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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » John Bradshaw » John Bradshaw - Conversation with Dr. Neil Nedley - Part 2

John Bradshaw - Conversation with Dr. Neil Nedley - Part 2

John Bradshaw - Conversation with Dr. Neil Nedley - Part 2
TOPICS: Conversations

John Bradshaw: Dr. Neil Nedley, thank you so very much for joining me. I appreciate it.

Dr. Neil Nedley: John, it's great being here. Thanks for having me.

John Bradshaw: You're a physician. Has anybody ever asked you this question: Do you enjoy being a doctor?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Absolutely.

John Bradshaw: What do you enjoy about it? I mean, enjoy about it? Here's why I'm asking you. My son, at one stage, he was thinking of being a doctor. I spoke to numerous doctors and mentioned that. Fifty percent of them, and I'm talking about 50% of about 18 or 20 doctors, said, "Tell him not to bother".

Dr. Neil Nedley: Wow.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, just that directly.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Wow.

John Bradshaw: The others said, with the exception of one who said something different, "Tell him he should, if he really loves it".

Dr. Neil Nedley: Oh, wow.

John Bradshaw: Yeah. So I thought that was interesting. You enjoy it?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Oh, yeah, and I would give anyone, you know, who is thinking about it, and has the ability to do it, a strong encouragement.

John Bradshaw: What do you enjoy about the practice of medicine?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, I enjoy most everything about it. But I also, I mean, the most enjoying aspect is changed lives and seeing lives transformed for the better. And, you know, it doesn't really get any better than that when we can be a instrumental aspect of changing someone's life that was in shambles and taking it to a life that is successful and fulfilled and full of health.

John Bradshaw: However you define "modern times", whether that's from 1925 or 1950 or whatever the case might be, like, modern, you could even go back further, depending on how you define modern. We've increased in knowledge, scientific knowledge gone through the roof, medical knowledge gone through the roof as well. We're sicker than we've ever been in modern times. Well, why is that? I mean, we shouldn't be. So why are we so sick?

Dr. Neil Nedley: We shouldn't be. Longevity is going down in this country considerably the last few years...

John Bradshaw: What do we put that down to?

Dr. Neil Nedley: ...never happened before.

John Bradshaw: No, not ever happened.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Deaths of despair, deaths of despair are changing that whole aspect of things. So, opioid deaths, suicidal deaths, deaths due to alcohol, you know, non-disease-related deaths are on the increase.

John Bradshaw: Do we know why there are certain countries, I'm a citizen of one of them, wrestling with an absolute suicide epidemic, for example? Suicide has always been an issue. But in some places now it's just absolutely what we think is out of control.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Oh yeah.

John Bradshaw: Do we know why?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Oh yeah, I mean, we know why. I mean, it has to do with the brain and chemistry and feelings of hopelessness that come about with some of those changes. The thing that is worrisome is, you know, when the economy was up, we were seeing suicide rates go up, and we hadn't seen that before in this country.

John Bradshaw: That's a strange thing, isn't it?

Dr. Neil Nedley: And then when the economy goes down, of course, suicide rates go up even further.

John Bradshaw: But we live in a time where people have got every reason to be hopeful. I understand there's economic pressures. But, I mean, look, the Great Depression had economic pressures. And various eras from then until now, we've had our troughs and our peaks. Do we know why there's such hopelessness?

Dr. Neil Nedley: The internet is one of the big reasons, internet, smartphones, technology. The more we look at images, the more hopeless we become in regards to our own measuring up. And the more we look at certain ways that the media portray certain subject lines, it can also drive us to utter hopelessness and thinking that we really can't do anything about the way we're feeling.

John Bradshaw: You deal extensively with depression and anxiety recovery.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Mm-hmm.

John Bradshaw: We've talked before about how dramatic the results are that you have seen and witnessed. And you've made the statement that 99%, over 99% of people who would be the classically depressed people today can find a way out of that if they are given the right tools. What are some other areas, you've worked extensively in many areas of health. What are some other areas where we could see a turnaround, where there is hope, where people don't have to be statistics? What are some addressable, reversible, preventable health challenges that are common in society today?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, I think we haven't done as well as we could with cancer treatments, for instance.

John Bradshaw: Mmm.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Cancer is the leading cause of death in people under the age of 85 in this country. It even surpasses coronary artery disease. And cancer treatment has made some strides in regards to, you know, certain chemotherapy agents and immunotherapy and things like that. But the area that's missing is the diet and lifestyle approaches and how adding that to more traditional approaches can produce sometimes exponentially improved results.

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm. If someone came to you and they said, "Doctor, I'm a typical male, female. I consume the standard American diet. So that means I'm going to die young. I'm probably going to get cancer or heart disease. But right now, you know, I'm 28. My life is ahead of me. But I've read the signs, and that's where I'm heading because that's where people head. Doctor, help me. I don't want to die young from this or that disease". I know you cannot guarantee. You wouldn't even suggest that you can. But you would say, "Aha, I've got three or four or five or six suggestions for you that are going to really increase your chances of living a good long life without picking up cancer, heart disease, diabetes", those lifestyle diseases, in many cases but not all.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Mm-hmm.

John Bradshaw: What are those three or four or five or six things that you're going to advise a person?

Dr. Neil Nedley: One is a diet very high in antioxidants.

