An Interview with Martita Mestey. Published in Authority Magazine, Medium | March 23, 2023
The biggest thing is that it’s all about energy. Not the physical stuff alone, but the underlying energy
As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Jeff Feinman.
Jeff Feinmanis a research-oriented veterinarian and molecular biologist, who for more than 40 years has applied holistic approaches to improve his pet patients’ quality of life. He is the founder of the Holistic Actions! Foundation which has a mission of education and empowerment of pet parents through an online learning center, weekly webinars, and a pet care community. The HA! nature-based approach helps harness and conserve cellular energy so companion animals can have their healthiest, happiest, and longest lives possible.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?
I grew up in a suburb of New York City on Long Island and have known that I wanted to be a veterinarian and involved with nature in some way since I was a little kid. I won an aquarium for an ecology essay I wrote in Middle School in the early 1970’s. I was involved in the Boy Scouts and enjoyed camping. But I also loved Manhattan, so there was this dichotomy in my life between nature and the city. And my work now is connecting the “doing” of the city and the “being” of nature.
You are currently leading a social impact organization that is making a difference for our planet. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to change in our world today?
I am helping pet parents learn about the holistic options that can improve their beloved companions’ health-spans by being more (while observing their pet’s symptoms) and doing less (not artificially covering up symptoms). Through the Holistic Actions! Foundation, I am sharing ways that pet parents can harness the sustainable energy of love and happiness. We teach actions that increase energy, like intentional breathing, eating fresh food, and getting out in nature. These strategies are based on observing the body and letting it be while also doing less to interfere with natural healing mechanisms.
The other aspect of this is learning about the conservation of energy, which applies to inside the body as well as conserving energy in the environment. One of the primary ways we do that is by focusing on the body’s inner terrain instead of germs (like bacteria and viruses), where the inner terrain reflects inner balance. Terrain Theory and Germ Theory were both introduced in the 1800’s, but veterinary (and human) medicine has been predominantly focused on germ theory, where germs are the cause of many dis-eases (imbalances). But we’re becoming more aware of in science that individual resilience, or inner terrain, is as, if not more, important as germs. And we can apply those tools in our lifestyles, freely and sustainably to increase our own and our pets’ wellbeing.
Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?
Well, my backstory began in the lab, and then moved to working with patients, where I studied aging, endocrinology, and mitochondrial metabolism and cellular energy. I began to see all of the things that we can do to improve mitochondrial function and energy. I started using that clinically for our animals, and watched many of them live longer than predicted despite incredibly serious dis-eases. Just about every animal who used these methods would experience a better quality of life than what they were experiencing from conventional treatments alone. Later on, I began to connect these principles with the fact that the individual animal is just part of nature, and we can apply these same principles of using the sustainable energy of love and happiness not just to our animals, but on the larger scale of ourselves and our environment.
Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest them. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?
As far as the business side goes, I was giving a seminar series, and during the last session, I asked everyone there what would be the most helpful to them. Their suggestions shaped what Holistic Actions! became, a place where we put conventional and holistic information into context, and apply these strategies together.
Another more recent “Aha Moment” was during the pandemic, while I was participating in a webinar from the UN. There was a panel of experts from around the world talking about Resilience and Sustainability. One of the experts was an African nomadic tribeswoman, and everyone agreed that it was the indigenous wisdom like her tribe was guided by that would help us be more sustainable and resilient. These are the tools and techniques that have been successful for thousands of years and which are now being verified scientifically.
Many people don’t know the steps to take to start a new organization. What are some of the things or steps you took to get your project started?
That’s a great question. I took Nike’s advice to “Just Do It.” The first step was sitting down and writing what would be the most useful for pet parents. The next step was to try and translate that into a format that would be most accessible and helpful for the most people. A team of us designed an online course about Lyme in pets on an app called Teachable. My own holistic doc helped me overcome a nasty bout of acute Lyme disease with these same energetic strategies.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
I got super sick with Lyme disease, and had just recently discovered energy medicine and was cured within a couple days with homeopathic methods of energy balancing. Since then, I’ve treated numerous cases of Lyme in animals. For example, Larry the Dog’s Lyme story is documented on YouTube.
It has been said, that sometimes our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Do you have a story about a humorous mistake that you made when you were first starting and the lesson you learned from that?
