Steve Reiter: Welcome to the Gladden Longevity Podcast with Dr. Jeffrey Gladden, MD, FACC, founder and CEO of Gladden Longevity. On this show, we want to help you optimize your longevity, health, and human performance with impactful and actionable information by answering three questions. How good can we be? How do we make 100 the new 30? And how do we live well beyond one 20? Dr. Gladden, we just wrapped up an awesome interview with Shannon Malish from Brain Frequency. Brainfrequency.ai is their website, and this is a treatment that you at Gladden Longevity are into integrating in where it's basically using magnetic frequencies to help balance the brain. And this was a great conversation.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: This is super exciting. Shannon Malish, I met her a little while ago at a conference, and she's basically a licensed social worker, but has had a long history of working in addiction and recovery clinic. She's run large facilities, been director of operations, executive director, director of counseling services, adult program director at a number of different locations. And she's recently actually taken over a location called the Windmill Wellness Ranch, which is kind of a live-in center for people that are suffering with severe mental illness as well as addiction.
Steve Reiter: Substance abuse.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Substance abuse. Right? And so, she's actually developed a tool called Brain Frequency, which involves a diagnostic EEG, as well as a therapeutic modality that seems to be making remarkable progress in the worst of the worst, and also remarkable progress in people that are struggling with more common things like anxiety, depression, PTSD, ADD, ADHD, concussions, and things like that. I think you're going to love hearing about this because all of a sudden we're moving the mental health space away from subjective to objective measurement and treatment and remeasure and progress, and it's correlating with the subjective results as well. It's just super exciting stuff. We're really happy to be performing these procedures now at Gladden Longevity. I think you're going to love this show.
Steve Reiter: Shannon Malish from brainfrequency.ai. Brain Frequency. Thanks for being on the Gladden Longevity Podcast. Welcome.
Shannon Malish: Thank you. Glad to be here.
Steve Reiter: Dr. Gladden, this is something that I am super excited, because Jewels Duncan, who is working on this with you in terms of marketing, she's been telling me about Shannon and Brain Frequency, and I'm just jazzed. You guys are implementing this into what you're doing.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Absolutely. No, we've started doing it. I met Shannon at a Da Vinci 50 conference, I don't know when that was, now, six, nine months ago, something like that, and heard her give a presentation there about this technology that was being used to really rehabilitate people's brains. Everything from MMA fighters to people struggling with alcoholism and addiction and PTSD and things like that. And all of a sudden it was like: “This is amazing. This is almost too good to be true.” But then the more we started to probe into it, it looks like, Shannon, you've really discovered something here. Why don't you give us a little bit of the history of how you got into this? What brought you to this point where you figured all this out?
Shannon Malish: Sure. I had been running substance abuse centers for many, many years, and I ran it for one of the biggest companies and then some smaller privately owned companies. There was a key element in all of this, and it was mental health. Substance abuse is just a symptom of a mental health issue. I began really looking at mental health and trauma resolution work. And so, a lot of times you could trace back that depression or that anxiety back to some traumatic event or traumatic upbringing. I began using eye movement desensitization, reprocessing a form of therapy, which induces neuromodulation. So, essentially, when I'm doing this EMDR work, their eye movements are going back and forth from the amygdala to the hippocampus. I saw we could resolve a lot of post-traumatic stress disorder with that type of therapy.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Maybe the audience has heard of EMDR. It is a legitimate therapy that's used by a lot of different practitioners to work on anxiety, stress, depression, PTSD, things like that, is my understanding.
Shannon Malish: It's one of the gold standards now for trauma resolution therapy.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Exactly.
Shannon Malish: I was working with a lot of veterans at the time, combat veterans. When I saw that we could actually find a resolution or be able to lessen that traumatic response in a very short period of time, I knew the brain had everything to do with it. I then began my path of neuroscience and really had to dig into getting educated. I learned about TMS and I was trained by the best that there is.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: TMS, just for the audience, to say: TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation), I think is what you're referring to.
Shannon Malish: Yes, sir. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is different than what we do at Brain Frequency, but that was my first route after EMDR to learn about the brain. I had a facilitator fly in and actually teach me from the research facility in Munich, which is one of the largest research facilities in TMS neuro care, and they taught me all about TMS.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Let's describe TMS a little bit more for the audience, so they understand it. Transcranial magnetic simulation is a little bit abstract, I'm sure. Can you walk us through what that is, how it's done?
