The Parasympathetic vs. Sympathetic Nervous System
Welcome to the bio optimized summit where we are exploring the next level of physical and mental health, you can achieve through targeted and intentional optimization. I am your host, Dr. Aimie, along with my special guest Doctor.
Hey Dr. Aimie Thanks for having me. I’m excited to do this interview.
Yeah, and we’ve got a lot in common from epigenetics and methylation and autoimmune, and today we’re going to be talking about performance drainers.
So, give us your breakdown of what is a performance trainer, what are the most common performance trainers that you see in your practice. Yes. So, you know, in order to adequately define a performance trainer, you know let’s kind of talk briefly about performance. A lot of times I had to change my website because people thought I only work with professional athletes that said high performers. But when I say high performers, it just means being good at whatever you do, could be being a good parent, being a good doctor, being that athletes, being a good business person being good at, you know, whatever your hobbies are reaching your personal best whatever your personal best is self actualization basically. So, you know, anything that takes away from optimal physiological functioning.
For psychological functioning is going to be a performance stream. And, you know, you and I were talking before we started the recording about high Ace scores adverse childhood events scores and how childhood can sort of set the stage for the resting tone of the parasympathetic our autonomic nervous system. And so the parasympathetic is your rest and digest sympathetic is your fight or flight or freeze.
But anything that alters the natural resting tone and puts you in more of a sympathetic dominant state. Well, that’s where all your healing your recovery from exercise from injury, all occurs in a parasympathetic state. And so, the most common performance trainer I see, and you can get arrived in this place a number of ways. And that’s, you know, getting stuck in a sympathetic dominant state. And so, you know, viral infection that systemic that can certainly put you in a sympathetic dominant state. So, the take home message is you can have $12 million, be on the beach and you know Newport Beach and not have a worry in the world, but you might have a high physiological stress level. Exactly. Firstly, you can have someone on who’s in the Secret Service overseas in shot at, and they don’t have those physiological stressors. And so there’s cool as a cucumber.
And so the the point being there you know if your knee swells up we can see it. But if your brains not functioning optimally or you have a systemic brown faction, who won’t know that unless we look for it. And so much of this you’re right like is this baseline development from childhood and how our nervous system developed its patterns of responding the world interacting with the world perceiving the world perceiving What are threads how many threads are there and like you say, from the outside, people don’t always know if a person is in parasympathetic or sympathetic. And yet, a person will not be able to do well in any area of their life unless they’re in that parasympathetic most of the time, they may snippers the sympathetic you know if they need to. Need the adrenaline for some short term thing but then they should be able to transition back to that parasympathetic to restore repair rejuvenate and let their cells come back to that place of health. Otherwise this chronic sympathetic state is what I see all the time as well it’s definitely predominant in our society now. And I would say that this pandemic has only brought that out, has only brought that to the surface of how much parasympathetic deficit, we have in our society, and people are very much responsive and driven by fear, which means how sympathetic they are. And that is taking a toll, not only on their physical health, on their mental health emotional health, and that’s going to leak into relationships in their work and everything like every area of their life is affected by this parasympathetic or sympathetic. I say that fear and faith can’t live in the same house, they can’t write and say, My Love, love and fear like they cannot coexist. Right. There are completely different Nervous System states. Right, exactly. And so you know we were talking on camera, different ways to get more parasympathetic one. I mean, we can talk for hours just about the benefits of a far infrared sauna. But one of the benefits, is it shifts you more into a parasympathetic state. And in addition, it’s a passive cardiovascular magnetic. So, you know, you see all these overweight or obese guys in Greece, Rome, you’re like how do they look at the 112. Well, they were in the sauna every day, probably.
And so he used the sauna helps to regulate the autonomic nervous system.
Vegas nerve stimulation exercises such as garbling, you know, chewing gum tongue depressor, things of that nature can help. As long as you have enough acetylcholine. And so acetylcholine, you know, it’s just the neurotransmitter in the body, but for every muscular contraction to occur. You have to have acetylcholine. And it turns out your vagus nerve, which is the wandering nerve that controls basically you know all your internal organs, is lined with acetylcholine receptors. And so if you’re deficient acetylcholine, which by the way benzodiazepines eventually deplete acetylcholine, so you have something that, in the short term will calm you down. But long term, you get tolerance and withdrawals. And we see that when they try to get off the benzodiazepines and their body is compensating, shut down that system, and then whatever symptoms they were having before they started are now 10 times worse, because they become even more deficient in that acetylcholine. Yeah, that’s why I have this right here, and no I don’t own the company. I wish I did Dr. seeds, my check better be in the mail.
