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 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.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Welcome, everybody, to the Age Hackers Podcast, powered by Gladden Longevity. I'm Jeff Gladden, and we just finished an interview with Travis Steffens. This is really one of the more, if not the most, fascinating conversation I've had. I think you're going to be really, really inspired by this; Travis' story, how he grew up, how he started his first business, and how he moved into the health space.
And not moved into the health space in the way that you traditionally think about it, but moved into it basically from a spiritual direction and breathwork per se. And how he has transformed slums in America and given homeless people a new lease on life. I mean, this is one of the more inspiring stories I think you'll hear in your lifetime, potentially. So, I hope you enjoy this podcast as much as I did recording it.
Welcome, everybody, to this edition of the Gladden Longevity Podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Jeffrey Gladden. And I'm here today with one of the more interesting people I think we've ever interviewed. Well, I guess that remains to be seen, but we'll see.
His name is Travis Steffens, and he has quite a remarkable story that has led him into breathwork as a major healing force in his life and in the life of others. And I wanted to share his story with you, and share what he's doing, and give you access to the app that he's created to help with breathwork. So, with that, Travis, welcome to the Gladden Longevity Podcast.
Travis Steffens: Thank you, Jeff. It's an honor to be here. It's my pleasure.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, good to see you again. So, Travis and I met in a couple of different conferences. We've never really had an in-depth conversation, but we've said hello to each other numerous times. And Travis, I was just looking at some of your stuff here.
So, you were born on a cattle ranch, a large cattle ranch in a tiny town in Colorado, and you were homeschooled and worked on the ranch for the first 18 years of your life. So, tell us a little bit about that. That's not everybody's upbringing. What was that like for you?
Travis Steffens: Well, at the time, it seemed like slave labor. But now it seems like a fairytale. Everybody knows the series Yellowstone. I was literally raised like that when I watched that, which is actually a fairly good portrayal of being a cowboy.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Okay.
Travis Steffens: It's exactly like we were raised, without all the gun fights, of course. But we had 1,200 heads of cattle and 2,200 head of sheep. And you got up [inaudible 00:03:12], and you went out and did chores, and we homeschooled for half the day, and then we worked half the day. And it was just life. It's how it went.
I have an incredible mother and an incredible father. I don't have a lot of the traumatic childhood challenges that a lot of individuals were raised with. I have to give a tremendous amount of gratitude to my family for the environment that I was allowed to be raised in.
And being on the ranch connected me to the planet, which I called Gaia. Connected me to being outside, connected me to animals, connected me to the universe in general, without all the stresses that a lot of kids had to have.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah. That's quite beautiful. On some level, it's kind of almost an idyllic upbringing. I mean, you have family, you have land, you have cattle, you have work. You have almost an idyllic mix there. I'm sure with the slave labor thrown in there, maybe it wasn't quite so idyllic at times. Maybe you felt a little bit like a galley slave. I don't know.
Travis Steffens: I joke about that. My parents, they never pushed us too hard. I was always fly-fishing. I was always off hunting. I was always doing fun things. So, I joke about it.
But my three sisters and I were raised on the ranch, and my parents always had a heart to help people. That's where my heart to help people came from. I watched them give their shirt off their back more times than I can count.
We weren't raised with a lot of money. Even though the ranch was a 7,000-acre ranch, we were way outside of town. We had a nice creek running through the ranch and tons of fish in it.
We were raised with very little money. I was raised on yard sale clothes. I didn't know what it was like to pay more than 50 cents for a pair of pants till I was probably 14 or 15 years old. And my parents did everything they could to make sure that we had a good childhood, and we had solid food, and everything we had was organic. So, we didn't know anything outside of that. And so, it was a huge blessing, and it helped me forge into who I am today for sure.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Actually, you grew up incredibly wealthy. You just didn't have a lot of money.
Travis Steffens: Exactly.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Right? But it was an incredibly wealthy environment and experience. That's really beautiful. So, what's interesting to me is that you grow up in this environment. And at age 18, you start a company. And that seems a little bit out of sorts with the environment. How did you go from being around a ranch and homeschooling to the next thing you know, you're starting a company? I guess your parents weren't entrepreneurs, although they ran their own businesses. But maybe they were. Where did all that come from, and where did you start?
