Speaker 1: Welcome to The Gladden Longevity Podcast with Dr. Jeffrey Gladden, MD, FACC, founder and CEO of Gladden Longevity. On this show, we want to answer three questions for you, how good can we be? How do we make 100 the new 30, and how do we live well beyond 120? We want to help you optimize your longevity, health, and human performance with impactful and actionable information. Now, here's today's episode of The Gladden Longevity Podcast. The Gladden Longevity Podcast is provided for informational purposes only, it does not constitute medical advice. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The use of any information and materials linked to this podcast is at the listener's own risk.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Welcome everybody to this addition of The Gladden Longevity Podcast. I think you're going to need to sit down for this one, it's going to be a very interesting conversation. We're about to have a conversation with Amy Albright and Drew Pierson. I had the opportunity to meet them in the context of doing some neurofeedback and also some sort of deep spiritual diving with them on a weekend retreat, an AWAKEN retreat, if you will, in California. And I was incredibly impressed with the territory that we covered. And what's really fascinating to me about them is that in our work, of course you know that we have our circle of longevity, health, and performance, and we have a inner circle really of life energy force. So life energies, if you will. And it's that central circle that I think is really foundational to health and longevity and performance. Because when that circle's not really dialed in, I don't think you're going to go anywhere. You can throw all the biochemistry in the world at something, but unless you have those things dialed in, it's going to be a problem. So just to let you know what's on that life energy circle, the first thing is a growth mindset, which is a concept of being married to your questions and not your current answers. The second one is optimizing mental health. And so many people struggle with anxiety, depression, PTSD, elements like that. And they can be so damaging to your health, your performance, longevity, et cetera. And then this concept of feeling loved. Self-love is such a critical piece, and so many people don't love themselves. And then the flip side of that is actually letting love flow between you and other people, even people that you've cut off from a relationship with. Let's say something came up and we put up this barrier between ourselves and them and all of a sudden that's having a negative impact on us. So letting love flow, that's on there too. And then optimizing relational health, incredible important. Fueling joy, which has kind of become my North star determining whether I should be involved with something or not. And then optimizing spiritual health, optimizing wisdom, which is really discernment for me. And then feeling safe, which is something that really came up in my work with Amy. And we'll talk about that and how critical that is. And then feeling this energetic resonance with what I call the universe, if you will, or your bigger sense of purpose. Really being aligned with something much, much bigger. There's a bigger energy out there than just what we're used to. So those are the things I have in my circle. I just want to give you a little introduction as a listening audience as to what we'll be talking about today and why I think that circle is so critical to health. And then also I want you to understand that Drew is really an expert at neurofeedback and doing EEGs and things like that. I've had a number of concussions in my life and we picked that up on the EEGs. And then he's designed a program to help reprogram my brain, we'll get into that. But just setting the stage, if you will, for where this conversation is going to go. So anyway, with that, I'd like to welcome Amy and Drew to the show. It's great to have you guys here.
Amy Albright: Thank you
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Thanks for having us.
Amy Albright: Thanks for the intro.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, absolutely. Tell the audience a little bit about your approach to longevity, health, human performance, optimizing life energy, things like that. Amy, why don't you jump into that initially?
Amy Albright: Yeah, sure. Drew and I, we're deeply aligned and we kind of represent for many people what they would consider ends of the spectrum. So Drew is very much about science and neurosciences specifically. However, we're both doctors of Chinese medicine, which is a very ancient science. And it puts together the world in a very holistic and global way and has humans understood also within that in a holistic and global way. But bringing another element to it, which is the spirituality. For some people, it might be just finding deeper wisdom or making meaning where maybe there's a flatness or a non-meaning making reality basically where we move from the constraints of logic and into something much bigger. So it's not spirituality in the regards of reducing out logic or being illogical but rather adding to the picture to make it more full. So the interplay of what Drew and I offer is the absolute cutting edge neurofeedback and neuroscience, basically applied neurosciences to be able to enhance not only cognition but capacities for deep wisdom, capacities, for awareness, capacities for insight. And within all of that of course is the growth mindset and so many things that lend into longevity. Every time that we're working a growth edge, we're essentially paving our way away from the decline. So we're doing that but inside of the context of something much bigger and having people drop into meaning and life purpose and whatever it is that's the most rich and real and alive for them.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So do you find that a lot of people really have a sense of life purpose or do you feel like that's a minority of people that have a life purpose or what's your experience with that? I have my own, and I'm sure Drew does too. And Drew, we'll let you jump in here in a second, but I just want to ask Amy that.
Amy Albright: I think that within the subset of population that I work with, people are clear that they either have one and they're on that mission to fulfill that life's purpose or that they have one that they haven't been able to identify or haven't been able to fully live. I'm sure that there are a lot of people that don't resonate or don't identify with having a life's purpose. I believe that maybe on a philosophical level that we all do. But it doesn't have to be anything necessarily grand, it could just look rather ordinary for some people but extremely meaningful like raising children. It doesn't have to be pioneering and creating and inventing some new thing that changes the entire world, sometimes it's just creating beauty through family.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, absolutely. And just to point out to the audience, if you want to work with Amy and Drew they're looking for people that really have identified their life purpose and want to do great things in the world. That's one of their criteria to work with them, if you will. Drew, do you want to give any initial thoughts about how you work with Amy and how your stuff is complimentary to what she's talking about here?
Drew Pierson: Well, a lot of what I do is build up the neural networks to really support the functional hardware, if you will, the wetware of the brain. So that her view and her training really gets into an ability to shift consciousness and attentions. And you need a good brain to do that. If you can control that, she can guide you to where you need to go basically. And all of a sudden things open up that you haven't seen before. A lot of people that we work with, they may not have exactly what they're going to do. If I can give one of my analogies, it's kind of a guy with a baseball bat stirring the stew. And you're going, no, you have a baseball bat, why don't you go play baseball? That's a crude analogy, but it-
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: It's a good tool in the wrong environment is that what you're saying?
Drew Pierson: Yeah.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: [inaudible 00:08:47] tool.
