Dr. Taylor and Jonas Machado each share their 3 favorite biohacks
Biohacking is a “field” which is gaining popularity. Biohacking comes from the concept of computer hacking combined with the word biology - so it’s essentially “hacking your biology”. This ranges from things such as pharmaceuticals and so-called “super drugs” to hack brain function to simple concepts like meditation or skipping meals (intermittent fasting).
Biohackers look for simple, easy to implement little “hacks” to improve their physiology and be the best performing version of themselves. In this episode, our host Dr. Taylor Krick has a discussion with his friend, personal training, nutritionist, and fellow bio-hacker Jonas Machado and they each share their 3 favorite biohacks (and they mention many more!)
Top 3 Biohacks:
Cryotherapy Sessions - Jonas uses cryotherapy to decrease inflammation and maximize healing. He talks about how it has helped his workout recovery and even his sleep! During a cryotherapy session, the temperature get incredibly cold, but you are only exposed to this extreme cold for a couple minutes. There is a walk-in size room or they can do cryotherapy spot treatments. U.S. Cryotherapy also has other modalities as well, like Jonas personally uses US Cryotherapy, and their website has a lot of great information as far as benefits, what to expect, pricing, etc. http://www.uscryotherapy.com/
CBD Oil - Jonas uses CBD oil as a calming agent and to decrease neuroinflammation. As part of the cannabis plant (THC is the pyscho-active component that gets you “high”), CBD contains cannabidiols that active anti-inflammatory pathways and bring a calming feeling, and has been shown to possess anti-seizure, anti-inflammatory, and anti-psychotic properties. Jonas discusses how using CBD has impacted his overall stress response and improved his sleep.
Wim Hof training methods - breathing, meditation, cold exposure combined. Wim Hof is a crazy mofo with some 26 world records for things like swimming under ice caps and climbing mountains with no clothes on. He has proven through university studies that he can control and change his autonomic nervous system and immune system. Check the link above to read more about Wim and his crazy antics, or to learn more about his workshops and the methods he teaches. Jonas has used the Wim Hof combination of methods to have great results with his physical training, overall mood, and adaptation to stress.
Binaural Beats - BrainWaves App on iTunes - I am obsessed with this app and listen to it all the time. I learned about this technology from CognitiveFX, a functional neurotrauma facility here in Utah who does intensive brain scans followed by 4-days of brain entrainment to improve deficits and then rescanning the brain to measure improvement. One of the tools they use is binaural beats, which use a specific audio frequency (it sounds like white noise) in each ear and the difference between right and left creates specific brain wavelengths - theta is a meditative state, delta is a deep sleep wavelength, etc. mThe simple iTunes version has 35 binaural programs ranging from Espresso Shot, to Focused and Alert, to Pre-Exercise Energy, or Deep Sleep.
Meditation and Diaphragmatic Breathing - I like the biohacks that are quick and cheap. Diaphragmatic breathing is an incredibly powerful tool to decrease your body’s stress response. It does this by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, the part that regulates and controls things like digestion, detoxification, and hormone regulation. Your sympathetic nervous system is your ‘fight-or-flight’ response, and most people in today’s stress-filled society live in sympathetic dominance. The sympathetic nervous system is like pressing the gas on your body’s stress response, while the parasympathetic is like pressing the brake. If you are driving properly, you can’t push both! In the same way, you can pump the brakes on your stress response very quickly and easily. I recommend diaphragmatic breathing as often as possible, but some of the best times are in the morning, right before a meal, during meditation or prayer, I do it often while driving - I try to focus on breathing from the diaphragm whenever I think about it!
Controlling Light Exposure - This is another cheap hack that has drastic effects. The light you are exposed to throughout a day set your body’s circadian rhythm, which dictates when certain hormones are released. These hormonal releases include cortisol in the morning and melatonin at night, but circadian biology is associated with all health functions including immune function, cellular healing, digestion, detoxification, and hormone balance. The 3 ways I control my light happen at 3 times of the day - morning, day, and night. In the morning, I make a point to get daytime sunlight exposure - and preferably not through a window and not behind sunglasses! This tells your body that it is morning and sets these hormonal rhythms in place. During the day, we spend most of our days inside under artificial lights. During these times, I have installed a software on my computer to turn down the blue and white lights I wear blue-blocking glasses. At night I do the same - turn on my NightShift on my iPhone, I wear blue-blocking glasses while watching TV or reading on my phone, and I sleep with an eye mask so I’m in total darkness. It has totally transformed my sleep!
This is a long conversation, and we really don’t go through six biohacks - we go through more like twenty-six. Blue-blockers, ice baths, eye masks, red lights, grounding….there are so many options today to hack your biology and change your state of mind and state of performance for the better!