June 15, 2019
[00:01:18] Podcast Sponsors
[00:04:43] My NuCalm Device and Guest Introduction
[00:08:18] What exactly a NuCalm is?
[00:20:41] How the audio features in the NuCalm app enhance the user experience
[00:27:35] The Science Behind Going Through an Entire Sleep Cycle in A 20-Minute Power Nap
[00:31:14] Podcast Sponsors
[00:34:53] Experimenting with Other Sleep Cycle Tactics
[00:36:50] How the NuCalm Device Measures Heart-Rate Variability
[00:45:42] NuCalm's Physiological Benefits
[00:47:06] How the NuCalm Affects Recovery
[00:56:29] The NuCalm's Effect on The Nervous System Beyond HRV And the Vagus Nerve
[01:01:05] How the Nucalm Affects (Or Interrupts) Your Normal Sleep Schedule
[01:09:21] Increasing Device Intensity and Device Settings
[01:16:35] About the Ignite App (Sympathetic Stimulation)
[01:20:19] Getting the NuCalm Device
[01:23:03] Try Recover in New York
[01:25:30] End of Podcast
Jim: Stress kills you very simply, and it's over the course of time. The key here is balance. The autonomic nervous system is a zero-sum game, and most of us are not getting enough parasympathetic nervous system dominance. It literally consumes you. And if you can never relax, you can't get restorative sleep. If you can't get restorative sleep, your cells don't clean their toxins. You don't heal your immune system; it gets compromised. Literally, you're stressing out to death.
Ben: I have a master's degree in physiology, biomechanics, and human nutrition. I've spent the past two decades competing in some of the most masochistic events on the planet from SEALFit Kokoro, Spartan Agoge, and the world's toughest mudder, the 13 Ironman triathlons, brutal bow hunts, adventure races, spearfishing, plant foraging, free diving, bodybuilding and beyond. I combine this intense time in the trenches with a blend of ancestral wisdom and modern science, search the globe for the world's top experts in performance, fat loss, recovery, hormones, brain, beauty, and brawn to deliver you this podcast. Everything you need to know to live an adventurous, joyful, and fulfilling life. My name is Ben Greenfield. Enjoy the ride.
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Hey, folks. So, I've talked about this a couple of times. I think I might weekly round-up and then briefly mention it in a few previous podcasts. But lately, I've been toying around with and experimenting with this device that, as I've alluded to when I have mentioned it, allows me to simulate like a full 120 to 180 minutes sleep cycle with 20 minutes. I slapped this device on. I kind of slip in and out of this, almost like a conscious and unconscious state. And when I flip it off 20 minutes later, I feel as though I've had a long, long nap and a cup of coffee. I'm instantly alert as soon as the thing shuts off.
And as a guy who gets just boxes and boxes of crazy biohacks in my front door all the time, I'm pretty almost like suspicious now of a lot of these devices that claim to do things like enhance sleep or have some crazy app that plays sounds because it seems like those are a dime a dozen. But something about this thing has just been working like gangbusters for me. It's called the NuCalm. And I didn't want this to just be one big commercial for you guys for me to get the person who designed this on the show and talk about it with you. And instead, what I want to delve into is how your vagus nerve and your nervous system respond to tactics like this, how your sleep architecture could be affected by something like this, and how devices like this actually work particularly on the human autonomic nervous system.
And so, the guy who I decided to get on the show to talk about this device and the nervous system and stress, in general, is Jim Poole. And Jim Poole is the President and CEO of Solace Lifesciences. That's the company that actually makes NuCalm. Before working with Solace Lifesciences, Jim co-founded Focused Evolution, which was kind of like a strategy consulting firm where he managed a bunch of different mergers and acquisitions and growth strategies for venture capital and private equity firms, and grew that into a multimillion-dollar consulting firm. And now, he's on the board of directors of a bunch of different medical device firms around the world. And he's published over 30 different articles in industry trade journals.
His background from a collegiate standpoint is in psychology, and also international business. But in the few conversations that I've had with him, in particular about the NuCalm, I realized he knows quite a bit about everything from how to use different forms of software to take the brain down the theta brain wavelength to how to use these mild stimulations to actually simulate sleep cycles or somehow relax the nervous system, give you many of the benefits you'd get if you were to, say, have a full night of sleep or a big long nap.
Anyways, Jim, thanks for coming on the show today, and also for being the mastermind behind this device that's changed the way I travel and nap these days.
Jim: Pool, thank you for having me. I'm thrilled to be here.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Well, I'm stoked you're on, and I mean like obviously, this will rabbit-hole a little bit, but I think probably the perfect place to start is for people who've never seen it, never been to the websites, never seen a photo of it, never held one in their hands. What exactly is the NuCalm?
Jim: NuCalm is a game changer. It's a poignant technology that's going to deliver a couple of real key elements to the human condition. We're going to resolve stress and we're going to help your sleep quality. The technology comes to you when you purchase it in a backpack. So, it's easily portable. But this was designed expressly to put the brakes on the sympathetic or stress response and raise the parasympathetic response. In fact, Dr. Holloway, the neuroscientist, quantum physicist, naturopath, who developed and designed NuCalm–
Ben: That's quite the resume.
Jim: He is a brilliant compassionate human being, but it took him 20 years to figure out NuCalm. And I think one of the things–obviously, one of the driving forces is just a passion to help people without drugs. But one of the cool things about his background is he's not myopic or stuck in any certain vertical of medicine. So, you're going to find biochemistry involved here. You're going to find electrical signaling here, frequency. But at the highest level, we are all suffering the same fate, and that is we can't turn it off.
And the advent of technology and the pursuit of technology literally has us tethered to the sympathetic arousal in constant foot on the accelerator. This technology is the ultimate biohack, and that it's the ultimate way to unplug. We're going to talk about this, but you're going to lie down and you're not going to do anything. Biochemistry and physics are going to do the work for you, but you will have the physiological benefit of living like a monk.
Ben: Yeah. It is kind of interesting. I know you're going to get a bunch of people commenting now on the podcast because you've thrown out a bunch of woo-woo stuff like quantum physics and use the term like ultimate biohack and so people will push back against that a little bit, unless of course, we delve into the technology behind this and how exactly it's working on a physiological mechanism. The first thing is you mentioned it comes in a backpack. I guess it's more like a–it's like this small little bag that it comes in. It's not so large that it needs to fit in a backpack.
The main handheld device or the device that the electrode is attached to, it's about the size of approximately a cell phone. Mine is blue. And it's a device with some controls on it, and with these two electrodes that are these patches that go on either side of the body kind of underneath the ear, the soft part of the ear. This device to me is very similar to another device I have that's almost like a cranial electrical stimulation device made by Fisher Wallace. It's called the Circadia. I originally started using that device as a way to stimulate the vagus nerve. And that one had been studied to decrease cortisol, to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, and to improve vagal nerve tone to assist with sleep onset or to decrease stress.
And so when I got the NuCalm, I thought it was just like a relabeled version of that device, but can you explain to me what exactly the blue thing, this handheld device that seems to be the core of the NuCalm is, and what exactly it does, and why these electrodes are placed on either side of the neck underneath the earlobes?
Jim: Well, your intuition is spot-on. This is cranial electrotherapy stimulation. The Fisher Wallace device is similar technology. So, would be Alpha-Stim. That technology was invented in Saint Petersburg, Russia over 70 years ago. So, your brain and body communicate only in two ways; chemical messaging and electrical messaging. And the key for NuCalm is to present your brain with a pattern, using physics to cycle your brainwave function into theta. But to do this with any predictability, we really felt that we needed to manage the adrenals.
So, the chemical messaging of NuCalm, there's a cream and there's the stimulation device you're speaking about. So, for us, we are FDA cleared for the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, and depression. You'll never see or hear us talk about it. We use that device as a catalyst to help with the absorption of the cream. So, the body has tremendous abilities to resist. We work with stage 4 cancer, we work with PTSD, we work with addiction, we work with high performers, we work with professional athletes, we work with Delta Force, Navy SEALs. The body can resist anything, whether it knows it or not.
So, we're going to manage your adrenals, then put the brakes on the HPA axis using this cream and the stimulation device. So, the cream contains the amino acid GABA, gamma-Aminobutyric acid, the body's primary inhibitory neurotransmitter designed to put the brakes on adrenaline. Everybody has heard of adrenaline, catecholamines, norepinephrine, epinephrine, Red Bull, espresso, all this stuff that get us jacked up, but very few people understand GABA. And GABA is the antithesis of the adrenal site. So, GABA and the GABAergic system is really important for balance and really maintaining the balance of the autonomic nervous system from the stress response to the rest response.
So, we're going to present GABA to your brain through a transdermal cream that's applied to your neck. Now as you know, Ben, supplementation is awesome, but the body is built to extract a high yield of nutrients from food, not from supplements. And when you look at the literature and look in the science, you'll see the body may be able to extract 7%, 8%, 9%, 10%, 11% of the yield of the nutrients in the supplement. Our cream suffered that same fate. So, after years of testing into a neurotransmitter panel, testing and finding out why is the GABA not being absorbed, Dr. Holloway moved to Russia to study cranial electrotherapy stimulation.