Thirty years ago, I did a house call for a female guinea pig that had a bad smell coming from her mouth and was having trouble eating. Upon initial inspection, I told her mom that I thought her pet, named “Happy,” had an ulcerating oral tumor. But I always like to take a second look with fresh eyes.
When I examined Happy again, it turned out that what perfectly resembled a tumorous mass was actually a piece of decaying carrot! I was relieved to realize that Happy’s problem was not as severe as it first seemed while getting a big kick in the pants at the same time! After the offending carrot was removed, Happy made a full recovery! We all laughed, and I learned the important and humbling lesson to always stay curious, keep an open mind, and re-examine and re-evaluate — no matter how initially sure I was of reality, science or a “diagnosis.”
None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?
My greatest mentor is also my doctor. I had a pivotal moment when I saw he was helping many patients who had “Medically Unexplained Symptoms”. These success stories helped me learn more about using sustainable energy and consciousness in my healing, and that of my animal patients and their guardians. He guided me to many books by deep thinkers such as Drs. David Hawkins, Dean Radin, and Eckhart Tolle.
Another big inspiration and new mentor is Grandmother Nancy, a Native American elder who I met through a personal growth community. Grandma is the embodiment of love, joy, caring and compassion. I have been embracing her transformational teachings which are helping me further connect “being and doing”.
Are there three things the community, society, or politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
- Focus on the joy in the present moment rather than potential problems.
- Get out in nature (even if you just go outside and look at the sky), and connect with animals more.
- Fund projects like more green spaces where people, pets and the planet all benefit.
How would you articulate how a business can become more profitable by being more sustainable and more environmentally conscious? Can you share a story or example?
One of the growing business examples is the increasing number of raw meat pet food companies which can help local farmers who raise animals start to utilize all of the parts of the animal to make pet food from parts that used to be thrown away. It’s less wasteful, shows more reverence for the animals they are killing, and can help them earn more money!
Another example is a business focused on the inner terrain and energy balance. That is the super success of the Oura ring, and how 24/7 monitoring of internal balance can help improve our lives and the world. The energetic readiness score which Oura reports every day reflects things like balancing, doing with breathing, sleeping and the feeling of awe which we can get by looking deeply at the beauty of nature.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
- The biggest thing is that it’s all about energy. Not the physical stuff alone, but the underlying energy.
- The importance of breathing and nature. These are incredibly powerful healing tools that help activate the body’s ability to mend.
- The Importance of happiness, connection, and being engaged in the world. The story that really highlighted this for me is that of my rescue dogs, Archie and Vanya. Vanya never wanted to interact with other dogs until Archie joined our family, and watching Vanya’s increased enjoyment of life, and seeing the difference in their physiologic function by being happier was inspiring.
- The ultimate sustainable energy of love. It is super powerful and may be the most sustainable energy that there is. There are many, many stories about this on the Holistic Actions! forum.
- The importance of honoring other people, ourselves, and nature. These factors are key for harnessing the sustainable power of love.
If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?
The biggest reason is so there will be a green world in the coming years. The secondary reason is so they can have happier and more fulfilled lives, which they can get by being more connected to nature, themselves, other people, and animals.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“We miss more by not seeing than we do by not knowing. Always examine the back. Observe, record, tabulate, communicate. — Sir William Osler, groundbreaking physician, philanthropist, and celebrated “Founding Father of Modern Medicine” and Johns Hopkins Hospital.
I started learning at a young age that I missed a lot by making unseen and unquestioned assumptions. There is a big difference between “watching” and actually “seeing.” “Watching” is a passive occurrence, whereas “seeing” is an intensely active occurrence where we directly participate in the process of learning. It’s not enough to simply watch. I’ve realized the importance of clear seeing.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I’d love to sit down with Steven Kotler of the Flow Research Collective (FRC). The community and scientists at FRC study the neurochemical and physiological effects of the energetic methods I’ve mentioned. Flow (“Go With The Flow” and just say yes) also “happens” to be a great way to perform better and to be healthier. Another person I’d love to take a walk by the ocean in Baja with is Chip Conley, co-founder of the Modern Elder Academy (MEA). Chip and MEA are sharing this wisdom with the world through transformative programs of self-knowledge, regenerative and sustainability, while also building a wonderful business!
How can our readers follow you online?
holisticactions.com is my main home online.
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!
Martita Mestey is an entrepreneur, investor, connector and founder of FarmdOut, an agritech startup solving the real problem of agriculture ecology, farmer burnout, food deserts, and next-gen farmer attraction.