Travis Steffens: So, my dad always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Being a rancher is no small feat. And my grandpa built the ranch. My dad was raised on the ranch. And so, ranching is what we knew.
My dad always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and he was big into the stock market and commodities. And then, he went from stocks and commodities into the gold and silver exchange business. And he was always hustling. So, I always saw my dad working for himself. I never really saw him as an employed individual.
So, he always told me, he said: "If you want to really make it in this world, you need to be your own boss." And he would always also say: "I'm always going to support you to grow up and be even a greater man than I am."
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Beautiful.
Travis Steffens: And he said: "I always want to make sure that you love your wife even more than I love your mom." And we were constantly paraded with that kind of love and light.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: What a generative spirit. My sense is that we all stand on the shoulders of those who've gone before. And here he was, standing on his dad's shoulders, who'd started the ranch, but yet he's holding you up. He's not beating you down. So many kids get the message that's kind of a beat down, but here he is holding you up to take the next generation forward. That's a very, very cool environment to grow up in. Super cool.
Travis Steffens: And that gives you the divine masculine, but the divine feminine side has to be equally as balanced. And my mother was very, very strong. And she was also very entrepreneurial as well. And she was very supportive of my father and very supportive of us kids.
We had breakfast every time we got out of bed. We had lunch every day and dinner every day. And it was all home-prepared meals. We didn't eat anything that was what we considered junk food.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah. Beautiful.
Travis Steffens: And mom was very balanced in the divine masculine, divine feminine side of things.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah. Yeah. No, that's a really good point. Because I think this whole conversation about divine masculine, divine feminine, we could go off on that for a half an hour. Actually, I've had some really interesting insights into that just recently. But maybe we'll come back and do another podcast on that. So, anyway, you started this business. What was it? What did you actually start?
Travis Steffens: So, my first company was a tree company. I went to work for Asplundh, and I had people stopping me while I was working for Asplundh, asking me if I could trim their trees. And I quickly realized that if I just told a few of them yes, I could get enough money to start the business. So, I bought a couple of chainsaws. And within a couple of years, I was 20 years old and had 25 employees.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Nice.
Travis Steffens: I was doing really, really well. And didn't go to college, barely made it through high school, and just knew that I wanted to work for myself. So, I call it: “I went to the School of Hard Knocks.”
So, within three or four years, we had worked across Colorado, and we had a traveling tree company. And that grew into a logging company. So, I was logging all of the beetle kill in Colorado. We had an epidemic where the beetles went and wiped out a bunch of trees. So, I was logging the beetle kill. I was doing fire mitigation for the government. And we were trimming trees. And it just grew so much that I was working around the clock and knew I wanted to do something different.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Right. So, you ended up selling that company at age 26, it sounds like?
Travis Steffens: Yep. Sold that company at age 26 and went into real estate investing full-time.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Okay. And then you kind of hit a bit of a rough patch; it sounds like. You had gotten married at age 20, but then you went through a divorce. What happened there exactly? I mean, you weren't in school. How did you meet this person? I guess, did you meet her while you were working, or what happened?
Travis Steffens: We actually were high school sweethearts. We broke up while she went to college, and then we got back together when she came home from college. And we were married within a short period of time.
And I believe, personally, and I hope it's okay to say this, but that we choose our life before we come to this planet. And we get to come as many times as we want. And Jessica was a big part of my life, and she was a big part of me being able to tune into the deepest parts of myself. We had a rough time, but it helped me to understand who I was and what I was capable of. And we were married for 13 years.
And when most kids were out partying and at college, I was coming home to a wife. I was coming home to a business that we were building. And I'm so grateful for that period of time that I wasn't out messing around. I was solid. I was grounded.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Right. Cool. That's very cool. And then you got into doing something that is actually kind of near and dear to my heart, although I've never really done anything in this area. And that's fighting drug and sex trafficking across the country. I feel so terrible for the people that are caught up in this.
