Post Viral Immune Support To Improve Energy | Podcast #363
What you eat after a viral infection, when symptoms of fatigue persist, can have a marked impact on your speed of recovery. Dr. J and Evan discuss that specific foods need to be avoided or included in your diet to improve your immune system. So what are the truth and the evidence about diet and post-viral immune support?
The good news is that most people will benefit from some considerations when recovering from illness or infection. Having post-viral fatigue means that you will not have your usual energy to think, shop, prepare or eat as before. Be very practical and kind to yourself. Dr. J and Evan added that diet modification is vital in your recovery.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:00 – Introduction
1:57 – The role of acid-pH level in the digestive system
5:01 – The link of depression and anxiety to bloating
10:02 – The benefits of probiotics and effects of stress to digestive health
18:17 – Functional medicine strategies and testing to find the root cause of bloating
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J in the house with Evan Brand. Evan, how you doing man? How are your holidays? How’s everything going brother?
Evan Brand: Everything’s going pretty good. I’m trying to start 2022 off with a bang. I suspect it’s gonna be a better year than 2021. People are becoming smarter. They’re becoming more educated. They’re becoming more resourceful. People are waking up. There’s a lot of, we’re in the great awakening and so I think, this is an important time to be alive and an important time if you’re a parent, if you’re a husband, a wife, if you’ve got kids, if you’re a teacher. It’s important time to keep your eyes open and keep your ears to the ground because stuff changes quickly and you got to be like a little speedboot. You got to be able to take turns quick, you don’t want to be the titanic right now, you don’t wanna be slow in taking big turns, you gotta be nimble in these times and so what I’m alluding to is just you got to be able to navigate the world of health which is quickly evolving and that’s true. What we’re trying to talk about today is post viral fatigue and really that’s just the title but this really could apply to bacterial infections and parasites and mold exposure but we just wanted to try to zoom in a little bit specifically on post viral fatigue and things like Epstein Barr virus, many people are familiar with and there’s a lot of people that report their chronic fatigue, picking up after something like EBV, we’ve seen it a lot with the virus going around now which would probably get flagged and censored so we won’t say it but you know what it is and there’s a lot of post, uh, viral fatigue going on from that and so you and I have dealt with some of that, you’re still going through the thick of it right now but I think you’re coming through pretty well, you’re still working and obviously you’re on your feet right now literally standing so that’s exciting and yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: For the listeners, I had COVID last week, actually symptoms started on Wednesday. Really two hard days of symptoms, I was able to work the whole time though, I mean I think that the symptoms for my COVID that were, um, tough was I would say achiness and then like sensitivity to cold like it was like 45 degrees out and it felt like it was minus 10. So, I would say sensitivity to cold and then also getting really hot at some points, getting out where I would sweat through my shirt. So hot and cold, achiness/ headaches and then like easily out of breath but I mean for me I mean, it was still fine where I could work and still do the things I had to do. So it wasn’t that bad, I mean, I had a flu in 2013 where I was literally laid up for over two days and I couldn’t do anything so I know laid up feels like it wasn’t even close to the flu of 2013 for me, that was really hard. So, definitely, um, not as bad, I actually was my own worst enemy because on Friday I was feeling like really good like 80-90% better and did like 2-3 hours of housework like cleaning my house like doing all this different stuff because it was a beautiful day and I’m like all right let me get on top of some work, work 3 hours probably walk like 15,000 steps and that next day there was a major relapse in how I felt. It was probably like I went backwards 30-40%. Here I was at 80% probably going backwards to 50. I was like whoa what happened and so then I just kind of got in the straight and narrow and just said okay I gotta really make sure I kind of make sure I kind of keep it easy until I get back to 100% because, you know, um, it just you didn’t realize how much, uh, things could go backwards so fast so you really gotta wait till you get a 100% on things and so overall I mean the only thing lingering for me right now is a slight bit of um out of breathiness and, uh, this little lingering deep tickle cough like right now you can feel it like someone’s tickling the back of your throat with your finger and you want to cough to scratch it, kind of like that and so that’s where I’m at now. That’s like kind of makes it feel like I scratch it right there, right. So, I’m doing some ginger tea, I’m doing with the Manuka honey that soothes it like that helps with the irritation. It’s not knocking the cough down. Doing some, Elderberry, um, doing some thieves, uh, natural cough drops with essential oils, um, also doing some nebulizer so I’m doing some glutathione nebulization so those are couple of things I’m doing and then obviously sinus flushes, the amount of mucus that is coming out of me is out of control so sinus flushes are really, really important because if you do not flush your sinuses, the amount of stuff that stays inside of you, oh my God. So, flushing my sinuses out 3-4 times a day, you know, really good saline reverse osmosis with a little bit of silver in there to kind of keep things flushed out is helping a lot. So, that’s kind of where I’m at but honestly feeling pretty good, um, the whole family got it purposefully, my wife had it and I’m like come over here honey gave her a big kiss and then I kissed all my kids, I’m like we’re done. We’re gonna get this thing all together, be done with it all that way we’re not, you know, I get it next month and then I’m isolating for two weeks and then my kids get no we’re gonna get it all at the same time and surprisingly my kids’ symptoms were 80% less than the adults, super, super minor. I couldn’t believe how minor it was for the kids, so very interesting. So, that was kind of my experience with, uh, with the big C, uh, so to speak. And also, the big correlation I was listening to someone talk about this, the, a lot of the post C symptoms that we see after, right, people that have dysglycemia, and blood sugar issues tend to be a big driving factor of a lot of these post viral symptoms afterwards. Talking about post-viral fatigue, one of the big things is make sure you manage your glycemia, meaning you’re having good protein, you’re having good fats, you’re not eating a bunch of refined sugar, grains, those kinds of things. Make sure you put good metaphorical logs on the fire, good proteins, good fats to really work on blood sugar stability.