Now, our stimulation device is used in a low, low frequency of 0.5 Hertz and 0.1 milliamp. It's designed to electroporate the cell wall membrane, and it's like opening the garage door for the GABA. So, the cream presents GABA to the brain. But during the day when we're trying to impose a nap on you, their body is like, “No, I don't want this. I want adrenaline.” The receptor site to GABA is not open. The stimulation device for NuCalm is a catalyst to ensure that there's a rapid relaxation response, and we shut down the HPA axis, which is the adrenals. That's the key for us leveling the playing field and creating a very predictable fast response.
Ben: I got it. When I was attending the Ironman Sports Medicine Conference several years ago, Dr. Jeff Spencer, who at the time was working with team RadioShack I believe, the Professional Cycling Team, he was discussing how he would use electrical muscle stimulation, not cranial electrical stimulation but rather electrical muscle stimulation patches over an area that had been injured in athletes. And that in many cases, he would use a topical lotion, like Traumeel or arnica or magnesium, or some kind of topical anti-inflammatory like MSM. And he would place the electrodes over top of that cream to help drive the cream or the lotion or the topical more deeply into the tissue. And that's a tactic that I've actually successfully used for injuries and in sore spots since hearing him describe how to do that. You just basically put the cream or the lotion on. You apply electrical muscle stimulation on top of that and it drives it more deeply into tissue.
So, when I first got the device, the NuCalm, and received that cream and placed the cranial electrical stimulation electrodes on after applying the cream, I was under the impression that the electrodes were simply driving the cream deeper into the tissue. But what you're saying is that instead, what the cranial electrical stimulation device is doing is it's relaxing the nervous system so that the gamma-Aminobutyric acid or the GABA in the cream is actually able to work. It's not that the cream isn't being absorbed properly; it's more that the nervous system would not be open as well in terms of the receptors being able to bind the GABA, unless for some parasympathetic nervous system state, is elicited via the electrical stimulation.
Jim: Absolutely. That's exactly what we're doing. So, it's a catalyst to the biochemistry of NuCalm.
Ben: Interesting. And the cream, by the way, it's not just GABA. I noticed that you also have, speaking of Red Bull, taurine in there, the anti-stress nutrient, taurine. Glycine, which is an amino acid that–a lot of people, for example, will have a cup of bone broth prior to bed to relax them, and part of the reason for that is because of the glycine in the bone broth. And so glycine is in there as well. And then also, something that may not be as familiar to people called casein tryptic hydrolysate. What is casein tryptic hydrolysate?
Jim: It is the protein in mother's milk that helps babies go to sleep.
Jim: The amazing world of biochemistry, it is. We don't have a milking farm. We're not breastfeeding women and extracting milk, but through chemistry, we can mimic that same protein.
Ben: Are you getting that protein from like a safe source? Because I know there are some concerns in the industry about sourcing of casein.
Jim: Yeah. Everything is hydrolysized. Yeah. So, any of the casein issues is zero.
Jim: You have no issue. So, if you have any milk sensitivity, there's zero issues, whatsoever, plus it's kind of a microscopic level, but it's all hydrolyzed.
Ben: Got it.
Jim: Also, in there is L-theanine. And I'm sure you're familiar with L-theanine. It's an upregulator of GABA. So, it helps with the absorption of GABA, but it's also a mood enhancer. So, yes, that cream took over four years for our neuroscientists to formulate. And the whole key is to create a cornucopia of inhibitory neurotransmitters and the tyrants in there as a dopamine agonist so that there's some balance. But there's GABAA and GABAB in there.
Now, the GABAergic system, I don't know if a lot of your listeners are familiar with this, but the GABAergic system is responsible for almost anything anxiolytic in your brain chemistry. So, anything that the anti-anxiety binds to the GABAA receptor site. Any sip of alcohol binds to the GABAA receptor site. So, you have a tough day, and the world is against you, and you have that first sip of wine, and all of a sudden you feel the weight of the world roll off your shoulders. That's the GABAergic system. Every sip of alcohol binds to the GABAA receptor site. Any benzodiazepine binds to the GABAA receptor site. Any barbiturate binds to the GABAA receptor site. So, what do you think is going to happen, Ben, when we apply GABAA to the GABAA receptor site? It's going to begin a fast-acting relaxation response.
Jim: You've probably found through your usage an exceptional predictability to NuCalm. You just go. Now, the journey is different because your stress level, your sleep level, your jet lag is always different. But you're always going to the same place, that kind of hypnagogic dissociative in and out of consciousness place where your mind is wandering but your body feels very heavy. And that's the healing zone.
Ben: Yeah. And that's the really interesting thing, and I want to get into the difference between this and sleep. But I've certainly read much of the literature on cranial electrical stimulation, which some people may see abbreviated as CES, if you're digging into the research behind it. In both animal and human research, they've shown some pretty significant alterations when electrodes like this are used either on the temples, or in some cases, it's on the side of the neck, or in the case of the NuCalm, it's right underneath the soft part of the ear on the neck.
But they've shown significant alterations and things like neurotransmitters and thyroxine levels and some of these Aminobutyric acid activities, and of course also, something you briefly alluded to earlier, electroencephalography, like the actual change in the brainwave signals, whether that'd be downregulation of beta brainwaves or upregulation of alpha or theta or some combination of the two. But when it comes to this electrical stimulation device, along with the cream, before we delve into what's going on in terms of what might simulate either sleep architecture or what's occurring from a big picture standpoint in the human body when these things are combined, there is one other pretty important piece that we really haven't discussed. And that's the fact that when you get this NuCalm device, you get access to this app, and the app plays sounds.
And I've experimented with a ton of different sound producing devices like the SleepStream, Brain.fm. Another one I've talked about is the Pzizz, P-Z-I-Z-Z. And the NuCalm has I believe about eight to ten different tracks on it. In particular, one of my favorite, the power nap track, which is the one I use 90% of the time, the 20-minute power nap track. But the sound and the beats in this audio are significantly different in terms of their effects compared to most of these other audio devices that I've used to, at least to the state of relaxation or sleep. So, can you delve into what's going on from an audio standpoint with the actual app itself?
Jim: Okay. Buckle up. This is where it gets fun for us.
Ben: All right. That's fine. We got time.
Jim: Binaural signal processing, binaural beat, was discovered by a German scientist in 1839. And essentially, it's using physics to trick the brain. So, your ears are a source of creating a signal. Your ears don't hear; they bring in the signal to the brain. And the caught-up nucleus of the midbrain is what's processing the signal from the ears. So, if you wanted to present your brain with a beat, and for example for NuCalm, we want to present your brain with 12 Hertz down to 4 Hertz, which is the alpha and theta region. And so you can't hear 12 Hertz. We can't present it in a pattern that you could hear. So, we're going to have to use some type of way to trick the brain. And that's what binaural signal processing is all about.
So, for ease of simplicity, if we wanted to present your brain with 12 Hertz beat, in the left ear, we will put 512 Hertz, in the right ear, we'll put 500. When the brain, the caught-up nucleus of the midbrain, gets these signals, it says, “Wait a second. This is asynchronous. This doesn't make any sense.” The brain literally subtracts the difference and you are left with that beat. That's what's called binaural beat. You have to listen to headphones because we need the headphones that you present the frequency.
Ben: Right. You couldn't just play this on your phone, as you laid there, with the electrical stimulation and cream on just listening to it passively via the phone without headphones in because you're not going to get the effect of the binaural beat played in the left and right ear, correct?
Jim: Correct, correct, yes. There's a waveform called isochronic waveform that you could listen to ambiently, but it doesn't have the entrainment properties of binaural. So, binaural beats are a dime a dozen. You can buy them for $0.99, $1.99, which–
Ben: Yeah. I was going to say it's not rocket science to find binaural beats.
Jim: It's not. So, you'd say, “Okay. Then why is your technology $4,695 class for your medical device with FDA and Health Canada and all this science behind it? Well, we are tricking the most sophisticated complex organ on the planet in the human brain. Now, for those listeners out there who've communed with the brain and how it works, there's something called a reticular activating system. It is the stimulation filter to everything that comes into your brain, whether it's visual, auditory tactile, et cetera.
This reticular activating system is very sophisticated and has two primary functions; one, pattern recognition, two, find a shortcut. Think about this. You can live on a certain street for 10 years and drive down one day and you see a house you didn't know was there and it's six houses down from your house. Your brain can't take in all the stimulation from all your senses. So, this reticular activating system is very powerful.
Now, in developing the NuCalm neuroacoustic software, Dr. Holloway understands the complexity of it and the need to trick it. So, NuCalm in our neuroacoustic software, by way of a simple analogy, a typical song you download from iTunes is five, six, seven megabytes. One track of NuCalm, NuCalm Recovery 2, for example, is 789 megabytes of information we're forcing your brain to process. So, we are using binaural signal processing. We're using a pitch and frequency mathematical matrix. We're using tambura instrumentation, vibrational instrumentation, but most importantly, sets NuCalm apart from anything else that's on the planet and why we have the only patents in the world is a nonlinear oscillating algorithm.
Jim: So, when you download a binaural beat file, the first time you listen to it, it's amazing, it works really well. The second time you listen to it, it works really well. The third time you listen to it, not so good. Fourth time, you've really reached diminished returns. That's the effect of the reticular activating system, understanding that pattern.
