Learn the keys to unlocking wellness and health transformation with Reed Davis, founder of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. In this interview with Dr. Kevin Conners, Reed shares his journey from environmental law to helping people take control of their health.

Reed explains his methodology for getting to the root causes of chronic health issues by assessing six key areas: hormones, immune system, digestion, detoxification, energy production, and nervous system (HIDDEN). He discovered that most people who weren’t getting better with conventional treatment had “metabolic chaos” across these areas.

By using specialized lab testing and tailored lifestyle changes targeting diet, rest, exercise, stress management, and supplementation (DRESS), Reed has helped thousands restore their health. His FDN training program empowers both practitioners and individuals to apply his proven functional nutrition protocols.

Tune in to learn:

  • Why Reed transitioned from saving the planet to transforming people’s health
  • The failures Reed saw in the conventional medical system
  • Reed’s “hidden healing opportunities” approach using lab testing
  • Keys areas to assess for chronic downward spiraling health conditions
  • Reed’s message that you must take control of your own health and healing
  • How Reed’s FDN training works and who can benefit from it

Empower yourself and join Reed’s mission to create a well nation!

Main Takeaways

  • After years in environmental law, Reed made a switch to transform people’s health by working at a wellness clinic and running specialized lab tests. He recognized the failures of the conventional medical system in addressing chronic conditions.
  • Reed identified 6 key areas tied to chronic health breakdown – hormones, immune health, digestion, detoxification, energy production, and nervous system balance. He found most chronically ill patients had dysfunction across multiple areas, termed “metabolic chaos.”
  • Using lab testing in these areas, Reed’s “Hidden Healing Opportunities” approach uncovers dysfunction. Then tailored lifestyle changes are applied: Diet, Rest, Exercise, Stress management, Supplements (DRESS protocol).
  • Reed started teaching his FDN methodology in 2008 to empower practitioners and individuals to improve their health. The FDN certification course starts with self-assessment and application.
  • Recovery requires taking control of your own health journey, getting to root causes with proper testing, and consistency applying tailored protocols like Reed’s FDN

About Reed Davis

reed-davis-Unlocking Wellness and Health Transformation

Over 20 years ago, FDN Founder Reed Davis recognized that most patients with chronic conditions were caught in a frustrating cycle of trial–and-error, desperately searching for answers, but never finding the lasting results they were after.

He watched as patients went from practitioner to practitioner, only to be told “everything looks normal”, or to be convinced of yet another unsuccessful supplement protocol, fitness program or healing modality. Reed refused to be just another practitioner in this endless cycle. So he committed to being the last person his clients saw on their quest for answers & better health.

Over the next ten years, while working at a wellness center in Southern California, Reed reviewed thousands of functional lab reports for thousands of people. He credits great mentors but also his own careful observations about who was getting better, and who was not.

The patterns he recognized began to reveal an entire constellation of “healing opportunities”, giving way to what is now Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® (FDN).

Wanting to put this newfound knowledge to good use, Reed developed the D.R.E.S.S. for Health Success® – a simple but powerful framework for creating all-natural, drug-free protocols that empower people to take control of their own health.

Over time, thought leaders in the alternative medicine & functional health communities noticed Reed’s work and asked him to share his methodology. Wanting to help as many people as possible, he humbly offered a workshop to about 25 people in 2008. And, as Reed likes to say…“the rest is history”.

Today, FDN has trained over 4,000 practitioners in 50+ countries, and helped over 10,000 people get well & stay well naturally. Reed is known as one of the most successful and experienced clinicians in the world, having provided functional assessments to over 10,000 clients.

Stay tuned for Episode 42 (you can see all episodes on the Conners Clinic Live page!)

