Welcome to another enlightening episode of our health podcast! Today, we embark on a thrilling expedition into the fascinating realm of neurofeedback. Join us as we delve into the discovery of neurofeedback and its profound impact on measuring brain activity in humans, revolutionizing the landscape of accurate diagnoses.

Our distinguished guest, Dr. Hill, a renowned neuroscientist, will guide us through the intricate world of brain mapping. Discover how this innovative technique empowers individuals to comprehend the intricate relationship between their lifestyle choices, medication, and brain function. Through brain mapping, patients gain valuable insights into their brain’s unique activation patterns, fostering autonomy and heightened self-awareness.

Together, we will navigate the boundaries and possibilities of neurofeedback, unraveling its potential within the realm of personalized medicine. By understanding its limitations, you’ll be equipped to determine if neurofeedback aligns with your health goals and aspirations.

Join us on this captivating journey as we unlock the transformative power of neurofeedback, steering our minds towards optimal health and peak performance. Tune in and embark on this mind-bending adventure with us!

Speaker 1 0:03
While health is about optimizing you, we use genomics bloodwork biometrics microbiome assessment, many other tests and a conversation with you to come up with a full health optimization plan. What’s the perfect diet, exercise and supplement plan for you and only you, the Wild Health podcast is about optimizing all of us. Here we cover the cutting edge science gives you the base, to be able to apply the personalized plan we give you as a patient. To sign up as a patient go to audible.com. Or if you’re a physician or health coach, and you want to learn how to do this for your patients, we’re happy to help as well. Wild hills.com for all the information on becoming a patient or working with us.

Speaker 2 0:54
Thanks so much for listening to the Wild Health podcast. If you’re a wild health patient, you might not know but you have access to our referral program. This gets your friends and family 25% off Wild Health Services, just head to clarity. And in the top right corner you’ll see refer a friend, click there and you’ll be brought to a page with your referral code. Happy sharing.

Speaker 3 1:16
Hello, everyone. Wild health world for some reason the the adults are gone right now. And they left Carl Seeger to do some do some podcasting, which I don’t I don’t know what Mike Stan was thinking there. Maybe wasn’t thinking at all, but we’re even more so we have Ed Gilman here, who is also one of the probably delinquent children of Wild Health, Ed’s vice president of Wild Health at Wild Health, who focuses on advancing health care, data and science in increasing precision medicine and accessibility. And Edie is more recently adding regenerative AI tools into the mix, which is kind of where a lot of healthcare may be kind of heading towards that. So Edie holds a Master’s of information and data science from UC Berkeley, and his interest includes behavioral science, health, EQ, economics, oh, econometrics, you’re gonna have to talk to me about that, unpack that for me, and machine learning. So, Ed Gelman, is here. And then we also are really lucky to have Dr. Andrew Hill, who’s founding director and lead neural therapist for the peak Brain Institute. And Dr. Hill is one of the top peak performance coaches in the country and holds a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from UCLA department of psychology and continues to do research on attention and cognition, which I think we all know, anybody who’s listened to this podcast knows that that’s near and dear to my heart, if they’ve heard me talking at all that maybe attention is a is a thing of mine that maybe I don’t hold well. But he does research methodology and his research methodologies include EEG, quantitative EEG, and then event related potential testing, or ERP, and is a He’s been practicing Neurofeedback since 2003, which, like, you were cutting edge back then, man, and that’s early. Yeah, that’s early, buddy. That’s super early. And then in addition to finding the peak Brain Institute, Dr. Hill hosts his podcast that had first podcast with Dr. Hill and Electra and he also lectures at UCLA teaching courses in psychology, neuroscience and gerontology, which is near and dear to our heart hearted and Wild Health. So, so you to know each other. So you guys go way back. And I don’t even know if I can say way back to Ed because as you whenever I talk to you, I feel like you’re two years old. And so going way back is like in the womb, or something like maybe a

Speaker 4 4:03
decade, right? You’re, if I forget what it was my student at UCLA, and then and then did some work with me at one of the companies we helped start. I forget when that was though, it’s all blur to me because I’m old and memory, you know.

Speaker 3 4:18
You guys, well, I mean, first of all, usually I start these podcasts and I let Mike stone start these podcasts. And he’s like, You know better than I feel like I just read you guys’s bios, but I really wanted to start with like, I want to do like the Good Morning Vietnam start like it bullets not do that. Let’s, let’s actually start with you guys talking about how you guys met. And then Dr. Hill if we could kind of just get kind of like let’s talk about where you guys met. And then let’s go back to what neurofeedback is in and talk about principles and neuroplasticity and all that and then have you kind of go from there if that’s okay. Sure. So

Speaker 4 4:55
you mentioned that I’m a gerontologist, which is like the Study of Aging or yeah losses of aging. And I think Edie you were my students when you first hit UCLA, right? The freshman cluster. Yeah. So I taught I was a fellow Teaching Fellow in this year long sequence. UCLA has these freshmen clusters where they bring in a cohort of freshmen, and keep them together for the whole year through several classes, doing building deeper knowledge in certain areas, and then doing capstone projects. So they end up with, you know, a specific area of mastery in a clinic course area, as well as with sort of between 200 and about 30 little friends that they sort of make over the rest of their college experience. So Edie came in, was in my, what was the current psychology of aging or intro to aging or something Gerontology course? And, and then I did a focus cluster group, a little smaller group in the spring. I think you were in that too, right? We have my class. Yeah. So I did a private little like, you know, grad student teaching the undergrads. We had project based work and then a few other things in smaller groups. So and then after that, I African my PhD from UCLA, I ended up opening up sort of biohacking style companies. And the first one had a mix addiction and non addiction focus on wellness general, and an addiction focus that was really all about this path of agency, this path of taking control of your brain and the addiction side of it, which I wasn’t deeply into. I wasn’t the expert in the alcohol and drug stuff, but the people that were in that landscape, we’re actually in a moderation landscape, not an abstinence landscape, largely which is very, very, you know, attention getting in alcohol, certainly. And we grew the neurofeedback side of the company is so separately and we served all the needs of the folks in the addiction side. And the neurofeedback or brain training side of the company kind of outgrew the other half of the company over the next two, three years, and we split off into what’s called Peak brain now. And where that was seven and a half years ago that peak brain started so we’ve been doing this brain training thing ever since. And I think we set that off to you know, read a letter of rec or something and send them off to because he wasn’t our intern at the first alternatives. was naming a company we didn’t pay you because I that was something that I wasn’t the controlling partner of that company. So you can’t blame me perhaps but yeah, it was a