Drew Pierson: And people identify their purpose and their drive and their passions and their values through this. And then they can apply it appropriately.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So tell me a little bit more about that. When you say that they can find their passion and purpose through this, what exactly are you saying? They find it by getting their brains wired properly or through the combination of what both of you are doing or what are you referring to there?
Drew Pierson: Both actually. So as we work in certain states of consciousness, especially with EEG, it brings out some of the subconscious, the lower conscious aspects that we're not necessarily aware of in our day-to-day conscious activity. And then Amy really brings that out and paints a broader picture and really brings into clarity. And it's a beautiful thing. It's like a light coming on as these lower levels come into focus and attention.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So really what I've experienced working with you and what I'm hearing you say right now is that you're able to rewrite the programming, if you will. Because I think we all through our childhoods and experiences, whatever, we've all kind of run a gauntlet. We're all kind of living in reaction to a variety of things and yet kind of throws us on tilt, kind of off kilter, if you will or the plum light isn't straight to use Amy's analogy for that. But putting together both the neural networks along with the insight that comes from the reflective spiritual experience, et cetera, you get the opportunity, this is a question, you get the opportunity to rewrite the software, if you will, that's in your brain so that all of a sudden you're working from a different place. And you've got the hardware to back that up, and you've got the software to back that up. Is that what I'm hearing?
Drew Pierson: Yeah, exactly. It's kind of like rebuilding a car in a way. And you can have a super powerful, incredible car, but if you can't control, it's not going to do very well. So you need both, you need that guidance. You also need the deeper wisdom and the deeper insights to be able to modulate a brain that you're building and growing and controlling through networks and hubs and things like that.
Amy Albright: As a piece of context maybe for the listeners that don't know about what neurofeedback is, what Drew does is very, very comprehensive look into the brain. I would say it's probably hundreds of thousands of data points all culminated together and understood at a very deep level via an EEG. And that looks like squiggly lines on a page, it's extremely scientific. Drew's real forte with it though is the ability to see between the lines, if that makes sense. He sees early buddings of gifts, and he can recognize traits. And he's honed his, I'll say intuitive capacity to be able to take the analytics to a different level than what most of the medical literature and most of who might be considered his colleagues in the fields of neurosciences would understand about an EEG. And then basically with my skillset, I have the ability to look at a person and not just see what they present as but a deeper layer of who they really are and what their capacity is. So it's another way of looking under the hood, so to speak. It's perhaps, if some people want to call it, looking at the unexpressed aspects of self, maybe the soul aspects of self, whatever the life framing is. And then Drew and I work together, and we've been doing this for over a decade in some capacity to essentially take what he sees in the EEG for current state and potential future state. I see current state the way that I see it in a human, and I see their potential future state. And we put that information all together and we create a treatment plan where the depths of the being are fully revealed. And this is not normal for neuroscience or for neurofeedback. Most people that are doing applied neurosciences are looking to just mitigate ADD or a sleep disorder or depression or things like that. And it's not that our clients don't have those things sometimes, but more that we're looking for how do we actually optimize, how do we prevent decline? Yes, and how do we help with problems that they're currently having? But we do it from a much more aspirational standpoint of what's possible. That's one of the things that I know that we both really enjoy and appreciate about you Jeff is the what's possible, playing with the 120. Really we're working with aspirational goals that I think a lot of people who support people as doctors or as any kind of a supportive provider aren't necessarily in the framework for. So I really love that about your approach as well.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Well, I appreciate that. And right back at you, so to speak, I love that about your approach too. This is really exciting because what you're really talking about is moving from sick care, which is reactive to a disease process, an injury, an insult, whatever that might be and trying to get it back to baseline. This is kind of looking beyond that into the aspirational, how do you be your best self? And so being your best self is a function of a lot of different things. It's all four circles, it's performance, it's health, it's longevity, and it's this life energy circle. But it's such an exciting thing as an individual to think about what could I really be, what could I really do? What could I really do if I didn't have the barriers that I think I have? Which are all artificial in the first place. That's really, really incredible. I will tell you this about the whole safety thing. I met with Amy, I think it was the first night I was there and was talking to her a little bit about some stuff where I didn't feel safe in a relationship. I thought it actually had to do with money, but she actually pointed out to me that it didn't have anything to do with money at all, it had to do with safety. And I remember going to bed that night thinking about that and then reaching out to my small self. I have this little Jeff inside of me that I take care of with this maternal and paternal love that I give myself. And all of a sudden, I thought, well, I'll just give little Jeff safety too. And all of a sudden it's kind of like everything straightened up. And it's really been interesting to play what I call the safety game now, which is I go into lots of situations. And I will find that if I'm ever in reaction to anything, it's typically because on some level I'm not feeling safe. And so if I just go back inside and give myself safety again, it's like, no, no, you're really safe, you are really safe. It doesn't matter what context I'm in, all of a sudden it opens up this entire newfound experience and capability to actually bring my full self forward. It's kind of like all of a sudden all my creativity, my energy, my humor, all of that just comes forward effortlessly. It's been really quite transformational for me. And I think if you're listening in the audience, this may sound a little crazy, but actually just think back and imagine the point in your life or maybe it's even right now when you were thinking about what you could possibly do. Going through a pathway like this I think enables you to do even more than you thought you were capable of quite honestly. And that's kind of the exciting thing, it keeps building on itself. Tell us a little bit more about some of the experiences that you've seen with people in terms of opening them up, what's actually happened for them?