We talked about slavery earlier in the podcast, but being a slave to a drug or being trafficked, those are just horrendous lifestyles, right? So, what drew you into that? How did you get there?
Travis Steffens: So, when I was married, we went through some really challenging times. Jessica dealt with anorexia, bulimia, suicide. And because I came from a family that we were so [inaudible 00:11:48] life we had, we didn't deal with a lot of that stuff. So, Jessica was the first time that I had really understood what a human being could go through because of how they were raised.
And when a child or a human being enters this physical plane, they're always entered from a place of purity. They're just pure source. There's no programming. They're a wiped iPod. And as we know, from the ages of one to seven, that's when the person is programmed. So, we program them. And so, if we find a 15-year-old, or a 20-year-old, or 30-year-old, and they're going through a bunch of problems, those problems always stem from the childhood.
And so, Jessica allowed me to see what empathy was. She allowed me to understand how to look into somebody's past and be able to tell what they were going through at that period of time.
So, when I started the real estate investment company, we initially just started it to make money. It was a fun way to make money. So, we flipped about 400 single-family homes before we went into multifamily.
And when we went into multifamily, I started to really see into the slums of America. At that time, I was in Denver, Colorado. We were buying apartment buildings for 7,000 to 15,000 a unit. And when I would walk into these apartments, there'd be children in the apartments. There'd be very little furniture. They'd be sitting on milk crates. There'd be mushrooms growing out of the baseboards. And for mushrooms to grow out of baseboards, there has to be feces inside of the wall.
And so, the plumbing was so bad. I'm talking Jeff, six inches tall. And I would ask them why they wouldn't cut them. And they said: "We cut them, and they're back within two days, so we just leave them."
So, I'd walk into these units after we purchased the property, and I would see the way these kids were living. And, of course, we purchased the property because we were going to fix it up.
But then I started to see that when we fixed it up if we didn't empower the individuals that lived there, we were going to have to move them out. And when you move a family like that out, that doesn't have income, that doesn't have credit, that's struggling, I call it displacement. We're just displacing them. And that's when the conscious capitalism was really born. I started to ask myself, "How can we do this and make it a win-win for us and a win-win for them?"
So, we started our journey down conscious capitalism at that point. And so, I started my first nonprofit. And it wasn't to give people money, it was to empower people. And so, we built the program to empower.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, I love that, by the way. There are many charities that give people money or give them something. But ultimately, it's so short-lived, right? It's a little bit of that, "Teach a man to fish, and he'll feed himself for a lifetime. Give him a fish, and that's the one fish."
So, I love the idea of taking people that are unempowered and helping them to be empowered. Quite honestly, it's part of the philosophy of what we do at Gladden Longevity is empowering people to take control of their own health, and the way they age, and the way they go through life, and expand into things like what you're talking about.
I love this idea of conscious capitalism, where you're not leaving people behind but actually empowering them to go forward. So, what did that look like? How did you actually empower them?
Travis Steffens: So, the fun part about this was that by empowering them, I was actually empowering me. So, I was finding my spark. And they were the angels that were placed in my path to find my spark.
So, as I was in the lives of these families, which 99% of the time, they were single moms with kids. I started to realize that, "Okay, we can't just give them something because that's messed up; our country is just giving things away for free." Knowledge is a book on a bookshelf. Wisdom is the ability to use knowledge. Books on bookshelves are worthless. People say knowledge is power. It absolutely is not power. Wisdom is power. Wisdom and knowledge, there's a gap. And the only way to bridge that gap is through experience.
So, I'm like, "Okay, we have to build something that allows them to experience the power within themselves. So that when I leave, we're leaving them with their power. They're not putting their power and trust in us."
And so, we built a programmatic approach to be able to take their place they were living, renovate it, totally brand new, give them a new experience of pride and ownership. And it doesn't turn around overnight. It doesn't mean they're going to take care of the unit overnight. It doesn't mean they're going to understand this stuff overnight. Humans learn slowly, and we can't reprogram that fast.