Speaker 3 7:26
rack you up the Red Letter rack I did ended up with him. So okay, yeah. Yeah, yeah, no, we

Unknown Speaker 7:36
are you can blame me or whichever you feel sorry, or you’re welcome. Well, I mean, I mean, I’m sure some days not so

Speaker 3 7:48
good. Why don’t you can you Yeah, well, first of all, I guess I just like to hear like, I have my concept of what neurofeedback is that I’d like to hear. Like, you know, you’re the expert, man. Like I definitely like to hear that in. And how does that relate to brain activity and neuroplasticity? Yeah, sure

Speaker 4 8:07
you could have so Neurofeedback was that it? Probably

Speaker 3 8:15
couldn’t have been that dangerous if it wasn’t healthy. Right? No,

Speaker 4 8:18
no neurofeedback is relatively is a pretty, it’s a pretty straightforward process. It’s mysterious only because people are unique. You know, like personal training is mysterious, too. Because everyone responds a bit differently and you have to pay attention. You have to look at their individual data, you have to iterate. There’s not a through line for someone’s goals and personal training when they walk in that you know, necessarily ahead of time it’s more like okay, these goals. This these lipids, okay, here’s some strategies with your metabolism to hack yourself in the right direction. And in the Brain Stuff. Neurofeedback has been used mostly for the past 60 years, 5060 years by therapists in a therapeutic context, it was discovered in the late 60s at UCLA actually this style of neurofeedback, that most of the field does, and it was discovered on cats you know, cats are pretty bad instruction followers. It’s not really a voluntary process. It’s It’s involuntary. Operant conditioning or shaping of the brain. Most forms of Neurofeedback are like that. So, what you’ll do is you’ll stick a wire to the head and measure the brain as it changes moment to moment on its own. And whenever it happens to change a little more in the direction you would like to exercise you applaud the brain, your plot that change that parameter with auditory visual, typically. And so the brains hearing Oh, good. Yeah, brain Good job brand. Good job, right? Nope. Good job. Good job. Good job. Nope. For certain runs of brainwaves that engages in every so often and it starts to notice, hey, wait a minute. Oh, dropping my alpha is doing something. Okay, cool. And it starts to lean into that. It’s almost all involuntary though because you can’t feel your brainwaves. So it’s this shaping or operant conditioning, but an involuntary behavior you know, brain itself has no sensory nerve endings. You can’t feel your brain ironically, it’s doing all the feeling but it can’t feel it, which is probably good because the brain is actually fairly active. You know, we think of the heart as a moving organ. The brain also is a moving organ, it actually physically pulses a little bit and has all kinds of acids, electricity and bursting bits. And if you could feel it, you’d be miserable is my guess. So we were designed so we can’t actually have a sensation of it. But that means you sort of bypass I mean, neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback, but that conjures the idea of like, voluntary relaxation and paying attention to your heartbeat or something else voluntarily. And that is a form of that loop of attending to the stimulus that’s not normally perceptible in a way that lets you then train it or shape the stimulus, like your heart rate variability or galvanic skin response or handle warming. It’s biofeedback, that central nervous system, everything inside of that is imperceptible in terms of direct experience. You can’t feel your brainwaves firing. So that becomes this involuntary exercise. So the classic Neurofeedback of the field of it was developed around a brainwave called sensory motor rhythm. If you’ve seen a cat in a windowsill, that liquid body and laser like focus is a super high SMR state. So Sturman UCLA was actually doing operant conditioning. He was squirting chicken broth into the mouths of cats, whenever they made more SMR little bursts of it. And six months later, the cat’s for the mint condition and that becoming seizure resistant to toxins.

Speaker 3 11:34
So Andrew, you might want it for our audience, like some people aren’t gonna know what SMR is. Do you want to Sure? Sure.

Speaker 4 11:40
Yeah, so SMR is a brainwave, it’s in the beta brainwaves. A Beta is like in the teens. SMR is little rhythm that runs about 12 to 15 times per second and brainwaves in general, you can think of the brain the it’s many layers, the top layer, the cortex, or the bark is quite a large surface area all kind of wrinkled up against the top of the brain. And you have what are called micro columns, or sometimes mini columns, these little clusters of cells by 30,000 neurons, and maybe up to 100,000 glial cells, or support cells that sit in this column, this computational unit, and that little group of cells will discharge, it’ll fire its electricity all at once. And the whole little 30,000 unit is kind of like a binary you know, one or zero based on how its firing or more accurately to rhythmically firing at a certain rate. And then layers in that column will make connections to some local neighbors, and some faraway neighbors. And then that creates information flow by changing the brainwaves in a column and many of the millions of columns we have. So when it comes hanging out, bouncing it 12 times per second. And that’s on the motor strip that runs ear to ear. That’s a motorically calm state, a physically relaxed state able to sit still to pump the brakes internally and not get reactive to high sensory motor rhythm state SMR state or low beta state. And cats do it naturally all the time. This is why cats can fall asleep instantly, too, and then wake up. It’s SMR. They’re manipulating because SMR is also called sleep spindles, by neurologists, same phenomena, okay, it’s used in many ways, but it’s this little burst of beta waves that does things mostly it pumps the brakes, you don’t wake up when you hear a car go by, or you don’t go squirrel when something interesting happens. So the calm cat in the windowsill watching birds is literally the opposite of ADHD, literally, which is a low SMR and a high theta state which has lubrication on the circuits. So if you stick wires in the head on the areas involved in controlling behavior, you controlling your behavior voluntarily. And you measure the SMR, low beta waves moment to moment and the theta moment to moment. And you applaud the brain, whenever it shifts towards more beta and less theta. After several days of that the brain starts to move in that direction. And then it creates changes in the resources. And after five, six sessions, you feel it. After two or three weeks you’re getting movement after six or eight weeks, you can actually measure the brain and see the differences you’ve been creating. So it’s just progressive training. So well. It sure.