Amy Albright: I'll jump in. And thank you for talking about safety first off because I think that it's an underrepresented topic, and I think that many people don't feel safe enough to talk about safety. I would say that safety is the foundation of everything. Without safety, we're basically in that reptilian brain in reaction mode with not really any possibility of growth connection. It's a disconnection from self. And I would love to hear Drew speak to neurologically the impact of safety as well. But I would say that fundamentally a safe environment, whether it was given as a child and that's an early childhood imprint or not, a safe environment means everything for what we can get out of a situation. So even if somebody is receiving, to your point, medical care, they can receive exactly the right nutrients, they can receive exactly the right treatments and therapies in a loving or caring environment and all of those kind of things. If the patient receiving that care doesn't feel emotionally and biologically safe, the nutrition will not be absorbed, the benefit will not be had. There's going to still be stress inside of the system on some level. And that noise is going to impact the outcome in a really massive way. So I feel that whether we're talking about biological gains, whether we're talking about emotional gains, whether we're talking about life goals and just staying really healthy and alive, really, truly alive, safety is at the root of everything, it's the foundation.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, I agree. And I think since I was together with you guys there in California, I've had a couple of additional thoughts about it in that we talk about fear, but really fear occurs because there's a lack of safety. And then on the flip side, people talk about confidence, and confidence is actually just feeling safe.
Amy Albright: Yeah, safety is a deeper thing underneath confidence, absolutely.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Exactly, t's a deeper thing under confidence. So if you put yourself into a situation and all of a sudden you give yourself that safety and you actually feel safe, it's really easy to be confident. Whereas if you don't feel safe and you're trying to be confident, this feels like an internal disconnect.
Amy Albright: Well, you can't lie to your biology.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Exactly.
Amy Albright: You can't. You either are safe or you're not. So my capacity to perceive that at a very subtle level inside of people, even complete strangers is really honed in. And so basically I don't allow for people to BS themselves and tell me that they're not whatever. They may love or not love that I can see through them, but that's how we get the results. But I would love to hear Drew, why don't you chime in and tell us about safety maybe in terms of resilience or whatever strikes you about safety?
Drew Pierson: Well, safety, we have a number of different areas in the brain that really bring into meaning, is this an alarm or red flag or is it okay or are we going to bypass it? We look at something like the salient network that's involved in self with the dorsal singular and the back of the head basically. And then with the front and the mid insular network. So these areas talk, the self talks to consciousness and then it talks to the amygdala also, which is a deeper brain area that kind of tells us, hey, are we safe or not? And then that links into emotion to the hippocampus and memory. And all these patterns that we have growing up are molded into patterns of, hey, if I do this, I'll be safe. If I don't do this, I'm going be on unsteady ground or it's going to be bad or it could lead to death. And ultimately, we want to prevent pain, prevent death, and prevent anything that's going to cause us harm. And even externally as these mirror neurons in our brain that also reflect what's going on around us, we can see other people going through emotional pain, physical pain. And also implant that into us, and that sets off the system too. So there's all this information coming in internally and externally all the time. And we may not be aware of all these subtle actions that are going on and how to control those. But through the training that we do, you gain control of that and all of a sudden you can control, oh, is that a flag or is it not? Is it a pattern I learned way before and haven't done anything to decouple that emotion from the pattern through the memory aspect to set off the alarms to the amygdala? And what that does is take our thinking part of the executive brain, the prefrontal cortex, and takes it offline because we're going, oh, no, something's going to happen. And immediately we pull back and our system is set on fight or flight at that point rather than into this equanimity at flow.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: I love hearing about that. I think that everybody experiences that on some level in some context. It sounds like what you're saying Drew is that once that's been identified through both of your diagnostic capabilities, we'll call it, that you have the ability to go in and reprogram the brain in a way that helps facilitate in conjunction with the cognitive insight. Being able to get past that connection between, I'm going in for a blood draw and I might faint kind of scenario. Or something analogous, I'm about to meet with this person and they were hostile to me 10 years ago. So I'm going in with some hesitancy or whatever it was. Is that kind of what we're talking about, being able to reprogram past that kind of thing?
Amy Albright: Yeah. And even to be able to reprogram past the things that aren't on the conscious mind level. So let's say it's a married couple and they just bicker all the time. Neither of them really realize what it is that's going on. And they'll say, that's just how I am. And a lot of the times what people ascribe to as personality is basically their collection of fears and lack of safety instances that then shape their behavior. Then they identify that's who they are, and in a way it's like so that makes it unchangeable, because I should be left to be how I am. So inside of this growth trajectory of where we're not setting towards a disease state of where we currently are but rather to what's possible and the aspirational state in that regard we look to, okay, so if you could just completely wipe clean or be in a state of safety and be able to not have any of that old patterning, who are you then, where do we strive toward? Because if we strive towards the bottom, if we strive toward mediocrity, we're going to hit the bottom of mediocrity even if we don't mean to be doing that.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Particularly if we canonize the limitations, all of a sudden these limitations are real. They're actually not, but if we believe they are real, they become real and then we're basically either handcuffed to them or limited by them. And then everybody around us has to work around those as well. So then that leads to certain toxicities in the relationships. It's just this giant cascade of a mess. It's almost like getting back to the Garden of Eden, it's just dawning on me where there's this perfect innocence of feeling safe and being safe. There's just all that capacity that's there. It really is kind of like a Garden of Eden spot.
Amy Albright: I love what you're saying with Garden of Eden, and I think that's a beautiful analogy. I'll say it's kind of like being reborn again, again and again, and again inside of life. If we want to stay alive, then working on aliveness is a goal. And whatever it is that doesn't fit, that doesn't want to move forward needs to die off. Whether that's neurons that aren't working and need to be paired out by natural selection, whether that's diet and lifestyle that we need to change and drop off those behaviors. But so much of it is just the viewpoint, the old patterns, that mental state that basically impact at a very deep level. It reverberates throughout the entire maybe what we could call more scientific aspects because essentially if you're inside of a pattern of fight or flight or self-hatred, you're much more likely to probably have some autoimmune or something really intense like inflammation. We're basically pointing ourselves at ourselves in a certain way. And creating an ongoing stress level that it doesn't really matter how many supplements we pour in, we're basically still just working against a baseline without moving the baseline. Which is why I love that you're so focused in your work on not just working on the science or the wholism within the body but really mindset and safety and all of these elements come together for you.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, they really do. When you think about, it's kind of we are really the agents of our disease and the agents of our health. And I think a lot of it, I've said for a number of years actually even before I met you that I think a lot of this all comes down to brain programming and reprogramming in terms of how we interpret the world and how the neurons work and that sort of thing. You get these experiences and maybe the audience can relate to this where you have an epiphany, a particular day, a particular context when all of a sudden you were freed up from your traditional constraints, let's call it. And all of a sudden, the world opened up to you and you were making new friends and you were doing things and you had new ideas and all of that. It's possible to live your life like that every single day. I think that's what you're saying, right?
