While people live in a box (house), or work in a box (office), or travel in a box (car), they spend much time sitting, bent, and still; they do NOT spend much time reaching and moving their body in multiple directions.
In contrast, the person living in an ancient civilization would move and reach in many different directions throughout the day; hunting, or gathering food from bushes, or trees, or from roots. The person living in an ancient civilization would frequently stoop, bend, crouch, and stretch. If one’s survival depended upon hunting, gathering, or farming, or soldiering, one wouldn’t be able to survive spending most of the day sitting and staring.
Sitting all day, in one study, gave office workers as much cardiovascular risk as smoking cigarettes. But, sitting all day, without reaching or moving in multiple directions, also affects the movement of the body making it stiff and wasting body energy on the tension of stiff joints and a stiff spine.
Stretching your body in various directions works as a savage factor to counter the ill effects of modern civilization.
Of the ways to counter the diseases of lack of full range of motion seen in modern civilization, one of the most thoughtful and ancient practices is haha yoga. In the yogi tradition, a person is as young as their spine is flexible. Should you be inclined and have time for formal Hatha studies either as an instructor or through various online resources, then I highly recommend that.
I have not had time for a full Hatha yoga practice, I’ve found the classic Daily Dozen to be the answer. It only takes about 7 minutes and can be done almost anywhere.
The Daily Dozen was first proposed by Walter Camp in response to requests from the military during the time of World War 1. The army found, even in the days before desktop computers, that men were showing up to be soldiers and they had lived so sedentary that they weren’t ready for combat. And then during the process of training a man for combat, sometimes the training session left the men too fatigued to then go on the march and carry their gun and go do the things that soldiers do.
So President Wilson commissioned Walter Camp to come up with something that would be a quick routine that would allow the soldiers to wake up and be ready to go, but not exhaust them. The Daily Dozen was the result.
Walter Camp was a health guru of that time and actually was the person responsible for coming up with the idea of four downs before a first down in football. He was the one that came up with the idea for having a line of scrimmage in football. He was an elite athlete who went to Yale and played basketball and football and baseball; but his most revolutionary ideas were in the arena of football and his design of the Daily Dozen.
During his day, the Daily Dozen, which he taught to the military, was confined to the military and found to be very effective—even though it looks and feels very easy.
Later, after World War 1, he published the Daily Dozen in a little pamphlet that sold hundreds of thousands of copies (in the days before the internet and Amazon). So, the Daily Dozen went viral before things went viral very often
Because the pamphlet did so well, he expanded his ideas about how to be healthy and about the Daily Dozen in a book called The Daily Dozen.
If you do not have time for Hatha yoga, then do the Daily Dozen—every day. You’ll find a video and description of the Daily Dozen on my website, savagefactors.com/stretch and you’ll see it’s a quick and easy thing you could do in about seven minutes.
The 12 exercises won’t leave you sweating. You can do them in your clothes at your office. Walter Camp recommended that you do them first thing in the morning, while naked, and followed by a shower, and only then dress and go for a walk. Then off to work.
Walter Camp lived did the Daily Dozen every day for 60 years and lived a long full life. I first learned about the Daily Dozen when reading about an author who was still writing after passing the age of 90—still doing novels; and, he had started doing the Daily Dozen during World War 1 and just never stopped after he got out of the military.
Nothing beats Hatha yoga for flexibility; but, the Daily Dozen gives you a simple, easy routine that only takes 7 minutes. You can see videos and explanations on the reference page on our website.
The first cryotherapy treatment I remember experiencing happened when, as a child, I visited Disney World. My parents took my two sisters and I camping there during the winter of the year it first opened.
My father, who enjoyed a good prank, tricked me into thinking that lake near the campgrounds was warm (even in Florida, the water is cold during winter). I laughed on the way down a slide into the lake to the shock of finding water so cold it took my breath.
But, when I got out of the water, and dried off, I felt wonderful and happy and together with my two sisters, who took pleasure in my being duped, laughed there by the lake as the sun warmed my 12-year-old body.
Later, as a teenager, I discovered how joyful I felt when I went from something hot (the steam bath at the YMCA) to something cold—the swimming pool, kept cold for the competitive swimmers.
When I was 17, as a scuba enthusiast, I went diving every month of the year. In the winter, after I would come out of the icy water, for the rest of the day, I would feel amazing—mentally and physically.
By this time, I became very clear that exposure to both hot and cold did something amazing for my clarity of mind and for my emotions.
So, as a teenager, it became my practice to go for a short swim when I encounter a body of water, especially in the winter, as a way to feel better.