Listen to or Watch the Full Podcast Episode

Unlocking Wellness and Health Transformation with Reed Davis | Conners Clinic Live #41

Transcript

Dr. Kevin Conners

Welcome, everybody, this is Dr. Kevin Conners, to another Conners Clinic Live podcast. Very special guest today, Reed Davis, out of sunny California. Reed is going to talk about his functional diagnostic nutrition, his whole program. He’s trained 4,000+ practitioners on how to read lab work, how to use a diagnostic laboratory in their practice, and what his beliefs are with nutrition and diet. We want to dig right into this. Reed, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Reed Davis

Hey, thanks so much, Dr. Conners, it’s a pleasure to be here, and I really admire what you’re doing. Clinics are well needed, whether they’re actually seeing patients or clients live or working online these days, the world needs a lot of help. There’s so much illness. I would say most of it’s unnecessary. It’s just people really aren’t taught the right things. I’ll give you a bit about my background that might be helpful. So I was, in the ’90s, in environmental law. That’s my actual postgrad was “Saving the Planet,” you know air, birds, water, trees, bees. And around the turn of the century, I was getting older and the world wasn’t getting any less polluted. And I’m observing all of this death and destruction environmentally speaking. I’m not a doomsayer, and I’m a pretty positive person. But let’s be honest that there’s a lot of crap being dumped on us. And around the turn of the century, I decided to get away from the environment and work more with people. I started talking with my son’s chiropractor who had a wellness center in Southern California with a multidiscipline and, you know a nice center, where I was taking my athletic son.

And man, we hit it off. I just started thinking, I really want to work in this area: helping people. And the good news, while I had a lot to learn, I had nothing to unlearn. I hadn’t been training in any one particular discipline. I was able to take a fresh look at wellness and illness and what’s going on with people. And it really just was an amazing journey. I’ll just summarize a bit and say that what I noticed right away, she gave me a job. Anything you want to do here to help people, let’s see where it goes.

Dr. Kevin Conners

Who was that?

Reed Davis

Her name was LeiLani Vidal. She was a chiropractor. And she had a wellness practice. Chiropractors can do just necks and backs, or they can do wellness. And so that’s what I became responsible for there, was the wellness aspect. She was a great chiro, and that’s needed. And I became the guy that was running lab work. I just immediately jumped into some training and some programs and things. But more importantly, she said, you can work on my patients in between your classes, taking functional lab work and all these different things. So I just got more experience than anybody. It turns out that after several years, I was told, you run more labs than any five doctors we know. I was surprised. I didn’t know anything. I was just working hard because I liked helping people. And I was having fun. Thomas Edison, famous inventor, said I never worked a day in my life. And that was like me. I was working really hard, long hours and many, many days, no vacations for years. But I just loved it. I loved helping people and figuring things out. I’m a great researcher and writer.

And so after years and years of just running thousands of labs on thousands of people, for anything that ailed them. I started recognizing patterns in these functional lab tests. I could just tell you real quickly, H-I-D-D-E-N, it spells hidden, and it looks for hidden, I call them healing opportunities. So not medical diagnosis. Nobody wanted any parts of that around our office. Heck, everyone had been to four or five doctors already, or 10, and weren’t better yet. So they were looking for something alternative. And if they landed in front of me, I was going to run lab work like saliva testing, urine testing, stool testing, and some blood testing. But the alternative labs of the day, now it’s called functional medicine. But I was there in the beginning when it was kind of sorcery, like alternative medicine went to complementary. Complementary became integrative. Integrative is now functional or lifestyle medicine. But way back then, it was cutting edge. I pioneered, and I ran thousands of labs, thousands of people, recognized some patterns. I’ve been teaching those patterns for many years now.

Dr. Kevin Conners

When did you transition to teaching doctors and practitioners.