John Bradshaw: But I don't know what an antioxidant is. So what do I do? First, I got to Google "antioxidants".

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yeah, that's right. Well, centering in on the top 10 fruits and vegetables that are high in the antioxidants would be very healthy.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, what do antioxidants do?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Antioxidants prevent the changes in the genetic material from, you know, producing the cancer cell, to begin with. And so that's a large preventive way. Now, antioxidants, interestingly, in the plants are there to fight diseases in the plants. And so...

John Bradshaw: Oh, that's interesting.

Dr. Neil Nedley:'re going to have more antioxidants, for instance, in organic foods, where we're not fighting the disease for the plant. And so that plant builds up more resistance in fighting the disease. And then when we eat that plant, we end up with more of those antioxidants that are gonna protect us from invaders and even help us recover from an infection sooner if we have a higher antioxidant load.

John Bradshaw: So the idea is to eat your way to better health. What are some of those foods? You mentioned the antioxidant foods, but what would they be?

Dr. Neil Nedley: The greens are very high in it, spinach, kale. Garlic is the number one antioxidant vegetable. But, you know, broccoli is in the top five. Beets are an excellent source.

John Bradshaw: I've heard blueberries are high in antioxidants. Is that true?

Dr. Neil Nedley: They're high, as far as the fruits are concerned. So yeah, the top antioxidant fruits are all in the berry family. And interestingly, the non-berry that has the most antioxidants is a humble fruit that people don't necessarily think of, but it's the plum.

John Bradshaw: Oh, is that so?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yeah, plum is the highest. Of course, you know, citrus is good, and cherries are good. Even red grapes are up there in the top 10. Kiwi's actually in the top 10 as well.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yeah.

John Bradshaw: So, eat greens. Do what your mother told you, right? Eat green vegetables and plenty of fruits and find out those, the ones that are high in antioxidants. That will really help you.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Mm-hmm.

John Bradshaw: Pretty simple, isn't it?

Dr. Neil Nedley: It's pretty simple, yeah.

John Bradshaw: Pretty simple.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yeah, pretty simple.

John Bradshaw: Okay, so...

Dr. Neil Nedley: And then...

John Bradshaw: ...that's one thing that you would advise?

Dr. Neil Nedley: One thing? Exercise.

John Bradshaw: Exercise, how good is it?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Physical exercise is very good. It prevents cancer. It prevents heart disease. It actually treats mental illness. Physical fitness is actually better for our brains than it is our bodies.

John Bradshaw: I saw something, a guy online saying, "Hey, I got something for you. It will help you with", and then he listed, "You'll lose weight. You'll be less depressed. Your sex life will improve. Your heart rate" will do this, I mean, every last thing you could think of.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yeah.

John Bradshaw: And I'm listening to this guy go, wow, where's he going with this? DR NEDLEY: Yeah.

John Bradshaw: I should have known. He paused at the end and said, "Exercise helps with everything there ever was".

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yeah.

John Bradshaw: There are precious few people who can't get exercise. And I don't mean to marginalize folks who have some kind of significant physical disability or health problem. But most of us can get more exercise, can't we?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Exactly. And that's a very positive thing.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Another thing is early to bed, early to rise. That one might be a little tougher to do. But we make more melatonin when we do that. And melatonin is the most potent antioxidant known to man...

John Bradshaw: Oh, is that so?

Dr. Neil Nedley: ...30 times more potent than vitamin E. And we make double the amount when we go to bed early. In addition to that, our cells can make melatonin in the daytime to protect our mitochondria. Melatonin being an antioxidant keeps your energy-producing cells going. And melatonin is made by our cells in the daytime in response to infrared light. You don't get infrared, you know, indoors. You have to be outdoors. But you can get it from sunrise to sunset. You know, we used to think the sun was only helpful for us when it was direct enough to produce vitamin D. Yes, vitamin D is healthy for us. That's another aspect of very good health. It's cancer preventive. It helps with mental health. But what we're just finding out is the even more powerful effects of infrared light. And so that means spending more time outdoors. And the additional benefit of outdoor exercise is that there are oils emitted from the green plants that have a positive effect on our health. We call it "forest bathing".

John Bradshaw: Yes, yes, yes, very big in Japan.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Right, exactly.

John Bradshaw: I recall a Christian author wrote once upon a time about the healing fragrance of the pine.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yes.

John Bradshaw: So there was absolute science in that statement, wasn't there?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Absolutely. Yeah, pine needle extract, it's been shown to have antidepressant activity, anti-anxiety activity.

John Bradshaw: I would love to have cut the quote, copied the quote, remembered the quote, but I read where somebody wrote, and I won't hazard to mention the amount of time, lest I embarrass myself by being woefully wrong. But after being in nature for a very short period of time, there is a measurable positive physiological effect on the body.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yes.

John Bradshaw: That's dramatic, isn't it? So just walking in the woods...

Dr. Neil Nedley: Walking in the woods, yeah. You get infrared in the woods because of the reflection even off of the green trees. When you're walking in the city, the sun will reflect off the buildings. But no infrared is coming off of that reflection.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, so what about these folks, almost wear it as a badge of courage, "I can get by on four hours of sleep a night. I can make it on five hours. I only sleep for four hours and 45 minutes every night". I mean, there are some, you know, hard-nosed business types. They brag about working every hour that was ever given. Can anybody get by on four or five hours a night, really? I'm not saying, "Can they exist"? Can a person actually get by on that?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Studies show you need six, minimum.