So, in NuCalm, Ben, we're taking your brainwave function from beta, because you're awake when you get into NuCalm, down into alpha and theta. Now, alpha is a slower brain waveform and it's 12 Hertz to 8 Hertz, and that's synonymous with recreativity, relaxation being in the zone and transcendental meditation. Theta is the coup de grâce and it's slower waveform than alpha. That's seven Hertz to four Hertz, and it's just above deep sleep. Theta is really important for everybody to understand because it's the second stage of sleep. There's a lucid dreaming element to it. But the key to theta is it is the only time that your cells clean toxins out of their cells and do their maintenance and also create the mitochondria and the energy source for your cells. This is “the healing zone” for the human condition. So, that second stage of sleep or theta is pivotal to our health.
So, with NuCalm, we are going to use all this complex physics and algorithms and mathematics to present your brain with a pattern like a NASCAR pace car. But again, it's nonlinear. So, when you're using NuCalm, Ben, I know invariably, every time you do it, your mind is wandering. That's the result of the nonlinear oscillating algorithm. For example, we'll start at 13 Hertz, we'll take you down to 9, then we'll take you up to 11, then we'll take you to 10, then we'll take you to 13, then we'll take you to 8. We can't keep it static. Your reticular activating system will figure this out.
So, when you look at the complexity, I can't overstate it, and I'm certainly is beyond my paygrade, this is absolute intense quantum physics, biochemistry, electrical signaling, and just a host of incredibly sophisticated elements so that we can trick your brain. And you will never build resistance in NuCalm. You can do the 20-minute power nap, for the rest of your life, your brain will never figure it out.
Ben: So, I'm basically going from about 4 to 12 Hertz when I'm wearing this thing, if I'm patterning between alpha and theta brainwaves?
Ben: Okay. Got it.
Jim: Mostly into theta. So, the 20-minute power nap. I'm not surprised that that's your favorite because it's 20 minutes, right? So, any high performer is going to be like, “Hey, I'd rather do 20 minutes than 30 or 40.” The 20-minute power nap was really a Herculean effort and amazing technological advancement. So, back in the day, 2010 to 2015, I didn't invent NuCalm. So, personally, as a CEO of the company, I'm like, “Okay. I need to go find the best scientist in the world to prove this works or doesn't work. And I need to go on a path to get patents in FDA and Health Canada.”
Well, when you've invented the world's only technology that claims to lower stress, improve sleep quality without drugs, you get the attention of the best scientists in the world. So, we worked with Dr. Chung-Kang Peng, the world's preeminent expert in heart rate variability. He's a world's leading statistical biophysicist with over 34,000 medical citations. Okay? Using a nonlinear frequency domain quantum physics mathematical model, he showcased that 20 minutes of NuCalm is equivalent to about two hours of restorative sleep. That's an amazing statement to make. And the benefit there is because we're cycling your brainwave function and theta, Ben, that's where the body is literally getting the healing. Okay?
So, we go to the Consumer Electronics Show and we win best of CES. So, here's a [00:29:24] ______ at the Delaware. With 182,000 attendees and over 4,000 people there, we win the best of the CES. Now, you'd say, “Well, why did you do that?” We're in the convention center, we have a big booth, we're in the sleep section, and we have all this literature saying, “Get two hours of restorative sleep in 20 minutes.” Most humans have never even heard of NuCalm. They would just point at that sign saying, “I need that.” We did it at 1,847 people over the four-day meeting, and they all came into the 20-minute power nap.
So, I've talked to Dr. Holloway, and I said, “Dr. Holloway, I didn't understand the physics. I understand you can't just glide someone's brainwave function into theta, and there's this whole process, and we need to do all this cool stuff. But if the research says 20 minutes is equivalent to two hours of restorative sleep, why are we having people with NuCalm for 30 or 40 minutes? It's inconsistent. Do something about it. Make a 20-minute file.” And he said, “Jim, there's no way I can do that. You can't just take a human brain in beta or high beta and high stress and bring it right into theta. It doesn't work that way.”
Well, seven months of work, he figured it out. So, you're seeing the benefit of a concentrated version of literally taking a 50-minute, 5-0, master NuCalm track that's working through all the sophistication of relaxing the central nervous system or languishing control from you, allowing your body and brain to go on this journey into theta and deep relaxation. And he truncated it into 20 minutes.
Furthermore, Ben, he added some of the physics and the elements from the Ignite Warrior Brain physics, which we'll allude to later. So, I know why you like it, because that is an absolute ass-kicking file where you get in, you go down into theta faster. And then you probably go in and out of consciousness. And then when you get up, you just feel completely energized, focused, and ready to go.
Ben: Hey, you know when you're out at a restaurant and they bring out that fancy breadbasket with the sourdough rolls and the pretzel sticks and the wonderful multigrain bread and you sit there and your mouth is watering but you can't eat it because gluten makes you blow crap all over the back of the toilet seat, or maybe you want to have the pasta but you can't have the pasta, this homemade wonderful hand-rolled wheat pasta because it's got gluten in it, you can't have that carrot cake cupcake that they have for dessert because that's got gluten. Gosh, everything's got gluten.
Well, here's how I fix that. I'd travel, you'll see me do this, in my fanny pack all the time, with dipeptidyl peptidase, an enzyme that's clinically proven to break down gluten, so you could have your cake and eat it, too. I'm not endorsing you to go out and stuff your face full of GMO wheat, but at the same time, I mean if I'm at a fancy steakhouse sipping on my cocktail, waiting for my ribeye to get here and they bring out that breadbasket with the wonderful bone marrow butter and some sea salt, I'm going to have me some bread. But I'm going to eat my Gluten Guardian first. And Gluten Guardian works. I pop two to four capsules before any meal in which I'm getting exposed to gluten, and it just works.
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I have experimented with some other tactics that have reportedly been able to simulate a sleep cycle without one sleeping. Probably the two I messed around with the most prior to getting the NuCalm was a form of meditation called EcoMeditation that involves kind of looking into the empty space in the back of your eyes, dropping your tongue to the bottom of your mouth. There's a little bit of EFT or tapping involved with that along with some breathwork instruction. And then the other that I had experimented with a little bit was Yoga Nidra as a form of meditation, also borrowed from the yoga practices that also reportedly simulates a sleep cycle.
Now, everything I'm talking about–by the way, I know I've mentioned quite a bit. I'll link to if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/nucalmpodcast, and NuCalm is N-U Calm. You can also go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/nucalm if you just want to see the device. Same thing, it's spelled N-U Calm.
So, anyways, I had experimented with EcoMeditation and with Yoga Nidra. And then when I got the NuCalm, started experimenting with the power nap setting after you telling me about some of this research that had been done along with some anecdotal data about the simulation of sleep cycles, and found that it worked literally within a single session, and surprisingly, worked better and better every single time after that. You know, kind of laying my fears that I might grow used to the effects of it. It simply gotten more effective over time. I almost instantly now begin to slip in and out of that conscious and unconscious state as soon as I flip the thing on and begin a session.
So, it does indeed work in the way that you've just described, but something I wanted to ask you to delve a little bit more deeply into was what's going on from a parasympathetic nervous system stimulation standpoint? For example, heart rate variability is something I've discussed multiple times on the show, and I've even alluded to the different branches of the nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system being something that you can measure using a heart rate variability device that is reflected in what's called the high frequency, or I'm sorry, the low frequency, the LF response would be the sympathetic nervous system. And then the parasympathetic, the rest and digest nervous system, we would be trying to stimulate. Using something like the NuCalm would be the HF frequency. Now, have you measured anything like HRV or LF, HF frequencies using the NuCalm?
Jim: Well, you can't see me but I'm smiling ear-to-ear. Number one, you're noticing the same thing we all noticed. I've been using NuCalm for almost 10 years. You will never build resistance to this, okay? In 2013, we're working with the top statistical biophysicists and mathematicians on the planet at Harvard Medical School. And they said, “Hey, guys, why don't you guys just be our first guinea pigs in the first sample?” So, four of our executive team went up there and did NuCalm. With a single lead ECG device, an FDA approved single lead ECG device, they captured 250 data points a second, 15,000 data points a minute, and you got a NuCalm.
When we looked at the data, all of our executives were reaching a resonant frequency of 0.1, which is synonymous with monk-like meditation within one minute. So, your experience is exactly what it's supposed to be. You're noticing your body and your brain is being trained in an exceptional high level to reduce the sympathetic nervous system, raise the parasympathetic really quickly. So, your experience personally is par with everybody else's, and it's funny to hear.
So, here we are, we have this technology, and we know what it can do. But we have to prove this. And so we're seeking a patent for the world's only technology clinically proven to lower stress and improve sleep quality without drugs. So, anyone listening, if you're in patent law and you've gone through the patent process, you can imagine when you ask for the moon, it's going to take a while. It took us five years to execute this patent. And to do so, we literally went out and worked with the best in the world for heart rate variability.
So, for those listeners, and for you, Ben, who's interested in heart rate variability, the research we have will blow your mind for two reasons. One, we're using the world's–heart rate variability, Dr. C.K. Peng, all the mathematics out there, the multiscale entropy mathematical model, the Hilbert-Huang transform algorithm, all the mathematics in every HRV device is Dr. Peng's, okay? He owns the entire mathematical spectrum of HRV. So, what we did, Ben, was we captured data on two different groups; one, stage 4 metastatic cancer, two, professional athletic team. That was our research population. You learn the most from the extremes.