Shannon Malish: Sure. There's a lot of research out there, but at the end of the day, all those research papers go back to really one thing. Psychiatrists believed and know that a lot of depression resides in the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex. Okay? I agree. There is a lot of depression that resides in that area. However, there is depression that can reside in other areas of the brain. The thought behind transcranial magnetic stimulation is, let me take a magnetic coil and hover it over your motor cortex and turn the amplitude up on the machine, the magnetic machine, until I can get your left thumb or fingers to move. And so, then we know what that amplitude is, and then we're going to times that amplitude by 120 times, and that's called a motor threshold when you can get an action potential.
And we're going to then use that number, 120 times, which is usually a very high amplitude, and we are going to put that magnet in one area of the brain and turn it up that amount and really hammer that brain so that the neurons change.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Now, let's just talk about hammering the brain, because for the audience's sake, the neurons are basically firing with electrical energy. It's mechanical electrical energy, sodium and potassium are going across membranes, electrical discharges are happening. So, really, what we're talking about here is using an external magnet, if you will, that can stimulate electrical activity in the neurons. And what she's talking about is getting the right frequency to be able to make that neuron fire. And when it fires your finger contracts or your thumb contracts, and then we're talking about turning the amplitude way up. And what would be the effect of turning the amplitude way up? What are we trying to accomplish by turning it way up?
Shannon Malish: So, the thought was, if you look at the research, well, certainly if we turn it up, that's really the premise, then we certainly will get an action potential. That's truly the scientific thought behind it.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: And is the problem with depression that we don't have an action potential or action potentials are less than what they should be? Is there a sense of that, or what are we compensating for by doing that with a neuron?
Shannon Malish: The thought is if that those neurons can, well, and they start moving, that the depression will then begin to lessen. Okay? That's the goal of TMS.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Okay, so you're really teaching the neurons to fire in a more normal fashion, is really what I'm hearing. You're using external magnetic energy to get the neurons to fire in a more normal way, which is then a way to effectively treat depression. Because TMS has been used, as you say, a lot of research and a lot of papers on it, and there are centers all over that are doing TMS. Okay. So, that's where you started.
Shannon Malish: That's where I started. I began doing TMS and a lot of people experience pain.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: This is the hammering effect you're talking about, right?
Shannon Malish: Yes. It's not a pleasant experience. Not only that, but when I was reading the research, for many this is ongoing, they have to continue to keep coming back to receive the treatment. They essentially don't get off their antidepressants either in doing this treatment. The research to me is there's such mixed research. You've got people on antidepressants, people not on antidepressants, they can stay on their antidepressants, and then they're going to measure depression score. So, they'll use a valid assessment tool such as the Hamilton D or the like, and after 20 treatments has their depression lowered by 60%.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: And so, these, just for the audience's sake, this Hamilton and these like, these are essentially questionnaires that people are answering about how they feel, what their level of depression is, what their anxiety is like, things like that. It's basically just self-reported symptoms, if you will, is what we're talking about. And you're looking for a 60% reduction on one of those surveys, we'll call it, to see that you've had a therapeutic benefit. And with TMS, do people go in and they have it done one time, or is it a series of treatments or what's happening?
Shannon Malish: It's a series of treatments. It can be anywhere 20, 30 treatments on average. And then oftentimes, I've talked to many people and those symptoms come back and then they go back to TMS. And so, when I looked at the brain, I'm not looking at it and studying it. I was late to the game here. I was looking at it from a very different point of view, from the point of view as a therapist. Then when I got to study, well, how does the brain actually work? It was really interesting that here we take something in through our eyes to our cerebral cortex here in the back, and then all that information is then disseminated forward. I thought to myself, if that is the way our brain runs, and I can effectively neuromodulate right to left with EMDR.
What happens if we balance the entire brain? Wouldn't that be a better solution than just centering on one area with TMS at a very high amplitude that is an arbitrary number, 120 times motor threshold, hoping you get an action potential that's going to be durable or last. That's how this morphed into something completely different.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: You really rethought the question, if you will, instead of asking the question of is there an area in the brain that we could modulate? You were asking the question, is there a way for us to modulate the entire brain, change everything in the way that sensory information is taken, in the way that it's processed, et cetera, et cetera? That's a very ambitious question. I can almost understand why the researchers would shy away from a question that big and just go after a focal area. Well, let's see what happens if we do something here. That's very ambitious on your part. Walk us through how you made that work.