That’s right. Binds to the same receptor that Mentos do, but it’s not addictive and doesn’t have the side effects. There are so many ways that we can support our body and our nervous system in this way. And, and so there are so many more tools that people can use other than going to these medications that will ultimately be performance drainers. Right, absolutely. And so, you know, the overarching principle is that the organs in the body are duly innervated. It’s not that sympathetic is 100% turned on and parasympathetic so 0% turned on. But if you look at the best athletes in the world, you know, people think they’re, you know just constantly stimulated. But actually, they’re constantly parasympathetic, so they go into competition, and they go sympathetic, then they go right back parasympathetic and body needs that time to come back into parasympathetic to be at its best. Yeah, it’s just like with lifting weights you don’t build muscle while you’re lifting weights you’re actually destroying muscle fibers. Exactly. And so, you know, autonomic nervous system imbalances would have to be at the top of my list, you know the corrective actions far infrared sauna, chill pill.
And the oxytocin nasal spray that we discussed, you’d have to talk to your local doctor to have that prescribed but it’s a compounded nasal spray. And if you have high adverse childhood event score, your resting parasympathetic tone is can be a little low in. And in order to, like you said, in order for any healing to occur. You have to be in the parasympathetic state. So yeah, so I’ve been using that oxytocin spray for years now, in kids who have been adopted. And I’m trying to promote that parasympathetic state and bonding and trust and attachment with their new parents because they come with a lot of sympathetic tone. They are on guard, they feel defensive against anybody who might put themselves in that position of mom, because you’re not my mom right? And so their sympathetic tone is off the charts, and so I’ve been using that. Can you go into a little bit of the science for the audience on the oxytocin and how that affects the parasympathetic state. Yeah. So, basically, you know, in order mazels hierarchy of needs in psychology says that, you know, you have to feel safe and protected before you’re going to have a sex drive or, you know, just like with your body your body doesn’t know anything about looking good. In the bathing suit, or looking muscular, your violin does stay alive. Right. And so, if you have a core parasympathetic tone, because a little oxytocin, and that couldn’t be you know everyone associates oxytocin with breastfeeding. That’s just you know one of 1000s or hundreds of functions. And so oxytocin is also one of the major chemicals released during an orgasm, right, like there’s that moment of intimacy of bonding of connection, ideally in a healthy relationship, and that’s going to be affected if a person is continually more sympathetic driven than being able to be in that parasympathetic. Yeah, exactly. And so, you know, you can take things to activate the vagus nerve, but also taking something like oxytocin will help just decrease your reactivity and your perception of stressors. So you’re not as hyper vigilant. Like, you know the kids driving and you know I have a high ACES score myself, so I take oxytocin, and it keeps me from going crazy these days with everything that’s going on, but you know adaptogenic herbs and things of that nature have their place, but nothing can really do what oxytocin does in terms of calming down and it also has uses in Addiction Medicine, a lot. Yeah, there’s so many of the similarities between the aces and an addiction and the chemistry that’s involved with that addiction I mean there’s a reason why people with high Ace scores have a higher risk of developing that addiction because it’s, it’s becoming like a self medicating way to get those same chemicals that they’re lacking, or the same parasympathetic state that they’re trying to achieve and just their body is is patterned differently, their nervous system is patterned differently from those early childhood experiences, and those medications those drugs, whatever it is, unfortunately right are powerful shifters for the nervous system and and inducing this state of relaxation parasympathetic state that they’re that they find hard to achieve in other ways. Yeah, absolutely. So, autonomic nervous system imbalances, like you said, is really common, and what people have to realize is, you know, the nervous system develops these trauma loops and. Okay, so you have stressor number one. Well then the threshold for sympathetic activation is lower, and you get stressed number two and it gets lowered more and more and more. So then you know someone drops a pin and you want to try and stop it. You know, and that’s hyper vigilance. So, and this is exactly why as a medical doctor I went and I got trained in the somatic experiencing work with Dr. Peter Levine because I saw like, wait a second there is something here that I missed in my training in conventional medicine, that there is so much richness here in the nervous system. And this parasympathetic versus sympathetic and then the freeze. And if we can expand that window of tolerance, so that a person that has the capacity to handle more stress and still stay parasympathetic not go to the sympathetic or like me I’ve got a pretty strong freeze response from my childhood. And so trying to expand that window of increasing the capacity for stress because life is going to be stressful. Right. We can’t stop that, we can’t shelter ourselves that much and so this is really where the, the meat is in terms of you if you really want to improve your performance increase your capacity to hold more stress and still stay parasympathetic yeah those more immediate stressors, or mesas is a term. Some people may know about, but it simply means that you know there’s huge stress and distress.