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. We’ll I’m glad that you’re coming through it. Regarding the shortness of breath, I would kind of put that in the same category as the post viral fatigue because that shortness of breath can create fatigue and the best thing that’s helped me and has helped many clients is doing the color oxygen. So, ChlorOxygen, you can get that on amazon, it’s readily available. And it’s just a, it’s a liquid chlorophyll extract. So, when you do that within probably 5-10 minutes, you can feel a difference, so it’s like C-h-l-o-r-Oxygen, ChlorOxygen. I would probably do 10-20 drops up to 3 times per day. That thing is absolutely incredible. You can go as high as one tablespoon in 20 ounces of water and just sip on that throughout the day. I had one guy in New York, major, major issues with shortness of breath in the acute and the long term and that ChlorOxygen literally just turned his situation around. So, I’d get some of that stuff.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, it’s C-h-l-o-r Oxygen?
Evan Brand: Yeah, ChlorOxygen. Yeah, and it comes in a little bottle tincture and it’s incredible. Also, something I’ve used personally, I’ve used with several clients too is Ailanthus. Ailanthus is three of heaven which is an invasive tree. I see a lot of it in Kentucky but you can buy Ailanthus tincture and that one is also really, really good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting. Is this the one, right here, Is the ChlorOxygen?
Evan Brand: Yeah. That’s the one. Yep.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Cool.
Evan Brand: Get you some of that but should help because that’s the problem is, you know, the shortness of breath was pretty bad for me and I felt better, you know, I got infected a long time ago. It was like August 2020 and then six months later that’s when I started to have some shortness of breath which I was like, holy crap and so luckily, I was able to knock it out, uh, with Demectin and uh, yeah, Demectin really helped me and then the nebulizer and the ChlorOxygen, I would say that combination was an absolute game changer, luckily, I haven’t had any issues since then. But what we are seeing is that the mitochondria have a role in this and some of this post-viral fatigue we’re seeing is due to mitochondrial damage so I’ve been fortunate enough to see a few dozen people now. And in terms of organic acids testing after the virus, and we are seeing that the mitochondria definitely showed dysfunction. You and I talked about this many times on other podcast about the mitochondria. We can measure the dysfunction and so what we’re doing is we’re coming in with mitochondrial support nutrients so CoQ10, we’re coming in with carnitine, ribose, a lot of these amino acids and B vitamins like riboflavin which can help fuel the krebs cycle and then also we can use things like PQQ to help get the mitochondrial biogenesis going, meaning we’re literally making new mitochondria so we can measure this on paper. So, if you guys are suffering, you know, one of us can reach out or you reach out to us rather and then we can get the urine looked at because we can measure this. You don’t have to guess where is this fatigue coming from. If it’s a mitochondrial induced problem, we can measure that. Now, you have permission to have multiple things wrong with you so there could be a dopamine problem, there could be a mitochondrial problem, there could be toxin problem. So, rarely is there one issue causing this fatigue but the goal is for us to try to get as many puzzle pieces laid out in front of us and then make an appropriate protocol.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. I’d say, the worst thing about COVID for me right now, coffee tastes bitter like it tastes bitter, almost a little bit sour, does not taste like coffee. I’ve almost been like I’m not even gonna drink it right now until this thing gets better because it does not taste that good but for me I’m just alright, I got, you know, 20 grams of collagen in there, I got some good fats, I kind of look at it as like a meal replacement for me. So, that’s probably the worst thing the whole time. For me, it kind of felt like a cold. I’d say a mild, mild to middle of the road cold. The only thing that really surprised me was that, that back swing where I was like 80% better and then went backwards that was the hardest thing.
Evan Brand: And, it could have been you overdoing it for sure, I mean,
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: oh, you totally did.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I mean I did have a little bit of that too where I kind of felt like I was better, overdid it and then I heard it again, so.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. 100%. So, excuse me, anything else you wanted to highlight on that so far? I would say post-viral stuff, the things that I’m doing right now and I recommend people do, in general, are gonna be Adaptogens and I like medicinal mushrooms. So, Shiitake, Maitake, Reishi. Reishi is great. I love it because it does deactivate viruses. It does build up and support the natural killer immune cells so I do like that, uh, any type of ginseng, Ashwagandha, these are things that help support energy production, support the adrenals, help buffer the HPA excess. So, any of these types of things are gonna be, uh, helpful too.
