We had the good fortune of connecting with Christina Santini and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christina, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I love adventures. I think life is about creating yourself and your own adventure – taking risks to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I have always travelled extensively on my own from I was 16. I love the unpredictability of waking up to a new day doing exactly whatever I feel like doing, no compromises and never knowing what will happen next. I think that is amazing – discovering new places and faces, and just navigating according to whatever comes up along the way. I backpacked on my own around Asia when I was 18 and this was before smartphones, so you navigated with maps and that was it. I had no plans, but just woke up every morning and went wherever the day would take me. I was traveling in Burma during the guerilla conflict, so there were no other tourists there, and I was staying with various tribes that I stumbled upon, It was amazing: you’d take a boat down a river with some locals, no one spoke English and you had no idea, where you’d be staying that night, but things always worked out. There would be a family inviting you in. It was a carefree time. I wouldn’t want my future kids to do it, cos there were times, when bad things were very, very close to happen, but in my naivety back then, I just somehow had this idea, that things would work out for the best. Can’t say my mother shared that idea, but I was very stubborn and I just wanted to go and experience stuff after being stuck in a boring and soul-crushing school system for too many years. I felt like I needed to finally breathe. That mindset of being carefree is such a luxury. Not fretting about losing anything and no worries. I think much of our adult life we are too busy worrying about losing stuff – money, divorce, sagging skin, reputation, job etc. And it really prevents us from discovering new ways of living and being happy. We can’t create new things, if we are busy obsessing about “not losing” stuff, and we get stuck in this toxic and self-destructive never-measuring-up mindset, when we focus on all the things, we don’t want to lose, instead of just being grateful for whatever we have at any given time, and realizing we can always reinvent ourselves at any given time. Of course there are limits to this depending on the choices we make, as we move through life, but all in all I believe in focusing on finding that one way in life, where something amazing is possible, rather than the million af ways which can make something impossible. Focusing on all the reasons why something can’t work out is the worst mentality ever, and only we can change our own mindset, if we want to change our life. When I finished studying nutrition in Europe around 23 y.o. I grabbed a plane ticket and took on a job in New York to work for one of the pioneers in brain health and anti-aging medicine, Dr. Eric Braverman. Ever since I was a kid I always knew I wanted to live in The States – my dad was American and I loved growing up there, but we had to leave due to tragic circumstances, and so I entered the education system in Denmark, where my mom is from. I always knew I wanted to go back: that sense of limitlessness, freedom and creating your own possibilities without having other people’s narrow mindsets and boring expectations box you in. Very few places can you find that in the world – regardless of the political climate going on at the moment, there is something truly unique about people from different places coming together and sharing The American Dream: that everything is possible if you set your mind to it. I had very little cash with me and arranged to stay with somebody on Craigslist who was renting out a room. During the flight over there, she apparently had emailed me, that she got cold feet renting out to a stranger, but as I arrived before the time of smartphones, I didn’t have the option to check my email on-the-go and was stranded in the middle of NY at 11pm at night without knowing where to go and no gps. I had no clue how to find a cheap hostel, and was starting my new job the next day. A family happened to walk by, and as I probably looked a bit lost with my suitcase, they invited me to spend the night at their place. I will never forget that. I thought it was the kindest thing ever – they only had a 1 bedroom apartment, so I slept in their living room space. I think it is a very American thing: to be kind to strangers. Working in New York for medical doctors had helped me develop a lot of much-needed skills along with understanding the importance of working cross-disciplinary when it comes to health care (I’ve co-authored The Successful Body book with bestselling author Erik Seversen due January 2021 about this very topic). After a couple years in NY I decided to move to California, because I longed for that easy-going lifestyle in flip-flops and worked for various other clinics, while I started my own business up. I tried out different things – creating apps, online stuff until I finally figured out how to monetize on my skills and was able to work solely for myself. This provided me the ultimate freedom in me being able to travel whenever I wanted, setting my own hours – along with all the stressors of running your own practice, not to forget. Being self-employed is definitely not for everyone, and there is a luxury of ending your day at work and receiving a set paycheck every month – but that is not for me. I like trying out new things, and few work environments will allow you that freedom. Ultimately, in my life, I have always felt, if things didn’t work out, I could always start over – so I didn’t feel I had anything to lose. That changes the more success you have, of course – and that is also what can keep you trapped and limiting you from reaching new goals: if you fear losing what you currently have achieved too much. I think that is an ongoing learning process: taking care of and being grateful for what you have, but not letting it control you. That is difficult, but I truly believe that is the only way to a carefree life. And having less cares while still being caring is the only way to lasting happiness.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
After working for medical doctors in The States and being trained in Biological Medicine by Swiss doctors, I feel I am at a place where I have begun to understand the complexity of treating chronic illness and personalized health care. This has taken me many years of ongoing education along with a decade in practical training with medical doctors. No one is ready to treat people just because they have a degree: it takes years of practical training and cross-disciplinary feedback from other health care providers to understand the complexities that go into client care and personalized treatment. When we lack this background, too many of us health practitioners get stuck in thinking “one strategy works for all”, and we see people who all get prescribed a glutenfree diet, candida diet, paleo diet or vegan diet depending on whatever that particular practitioner is focused on. That is completely missing the boat of individualized care and getting back to the root cause of the symptoms, which may be triggered by certain dietary patterns, but not necessarily caused by it. Two very different things. I think the most important factor in health care is that you are always required to continue educating yourself for your client’s sake. We can never stay stuck or think we know it all. At my clinic our aim is to detect and prevent biochemical imbalances causing disease in the body – or simply to optimize your performance, bite by bite. All scans and labs are done supervised by doctors and biochemists – all looking at your results to provide their perspective on needed treatment moving forward. By booking a consultation at the clinic, you are essentially also booking a consultation with doctors, biochemists and experts in infrared scanning – that is pretty unique and an outstanding opportunity for you to gain cross-disciplinary advice on your health situation.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The first day, I would start out with ricotta pancakes at Casa del Mar in Santa Monica and then head up for a hike at Temescal Canyon which has a gorgeous steep climb and view over the bay. After that, we’d head down to Malibu Pier to grab lunch at The Farm and go surfing or just soak up some sun. In the early evening we’d head over to 3d Street Promenade to shop, grab some frozen yogurt and watch some often quite talented artists playing there. Later we’d head over to stand-up nights at Westside Comedy. The next day we’d take a bike trip down to Manhattan beach which has gorgeous water and everything is so clean, not to forget they got some pretty hot surfers down there as well. At night we’d get dolled up and head over to The Strand House for some dining with ocean-views and move on to one of the bars lining Manhattan boulevard later. I would finish off the week with the ultimate recommendation if your wallet can afford it: taking a roadtrip up the scenic road to Big Sur and staying 2 nights at Post Ranch Inn. Just out of this world beautiful. Nothing compares.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have always strived to surround myself with people who are smarter and more experienced than I am, enabling me to become a better and more well-rounded practitioner. I have worked for some of the pioneers in their field including Dr. Eric Braverman in New York. I am trained in Eastern medicine by Dr. Deepak Chopra in California and certified in Biological Medicine by Dr. Rau in Switzerland. Furthermore I am inspired in my work by Dr. Alfred Vogel, Dr. Max Gerson, Dr. Brownstein and Dr. Klinghardt. I am intensely interested in integrative medicine and cross-disciplinary teamwork to best serve the client’s health needs a-z.