Reed Davis

Yeah, in 2008, I started there in 1999. My son was again going there. He was a great high school athlete and you get banged up. I was very interested in the whole field of helping people instead of the planet. Like I said, I was in environmental business and I switched gears. I just said, I’m going to help people. So the transition was from researching lakes and rivers and air and bodies of water and also a lot of the laws involved around recycling and antipollution and things like that. I just started working with people. I just knew I could figure something out. So I was taught by the doctors there, but mostly my own observations. The sheer volume of work, Dr. Conners, was incredible. I didn’t know it. I didn’t know it was doing anything special until they told me. And then they kept saying, “You need to be teaching others.” The system that I created, we now call it Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. It’s just a name for the methodology that evolved after 10 years. And so then they just encouraged me to teach others what you’re doing. And even my clients, our patients said, “You should be teaching.”

Anyway, I’m not playing the reluctant hero or anything like that. I just didn’t know how to teach. I said, okay, well, I’ll put together a workshop and the rest is history. Everyone loved that workshop. And it’s now become this big… I have 40 people working for me now. Back then it was just me. I was just trying to develop a system that worked for our patients. That’s all I cared about, our patients. Can I make them better? We’re a very busy, great business. It’s a great clinic. But when I start teaching, just think of the people you multiply by the number of people that you’re actually helping. That’s the whole point of the thing.

Dr. Kevin Conners

Yeah. So your system, teaching 4,000+ practitioners, that’s a giant step there. And then you talk about how many patients those practitioners have, about how many people you’re really helping. Give us some of your key things, what you found with patients that did not have success at other clinics. I’m sure there’s a lot, but maybe some of the couple of big ones at that point that do jump out at you, things that you found.

Reed Davis

Well, early on, because I mentioned a pattern that I recognized, but early on, I just started having… They say if you work hard enough, long enough, you start having good luck. So I kept having some really good success with certain types of patients. A lady was coming in for chiropractic and some acupuncture and stuff. And I was just walking her back to the room, one day, treatment room. We had a big clinic. And recognized she was down. I said, “Hey, what’s going on?” “Oh, I’m just so upset. This is 40 pounds.” I could see it in her face, the 40 pounds. She was overweight and it was just killing her. And she said, “It’s only been two years since I’ve been on this medication for the hives.” She was on some medication for the hives for two years, and it made her gain 40 pounds. And before I could get a word on my mind, she goes, “And you know, I was at the…” She was really frustrated this day. She said she had just been to the doctor and complained of the 40 pounds. And according to her, he said, “You could be fat or you could have the hives.”

Take your pick. And she said, “Well, that’s really depressing.” He said, According to her, “Well, I can write your prescription for antidepressants, if you’d like.”

Dr. Kevin Conners

Oh, yeah, that’s the game.

Reed Davis

So when I said to her, finally I got a word in. I said, “Well, did you ever try to find out why you get the hives?” And man, did an exorcist spin. “What?” I said, “Yeah, try to find out what was giving you the hives.” It never had occurred to her, her physician, any of her other practitioners to just run some labs, which we were doing routinely then. And long story short, after we got her test results back, changed her diet and some environmental things, household cleaning products and personal care products and just cleaned up her environment, so to speak. Guess what? Within nine days, she was off for medication and didn’t get the hives.

Dr. Kevin Conners

Yeah.

Reed Davis

And so it was so life-changing, and experiences like that over and over and over, kids with ADD and kids with asthma and adults with migraine headaches and other skin conditions and asthma and chronic fatigue and you just name it. I mean, just so many people were just completely changed. I knew that lab work was the secret. And again, this pattern was emerging of hormones, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy production, and nervous system balance, the sympathetic pair. Those six, and it took a long time. I didn’t discover that overnight, but that pattern just kept reemerging in every patient that came in with chronic downward spiraling stress related conditions. So their life is overwhelming, and it’s the environment, and it’s their diet, and they’re not exercising. It’s everything going on. We call it the epigenetics, not their genetics. But you look at the epigenetics, and with the lab work, you could sort it out. So I know you’ll like this, Dr. Conners. The labs I ran with saliva, urine, blood, stool, we checked their hormones with saliva, including the cortisol and the DHEA and their circadian rhythm and their sex hormones, looking at melatonin, even secretory ITA, which now you’re getting a peek into the immune system.