Speaker 3 14:19
Yeah, of course you do. Yeah. I guess I think maybe maybe what you’re getting to there as the is like, let’s talk about like, what are the applications to that? Like, where’s that? Where’s the, like, the actual applications and then also, like, at some point, I’d like to hear your thoughts on what are the potential applications may be coming on the forefront and down the road? Sure, thanks. Yeah.

Speaker 4 14:50
So the things that respond really well to Neurofeedback are the gross features of our brain that you can see from the outside. And also they’re the things that all brains to do and you can see from the outside gross features of anxiety, executive function, sleep, speed of processing, just through any EEG you can see. So for instance, there’s a circuit in the front middle of the head whose job it is to help you decide what you’re thinking about, called the anterior cingulate. It’s one of the back of the posterior and they do jobs all the time when you’re like not forgetting what you’re thinking about. Thank you anterior cingulate when you’re going to watch the road Thank you posterior cingulate, you know, just job wonderful. These guys cramp up though, and they cramp up into high gear, they become little red blobs on a data reads like it put a cap on your head, measure your brain at rest and say, well, your cingulate sir kind of active, kind of cramped up a little bit. And I wouldn’t know if it was in the way for you. But I would think it might be. And I would say, you know, what’s plausible, is that sometimes when the anterior cingulate cramps up, people obsess a little bit, they are separate stuck in their head, you know, is that something you care about? Is it important to you? Is it real, you know, and then same thing back midline, when that’s really activated, somebody becomes perhaps, kind of threat sensitive, activated that ruminate. But maybe it’s a CEO and not OCD in the front. Maybe it’s a lifeguard and not a PTSD or threat sensitivity in the bat.

Speaker 3 16:15
I typically think of like Megillah in and for PTSD, and that sort of activation there. I don’t think about what you’re talking about, can you is there like data around like, hey, you know, like, take, take all comers, use slap your, your device on there, and you say, that person has a history of trauma, PTSD, or has that sort of likely diagnosis. And that person has OCD. And we can look at that and then go back interview and like, yes,

Speaker 4 16:47
but the, the outliers in the brain are not as precise as the diagnostic language, because they’re actually probably more valid, like front midline theta is a thing that shows up in OCD and intrusive thoughts, and ticking and picking and claustrophobia and agoraphobia, in all kinds of things. But it can also be a natural variant. And people are weird. So you’re seeing population metrics and a brain mapping situations, you’re saying, Hey, here’s some things that are outliers. Let’s model them was top of the neuroscience that is plausible. Oh, wait, three of these things matter to you? Let’s see. Okay, I think we’re in the ballpark of things you care about grades, right? Where

Speaker 5 17:23
you’re gonna see weirdnesses in a human if you do some sort of imaging, and not all of them are relevant.

Speaker 4 17:31
Yeah, exactly. People are very variable. Whether you do an fMRI or SPECT or an x ray or CT or anything, you see huge variability, brain mapping or quantitative EEG takes your resting brain, and then does an age match population comparison. So all the all the data you’re looking at is in like, Bell Curve type heatmap sense. So I can say to you, and and the question you asked a minute ago, Dr. Singer, the other diagnostically valid, you know, patterns, not exactly is the short answer, not really. We call them phenotypes or endo phenotypes more accurately, some of them rise to the level of predictive like the ADHD phenotype Monastrell found in the 80s and 90s, that the ratio of theta to beta at the top of the head the vertex can blindly sort kids into ADHD and non ADHD buckets 94% accurately. And if you see midline theta, you know someone for seven or eight but they might not have OCD, I don’t maybe it’s fine for you

Speaker 3 18:27
can ask a question on that is if that if we feel like it’s that accurate? Why is this not become a diagnostic modality for ADHD as opposed to like the current modalities which is often like not and I feel like it’s gonna flog me but yeah, we’re sending home we’re sending, sending applicator of like forms for teachers to fill out, right?

Speaker 4 18:53
Well, what is the diagnosis? It’s not until Until very recently, the the DSM five, and the current versions are starting to put in information in the DSM, the diagnostic criteria that include mechanism of the problem. But up until very, very recently, nothing diagnostically has included the mechanism. It’s a collection of presentation of symptoms, and you can have ADHD, like symptoms from a concussion, or from anxiety, or from 1000 things and so the the diagnostic labels are actually less precise than the physiology. So when you find someone’s physiology and talk about it, you can work backwards and say, Whoa, okay, like if someone has a high theta beta ratio, they’re gonna respond well to stimulants because that’s what that’s an ADHD brain. But someone has tons of, you know, cingulate beta. And they’re really tired from it because we’re anxious and tired, not sleeping and spacey and someone says, Oh, I think you have ADHD and look at the brain. You see all this activation. That’s where the utility goes. It just sort of like Flynn’s you know the wheat from the chaff and figure out where what’s plausible what fits the presentation what makes sense and to demystify information? So

Speaker 3 20:05
maybe it’s it’s like, like all things, it depends, but it’s it’s, you have population based studies that these are what your testing modality looks like. And then you pair that with the patient’s symptoms, and then you intervene to see if that you get changes in your brainwaves. And that really your

Speaker 4 20:25
performance and your and your performance. Yes, yeah. Because we always do executive function testing alongside a resting brain map, brain maps don’t change day to day to day to the same at a high level, you look the same every day, essentially, compared to the average person your age, your performance fluctuates a little bit day to day, if we snapshot your performance and find crazy ADHD, or distractibility, or fatigue, or burnout, and we see patterns in your brain that often go along with those exact things. We’re not doing science or medicine, or we’re not not in medicine, psychology, we’re doing science, we’re doing cognitive neuroscience, putting physiology, and behavior in contrast, and seeing what sticks out, but to teach someone about their goals and their resources, not necessarily to apply a top level label. So you know, and people are variable and one is a problem is often contextual. I mean, take something silly, like your height, you know, if you’re six foot seven, that’s unusual. But it’s great. If you’re on a basketball court, it’s not so good. If you’re trying to be a jockey. Problem at that point, you know, like you’d have contextual perspective on your data. So what I’m pointing out your speed of processing, compared to the average person, your age, or your tendency to get distracted, your tendency to hyper focus. And I can describe it to you now you get to decide if it’s important to you to change, or maybe it’s a great quirk about yourself that you enjoy. Not everything we find is many things we find are not problem. And there’s a big

Speaker 5 21:57
difference. We’re seeing arrays, as you were saying with the with responds well to stimulants. Yes. Doesn’t. That sounds to me like a great tool to throw into the mix. As we’re trying to figure out what’s going to work for somebody and what’s not.