Amy Albright: Exactly. And Drew and I really campaign for a feeling of full aliveness. That's one of the things that we like to drive home again and again is, how do we come into a state of aliveness? How do we come into that feeling of vibrant and the world of possibilities? It can sound idealistic, but it's actually achievable. That's what we've basically been doing. We've had the results to prove it. If there's the skeptic that's in there, it can be addressed. But essentially once the skeptic is overcome, we're just working inside of that cascade of possibility. And that's really like that childlike wonder. We can talk about age in terms of stem cells or all different kinds of biomarkers, but what about childlike wonder and aliveness as a complete nourishment and replenishment for everything?
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Exactly. I think I mentioned to you when I was there that energetically I go back to being three years old where there is no gauntlet that you've run, there is no real imprinting that's occurred. And you're just yourself playing and enjoying discovering, questioning, asking, being love, loving. I think it's really possible to get back to that energetic and live out of that in an even more expanded way through this kind of work that you guys are doing.
Amy Albright: Agreed. And as you say that you're obviously a high performer, it's not like you're a three-year-old running around not accomplishing things or not doing things in the world. You do so many things every day for your patients, for your family, for everything. I think a lot of the healing that happens in this conversation is that it's not either or, it's not be playful or be productive, it's both. And that that's actually where we get the best results because we're fully engaged. What were you going to say Drew.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Go ahead.
Drew Pierson: Going on this aspect of agency, we're working with agents of consciousness and health and things like that, we want to get rid of our secret agents as it were. These things that we're aware of and become very aware of these and so we can direct and modify or choose to acknowledge or overcome or apply/ Because a lot of what we do is so in the subconscious realm that we're not aware of. I just wanted to play up the agent, secret agent type of thing.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, no, I think that's right. Because I think there are things that are acting that we've normalized to the point where we don't really even perceive them as being foreign from us. We've actually normalized them into, no, this is simply how I am, back to your earlier comment Amy. And I think Drew for you those patterns get ingrained in the brain in a way where we've normalized pathology on some level. And it's being able to dissect that out, unravel that nod and actually see it for what it is and then liberate ourselves from it. Put it in its place, either expel it or whatever, right over it, whatever it is. What's interesting to me about this too is it seems like this is an ongoing process. It's like this is a body of work that's actually never complete, which is kind of fun too because you're always having the opportunity to gain new insights, grow, learn, et cetera. So talk a little bit about that in terms of your own life journeys and where you think you are. I don't think either of you think you've arrived, so it's a question of how does this go forward, and how do people continue to take it forward?
Drew Pierson: Well, I think for me this is what's kept me interested in the whole field is the growth and the learning and the ability to move through different states of consciousness and also learn new things all the time that we're tapping into that we've never known before. The last decade or two, we're just learning what shifting attention does on certain cells in the brain and how to control those and what yogis have been doing for a few centuries. We're discovering exactly how it works, and we're going, oh, we can tap into that now. And we don't have to spend 30 or 40 years accessing that and learning that, we can spend a year or two and really learn those techniques and start controlling it. It doesn't necessarily bring the wisdom that 30 or 40 years of yoga and meditation brings you, but it gives you the ability to tap into that much quicker. And also once you learn to control, then the insight comes so quickly after that. With couples too, we see them a lot get into this synchrony of hurting each other basically, of dissonance. And they get really good at that, and they synchronize in that rather than in this heartfelt love. And couples can do this, groups can do this and things like that. We want to decouple the aspect of I'm really good at getting into this hurtful type of interaction energetically so that they're aware that they can decouple that.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So that's fascinating. You're seeing that on the EEG or you're seeing that in certain patterns? You're able to program around that or what are you actually saying? How do you help those people?
Drew Pierson: We see it within the EEG and what we call the HRV, Heart Rate Variability. We see it in the heart mainly, in the coherence. And they become coherent in fighting, they become really good at it. They recognize each other in pain, they recognize each other in unsafety in a way. And it may have nothing to do with what's really going on, it has to do everything with the patterns. So taking away those learned patterns and really guiding them toward a true coherence of energetic love basically. And all of a sudden, whether you're a couple or whether you're groups, whether you're partners business-wise, it really opens things up.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So you take them from synchronized fighting into synchronized diving or synchronized swimming where there's something beautiful as opposed to something destructive. That's really cool. Go ahead.