So, we had to commit to stay with them for an extended period of time. So, we had a whole financial awareness program. We had a spiritual awareness program. We would build vision boards with them. We did a lot of stuff with them to help them feel empowered. And, of course, not every one of them wanted to step up to the plate, but it started to build momentum. And the next thing we knew, we had hundreds of people we were working with across nine states, because we had grown across nine states across the country.
So, as we would fix up these properties, this is where the fighting the crime would come into play. So, we were buying properties in the toughest neighborhoods in the country. For example, everybody knows that Ferguson, St. Louis, is a tough area. Well, my biggest property was in Ferguson. It was 787 town homes on 40 acres. I mean, that's a small city.
And it was so crime-ridden that nobody could turn it around. Well, we would come in with an outside mentality, outside systems, and processes. I mean, we had our own in-house security team that myself and my little sister actually headed up.
So, we would purchase a property. First thing we'd do is go in and clean everything up. So, I'd be out there in my suit like I am now, raking leaves with everybody, putting the love back into the property, putting the energy back into the property.
And then, at night, we would suit up, and we would go out and look for trafficking units where they would be trafficking women or trafficking drugs. We would take our photos. So, we'd literally be on roofs, taking photos, capturing images of people. And then, the next day, we would set up what we called an in-house sting, and ‘smash and grab’ is what we call it.
So, we'd wait for the trafficking to start. And then my little sister and I, and three other people, we would come in fully geared up, ARs on our chest, and side arms, bulletproofed everything. We looked straight out of Afghanistan, like private contractors. And take the people down in the unit. We'd zip-tie them up, and then we'd pull them out. And then the cops would come to pick them up.
And the police were not allowed to really help us because they had to get warrants and all this jurisdictional issues. But because I owned the property, we were able to clean it up because I was able to do whatever it took to maintain the integrity of the property.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Okay.
Travis Steffens: And so, what that allowed for was us to be able to come in with a fairly heavy hand and deal with the crime.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Interesting.
Travis Steffens: So, we took down a tremendous amount of bad guys, if you will, and cleaned up a lot of properties. And we would do it within 60 days.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, that's remarkable. So, I can imagine somebody might have fired a shot in your direction, right?
Travis Steffens: We had a ton of threats, and I've had a ton of guns pulled on me. But we were always faster. And the interesting part about being faster is we had a lot of opportunities to end life because of that. But you know innately that that person's not going to shoot you. You just know it. And so, I would draw much, much quicker. And they would realize that that was not a smart move to keep going. And every single one of them would put the weapon down.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So, you're putting your cowboy training to good use now. The fastest gun in Colorado Will Travel, Have Gun - Will Travel.
Travis Steffens: Yeah. So, it was a very interesting part of time. It actually gave me a little insight into PTSD, not from a traumatic standpoint but from an addictive standpoint. How our cells become addicted to the dopamine that rolls in those periods of time.
I started to become addicted to suiting up at night, and going out, and catching the bad guys, to where I would get depressed during the day when I wasn't doing it. And it was just a tiny little, Jeff, tiny little instance compared to the guys in Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Iran. I've just tasted the tip of the iceberg and felt that.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, this reminds me of that movie Hurt Locker. I don't know if you saw the movie, Hurt Locker. There was a guy that's basically deactivating bombs over there. And I think it was in Afghanistan, or maybe Iran, or Iraq, or someplace. Iraq.
And he keeps going back for more tours of duty. Even though he's completed his requirement, he goes back. And, of course, his wife can't understand it, but you understand it, right? It becomes part of who you are. It's part of your identity. So, that's really fascinating.
This is a remarkable project to take on. I'm going to fight bad guys at night. I'm going to be trying to rehab properties, and then I'm going to be trying to rehabilitate the residents simultaneously, to the point where they can pay rent, I guess, to stay here. How did you get paid in the middle of all this? I mean, were there government funds or anything coming in to help you, or did you just finance all this yourself? How'd it work?