John Bradshaw: And if you're not getting it, what happens?

Dr. Neil Nedley: If you're not getting it, you're not getting those toxins washed out appropriately. And so what ends up happening is for you to be able to try to function in the daytime, you're having to use artificial stimulants, you know, caffeine, something else.

John Bradshaw: And so that's what sleep does, right? Washes the toxins out of the... is it the brain? Is it the whole body system?

Dr. Neil Nedley: It's particularly the brain. So sleep is most beneficial for the brain. So yeah, you need four hours minimum. Now, when people come to us, we have a lot of insomnia people that come to us. They can't sleep. And of course, that can cause depression and anxiety in and of itself. And they realize, "My problem is I can't sleep". So we will make sure they're getting four hours with us while we set their body clock with the blue light in the morning, the blue light from the same wavelength of blue sky. Thirty minutes of exposure of that, first thing in the morning, will actually help you to get more rest at night, more melatonin. And after a week, you'll wake up with more energy. And so as long as they're getting four hours during that week, they'll still be able to learn. They'll still be able to function. They'll be able to do good things. But when that circadian rhythm gets fixed, then they'll go up to six or more hours. And then they'll be able to function far better.

John Bradshaw: Now, you said, "People who come to us". So let's talk about the "us" here. Who's "us"?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, "us" is Nedley Health. And so Nedley Health has a residential treatment program out of Weimar University, and so that's where we run our program, and so that's the therapeutic and educational program all combined into one there.

John Bradshaw: Somebody participates in that program. What are they going to experience? I mean, the nuts and bolts of the experience, what do you do to them?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Oh, well, they will be exposed to that light first thing in the morning. They'll wake up at the same time every morning. And they will exercise pre-breakfast. We're going to work on getting them more fit. Then they'll have a very healthy and tasty breakfast. In fact, it'll be so healthy and tasty that they'll want to eat breakfast every day after they leave us.

John Bradshaw: Aha, there you go. And so many people don't?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yeah, exactly. And breakfast is the best meal of the day. Speaking about both physical and mental health, it's the best meal of the day.

John Bradshaw: Mm.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And then after that, we'll have a mind-body-spirit presentation, a lecture. And then after that, we'll have individual appointments. So they might experience massage. They might have hydrotherapy. They might have an appointment with a therapist or with the physician. They might be doing some sort of analysis in regards to, you know, patterns of thinking or biochemical analysis with the lab or things like that. And then, of course, we'll have a very healthy lunch. Normally, we have another lecture or presentation on something very exciting about their mind and body and then a group session after that, coaching them: How are we going to implement this in our home? How are we going to be able to do this on a regular basis to take advantage of that? And then more individual appointments until either the evening meal or not. Some people actually do better physically and mentally to be on an intermittent fast, where they fast in the evening. After seven days, they won't even be hungry in the evening. And they'll have ketosis every day, which helps with brain-derived neurotrophic factor. And then in the evening, we have another mind-body-spirit presentation that helps them put all of this together. Then they'll retire at 8:00 or so. They can, you know, be in bed by 9:00 or maybe do stretching or other types of things on their own. And then we have another process the next day. So each day is completely different, but it has very similar bedtime, wake-up time; meal times are on time, and a great insight that people will get in regards to how their own body and brain works and what they can do to optimize it.

John Bradshaw: People who come through this program, what kind of results are they experiencing? And we don't have long for you to answer this question. But...they are getting off medication. They're sleeping better. What are some of the things that they're experiencing?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, they're experiencing increase in energy. They're experiencing far better sleep. They don't have excessive fear or worry anymore. And their interest in life goes up. And they go from a hopeless feeling that their condition is hopeless to now full of hope. In addition, they're able to manage their emotions when things don't go well anymore. And so if they have, you know, some things that happen at work or happen in the home that are not what they would prefer, it doesn't, you know, cause catastrophic, you know, aspects to their own mental health. And their focus and concentration goes up. So their work performance goes up. Their ability to read and retain is improved. And also, if they're in academics, their GPA will go up. And we'll see, you know, some positive benefits there: no longer thinking about death or, you know, or thinking that death would be preferable, as many do before they come to the program. And now they have a feeling of no longer being worthless but actually in an identity that's very positive and recognizing their own ability to be able to help change their families and communities in a positive way.

John Bradshaw: The Bible says we "are fearfully and wonderfully made". God tells us that He is a great physician. And we might look at some of what God says about health in just a moment, the incredible promises that He makes to us. Thanks for being part of this conversation with Dr. Neil Nedley. I'm John Bradshaw, and we will be back with more in just a moment. [ ]

John Bradshaw: Welcome back to "Conversations," brought to you by It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw. My guest is Dr. Neil Nedley. Dr. Nedley, you approach health, the treatment of patients from, I'm going to say, a holistic point of view. And I don't know whether that word is used or misused these days.

Dr. Neil Nedley: That's OK, yeah.

John Bradshaw: But you're looking at the whole person. You also factor in a spiritual component when you're looking at an individual, recognizing that we are spiritual beings.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Mm-hmm.