Shannon Malish: I had to think to myself, when I'm getting somebody ready for therapy, I want them relaxed but awake. They need to be able to emotionally regulate. If they can't do that, normally people with depression or anxiety or PTSD are awake, but they can't relax. My question then was, can I have somebody help me build an EEG that I can see when they're awake but relaxed? What areas of their brain are firing and which ones are over firing, under firing, or not firing at all? I was able to work with an EEG lab that could create me this EEG that nobody had so that I could see, essentially, what was going on in somebody's brain.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: There are lots of EEG companies out there. There are lots of EEGs being done all the time, quite honestly, and they can be very helpful. They're looking at the different wave forms inside the brain, right? Because these waves are in different frequencies. It's almost like your brain is working an entire rhythm section. You've got low frequency, middle frequency, high frequency. It's a little bit of a symphony actually going on inside the brain there of these different frequencies that are being played, so to speak. It's possible with an EEG to map those and actually look for the ones that are overactive or underactive. But you're going about this in a different way. Tell us how your EEG is different from that.
Shannon Malish: I am measuring the patient over a four-minute period of time. I'm asking them to be relaxed, awake, and to just recount A-B-Cs, so that we can see how that brain is firing in the different [inaudible 00:14:30].
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Their eyes are open or closed?
Shannon Malish: They're closed.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Closed. Okay.
Shannon Malish: If they open them, you can tell on the EEG that they opened their eyes. We ask them to have their eyes closed, and then we are looking at their response. We're also, the other thing that I wanted to know is, so when their brain is firing, how is it firing? What is their frequency? What is their basic chemical electrical signature of where their brain operates well? And let's see where it doesn't operate well.
Steve Reiter: How do you tell where it's operating well versus not?
Shannon Malish: It's very clear on an EEG, you can see it clear as day. So, for example, when I started to do these EEGs, I grabbed a lot of people that had a substance abuse problem that were called “chronic relapsers”, right? They just couldn't stay sober no matter what. And this has nothing to do with intellect. Usually their IQs are actually higher than the rest of the population. And what you notice on the EEG is that they didn't have proper wave format where judgment and impulse control reside. If you don't have judgment or impulse control, you're going to keep doing the same thing over and over and over.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Were you seeing that they were underactive there or overactive there?
Shannon Malish: Underactive.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Underactive. Okay. That makes sense. Okay.
Shannon Malish: So, then I began seeing other trends. So, where the emotional memory is and where their emotional state are, if those two areas were underactive, and at the same time I'm giving valid assessment tools. For example, if somebody says-
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Questionnaires.
Shannon Malish: Yes, questionnaires. If they say: “I have PTSD”, “I have tinnitus”, “I have anxiety”, “I have a sleep problem”, they're answering those questionnaires. Okay? At the same time if they are in touch, you could see the pattern in the EEG. So, for example, if somebody had very high anxiety, you would see those neurons really dialed up outside of the alpha state.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: And just so people know, an alpha state is almost like a meditative state. It's where you're in equilibrium, so to speak, when you're in alpha state, when the alpha waves are dominant, if you will. Okay, go ahead. Sorry to interrupt.
Shannon Malish: Then we are able to see all the other patterns. I'm looking at someone's eyesight, you can see whether or not they have horrible night vision. This gave us such a good map to the person. Now, I can tell you this though, oftentimes we'll get what I call a “bad read”. And a bad read can occur sometimes. Remember this is a four-minute snapshot. If someone did not sleep well the night before, we might not get a good read. If someone took Benadryl, which sedates, honestly, the entire mind, we might not get a good read. If someone is using a lot of cannabis or alcohol, we might not get a good read. But we get a good read nine out of 10 times, and then we coach that person if those other things are going on, can they abstain so that we can get another EEG?
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: I'll just interrupt you. For the audience’s sake, if you're thinking about having this done, you want to basically come in well rested, not drink alcohol the night before, leave your hash pipe someplace else I suppose for a week or month, and then come in a relaxed state, right? Comfortable clothing, all that sort of thing. It's a four-minute deal. It's not uncomfortable. I've had it done. We're doing them. In fact, I've done the therapy as well, but none of it is uncomfortable. Just so you realize, if you're going to have this done, you want to come in a neutral state.