So, we went for the people who are, I think, the sickest people on the planet, dying from metastatic stage 4 cancer and absolutely consumed with fear and can't turn their sympathetic nervous system off. And professional athletes had operated in a significantly high level, but are always under a lot of stress, jet lag, fatigue, et cetera. We use that single lead ECG device, capturing all that data. The research was really simple. Five minutes before you put this ECG device on, you wouldn't do anything, then you do NuCalm. You have the device on the whole time. Then after NuCalm, you'd wait for five minutes, you'd take the device off. We download the data. Send it to Chung-Kang Peng, and he would use the nonlinear transform algorithm developed by Norton Huang at NASA to spit out the most sensitive accurate report of your HRV on the planet. And I don't know if I've sent you this data, but I will. Ben, you will see HF/LF ratios. You'll see the sympathovagal ratio. But most importantly, you're going to see this. Within five minutes, you're taking that person's LF, the stress response number, and you are lowering that while you're raising the HF.
Ben: So, you're saying in terms of LF/HF ratios, you're seeing a drop in LF/HF ratios as the HF, the parasympathetic nervous system score would be increasing, and that LF, the sympathetic nervous system score would be decreasing, and you're seeing that within five minutes?
Jim: Research was just published in the Annals of Depression and Anxiety. Dr. Elio Conte, another statistical biophysicist, studied 100 patients that had been hospitalized with depression and anxiety. The conclusion is beyond powerful. It shows that the typical LF/HF ratio, which is the sympathetic on top of the parasympathetic, was 4.8. So, 480 times sympathetic over parasympathetic. With NuCalm, when they were done, it was one, it was equal, 500% increase. So, we know without a shadow of a doubt.
So, the listeners here, everybody intuitively, if you have an IQ in any intellectual curiosity, when you hear about NuCalm, invariably, you're going to be like, “This sounds too good to be true.” I was the same way. Nine and a half years ago, I was the same way. But when you work with the best scientists in the world and they design any study they want, you have 52 doctors on your medical advisory board, you have the only patents in the world, you're FDA-cleared, you're approved by Health Canada, you're NSF certified for support, and you're approve by military, we've done all the hard work. This is not a gimmick. This isn't an off-the-shelf type of technology. This is a hardcore neuroscience company that's pushing through. Lower your stress and improve your rest response.
So, the parasympathetic, what you alluded to, that is pivotal to our health. If you look at the research from Stanford, it says 98% of all disease is created by stress, or Harvard Medical School says 95% disease is created by stress. People intuitively understand that but no one really knows why. And there's two blind spots of the human condition that are really quite plaguing all of us. Number one, we can't understand the intangible. Yes, you understand that when you're stressed out, you're not psychologically, emotionally, and physically performing at your best. You're not patient. You're not the best dad. You're not the best son. You're not the best lover. You're not the best business person. You know that intuitively, but you don't really know what's going on on a cellular level.
The second thing that plagues us in our blind spot is our time horizon. You would never pick up a cigarette if you knew that it's going result in cancer, but it's so far down the future. You'd never go lie in the sun this summer if you knew melanoma was going to kill you. But it's too far in the future. So, if you're 30 or 40 years old and you say, “Hey, stress is going to kill you,” you don't care because you can't understand long-term time horizons. Well, it's simple. Stress kills you very simply and it's over the course of time. What happens is when you are high stress, poor sleep, high stress, poor sleep, high stress, poor sleep, which is most human's typical cycle, you're not getting your brainwave function into theta, and you're gliding too quickly through the second stage of sleep. And remember, earlier I said, theta is the only time your cells clean their toxins and do their maintenance.
So, over the course of time, I'm 50 years old, I noticed inflammation in areas that I had wounds or injuries growing up. I noticed that I'm not as fast to do things. What happens is your cells don't understand their job anymore. The best way to articulate the breakdown in the cellular level and how disease is created by stress is cancer. We all have cancer in ourselves right now. You have cancer in your cells today, Ben. I have cancer in my body as well.
Ben: Yeah. A whole lot of people don't realize that, by the way, that everybody has cancer technically.
Jim: Everybody. But you have killer cells in your body, and your killer cells have an expressed message and an expressed work. Guess what they do. They go locate the cancer cells. They introduce themselves and they kill them. That's their job. So, how does disease start? Well, over the course of time, when your body doesn't get the mitochondria, the energy source or cleaner toxins, they get filled with debris, they start to forget what their job is.
So, over the course of time, say you're 51, 52, epigenetically predisposed to cancer, the cancer cell starts proliferating. Your killer cells go to the party. Guess what, they say, “Hey, this party is kind of fun.” They forgot their job and you develop cancer. That's how stress kills us. So, when I lecture all over the world, I start by saying, “Hey, everybody in this room is going to die from stress.” That's our reality. Unless you're lucky enough to die in an accident, the key here is balance. The autonomic nervous system is a zero-sum game, and most of us are not getting enough parasympathetic nervous system dominance.
NuCalm is an incredible facilitator. I work with some of the sickest people on the planet and it gives me probably the best reward because NuCalm doesn't take any effort, and you know this from using it, Ben. You just lie down in your bed, put the cream on the stem, the eye mask and a headphone, and off you go. And within a few minutes, you're in theta brain wave-function synonymous with being a monk. But physiologically, the benefit of this is really simple. We are activating your vagus nerve, which is the communication pathway of the autonomic nervous system. We are slowing down your respiration rate to one breath every 10 seconds. So, six breaths a minute. We are synchronizing your heart with your lungs and you are fully oxygenating. Your body is absorbing as much oxygen as humanly possible.
So, Ben, you're a high-performing athlete. You demand a lot of yourself physically. So, when you do NuCalm after you work out, you're getting the benefit of oxygenated red blood cells pushing lactic acid out and reducing inflammation. So, physically, you feel loose. But it's the mental clarity that's so powerful. You're getting oxygenated red blood flow to the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and frontal cortex. So, when you're done NuCalming, you have a presence of mind, you have a focus that you aren't used to, simply because there are oxygen-rich red blood cells in your cognition, in your frontal lobe, basically allowing you to create new neuronal coherence. That's the benefit of parasympathetic nervous system dominance.
Ben: Yeah. And they're in the right place to the blood because one of the things with excess sympathetic fight-or-flight response is that you're going to get cortisol, adrenaline, and a few other stress and wakefulness and activity hormones and neurotransmitters released, and that does cause vasoconstriction, particularly to visceral tissue and visceral organs, right? Like the kidneys, and the liver, and the stomach, and the intestines, and the colon, and the appendix. And because those are responsible for not only recovery but also food and nutrient absorption and excretion and detoxification and production of, particularly in the case of something like bone marrow, the mobilization of stem cells, for example.
Anytime blood, because of cortisol and adrenaline, is rushing to the tissues of the arms and the legs, the visceral organs suffer. And so long-term suffering of the visceral organs due to parasympathetic downregulation or sympathetic upregulation can affect where any of those nutrients that you're working so hard to, say, get from your diet are actually delivered. And I think that's something that flies under the radar as well is anytime that you can check out and improve blood flow to visceral organs even for a short period of time, you're activating a recovery response that is pretty dang profound.
Jim: So, we work with the world's elite warriors for the United States military. And we don't work with them because they're into relaxation, transcendental meditation, or meditating like a monk. It's quite laughable. We work with them because they are interested in expedited recovery without drugs. They are interested in their soldiers and operators being able to recover or restore despite ridiculous conditions, jet lag, malnourishment, in operating and time zones. And that's exactly what we're doing.
The predictability of NuCalm I think will always be really probably one of the wonders of this technology. I look at those elements, the cream, the stim, the headphone, and the eye mask and say, “How the hell does that do this?” And you probably think the same thing. It's absolutely amazing. The engineering and the meticulous design of NuCalm is mind-boggling, but the key here is simple. We are coming into your brain and body, and we are imposing our will in a nice manner simply to take the foot off the accelerator.
And your listeners and everybody else that I lecture around the world with, we have to wake up. You can make the argument that stress is the biggest challenge that we face today, whether it's our planet, whether it's our pets, whether it's our family or community. We are suffering the fate of racing towards what end. When's the last time you went to sleep and you had your to-do list done? When's the last time you weren't listing in the middle of the night when got up to urinate? We have to slow down. You have to stop. And at some point, you have to say, “Wait a second. I need some balance in my life.”
For NuCalm, 30 minutes is 148th of the day. And it took me, as a CEO of this company, over seven months to realize, “Wait a second. If I invest 30 minutes each day, it repays me with 12 to 15 hours of high efficient focused work.” Now, interestingly enough, the autonomic nervous system governs human fear, stress, anxiety, and depression. NuCalm's patent, listen closely, is systems and methods for balancing and maintaining the health of the human autonomic nervous system. Literally, the key to managing human fear, stress, anxiety, and depression.
Over the course of time, Ben, which you're going to start noticing, is that little itty bitty shitty committee in the back of your head that tells you you're not good enough, you're insecure, you're not going to do this, you're not going to do that, it goes away. Simply by blood flow to the amygdala and the HPA axis and all the things that are in your reptilian lizard brain, which is 40 million years in development. So, think about the difference of a 40-million-year-old reptilian brain that's designed for fight-or-flight and survival versus a $4 million dollar developed prefrontal cortex. That's the challenge we face. This technology comes in and says, “Listen, you're not running from a saber-toothed tiger anymore. So, why are you constantly in the fight-or-flight cortisol mode?” That's the power of this technology.
