Josh Nissan | Credit: Daniel Dreifuss

While there are forever new diet fads to try, it appears that the most important factor in attaining and maintaining weight and health is the gut microbiome. According to the Mayo Clinic, microbiomes — microscopic critters, mostly bacteria — cover every surface of the body, including the digestive lining, and they play a massive role in a person’s health. Though the topic is still making its way into public consciousness, it’s something Josh Nissan has been touting for years.

Nissan is owner of Enlightened Wellness, a boutique one-stop shop for all types of treatments focused on well-being. A graduate of Loma Linda University’s physical therapy department, Nissan began his professional career as the personal trainer for Saudi Arabia’s royal family before moving back to the States and working for more than a decade as a personal trainer/nutritionist/life coach at the Training Room.

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For Nissan, the career shift came from his own experience. Nine years ago, he was struggling with severe allergies. “I was having these breakouts of hives,” he said, “and it was just getting worse and worse. I would wake up and have them on my back, on my legs. So, I went to the doctor and he basically said that I am allergic to everything.”

After being put on a string of medications, Nissan decided that a lifetime of ingesting pills wasn’t how he wanted to live. The problem was that his allergies were so severe — including an intolerance of peanuts — he could go into anaphylactic shock without the pharmaceutical strength antihistamines. “I’m going to have to live in a bubble pretty soon,” he remembered thinking, “because everything has peanuts inside.” 

Nissan returned to his doctor asking if there was any other way to get rid of these debilitating allergies. With no other options presented, he became depressed. “I shut down and went into my little cave,” he said. “Then I started to discover several books by doctors, particularly Dr. Gundry, a former cardiologist and American Heart Association president, who were exploring the gut microbiome. [Gundry] claims that all the things that I was experiencing were symptoms of a bad gut. I also read a book by Dr. Alejandro Junger who had similar symptoms to mine.” According to Nissan, Junger went to India and after following a strict diet, returned to the U.S. “with everything pretty much gone, not healed, but gone.”

Nissan decided to try Junger’s method and set upon a four-week program to improve his gut health. At the end of the stint, he ate some peanuts and waited for the allergy to take him down. Within a few minutes it was clear he wasn’t having any reaction. Not only did Nissan’s allergies dissipate, he also noticed improvements in his mood, skin, energy, and even weight. He became fascinated by the microbiome and began reading everything he could about the science of gut health.

Credit: Daniel Dreifuss

Fast-Forward to today, and Nissan employs a combination of diet and technology to attend to his clients’ needs. During a consultation visit, Nissan will ask about your issues and when they started. “What I’ve been hearing a lot of from women is that they are shocked how their body is changing. Around 39, 40, 41 years old, people start to retain extra fat that they can’t get rid of. They begin pushing themselves harder and getting more stressed about it,” but to no avail. “I explain to them what’s happening metabolically and how they can rid themselves of the unwanted weight by keeping it simple, integrating more probiotics and prebiotics into their diet, and then incorporating some of noninvasive treatments,” Nissan said.

Drawing from his experience as a trainer and nutritionist, Nissan creates a personalized regime for each client to jump-start gut microbiome repair. While weight loss is the number one reason people go to Enlightened Wellness, many come seeking help with an overall feeling of well-being. “The gut produces 90 percent of your serotonin,” Nissan claimed, “so, really, the goal is to improve mood by decreasing the fight-or-flight hormone, cortisol.” When cortisol levels decrease, your lymphatic system improves and you start to lose weight, according to Nissan. 

For those who just want to just lose a couple pounds here and there, Nissan recommends treatments such as lasers, ultrasounds, radiofrequency, lymphatic system vibration, and circulation enhancement. “Basically, we’re trying to safely dissolve and remove the liquid fat,” he said. As for results, Nissan explains that there is no sure-fire guarantee. “But when people are consistent [with the program set up for them],” he said, “90 percent of the time” clients achieve their desired results.

“The Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and all the major hospitals now have integrated [microbiome, lasers, and LED lights] into their preventative wellness program,” said Nissan. “I am really excited about the combination, because [gut health is] the next wave of the future of medicine,” said Nissan, “just by using innovation and mother nature’s powers.”

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