So good stresses and bad stressors and far infrared sauna would be an example of a use stress, a good stressor cryotherapy would be an example, anything that causes the deviation from homeostasis. But if you’ve already been stuck for quite some time this sympathetic dominant state.
You’re gonna need some proper biological physiological support can get the benefits from cryotherapy and from sauna, things of that nature. That’s crazy because like that was totally my experience, I’m thinking about when I started cryo therapy and there would be times when I was definitely parasympathetic and I would go in and I would have a great session and I could feel the benefits. And then there were other times when I could feel like I’m, I’m not in parasympathetic and I would still go in because I had an appointment for cryotherapy and it would actually push my push my system over the edge, and it would make me not feel as good it would make me feel like my mitochondria had just kind of like given up because it was too much. And so yeah like that’s that’s amazing that you’re bringing this up now. Yeah, I mean I noticed that because I have some people that come to me and they’re like well I was trying to take better care of my health and started using the sauna and I crashed. And you know they haven’t pooped since Clinton was in office. I’m like well there you go. There you go.
Yeah, exactly. And you know, managing the allostatic load, like you know, most people think, if they have a stressful day or stressful week, they’ll exercise their stress. That’s right, bad place to go. Yeah, I personally experience burnout and if you have to get an endorphin boost or serotonin boost by overtraining then something’s physiologically wrong. And so, you know, people that have to go to the gym six days a week to maintain any semblance of physical fitness, I tell them you know you bounce your physiology, you can go half as much and get twice the benefit. It’s true and I found early on when I was going through my journey that if I tracked my heart rate variability, then that could really help guide me in terms of how much physical exercise I could do that day, and stay well, because otherwise my tendency, I was completely oblivious to like how my body actually felt right. It was just like, I don’t feel well I need to go out I need to exercise I need to get this stress off whatever, and I would and I was pushing my body way too much got really sick. And so the heart rate variability for me and I know that there’s other ways as well. But for me like that was a good measure to objectively see how much allostatic load my body was already dealing with and so could handle in terms of the physical stress of exercise. Yeah. So, you know, I think you would agree in general if you can start addressing the body from a broader sense, and then go more specific.
Right. And that may be appropriate sometimes in the acute phase. But in general. I ask myself, What can I do to make everything else work better. And so, balancing the autonomic nervous system is one of those things to look at. Performance trainers other performance drainers, one I see all over really every country in our mold and mycotoxins. And so, mold produces mycotoxins. And, you know, a lot of people will say oh my house is brand new or, I had this legally took care of it. But mold behaves differently indoors than it does outdoors. And basically, when you’re bombarded with EMF, Dr Klinghardt shown that mold will produce 600 times more mycotoxins, and with the rollout of 5g I mean we already had enough emfs on nbms.
But basically, you know, it makes the mold mycotoxins more bigger than, and most species of mold you can’t see
But basically, you know, it makes the mold mycotoxins more bigger than, and most species of mold you can’t see. So Aspergillus like right now, you know if you mentioned anything about altered or breathing or breath sounds. Yeah. Someone says oh you have the corona, and I’m like well, it could be the Aspergillus in your lungs.
You know, because you can’t see that one can’t smell it.
It’s common I mean, different mycotoxins like for example glio toxins will target more of the central nervous system. But one thing that all mycotoxins have in common is they will inhibit or disarm, a portion of the nervous system. And so, you know, whether you’re working with a kid with pandas or an addict.