Evan Brand: You need to get on some Lion’s Mane too for your taste because what I’m finding is that the nerves are damaged and that’s affecting the sinus. So, the sense of smell, sense of taste, some of that is related to nerve damage. So, I would probably hit Lion’s Mane, maybe like two caps twice a day. That’s been helpful to restore the sense of smell and taste in some people.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s probably not damaged. It’s probably just more inflammation, right?
Evan Brand: Well, the long-term stuff, I’m talking to people just long-term. I’m talking to people that you know 6-8 months later say, I still can’t taste or smell. Bringing in Lion’s Mane, like 2 caps twice a day. It takes a few months but you know it does increase nerve growth factor and so I think that’s the mechanism.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s interesting. Yeah. I do have some Lion’s Mane. I’ll definitely add that in. I mean, I think medicinal mushrooms are gonna be really good to, um, be on top of, uh, just supporting your immune system and like helping with, um, the body regenerate and heal better.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Gabe was asking a question in the live chat on YouTube. How did you guys catch it? I don’t know, I mean I work from home. You know, I’ve got a home office, uh, Justin has a home office as well, you know, I do go out, uh.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Personally, it’s the new variant. The new variant has an R-naught of seven, which is that’s equal to, uh, measles so the delta variant had an R-naught of 2 or 3 so that means for every one person that gets it, it can be passed to 2-3 on average, right. The new omicron variant, it’s seven, so you can literally pass it to seven people so I think my wife was in a yoga class with three people and they were like spread out across that broom like they were like way you know spaced apart, you know, for just all the safety reasons and it was still able to get it so my whole take on omicron, it’s very, um, I think the symptoms are milder than delta for sure. That’s what everything’s been reported but, um, it’s way more contagious. Everyone’s gonna get it at this point, you just gotta have your plan and, um, be ready ahead of time, right? People don’t have a plan and then when they get it then they get stuck and they feel like they have to go to the hospital and you don’t have as many options there so try to have a, um, outpatient plan ready to rock and roll but yeah, you’re gonna get it because the, um, our knot on this thing, right, is that seven which is at a level close to measles so it’s right there. So, if you haven’t got it yet, you will. Anything else you wanna highlight on the immune side, on the post-viral stuff obviously I’m a big fan of ginger, I think ginger is nice because it’s anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, uh, helps with lymphatic. So, if your kind of like have a lot of like stagnant lymph in the chest area or in the neck I really keeps the lymph moving all that’s very helpful.
Evan Brand: Yeah. There was, uh, one person that commented if you’ve had delta you should have some memory T cells that will help if you get infected. Yes supposedly. Supposedly, um.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You definitely should have memory T cells as well as memory B cells, right? So, even if you were to get sick again, um, you’re gonna be able to recruit antibodies way faster, right? Normally when you get sick if you’re first time getting exposed to an infection it takes about a week or so to really get those antibodies ramped up and so even if you were to get sick twice, you’re gonna be able to make those antibodies inside of, you know, 24 hours or so. So, you’re gonna be able to bring those antibodies to the table a lot faster and so that’s, um, that’s pretty cool. That’s pretty helpful.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Other strategies, uh, post-viral fatigue hyperbaric oxygen has been helpful. I’ve seen several clients that luckily have lived in a city where they’ve had access to do hyperbaric oxygen. Essentially, what it is, is it’s replicating being under water under water about 10 to 12 feet so that pressure is helping to get oxygen deeper inside of you. So, some of these tissues may have been starved of oxygen. This sort of mild hypoxia or hypoxemia, you know, you can basically reverse that by getting the hyperbaric oxygen. There are some people that can do there’s oxygen cans, little portable oxygen shots, if you will but it’s nothing compared to an oxygen concentrator with the hyperbaric oxygen so that’s good ongoing, I mean, I’ve had clients with Lyme that have done hyperbaric we know that’s incredible for traumatic brain injuries and concussions and that sort of thing. So, even if this is just a long-term fatigue problem, not related to viral issues at all, you know, hyperbaric is another good tool, you’re looking at probably around 100 a session but, you know, what, what’s your health? What is your health worth? So.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. One thing I did was very helpful was use my infrared sauna the last couple of days. That was helpful, just getting a really good sweat in felt very good, you know, raising that body temperature up can be very helpful just at um at your body knocking down viruses. That’s part of the reason why you get, um, chill while you get the nutshells but, uh, why you get a fever right. It’s part of the reason your immune system is actually knocking down some of that bacteria and or viruses by doing it that way so using an infrared sauna can be helpful too.