So, if I could, I just want to share with you some of the people that we work with with NuCalm to showcase that stress does not discriminate. Yes, we work with highly diseased individuals that have a chronic ailment. And when you're diagnosed with cancer and it's stage 3 or stage 4, I can't express to you but I'm sure everyone listening here has someone in their family who's had cancer, the fear that's elicited from that diagnosis, then combined with the confusion of trying to go through the medical establishment and figure out, “How do I solve this? How did I get it? What went wrong?” it literally consumes you. And if you can never relax, you can't get restorative sleep. If you can't get restorative sleep, your cells don't clean their toxins. You don't heal your immune system, it gets compromised, and you die faster. Literally, you're stressing out to death. It's terrible. It's a terrible irony. When your body needs to sleep the most, you can't get it.
So, yes, we come in. And when I work with stage 4 cancer, and we do a lot of work with the Comprehensive Cancer Wellness Program done at Hippocrates Health Institute with Dr. Hranicky and Dr. Michael Galitzer, I say to them, I say, “I'm not here to cure you of cancer. That would be hyperbole. But when's the last time you had one minute of peace of mind? When's the last time you felt at ease? When's the last time you had a good night sleep?” So, what we do is we provide the gift of relaxation, restoration, and recovery. And guess what that does, Ben. It allows their immune system to strengthen in the opportunity to fight.
So, we work with multiple sclerosis; Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS, addiction. All we're doing is we're not coming to cure your disease, but every disease out there is catalyzed and exacerbated by stress, and all the symptoms are exacerbated by stress. So, imagine, if you take stress out of the equation, you'll improve that quality of life, period. On the other continuum, we work with elite military, literally helping our soldiers in the field acclimate to tough conditions and recover expeditedly without drugs.
We also work with 42 professional sports teams. Same type of angle, allow these kids to relieve lactic acid and inflammation physically, but mentally, clean the slate. Mike Gapski, the trainer for the Chicago Blackhawks, has a great quote. He said, “We want our players to play intense, not tense, and it's tough.” Say you're a goalie and you give up overtime goal and it's the sixth game of the playoffs in the Stanley Cup, you're going to ruminate over that. NuCalm allows you to come in and say, “No, you're not going to. Today is a new day. You're going to perform better.”
So, we work across the gamut of the human condition. Three years ago, I'm thinking to myself, “Who can't we help? Because there are 7.6 billion people and stress is affecting all of us.” And I thought to myself, “We probably can't help monks.” So, being intellectually curious and demanding a lot of this–
Jim: With monks.
Jim: So, we head out to Los Angeles and we've started working with monks. So, I trained them on NuCalm. I come back out two weeks later fully expecting them to say, “Hey, thanks but no thanks.” And I say, “So, what do you guys think of NuCalm?” And they say, “We love it.” And I'm like, “Why would you love NuCalm?” They said, “Because we're human, Jim. Yeah, we've meditated for 100,000 hours, okay? It is our life. We're good at it. But every time we go to meditate, we go through checklists, we go through isolation, we go through boredom. And what we find with NuCalm is it accelerates us into this creative zone that allows us to do our best meditation work.”
So, I remember stepping out of that meeting and calling my executive team saying, “Guess what guys, we're chilling out monks.” Okay? That's insane. Everybody has stress. Everybody deals with it in a certain manner. A couple of years ago, Ben, a book was authored by Dr. Michael Galitzer. He's one of the leading energy experts and energy doctors in the world out of California. And he wrote the book on the etiology, the invention, and the path of NuCalm, and also the biology of addiction.
And so the book is authored. And I called Tony Robbins, a friend of mine. I say, “Tony, will you write the foreword of this book?” So, he writes the foreword. And then I called Brother Craig Marshall, the yoga monk that trained the Beatles on meditation. I said, “Would you write the preface?” How many books out there on a technology have a gladiator, a nuclear reactor in the form of Tony Robbins writing one example of how this improves his life, and on the other side, a monk, who's meditated 100,000 hours? That's the dynamics of what this technology can do.
And we're really just getting started. The company is 17 years old. We've been commercialized for nine years, but we're bringing to market, this county, a consumer version that's going to be more affordable and easier to use so that we can create ubiquitous use of NuCalm. And the goal here is simple, change the balance of energy on this planet from negative to positive, and relinquish people's fear, stress, anxiety that's holding them hostage and not allowing them to achieve the success they want, and they don't know any better. Very few of us are going to take the time and effort to become yogi masters, tai chi masters, meditation masters. This technology is a shortcut.
Ben: Have you guys ever done any–just back briefly to the science, particularly on the nervous system, have you looked at anything else related to parasympathetic activation that goes beyond HRV, like anything such as blood pressure, or I know there's a measurement like the blood volume pulse or the measurement of vasoconstriction? Or particularly, a few of the others I was curious about was anything related to neurotransmitter measurements, whether or not you've measured what's occurring in terms of either urinary or any other measurement of neurotransmitters before or after the use of the NuCalm.
And then finally, not to throw too much at you with one question, but I know that the actual vagus nerve and the vagal nerve tone can be approximated or measured by looking at respiratory sinus arrhythmia patterns or RSA patterns. Have you looked into anything else aside from the HRV response, particularly when it comes to some of those other things?
Jim: Yeah. That's absolute. So, when we were doing the research early on, we were looking at 27 discrete biophysical measures using quantitative EEG respiratory sinus arrhythmia, neurotransmitter panel testing, cortisol before and after, all of it. HRV was the most sophisticated, most powerful, and using the most sophisticated mathematical models in the world, became the most sensitive and accurate. But we have for you listeners, if you're interested, we have a significant amount of research that's compiled in a 24-page document that showcases all the biophysical measures.
So, yes, we're improving respiratory sinus arrhythmia which, as you know, is related to HRV, right? So, HRV today is now the gold standard of measuring the human stress response. Historically, it used to be galvanic [00:58:20] ______ measuring the electrophoresis of the skin, right? That's the technology in a lie detector. So, yes, we've done all of those measures. It's very simple. The predictable outcome is always the same. I mean, it's a tremendous honor to lead this enterprise, and to bring to the plan is something that's so pointed to necessary in our time.
You can imagine the confidence I have when we work with anybody. I don't know if you're a military doctor, a doctor at Harvard, it doesn't matter. I simply say here's how it works. Design whatever [00:58:52] ______. In that document, we also have fMRI, which is finite-element method MRI, and it showcases a live brain on NuCalm, which is absolutely fascinating. You can see the stimulation area of the midbrain, mostly the amygdala and the HPA axis.
So, we worked with Marom Bikson, one of the world's leading experts on transcranial direct current stimulation. And he did a finite element method MRI on a live brain. So, a person using NuCalm showcasing that the intensity being read is the highest intensity. You can see the intensity of the amygdala and the HPA axis. The HPA axis is the midbrain element of our adrenals. It's the hypothalamic-pituitary gland adrenal cortex and it's an axis. It's a one-way axis. Your hypothalamus is a thermostat of the body and it regulates your sympathetic and parasympathetic.
And you can also see where the brain–and the brain stem is where the vagus nerve innervates and goes all the way down through your visceral organs to your feet. But you can see it fully activated and stimulated. So, there are a million different ways to look at what this does and how it does. I think one of the key elements to this, and why we have the only patent in the world, when you look at stimulation devices, Ben, all you see is a stimulation device, whether it's Fisher Wallace, Alpha-Stim, focus, it doesn't matter. It is stimulation. It's neuro-biofeedback.
If you look at just a supplement, you're just doing a supplement. NuCalm, as far as I can see in the landscape, is the only technology that combines biochemistry in the form of GABA, and a stimulation device to catalyze GABA, so that we slow down your adrenals. And guess what, when your body is unable to resist, the physics will take hold in a manner that you can't get out of. Early on, I think in 2010, I was doing a lecture at the Royal College of Physicians in London, and speaking quickly, and I speak in an accent, English accent, American English accent.
I probably speak to many 57 words when I'm doing a neuroscience lecture to doctors, and I was losing my audience, and I just stopped, and I spread my arms over my head and did kind of the Mork and Mindy Nanu Nanu. And I literally yelled out to the audience, “Resistance is futile. We know where we're taking your brain. And if you have a heart that works, lungs that work, and ears that work, the same thing is going to happen to you as the other millions of people that have used NuCalm. It's that predictable.”
Ben: Now, I want to ask you a few practical questions about the use of this thing that I've been wondering about, and a few of these you've been kind enough to answer for me, and then a few I self-question about. For example, if this thing actually simulates a sleep cycle, the 20-minute power nap setting on the app, then would you not want to use it prior to a night of sleep or, for example, during sleep, and instead, use at a different time of day? Like, for example, if I use this as I'm falling asleep and go through the full sleep cycles, that's somehow going to mess up my sleep architecture if I'm using it, say, to fall asleep faster or, say, if I wake up at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. and want to use it to fall back asleep?
Jim: Yes. You absolutely would never take a power nap before the onset of sleep. So, we recommend to people, if you have a normal bedtime at 9:00, 10:00, don't do NuCalm after seven o'clock at night because the last thing you would want to do is take a four or five-hour power nap. What's going to happen is you're going to have the most productive evening of your life and no one to share it with. So, that's absolute.