You know, you really have to focus in on those imbalances to find success. And so with mold. It does a number of things but it decreases blood flow to your frontal lobe. And so, brain scans of patients with Ms. And with mold toxicity and exposure. They’re almost indistinguishable.
Okay. Isn’t that crazy. Yeah. And yet, people are not aware of the mold is not something that they usually can see or that they’re even aware of that they’re being exposed to. And yet the scans are very similar to person with multiple sclerosis that’s some serious damage to the brain and the nervous system. Yeah, I was speaking with a doctor in Virginia, and she’s certified in the Bredesen protocol, but also she knows about mold and biotoxin related issues, and she got a patient with the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, and she something included into mold and her mycotoxin levels were off the chart. Six months later, she didn’t have the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s anymore. Exactly. And so, you know, mold, depending on where you live like where I live, currently in South Carolina.
The humidity levels.
Need to off chart mycotoxin levels. Conversely, you can have a poorly constructed building in the middle of the desert. That needs to mold production. And so it’s all about, you know, I’ve consulted with healthy building architects.
Mechanical Engineers and, you know, there’s materials you can use now that make the home or office, much less conducive to mold growth.
But it’s a systemic problem because you have an educated labor pool, and you have contractors who are financially motivated to take shortcuts. And so it’s kind of like the analogy I give people is mercury fillings chemistry, you know if you say that it’s systemically unpleasing, you’re fine. But if you say Mercury is dangerous and you remove that fillings, they’ll take your license. And so once they admit a problem there’s going to be all these class action lawsuits and everyone knows you know in any new construction neighborhood, they might flip the framework may not come back for three weeks. And, you know, to the brain six times.
But then, and so, you know, they’re urine mycotoxin test you can do.
It’s generally best for both the mycotoxins so we can get a more accurate assessment. And you can do that with things like Bluetooth ion push or Infrared Sauna session, things of that nature. As long as you’re not too toxic.
But it requires getting over mold requires binders to excrete them correction of the mold. At the physical level, because if your numbers come back elevated and I say, Dr. Amy, you know, your mycotoxins lead to toxins. Toxins elevated. I can’t say with 100% certainty that you got that from your house, your office, the mall the grocery store, it might have been an accumulation over time, from various sources, but you know the places where you spend the majority of your time. We want to make sure that you’re not bringing it in because people forget you know they want to do detox like the Simon, I love the sauna, but you’re breathing 12 to 16 times per minute. Exactly.
Yeah, I mean, I remember when I first started functional medicine, the spat with indoor air quality in general is five times are polluted. Now for air. Now it’s supposed to be 10 times. That’s why I have here doctor back there in the background.
And so, performance trainers it also impacts the mitochondria. Right. Yep, batteries of yourself. And so, something that I’ll give a hint that I typically charge a lot of money for but down or release a block on NRF two, which is a pathway of a number of chemical reactions by people reactions. And that helps them either conscious or come back online, some of your antioxidants come back online. And then also using certain nasal sprays, but 95% of sinus infections are actually related to mold. If they give you an antibiotic or steroid it’s mold feeds on steroids.
And a lot of people with mold, you know, get steroid shots for various reasons. And that’s just like a mean, adding fuel to the fire basically, it really does and then they they get used to the feeling of the compromise that mold has on their life and they just kind of settle with that like they just kind of be like okay well this is, this is my brain right like I have a hard time remembering things I have a hard time focusing at work I have a hard time with this, and they just kind of settle with that, not realizing that no like there’s actually a lot that can be done if we can find that you’ve got these mold exposures. Yeah, I mean, I tell people, give me anyone who’s a Mensa member. I’ll inject them with mycotoxins microphone, a saccharides, some interleukin six TNF alpha, we’ll toss in some interleukin one beta for good measure. We’ll see how your
modern life in the US. Yeah, like all of that between our diet between the air we breathe between the mold and the buildings, between our autonomic nervous system within sympathetic like that is everything that’s happening in your biology. Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, people just don’t realize it but you can’t find what you don’t look for. There is an app and I don’t know the name of it. I’ve only come across it once, but I’m electrical engineer, developed an app that will convert EMF waves, and the sound waves, so you can hear it. And I found that that was you know a lot more powerful for people because you know no matter how many studies I show them how many articles that show them, you know if they can hear it, they’re like, whoa, Oh, okay. I guess it doesn’t exist.