Amy Albright: I think that speaks to the unlimited nature of what you were pointing to earlier, Jeff, with it's a never ending playground. Because there's always, not only like Drew was saying another scientific understanding that we can then extrapolate how history has gone or how other greats have done what they've done, but we can also just lean into the future of what's possible and create something that seems impossible basically. Why not just focus on miracle status? Why not just focus on the true aspirational goals? We might look out at the world and see it's disharmonious or this relationship is not working or this business is not performing the way we want or the co-founder isn't whatever, all of the different stories. But if we shift it into, okay, well, what's possible and really going into that state and taking a personal accountability. One of the things that I love about all of this is that I'm certainly not arrived. Yes, I help others in meaningful ways. I've been doing this kind of work and guiding people for 20 years. That doesn't mean that there's ever a destination, not for any of us because no matter what ... What we might be learning in the beginning is how not to drive the car into the side rails and make sparks fly out with an emotional crash or dysregulation or a spat with the co-founder or whatever it is. And eventually what we learn is how to hug in closer and closer. So more the way that an airline pilot flies. They're never 100% on track, but if they can be 97% pointing toward destination, then they're on course. And maybe it's 98, 97. As we move forward, what we learn isn't that we have arrived, but that there's always more. But the ride becomes so much more fun all along the way because you're no longer in that neurological and emotional ditch believing your own limitations and having a lot of emotional frustration or stress being a hamster wheel on the game of life. But instead finding this place of fit and flow, possibility, synchronicity and being in command like Drew was referring to earlier basically of one's neurological and emotional state is what that means. And the more that we get into that state of command, then we can really hone from, oh, now we're at 80% tracking. We're not hitting guardrails, but we're not quite in that feeling of the flow state. Oh, wow. 90 feels amazing, oh wait, now I'm back to 80. Okay, now we're going to be at 92. But no matter what, even if you were to be, if in theory, closing that last 3% toward the amount of joy, the amount of just magic of life, possibilities, serendipitous, business events, meaningful connections, all of those kinds of things. That is really the high of life. And to say that it's not possible is to not engage in the game and to say that it's impractical or too hard just means that you haven't been able to experience the richness fully enough yet perhaps because it's really there.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, agreed. And I love that because a lot of people will beat themselves up over the fact that they haven't arrived at a certain place or a certain level or whatever it is. It doesn't matter what the context is, could be spiritual, could be financial, could be relational, could be anything. And yet it's kind of like the joy of driving your sports car is driving the sports car. It's not getting to where the sports car's going to get parked, it's actually driving the sports car. And so this is the opportunity to drive every single day and have the joy of that. And you keep tweaking how you're doing it, how you're steering inputs, whatever it is. And there's just a certain joy in that whole process let alone feeling the wind in your hair and whatever else. I think people shouldn't be discouraged by the fact that this is a process, you should actually embrace it as this is the joy of being able to be in that process.
Amy Albright: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. And what's interesting is that even that self criticism shows up on an EEG. So there's a couple of ways that I've heard Drew speak about as he's interpreting the EEG. And he'll call out that somebody is very self critical or overly self reflex maybe is another way I hear him put it.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, that's very interesting. The other word that you used, and I know this is near and dear to Drew's heart too is the word impossible. I've kind of gotten to a point in my life, and I suspect you guys have too where when I look back on what I've done, if I was looking forward, let's say I go back 10 years and I look forward to where we are today, I would say, where we are today is impossible. It's impossible for us to have this clinic, to be doing these things, it's almost impossible. And yet now here we are doing it and starting the heart hospital. Well, that's impossible. You can't do that. But there it is. And building your own heart group. Well, there it is, we did it. And so I've almost gotten to the point where if I'm not contemplating doing the impossible, I know I'm really shooting way too low. And that's kind of a certain joy. There's a certain joy in actually doing the impossible. So for the audience as you listen to this, when you think about your own limitations, really if you're not looking at doing the impossible, what seems impossible, you're probably not pushing hard enough. And I think doing this kind of training both on the spiritual side and the neurophysical side, if you will, neuroscience side frees you up to actually be able to do what you currently think is impossible. That's really there. That's what I hear you saying.
Amy Albright: Yeah, absolutely.
Drew Pierson: And we definitely don't go toward optimized growth if we're not hitting that edge, you're stuck in mediocrity basically. And even neurologically besides energetically and spiritually. And if you're not projecting forward in this, it's going to affect how you are now.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: When you feel this way too, I will say, you feel your cells come alive. It's like this liveliness that you're referring to. You feel your whole body come alive in this sense of participation, in this possibility, in this creation of doing things that appear to be impossible. I think there's just so much juice to be squeezed from that. I mean, it's just so life giving.
Amy Albright: Yeah, absolutely. And it could be starting up a heart clinic like you did, which is massive and a huge undertaking. For somebody else, it might be doing some public speaking when they're terrified of public speaking. It can be the smallest thing. What appears to be the smallest thing can actually be the thing that works that edge the most deeply. And when people go towards what it is that they are afraid of, they actually are establishing a bigger foundation of safety. So to come back to safety being such a huge part. So safety and aliveness, kind of the three together. So being in command of one's own state like, wow, this thing that I'm afraid of won't actually kill me right now. That's good to know. I'm going to bring in a sense of safety as I'm moving through doing this thing right now or I'm in this environment where I feel a little bit insecure right now, I'm going to breathe in safety. So that's being in command of state. Command of state creates that safety, but it also allows for that experience of aliveness because you're intentionally downregulating the feeling of panic, upregulating that sense of safety. That's that aliveness state right there in a certain way broken down. I would say that another piece that Drew and I very consistently weave in is understanding all of that on a biological level, on an intellectual level, that's very important. But also understanding it from a spiritual level. Like being able to say, there is something inside of me that wants to reach toward this new thing and allowing for that. I think that what we see in terms of resilience and in terms of achievement, it's when people believe in a deeper layer about what reality is or what's possible and they're wanting to reach into maybe the expression of that full blueprint as they're given it. Not what they're familiar with, but what's possible for them. And a lot of the times that's really rooted in a sense of a higher power or a higher meaning or whatever those words are for them.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, exactly. I'm just thinking about the word resilience because resilience is such a key thing in biology too. As biological organisms, our resilience is cut in half every eight years. So when you think about that, that's the exponential decline that occurs with aging. So you're 52, you're 60, you're 68, 76, 84, 92, 100, half, half, half, half, half, half, half, that's an exponential decline. And yet what I'm weaving together here is that if you're in a situation and you get back to psychically feeling a sense of safety, that's almost synonymous with getting back to a point of resilience. And so you can actually build resilience not only by the exercise that you do, the food you eat, the sleep you get, things like that. But also you can build resilience this way by getting back to safety, getting aligned with that and living out in this aliveness, if you're saying. And I think quite honestly that's as powerful or more powerful than what we've said previously, any of the biochemistry you can throw at this. Hugely important I think. Yeah, it's massive.