The research shows that my experiences then were not the result of my imagination.
Whole-body cryotherapy is now used by most pro football and baseball teams for strong reasons—not only for recovery but as a way to enhance performance.
We have three to ten times as many cold receptors on our skin, as we do heat receptors, indicating a strong response occurs with cold.
Cold can affect the body at least two different ways. First, chronic, all-day-long, every-day cold is not so good for you. People who are exposed to all-day cold tend to develop a more round body habitus and gain weight. But, research shows that the second way, intermittent cold, affects the human body in many helpful ways—including making a more lean body.
For example, intermittent cold causes the body to convert white fat into brown fat, which is associated with a higher metabolism leading to a leaner healthier body. In one study of people who routinely swim in cold water, the cold water swimming caused an improvement in lipids, a drop in cholesterol, and an improvement in homocysteine levels.
With athletes, research showed that if athletes experienced cold therapy immediately after training, then pain and soreness decreased.
There was one rat study that showed that cold treatments actually change the gut flora, which is associated with improvements in metabolism and protection against problems with the brain.
Just like with the other savage factors, there’s the swapping on and off of genes. So, there’s truly a metabolic effect (from the change in gene expression) from the cold. We know of over 200 genes that are affected by savage factors. Gene activation and deactivation cause a change in cellular metabolism and the way the body regenerates itself and the way the brain works with improvement in mood and clarity of thought.
Professional athletes essentially experiment on themselves daily since they “practice” then measure the effects of their practices when they perform their sport; so what elite athletes find helpful gives a clue to what the more formal medical research will eventually show.
I remember as a medical-school resident, in the 1980’s when the research still claimed that anabolic steroids did not make professional athletes stronger (the extra weight was thought to be water weight). But, I could see what happened to the strength of my friends at the gym who took anabolic steroids and knew that the athletes knew what the research did not yet show.
So, the practice of the professional athletes is worth noting as a clue to what the medical research may eventually prove and their practice demonstrates best performance and best recovery with whole body cryotherapy treatments down to minus 160 to minus 220 degrees Fahrenheit for two and a half to three minutes.
With regard to effect of cold on men compared to women, there was one study that showed that, somewhat surprisingly, women drop their core temperature faster than do men. So, a woman at a minus 180 for two and a half minutes would drop her core temperature similar to a man at minus 200 at two and a half minutes. You may think that women would drop their core temperature more slowly than men because women usually have, on the average, a higher percentage of body fat. But the research shows that they don’t have to go as long and as cold to have the same effect as does a man.
Women also think better in a slightly warmer environment. Women were shown to perform better mentally if their office was slightly warmer at 74 degrees, versus a man at 72.
Cold can also be used to treat depression.
Cold decreases inflammation, improves sleep, heightens sexual function, and helps with recovery and pain. So, how would practice the savage factor, cold?
If you’re submersed in the cold ice bath, to a whole-body cryotherapy machine, you’re exposed to a cold shower, or to cold water swimming, all four are possibilities.
Taking a cold shower is my least favorite because sometimes the shower is just not cold enough. The shower does act like a sort of a shock therapy because it’s so sudden and the water conducts heat more quickly than does the air. Also, the shower doesn’t cover the entire body.
Another option is to swim in very cold water. The Gulf of Mexico, near where I live, only grows cold enough to be therapeutic in the winter months. When the water is very cold, I prefer not to “swim” as much as to just walk to chest-deep water and dip so that my head is submerged. Swimming in very cold water could be dangerous and should only be done with supervision. If you’re swimming anywhere, someone should be watching in case you get in trouble—the “buddy system” taught by the YMCA and the Red Cross. The buddy system becomes crucial in cold water.
Another option is to sit in an ice bath. If you put four 10-pound bags of ice in your bath tub, then fill the tub with cold water, you can submerge yourself and experience a wonderful effect. If you sit in a sauna or steam just before jumping in the ice bath, that’s even better. Ten minutes in a sauna that’s 170 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit followed by 5 to 10 minutes in the ice bath works wonders.
When you’re sitting in the bath, use a kitchen timer so you don’t have to keep looking at your watch and you can meditate or simply focus on your breathing instead of your watch. This routine (10 minutes in the sauna an 5 in the ice) gives you a 15 minute routine where you can experience both hot and cold and meditation.
Repeat the routine up to 3 times on days when you have time. I’ve found if I do more than 3 cycles, then I experience headaches and increase fatigue.