Shannon Malish: And if you can't and you've got some generalized anxiety disorder and neutral is not anything you can do, we know we'll see it in the EEG. And Dr. Gladden, I just wanted to comment that you have a beautiful EEG head.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Well, thank you. I've been cultivating that for a long time, and it's nice to finally get the recognition I deserve. There's a contest for that out there somewhere I'm going to enter into it, see if I can take home a trophy.
Shannon Malish: It is. It's a very easy process getting the EEG. A lot of people can be scared, okay? They're like: “Oh my gosh, I don't know if I want to see my brain.” They may have had a really good time when they were teenagers, and they're a little bit nervous. Your brain is your brain. The good news is, back in the day, they used to do a brain map, give it to you, show you some arbitrary, like your brain with a bunch of holes in it and say, this is a mess. The good news is we can see the patterns and we can do something about it.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Really, what you're saying is with your EEG, you're actually, because in other EEGs that I've seen, it's always a rather non-descript report. It could be this or it could be that, or it could be this, or it could be that, or this is associated with this, but it's also associated with that. And really, even as a clinician, let alone the client or patient, you're left wondering, well, which parts apply to me? But one of the things that's really interesting about your EEG is that you really come out with a fairly, really quite definitive report of “here's the problem”, and not only that, “here's what we're going to do about it”. That's quite fascinating. You did a lot of legwork to actually develop that technology, I would think.
Shannon Malish: Yeah, it wasn't easy. And how are we going to capture it? And now how do we apply it? And so, it makes sense to go ahead and infuse your natural chemical signature into the areas that are not working well. And so, what happens with that is that it becomes durable, meaning that your brain recognizes it because it knows that exact magnetic frequency. And so, it will grab onto it and it holds.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So, now that you've done your EEG, now you're talking about using some form of therapy, which is related to transcranial magnetic stimulation in some fashion. Do you want to just tell us what your therapy is so the audience understands what it is, and then maybe we can contrast at the TMS, and then also people will start to understand how it works. Tell us a little bit about that.
Shannon Malish: The EEG tells us how your brain functions well. And so, we use that actual number of how your brain operates in the treatment plan to deliver magnetic stimulation, which is different than TMS, because TMS doesn't do an EEG. It's based upon 120 motor threshold. We are actually looking at, what is going on with you? Where does your brain operate well? Where does it not operate as well? We're going to take the number of where it operates well, and then we're going to use the magnet and set the magnet in areas of where your brain doesn't operate well, not just in one area, like TMS only puts it in one area. Your brain functions, remember back to front. That's the way we're treating you. We're going to treat you from back to front, and your neurons start to pick up that pattern because it recognizes it.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Right. You were talking about with TMS, it's quote unquote, hammering your brain, but this is different. Brain frequency is quite different from hammering. Tell us a little bit about that. It's quite gentle I think.
Shannon Malish: It's gentle. Most people cannot feel it. Some people can. Some people say they might feel a little bit of tingling.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: I can feel it with my-
Shannon Malish: You can?
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: ... with my perfect EEG head. I can feel it. But it's nothing traumatic. You just feel a little, I don't know what it is, a little current almost kind of thing, or a little stimulus, a little buzz or something, but it's nothing, there's no pain involved with it for sure.
Shannon Malish: It's a huge drastic change from TMS. TMS is a painful, almost traumatic event in itself. And with us, people always say: “Well, what is the side effects of this?” That's the biggest concern always.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Sure.
Shannon Malish: One of the things we've noticed with some people is that they can get a slight headache after treatment. And it's not all, it's a small group of people. We're pulling glucose from your body, and that is what runs your brain. And so, if people don't have enough glucose in their body, that can sometimes deliver a headache for some of us.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Just so people understand really the way I think about this, and I've had probably 20 treatments done at this point in time, and we can talk about the treatment course and how it's done. But it is like a workout for your brain when you're putting this energy in, you're basically stimulating the neurons to fire. And so, it's like concentrating for a test. You're not concentrating, you're relaxed, but your neurons are working in concert with this energy impulse, if you will. You can end up feeling tired afterwards, or I can see why you might have a little bit of a dull headache, that kind of thing, just so the audience understands that. Walk us through, what's a session? How long is a session and how many points in the brain are you working on and things like that? What's that look like?