Evan Brand: So, look at your mitochondria, get your organic acids test done, we can measure that and look at mitochondrial function come in with specific support whether it’s B vitamins, adaptogenic herbs like Rhodiola, you mentioned, Siberian ginseng or Eleuthero. There’s medicinal mushrooms like cordyceps which there is some benefits. There are some papers on cordyceps and athletes and improving blood flow. There may be some level of oxygenation that happens with cordyceps too. So, cordyceps, reishi mushroom, I think the Lion’s mane for the brain and for the nerves would be beneficial, the ChlorOxygen for any of the shortness of breath along with the fatigue, rest, I mean just getting good quality sleep, making sure you got to do whatever you can to get good quality sleep. So, all the same sleep hygiene habits we’ve talked about for a decade together apply in regards to candling down at night if you need some passion flower. Even melatonin, there’s some really cool studies on melatonin. We know, it’s a very powerful antioxidant and we are seeing higher doses of melatonin be beneficial. So, in general, somewhere around 5 milligrams but there are some papers going wat up 30 – 40 – 50 milligrams and beyond. I don’t know a ton about the high dose so I’ll just tell you that the regular dose standard dosing is better than nothing.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It was that melatonin?
Evan Brand: Melatonin. Yes.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Usually, it’s like the higher dose is like 10 milligrams and that’s gonna help with the oxygenation and then 30 – 500 milligrams for the arginine that’s to really increase the oxygenation.
Evan Brand: Yeah. The arginine for like nitric oxide production. Beet powder, you know, beet powder would be good too. So, anything you could do to create some vasodilation is gonna be smart.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. Anything else you wanna add, Evan?
Evan Brand: I think that’s it. If you need help, reach out, get tested, hopefully you get back on the full mend here so, keep, keep rolling. You’re doing a great job and hope everybody is doing well and we’ll be in touch next week. If you need help clinically, please reach out. You can reach out to Dr. J at justinhealth.com or me, Evan Brand, at evanbrand.com. We’re happy to help you guys. Keep your head up. keep moving forward.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think the big thing out of the gates is to make sure you have time to sleep, rest. Don’t overdo it. Just know your body still needs more time even when you, when you’ve gotten through the whole thing to recover. Don’t overdo it. That’s really important. Keep the foundational nutrients dialed in so that would be like zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, you know, you can keep those things in there. You may not have to use them at such a high level that you did with the infection but keep some of those nutrients. Don’t go from something to nothing. Keep something in there the whole time, find a medicinal mushroom that you like, find an adaptogen that you like. Maybe keep a little bit of ginger tea going. Something that has some antiviral support and um, you know, try to get a little bit of movement but if it’s making you feel winded then just try to do just enough where you can feel like you’re doing something but not where it’s overly taxing you. I think it’s really important to kind of meet that right in the middle.
Evan Brand: Last thing, two last things, a low histamine diet is generally pretty helpful because there are a lot of issues with mast cell activation being triggered from this. So, a lower histamine diet, fresh meat, and no leftovers is very important. And then, histamine support. I’ve got a product called histamine support but essentially it’s quercetin plus some other nutrients so anything, you can do to stabilize your mast cells that’s gonna be helpful because muscle activation can cause fatigue, meaning, after the viral issue was over, the immune system can sort of have PTSD for lack of a better terminology and the immune system will go into this crazy state where it will shut you down so that fatigue trying to rebuild that energy back up is re-regulating the immune system so like the quercetin, other mast cell stabilizers are very helpful.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. Love it. Love it. Makes total sense and again not everyone’s gonna have that issue but you know, it’s kind of good to know if you fit into that camp. Those are a couple of strategies out of the gates. Anything else, Evan?
Evan Brand: No, that’s it. Take it easy. If people need help, reach out justinhealth.com and evanbrand.com will be available.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. We’re here to help you guys. I’ll probably be back later on today here. So, keep a lookout, comments down below. Let us know your thoughts on the topic, we appreciate a review. We appreciate shares to friends and family. Really helps us get the word out. You guys have a phenomenal day. We’ll talk soon.
Evan Brand: Take it easy. Bye-bye
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye you all.
Meditation Using Muse Device with Ariel Garten | Podcast #304
We all have thoughts, and none of us are good at meditation at first, during, or maybe at the end. Here’s Ariel Garnet, introducing us to the Muse and the use of an approach NOT to get rid of those thoughts but to help you make yourself aware of those thoughts and increase the choice of what to do with those.
Are you doing it right? The Muse uses Machine Learning Approach, which has an algorithm that analyzes brain wave activity. There, it shows focused attention (when it’s quiet) and distracted or wandering thoughts (when there’s a storm pick-up). Also, concentrated attention and meditation have a natural anchor such as word, part of the body, or our breath, which is more accessible. Ariel added that we have different forms of meditation and focused attention is the most common one. It puts the attention to your breath instead of following your thoughts and shifting it to yourself.