So you’re seeing stress has affected their immune system. It’s down. Then they get the dysbiosis in the gut because the immune system is off, the bad bacteria. Well, now you’re not breaking down protein very well. Things are not being assimilated. So now you’ve got protein, amino acid, neurotransmitter problems. So you start off with stress, throws the sex hormones off. There’s that set of symptoms. Your body is breaking down, you’re catabolic, so your immune system starts to take a dump. Now you’ve got dysbiosis, you’ve got digestive issues and all kinds of rabbit holes that could take you. Then finally, the bigger bugs, bacteria overgrowth in SIBO, parasites, fungus, biofilms, these things all start to interplay, and you get leaky gut. Now you’ve got antigenes and immune complexes going into the bloodstream and clogging up the liver and just stinking the place up, right? Those are just a few avenues where I’d say, look, above all of the symptoms, all the symptoms that could be caused above it all are these healing opportunities, some of them very far removed from where the problem appears to be showing up. So no one’s looking.

So I learned to look, make sure you cover these, again, I call it the constellation of healing opportunities, and those are all having an effect upon each other. So root cause, people say, I get to root cause. Well, there isn’t one. There’s multiple, and they’re affecting each other in ways that can’t be singlely measured. And so what you have is the term I came up with is “Metabolic Chaos,” and everybody walking in our door was metabolic chaos, multiple causal, multiple symptom sets and things like that. So I became just really determined to run these five, six labs in every person, some questionnaires and things, and then get them on a different lifestyle completely change or modified to some extent, depending on the person, their diet, their rest, their exercise, their stress management, and their supplementation. Now that spells DRESS, D-R-E-S-S. So you look for the Healing Opportunities, H-I-D-D-E-N, and then you apply the principles of healing that are in that DRESS program. And people just were getting better left and right. They’re fibromyalgia, their chronic fatigue, their migraines, their skin conditions. And then when you do all that, they can start to lose weight. We weren’t a weight management or weight loss program, but everyone starts to normalize their weight.

Like that lady with the hives, man, she was peeling it off like crazy. Now that she could exercise and take hot showers, which she hadn’t done in two years. And man, did it change lives?

Dr. Kevin Conners

Well, you see so many people stuck in the medical system where they’re just taking another drug to offset the side effects of the last drug, and it’s just a negative cycle.

Reed Davis

Yeah, you’re so right. We say those people have their ladder against the wrong wall. If you have a chronic, degenerative downward spiraling condition, your body is catabolic, you’re breaking down. All those things are going to need work, hormone immune, digestion, detoxification. They all need work. You all need some cleaning up and things. You can’t do that by diagnosing one problem. Oh, you’re hypothyroid. Here’s your medication. That system just doesn’t work anymore for what’s going on today.

Dr. Kevin Conners

Yeah. What things do you recognize that your practitioners, the walls that they run into?

Reed Davis

Well, everyone they know is sick and got some problem and is frustrated by the standard medicine, pills and surgery. Again, your ladder is on the wrong wall if you want to get well. Going to a physician for drugs, possibly surgery, just taking care of the symptoms or managing the disease process won’t get you to the state of health that you want to get to. You got to get your ladder on a different wall and start climbing. No one said it wasn’t work. The body takes time to heal. And what I would just want to give doctors credit where due to the medical system, if the downward spiral is so contracted, like if you’re dying, you got to go get out of the woods. You got to go get fixed up, get that life preserver on whatever it is. In those cases, when the downward spiral is very contracted, then the observations I would make can’t be capitalized on. I’m going to check your hormones, your immune system, digestion, detox. We’re going to go through this, and we’re going to then teach you to apply principles to heal all of that, reverse the damage. But if you’re dying, there’s no time to capitalize on the innate ability of the body to heal.

