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The Darin Olien Show: Dr. Tennant Interview (Part 1)

The following is a partial transcription of Darin Olien’s interview with Dr. Tennant, to listen to the full podcast episode, please visit this link.

Darin Olien: My great guest Dr. Jerry Tennant, is a world-renowned physician, international author, integrative health practitioner, he studied at Harvard (trained ophthalmologist), founded the Tennant Institute of Integrative Medicine and named one of the top 20 alternative doctors in America. And of course, we talked about nutrients and nutrition and all of these things as it relates to that and the building blocks of voltage, but also how to reset and turn on the circuitry of the body as it flows, as it moves. And why pH (when I say pH just understand its voltage) of the cells and how the body boosts the voltage when it actually needs to heal. We really got into, what is this voltage? How does it work? How does it relate to cells being new and healthy? How does that relate to the body being degenerative and not being able to heal very well?

Doc, thank you. Again, I just want to say I’m honored to have you on and I’ve just privately you’ve been enjoying your work, and been reading your great book that kind of lays it out, in a deeper level, this understanding of voltage electricity as it relates directly to our body and our way to heal. There’s a lot of incredible things that I think we miss out on from the normal model of healthcare. Why don’t you take our listeners through that little journey of how you got here and how your how you made some changes in your life as a result.

Dr. Tennant: Thank you very much for having me on. As you mentioned, I am trained as an ophthalmologist, I practiced ophthalmology for about 30 years, had a great deal of fun doing that, I got to do a lot of fun things. With my anesthesiologist and my internist, we figured out how to safely do eye surgery outside of the hospital, and was able to get the federal government and Medicare to pay for that I helped develop the ability to use plastic lenses and eyes after cataract surgery and taught that around the world. Also, one of the fun things we did was to do the majority of the research for the laser that’s used in LASIK surgery.

When I was doing that surgery, we didn’t know that the laser wouldn’t kill viruses. So a fellow came to me from India that had scarring on the front of his cornea. And I use the laser to carve those scars away, this person happened to also have leukemia. And so when I carved the scars away from his cornea released the viruses, and they went up through my mask and up into my nose into my brain, and I developed encephalitis. And the only reason I was able to get encephalitis was that I had a root canal tooth, in the same acupuncture circuit as the thinking part of the brain, which lowered the voltage and thus the oxygen in my brain, which allowed the immune system to be unable to deal with the virus. And so the reason I got encephalitis was the root canal. And we’ll come back to that a little later in the discussion. But as an aside, that’s the primary reason I’m not still practicing just general ophthalmology.

So what happened is that I got to where I could see a patient figure out what was wrong with him, but I couldn’t remember how to write a prescription. He also developed spastic movements, which doesn’t work really well if you’re operating inside somebody’s eyeball. And so for those and other reasons, I had to quit work at the end of November 1995. And so I slept 16 hours a day, I had this overwhelming fatigue. And I found that I could only read and understand a newspaper about two or three hours a day, then like a light switch had go off and I couldn’t understand it anymore.

So my wife took me to the best immunology doctors in Boston in New York, etc. And they all said, well, you got three viruses in your brain. We don’t know what to do about it. So good luck, don’t call us we’ll call you. And so at that point, became obvious I had either figure out how to get myself well or just give up and pass on. So during that two or three hours a day, I began the process of trying to figure out how to heal myself. Because the medicine I had been trained in the best people I could find in immunology and infectious disease had no solution for me.

Darin Olien: And you’re a doctor. You probably had greater access even than our normal person. So you’re reaching out to everyone you could possibly imagine to try to solve this issue.

Dr. Tennant: Yeah, I was able to see the head of corneal immunology at Harvard in Boston, I was able to see as a patient, head of the NIH, division of infectious disease, etc, etc. I said, Okay, I’m gonna see if I can figure this out. And so the thought came to me that every cell in the body has the same hardware as every other cell in the body. So even though a heart cell may look different than a nerve cell, they have all the same parts. They just have different software. And so I thought, well if I can figure out how to make one cell work, I can make them all work.

And so I went out and bought a bunch of cellular biology books, which I hadn’t read in about 30 years. And as I began to read through these books, one of the things that jumped out at me was that each book said something to the effect that cells are designed to run at a pH of 7.35 to 7.45. Well, I didn’t remember a lot about pH, except it had something to do with acid-base balance. But as I began to read about pH, I discovered that pH is actually the measurement of voltage in a liquid. And so I began to understand that if you talk about electrons moving through a wire that’s called conductive electricity, and the switch is either on or off, but in liquid, you can either have a situation where you have an electron donor, or an electron stealer, what you do is you measure the voltage in a liquid and then convert it to a logarithmic scale that we call pH.

Darin Olien: And that’s the 7 to 14 from an alkaline perspective, and seven below that seven, is that acid kind of zone. Right?

Dr. Tennant: Exactly. So by convention, if the solution that you measure is an electron donor, you put a minus sign in front of the voltage. If it’s an electron stealer, you put a plus sign in front of the voltage. And so +400 millivolts of electrons stealer is a synonym to a pH of zero. But -400 millivolts of electron donor is the same thing as a pH of 14. And as you mentioned, seven is neutral, it’s neither a donor nor stealer. So if you buy a pH meter, it has a switch on it, where it will measure for you either in millivolts, or it will automatically convert it to pH for you. And so when you say that the cells are designed to run at a pH of 7.35, you’re actually saying cells are designed to run at -20, millivolts. And 7.4, or five is -25, millivolts.

Darin Olien: Which is slightly alkaline from that perspective.

Dr. Tennant: Yeah. So what I find is that it’s much easier to get your mind around the difference between, let’s say, -25 millivolts, and -5 millivolts. And a person than it is to talk about, well, the pH dropped from 7.4 to 7.2, or something. I mean, it’s just so much easier to get your mind around talking in millivolts. In addition, it also gives you a different mindset, because when we’re talking about pH, the thought of energy doesn’t really come into mind does it? But when you’re talking about millivolts, energy does come to mind. And so it’s has a whole different Gestalt to it.

Well, so it became obvious to me that one of the things I needed to do is figure out how to measure voltage in my cells. And so I discovered that a chap named Nakatani, who was the first person to use modern electronics to measure acupuncture circuits. And he published his work in 1951. The following year, Ryan Obole in Germany published very much the same thing as Nakatani. And so I bought Nakatani, his rather rudimentary equipment, and began to measure and found out that were my brain should be running at -25 millivolts and was running between 2 and 4 millivolts. So now I knew why it didn’t work.

Darin Olien: The voltage was low, so it couldn’t conduct itself. It couldn’t stay in balance.

Dr. Tennant: Think about it, anything that’s designed to run at a specific voltage. If you have significantly less voltage than that, it’s not going to work. It won’t do what it’s designed to do. And of course, if you have significant excess voltage, it simply burns up those electrons.

Darin Olien: Right. You know, if someone wants to blow their hair dry, if it doesn’t have enough voltage, it’s not even going to turn on. And if you have too much, it’s just gonna blow it up. So then we have, we have this whole intimate, you know, 30 to 40,000 cells in her body, that have to run to optimally at a certain level of voltage. So anyway, that’s I think, I love the shift of the conversation from pH because I think people kind of get a little like, yeah, whatever this pH thing, but you’re now very much talking about specific Voltage Readings and totally stoked to hear what you came up with, with actual voltmeters that you’re using.

Stay tuned in the weeks to come for the rest of this fascinating interview with Dr. Jerry Tennant!

In the meantime, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us at or give us a call at 972-580-0545.

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