Speaker 4 22:15
It should be Yeah, and usually is usually people are super excited to see it. And peek brain also has this open ended access thing. So we teach people to read their own brain mapping data and their own performance testing. And then we provide unlimited access to the offices for regathering. And we often do what’s called Neurofeedback and you know, change their brain with them. But even if they don’t do neurofeedback, they’re mapping their brain every so often. And looking at these changes building up from hyperbaric medicine or psychology, or meditation or psychotherapy or anything else for dealing or medication changes. I can’t tell you the number of contrast maps I’ve done in California and New York at this point with caffeine, cannabis, Adderall and clean brain maps. And looking at the four states somebody dials themselves into day to day, and they have massive agency when they go whoa. Adderall does make me super awake. Oh, my performance actually isn’t any better. And I’m starting to make commissioners. Oh, oh, yeah, I am. Oh, yeah, maybe taking too much Adderall. But not me as a doctor saying your Adderall might be in the way. But hey, here’s your brain clean. Here’s your brain with Adderall. Here’s some performance differences. That’s uh, you know, and then your brain maps are changing in this direction. You would think it’s all agency all exciting. And usually people are just like blown away and happy to look at it and you’re very excited. I also have folks where they say oh, yeah, I asked my kids psychiatrist if they want to look at this brain data you gathered and she got mad at me. Yeah, because it was out of scope out of her expertise area and I have an ideal all our clients, their doctors can come get their brains map, I will do a cold read on you. And tell you lots of things about yourself zero information if you’re a skeptic, happy to you will not be a skeptic after that, generally. Yeah. But no, I every so often get a psychiatrist who gets like angry at Neurofeedback and thinks that’s a quackery thing, and, you know, doesn’t doesn’t have the open mind to look at data. Well,

Speaker 3 24:14
I mean, I guess if we’re talking about that, like she’s bringing it up and I don’t want to lose the I don’t want to lose the thought about you know, what you see kind of coming down the pipe for uses for sure. But, but what I mean, what are the I guess what are the limitations to neurofeedback? Because that’s what right, and what’s the downside? Yeah,

Speaker 4 24:36
well, it only works on these gross features. I mean, you got a plasticity versus good literature showing that even a single session of Neurofeedback causes a big boost of plasticity of rock 24 hours after a recession. So you actually get other indirect effects it gets cycled. I got personal trainers and OTs and PTs calling me and saying my client walked in without a cane. What are you doing? That’s so weird. I’ve been working with her for eight years. And this is the first day she’s ever had balance and no cane. Oh, cool. I was working on their balance, and her anxiety or sleep. Yeah. But the plasticity was so high, the PT got in finally, and landed. And suddenly her balance was better is what happened, not that example. So when you work the brain out, you can’t really just work out one thing. So you do get a global effect. But the resources I go after are sleep, stress, attention and speed. Those underpin many, many things. So executive function, any flavor of it any flavor of ADHD, pretty much you can spot on a brain map. Most flavors have anxiety. And by the way, the amygdala has no eight has no EEG. Can’t see it. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 25:42
that’s right.

Speaker 4 25:44
Can you make the Migdal is not about the trauma response. It’s about the learning of the adverse experience. The trauma response is about the posterior cingulate, watch the road heads up heads up danger Will Robinson, you know, or below it, the parry act both periaqueductal Gray, when you slam your thumb with a hammer, the moment of relief you get after the pain goes away. That’s the dumping of Kefalonia and endorphins into your central nervous system by the Ph. D. It feels

Speaker 3 26:15
to remember the term Ph. D. But that periaqueductal gray pH me on that one I was like Oh Harry

Speaker 4 26:21
aqueductal gray gray tissue that sits around the cerebral aqueduct in the middle of the brain. And it dumps morphemes you know natural endorphins into your system if you have extreme physical pain, like you hit your thumb with a hammer or cut something off. And I was taught that growing up and this is how it all works. And then recently, Seaver and Fisher who is a great psychologist who works in trauma, dug into some imaging data and discovered that pa G becomes pre alerted for adverse experiences throughout life and it’s actually the thing that drives developmental and attachment trauma C PTSD, since it’s before the posterior cingulate what’s the road? One little before? That is a little voice going. You were traumatized a while ago? Don’t forget it. Don’t forget it. That’s the big it reminds you that you might think might go wrong. It’s not the threat itself, but it’s the thing that shaming you for missing the threat once before a long time ago.

Speaker 3 27:13
Yeah, that sounds like a part of your brain that you both love and hate.

Speaker 4 27:17
You need it. You don’t want to be equalized. No, no, it

Speaker 3 27:21
saves your ass but it also like you know gives you some lots of problems later.

Speaker 4 27:27
Yeah, well, okay, cost of missing dangerous so high that we’re biased. latch on to that negativity, you know, you can miss pleasurable things all day long. But Miss Miss A tiger once and it might be game over

Speaker 5 27:40
hanging out with everything single dang time. And so I think that’s a good enough reason to talk about the performance stuff. And like, why would somebody want this because we talked about, you know, ADHD, we also talked about anxiety. clinicals. And what that’s performance well being? And what’s kind of, yeah, yeah,