So therefore, we work very well with people who have medical conditions. That’s between you and your doctor, manage that so that you can stay alive to do our work, which is the lifestyle. That’s where the habits and the conditioning, sometimes discipline, willpower, that’s our backyard.

Dr. Kevin Conners

Now I know there’s going to be people that listen to this that say, I can’t find a doctor that does this. Do you teach lay people as well? Could they go through your course?

Reed Davis

Oh, sure. Yeah, I’m not here to sell the course. I’m just saying there’s a way. It starts actually with how you get up and think in the morning. Anyone can do that, believe it or not, positive mental attitude and being thankful and in a state of grace and gratitude. If you started your mornings like that every day, you’d find out a lot. There’s a lot of people who are very dedicated and helpful. I’ve trained a few, thousands, but that’s relatively small number compared to what’s needed. So we’re just getting started. And we hope our business doubles this year. And I’m in the training business now. I have a training program platform. I have 40 people work for me. We’re training all over. The course has been expanded so that anyone can take it. You don’t have to be a practitioner. It’s helpful if you know a thing or two. Most of our grads have a college degree in anything. They’re just older and they’ve got a certificate or two. It could be in nutrition, personal training, it could be in Reiki, energy healing. And we have also obviously a lot of chiropractors and acupuncturists.

And even some medical doctors love our stuff. They may still do what they do, but they’ve put a lot of their staff through my training so that they’re all up together working cohesively. That’s the ideal scene right there. But yeah, I’ve had lots of people to answer your question, Dr. Kevin, who took the program because you’re required to work on yourself, not a training program. You just learn it and go do it on other people. No, you learn it by doing it on yourself first. That’s absolutely foundational to what we do. And if that’s all you did, it would be worth the price of admission easily.

Dr. Kevin Conners

Well, we’re going to have information on your course here how our listeners can join your work, because I think this is crucial. I think we live at a time where you have to be self-empowered. You can’t just be dependent upon some doctor, even if it’s a great doctor. You have to learn how to take care of yourself. You really do.

Reed Davis

You’re so right. When I first started at that clinic, I ride motorcycles and I love to get out and enjoy my freedom. I’ve always felt that way. I’ve never really had a health problem, and I didn’t know what going to see a doctor was like. That’s why I was shocked, that people would go to 6, 8, or even 10 practitioners and weren’t better yet. So I’m out riding my bike, and the first thing that struck me was, “Why aren’t people in control of their own health?” I just was lucky I never had a problem, but these people with long-term… Why are you going to one practitioner after another and accepting lousy results? That helped me form my investigative mentality. I’m going to be the last person they need to see. That’s what I told myself 23 years ago.

Dr. Kevin Conners

Well, that’s great. Well, thanks for coming on. I would love to have you back again.

Reed Davis

Yeah, sure.

Dr. Kevin Conners

I think we have information about your program for all our listeners. I think it’s exciting. I think it’s self-empowering. I think I totally agree with you. I think when you give over your personal power to another practitioner without you maybe learning from them to take care of yourself, I think you’re doing yourself a disservice. I really sync with what you’re doing.

Reed Davis

Well, thank you for that. We’re going to keep doing it.

Dr. Kevin Conners

I appreciate that you’re in Southern California doing all this in a state that is becoming less free.

Reed Davis

Yeah, man. Thankfully, I live out in the country, so I don’t deal with the traffic and stuff. My wife and I are out here, and it’s beautiful. I live up on a mountain looking at a lake. But that’s not what most Southern California is about. We’re in a separate area.

Dr. Kevin Conners

Oh, good. That’s great.

Reed Davis

And it is wonderful and freedom. But that’s what even initially inspired me to help people back in the city.

Dr. Kevin Conners

Well, thank you again, Reed. I appreciate it. Continue all your work, and I know our listeners will be excited to hear this.

Reed Davis

Yes, sir. Thank you. And you too. I know you’re doing amazing things, so from one to another, keep up the great work.

Dr. Kevin Conners

All right, bye-bye.