Tips: Water temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit work best. Fill a large chest freezer (in your garage or basement) with 10 or 20 pound bags of ice. Then 3 to 5 times a week, just grab 40 pounds of ice and have fun.
The other option for practicing cold is a whole-body cryotherapy treatment. It’s faster than making an ice bath and it’s only a two and a half to three minute treatment. I find that for some reason, exposing the skin to -200 to -210 degrees Fahrenheit give me a better effect than 5 minutes in an ice bath at 45-55 degrees. If you have a whole-body cryotherapy chamber near you, then this method can be conveniently integrated into a busy day for tremendous effect. I think there’s something about the skin experiencing a temperature of less than 200 degree, Fahrenheit and also slowly breathing the cold air that activates a different and powerful set of metabolic changes that may be missed by the cold-water bath. To see this profound effect, a true whole-body chamber is needed (where the head is in the chamber too, not sticking out of the top of the chamber).
Both the cryotherapy chamber and the cold-water bath work. Which you use will depend on what you have available and your budget. You may live in an apartment in a big city where you have a small freezer (not large enough to hold 40 or more pounds of ice) but have a cryotherapy chamber in a commercial location nearby. Or you may live in a rural area with no cryotherapy chamber available for 200 miles, but you have space in your garage for a large freezer where you store 300 pounds of ice (30 bags that are 10 pounds each) and you simply grab 4 bags every morning and throw them in your tub for your morning routine.
All of these methods work better than doing none of them.
Before I was a doctor, I was a Jack Lalanne fan. Remember when he celebrated his 70th birthday by pulling seventy boats a mile, shackled, swimming in the San Francisco Bay? I mean, he was a freaking monster. Well, Jack Lalanne was inspired by a guy named Paul Bragg.
So Jack LaLanne was inspired by a book on fasting called The Miracle of Fasting by Paul Bragg. So, I’ll come back to that.
I’d like to teach you a word called hormesis, which I never learned in medical school, but hormesis means the body adapting to stress. And so Paul Bragg was teaching fasting. Now we’re talking intermittent fasting a hundred years ago, and by the way, he died in his nineties still surfing and living in Hawaii. But Paul Bragg didn’t invent it, right? Gandhi and Christ and all those smart people practiced fasting. But up until now, I think most people have looked at that idea as an isolated thing.
So when I trained for medical school, I was actually criticized for being a runner. And if you go back and look at, some of you guys are old enough to remember, George Sheehan used to write for Runner’s World. He was thought to be a quack.
He died of a heart attack?
Yes, he died of a heart attack, but he would have died years earlier. He lived far past the people in his family. We’re all going to be dirt, so I’m not going to come up here and tell you how you’re going to avoid your mortality. But I promise you, I will tell you a little trick that I can prove with research, decreases your risk of dying, cuts it in half over the next year.
Research proves it. Okay, some of us may pass on, but you are, as a group, our risk of dying will be cut in half and it has to do with hormesis or adapting to stress. And George Sheehan right back when he was being criticized, he said, well, even if it doesn’t make me live longer, I live better.
When I was a kid in the first grade, we went to The Birmingham Zoo and I remember, so this is before I read about Paul Bragg. We’d go to the lion exhibit. I don’t know why this stuck in my head. Remember how the lion exhibit used to stink like crazy? You’d go in there and saw 16 house cats lived in there and they would feed the lion behind this glass thing and then they could go through a little door back into the thing back there and roam around.
So we were little kids looking through the grass at the lion and the lion keeper said, we do not feed the lions on Wednesday because they’re not as healthy.
So, what does fasting have to do with George Sheehan have to do with hormesis?
The body adapts to stress but it also adapts to no stress. And the primary thing that takes out us living in a civilized society is not stuff like typhoid and diarrhea, which kills millions of kids in other countries, or strep throat, which used to kill people before we had penicillin. The most likely thing to take out the people in this room has to do with the diseases of civilization, all of which are decreased by being exposed to the stresses that used to happen naturally by just being alive.
So, you used to have to walk a little bit, now you’re trapped in a box.
You have to make time on your schedule to go for a walk because you wake up in a box, you get in a box and you go to your work, which is in a box. Most of us. And so you have to somehow figure out your schedule, how to get out of your box. Imagine if you had a million dollar horse and you kept it in the box all the time. You would consider it to be cruel but yet many of us do that to our own self.
And so this idea of putting your body through some sort of stress rather than letting it adapt to continually no stress is thousands of years old. So, if you look at the thinkers, like Thoreau wrote a whole essay on walking. Was he a thinker? Did he walk because he was a thinker or was he a thinker because he walked? Gandhi walked, Jesus walked, Buddha walked.
