In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, Dave talks with neurosurgeon Dr. Marcella Madera about innovations in the field of integrative, regenerative spine care, and how she’s using stem cells in her treatments. She’s currently one of the only spine surgeons in the country to offer stem cell treatments using a patient’s own harvested cells to promote healing.
Listeners may remember that she was the third set of six hands during Dave’s whole-body stem cell makeover. (For those new to the show, more on that here and here.) In today’s episode, Dr. Marcella describes—in detail—what she did with stem cells along Dave’s spine. She also makes exosomes fun: “They are little nanoparticles full of awesome, regenerative juice,” she says.
Understanding and treating spinal disease is the focus of Dr. Marcella’s professional medical practice. She approaches that work by combining surgical and holistic perspectives. Her expertise comes from rigorous training and background, including a Johns Hopkins fellowship, as well as extensive travel throughout Europe and the U.S. to learn progressive techniques and regenerative medicine practices.
Today’s conversation also pivots into preparing patients for surgery and caring for them afterward in ways that are unconventional, and this is where Dr. Marcella’s integrative approach really shines. She addresses sleep, inflammation, nutrition, movement, stress management, and energy modalities for pain management—not just the nitty gritty of the surgical procedure.
You’ll be captivated by Dr. Marcella’s viewpoint: “We’re on the verge in the next 20-50 years of having a totally different understanding of the biology of the body,” she says. “I think that’s where we’re going—figuring out how to use external energy plus regenerative medicine together.”
Follow Along with the Transcript
- There’s a space in the OR for a time out 00:08:05
- All of our brains are wired to focus on the negative 00:10:20
- How stem cells know what to become 00:13:50
- What to eat before surgery 00:30:55
- Dave’s adventures with stem cells and Sake 00:36:00
- Big Ideas:
- The energy exercises Dr. Madera does as part of her practice 00:05:45
- Does it matter what you “hear” when you are unconscious? 00:09:45
- The intention we have for healing can affect the results 00:11:00
- What is the future of spinal surgery? 00:17:20
- What are exosomes? 00:18:25
- What Marcella did for Dave’s spine 00:19:30
- Do stem cells help with sleep? 00:22:40
- Making hospitals more comfortable 00:29:10
- Radical Regeneration 00:39:30
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