What’s the minimum dose? Twenty (20) minutes can be heavy, so it’s acceptable to do it up to what’s bearable for beginners and usually ten (10) minutes for regulars. It also shows that there are improvements with the body’s cognitive function, inhibition, and decrease in stress. Don’t miss the full video to see how it works!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:36 Muse Meditation Device
3:49 Basics of Meditation
9:30 How Muse Gets the Data
13:34 Biofeedback Devices
21:07 How Muse Works
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are alive. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Ariel Garten, the founder of the Muse meditation device, really excited to have her on today we’re going to talk about this awesome new cutting edge technology. And we’ll kind of also just bring it back down to the basics of meditation. What is it? What are the benefits? What’s happening in your brain and how to actually apply it? Ariel, welcome to the podcast.
Ariel Garten: Thank you my sincere pleasure to be here. Hello, everyone.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Well, why don’t you tell the listeners a little bit more about yourself? And how did you make this journey into meditation and then what made you want to come up with this new technology to enhance that?
Ariel Garten: Sure. So my own background is a training in neuroscience. So I was fascinated by the brain and how it works. I then became a psychotherapist and began dealing with patients every day helping them shift their own mental state and recognized how difficult it was. And meditation was a skill that I was taught as something to use inside of my practice with my patients. But I would teach my patients to do it, and they would rarely actually start the habit. So it became this really frustrating process of teaching someone to meditate, and then not actually seeing the benefits rolling out into their life. I, at the same time was working in a research lab with Dr. Steve Mann, and he had an early brain computer interface system. So using eg electrodes, we could track your brainwaves and then turn that brainwave activity into sound. And we really had this aha moment, myself and my co founders of muse, Chris and Trevor, we had this aha moment that if we can make this invisible, intangible process, in your mind, visible and tangible, maybe we could apply that to meditation, maybe we could actually help people hear what was going on inside their mind while they meditated. And in doing so actually get people to start and maintain their meditation practice, if they could get real feedback and have real data from their brain. And that was born.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cool. So you have this kind of biofeedback, that kind of help you distinguish if you were in a good kind of brain wavelength state, so to speak. And then how does that how does that sound compute? So like, is it what’s the wavelength in your brain? That’s supposedly good? And how does it know that you’re there? And how does it How does it do all that connection back and forth?
Ariel Garten: Sure. So the old school approach to doing biofeedback or neurofeedback on meditation, is just to look at your band. So if you’re in beta band, you’re thinking in your brains all over the place, you’re likely not meditating. If you’re an alpha, you’re seeing an increase in meditation. And if you’re seeing some data, then there’s even more meditation. That was the old school way of doing meditation. At this point, we’ve now taught literally hundreds of thousands of people to meditate using news. And so we use a machine learning approach. And we have an algorithm that understands when you’re in focused attention, versus when your mind is wandering. So it analyzes every aspect of your brainwave activity at that moment, and knows if you’re specifically in focused attention, which is the fundamental of a focused attention meditation, or if your mind has wandered and is distracted. And what we do is we turn that into a sound that’s very easy to understand that it’s your mind. So when you’re focused, the sound is quiet. And when you’re distracted, you hear a storm pickup, it’s like my mind is stormy. Oh, okay, let’s bring it back to calm. And when you focus a calm again. And when your mind gets distracted on a thought up mind to stormy, then bring it back down to calm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s interesting, because I find a lot of people and even myself when they’re doing a meditation, one of the first things they kind of think to themselves is, am I doing this, right? Like, I’m not sure there’s kind of this hesitation of is this, is this all wrong? So I kind of like the fact that you get a little bit of a feedback. And so let’s say you’re using the device, right? And you get the storm clouds coming in, what should be the focus, like, what should that switch be to bring you back on track?
Ariel Garten: Sure. So you bring your attention back to your breath. So a focused attention. Meditation always has a neutral anchor, it could be your breath, that could be a word, it could be a part of your body, breath tends to be the easiest because your breath is always there. By simply counting your breaths, you’re bringing yourself back to a neutral anchor. You’re taking your mind out of your wandering thoughts into a place that is neutral and unintentional. Because most of us spend our life just wandering in our thoughts. Most of us just spend our life with the mind with thinking that just keeps going and we assume it’s supposed to be that way. But when you actually start a meditation practice, and recognize that you can identify when you’re thinking and choose to take your mind away from there and put your attention on something else other than your thoughts. At that moment, you fundamentally change your relationship to your thinking. You fundamentally can now choose the contents of your mind. And since most of the things in our mind are negative, repetitive, not particularly helpful, when we’re able to actually have choice over the contents of our own mental space and how we attend to it, you can dramatically shift the amount of stress, negativity, anxiety etc. in your life.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, very interesting. All right, so now someone’s coming into this or like, Hey, I haven’t even started meditating at all yet. So what does meditation look like for you is it just kind of what you kind of implied earlier where you’re just bringing that anchor, bringing that focus of that anchor back to the breath. And you’re just focusing on that, while you breathe in and out throughout the nose is that pretty much it to keep it simple for the listeners?