And now we know by hormesis, the body adapting to small amounts of stress. It’s not just your muscles getting stronger or your anaerobic threshold changing. There is over 200 genes that swap on and off that have to do with metabolism. So now we know walking helps ADD because it helps focus. And so maybe he was a thinker because he walked. He said he’d go crazy if he couldn’t walk a certain number of miles per day. Thomas Jefferson said he would go crazy if he couldn’t exercise two hours a day. Yet he still had time to be a pretty popular guy who did lots of cool stuff. So here’s what I want to tell you. Some tricks that I have found over the years through being sort of a health nut combined scientist sort of, and a doctor sort of, mostly just a guy trying to figure out how to be Jack Lalanne since I was seven years old.
Okay, so here are the small stresses you can do that, I promise you, I can show you the research, will make you smarter, stronger, cut your risk of dying in the next year in half. That’s all causes mortality, better sex, better thinking, better digestion, stronger bones, all those things. I just mentioned walking, and most doctors are still preaching 30 minutes, two or three times a week. The benefits kick in some at that level, but once you get to 21 miles a week, your risk of dying in the next year gets cut in half. And I don’t even care how fast you go, just cover 21 miles a week. Another study showed that even though our obesity rate is somewhere around 50% in Alabama and Mississippi with no change in diet, the average person, will have a perfect body weight if they walk that many miles. Okay, so walking is one. The other one is heat.
I remember as a kid, many of you guys are old enough to remember this, growing up in Alabama in the 60s and going to visit a friend, probably 1972, and thinking this can’t be healthy. He had an air conditioner. I thought this feels like he’s living in the refrigerator because you were adapted to the heat and now we know that that adaptation actually makes you healthier. Don’t if any of you guys are Seventh Day Adventists, but they have a whole subculture. They have their own medical school on Loma Linda, and they have these sanitariums they called them that had been around over a hundred years. It’s a little subculture you have to plug into to know about. It’s where Kellogg’s cornflakes came from. You go there, you live vegetarian and you stay there for a month or two and you go home without your medicines if you have type 2 diabetes. And when I went to visit one, I’m not Seventh Day Adventist. I’m sort of a Buddhist, Hindu, Baptist, Jew, kind of something like that. I’m 5% Jew, but grew up in a Baptist church and sent my kids to a Catholic school and studied meditation from the Hindus. So anyway, whatever that makes me, but they have a whole subculture of writings about health. And a hundred years ago they were preaching heat, getting your core temperature up to 105, 104 to 105.
When a person finishes a marathon, average temperature, core temperature is 104. The infectious disease doctors will tell you, unless you’re becoming dehydrated or having severe aches from your fever, you can fight the fever better with the fever. And the [inaudible 00:08:09] activates your white blood cells are mostly stuck to blood vessels. They demodulate and float through the blood system. So part of what’s happening in your exercise is just raising your core temperature is helping your immune system.
So how would you practice that one? Busy people. By the way, part of my doctoring, I was bringing up three boys as a single dad with them in my house six nights a week. Understand that young kids that dominate your time and how do you make time to do this. One of my tricks is I would throw the kids down in the middle of the football field and then I’d run the track around them. You can’t get hurt even on the blanket if you’re one years old in the middle of a football field. Stuff like that. So there’s ways to make it work. And so how would you integrate 105 temperature twice a week? Well, you could just take a hot bath. You go to the steam room, but there is research showing that doing that two to three times a week switches on and off somewhere around 230 genes that decrease inflammation and help you fight how you’re adapting to being sedentary.
I’ll show you the reverse of that and actually, I had a guy come to me with panic attacks and he was drinking to treat his panic attacks, so he had become an alcoholic. His job was he had gone from special forces to undercover policeman, so had a really stressful job. This is not a wimp. So how does a wimp have panic attacks? I mean a not whim, have panic attacks. How’s that happen? Another guy came to me, same problem, panic attacks. He had been a special forces guy. Then he had gotten out of the army, he was teaching snowboarding and now he was sitting in the classroom having panic attacks. How does that happen?
Here’s how it happens: back before we lived in a box, if you were stressed out. My dad always said there’s only two sports: running and fighting. Everything else is a variation on that. Running and fighting because that’s fight or flight. That’s how you respond. So the office sort of a little bit of running and kind of a way of fighting, but then you got purified and then pure track because before we had civilization, if your adrenaline was going, something was trying to eat you so you either had to run or fight. So now think about what happens biochemically. Biochemically, if a lion’s trying to eat you, you need the adrenaline to run or fight to protect you and your family. In the process of doing that, instead of having adrenaline and cortisol, you make serotonin, dopamine and endorphins that are like morphine. So you got serotonin, dopamine and morphine going after you do the fight and the run. So it counterbalances the cortisol. So it could be some of you older guys that have been in high, like our laid back friend who’s combination, undercover cop.