Now, you're young and you're not in a place of chronic sleep issues, but we do have an older audience and a lot of doctors around the country. And we have a 15-minute rule. So, a lot of our doctors have NuCalm at their bedside. And if they wake up at 3:00 in the morning to pee, and then they can't get back to bed and they're perseverating over solving world hunger or whatever is staying on their brain, they'll wait 15 minutes and then they'll just put the neuroacoustic software on. They won't use the cream. They won't use the stim. They'll use it as an aid to get back to sleep, and invariably, they'll fall back to sleep.
Typically, for NuCalm, we recommend the best sweet spot for using NuCalm is between 1:00 and 4:00, when your body's natural biorhythm wants to take a nap. Now, us high-performing Americans, we don't think about that and we don't listen to our body. What we do is we go to Starbucks and get a triple shot of espresso, or drink Red Bull or five-hour energy thinking, “Hey, I'm just going to run through walls.” That's not what your body needs. Listen to your body. Your body actually could really benefit from the 20-minute power nap, which is equivalent to two hours of restorative sleep in the middle of day.
Now, most of us don't get that opportunity. So, I'm going to be in San Diego this week and I've got five high-octane days every day, probably 16 to 18-hour workdays. Okay, great. I will get up 30 minutes early. If I'm supposed to be up at 5:00, I'm going to be up at 4:30. I'll go to the bathroom. I'll get back in bed. I'll get on NuCalm. I won't go that deep because my cortisol levels are the highest in the morning to wake me up, but I will get in my 20 to 30 minutes of NuCalm.
Now, I want to make this very clear. Your body cannot make up sleep debt. Now, biochemistry and physics may be able to. There's still not enough known in the science of sleep to really understand sleep architecture, but it seems that through our research, that 20 minutes is equivalent to two hours of restorative sleep. However, this is not a tool that you would use to sleep less. We have a lot of high performers out there that quickly, deductively use the math and say, “Holy shit, I can sleep less and just use this.” No, that's not true. I was visiting with Tony Robbins and said, “Hey, you need to sleep.” Simple mathematics. If you live to be a 100 years old, you should sleep for 33 years. That's how important sleep is.
Ben: I'm going to push back for a second because I don't quite understand. My MO for much of my life is I don't sleep eight to nine hours a night. I instead sleep somewhere in the realm of about seven to seven and a half most nights, and then I take a brief nap in the afternoon, usually after lunch, or often I'm on an airplane, so I'll squeeze in the nap on the airplane or slip into my hotel room while I'm at a conference. And for any of those scenarios, because it's very convenient, I've simply been opting to use the 20-minute power nap setting on the NuCalm, A, based on the research you've shared with me about its simulation of sleep cycles, an approximation of some of the same parasympathetic nervous system benefits it will give you that replicate what you'd be getting during sleep, but also because I feel actually even better than if I take a standard traditional nap and actually fall asleep.
So, for someone who's getting like seven, seven and a half hours of sleep, and then like me, is kind of replacing that other hour of sleep we're supposed to be getting with a quick 20, 30 minutes' max nap in the middle of the day, couldn't I still say, “Well, I'm sleeping less but still getting the benefits of an eight to nine hours of sleep”?
Jim: You can, and you're doing exactly what you should do. So, what I'm cautioning people to do is don't sleep for four hours and NuCalm for an hour of taking that. That's going to be the kick. You know how people are. They're always looking for shortcuts. You're doing exactly what you should do. And the reason that you feel better when you slip into your hotel in a conference and do 20-minute power nap, when you slip into a nap, if you're able to nap during a day, you're going into delta. NuCalm doesn't allow you going to delta. NuCalm keeps you in theta, which remember, is the healing zone with maximum oxygenation. So, that's how we get that exponential use of 20 minutes to two hours of sleep, because you're not going through the full sleep architecture of delta where your body is restoring.
Ben: Okay. That makes sense. So, that's also why then I'm not groggy after I turn it off because I'm not getting into delta, because like you mentioned, it works pretty well pre-exercise. And if I actually fall asleep during a nap then get up to exercise, my first 20 minutes of the exercise session I feel like I'm warming up. Yesterday, my dad came up to visit, and we wanted to spend some time together. It's been a while since we had a chance to hang out. And he texted me at about 2:45 in the afternoon. He said, “I'm going to be there right around 4:00.” And I actually really wanted to squeeze in my workout session before I hang out with my dad the rest of the evening.
So, I went upstairs about 2:50, turned the NuCalm off, did my 20-minute session, then went out to the gym and did my 40-minute workout and just squeezed all that into the span of about an hour, but literally, walked from the bedroom to the gym and launched right in the burpees. And from what it sounds like you're saying, the reason I'm able to do that and get the benefits of the nap without being so drowsy afterwards, I got to warm up forever to even do a workout, is because I'm not getting in the delta sleep with the use of the NuCalm, or delta waves.
Jim: That's exactly right. Exactly.
Jim: You should never get up from NuCalm feeling groggy. And if you do, and some people may, it simply means you needed more NuCalm. Your body is physically exhausted.
Ben: And that cream, that GABA cream, that's kind of out of your system by that point?
Jim: So, the GABA cream is fascinating. Your body is going to accept what it wants and you're going to excrete the rest. So, here's one of the cool things about NuCalm and why the sleep quality is improved. Your body relies on GABA. It's one of the key nutrients for sleep. In fact, it's designed to turn off your brain at night and help with the onset of sleep. Most of us are GABA-deficient, whether it's from our food supply or we're just too stressed out. So, when you do NuCalm during the day, say, at one o'clock in the afternoon, there's enough GABA left in your brain that hasn't been used up at night when your body's preparing for sleep, and it's creating melatonin, and activating serotonin, and looking for GABA. There's plenty of GABA leftover. That's what helps with the onset of sleep and improves the sleep quality.
At some point, Ben, you're probably going to notice that you're starting to dream again like when you were a kid, because over the course of time and retraining your brain, we're teaching your brain and body how to relax and how to prepare for sleep, but we're also giving the nutrients of gamma-Aminobutyric acid, which is a key inhibitory neurotransmitter for sleep. Most of us with onset of sleep issues or wake up in the middle and can't get back to sleep is directly correlated to GABA-deficiency.
Ben: Okay. Got it. All right, that makes sense. Another question that I wanted to ask you was I noticed the device itself, the little handheld controller that the electrodes attached to, it has the ability, although the instructions that come with the NuCalm say, “You don't need to do anything. Just flip it on and let it go.” But me being the curious inquisitive person I am noticed that there are also up and down arrows on the device, and that by pushing the up arrow repeatedly, I could jack up the level of the cranial electrical stimulation. And I'm curious if that is a modifiable factor that the user could toy around with. Do you get any increased efficacy or is there any danger to bringing that thing up a level?
Because you mentioned to me I think at one point when we were talking on the phone, “Hey, be careful. You might get dizzy, yadda, yadda, yada.” But I actually have multiple times used it at a pretty high level, and I can't say I noticed profound differences between a high level and a low level of cranial electrical stimulation, but I'm also curious whether or not I'm just like effing myself and I'm going to forget third grade math here at some point.
Jim: You're not. You're manically not because you're definitely intellectually curious, and you're probably one of the reasons why we went–our latest version has no dials. It's got no screen. It's on or off. We've had people–
Ben: Rule breakers like me.
Jim: Rule breakers. A lot of folks, I did a whole lecture tour in Russia, and they're just inherently inquisitive and they would jack it up to 0.9 or 1.0. You can only absorb so much GABA, okay? So, remember, this is 0.5 Hertz and it's designed to electroporate the cell wall membrane and open up the GABA receptor site. So, when you jack up the intensity of the CES device, you're not going to see much difference because you're only going to get as much as your body can absorb on the GABA.
However, there are other elements to it, definitely, vagal stimulation. We had a gastroenterologist call me up and said, “Hey, I jacked this up by itself, just sitting on his bed to like 0.7 and was hallucinating.” I was like, “I have no idea what you're doing or why you'd even do that.” We have also had some people that, like, 0.9 or 1, experience a headache. Now, personally, for me, I love to be a guinea pig as well. I jack it up to 0.8 and was definitely feeling a little woozy. But no. So, today, and in fact probably for the last six months, if you buy NuCalm, there is no dial, there is no way to jack up the intensity. But it is there in your device and it is there in thousands of people's devices. It's really just exploratory. You can't hurt yourself from it. It'll just be an experiential thing that you could get dizzy or you could have a headache, but it's not going to improve the efficacy too much.
Ben: Okay. Got it. Another question. On the app itself, I, 99% of the time, use this 20-minute power nap setting just because it's so freaking convenient and it works for me. But there are also 30 to 50-minute sessions such as relax and recovery, kind of these mixes of synthesizers and strings and piano and guitar. And I'm messing around those a little bit. I really don't get the same effects out of them, but I'm curious for the relaxation and the recovery tracks. What is the attended purpose of those?
Jim: You're awesome. I'm really enjoying your intellectual curiosity and you are definitely a high performer. Okay. What I would like you to do for the next week or two is use Recovery 2. You're kind of taking a shortcut.
Ben: Recovery 2?
Jim: Recovery 2.