Travis Steffens: Yeah, there was zero government funds. It was all financed through high-net-worth individuals that were real-estate-investors-based people. So, I would come to Jeff, and I'd say, "Hey Jeff, we want to buy this 300-unit property. We need 2 million in equity." Jeff would give us the 2 million in equity. And then we'd go through the process. And it was no small feat. We would have thousands of units under construction in five or six different states across the country. It's big.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: How did it end up working out? I mean, these things really did turn around. It seems like you'd be like an island in the middle of a neighborhood, like an oasis in the middle of a neighborhood. Because you couldn't buy the whole neighborhood. Right? So, was it sustainable? Did these places have a sustainable future?
Travis Steffens: They did. And actually, after we sold them over a period of time, they still are very successful properties. And they've actually continued to clean up the neighborhoods they were in. That was always my vision, was we wanted to leave such a conscious stamp on that area that other people would follow suit. And that has happened in most scenarios.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So, when you say that other real estate developers came in and followed your lead and started to help build out the rest of the neighborhood, what a beautiful legacy. What a beautiful thing. Are you still involved with that today?
Travis Steffens: Yeah, so we still have R Investments, it's called. And we still have momentum there. We did slow down because the real estate market went ridiculous, as everyone knows. And in real estate, you make your money when you buy. So, we've shrunk back to the smallest we've ever been right now, which has allowed me to focus on the app and building that, and then moving over into real estate once again when the market comes down, which it's already happening now. And we project over the next two years, it'll be at the bottom again.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Okay. So, let's talk about this. Because in rehabbing the residents of these buildings, one of the things that you did was actually to employ them. You actually brought them onto your team and taught them skills, as what I'm understanding; correct me if I'm wrong. And got them to actually be employees of the company. Is that kind of how that worked?
Travis Steffens: Yes, sir. So, as part of the conscious capitalism structure... And I want to give a lot of kudos to John Mackey for coining that term. I had a full vertical real estate investment company.
So, we had an umbrella, then we had a property management company, then we had a nonprofit, then we had a construction company. And within the construction company, we hired only homeless individuals for our tradespeople.
And so, we would take John off the street. We would house John. So, we had these big properties. So, we'd give him housing, we'd give him the tools for the trade, and we'd give him training.
And this is where biohacking really, really came in to help my world. Dr. Joe Dispenza and Dr. Bruce Lipton are heroes of mine, and I can't wait to tell them the story someday. But I took their algorithms, and I put them into a software program.
And because I was a simple-minded individual, and I didn't go to college, and I wasn't taught to think in a box. I needed things to be done a certain way. So, I knew they needed things to be done a certain way. So, if John comes in off the street, we'd give him one trade to do and one trade only. So, let's call it baseboards. John would just do baseboards.
So, every morning, when he would come down for the morning meeting, they would do the morning meeting, and he would go pick up his baseboard tools, only tools for baseboard. And then he would go do baseboards all day long.
Their minds are set up for self-sabotage. Their cellular structure is now designed to self-sabotage. They're designed to go after their dopamine, just like we are. And so, I had to build these safe falls in the software system to make sure that I could counteract, we could counteract their self-destruct mechanism. And we could get them to a tipping point of- Cells reproduce at 694,000 cells a minute. I needed to get to that 51% tipping point to where they would actually move towards healing, move towards immortality, as opposed to staying on the other side of the scale.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Wow. That's really insightful but also really challenging. So, how'd you do that? Because it wasn't just giving them the baseboard tools; It was the breathwork, it was other things. I mean, you're moving these people towards health. And it’s psychological health, spiritual health, as well as physical health to some extent. So, talk us through that.
Travis Steffens: Well, as you guys teach at Gladden Longevity, cells will move towards health. So, if you have unhealthy cells and you put them beside healthy cells, the unhealthy cells will move towards immortality. They'll physically in a Petri dish move to the healthy cells to take on that environment. And it's very challenging to change. And we're just a sack of cells. So, it's very challenging to change the sack of cells in the environment that caused the problem in the first place.
So, we remove them from the environment, and we put them in a new environment. That starts the cellular changing process. And then we start new verbiage. Because every time we speak and this voice box vibrates, it's vibrating a resonance through the body that the body is listening to. So, we would teach them a new subset of verbiage, new lingo. And then we would be with them-
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Give me an example of that verbiage. What would that be like? Was it related to the job? Was it self-affirmations? What are we talking about?