Speaker 4 28:03
but either way, you might want to change your impulsivity or your stamina, or your sustained focus or your vigilance or your depth of sleep, or your speed of your speed of processing, which is retrieval of words and information flow in your mind. Those are things you can see and measure. And here’s the big trick in neurofeedback, we can’t understand our brain really well. It’s this population level, you know, modeling game, but if we see something, we can change it. So hey, is this oh, this is important to you. Okay, cool. Sorry, experiencing that. Ooh, that might this might be fun to work on you want let’s see what happens. So then is it becoming it’s sort of mysterious, but not blind, the process of Neurofeedback because you’re like, Oh, this is weird. Wait a minute, hmm, I feel something that’s kind of cool. So, you know, pretty approachable in that particular way. Executive functions a big driver, I don’t care if you have ADHD and you’re seeing a kid who’s not able to, you know, do their homework, or you’re a high level CEO who’s making billions we all have executive function that’s variable across the day and the time and many of us especially high performance individuals, and people that are suffering with deficits will have difficulties in executive function regulation, sleep, accumulated, you know, stress or wear and tear or a lot of my high performing, you know, athletes or executives or musician types. They’ve all got like, you know, maybe acquired problems from their jobs, so to speak. You know, the actor has social anxiety to get on gets triggered when she’s doing red carpet speeches, but not when doing you know, when when learning lines, or if actors come in because they are getting too old and too drunk to remember their lines. And you work their brains out and clean it all up and now they’re winning their improv classes and off book one read again after a few months. So, the point a little bit of point is it doesn’t matter what the diagnostic label is, what really matters is what your goals are and goals executive function, sleep onset sleep maintenance, speed of processing improving, and most of the anxiety stuff, the selection of the stress versus attention control stuff. It’s pretty tractable. So it becomes more like Well, here’s your brain what do you want to do? And even before you make a change, I show you stuff I show your anterior cingulate being obsessive your posterior cingulate having a trauma response or right temporoparietal junction being a little sensitive to the social and sensory information coming in. I show it to you and say, Is this something you deal with? You’re like, oh, my gosh, yes, I did experience that. Well, there it is. It’s just your brain. Great. Oh, it’s annoying that you’ve seen for some suffering, it’s annoying, but it’s just your brain. And even before you do anything, it has this, this impact of people going, oh, oh, yeah, I’m annoyed at that. And it can hurt, there can be a lot of suffering, it can be frustrated. But being ashamed of it or feeling guilty of it starts to suddenly drop away, and feeling out of control of it starts to drop away, even when it’s really intrusive stuff. Oh, yeah, yeah, I am kind of hyper focused. And most of the anxiety flavor stuff and the ADHD stuff is also not disease process, when it’s dysregulated. It’s an existing natural resource, and kind of strong and stuck in one of its modes. So between that natural education of here’s how your brain works, and externalizing as the things actually happening, not a thing you’re doing voluntarily. This starts to flip people’s relationship into something where they’re not afraid of their brain, they understand it better and they can progressively move through changes and yet neurofeedback is one of those things, but so is, you know, learning how your sleep hacking works and learning how your acetone and ketones work in your bloodstream and playing with some of these metrics. So you can steer the system. Yeah,

Speaker 3 31:52
I think but, um, well, I guess one thing is, what do you think the what’s the, what’s the downside, right? Yeah, doing this for people.

Speaker 4 32:02
The downside of neurofeedback. it’s manageable. But the downsides are that if you do the wrong thing, it doesn’t land the right way. So if you train your brain the wrong way. It won’t feel like anything right away. It doesn’t Neurofeedback takes a couple of sessions to kick in. But if you train somebody, let’s say who’s threat sensitive and kind of ruminating, to be really, really focused, you’re likely to drive up that sense of anxiety, for instance, it’s transient, it happens for half an hour, an hour and a half, like kind of subtle in the background, like wait a minute, I kind of feel something and it wears off. Or maybe you’re asleep that night is kind of screwed up. You can’t fall asleep very easily. You wake up a lot, you dream more something. And you go hmm, I don’t think I liked that protocol yesterday, somebody felt a little bit weird. Okay, back off, you’re just you look at the brain maps figure out why you’re going to different effect the next time after adjusting the problems and Neurofeedback COMM When you ignore the side effect, Oh, this must be good for me, I’m gonna keep going. And you make the side effect itself stronger and stronger and stronger and then permanent. Or when the system you’ve been given to train your brain is one of these one size fits all systems where the software is magical. And it does all the adjusting. Those systems are weak to at best and actually cause a fair amount of is that a feature that could get building up

Speaker 5 33:25
with better technology better mapping better protocols veteran?

Speaker 4 33:31
Well, I mean, we don’t I mean, I’ve seen 1000s and 1000s of clients and I can count on one hand the number of clients that I couldn’t actually move in the right direction, let alone create adverse, I mean, every client has a little bit of like, oh, I felt kind of wired after that or kind of tired after that protocol. And that’s gone to the gym, you feel a little bit. But there’s a difference between being like, well, I dropped eggs in the floor, the supermarket is my arms noodles, and like, there’s pain and there’s damage and I can’t you know function the next day. And we work with our clients daily to make sure their sleep, their stress, their mood, their attention to subjective impact, is what it should be. So we don’t like get them train themselves off in the wrong direction and producing progressive problems. That’s the risk of neurofeedback is the progressive iteration into the wrong direction. But almost any form of neurofeedback is fairly gentle, there are some forms that operate a little faster. But even those take 345 10 sessions to create change. So the rule of thumb becomes don’t do the thing again, that felt weird. And make sure you communicate with the person who’s helping you guide what you’re doing. And there’s a very good chance the way in which you felt weird isn’t only not a big deal, because it wears off, but it’s useful. Oh, you slept less well, after this. Left side beta. Oh, okay, let’s try half a hurt slower than because you’re clearly built a little differently. The next day you get a different effect. So because it’s not permanent, right away, you have this freedom to sort of iterate and gently move ahead and and validate the effects you’re getting before you really get to that permanent place. And then we map the brain every other month. So we’re actually going back to the science and tracking the more high level data to make sure we understand what we’re doing. In between that we’re asking our clients every day, you know, how’s your sleep? How’s your day? How’s your stress as your mood has drinkin? How’s your anger your mother in law? And we just love the variability of them. And when one day when they’re, you know, have a discontinuous response. We’re like, oh, yeah, that’s not typical for him. Awesome. Sleep. Yay, oh, he’s in a bad mood. He’s never in a bad mood. Maybe we’re pushing a little bit hard. Let’s see what what his last protocol wasn’t changing maybe. So as long as you do that piece of it, you’re working with somebody who’s got this iterative and listening to you kind of piece of it going on, then I think that people don’t get like the wrong effects. And the worst that will happen is, it takes longer because your brain is really weird or unusual can do long times for a few people here and there. But Neurofeedback against the other forms of change people experience. When I say things take a long time, it’s only some of these, you know, hard to work on phenomena are hard to work on brains. Most things in Neurofeedback changed dramatically faster than traditional medication, I mean, executive function, stuff, ADHD type phenomena, we tend to get a full standard deviation every other month of change. And people do three months of Neurofeedback about 40 sessions three times a week, and they make two or three standard deviations of change. And it’s just there now, and you can come back six months later. And there’s good literature in ADHD on six months, 12 months, five years and 10 years even showing good stability. So since we provide the access to the data to our clients without charge, they double down and engage with this agency perspective and go back and do more brain mapping and meditate a lot and engage the secondary healthy habits, which is kind of our trick is to you know, now that they there’s well stabilized to toss other stuff down that there’s the channel of education like

Speaker 5 37:03
sleep hacking component that you need. Both your your practitioner and from the person coming to you from help for help.