Jim: You're taking a shortcut using the 20-minute power nap. And I know why you're using it. One, convenience, 20 minutes is 170 second of the day as opposed to 148th of the day. I get that. You're also using it because there's a 14 Hertz sensory motor rhythm activation, physics frequency in that file. It's different than the NuCalm files. We're adding some of the Ignite Warrior Brain in there. So, you're getting an extra bump of enthusiasm and focus when you get up.
Recovery 2, when we went to our sound engineer, Dan Selene, who's a world-renowned music producer, he's also an expert in medical hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming and just a brilliant engineer, I said to him, “I want you to make a track for stage 4 cancer. I want you to make a track for the highest stress profile of humans that we work with.” So, Recovery 2 is designed for the ultimate in restoration and recovery.
Now, you're hearing synthesizer, you're hearing environmental sounds. You have no idea the complexity that goes into this. The process is really fascinating. Dr. Holloway invents the physics. The physics sounds like this, [creates a vibrating sound] And there's a mathematical matrix to it.
Ben: It almost sounds like [01:14:15] ______.
Jim: There you go. It would be really annoying to listen to just that. So, I sent to Dan Selene a mathematical matrix. At 1 minute 12 seconds, the frequency is 11 Hertz and the pitch is 169. It's all mathematics. Then he brings in composers from around the world. They compose music. That's congruent with the mathematics at every time signature. It's literally like brain surgery because if you build music that has a different frequency from the physics, you're literally interrupting the ability of NuCalm to be so effective.
So, it's an incredible architecture. He is an incredible wizard in music. So, the environmental sounds that you hear in the NuCalm neuroacoustic software you've never heard before, and I know this because he's using a 3D holophonic microphone and placing it in certain areas like a vortex in Arizona for the cicadas, or Big Sur at sunrise. So, we're putting in all these different elements because we have to keep the brain entrained. And your brain is so smart.
Early on, the first few tracks, we only did about 15 minutes of music and melody before we move into environmental because we felt the brain with fatigue and get distracted and bored. So, when you're listening to Recovery 2, you're going to hear kind of a Pink Floyd-esque type of music. The instrumentation is actually from a guitar player out of India. And then you're going to hear ocean sounds from Kauai, Hawaii, and it's an incredible mix, but that's the strongest restorative track. So, I use that almost every day. When I don't have time, I use the 20-minute power nap. But I want you to try Recovery 2.
So, recovery and relaxed tracks are the most powerful. The earlier tracks, the earlier physics, NuCalm 1.0 are the guitar, spa, string, and piano. Those I never use anymore because NuCalm 2.0 was released in 2016 and the physics is profoundly better. But try Recovery 2 for a week or two and you're going to notice a difference. You're going to notice the longevity of that kind of focus and presence and your sleep quality is going to improve by using that as opposed to the 20-minute power nap.
Ben: Okay. Got it. So, use Recovery 2. I'm writing that down. That's the one I'll try next on the app. You also briefly mentioned Ignite. And you sent me access to the Ignite app about a month ago. And I've played around with it a little bit and it's kind of the complete opposite of the NuCalm. It's like sympathetic nervous system activation on steroids. You've got like Tony Robbins voice in there. You've got all this crazy music. Did you pretty much take the technology use of NuCalm and just reverse engineered that to get sympathetic stimulation, or what's the idea behind Ignite?
Jim: That's exactly what we did. So, the NuCalm system is patented, okay? But the methods used by Dr. Holloway to create the physics is patented. And we were very wise when we did the patent. We simply said, “Using this type of technology and physics and mathematics, we're going to elicit a physiological outcome.” We didn't define what the outcome was. So, a few years ago, the professional soccer team came to us and said, “Hey, we love NuCalm. It's helping our players recover. They're staying on the pitch longer. They're healing from injuries faster. They're not jet lagged. We love it. But can you make something that gets our players jacked up to get on the pitch?” And I said, “We can do anything.”
So, I contacted Dr. Holloway and said, “Hey, this is what we're thinking about doing. Can you do this?” It took about six or seven months and we got the physics file, which we called Ignite Warrior Brain. Now, the physics of this is the same entrainment properties; it's just the outcome is different. So, we're starting you at 15 Hertz, which is beta focus. And over the course of that 12 minutes and 48 seconds, we are jacking your brainwave function up to 39 Hertz, which is higher consciousness but really eliciting dopamine.
When we say we are preparing you for battle, we mean it. And the power of this is mind-boggling to me. You don't need the eye mask, you don't need the cream, you don't need the stimulation; you just need a pair of headphones. And within a few minutes, you notice your olfactory increase, you notice your peripheral vision increase, you notice blood flow to your musculature. We're activating your sensory motor rhythm, at least in dopamine. I tell people, I said, “Hey, if you want to throw a punch at your grandma, listen to this file because it will prepare you to fight.
So, what we see, Ben, is most of our users get up in the morning, they use NuCalm to restore and create whatever, jet lag or sleep deficiency they had. They get the restoration they need. Then they listen to Ignite once or twice through. They stop drinking coffee. They use this as the catalyst. They also use it–for the professional athlete, use it before and during periods of games. And they also use it during a workout. That's why I was asking you earlier, “Hey, do you use this during a workout?” When you use this during a workout, you are going to increase your endurance and your strength, and it's formidable, and it's quantifiable. It's rather amazing.
So, here's what's cool about NuCalm. We have this device in NuCalm that's commercial, and you can buy today, and it's going to help resolve stress and sleep quality great without drugs. But we also have Ignite Warrior Brain. Now, Ignite Warrior Brain is a non-commercial app right now. We've never commercialized it, and it's all done through an NDA, and it's a privately held confidential app. But in the future, we will bring this to market.
We also have a Transcendental Meditation file. We have a focus file. So, we're building a whole catalog and a whole portfolio of physiological outcomes in different tracks so that you can get up and say, “Hey, today, I want to think about gratitude,” or, “Today, I want to think about meditation,” or, “Today, I want to focus,” or, “Today, I want to work hard and use Ignite.” That's what we're working on.
Ben: I dig it. Very cool. Well, I know we're getting a little long in the tooth, and I want to make sure that people know where they can get this. You alluded to the price earlier. It's close to $5,000. So, it's not an inexpensive device, but like I mentioned, I toy around with a ton of these things. I've got the Fisher Wallace Circadia. I have the DAVID Delight Mind Alive Pro. I've got the BrainTap. I've toyed around with all of them. And I'm not just saying this to blow smoke, Jim. Nothing works as well as the NuCalm. And so there's probably a reason the price tag is as high as it is.
I do have a 50% off discount code on it that I'll give to those of you listening in. It's just BEN50. You can use that over on the NuCalm website. You just go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/nucalm, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/N-U-calm, and you'll get 50% off with the code BEN50. For me, the way I always think of sleep is a good solid night of sleep for me, related to my productivity the next day, is worth somewhere in the realm of about 20 bucks.
And so because of that, if I'm looking at the price of a sleep-enhancing or a relaxation enhancing device, something like this, for example, I would say, “Okay. So, at a price point of $5,000, something like this would likely pay off for me in terms of enhancing sleep over the course of around a year or so.” And so I always look at things in terms of an investment in my health or an investment in my sleep. And I'm not trying to just upsell this to you guys and turn this into a big commercial, but I do really, really like the device. And anytime I dig something this much, I like to share it with you. I also like to get a discount code for you. So, it's BEN50 you can use over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/nucalm.
I will also, for everything Jim and I have been talking about, will put a link to the show notes, or in the show notes, and more information in the show notes. And the show notes were over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/nucalmpodcast. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/nucalmpodcast.
Jim, not only am I looking forward immensely to opening up my NuCalm and my Ignite apps and seeing what crazy new tracks you add in there because it seems like every time the iTunes Store updates, there's something new for me to check out, but I also want to thank you, not only for creating this device that has been a game changer for me with my hectic travel schedule and conferencing schedule, but also thank you for devoting the time and coming on the show today.
Jim: I just wanted to say one thing. You get what you pay for. I understand $4,695 is a lot of money. We definitely work with a lot of people [01:23:12] ______ wealth, I get that. But $5,000 investment in your health is worth it. And yeah, you're paying for 20 years of research and development, you're paying for regulatory, all that stuff. If $4,695 is too much and you live in New York, there's a place called Recover. It's on 38th and 7th near Madison Square Garden. They charge $45 for 30 minutes of NuCalm. They're exceptional of what they do.
Josh Holland on 432 house, he's on 6th Avenue, same thing. We seem to see a proliferation of these types of places opening up, and it's all about Recover. I think there's a mindset band where people are starting to understand, he can't just push, push, push. There has to be recovery involved. So, we're seeing a proliferation of these types of organizations growing. And so Recover is in New York, 432 houses in New York, and I'm sure we're going to see a proliferation of these, at least in California, and probably Texas, in Florida, and the East Coast kind of the smile line of the United States. But recovery is becoming a forefront understanding of how to best perform. And you're right, invest 30 minutes and overpay you at 12 to 13 hours of incredible high efficiency.
You know, I think even more important than that, when I reflect on the man I was 10 years ago, I didn't have the patience I have today. I didn't have the presence I have today. I wasn't the better father than I am today. I wasn't a better human being than I am today. I had expectation. I had insecurities. I had all these things that plagued most of us for most of our life. I don't have that anymore. So, I don't suffer that fate anymore and I love the human being that I am, and I can be present and I can help people like Ben who reaches out to me and says, “Hey, what about this? What about that?” I love what I do and we're here to change the world. So, thank you very much for this opportunity, Ben. I really appreciate it.