John Bradshaw: You could, I suppose, just choose to focus on only spiritual, but you connect, it'd be odd for a physician to do that, but you connect spiritual with physical, realizing it impacts upon the emotional. It suggests to me something about the way that we were made, something about the way that we are created.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Mm-hmm.

John Bradshaw: When you look into the Bible, the Bible has a lot to say about good health.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Absolutely.

John Bradshaw: Why is it that, maybe we're answering this as we go along, but why is it that God spends any time at all talking about us from a physical, a health point of view?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, He said in the Bible, I came to give you life and to give it "more abundantly".

John Bradshaw: "More abundantly," that's right.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And so, He is about life. The only portion of the Bible He wrote Himself, the Ten Commandments, those are 10 executive limitations He puts on us. One of those executive limitations is, "Thou shalt not kill".

John Bradshaw: Yes.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And if that's the case, the principle behind that is life.

John Bradshaw: Life, sure.

Dr. Neil Nedley: So, everything about God, He brought life to this planet, created life, and He wants it to be happy and abundant and full. And that's what the Bible is about, the Word of God.

John Bradshaw: You've got John writing in the little book of 3 John, "I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health". That's an interesting thing for a Bible writer to write. I believe many Christians, even, never step back and realize that God cares anything at all about their physical health. But certainly, He does architected the human body in this incredible design. And the body interacts with all of the elements around it. And when we get things out of whack, out of balance, it doesn't ever work out well for the human being. There's a spiritual component that seems to impact good health. I'll ask you about prayer in a minute. But I want to ask you about the devotional life and ask you how you see that playing into good health or maybe how you see the Bible seeing that.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, interestingly, there are studies that have shown that in order for us to be able to change our lifestyle for the better and stick with those changes, 3 to 1 positive to negative thoughts are necessary. Now, the average person that sees me is a patient whose disease, 80% of their thoughts are negative, and 95% of their thoughts are repetitive. And so we've got to change that.

John Bradshaw: You get stuck in a vortex, couldn't you, at this cycle of negative thinking?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yes, yeah, so much so that it can cause mental illness.

John Bradshaw: Yes, the typical person, give us some examples of this, because this sounds real good, but that's the sort of thing that I could listen to you say without ever applying it to my life. Let's apply it to my life or to an individual's life. What are these negative, what are the negative thoughts? You've work with people and their thoughts very intimately. So what are the thoughts that are trapping people? Or the thought patterns, what are they?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, emotional reasoning is a big one. This is, "Because I feel this way, I am this way. If I feel overwhelmed and helpless, therefore my problems are impossible to solve". You know, it...

John Bradshaw: It's pretty easy to feel overwhelmed, though, isn't it, and therefore get stuck in this hopelessness thing.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Exactly. Mental filter is another one, where we're just looking at only one side of, you know, the equation or only one side, thinking that, "There's nothing good in my life" when there actually are positive things that are good.

John Bradshaw: Right, right, right.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And then we also tend to magnify, you know, we tend to major in minors and minor in majors.

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And that's a big one, magnification and minimization.

John Bradshaw: So you can teach that to somebody? You can teach somebody how to think positively rather than negatively?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Absolutely.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, I guess, ultimately, every thought is a choice, right?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Every thought is a choice. People don't realize they could have Negative Automatic Thoughts. We call them NATs.

John Bradshaw: Mmm.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And so one of the ways in improving the NATs is through a devotional life. You know, the Bible says, "Set your affections on things above"...

John Bradshaw: "Above," sure. DR NEDLEY: ..".not on things of the earth". If our families are, you know, in shambles, and, you know, we don't have a job, and we're comparing ourselves among others in this false world of social media, you can see how we can be in a swirl of negative thoughts. And if everything around you seems to be negative, one of the things that can help you is to "set your affections on things above" that are real. It's not just fantasy world. It's actually very real world, and when we get that bigger perspective, which is what the Bible gives us, we can have very positive thoughts. And we can start changing that 80% negative into...and the Bible isn't all positive. There are some negative things there, but we put that in perspective. And so once we can get 3 to 1 positive versus negative, lifestyle changes will occur, and they will stay. And so a devotional life is very important for someone living in a bad environment. I think it's important for everybody.

John Bradshaw: Sure.

Dr. Neil Nedley: If I'm not doing my devotions, I'll get out of balance. And so, you know, sleep, exercise, and the devotional life, those are three things that I'm always making sure that I've got going for me because I will get out of balance if I don't do those three things well. But for a person who's in a more negative environment than me, it's even more important for them to have that devotional life so they can set their affections on things above.

John Bradshaw: Walk me through this. What you said, I think, is profoundly important. But can you help a person right now walk through identifying a destructive thought and therefore destructive thought pattern? How does that person see that and intervene in that moment and kick that back and instead turn in a positive direction? Can you walk me through the nuts and bolts of that?

Dr. Neil Nedley: So, yeah, since we're talking about biblical examples, sometimes we need help with this. But Elijah got depressed, because one of his big issues was he was the only one that hadn't bowed the knee to Baal. Now, he should have thought, "I'm the only one I know of".

John Bradshaw: Right.

Dr. Neil Nedley: "There's gotta be others". But he just knew he was the only one.

John Bradshaw: The only one.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And God had to help him with that and say, you know, Elijah, that's an overgeneralization. You're not only a little bit wrong. You're wrong by a factor of 7,000.