Ariel Garten: Totally. So that is the basis of a focused attention meditation, there are lots of different forms of meditation of focused attention is the most common. And what you’re simply doing is you’re putting your attention on your breath, your mind will eventually have a thought, because all of us have thoughts, it’s okay, you then notice that you have that thought, and instead of following the thought and thinking about your grocery list, or your husband, or whatever, you choose to say, Nope, I’m gonna let that thought Go and bring my attention elsewhere. Other than my thinking, I’m going to bring my attention back to my breath. And you just do this very simple activity over and over again. And the simple activity triggers those profound results, by the fact that you are actually now shifting the relationship to your own mind.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting, okay. And so it’s okay, you shouldn’t beat yourself up, if your thoughts go off, just kind of recenter it back, be the observer of that, like, there should be no shame or any of that kind of feeling. If you can’t quite do it, or you can’t quite stick on it.
Ariel Garten: Exactly. None of us are good at meditation at the beginning, or even halfway through or even at the end. You know, we all have thoughts, and that’s okay. You’re not trying to get rid of your thoughts. You’re trying to make yourself aware of them and increase the choice about what you do with those thoughts.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. All right, interesting. So what’s the minimum dose to get some benefits? So if someone’s coming in is five minutes enough? Like what what do you recommend as a beginner to kind of see some benefit, but make the make the step to commit? Pretty easy?
Ariel Garten: Yeah, so with studies with news, we’ve looked at 10 minutes of meditation per day, and at 10 minutes of meditation, over six weeks, in trial studies, we’ve been able to see improvements in your relationship to your body, so less self reported, headache, nausea, etc, you’ve been able to see improvement in cognitive function as measured by the script task and go nogo tasks, improvement and inhibition, and obviously, a decrease in stress and improvement in calm. Okay, so in a lot of the studies in the literature, they look at 20 minutes a day, but 20 minutes a day is a lot to meditate for a novice. So the best amount of for you to meditate right now, if you’ve never meditated is whatever amount you can bear it for initially. That could be three minutes, that could be five minutes, you just want to start and try to do it consistently. Just five-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Five minutes be done twice a day?
Ariel Garten: Absolutely.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. All right, cool. And what’s the goal wavelength that we want our brain to be in during this meditation state.
Ariel Garten: So there’s, as I said, the old school way was to look at a goal wavelength. Now it’s no longer so much about the goal wavelength, it is about the state that you are in, and our brains are much more complicated than simply being an alpha or simply being in beta. Okay, what we see when you meditate is a significant increase in alpha activity. And also sometimes an increase in beta coherence. When you it’s not so just as simple as alpha, because alpha peak frequency changes as you age, okay, so when you’re young, you have the most amount of alpha at around 10 and a half hertz, let’s say, quite fast. As you age, your alpha peak, frequency slows down. So your alpha peak might be at 11 hertz, 12 hertz. And so as you engage in meditation practice, some of what might you might be looking to do is both to increase your alpha activity, and potentially to increase your alpha, decrease your alpha frequency to a faster wave. So it’s, it’s a lot more complicated once you start looking at the nuance of it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, all right, got it. And then what’s our active wavelength state when we’re just totally alert, doing stuff and working throughout the day?
Ariel Garten: Again, hard to say, when you’re active and engaged, you tend to be in beta waves when you’re thinking, but being in flow has a slightly different brainwave characteristic. And we also have different brain waves that we emit from different parts of our head. Okay, so you know, high, high, theta frontal midline, is going to be associated with really high attention, but high data from another part of your brain is also associated with mind wandering and ADHD. You know, it’s nuanced.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, got it. That makes sense. And so how is the device grabbing all this Intel? So is it I know it’s a device you put I think you guys have a Bluetooth connection or Bluetooth connection now. Correct?
Ariel Garten: Yep. So it is four channels of eg data. So it kind of slips on just like a pair of glasses. For those of you looking at the YouTube you can see the device now.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Video guys, if you’re listening on the podcast, we’ll put the YouTube link below if you want to see the actual demo.
Ariel Garten: Yep. Or you can go to choosemuse.com/welcome. We also have videos there. That shows you what the device looks like. And so there’s two channels of eg data on the forehead and two behind the ears. And so that’s enough to track your brainwaves associated with focused attention versus mind wandering. And then that data sent to your smartphone or tablet where it interprets your brain activity. And lets you know, when you’re in the meditation zone and when you’re not. So you’re getting this beautiful guided feedback during your meditation. And then after the fact you see data, charts, graphs, scores, things that actually show you moment to moment what your brain was doing, and let you see your improvement session on session.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, that’s really cool. And now when you’re doing the muse, you have the device on. Is there any concern at all from you with the Bluetooth radiation that that’s connecting the headset to the to the phone or the smart device?
Ariel Garten: So the Bluetooth antenna faces outwards? So the radiation is going out towards your phone? It’s okay, low energy. So I mean, the amount of radiation that’s coming off there is infantile asmall, relative to even having your phone on the table.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, good. That’s good. Excellent. All right. So we have this device on right we’re utilizing it. What do you notice as correlation with a device meaning like if I’m eating diet changes, certain supplementation? I’ve noticed some patients of mine that have done the Muse device before and they’ve done magnesium and l theanine and different nutrients they’ve noticed, improve Muse scores, what associations have you guys made just on your own or clinically in practice with your patients?
