A Q&A with Dr. Rodney Soto
By Tori Phelps | Photography by Jessie Shepard
Dr. Rodney Soto, founder of The Younger You Institute, has combined his passion for neurology with a holistic approach that has landed him at the forefront of the anti-aging movement. The Institute specializes in aesthetic treatments you’ve heard of (Botox and fillers), as well as services you haven’t (chelation therapy and adult stem cell collection). Here, Dr. Soto provides insights into his practice, his beliefs, and some surprising ways to tap into the fountain of youth.
VIE: Tell us about yourself and your journey to Northwest Florida.
Dr. Soto: I’m originally from Ecuador and immigrated to the United States in 1989. I completed medical training in general neurology and vascular neurology at the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, respectively. After practicing neurology and stroke medicine for several years, I wanted to offer patients better options to improve their health through a comprehensive, holistic approach to healing. I live in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, with my lovely wife, Becky, and beautiful daughter, Kaleigh.
VIE: How would you describe The Younger You Institute?
Dr. Soto: The Younger You Institute was established in 2007 and is an innovative model of health care delivery, providing services to the Southeast region of the United States with the goal of promoting optimal health and wellness throughout every phase of life. This visionary approach is based on the principles of anti-aging medicine through preventive measures and holistic methods.
VIE: Have you always been drawn to neurology?
Dr. Soto: I developed an interest in science and medicine during high school. I was attracted to the way our body functions and the relationship of nature with health and well-being. I focused very early in my professional career on the study of Parkinson’s disease, dementia and related vascular disorders to develop strategies and interventions that would prevent ongoing brain damage and degeneration. Neurology and brain science are among the most exciting fields in which to be involved in the twenty-first century.
VIE: Your aesthetic services include many newer procedures. What are you excited about now?
Dr. Soto: The most recent addition to our facial rejuvenation services is SELPHYL, a simple, safe, and minimally invasive procedure during which the patient’s own platelets and fibrin are injected under the facial tissues. It promotes the regeneration of new cells and collagen to improve volume loss, wrinkles, acne scars and so on. The results last twelve to eighteen months with virtually no risk of rejection or allergic reaction. SELPHYL is an effective way to naturally promote cell regeneration.
VIE: Brain Electrical Activity Mapping is one of your anti-aging medical services. How does it work?
Dr. Soto: Brain Electrical Activity Mapping (BEAM) employs simple electrodes—similar to those used in an EEG—to provide a complete assessment of the brain’s functional status. To prevent or reverse aging, we need to control and enhance the electrical signals sent from the brain to the body. The brain controls the rest of the body, so when you have an imbalance of electrical activity in the brain, body dysfunction will follow. If you’re lacking dopamine, for example, you’ll have cravings for sweets, a lack of energy and weight gain. It can be treated with conventional medications, but then you start the cycle of taking one pill for this and one pill for something else. We help people balance signals so they can produce naturally what their bodies need.
VIE: How important is it to provide kids with holistic therapies?
Dr. Soto: Children’s health is one of my dearest passions, and my own daughter takes advantage of this approach for optimal health. Holistic pediatric medicine promotes an inclusive understanding of physical, nutritional, environmental, mental and emotional well-being as essential ingredients in maintaining the health of our children. The primary goal is to optimize the immune system and enhance brain development in the younger generation. Our services include natural approaches to common childhood illnesses, delayed vaccination schedule, nutritional optimization, brain development enhancement and detoxification. This program is open to children of all ages, and we welcome children with autism spectrum disorders.
VIE: What kind of results do patients experience after anti-aging treatments?
Dr. Soto: Some of the greatest successes we’ve had are in dealing with gastrointestinal and immune problems. Patients experience biological rejuvenation, including improved brain and hormonal functions that affect stamina, energy and even the ability to enjoy life. Many people tell us they’re so tired that they can’t even function. And then, after treatments, they move into a fully functional state again.
The bottom line is that it’s not a quick fix; results happen over the course of weeks to months. The most important thing we provide is a road map to healing and empowerment so patients can take ownership of their health. There’s nothing more rewarding than learning that our approach has made a tremendous impact on someone’s health and quality of life.
VIE: What’s your best advice on staying young?
Dr. Soto: The importance of maintaining spiritual health has a significant impact on the aging process. Lots of studies have found that connecting with an internal source of energy—regardless of your religion—will regenerate cells, strengthen the immune system, regenerate brain tissue and balance hormones. Research has linked spirituality and the length of telomeres, which are found on the end of chromosomes and protect them from deterioration. Spirituality lengthens telomeres. This effect has been shown in people from the Middle East who meditate often; it really does affect people at the genetic level.
I recommend things such as Qigong, yoga, and meditation, which are the tools I use for staying “in the moment.” Most of us don’t, and this generates negative energy that ages us. So, it’s crucial to pay attention to the present moment.
VIE: What’s the main message you communicate to patients?
Dr. Soto: There are better options than conventional medicine to restore health. Anti-aging medicine is holistic: it deals with the body, mind and spirit because the body works as a whole. This is the way health care has been practiced for thousands of years, but somehow that understanding has been lost. We’re bringing that back.
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