Shannon Malish: Well, it's dependent upon what they need. It could be four areas of the brain, it could be three areas, and some it can be five. It is really dependent upon what that person needs. The sessions can last, because there are different areas, they can last anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes, depending upon how many areas we're going to treat.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: And you're seated in a chair while this is happening, you're seated or reclined in a chair, and the equipment is placed on top of your head by a trained individual. And then you just sit there really for 20 or 30 minutes while it's happening.
Shannon Malish: It's very relaxing. That's what I hear from most people. We've been doing this for five years. They like the 20, 30 minute break that they get out of their day.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: One of the questions that people ask is: “Is this going to change my personality? I like myself. I don't really want to give up my personality. Is this going to make me dull? Or am I going to lose my sense of humor? Am I not going to be myself?” Can you speak to that a little bit?
Shannon Malish: This does not change your personality. This is just making your brain function better. It's a very good question, and it's one that I really need to make sure that people here, we're not changing who you are. Who you are remains the same. It's the way your brain functions is what we're neuromodulating. And we are trying to get you in the most optimal state. So, someone who is very high energy like me, might say, well, I don't want to lose that hyper activity that I have. You're going to lose that, and you'll actually just be more effective in the tasks you go after.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: I think this is a great point. It's not going to change your personality, it's just going to actually make your personality almost better in a way, because the real you is going to come out. It's not going to be clouded by these other issues that have been going on. Tell us a little bit about some of the kinds of people that you've been treating, maybe even a couple of stories about some people so people can relate to, am I one of these people where this might be helpful?
Shannon Malish: I treat very severe mental health issues here. I didn't think much about the other side of this because my goal was to really put a dent in this mental health crisis that we have. Someone may come in that has major depressive disorder, that is very serious depression. And so, just getting them to treatment sometimes is hard because they don't want to leave, they don't want to get dressed, they haven't showered, all of those things. When we give what's called the CESD scale for depression, they're oftentimes in a very high diagnostic range. And when we treat them and get them to the other side, on average 40 treatments for more severe items, it takes about 40 treatments. They're no longer diagnosable. And that is the amazing part.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: And as you go through this, so you're doing a baseline EEG and then you're prescribing 10 treatments, and typically those treatments are done one per day. I can tell you that I tried doing two per day to speed up the process. Well, you know me, I'm going to try to speed it up. I'm like you, Shannon, it's like, let's get through this. But I will tell you that after doing that for a week, I was like: “No, no, no, I've had enough. It's like exercise. You need recovery time. It's not when you're lifting the weight that you're getting stronger, you're getting stronger while you're recovering. And so, if you're going to do this, just understand that you need that recovery time. You need that day in between. You can do two in a day, maybe occasionally or whatever, but I think you're going to want to stick with one a day for the most part.
Shannon Malish: Everybody's different when it comes to that. Personally, it wipes me out, because you're exercising your brain. It's trying to move back towards center, and sometimes it's like a rut in a muddy road. On the next day, we're trying to pull you back over and it needs that rest time to keep moving forward.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: One thing I did find, and I've mentioned this to you previously, is that when I would do my sessions, I found that if I drank molecular hydrogen afterwards, that it would reboot my brain. And that was really, really helpful for me, because I had to carry on the rest of my day. I was busy, so I couldn't go through the whole day being fatigued. And if I drank the hydrogen within about 10 minutes I felt like: “Okay, I feel back.” Which totally makes sense because hydrogen works after a physical exercise or mental exercise to balance the redox system and reboot things. So, anyway.
Shannon Malish: And that is why we want to work with people like you. You can help us be better at what we do instead of now we give them a can of very sugary juice, but if there's a better way to do this, then let's do it.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: I think to your point, people do need to have some glucose. The brain loves to run on glucose for most people. There are people that are out there running on ketones, but most people are going to burn through some glucose as they're doing these treatments. So, that's a piece of it. But I found the hydrogen to be better than the juice, let's say.