Ben: Awesome, man. Thanks for coming on. I'll have to check out that place Recover in New York, too. I noticed you guys were at–you're at Paleo f(x) as well. You had some stations at Paleo f(x) on the VIP room.
Jim: We did.
Ben: Yeah. Cool. I dig it. Okay. So, show notes, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/nucalmpodcast. If you want to get a NuCalm for yourself, go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/nucalm as in NuCalm. Use code BEN50. That will knock 50% off. Jim, I'll catch you on the flip side, man.
Jim: Take care.
Ben: Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
I'm constantly playing and experimenting with new devices and so-called biohacks to enhance sleep and cognition.
One of my favorites of late is a very handy device called the NuCalm, which I've been using to simulate an entire 120-minute sleep cycle with just a 20-minute daily power nap.
The NuCalm is a next-level cranial electrotherapy stimulation device that uses both a relaxation cream and mild stimulation to help your brain interrupt the adrenaline and cortisol release by mimicking what naturally occurs in your brain right before you sleep. It includes an app with “music” – which is actually neuroacoustic software that delivers frequencies to your brain which take you down to theta brain wavelength. This thing lets me get a 20-minute intense period of relaxation even when I can’t nap, and I’m now ducking away and using it nearly every day, particularly during travel and on airplanes. It’s spendy, but in my opinion, well worth it. You can get a NuCalm here and save 50% off your first purchase with code: BEN50.
My guest on this show is Jim Poole, Chairman, President, and CEO of Solace Lifesciences, Inc., the maker of NuCalm. Jim is an accomplished business executive with extensive experience in the healthcare, biotechnology, dental, market research, and IT industries. Mr. Poole manages the strategic direction and ongoing operations of Solace Lifesciences, Inc., a neuroscience company focused on personalized wellness and performance. In 2015, Solace Lifesciences, the maker of NuCalm, was granted the world’s sole patent for “Systems and Methods for Balancing and Maintaining the Health of the Human Autonomic Nervous System.”
Mr. Poole has successfully launched global products, managed growth strategies, and effectively optimized business operations for large and small organizations alike. Prior to joining Solace Lifesciences, Jim co-founded Focused Evolution, a premier global management strategy-consulting firm. As a Managing Partner, he managed mergers and acquisitions, due diligence, and growth strategies for venture capital and private equity firms. Under Jim’s leadership, Focused Evolution grew into a multi-million dollar consulting firm, serving a global client portfolio of 49 companies, across a broad in a range of industries.
Jim serves on the board of directors of several medical device firms around the world. He is a recognized business leader, public speaker, an accomplished author, and has published numerous articles in industry trade journals and lectures all over the world globally on topics including stress, recovery, performance, and business strategy. Jim has published over 30 articles in industry trade journals. A New York state native, Poole earned a BA in psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MBA in International Business & Marketing from Babson College.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-What exactly a NuCalm is…8:30
- Cranial electrotherapy stimulation(CES)
- Designed to halt the stress response and raise the parasympathetic response
- Was developed over the course of 20 years by a neuroscientist/quantum physicist/naturopath, Dr. Holloway
- He's not myopic: you'll find biochemistry, electrical signaling
- Physiological benefit of living like a monk
- The hand-held deviceis the core of the product
- Brain and body communicate in 2 ways: chemical and electrical messaging
- Cycles brain wave function into data
- Key is in controlling the adrenal glands
- It's FDA cleared to treat insomnia, anxiety, depression
- Amino acid GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid0); the antithesis of adrenal stimulation
- GABA is transmitted to the brain via the cream
- Shuts down the HPA axis (adrenals)
- The cream contains, in addition to GABA, taurine, glycine, casein tryptic hydrolysate (the protein found in mother's milk)
- If you didn't get all that, get this: The device relaxes the nervous system, which allows the GABA in the cream to reach the brain and work its magic
-How the audio features in the NuCalm app enhance the user experience…22:20
- Binaural beats:
- Discovered in 1839
- The ear can't hear them; they bring the signal into the brain
- Binaural signal processing (512 hz into the left ear; 500 hz into the right ear)
- Reticular activating system: Stimulation filter to the brain
- Two functions: pattern recognition and find a shortcut
- One track on the NuCalm app is over 700 mb of data (compared to 5-6 mb on an iTunes track)
- Non-linear oscillating algorithm:
- Takes the brain from beta (awake) to alpha and theta
- Theta is when the cells cleanup and create energy source for themselves (healing zone)
-The science behind going through an entire sleep cycle in a 20-minute power nap…28:00
- NuCalm's claims attracted top scientists to validate them
- World's preeminent expert in HRV verified that the NuCalm truncates a 2 hours of sleep into 20 minutes
- Won “best of CES” at Consumer Electronics Show
- Holloway was resistant to creating a 20 minute track mimicking an entire sleep cycle (was 40-50 minutes)
- Supply followed demand; after months of research the 20 minute track was a reality
-How the NuCalm device measures heart-rate variability…37:40
- Low frequency (LF) pertains sympathetic nervous system
- High frequency (HF) the parasympathetic
- Monk-like meditation level within one minute
- Took 5 years to secure a patent on the technology
- Worked with the most renowned experts on HRV
- K. Peng
- Captured data from 2 groups: metastatic stage 4 cancer, professional athletes
- LF is lowered while raising the HF
- 100 patients with depression and anxiety were studied with astounding results after using the device
- We understand intuitively that stress causes disease, but don't understand why
- We can't understand the intangible
- Long-term time horizons make us apathetic in our youth
- High-stress/poor sleep lifestyle = not enough time in theta or the 2nd stage of sleep
- Cancer is the best way to articulate the breakdown
- We all have cancer in our bodies, however our immune system kills them when it's functioning properly
- Stress breaks down this function over time
- Physiological benefit:
- It activates the vagus nerve
- Slows breath down to one breath per 10 seconds
- Syncs heart with the lungs
- Fully oxygenated
-How the NuCalm affects recovery…47:55
- Elite military units use the device for expedited recovery without the use of drugs
- It takes the foot off the accelerator, in a manner of speaking
- Return on investment: 30 minutes yields 12-15 hours of highly focused work
- Autonomic system is key to managing stress, anxiety, fear, etc.
- The itty bitty shitty subcommittee in the back of your brain goes away
- Without proper sleep, we literally stress ourselves to death
- The offer is not to cure or heal anything; it's to alleviate stress and allow the body to heal itself, the immune system to fight disease
- Even monks love the device
-The NuCalm's effect on the nervous system beyond HRV and the vagus nerve…56:30
- Case study PDFs
-How the NuCalm affects (or interrupts) your normal sleep schedule…1:01:05
- Don't take the power nap close to normal bedtime
- 15-minute rule: use it as an aid to fall back asleep in the middle of the night
- Sweet spot: between 1-4 pm (normal time body wants to take a nap)
- Your body cannot compensate for sleep debt
- NuCalm is not a “hack” for getting less sleep
- If you live 100 years, you should sleep for 33 years
- You stay in theta during the NuCalm power nap (which is where the body heals itself); ordinarily you'll be in delta
- The body relies on GABA during sleep
- The body keeps the nutrients it needs; secretes what it doesn't
- The GABA in the cream during a mid-day power nap will still be there when you go to bed at night
-Final rapid-fire questions…1:10:45
- Whether there is any efficacy in increasing the cranial electrical stimulation using the device
- About the other settings on the device (relaxation and recovery)
- About the Igniteapp (sympathetic stimulation)
- Opposite effect of the NuCalm
- Can be used in tandem, but not independently of NuCalm
-And much more…
Resources from this episode:
-NuCalm: The NuCalm is a next-level cranial electrotherapy stimulation device that uses both a cream and mild stimulation to help your brain interrupt the adrenaline and cortisol release by mimicking what naturally occurs in your brain right before you sleep. It includes an app with “music” – which is actually neuroacoustic software that delivers frequencies to your brain which take you down to theta brain wavelength. This thing lets me get a 20-minute intense period of relaxation even when I can’t nap, and I’m now ducking away and using it nearly every day, particularly during travel and on airplanes. It’s spendy, but in my opinion, well worth it. You can get it here and save 50% off your first purchase with code: BEN50.
-The Fisher Wallace Circadia Ben mentions early in the interview (use GREENFIELD for a $100 discount)
-The other apps Ben mentions:
–Kion: My personal playground for new supplement formulations. Ben Greenfield Fitness listeners receive a 10% discount off your entire order when you use discount code: BGF10.
–Organifi Green Juice: Now you can get all your healthy superfoods in one glass…with No Shopping, No Blending, No Juicing, and No Cleanup. Get a 20% discount on your entire order when you use discount code: BENG20
–Pique Tea: Achieve your health goals easier and faster with Pique Tea. My mental clarity is through the roof and energy levels have never been better since I've been drinking Pique Tea. Get 15% off your entire order when you use code: GREENFIELD
–Gluten Guardian: Are you ready for upgraded digestion? Take your body to the ultimate edge of human potential and become biologically optimized with Gluten Guardian. Save an additional 10% off your entire order when you use discount code: GREENFIELD