John Bradshaw: It's way wrong.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yeah. And so, once he was able to gain that perspective, he no longer thought that. And he was able to correct that thought and get out of his depression.

John Bradshaw: Something you talk a lot about is emotional intelligence.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yes.

John Bradshaw: What is that?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Emotional intelligence is our ability to understand our emotions and the emotions of others and respond to those emotions in a healthy way.

John Bradshaw: For example?

Dr. Neil Nedley: So if someone is easily, you know, gets upset as a result of someone cutting them off in traffic...

John Bradshaw: Sure, good example.

Dr. Neil Nedley: ...they don't have emotional intelligence.

John Bradshaw: OK. But wait, no. Wait, the traffic is intense. I am running late.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Right.

John Bradshaw: That...unintelligent person... shouldn't be doing what they're doing.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Right.

John Bradshaw: They cut me off. You know, I could have just about bumped that car. He could've killed me.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Right.

John Bradshaw: It's perfectly reasonable for me to lose my cool. I've gotta wind the window down, honk the horn, yell, and shake my fist because after all, he could kill somebody out there on the road.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, that's the thoughts that caused the anger and the frustration.

John Bradshaw: And it's really easy to justify.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And very easy to judge.

John Bradshaw: So help me to stop that. Help that person who's going, "He just read the script of my every day, of my morning commute". How do we do something about that? Because, look, life is so frustrating. And that person did drive recklessly, zipped in right in front of me, and I almost hit him, and who knows what would have happened, and...

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, there's a couple of ways of which I would recommend that you do. One is you don't know for sure why he did that. You don't know who this person is at all. He might have someone, you know, who needs to be taken to emergency room of a local hospital that's on death's door in the back seat that you can't see. And that may be why he's driving that way. It may be unlikely, but you don't know for sure. But also, you need to realize that you can, you know, he didn't hit you. He didn't cause you to have physical, you know, damage, and that you can actually stand that. We're not asking you to like it. But what you don't like, you actually can stand. There's only one thing a human being cannot stand, and those are things that lead to death, or death itself we can't stand. But to get ourselves all riled up over things that we can actually tolerate and stand is not helping us. And so we have to look at it two ways. We don't know what was in the heart of that person or what was in the mind. And if we had those same things going on, perhaps we would act very similarly to what they just did.

John Bradshaw: Mmm.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And secondly, he didn't hit me. He hasn't injured me. And I can take this, and I don't have to get myself all riled up over it.

John Bradshaw: Here's what I think is true. I could probably tell you about 50 people around me who are really emotionally unintelligent. They don't have good emotional intelligence. That's the easy part.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Right.

John Bradshaw: How do I identify my own lack of emotional intelligence? How do you go about doing this self-inventory and saying, "You know, brother, you got", or sister, "you got some growing to do". It's not the easiest thing. But I don't mean just that from a pride-humility aspect. I mean, how easy is it? It's clearly necessary to be able to identify your own lack of emotional intelligence. You can't have your spouse telling you all day long because, you know, that typically won't end up in a good place. How do we do that reflection to see honestly where we are and where we might have growth areas?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, there are several ways. One way, of course, is taking an emotional intelligence test.

John Bradshaw: Easy enough to find and do?

Dr. Neil Nedley: They're a little difficult. You can find them, you know, we have helped developed one that's been standardized and been very helpful. It's called the DAAT test, and you can take that online. There is some cost to it. But it will not only tell you your emotional intelligence, but it will tell you areas that are impairing your emotional intelligence that you can change.

John Bradshaw: That sounds important.

Dr. Neil Nedley: So that's the DAAT test, D-A-A-T. Another thing that can also be helpful on that is back to the devotional life.

John Bradshaw: OK.

Dr. Neil Nedley: You know, when we are reading the Word of God, and we have prayed that God help us to understand that, when we see a command, instead of just reading over it, pray and ask God, "Am I compliant with that command"? And if He convicts you that you're not, then make a commitment. When you see a promise, don't just read the promise; claim the promise.

John Bradshaw: Claim the promise.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And those things will actually improve your emotional intelligence. You know, we're told that the Spirit of truth is the Comforter.

John Bradshaw: Yes.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Christ said when He went to heaven, that He would send the Spirit of truth as the Comforter. And how that works is when we are reading truthful material that the Bible has, the truth can convict us. And of course, that's the role of the Holy Spirit, to convict us. A convict is someone who's declared guilty. And that is something to recognize in our devotional life. Hey, I am guilty of this.

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And don't just feel bad about yourself. Now, make a commitment to change. God, I ask you to forgive me for things that I haven't seen that I've been doing that are hurting myself and others and help me to be able to think differently about this and act differently about it. And that's a great way of improving your emotional intelligence.

John Bradshaw: I wonder, too, about emotional intelligence, as I stated, it's maybe easier to see somebody else's shortcomings than your own.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Oh, it is. Most people do not see their own shortcomings.

John Bradshaw: If we go to the Bible, I just wonder what you would think of this. You read of Jesus. You see Jesus.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Mm-hmm.

John Bradshaw: And surely, in seeing Christ and understanding Jesus, you will see, you'll see a little bit of yourself. You know, you see Jesus, who was so patient, so kind didn't rail against people, never got into heated debates. It's pretty easy to see yourself in the light of that. So we're all sinners, and we come short of the glory of God. Not a one of us can claim to be like Jesus.