Most scientists are pretty busy last night check you know they’re not, there’s not gonna be a gathering of several 100 scientists, taking a stance on EMF, just because they didn’t know what to do on a Saturday. Right. Meaning, again it’s this objective type of data that is really helpful for those of us who want to enhance our performance once a optimize live in that you know our best, personal best health. And so it’s really helpful to have these objective data of, this is the EMF that’s present like this is the mycotoxins in your system we can actually measure that and here’s your data. Right. I mean if you know we went to the hospital near St and went to the oncology department, and we did provocated urine mycotoxin test guaranteed 99% of them are going to have elevated micro toxins, you play that up and they’ll say oh was the keyboard, came up.
But it was gonna help with those micro toxins too right and exactly definitely helps with so many things, especially mitochondrial function. Maybe you started my chemo
late in the day right we need that, that chemo mitochondria and energy, you know once you there’s are a lot of companies out there and looking to take advantage of people in terms of remediating or mold. Add some people the worst thing you can do is add them remediated with whatever substance, and then you don’t make the appropriate changes to your humidity levels structural changes.
You’re going to be mad at yourself that you spent all that money.
But there is a product called EDM two, I believe, and it is a biodegradable enzyme. So it basically is like a Pac Man for the mycotoxins, and that’s better than ozone, because what I found was that when you kill mold it’s going to release that mycotoxins Yeah, and they’re still immunogenic. Right, so, you know, it’s important to distinguish them or, you know, the appropriate way to get rid of the mold, but keeping you know your the mold away is keeping the humidity level 50% or below.
You know, air doctor, depending on the size of your office or house. I think your doctor covers 1000 square feet, positive but, you know, you want to make sure you keep the way at bay. Once you’ve gotten rid of it. And things are different compounded prescriptions. I won’t mention for having fear of having them taken away, but that can also help with mycotoxins.
And like I said, the nasal sprays because of the nasal compensation. Yep. Good. And so those are the two top two performance trainers, you know, I’ll let you jump in there.
Well, and it strikes me just how these two really so much affects the brain and the nervous system because that’s really what drives the rest of our system right, a lot of people may present with digestive system issues, but then when we actually look at what’s driving those issues, it’s still the nervous system. And that’s the one where we’re going to find the exposure to the mycotoxins or other toxins and they’re not getting that release they’re not having good enough bowel movements to release the toxins they’re not doing the sun and so like these, these are all issues that that are fueling the actual symptom that a person may have and so they may come in thinking that they have one problem right and think that this is my problem for that’s really affecting my performance, and yet we spin it we’re like, well here’s the data like this is actually what’s fueling what’s driving all of those symptoms, and what strikes me is that what you’re talking about is really, this idea of biological resilience and resilience is a big buzzword these days right.
Everyone’s talking about resilience and how that’s the antidote to trauma, which, which is all fine and good. You know, but at the end of the day, it really is about the biology of a person is far as whether they have that capacity for resilience or not. And something that is traditionally psychological, right, like that’s kind of been pushed over into the psychology world of resilience and trauma, what I’m getting out of our conversation is that no like resilience and trauma actually more belongs in the field of biology. And this personalized medicine, more than just what your thoughts are and what’s going on in your, in your cognitive process. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know, every thought has a physiological consequence. So conversely systemic issues will impact your thoughts so the blood brain barrier can be become leaky or permeated from Gram negative bacteria in the gut, like polysaccharides systemic viruses or neurotrophic activate the inflammatory microglial cells in the brain. And then you have a person who got they have depression and anxiety. Why, and you know, obviously, there could be a million causes. And that’s why I tell people you know, don’t come into functional medicine with the 80 causes B but really see is, you’re just that’s green allopathic.
And then I realized I was the only one who knew what green allopathic meant so I should probably rename the book. Uh huh.
But yeah, I mean, you know, if you have saved the tea. And you know, you can’t just evaluate the gut, or toxicity, or chronic infections or hormones, I mean, they’re all important. And, you know, dressing your hormones is not gonna fully fix the gut and addressing your psychological trauma is not going to or addressing, you know, the heart is not going to address your psychological trauma. And so all of those things are very closely intertwined and, you know, we look at people that we’ve labeled, you know, anxious, depressed. You know there’s. If you activated those same sorts of reactions in anyone, they would have that same symptomology.