Speaker 4 37:15
Yeah, the client needs to both have some sense of what their goals are. Yeah. And they need to be reflecting back, especially the day after every session. If we are mock or polling our way towards their goals or not, if they are eliciting subjective experiences of any sort. It’s not No it’s hard actually for some folks. Yeah.

Speaker 3 37:38
So I so so ADHD, executive functioning performance users,

Speaker 4 37:43
I’m not a medical person, but the field has a huge amount of seizure impact was discovered because of epilepsy because of seizures. But the average Sturman did a review article in 2012 or 14, showing the average amount of impact on seizures is a reduction of 50% and I’ve never seen a result as poor as 50% always seen more than that it’s always fairly dramatic just ramping down people seizure activity migraines same kind of things ramp it down over time using vascular trainees infrared tools and measure blood flow in the brain as as heat surges around. I forget did we use Ichi jeebies blood flow tools, that alternative back when you were there? Yeah. Okay, we throw we throw a headset on Eddie and give him an infrared sensor that measures waves of heat flowing off the brain. He concentrated Think happy thoughts and that vascular tone starts to climb and migraines go away and brain fog gets broken up. And I don’t know why we get better social function in Asperger’s and autism as well from frontal training of that blood flow. So, but again, I’m not trying to treat the autism or treat the migraine, I’m trying to help someone understand how their brain works and, you know, take control themselves, ultimately, but

Speaker 3 39:00
do so are there patients that come to you with either specific goals or patients who come to you that are that are not good candidates are examples where you’re sure this is Georgia. Wow. Sure.

Speaker 4 39:16
I can’t say that I have always known who those people were when I was younger in practice. And I’ve also often been practicing in a landscape where I’ve had a psychologist as part of the team are nearby and so some some people for whom it would have been extra hard to just do neurofeedback, I had other resources. But you know, in the past three years, I’ve had at least two people was schizotypal, schizophrenic form, you know, intrusive stuff, and they would not see traditional Psych and they had exhausted that in there, you know, after 3040 50 years of it, and they were fairly disorganized, but they were going to come in three times a week and train their brain and they did not make the like, I mean using linear change most of us make, but they made changes took about twice as long both these guys, but you know, suddenly I’m like, wait a minute, that email came in from an had grammar, he capitalized Wait, hey, how’s this guy doing? He came in showered, ice, you know, and it was someone who said, I have a lot of anxiety. And I find my creativity is too high. And I imagined things. And I would like to get control of my mind. And so he would give us these like really rambling reports every morning of his sleep and how much food he didn’t digest and, you know, really, flight of ideas stuff, and gradually saw that language get more and more organized. You know, we just helped him learn his brain. So, you know, it’s kind of kind of a fun thing. But the people who I would say that it’s not a good fit for our folks for whom it’s not a, it’s not a there’s no physiological component to their complaint, first of all, or, I do have colleagues that work very, very successfully with this population. But I find because I don’t do therapy, I’m not a therapist. I’m a trainer, coach and an educator for folks. That the whole it’s called X, it’s called access to end diagnosis. It’s very difficult. These are the relational things. narcissism, borderline. Yeah, all the difficulty of like injured relational stuff that has created different ways of interacting with the world. Neurofeedback can do a lot there actually. But it should do a lot in the context of the therapeutic thing you may need because it’s a very complicated thing that is the psychology of that is at least as as involved as the physiology learning involved, but most flavors of anxiety that is not true. You can have profound Tourette’s or a tick or handwashing OCD are intrusive thoughts where you’re hallucinating just your brain, train the brain change the phenomena. But so, yeah,

Speaker 3 42:00
one of one of my like one of the I’ve kind of always thought as when I thought about neurofeedback, is there a significant barrier to this is around location and accessibility. And so that like if, you know, when I think of neurofeedback, you got to be in a big city and have university nearby. Talk to me about that, like, where are we at in the world, in accessibility for patients?

Speaker 4 42:30
It’s it’s mixed. You know, when I got involved in the field more than 20 years ago, there were a good solid five to 8000 practitioners in the US. And I think there’s fewer now because the field has been aging out, because it’s this very complicated kind of black art for a lot of the way it’s taught and apprenticeships are taught. And, you know, also on the same token, the other the the access is improving, and the technology and the approachability of stuff. So when I first got involved in the field, we needed two separate computers connected by a parallel cable and two monitors, and you couldn’t use one computer wasn’t enough processing power. You know, and this wasn’t like this was this was like in the 90s wasn’t that long ago that I was doing.

Speaker 3 43:09
Which we like to talk at least I do. Which kind of Pearl Jam album are we talking here timeframe are we talk I was

Speaker 4 43:16
pre Pearl Jam. Was it not was wasn’t actually Oh, that was post progeria? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So

Unknown Speaker 43:23
we’re talking 92 was 10.

Speaker 4 43:27
This would have been in 94 that I was talking about. So I was first they weren’t they were not that exciting anymore. They were kind of old hat. They were low. Hey, mainstream by

Speaker 3 43:36
them do exciting to this day, man. Like I don’t,

Speaker 4 43:40
but they were mainstream by the mid 90s. They were no longer like what’s programmed them saying?

Unknown Speaker 43:45
Okay. Exactly.

Speaker 4 43:49
Do you, Andrew. It’s a really nice jam. Yeah.

Speaker 3 43:53
So I know and it’s complete. Sidenote, Ed and I were at a at a retreat center together like we were doing a company retreat, and we went into the spa. And somebody asked, like, basically add if he was here with his dad, and me. Oh, I was his dance.