Dr. Neil Nedley: He was the most emotionally intelligent human being ever.

John Bradshaw: He was, wasn't He?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yeah.

John Bradshaw: So how do we approach that? What do you do when you see your shortcomings, and you feel like, man, I'm such a poor Christian; I'm such a loser of a human being? There's got to be a lot of honesty involved here. David prayed, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: see if there be any wicked way in me". Now, fortunately, God doesn't show you all your shortcomings at once.

Dr. Neil Nedley: You're right. It can be overwhelming.

John Bradshaw: But in His mercy, yeah, in His mercy, He'll show you some.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Right.

John Bradshaw: Instead of being discouraged, Doctor, what do you do when this is an emotional issue, and you may see I'm just such a poor excuse for a Christian? What to do then, so as not to be completely overcome with guilt and so forth?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, ask God to help you to change in the way that He is convicting you to change based on that. I mean, that's actually a very wonderful thing when we start to recognize our own defects. The problem is, you know, if we don't correct our mistakes, we're doomed to repeat them.

John Bradshaw: Sure. Yeah.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And so we want to be enlightened. David's prayer is my prayer as well. You know, if I may not see any defects in myself, God, You know me better than I know myself. Point out areas where I need to improve. And He will help us with that process if we understand where we need to improve.

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. In terms of emotional health, emotional intelligence, we've seen more of this being discussed in recent times. We didn't see this 50, 40, 30, 20 years ago.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Mm-hmm.

John Bradshaw: How has there been a shift to embrace this? My question is, where did this come from? Now we're talking about this, whereas before, we didn't think to talk about it. Or did we talk about it using different words in days gone by?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Oh, we definitely talked about it in different words. You know, the Bible mentions it in different words. The actual, you know, phrase "emotional intelligence" was coined in 1934.

John Bradshaw: That's a long time ago.

Dr. Neil Nedley: But it was really popularized by Daniel Goleman in 1990 when he wrote a book by that title and then talked about all the benefits of emotional intelligence. And of course, it's been growing since that time. It's the measurement that seems to be most connected with having a happy, fulfilled life.

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm. It continues to grow. Are people catching on to this and realizing that this is a constructive way of dealing with real baseline issues in a person's life?

Dr. Neil Nedley: It is growing. Yeah, fortunately, and it's growing to the point where, you know, I've been asked to develop a curriculum K through 12 to enhance the emotional intelligence of our young people to set them up for success, you know, for the rest of their life.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, talk to me about this. We've discussed this very briefly. But what you said to me one time was the government of a US territory is...where did this come from, that a territorial government would say, "We need to deal with emotional intelligence, emotional health"? They reach out to you, to Nedley Health, to shepherd them with this. It seems like an unlikely thing for a government to busy itself with, but a remarkably positive and productive thing.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yes.

John Bradshaw: So how'd this come about?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, it came about as a result of the judicial system being overwhelmed.

John Bradshaw: Which is true everywhere.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yeah. And so they recognize, you know, violence is an all-time high, family violence. We're having to have these drug courts, all this substance abuse. And one of the individuals that had been attending our Emotional Intelligence Summit, who was the news anchor that was connected with both political parties, had been coming to our EQ Summit, and she says, "I know how you can solve all this and prevent all this. It's by enhancing the emotional intelligence of our people". And says, "Well, how is that going to happen"? Well, it'll have to happen through education, but brought me there to speak to the government officials. And after speaking to them and showing them the data and information, they became convinced enough to ask me to write the entire curriculum for the K through 12 schools.

John Bradshaw: That's a huge job.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And it's been piloted, and it's been very successful. And now they're wanting it to go to every grade.

John Bradshaw: So what kind of results we're seeing?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Oh, they're now emphasizing brain health. Before, they, the students did not think it was very important to emphasize overall brain health. And they have made some very positive changes in their diet and their exercise and their activities to enhance their frontal lobe. In addition, they are now not being controlled by their emotions. Beforehand, they would say, "If I got angry, I almost couldn't think of anything else". Now, if they do get angry, they're able to still be productive and think of other things and put this in perspective. They are no longer bored with life. The boredom went down dramatically of our young people. And on top of that, they found that they were able to forgive others far more readily. They had a real problem forgiving beforehand. And now they're more forgiving. They express more positive emotions, gratitude. And they also were getting better sleep. They were going to bed early. They were getting outside more, all of these things to enhance overall brain health. And that occurred in just a 10-week course.

John Bradshaw: Just 10 weeks?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yes.

John Bradshaw: Quite phenomenal. OK, two things I'm going to ask you about just after the break, one is forgiveness, and the other is the work that you're doing with Weimar, certainly wonderful things are happening there. I hope you'll stay with us beyond the break. We'll be back with more from Dr. Nedley and our conversation, brought to you by It Is Written. [ ]

John Bradshaw: Welcome back to "Conversations," brought to you by It Is Written. My guest is Dr. Neil Nedley. And I told you a moment ago, Dr. Nedley, I wanted to ask you about forgiveness. Forgiveness is such a powerful, potent tool.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Mm-hmm.