Shannon Malish: We can't wait to try it. The one thing I do, when you go to see a therapist or a psychiatrist, it is all very subjective. It's based on their self-report and it's hard to get to the nitty gritty, especially if you're not mentally well. What this EEG can provide us is maybe the gaps in the story of what's really going on. And so, then this way they can have the proper therapy delivered, because we can see major things in there like bipolar disorder, and you can see generalized anxiety disorder. I can see PTSD. I can see whether or not you got tinnitus.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: See the beauty of this, if you're someone thinking about doing this procedure, I think the beauty of this is all of a sudden doing this baseline EEG and it's actually done after every 10 treatments. The EEG is repeated to update the therapeutic input, if you will. But the beauty of this for you is that all of a sudden you have an objective diagnosis of what's going on with your brain instead of just a subjective one. “Well, I think it sounds like this, or I think it sounds like that.” All of a sudden you've got objective data and you have objectifiable treatment, and then you can measure it to see the improvement. We're now getting beyond just the self-reported symptoms into what's the objective measurements that we're seeing here and watching them change over time. That's super exciting to bring that to bear in the mental health space. Nobody else has that, quite honestly.
Shannon Malish: No, they don't. And as a clinician, I'm a diagnostic clinician, it takes a long time to watch someone's behavior, get the story from the family, what meds have they been on? Okay, what events happened here? I don't like to label anybody. That is not why we use the DSM.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: DSM, let's just define that for the audience here. It's a diagnostic manual for mental health. Quite honestly, it's really great.
Shannon Malish: The only reason I have to use it is so then this way we know what therapy to use. And if you get down the road, because I'm going to tell you, ADHD and depression can look very similar. People don't realize that. You get down the road and you've done therapy with this person for a month and you're like: “Oh my gosh, now I've got the rest of the information from the spouse and we've got to change gears.”
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: And you're able to cut past all of that ambiguity, really do the baseline EEG, see what the issues are, do 10 sessions, reassess, do another 10, see where you are. Are we done or we're not done? I think this is the protocol that you're using, that we're using now. I'm just pushing it off to you for this conversation.
Shannon Malish: Yeah, exactly. And the great news about this is that the patient has a report of their progress. So, after those 10 sessions, they can see where in their brain did they build, and they've answered their own questions below, and so they can see their numbers. We want them to decline, they start to decline, and the things that they notice are getting better are matching in the brain map up above.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Interesting.
Shannon Malish: We get to see something.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: You're seeing improvement in both the subjective and the objective measurements and they're actually syncing up. That's what you're saying. Which is always super reassuring for anybody if you have subjective information, which how you're feeling, that's important. But if you're seeing it married up to the objective improvement, that's incredibly reassuring for anybody. I think it's one of the things that I was so impressed when I first heard about this, and we've been super impressed in doing it at Gladden Longevity as well. That's super fun. Tell us a little bit about some of the people that you've treated. Give us some examples of some things.
Shannon Malish: Well, I've treated a lot of people with substance use disorder, a lot of them.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Okay. We know the big problem with substance abuse disorder, whether it's alcohol, cocaine, I don't know, methamphetamine, whatever it might be, that the recidivism or the recurrence rate after treatment is like 95 plus percent at the end of the year. It's almost everybody gets better, but then everybody starts using again. What have you seen in your population?
Shannon Malish: I also run an inpatient substance abuse and mental health center and our outcomes are 93%.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So, 93% are abstaining at one year? Is that what you're saying?
Shannon Malish: One year, yes. And so, our measurements here are not done by us. They're done by a third party called Track Nine, and that's a scientific firm. You can't judge your own data here.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: You can't judge your own efficacy. Somebody else has to tell you about it.
Shannon Malish: No. And they're measuring other things besides that. We have the highest outcomes in the nation.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: I can believe it.
Shannon Malish: It's because we've paired it with Brain Frequency. We get to change the brain so that people have a chance. A lot of these people have been to treatment a thousand times, and if at seven where reading comprehension is turned off, which it often is for people, they can't even read and get through the therapy to do a homework assignment. So, again, it goes back to a mental health issue, the substances. So, then the major issues we're working on are depression, anxiety, and PTSD. If we can retain balance there, and please, please don't misunderstand me. I believe with PTSD, I know the symptomology comes down with it, but I also believe that you should be working with a therapist on that in conjunction with Brain Frequency to desensitize any event.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Got it. Do you think that's true across all the mental health disorders, or particularly for PTSD or bipolar or severe depression?
Shannon Malish: With PTSD.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: PTSD?
Shannon Malish: Yep.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Okay. So, with PTSD, it's very important to both have a therapist and be doing the Brain Frequency. Okay, got it. Other things it sounds like you can treat just with Brain Frequency.