Speaker 4 44:13
Nice. Music. Give it give it a mustache. I can see it. I can see it. Yeah,

Speaker 3 44:18
just because you have a mustache doesn’t mean you have a like, you know, here we were talking about precision medicine. I don’t think

Unknown Speaker 44:27
anyone’s duration. Yeah.

Speaker 3 44:31
Yeah. So funny. So I guess the so access, sorry, we’re focused on access like we’re Yeah, that.

Speaker 4 44:40
So again, the the field has been tricky a little bit because it’s a knowledge based area that does take a few years of learning for many of the practitioners and yet we’re also getting fitness trackers and sleep trackers. And I mean, the cost of gear is one of the amps that I send people home with. This is less than a grand now for training for EEG systems. So the cost of hardware and software and everything else is coming down the knowledge cost is, is still in a little bit of a siloed place in many of the ways people like to get access. So peak brain, my company has offices in several cities, and you can go to our office physically, but about 80% of our clients never see our offices. We send here to you, we map your brain from home, we teach you how to stick wires to your head, and run software. And we have coaches who run with you seven days a week and teach you things and nudge you to do your stuff and feel like your sleep surveys.

Unknown Speaker 45:32
And you’re doing this remotely.

Speaker 4 45:35
We’re doing traditional neurofeedback, not one size fits all, we aren’t selling you a kit that self runs. We’re doing Neurofeedback with you tracking progress, touching base with you, but teaching you to become your own, like, you know, biohackers stick wires to your head or your kid’s head, and then check in with us for wire placement or for effects and, and learn to move through it themselves. Yeah. So that’s, I mean, wherever you like to be in the world, if you if you

Speaker 3 45:59
wish. But do you feel like have you been? Maybe you’ve been tracking this or not? But do you feel like you have same results in people doing this on their own versus people doing it in person? Like what is that I in my mind? Sure person seems like a better deal. You know, like,

Speaker 4 46:19
no, don’t tell my clients in the office this but clients who work from home get better results.

Speaker 3 46:26
Oh, yeah, let’s unpack that, buddy. Right.

Speaker 4 46:30
There’s a few things there. One in my office is it’s three times a week. At home, you got the gear, you got the brain, you got the goals, you want to crank it up. Okay, let’s crank it up and try some more stuff and do another session here and there. So instead of 40 sessions, it’s 50 over three blondes, that is a big difference in dosing actually, that’s one reason to if you’re learning to stick a wire to your head, learning a protocol, observing your sleeping and giving it at home yourself and structuring your own workout plan and logging your own experiences. The way you engage with it’s a little bit different than coming in and being asked if you slept or if you’re focused today. And sitting down having tea while you something’s done to you quote unquote. So the agency and the education piece is so much deeper than yourself training, you lean into it more and try more stuff to get more out of it. And you do more Neurofeedback and it cost the same as our office space programs based on the number of months. So this is why 80% of our clients are doing from home because they have the control over it. And the ones that like technology is confusing or their kid is won’t do what they tell them to. They come in, you know, but most of our clients just say, hey, that would protocol was great. Can I do another one like that today? Oh, yeah. Let’s try this one for you today. And then they go and they do their Neurofeedback and they talk to us later.

Speaker 3 47:44
You have patients that originally show up at an office and then transition to like,

Speaker 4 47:50
yeah, yep, we do. We have offices in New York City, LA, Orange County, California and St. Louis, and Denver, we actually have a lot of a lot of clients in Denver, an awful lot, actually. But they’re all working from home directly. And, you know, we’re also opening up right now in London and Stockholm. And we have some partners and other places like Wellington and Sydney and other you know, we’re pretty far flung. But most of our clients will, you know, get started remotely, those that are near one of the offices will often be like, get the brain map done. But I have plenty of clients that just come into the office for mapping and train from home still, because they live in LA you can’t get across town sometimes. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 48:31
So you know, be in Denver. Yeah, right. Right. They

Speaker 4 48:34
live 24 miles away, it’s a two hour drive, you know, perhaps so it’s time of day. So I do have clients who do both and often clients are concerned about the complexity of oh, I’m not sure I can handle this. I’m gonna get in the office. And then like a week, a week or two, when they’re like, Oh, hey, can I get a kitten this from home? This is pretty cool. I can do this. Yeah. And then we teach you we spent the first two weeks at least live sticking wires, double checking signals teaching in the basics. I joke that folks who go through our three month programs for their own self training, they are more skilled than Junior Techs are at eg centers. Yeah. You know, signals that can run data, they then you know, like, they can troubleshoot 60 hertz noise because their friend has the air conditioner on and next room, you know. So it’s, it’s a skill set we give them so they get deeper into it, and they can they get more out of it when they do that. Yeah. So alright,

Speaker 3 49:28
so what so last question is, what’s what’s on the horizon? What’s, what’s coming? It’s coming in. Yeah. So

