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PYP 136: Eileen Kopsaftis on How to Become Ageless

eileen-kopsaftisEileen Kopsaftis is an amazing physical therapist based near Albany, New York. She's unusual in many ways, including her use of nutrition to help her patients get out of pain and regain function, and her hands-on (literally) approach to resolving pain and mobility issues.

Her passion is healthy aging. And until I looked up her bio in preparation for writing these show notes, I had no idea that she's 10 years older than me. So she definitely practices what she preaches – and it definitely works for her.


I've met Eileen in person twice, at Wellness Forum Health conferences, and both times she's helped me with my own aches and pains. So I'm a believer in her approach on a cellular level, and not simply based on my reading of the research.

Eileen and I grabbed 45 minutes during the 2015 conference to sit down and talk about what she does, and how it can help people experience a healthy, vibrant old age. We discussed:

  • the difference between conventional and manual physical therapy
  • how she discovered the food-pain link
  • why she decided to forego medical school and dietetics in favor of physical therapy
  • resolving her daughter's ear infections by eliminating dairy
  • the staggering transformations of her clients who apply her dietary regimen
  • the challenges of research in physical therapy outcomes
  • why the standard American diet is like driving into a brick wall
  • why chronic degenerative diseases are striking us younger and younger
  • the scourge of osteoarthritis (and the foods that cause it)
  • why olive oil is not a health food
  • the hidden cause of back pain (lumbar artery disease)
  • how arachadonic acid causes joint pain
  • molecular mimicry + leaky gut: the root cause of auto-immune diseases
  • the differences between osteo- and rheumatoid arthitis
  • how physical therapists fail their clients when they don't have knowledge of nutrition
  • why conventional physical therapy is no better than placebo
  • knee exercises for knee pain: “beating up the victim”
  • the central problem with the medical world: going for the symptom and ignoring the cause
  • we don't have different muscles; we have one muscle separated by connective tissue
  • healing neck pain instantly by freeing the ankle
  • physical therapy modalities that actually work (and why using multiple techniques is important)
  • the importance of bodily symmetry
  • why two people with the same diagnosis might be treated in many different ways
  • the difference between chiropractic manipulation and mobilization (and why Eileen isn't crazy about chiropractic techniques)
  • “physical therapy should not hurt” – unless it should
  • her deep passion to live to 120 and be happy about it
  • losing two brothers in their 40s
  • working with centenarians still shopping, driving, doing their own laundry, etc.
  • aging without requiring a high-tech worldview (or embracing science fiction)
  • the dietary differences between elderly clients who recovered quickly and those who didn't
  • our bodies aren't designed to fall apart in our 40s and 50s
  • how a plant-based diet allows us to avoid the impairments of aging (versus “well, you are 82, you know”)
  • healthy old age: birthright, not fantasy or roll of the dice
  • the (mis)information age and popular confusion
  • how to assess the validity of your healthcare provider's approach
  • the tragedy of medical doctors' euphoria at the rare case of a patient actually getting well
  • why medications that improve bloodwork don't improve outcomes
  • a preview of You Can Be Ageless – Eileen's upcoming book on the seven basic steps that increase life and health
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.


Eileen's website

The Gray Institute for Applied Functional Science

Wellness Forum Health

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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


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1 comment on “PYP 136: Eileen Kopsaftis on How to Become Ageless

  1. Geri L says:

    Wow, it is good to hear about a physical therapist who is thinking outside the box for so many years and achieving amazing results with her patients. A recent knee problem sent me to a PT that performed traditional treatments just as she described. Needless to say, my pain subsided but did not go away. I sought out another PT, and even though she only had 10-12 mins to spend with me, her knowledge of and skill with manual techniques located the source of my pain and eliminated it. Voila !

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