Travis Steffens: Yeah. So, they come in with self-destructive verbiage. So, we talk a lot of biohacking stuff. So, it's interesting to me how people will say: "I'm aging, and I'm old, and I want to get younger." And every time they're saying that, they're insinuating exactly the opposite of what they're actually thinking that they're after. And our cells, our little sentient beings, just go to work to do whatever vibrates from this voice box. They don't listen to words, they listen to vibration. Words are just utterances that come in through these eardrums.
So, we would teach these guys to self-talk, we call it. We would teach them positive self-talk, and then we always use positive self-talk. So that would create its own ecosystem of positive self-talk.
And it's not something that turned around overnight. This took time, and this took work. But the key with this was we were on them every five minutes, doing quality control every five minutes.
So, if John was doing baseboard, he would walk into the unit, and all of his materials would be sitting there. He'd have all of his tools for the trade, and he'd have a trainer that would be with him until he got... We go through forming, storming, norming, and performing levels. When he got to a performing level, he would be able to go on his own, but we would quality control him every five minutes.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: How do you quality control somebody every five minutes? How many people can you have dedicated to helping somebody every five minutes?
Travis Steffens: So, you have one quality control specialist for every seven tradespeople.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Okay.
Travis Steffens: So, if you do one QC guy for every seven tradespeople, and we call it ‘flybys’. He does a flyby every five minutes. And then he can stop and go: "Wait, John, John, John, John, the gap on your baseboard, you didn't put your spacer in. The gap, it's too low to the floor, so the flooring's not going to fit under there."
And we stop him within minutes of messing up, as opposed to where most people will stop when they're done with the unit, they come in, and they're like: "What is this? Look at how you messed up. Look at how you did this. Look at where you f'ed this up and that up." And automatic self-sabotage. They're like: "I knew this was too good to be true."
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: "I knew I couldn't do it."
Travis Steffens: Exactly. Actually does more harm than it would've done to just leave them and not touch them ever.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yep. Wow, that's amazing.
Travis Steffens: And so, by quality controlling every five minutes, we could keep them from messing up. So, they would get done with the unit, and we had a software that we built. It would pull up a little receipt that says: "John finished the unit. He just made $200." And John would sit there and stare at that. Yesterday he was homeless. Now he's got an invoice with his name on it, signing it with his finger that says he made X amount of money to put that in. And our people made between $120 to $240 a day, depending on how motivated they were. And they had housing. So, we just had to get the good dopamines flowing long enough that the cells would get addicted to those good dopamines, and we could move forward.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Beautiful. I mean, this is really beautiful. When you talk about turning around poverty or helping to turn around the whole culture, that goes on for generations in some cases. And the epigenetic imprinting of that, right? It's really quite phenomenal. I mean, multiple high-fives and a big hug. It feels like the work that everybody should be doing. It's super inspiring. So, thank you for doing that.
Travis Steffens: Well, thank you. And it's because of the work that you guys do that I was even able to do it. Because understanding epigenetics now, and that ‘epi’ being above the gene, and knowing that they can change, that was the start, was knowing that it was possible.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Okay.
Travis Steffens: Also, needing to know that it wasn't my job to change them, that they were just as much of an angel in my world as I was in theirs.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: And that's a beautiful perspective too. That's a really beautiful perspective too. So, as part of that and as part of their reclaiming themselves, if you will, breathwork somehow played a role in this. So, where did that show up? And I know Dispenza and other people obviously use breathwork and things like that, but how did that show up for you? You must’ve had a history with breathwork before you ever introduced it to them. Or maybe you went out and sourced it as, "Hey, I need something. I'm going to try this." How did that work?
Travis Steffens: So, breathwork has become a huge part of my personal life and on my biohacking journey. And when I say biohacking, it's biohacking, but my spiritual evolution as well. I think they really go hand in hand. I love that science is starting to finally mesh with spirituality.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: They do.
Travis Steffens: And so, as I started to realize the power of breathwork, and I started to realize the spiritual expansion that was coming through breathwork, the health and wellness coming through breathwork, the ability to reprogram my nervous system through breathwork, I wanted everyone to experience it.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: So, what were you trying to biohack? How did you get started on this? Did you get to a point in your life where it's like, "Things aren't the way I want them to be. I need to start biohacking"? What was the inspiration for it in the first place?
