to repeat. My wife brought me my dinner every night so that I didn’t have to eat the hospital food and a thermos of my raw grass fed double fat whole milk. For breakfast I ordered a large omelet with added spinach, bacon, peppers, onions and mushroom to hold me till she brought my dinner and my 35 or so supplements. When I was released, I had a friend come over to my home so that I could do the muscle testing I mentioned previously, to see what additional immune enhancing supplements I needed to add to my regimen, and that upped it from about 35 to 70 pills per day. I gained strength and stamina far more rapidly than the physical therapist or nurse had ever seen before and when they did the 2nd bone marrow biopsy the leukemia results had reduced by over 90% which my oncologist had never seen before, simply proving that what I do works when I do it on myself just as well as when I do it on those who come to me for my help. I needed a method to inform my friends, family and patients of how I was doing and so I had my webmaster put a “David’s Health Updates” on my home page . Every time I felt enough better that I wanted to tell people, I recorded an MP3 and had him add it to that area. Anyone who wants to follow what happened to me can listen to all of these recordings, in date order, as they are still there. I was also interviewed for the Finding Genius podcast and that is there as well. For the first four plus months, I went in every few weeks for a 5 day anti-leukemia infusion of Decitabine and took 3 Vanclexta pills after dinner. As I got better and better, the infusions were spread much further apart til I told Dr. Xavier soon after Valentines day 2022 that I felt 100% normal and was stopping both drugs. As I write this in May of 2022, I have been off all drugs for over two months, I feel fantastic, I’m playing pickleball for two hours every Sunday without ever being out of breath and life is good. I have reopened my practice and it’s great to once again be helping others. I am convinced, with how well I eat and the supplements I take, that I must simply have not been doing as much detoxification as my body required and so my immune system dropped low enough to get leukemia. Leukemia (and lymphoma) seem to be the most related to toxic overload, although the body burden of toxic chemicals is part of the cause of all cancers. I continue to take many more immune boosting supplements then before the leukemia and I will continue to do more detoxing so as not to ever get this or any other form of cancer again. My goal is to foul up my oncologists mortality statistics as my health continues to remain excellent so I can reach my goal of at least a healthy 100+
If you could go back, would you choose the same profession, specialty, etc.?
Those who have read my book, Abundant Health in a Toxic World, already know some of this. I get bored very easily if my brain is not being stimulated by learning new things or helping others and so I have had a few more occupations than most people. I was a paste up artist for Value Plus Printing, an offset lithographer in lower Manhattan. I taught SCUBA diving and underwater photography and repaired SCUBA breathing equipment for 4 years at Brooklyn Divers Supply at 2917 Ave I in Brooklyn. I worked at Bonsai Plants selling house plants and training Bonsai trees for Hank Osser at Bonsai Plants also in Manhattan. I was a licensed locksmith in New York and In San Diego. I was an audio video technician for Comart-Aniforms in Manhattan and was flown around the country to set up shows for big business meetings. I worked at West Side Camera on Broadway for Barry Glick. I ran a 60 minute photo processing lab in San Diego, I worked as a non credentialed electrical design engineer in Escondido at OAL associates and CAIG Labs for 4 years designing heat controls for tunnel ovens that we sold to companies like Kraft foods, Gallo wines, Johnson and Johnson and others. I owned a beer and wine bar and grill at 4612 Cass street in PB in San Diego for a year with my brother Michael. I worked as a home maintenance contractor (my term) for many years as well as a licensed electrical contractor and taught the women’s home repair classes I mentioned earlier. I taught cooking classes at West Hills high school through Grossmont College and I taught a 5 week that evolved into 10 week course in nutrition and health through Grossmont College and then through the nonprofit Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation of which I have been the vice president for over 21 years. Now that I help people get well. I think I have finally found my last occupation. This is the longest, almost 30 years, that I have stayed with one occupation. The reason is that holistic health and naturopathy have so many different aspects, that I never get bored, can always learn more and love to both help and teach others.
- Website: https://naturopath4you.com/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/naturopath4you
- Other: https://www.nutritioneducation.org/ is where you can find my steaming courses available to rent or buy
The short women in the middle is my good friend Joan Grinzi who was the executive director of Price Pottenger The tall man is my friend Patrick Quillan PhD author of Beating Cancer with Nutrition