Drew Pierson: And basically throughout the day, we have this bucket, think of a bucket that has all these golf balls or ping pong balls in it. And as you make decisions, is it safe, is it not safe, what's going on, we're pulling out each of those things. Typically, by 3:00 or 4:00 PM, we've emptied that bucket and we don't have the capacity to make really good decisions. And then later in the evening people start making really bad decisions, whether it's business or whether it's drinking. There's a thousand different things. And if you give yourself the capacity of feeling in that safety and less micro decisions, bigger picture decisions, you can actually keep that bucket full and have that capacity to really do some bigger movement consciously through your life.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: That's fascinating, really fascinating. And I think you were touching on, both of you were touching on some even interesting things. I won't say more interesting, but certainly incredibly interesting stuff where we're talking about states of consciousness and we're starting to talk about spiritual experiences. One of my aspirations that I mentioned to both of you when I first met you there that weekend was that I wanted to become telepathic. And I was expecting you to laugh, but you didn't. And it was like, well, yeah, I think we can do that. And I thought, okay, I'm talking to the right people because right now this feels impossible. This is based on the fact that I've come to realize that language is a very poor form of communication in the sense that we all have a gestalt inside of our beings and we're trying to communicate that by dribbling out these words. And we're expecting the other person to paint the same picture that we're holding in our minds from that dribble of words, so to speak. And so it's really changed the way I communicate with people. When they start talking, the first thing I want to do is get more paint on the canvas. So it's like I start to unpack more and more of what the picture must look like for them. But I do believe that if we could communicate telepathically, we could actually download some serious intimacy communication and collaboration around things like that. Do you guys want to talk a little bit about some of that? I know I'm pushing the edge here a little bit for the audience probably.
Amy Albright: Let's anchor it in ways that maybe everybody can track. So where is the boundary between mirror neurons, understanding subtle cues, body language? We all know that we've in our ape-like ancestors learned to read facial expressions, that we have a massive amount of our brain processing to be able to read facial expressions just as one part of vision. So if we know that that exists, then really what we're saying is where's the edge of what we can perceive in ways that we can't necessarily consciously track? So it's not exactly what the person says, but it's more of what is felt or known, which we already have a lot of the scientific rooting and understanding all of that. And it's been there for decades. We don't have all the scientific rooting. But what we do know is that concurrent to that, we have lots of stories told through time in areas of the world before there was communication with each other of people having telepathy, of people being so in touch with nature that they or with each other as a tribe, as a clan living close to the earth, that they knew how to communicate in ways that weren't necessarily verbal or sign language gestures. So how does that happen? I think that it's actually more believable than not believable, and we just have to lay aside the commonly understood framework for all of what we believe about it right now and to reach into something more. And then what's amazing is that's a part of what I was speaking to earlier. And drew, I'd love for you to chime in. Specifically Drew, and then I can speak with him about it, but Drew can find and nurture these aspects of the brain on a very much scientific hardwiring level so that people can have an increased capacity for nonverbal downloads, maybe, AKA, telepathy. Drew, do you want to-
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Drew, do you want to jump in on that?
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Drew Pierson: Yeah. And even in our training that I'm doing with you, if you allow me to speak to that, we're training a very specific area. On a basic level, we're reading people better, we're interacting with them. We're actually changing our own pendulum understanding, and then people are being seen by us and communicate in a whole different level than they would before because neurologically they're feeling safe with you. And all of a sudden that information is going to come forth rather than being withheld. And they did some early, it was about 14, 15 years ago. They were doing some experiments with future forecasting neurologically. And they were showing these bad pictures coming up on a computer and seeing if we could detect them before they even occurred. And it showed that we could even before the image showed up, we would react to those things. So not only things that are negative, but positive. And we can do some future forecasting in a way. But if we're seeing not only microseconds but further, we're able to detect how we're interacting with people. And we can also guide it. If we're conscious of ourselves, we're guiding that pendulum and helping people feel into this interaction, this field exchange. And we're picking up on information. Do I know where it's coming from? No. We're kind of setting up the radio as it were in our brain, so we're dialing in that station, 105.3, here we go. And all of a sudden the station comes in and we're able to detect the information at that point.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: I will say that I've experienced more of that in the work that we've done together, with the training that we've done since I left California. We've been doing training a couple days a week, roughly one to two days a week, depending on schedules. But it's been pretty interesting to see. We've been training intuition, being able to read people, understand people. Not from the standpoint of manipulating, but being able to connect and actually understand where they, where they need to be met if you will. And that's been really fascinating because I actually see that playing out in my life. I find it really interesting that there's these untapped potentials like that. So maybe telepathy is in the cards somewhere. Maybe with the right person, the right partner, we could get telepathic. So that's-
Amy Albright: A lot of the times best friends or married couples or people that spend a lot of time together they start to have that finishing each other's sentences or knowing exactly where they are or what they're doing. You hear that about twins, for instance. And that's that pendulum that Drew was talking about. So the more that we learn to actually be in a biological neurological rhythm with ourselves and then with others around us, if the environment is conducive to it via safety, connection, those kind of things, then we actually see ... That's where a huge amount of unlimited potential gets unlocked basically.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: I was just going to say this, in a conversation you and I had not long ago, you were talking about this pendulum effect. And I'd like for you to talk about that. But the idea is that you can walk into a room in this centered state where your plum line is straight and you're not living in reaction to something and you feel safe and you're there to give your gifts. And all of a sudden the room will start to resonate with that energy. Whereas if you bring in anxiety, stress, being on tilt, being angry, whatever it is, resentful, whatever you bring in, the room starts to resonate that back to you as well. So do you want to talk about that a little bit Drew?
