episode #19

James Maskell – On Functional Medicine, Community, & Health Empowerment



Serial healthcare founder, speaker and innovator, James Maskell joins the podcast to discuss his experience with functional and holistic medicine. Dr. Stephanie and James talk about his latest book, The Community Cure and the role of community in influencing health outcomes. James provides eye-opening statistics about loneliness and its impact on disease. He breaks down the seven steps of The Therapeutic Order, including case studies that highlight this concept. Finally, Dr. Stephanie and James talk about the many benefits that accompany treating patients within group settings.


  • 00:48 – Dr. Stephanie introduces today’s guest, James Maskell
  • 05:49 – James’ background and origin story
  • 11:29 – The Functional Forum and James’ first book, The Evolution of Medicine
  • 22:47 – Statistics on loneliness
  • 30:44 – How group visits work
  • 38:50 – James breaks down the seven steps of The Therapeutic Order
  • 45:05 – James recalls a story about Frome, a town in the U.K.
  • 51:10 – Profitability
  • 59:58 – Scaling up functional medicine
  • 1:03:38 – Tips and strategies for getting patients to open up within a group setting
  • 1:07:48 – James talks about the release of his latest book, The Community Cure
  • 1:10:07 – Where listeners can follow Dr. Stephanie and subscribe to her newsletter


“Having grown up in such a different health environment I just sort of had a moment where I realized maybe some of what I was born into is a part of the solution. And maybe I’m not born here to be an investment banker. Maybe I’m here to follow a different kind of a path.” (09:14)

“And, just to take a step back, it’s really healthcare where the goal is self-efficacy. And, what that means is the goal where people can take care of themselves and they don’t need a doctor and they don’t need medication.” (14:10)

“There was one stat that I have in the book which is that if you’re subject to a targeted rejection – which is someone intending to break a social bond with you, like a divorce or you get fired from your job – your risk of depression goes up by twenty-two times.” (25:05)

“The reason why I think it makes sense to reestablish those groups in healthcare is that, eventually, everyone comes across some sort of health issue. And that’s a moment where we can sort of bring them into a group if they need it.” (32:15)

“And the Therapeutic Order comes from naturopathic medicine, and all it says is ‘we should start with the least costly, least invasive interventions first and then work our way up to drugs and surgery as a last resort.” (40:44)

“So ultimately, my vision for transforming healthcare is really to create this bottom layer of empowerment groups that facilitate turning on the body’s healing mechanisms and dealing with weakened systems that have been weakened as a result of malnutrition and so forth.” (44:20)

“Here’s the thing. If you teach someone to meditate and you do it ten percent wrong, what is the downside risk of that? It’s nothing. If you give people the wrong drug, the downside risk could be death.” (1:01:13)

“I think that, for practitioners who are involved, I think you really have to realize that your expertise is not as valuable as your ability to help people help themselves.” (1:04:36)


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Dr. Stephanie on LinkedIn

James’ Website

James’ LinkedIn

James’ Instagram – @mrjamesmaskell

James’ Twitter – @mrjamesmaskell

James’ Facebook

James’ Books – The Community Cure: Transforming Health Outcomes Together & The Evolution of Medicine

Functional Forum


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  • James Maskell
  • Dr. Stephanie Estima

I’m Dr. Stephanie

Part geek, part magic, and all the way passionate about being a well-lived woman.

I want to throw my grandkids in the air in my 70’s. I want to be squatting even more weight than I am now, and putting my OWN luggage in the overhead bin. Sound like weird goals? For me these are just some of the little things that represent a life well-lived.

My health is MY job – I’ll be damned if I rely on luck, ‘good genes’ or a cocktail of drugs that over promise and under deliver.

The Betty Body is my first book-baby, and a collection of what I’ve learned after thousands of clinical hours, hundreds of conversations with the world’s top experts, and most importantly…

This book is an outline of what took ME from “rock-bottom health” at 38, to being my own version of a Betty in my perimenopausal mid 40’s. A woman who is physically strong, full of energy, enjoys mental clarity, great sex and a joyful family life. Is it all roses? Of course not. But I have the stamina and tools to deal with the push and pull of life so that it doesn’t turn into chronic stress.

I want this for you too. Let’s go Bettys!