It really is all integrated and it frustrates me still, you know, when people have low energy, and that they have been high performers, meaning that they seek a level of performance and achievement in their life per se. And so their approach to that their response to having low energy is, oh I just need to have more self motivation willpower right like let me, let me get more willpower, right or they’re having more anxiety they’re having more just discouragement and burnout and depression, and so they go see a therapist to talk it out. And
next week last not sure next week. Okay coming back. Exactly, and they get stuck in therapy for years and it doesn’t really change anything, it doesn’t shift anything because, like, like you say every, every one of those thoughts, is something that’s happening physiologically in the body. And so when I see someone experiencing those things. My first approach is going to be what’s going on in your body. Where is there inflammation, what’s causing that inflammation. Let’s talk about you know the LPS the aisle six the TNF alpha mica
like lets, let’s look at that first and then once we address those Sure, then go talk it out with someone or do other therapies. You know I have found somatic type of therapies much more effective than cognitive or talk therapies, but either way right like address the biology first because so much of this is integrated and you’re not ever going to be able to shift out of this state of low energy of depression or anxiety, without addressing what’s going on in the body. And, you know, I was just, I had a patient. Before I got on the call with you, and you know we’re basically talking about, you know, trauma, high scores, and how the nervous system, the endocrine system and the immune system share some of the same receptors. And that’s how things like low dose naltrexone work exactly the same regulate the opioid receptors. When you first take it and you get a rebound effect. Yeah, I’ve been taking LDN since 2008. Ah, you’re way ahead of the game then early adopter, oh yes you are. I love it. I guess that’s really pretty much sugar.
But that’s a conversation for another day. Maybe it was all just concussions, anyway.
So, you know, in terms of, you know, it’s somatic experience, and more metaphysical type issues. Yeah, I mean, you know, people, you know we’re scientists. We only deal with heart and objective quadruple blind and hell everybody’s going to be blind.
And, you know, we don’t need a study to tell me that your lats extend adduction internally rotate your humerus.
So why are we wasting money on.
But, you know, I think if people like there are two MDS locally here, who are doing studies through the maps organization with ketamine, and one is doing MDMA assisted psychotherapy. And so, you know, from what I’ve read, I think it was three maps. One assisted psychotherapy session is equivalent to 10 years. Exactly, out there. Yep. Yeah, I’m a firm believer and I’ve been using micro dosing ketamine so micro dosing sublingual ketamine, I will do some IV ketamine but but especially for a person going into these therapy sessions, the micro dosing of sublingual ketamine I have found does just that like it creates the environment for the nervous system to be able to be more neuroplastic and be able to make these bigger shifts than what would be ever possible without it. Yeah. Now to say that though like I can’t give sublingual ketamine to someone who is neglecting everything else, right, like I needed to have a certain baseline of good diet of making sure their leaky gut is well managed making sure they’re primed microglia from prior concussions right like we’re managing that like there needs to be this baseline health for their mitochondria and for their neurons to even be able to respond to that ketamine. But yeah, absolutely. And so I think you know compliance is huge. But having said that, I know for myself, not being well at particular times your compliance is going to be really low absolutely don’t buy in. And so, you know, the hope starts to dwindle at some point so I try to do the thing that’s gonna make a difference first because then they’re like oh okay he’s thinking about it. Yeah, and that’s a really good point because in my lowest moments of my house like I didn’t have the energy, right, you tell me to go do a bunch of things I just don’t even have the energy so give me something that will at least help me have the energy to start the process and start doing these things that will that will make the bigger difference in the long run. Absolutely. Absolutely. And so, I don’t know where that leaves us with time, but we could attend like we could talk forever I think we’ve already established that.
Where can. Where can people find you, people can find me at Helier body.org, and don’t want to put that out there too much because I don’t also want to end up in jail, by the way they end up in jail. I expect each and every one of you to write me a letter. I will come and visit you personally
in jail. There you go.
Yeah, healyourbody.org, they can reach me there, and there’s a contact form submission on the website. Awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience and your knowledge with us like I love what you do, I love you already this is going to be a fun, a fun collaboration and friendship moving forward. Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me.