John Bradshaw: Where do you see forgiveness fitting into healing and health? Have you seen it? Do you see examples of this?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Oh, yes, it's the way out of anger and bitterness. And, you know, we have a tendency, when we're wronged or we feel we've been wronged, to either get angry and have that anger directed at others or to have the anger directed inward, which leads to depression and hopelessness, or go the pathway of bitterness. And so in fallen human nature's standpoint, there isn't really a way out of that when we've been wronged so severely. But there is a way, and that way is through forgiveness.

John Bradshaw: I think a lot of unforgiveness comes from people deriving a little bit of joy at making the other person suffer. "You wronged me. I should hold that against you so that, in some perverse way, I can feel like you are paying for it. You are suffering", even though they're not. No one that you refuse to forgive suffers. Most of the time, they don't even know that you have this ax to grind. They've gone on with their life as though nothing ever happened. It's extraordinarily unproductive. How can a person learn to forgive? Because forgive, in the Bible, we are told that God will not forgive us if we don't forgive others. I don't think that means we are forgiven because we forgive. But we're certainly forgiven as we forgive. What do you say to that person who says, "Yeah, I really ought to forgive my brother for what happened 47 years ago, but I've just never done it"? How does someone forgive?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, we need to recognize what forgiveness is and isn't.

John Bradshaw: Yes.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Forgiveness is not saying that what they did was OK, or that, you know, it's no big deal. We don't forgive people for doing right things or neutral things. We forgive them for doing wrong things. So if we're, you know, in the act of forgiving them, we're actually pointing out the wrong. So let's be aware of that. And then secondly, forgiveness is letting go of the hurt and pain and the issues that this has caused me to have in regards to my own emotions and giving that over to God and letting God handle that aspect. Otherwise, we are letting that person control us.

John Bradshaw: That's what happens, right? That person that you don't forgive ends up having an outsized influence in your life.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Exactly.

John Bradshaw: Quite remarkable, really.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yeah, and there's still all sorts of negative things. Anger and bitterness bring about disease.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And so, giving that over to God and then replacing the anger and bitterness with feelings of pity and mercy towards the wrongdoer, it doesn't mean that we, you know, have all of these affectionate feelings of love for them.

John Bradshaw: Right.

Dr. Neil Nedley: But it means that we have a pitying love for them. I think it's very much the same way that God loves His erring creation.

John Bradshaw: Sure.

Dr. Neil Nedley: He pities them 'cause He recognizes they could do so much better if they would but trust in Him and live the lifestyle that He recommends.

John Bradshaw: And there was pity in the words of Jesus: "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they do".

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yeah.

John Bradshaw: There was pity involved in that.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yeah, and then having the attitude of mercy where we recognize, you know, we haven't been perfect in our life. And we might have even wronged some other individuals at some point in time. And, you know, we haven't been cast away and buried beneath the earth because of all this.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And so, taking a more merciful stance towards those that have wronged us... now, that doesn't mean that they don't have to pay the penalty for what they did, you know, but it means that we are releasing that anger and bitterness and all of the issues that it's caused us and giving that over to God.

John Bradshaw: You've mentioned Weimar University a couple of times. So let's talk about Weimar University. Tell me a little bit about Weimar's history, what it is, where it is, and what it's about.

Dr. Neil Nedley: So, Weimar University is a health, comprehensive health college. Of course, we have business programs, and we have religion, education programs, but we also have nursing programs, a medical missionary course called Health Evangelism Leadership Training. We've trained a lot of doctors and dentists there through premed/pre-dent programs, physical therapy programs and now starting a music program. It's a university based on the model of the school of the prophets.

John Bradshaw: There's been a lot of growth there in recent times. I recall from years gone by there's been a theology program and so forth. Nursing is new.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Nursing is new.

John Bradshaw: Premed is new.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Premed, mm-hmm.

John Bradshaw: Now music...

Dr. Neil Nedley: Yeah, music and now psychology, counseling, we now have master's. There's a reason why it's in university; it's a graduate level program. So we have master's that can lead to licensed, being a licensed counselor, which we need more of for our programs that will be established in other places, and then also a master's in religion and planting new churches and revitalizing churches using, again, Christ's threefold ministry. So it's called the master's in mission and wellness because Christ spent more time healing than he did preaching. And the healing, teaching, and gospel proclamation combined is where we see the most power.

John Bradshaw: Mmm, mm. It's important on any university campus, Christian university campus, to have a strong spiritual emphasis. How have you gone about intentionally establishing a strong spiritual environment at Weimar University?

Dr. Neil Nedley: One of the ways we've gone about that is to not be just inwardly focused but outwardly focused. So every week, in fact, we're the only university we know of in America that does this, our campus empties out; the staff and the students go out to serve the community.

John Bradshaw: Mmm.

Dr. Neil Nedley: It's called TCI, Total Community Involvement. And so we will do some simple things, like maybe yard work or cleaning the gutters of homes of people that can't get out and do that, or we will put on maybe community health programming for them. And there was a site where we did a community depression and anxiety recovery. We went to the homeless shelter and put on an Optimize Your Brain program for the homeless shelter attendees in enhancing their emotional intelligence. And we also have children's programming. And so it's really utilizing the threefold ministry, teaching, healing, and actually doing, you know labor, acts of service, that have rallied the community around us. And interestingly, at the end of each one of these TCI sessions, there's a little devotion that the students and the staff put on and the ones that they've served. We do this on Wednesday, and so we actually have local Wednesday night prayer meetings in the homes that we have served.