Drew Pierson: Yeah. It's more about harmonics, field harmonics. Of all the odd things I recognized very early on as a teenager, I was in this German shop that had all these Cuckoo Clocks on the wall at this one shop down in Germany. When I swung the biggest one with the biggest pendulum because that's what you do as a kid, then all of a sudden the other Cuckoo Clocks started swinging in conjunction with the largest one in a way. Isn't that interesting? And it just stuck with me for years. I see that in the brain as this modulation of frequencies happen in the brain, the shifting of attentions of what we call direct current fields and some of the higher states of insight gamma for consciousness. As these couple, we bring our own pendulum into the room. And all of a sudden people around us start resonating with our field. And very high charismatic people will do that, they'll turn on that field. And all of a sudden you're drawn to them and you want to resonate with them and just dance in this way that everything's in tandem and synchronicity. And it's a very biological effect, and we're seeing currently ways to detect this with field harmonics and looking at heart rate variability, the B2B interval between the heartbeats, which as you know, your cardio expertise, the heart is such a big thing in how it communicates with everything around us.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, exactly. You used the term dance, I was just imagining people dancing. Somehow I've gotten the urge to take some dance lessons just because I think it's such a fun thing to do. And I think the idea of getting synchronized with your partner where you're resonating together, you're moving together, that whole thing. It's almost like a visual and physical expression of what we're talking about here in the mind, walking into a room and having people resonate with you. I think people might be able to relate to that. If you've ever danced with anybody, you've felt that synchronicity, if you will. It's such a joy to do that, and people really enjoy doing it. It's super cool to think about what's possible. And we don't really understand how much we impact the environment around us. We're so focused on our internal environment that we don't really pay attention to the resonance that we're sending out into the room. We walk in, we're in a funk. But we don't realize that that funk is spreading out like waves across everybody we come in contact with. So if we really want to optimize our business, our family, our relationships, whatever it is, I think getting into that sense of resonance but understanding that in doing so you're actually having this impact across your whole circle of influence, if you will. That's pretty profound stuff quite honestly,
Amy Albright: It is. That pendulum is swinging whether you know it or not. And you're setting the cadence of energy flow and interaction. You're stepping on your dance partner's toes, whether you notice it or not.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: There you go.
Amy Albright: And your capacity to be in command of your own state of reality, to be in a state of coherence as much as possible, which is something that Drew talks a lot about in the brain. That state of coherence where everything's working in symphony rather than lots of songs all trying to be played in the orchestra pit in different timing and with untuned instruments. When we come into that state of alignment internally and we have that coherence, what happens is that we step into that next state of awareness. And when we talk about consciousness, it's literally, I like to liken it to we're all operating inside of a certain size of container, just a pretend analogy here in our mind. It's like a certain size of container. And all we know inside of that container is maybe a certain amount of discord, a certain amount of stepping on partner's toes, a certain amount of joy, whatever it is. And we can only perceive what is inside of that container. And what happens when we push with all of these growth mindsets and feeling into what's possible and working with our safety to be able to find that next level of awareness is that we then expand out into that next level of container, that next size bigger. And so from that state, we can understand better about the prior state about how we were being limited. But we can also see the vistas that we couldn't see before because now we're on top of that next size of mountain, and we can see something beyond. And that goes to that topic of this never ends because from that mountain top there's another one. And it just keeps on growing and growing. So consciousness, another way to say it is awareness. It doesn't have to be that means anything particularly spiritual if that doesn't resonate for people. But awareness always I believe does resonate for people and the idea of creating coherence and safety and having that aspirational growth mindset of aliveness and really working into that aliveness is in my belief what helps us to stay young forever. It's not career dependent, it's not situationally dependent. It is a state inside of oneself at a perspective dependent. And then that ends up into the cascade of all of our human interactions, our relationship to ourself, and our relationship to our biology and finding genuinely a different energy source. So rather than being fear driven and looking for safety and driven by these invisible forces, we're driven by connection, awareness, and this never ending game of having more and more fun, being more and more expanded, and being more and more fully alive.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, exactly. And the beautiful thing about that is that it's not dependent on external circumstances. It's something that we can claim and control and learn and grow inside of ourselves and then have it spread out to everybody else. And then basically have it radiated back to us. But it's not ultimately dependent on something external to ourselves. I think about, lots of times when things aren't going, quote-unquote, the way you think they should, the only thing you can really take control of in those situations is yourself, either how you're perceiving it or how you're acting or what your reaction is to it or whatever. And so being able to take control of this yourself, wow, that's super empowering. It's down to me. All right, well, that's good, I can play that game, I can do this. So I hope the audience sees that just opens up a really, almost limitless possibility for you. So this has been a fantastic conversation. I just love chatting with you guys. As we come to the end of the conversation, we usually ask our guests if there are three things that you would recommend for people to expand their health, longevity, performance, that sort of thing and make 100 the new 30, what would the three be? And you summarized some things right there at the end, but maybe just in some bullet points maybe from each of you would be really interesting to hear.
Amy Albright: Yeah, sure. I think the first one, and that we've definitely covered is to find your passion and live into it, live into that aliveness feeling in your body and to continue to find new levels of aliveness. And inside of that, it's just a never ending spring.
Drew Pierson: And as far as that passion aspect, it's finding purpose, accentuating your values and what really brings you joy and benefit in life. And then the passion is bloomed out of that. As far as physiologically, breath work is going to be a key in so many things. And we did that obviously at the intensive.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Talk to us about this a little bit about the breath work
Drew Pierson: Well, breath work shifts consciousness. And by doing these different types of breathing, we shift states of consciousness. We shift literal patterns in glial cells and network cells and neurons. And by doing this, we bring ourselves into different states of awareness. And in that awareness brings forth different insight and also brings a lot of physiological control, whether it's fight or flight or anxiety or resilience or tapping into that vagal component of relaxation. Kind of like the Tummo breathing, kind of like the Wim Hof breathing that's very popular right now, controlling this physiology. And the monks did this early on to really bring out the inner fire. And they could sit on that branch and subzero with a wet blanket on them that's frozen and they wouldn't graduate until that thing is melted off of them. And that's the control. It's not because we're doing that all the time, I don't recommend that, but we're actually bringing that to a practical sense of how we can control ourselves.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: What would be a practical breath work for the audience that they could do. I know that Amy you were leading me to some breathing, Drew, you were there too.
Drew Pierson: I enjoy either HRV breathing or box breathing. And also there's the diver's breath too that really taps into the vagal component. Then we have the Qi Gong breathing that we really tap into. So there are layers here.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah. So in the show notes, we'll put those down as references to breathing, try to give you some references where you can look that up and see what that's all about, but that's super cool.