Ariel Garten: Oh, that’s a great question. Nobody’s ever asked me that. That’s super cool. Definitely, we notice when people start to meditate, they start to improve more habits in their life. So this is actually something that you see in the meditation literature that when somebody starts a meditation practice, it then becomes easier to adhere to the other things that you’re trying to do. Because you become more mindful, and you become more intentional. So you know, the the suggestion there is that you’re then more likely to take your supplements, you’re then more likely to help, you know, improve your sleep patterns. One of the things that we see when people start musing is that they report better sleep, and that they use Muse before they go to bed in order to improve their sleep. And so I we haven’t actually looked at what are the things that make your meditation better, but we’ve looked a fair amount at what are the things that when you meditate, also seem to be getting better in your life and in your health, and got their vast.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. So you’re looking at Muse and then the effect benefits of it versus hey, these things over here may actually help make that Muse session better.
Ariel Garten: Yeah, and we have a number of studies running. So there have been over 200 published papers using Muse both as a clinical grade eg and a meditation tool. And the Mayo Clinic recently ran a study with breast cancer patients awaiting surgery. And they saw that using Muse through their surgery process was able to decrease the stress of surgery, improve their fatigue and quality of life. And now Mayo Clinic is looking at this relative to breast cancer patients going through chemotherapy, because they’re interested in understanding the impact of meditation with different forms of other interventions, be it surgery, chemotherapy, etc. And they’re also looking at a number of other disease states and studies using news to see how meditating with news can improve the outcome of those states.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. So what was your experience like with other neurofeedback devices? While you were a clinician seeing patients? We did you have a lot of experience with those devices? And then did you feel like Ah, this could be better, or we need to make something more portable for patients? What was your experience like with that early technology? And then how did it morph with the newer one?
Ariel Garten: So as a clinician, I didn’t use neurofeedback devices, but I had experience with biofeedback devices, and definitely felt that they gave interesting information, but that they didn’t actually give information about the brain. You know, they might tell you what your heart rate is doing, what your galvanic skin response is, but all of those are downstream effects of what war probably was initiated in your own mind. You know, the the anxious thoughts, the triggers that were mental that then ramp the body that then ramped the mind in this feed forward way. So, you know, we saw that there was a great opportunity. It was really at the beginning of the tracking movement, where you had wearables that track your sleep and your steps, but absolutely nothing that tracked your brain. And so we were able to develop Muse as an eg that would track your brain during meditation. And then since then, we’ve added more biofeedback methodologies to the same device. So in the Muse to you have eg degree feedback on your brain, there’s accelerometers and gyroscopes give you feedback on your body, there’s a breath sensor so you can get feedback on your breath rate and train yourself for different breathing exercises. There’s a PPG sensor to track your heart rate. And so you can actually hear the beating of your heart like the beating of a drum and learn to tune your interoception your understanding of your own internal state, and to know when your heart is increasing and decreasing can help you train your heart rate variability. So we’ve you know, pilot On a whole bunch of biofeedback methodologies on top of the neurofeedback as we’ve been on the path of creating and releasing news over the last six years.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cool. So biofeedback would be more things related to heart rate breathing or neurofeedback is more biofeedback, specific to the brain wavelength, that kind of stuff. Okay, good. That makes sense. How does this correlate to like devices that are HRV heart rate variability, which a lot of people like the M wave devices that kind of connect heart connection to the brain and that coherent state of coherence we hear of that helps with with parasympathetic kind of repair and stress reduction. How does that? How do they connect? Is there a connection at all?
Ariel Garten: I can talk about that a little. It’s a cool question. So when you’re looking at your HRV, most people don’t understand what it is. So when you breathe in, your heart rate increases. As you breathe out, your heart rate decreases, this pattern is called your sinusoidal arrhythmia. And what your HRV is, is the difference between the fastest heartbeat on your intake and your slowest heartbeat on your exhale. So that’s why extended exhales actually make you more relaxed, because your heart rate is slowing more and more and more throughout the course of your exhale. And so an extended exhale is actually going to increase your heart rate variability. Now, when you’re super stressed, you have a very shallow change between your increase and your decrease of your heart, you’re probably breathing shallowly and your heart rate is going in parallel. So when you’re super stressed, you just see like a tiny wiggly line for your heart rate variability. When you’re relaxed, you have a great increase in decrease a great like up and down a nice, beautiful sinusoidal wave that goes with your HRV. And so that’s how you see the increase in your HRV. When you’re relaxed. In terms of the correlation with meditation, as you do the breathing through your meditation and relax your body and take your mind away from stressful thoughts. You are typically inherently increasing your heart rate variability, the correlation is not perfect one to one. But as you start to relax the mind and the body relaxes through deep breathing, you also see a beautiful change and shift in your HRV. And when you look at long term correlations for HRV, you see that people who are depressed for example, have very low HRV. And people who are not depressed and unhealthy states have an increase in HRV. So the kinds of effects you get with meditation also parallel the kinds of things you might see in somebody’s HRV.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s awesome. Is that a device? Or is that a biofeedback tool that you may add to the Muse at some point.