John Bradshaw: What impact do you see this having on young people?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Oh, it's had a tremendous impact, yeah, because they see the positive results in others, who are not even interested in spiritual things, now having that spiritual awakening. And they're able to interface with them and help them on their spiritual life. And when we do that for others, we're helping our own spirituality as well.

John Bradshaw: Are you satisfied with the direction of Weimar University? I don't ask that because I'm fearful you're dissatisfied. Or are there new mountains to climb and new vistas to seek out? Where is Weimar going?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Well, when you're doing things that are that positive, you need to realize that in this world of sin, we're going to be attacked.

John Bradshaw: Sure.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And so, have we been attacked? Has the devil tried to attack us? Oh, yes, in numerous ways. But as we withstand every one of these attacks, we actually grow stronger.

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And so, yeah, I'm very positive about the trajectory of Weimar University. Our staff is coalescing, very united. We're getting better staff, better students as well, student enrollment going up. We're needing to build new dorms. And Weimar is one of the best-kept secrets of North America at this point.

John Bradshaw: As somebody who doesn't know where Weimar University is located, tell us where this place is nestled.

Dr. Neil Nedley: It's about 45 minutes from the Sacramento airport on the foothills of the Sierras. So it's basically between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, one of the most beautiful sections of the country and a lot of fresh air with those evergreen mountain trees and all those beautiful trees that bloom so nicely every year at Weimar.

John Bradshaw: Look around the world. Now, you look from the vantage point of being an educator health educator, physician, Christian, you know, husband and father and grandfather and so forth. As you see the direction this world is going, you could choose to be discouraged, depressed, for the want of a better word. But let me see if I can ask you about it from this point of view. Do you believe that the trajectory of this world is on, while, in a certain sense, makes it challenging for the Christian church to get about its job, do you see this as a time of opportunity?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Oh, absolutely.

John Bradshaw: What are you seeing that suggests this is a time of great opportunity? Because, you know, while we bemoan the state of the world, and there's a lot to bemoan, I wonder if we're not a little too much navel-gazing and failing to recognize God might, in fact, be presenting us with a great opportunity.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Oh, absolutely.

John Bradshaw: How do you see that? Describe that for me.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Oh, well, we know, for instance, from Bible prophecy that there is going to be a great multitude that comes in at the time of the end. And that great multitude is going to come in as His people utilize His threefold ministry. And I think Christ's healing ministry is actually starting to grow and flourish and will grow and flourish that much more. One of the prophecies predict that medical missionary work of Christ will circle the globe as the waters cover the sea. And so what we're doing in microcosm at Weimar and other places, I think, will start to grow significantly. Even what we're, been doing in the public school systems and private school systems on emotional health, since when has there ever been a curriculum such as that...

John Bradshaw: Right. It's dramatic.

Dr. Neil Nedley: school systems? And so I see very positive things happening in the future. And I see a lot of great things happen. And we're also told, as a result of those great things happening, the devil will muster his forces and counterattack to try to silence all of the great things that are happening. You know, Paul and Silas, they were taken against their will in prison because they were changing the economies of cities.

John Bradshaw: Yes.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And when we start doing God's will, so much that people are changing what they're buying and changing to healthy food instead of unhealthy food and all of that, will there be a backlash? Absolutely, there will be a backlash.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And we're told that Christ will actually come and rescue His people from that huge backlash before they totally annihilate the good people. And that's when the Second Coming will come. So how can you not be positive about that?

John Bradshaw: Yeah, you've got to be positive, don't you? Yeah, great time of opportunity. We're living in exciting time. It seems to me that we're living at the time that the patriarchs and the prophets would have loved to have lived in.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Exactly.

John Bradshaw: We're living down here in the end of time. And Jesus must surely be coming back soon.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Absolutely.

John Bradshaw: Yeah. Well, fantastic. I've really enjoyed being able to speak with you again. I'm so grateful that you've taken your time and shared from your heart, undoubtedly, really exciting times. Look, I imagine that you're seeing in the lives even of students, who are seeing the times in which we live, hearing the call of God on their heart and taking hold of that calling and pressing it forward. Are you seeing that happening, great things in the lives of young people?

Dr. Neil Nedley: Absolutely. Yeah, Weimar University, we see very positive college students whose lives used to be in shambles, some of them. So many of them transfer in from other places. And they get a happy look on their face as they see the positive changes happening in people that come to Weimar, as they see the positive changes happening in the total community involvement. And then they see the positive changes taking place in them.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And then, of course, they're getting some of the best job opportunities coming out of there because hospitals and systems want to hire people like them that are positive change agents in their community.

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Neil Nedley: And so, it's a real joy to be interfacing with students on a daily basis at a place like Weimar University.

John Bradshaw: Well, Dr. Nedley, it's a great time to be alive. Jesus is coming back soon. He's called all of His people to be on the front lines of ministry. We have a wonderful message to share, a Savior to share, a healing message to share physically, emotionally, and spiritually as well. Thank you for your time. I appreciate it immensely.

Dr. Neil Nedley: Thank you, John, for having me. I've enjoyed it.

John Bradshaw: And thank you. Wonderful to see you, it has been an absolute joy. With Dr. Neil Nedley, I'm John Bradshaw, and this has been our conversation.
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