Shannon Malish: You can.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Nice. And then what about the substance abuse people, do those people require other therapies as well or what have you seen there?
Shannon Malish: The people that are on site at Windmill, they are doing other therapies. But, really, the other piece of that therapy is we're a trauma resolution center focused on mental health. So, a lot of times it is the PTSD work that the therapists are doing here in conjunction with Brain Frequency. That's how we get our 93% rate.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Got it. Okay. That makes sense. So, really to get that rate, it requires at least those two pieces. And you probably have some other pieces in play as well.
Shannon Malish: Coping skills, listen, if somebody's been out there using for a long period of time, they may not have daily coping skills. Those are things that we also help them with. But if this is somebody that doesn't have a substance abuse problem, or I have treated many people that are at that tipping point of drinking too much, but don't quite hit the dependence level where we just treated them with Brain Frequency because they are self-medicating, they can't sleep or they have anxiety. We get their circadian rhythm back on, we bring that anxiety down, which then reduces the alcohol intake. You see?
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Got it. I do. Yeah. No, that's perfect. Because there are a lot of people out there that aren't, quote unquote, alcoholics, but do drink beyond what they're even comfortable drinking. And so, that's really interesting you're able to do that. We're talking about some really sick people here. Let's talk about some people that have a concussion or some form of traumatic brain injury or something like that. Are you able to work with those people too?
Shannon Malish: Absolutely. I was talking to our scientific team about clinical trials for concussion. We have to set that up in a way because depending upon where you've been hit, we've got to set the trial up on frontal, different ways to look at this. But in many of the EEGs we are able to see if the brain was knocked off, and you can see a ban there, not on all, but on some. And what we're able to do is wake those neurons up and ask them to please move back to where they used to be. And what ends up happening is those concussive symptoms start to go away. Let's say somebody was hit in the front, that would've damaged their executive functioning. They say they lose their car keys all the time, they feel foggy headed, they can't remember their girlfriend's name, something like that. So, then we start to retrain that area and then they don't feel foggy headed anymore. Their keys are always on the hook and they know their girlfriend's name.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: They don't say the other girlfriend's name too.
Shannon Malish: That's right. That's right. That'd be a problem. I've treated some very well-known NFL players and one of them that it very much looked like bipolar disorder, his symptomology, but that's because he was hit so hard that those neurons split into two. And so, when pulling them back together, you can get a little bit irritable. But once they're back together, people say they feel normal, whatever normal is, I can't quantify normal, but they feel so much better.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: It's interesting. How many sessions does it take for treating somebody with a concussion and how soon after concussion can you start therapy?
Shannon Malish: If somebody got a concussion yesterday, I'd want to go ahead and see them right away. The sooner the concussion, the quicker we get to it, the better. Okay? Now, I worked on these NFL players that were with the Raiders in the 70s. It took me a long time to move some of these very old concussion bands over. I think we're at 60 treatments with one of them. But those are very old concussion bands.
Steve Reiter: And also, I would probably guess, Shannon, that it's repeated concussions because football in the 70s, “the head slap”, I believe was still legal. And so, a lot of these guys were dealing with consecutive, it wasn't a one-time event, it was multiple and multiple and multiple stacked on were before their brain really had a chance to heal.
Shannon Malish: And you can see in some the multiples.
Steve Reiter: Wow.
Shannon Malish: We treated Chuck Liddell, a UFC fighter.
Steve Reiter: He was someone that I saw on your website.
Shannon Malish: And he did a lot to his head.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: He had a lot done to his head.
Shannon Malish: He did. And he used his head.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Right. There you go.
Shannon Malish: He is now living a very happy, productive-
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: You know what was interesting is when I saw the Chuck Liddell interviews, he was so beat up that he could hardly navigate getting in and out of the room.
Shannon Malish: I know.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: It's like he could hardly carry on a conversation. And then I heard that after treatment he's starting businesses and reengaged with his family, and he's able to live a normal life again. These are heroic stories.
Shannon Malish: You got to think about all these men and women that are athletes, that defines who they are. When you ask someone “what defines you?”, they'll usually say, “I'm an athlete” first. Then when their brain- They're usually alphas too. And so, when their brain gets harmed, they don't want to leave the house, they don't want to enter public. So, now we've added a lot of depression there, and unfortunately there's been a lot of suicides as a result of that because they don't think that there's any hope. The good news is we have hope now. We've got hope.