Travis Steffens: My story is a little bit different, where I started biohacking because I wanted to be my best so that I could give away my best. I was super healthy, super fit, and came from a super family-oriented background. I mean, all that stuff. I hunted. We shot elk, we ate elk. We didn't eat store bought stuff 90% of the time. I mean, we were raised on well water, and we didn't have the crap in the water that a lot of people have. There are a lot of things, decalcification, things, and stuff that I haven't had to probably go through. But I always wanted to be my best so I could give the best because I believe that we can only give away what we possess. And I was blessed to be in this leadership role of helping all these people.
I was already optimized in my life. What I wanted to do was optimize my wisdom, so that I could take that wisdom to the people we were helping. So, that's really where biohacking started to become big for me. Of course, I want to stay young forever. Who doesn't? And I don't believe in age. I believe that the body's meant to live forever, and the science is there to prove it.
So, what I wanted to do was take the biohacking to these people, reprogram the nervous system to a new mind, to a new state of being, so that they could learn that they could handle the thoughts that are running through their mind, manage those into a different form and frequency, and find a different life.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, what a beautiful thing. Yeah, that's really cool. I'm sorry to interrupt you.
Travis Steffens: Breathwork was a big piece of that.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: In my experience, I think all of health really comes down to programming and reprogramming the brain. It's really about getting rid of the software that's not serving us, the things that got imprinted in between ages one and seven. Being able to step beyond that. And rewriting that. Rewriting it. I call it claiming our birthright to be our unencumbered selves, where we're no longer encumbered by the old imprinting.
And I think in order to do that, it's a spiritual journey that gets you there. I mean, people talk about biohacking a lot of times in a biochemical context. "We're going to hack this pathway or that pathway."
But in my world, really, it's the life energy circle. It's the spiritual circle that really... You can have all the biochemistry in the world you want. I don't care. It's not going to take you anywhere if this isn't dialed in.
So, really, what you're talking about is biohacking into the spiritual world and taking this to people who don't have a spiritual background, who maybe aren't necessarily religious. But all of a sudden, you're introducing them to something. And so, how did you do that? Did you start breathwork classes or every five minutes, you'd come by and have somebody take a deep breath? What actually happened?
Travis Steffens: I love what you just said there, Jeff. And I have to just piggyback on that and say that I believe that the only reason why the body doesn't live forever is because we're not spiritually aligned. The body, mind, and spirit in alignment will live forever. So, I love that you said that. And so, biohacking, in my opinion, does start with spirituality. So, what we would do-
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Go ahead.
Travis Steffens: Every time I showed up at a property, everybody would come down every morning. They knew Travis was there. And I'd get everybody into a room. I would talk about breathwork. I'd have them laid down, sitting up, sitting in chairs all over the place. And we'd have 40 or 50 people, and we'd all start into breathwork. And I would teach them every time I came because, as you said, you want to teach a man to fish.
And they would have these profound experiences in these hour-long breath sessions. And they would come up. They were getting high on their own supply, and they were feeling this euphoria, and the reset of the nervous system, and the raise of alkalinity, and the tetany because of the tingling in the hands and fever. And they would come up and ask for a video, but I could never give them a video. They're an hour long. You can't text an hour-long video. They didn't have access to Dropbox. None of that stuff worked.
So, I finally decided three years ago. It was Thanksgiving or Christmas Day at my parent's house that I was going to build an app. And one of them texted me and said: "Hey, can I get a video?" I couldn't text in one of my videos, so I sent him a YouTube link of Niraj with SOMA Breath and just realized I needed to build an app. And so, that's where The Breath Source began, was three years ago. Have to give a lot of credit to those angels in my world because we wouldn't have it today if it wasn't for them.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, that's beautiful. And then tell us a little bit about the app. You've got, I think, 18 different breath masters on there now. What's the experience like? For people that are listening, you might want to check out this app. I think it just launched a week or two ago if I'm not mistaken.