Speaker 4 49:36
ultimately, I mean, we’re really focused on this access and agency play, right. So I alluded to the fact that earlier, earlier, I mentioned that most providers are therapists, and that’s wonderful. I think there’s a really really good need for therapy and Neurofeedback as a blend, even with the same practitioner. I love that especially for things like deeply psychological stuff like borderline or narcissism. Yeah, obviously PD or something. But I also think that because of the brain drain and the people aging out of the field, it’s even in New York City, if you wanted to go to a regular provider, it’s like three to 400 bucks a session now, in LA same thing in St. Louis, it’s like 200 bucks a session, because they’re therapists doing one on one work. And there’s less access to it now than there was before. So we’ve taken the thing on remote, our fees are dramatically lower than that at a, we’re under the $100. Now a session rate usually. And we want to take that further and move the sort of coaching piece of it into software, you know, fitness trackers for the brain. So we can be coaching and we actually built a cobbled together one that all of our clients use, where they, they log their sleep, their stress, their mood, their attention, their drinking, their anger, whatever they’re working on, and we see it fluctuate day to day, and we reflect back to them, Hey, we see this thank you for letting us know, try this, if that’s the coaching and leave I call it the are a cycle in house the reflect review and act cycle, which is helping clients perspective reflecting their experience, back to them what’s going on, after you’ve reviewed their experience, provide an action or an intervention. start all over again, that’s the coaching cycle we use. And I think that piece of it’s great. But I also think that my phone knows, you know how many carbs I had today, because I track it my fitness tracker, it knows how much sleep I got last night because my ordering told it. Ultimately, we’re going to play as I think of intelligent agents doing personalized, not just personalized predictions, but like avatars, I think we’re gonna have little Ed’s gonna have a small ad on the phone that he’s going to say, hey, hey, virtual Ed, how would this med treat me? And the virtual lead will say, Oh, based on genetics and experience, and this, this, this med is not good for you, because of these reasons. That’s I think that’s the personalized medicine value with massive data, AI, and I’ve been thinking this for years, but now I think it’s probably going to happen like tomorrow instead of in 10 years or 20 years. I mean, I was probably teaching some you know, some of these like transformation technology coming you know, in in our classes 10 years ago, I guess that some of this was hint but now we’re hurtling towards dynamic technology that’s going to react to our needs in a way that is you know, I have the UCLA health system with my doctors I have a really bad experience over the past six months seeing a doctor who’s like, just not interested in in listening to me, or asking questions or hearing about a diagnosis just not interested because not in their area of expertise or they don’t think it is or whatever. Best health one of the better health care systems in the world. roundly underwhelmed by them roundly, and what you know what they really need is not just like a dashboard of all my test results they need like a little tiny you know, intelligent avatar that can like start collecting things and making associations and giving people coaching Hey, your scripts doing that try this and surfacing stuff for them. Things I imagine Wild Health does at the coaching level for a lot of their clients. It’s the sort of intermediate piece of here’s the doctors recommendations, but here’s the here’s the ways I’m gonna talk to you about getting that stuff done, you know, the, the coaching aspects.

Speaker 3 53:24
Yeah. And be in in technology has definitely been part of what we’re bringing in there and more so that’s Ed’s job. But But I one of the questions I had was, is, does this Do people ever? You can be like, yeah, that doesn’t make any sense. But partner with like EMDR therapists doing? Oh, sure. Absolutely. Brain spotting would be another one. We just did a podcast on brain spotting that people are looking at at your Neurofeedback data around that and being like, all the time, all

Speaker 4 53:57
the time, both EMDR and brainspotting and somatic experiencing therapists and they all they send people to us all the time, for two reasons. One, some people get kind of activated through brain spotting or EMDR and they’re kind of it’s a hard process for someone. It’s not always like exposure therapy for OCD. It’s not always enjoyable right afterwards, you’re kind of not super well regulated. So for those people, they go to EMDR coming Neurofeedback into a state shift back down to ground. More common. folks aren’t getting what they want. They’re getting the shifts, isn’t there’s something in the way. And so you do Neurofeedback and send them CMDR, and they have breakthrough experiences. And that’s just the plasticity thing generally, but you can also do what’s called Alpha Theta neurofeedback, which is reliable access to nonlinear hypnogogic Access Consciousness stuff. So like I do this for CEOs, you know, high powered linear guys, and their wives Call me whatever you did do it again. I got You ever would have I don’t care what it was

Speaker 3 55:02
do it again. really hit the repeat button on that. Yeah.

Speaker 4 55:06
Oh my god, I was so sensitive. I was a good listener to oh my gosh, I love that do it again. Yeah,

Speaker 3 55:11
I mean, I mean, I guess the next natural when you if you’re talking about mental health in the mental health space right now, the next natural question is, Are people pairing this with psychedelics?

Speaker 4 55:24
They are little bit. I’m a little bit under impressed with psychedelics, I think there’s two cases where psychedelics are being used by a lot of like high level biohackers. So I see a lot of like, people experimenting on themselves, and I do brain maps and some people on request, and I have a pretty good informed perspective on this, but I think psychedelics have a couple problems. One, I think there’s very little evidence that humans can have an altered state of consciousness and come back to ordinary reality with any harvest. The ordeals are our deals, and they create shifts and they break you’re free of your shape. We’re not really good at extracting insight back to our normal reality, it doesn’t work very well with the heroic doses of psychedelics, the micro doses, the low key irritation of plasticity that people are getting into great, but there’s lots of ways to crank up plasticity to 11 Lots. And I think most of them are more reliable, more reproducible, and less of a dumping dynamite in the kiddie pool. For the occasional person the way psychedelic could be.

Speaker 3 56:28
Well, I guess what I was that that’s a super interesting perspective that I haven’t heard before that I my thought process was actually people micro dosing and doing neurofeedback, right or,

Speaker 4 56:42
and they do, they do, but it doesn’t really create more change than neurofeedback. Okay, hyperbaric medicine by itself creates very small changes in the brain. But if you add it to neurofeedback, you double the impact of neurofeedback. But you have to be careful with the order you have to dive last or you cause problems when you mix them. And there’s many other interventions like that where they actually stack Neurofeedback increases the impact of almost anything you do dramatically. And a few things lubricate neurofeedback, like like a robot will nipple lubricate Neurofeedback pretty nicely

Speaker 3 57:17
Well, Dr. Hill I feel like I’m gonna have to you and I are gonna have to unpack a bunch of other stuff. It’s not the champion where we’re coming up on an hour ad sorry if I interrupted your talk over you at all there but you have do you have any other questions before we go that stuff that we want to talk to? You guys want to reminisce a little more something Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. Know You’re Olson No, that was awesome. Really nice to talk to you. Like I think we should plan on having you back and I will unpack some other stuff there because that there’s there’s kind of a lot here. I think also, you know, other stuff talking about like kids in ADHD treatment and and and and also sports performance and post concussive discussions like there’s a lot there but let’s let’s let’s make

Speaker 4 58:16
one little hint there is that post concussion brains and post COVID brains and post Lyme or mold or chemotherapy brains all look really really really similar on an EEG

Speaker 3 58:30
Yeah, again, we’re gonna have we have a lot of a lot to unpack there that’s that’s not as easy it’s not a yeah, it just didn’t mess with me a little just did. All right. Well, hey, it’s really it was really nice talking with

Unknown Speaker 58:42
you as well doc you as well, and let’s see, you’re gonna

Speaker 2 58:47
thanks so much for listening to the Wild Health podcast. If you want more daily health education, be sure to follow us on Instagram, which is filled with health optimization, how tos, grocery shopping lists, guided breathwork posts, myth debunking and so much more. You can find us at Wild Health MD on Instagram.