Amy Albright: Yeah, that'd be great. So to those takeaways that people really want to focus on, it is so much about finding and living in that state of passion and fully aliveness and continuing to dive down deep into that. The second one would be to be driven to be in command of your own personal reality. Rather than being reactive, rather than being unaware, strive toward being in a state of command, which is different than controlling. It's really being able to regulate your own emotional state naturally and deeply, being able to be perceptive of what's going on around you. And to continue to grow that because with that then you basically can use every challenge as a growth opportunity to be able to step out into that next size of container and have bigger perspective and more capacity. So it just continues to feed into that loop as we stay in that state of command and empowered and invigorated by that state of aliveness. And then I think that the third takeaway that Drew and I continue to come back to again and again, and we've talked about it here is that science isn't enough to be able to find deep meaning. There is so much meaning in science, and we both actually geek out on it in a huge way. And I know that you do too Jeff. And that's so much of the richness of our conversation is loving to understand science and biology and having that next breakthrough and seeing what the studies are revealing or what we're finding clinically. However, without the deeper meaning making and without understanding that there is, maybe for some, we believe that we're sole on a journey, maybe for some that doesn't resonate. There's got to be something that brings it to life for us so that there's meaning beyond it because we are not actually just human Petri dishes wandering around having a nonsensical reality. And the deeper that we realize that there's actually so much meaning, we can blend and really add, so it's science plus spirituality. It doesn't have to be religious spirituality, but more of a felt sense. A felt sense of meaning, a felt sense of purpose, a connection to nature, a connection to one's own body for the mastery of biology that is going on all the time, connection through time and space to all of humanity, whatever it is that connects people and creates and drives meaning. Because it's really through meaning and understanding maybe what is important or even what is sacred that we get down into a deeper level of safety and a deeper level of meaning. And those two things then can drive and be the true residents for the experience of life in all of its beautiful, passionate expressions and experiences.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I think that's right. What both of you said is really fantastic. I've been thinking too that there is a difference between passion and purpose, that we can be passionate about doing things. But purpose is actually something a little bit beyond that. I mean, purpose is something you would do if you're not getting paid. It's really where you become fully alive and where you're really giving your gifts. I can be passionate about mountain biking, but it's not my purpose. My purpose is more about giving my gifts, if you will, spreading that joy and that ability to other people. So I think as the audience is listening to this, it's good to identify your passions but just realize that they may not equate exactly to your purpose. They may be part of your purpose, but think about it in terms of what your purpose might truly be. And being able to use that as a North star for you helps you modulate this whole thing.
Amy Albright: Yeah, well said,
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So just before we wrap up, I'd like to allow Amy and Drew to talk a little bit about the intensive, the AWAKEN experience, something that I went through for three days with them in California. But just so you the audience have a better concept of what they're talking about and what they do, maybe you guys could just walk us through a little bit what that looks like for people.
Amy Albright: Yeah, sure, I'd be happy to. So the AWAKEN intensive is something that we walk 30 humans through each year at most. This is a very, very high touch experience. There are three people that we spend basically four days with. The first evening what we do is getting a very comprehensive understanding of what's going on. Drew will do an EEG to understand them neurologically, and then I will also do my assessment and really feel into and find and discover along with the questionnaires that the client has filled out in advance. We put all of that information together and create a very comprehensive treatment plan. And then basically we run through, over the course of the next three days, very long days of a combination of breath work, neuro feedback, different states of neurofeedback that Drew leads them through. And then also just the teachings and the awareness and the capacity to knit and integrate that all together and to process what it is that comes up for them. Because a lot of the times they will be having insights or memories or just whatever a has. And I can basically help them to knit that all together. So it's that beautiful weaving for three days of different states of neurofeedback where the brain is literally getting feedback about how it's doing. And Drew sets the stage for the brain to get the kind of feedback that we set out in the goals, if that makes sense. So if Drew-
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: It's pretty individualized is my understanding, right?
Amy Albright: It's extremely individualized. For instance, if Drew sees that a certain area of the brain is overactive, another area is underactive and then there's maybe poor connectivity or hyper connectivity, he will go in and program so that the feedback to the person exactly corrects every single one of those points all at the same time. And the feedback that they receive is either auditory or auditory and visual. So it's very discreet, it's very easy to track. And people know if they're on the right path with what their brain is doing or not. But what's amazing about it is that it's all really led by the brain, there's nothing that they can consciously do to control. And I think that was one of the things that you learned.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: I tried to control it. Yeah, exactly. But I couldn't control it, so I had to just kind of allow my brain to figure it out.
Amy Albright: It's such a learning process for when we think we can just apply ourselves with rigor and willpower only to make something happen. And what we really learn with neurofeedback is that the brain knows how to modify itself and that it reroutes the way that it's performing and behaving so that we can find how to function without the underlying, let's say it's anxiety or with a greater level of insight or sense of connection with humans. And all of that's happening on what is essentially a subconscious level but it's being fed back via those auditor and visual cues so that the person knows that they're on that right track.
Drew Pierson: And this is learning, this is not just entraining the brain. The brain is learning these states and learning how to organize itself. And once it learns these states, it's kind of learning to ride a bike. You know how to ride a bike after that, you don't have to relearn that every day.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: That is kind of the cool thing. You can feel that you can access back into certain states or whatever. It is like riding a bike, you get back on it, you may wobble for the first couple of pedals, but then all of a sudden it straightens out and there you go. So very cool. Well, I appreciate you outlining that for the audience, and that gives you a better sense or at least some sense of kind of how they go about the work that they do. Well, guys, thank you so much. It's really great to see you. And we'll connect again for sure.
Drew Pierson: Great to see you, it's been a blessing. Thank you.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: All right. That's it for this addition of The Gladden Longevity Podcast. I hope you enjoyed that conversation. And we'll put some pieces in the show notes about how you can find out more about Amy and Drew and the work that they do and some of the breathing techniques that they mentioned, et cetera. So thanks so much for listening, and we'll see you in the next edition of The Gladden Longevity Podcast.
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