Ariel Garten: Um, so with the existing Muse Muse to and are new and Muse as you’re able to see a graph of your heart rate. So you can actually see your heartbeats like the increase in the decrease, you can visually see your HRV, we don’t give you an HRV calculation, because there’s actually a little bit of a controversy in the scientific field around how accurate instantaneous HRV is. So the pure science says that you need long term calculations of somebody’s heart rate in order to really get their HRV. So we’ve steered away from a specific HRV calculation, but you can see it on the graph like you can see actually what’s going on in your heart. And it’s quite amazing. You can see when your HRV is good, and when it’s short.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool, what other little kind of nuances with the device you can share with us that could be could apply to improve our health on top of what you already mentioned so far.
Ariel Garten: Sure. So we have a new device that just came out Muse s, and for those of you watching the video, it is right here. It is a soft, comfortable form factor, and the module just pops off, you can watch the band. And we made it specifically for people who want to track their brain overnight and help them to fall asleep. So we found a lot of people were using us to help them fall asleep. And but you’d have to take your Muse device off when you fell asleep. So we made Muse s super comfy, so you can just fall asleep with it on. And we give you these beautiful things called sleep journeys, guided sleep journeys, they’re guided meditations that lull you into sleep. And you also get a soundtrack that’s actually built from your body that’s designed to entrain you into sleep faster. So you might hear the beating of your heart like the chirping of crickets and the soundscape. Or the movements of your body like the lapping of waves, you’re literally hearing your own body. And then what we do is as you start to get into a rhythm and slow down a little bit, we actually slow down the soundtrack in a way that’s designed to train you to fall asleep faster. And so it’s a super beautiful experience. And then towards the end of this year, we’re releasing comprehensive eg sleep tracking. So you’ll be able to see all sorts of details about your night’s sleep even you know coffee details like the amount of sleep spindles you had.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s really cool. I think anytime you’re trying to teach someone to develop a new habit, especially when they don’t have a lot of confidence, it’s important to have a coach or someone to kind of pat them on the back or give them encouragement that they’re doing the right thing or, or feedback after doing the wrong thing. And I think the benefit of this device, it really provides that little bit of a meditation coach over your shoulder to give you a pat in the back or give you feedback if you’re not on the right track. So I think it’s really beneficial. Because if people can can do it and feel confident about it, they’re more likely to make it part of their kind of day in day out habits.
Ariel Garten: Absolutely. That’s literally why we built this, whether you’re somebody who’s never meditated before, and is just like what’s going on, or you’re an expert meditator who wants more insight into your process. This is a device that’s literally like a little coach or guru inside your head, encouraging you showing you what’s going on giving you your feedback, so that you can know when you can improve.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cool. So how does this work? So you put the device on? Is there any way you can do it while we’re on live on the podcast here?
Ariel Garten: Not while holding my microphone simultaneously.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’d be amazing.
Ariel Garten: So so this is the Muse here. It slips on. Great, it then would connect to the app on my phone. So here is I don’t think you can see there’s too much glare right there. There you go. There’s the Muse app. And so inside, that’s my notification that I have new content available. Inside the Muse app, you have meditations for the mind. And there you can set the length of time that you’d like to meditate for the soundscape you’d like to use what you’d like guidance or not. We also have meditations for the heart, where you’re hearing the heart like the beating of the drum, you can actually see your own heart rate variability and what it’s doing more meditations for the breath for the body. We have an entire section of guided content here. Let me open that for you. Where we have literally hundreds of meditations for stress, anxiety sleep, we say if you’ve got a problem in your life, we’ve got a meditation for that. So whether it’s performance, workplace, etc you can go in there and really find the thing that you’re trying to work on or is bothering you and get a meditation and guidance and insight to help you in that process. With or without your Muse.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. I totally love it. I’m really excited to try this out get my own device go and that’s awesome. We’ll put a link here for the listeners choosemuse.com/welcome, choosemuse.com/welcome. And the discount code will be welcome 10 we’ll put the links below. So if you guys are driving and you’re active, we’ll put that below so you can access the later areas or anything else you want to leave the listeners with right now.
Ariel Garten: Really the understanding that if you’ve tried meditation before, and you’re like, I don’t know, I’m not good at it, whatever. Put all of that behind you because literally anyone can meditate. It’s not about whether you’re good at it. Whether you feel like you did it well or not. None of that matters. Meditation is just a process that you practice a little bit every day. And when you do it you will start to see the fruits and the benefits in your life.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it is there anywhere else people can get more information about you or the device.
Ariel Garten: At choosemuse.com/welcome. There’s lots of information about the device, the neuroscience behind it and more.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Ariel, thank you so much for being part of the podcast.
Ariel Garten: My sincere pleasure. Thank you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thank you.