Part of what can happen with these guys is they’re so wired for fighting and now you sit them in a classroom and now the stress isn’t balanced out by the biochemical change that happens with the running and fighting and you’re just overloaded with cortisol and adrenaline. But this is not a fight that uses your body. You have to use your brain and sit still. So the result is you have a panic attack.
And it happens all the time and it gets treated, in my opinion, often the wrong way. You don’t need Valium, you need to go do five miles and maybe go do some martial arts or lift weights. I don’t like to get hit. So I lift my weight. My weight training is fighting and my miles are flighting. You’re not just changing anaerobic threshold but decreasing your risk of heart attack for the next year in half.
Because of that, by building new blood vessels, you’re burning the cortisol that’s being generated by staring at the computer, trying to solve a problem. And you’re flipping it to what you would make if you were in a primitive situation into endorphin, morphine and dopamine and that calms you down when you do the physical. And the same thing happens with the heat and you you get in a hot bath that calms you down. So, my little trick is hormesis is doing these little things that change you. It’s not just a local effect when you sit in a hot tub. It’s changing your metabolism and it’s doing things with you biochemically that make you healthier. And everything I’m spouting up here, this isn’t crazy health food guru stuff. This is backed up by the research. So walking, or whatever speed you like to go, and working your way up to 21 miles a week.
I’m not your doctor obviously. I want to make sure you know that this is my legal disclaimer, right? So make sure it’s okay for you to do that. But you work your way up to somewhere around 21 to 25 miles a week. Now, when I used to do marathons and triathlons, everybody doing marathons has an injury. Once you pass 25 miles a week, the injury rate starts to go up. So the sweet spot is 21 to 25 for maximal effect and minimal injury. Almost no injuries until you hit 21. I mean, you can fall off the couch or something, but most people don’t get injured until they pass the 25 mile a week mark. Anyway you want to cut it. Okay, so walking, used to you had to do that to survive. Walking.
So basically think, what would I have to do if I were living as a caveman or woman? You would walk around, you might pick up something that weighs more than a pencil. But you wouldn’t go try to pick up a big boulder, you’d go get some people to help you with that. But some sort of resistance training two or three times a week, we now know it helps even people in their nineties do better. So resistance training twice a week. If you want to duplicate caveman in your civilized box, I’m telling you how I like to aspire to do it after spending 59 years of trying to be Jack Lalanne. Okay? Being a chemist, being a doctor and interviewing lots of people, like one lady I saw in the ER. Are we at the 10 minute mark yet?
Okay, I’m going to say 10. Good. Okay. So, one day what I used to do in the ER, if you came in and you told me your weight, I mean your age, and it was way more than I was expecting, I’d just pull the curtains and tell the nurses, you have got to leave me alone. And I’d start taking notes. So one lady came in. She had fallen off of her house.
Off of her house?
Off her house, and then she was working on the roofs. She had somehow slipped and rolled off the house and hit the bushes and then hit the ground. By the way, there’s nothing sexual about a physical exam but she had the most amazingly beautiful breasts and she was 82 years old and she had a bruised rib. So as an example, I have other examples. So, I pulled the curtains and said, okay, what did you do?
When I ask people that, they always give you the same variations on the same stuff. They’re doing the hormesis thing. She said, I walked in today, all the people I know said they’d live not just longer, but like George Sheehan said, live better. So, lots of people are in their 80s, but not not many of them have fallen off the houses and just getting a bruised rib. She said, I walk every day and they all have some kind of God stuff to do. She had a connection to God and [inaudible 00:16:12] and whatever scripture you like to read, I’m not to preach to you, but they all have a God connection and they’re forgiving people. And she was visiting old people in the nursing home. That was real hard thing to do. The giving people, that God people and they’re walking and they’re not eating junk food and they don’t smoke. And they don’t drink, most of them a lot, but then I drink a little.
I won’t start telling stories. But anyway, I’m telling you a combination of things to do that may not make you live longer but [inaudible 00:16:48] better and you could live longer. So this is my schedule. I would do weight resistance two or three days a week. I’d be walking 21 to 25 miles a week and if you was time-crunched, that’s when I’d do my phone calls or I listened to my books on Audible, audible.Com. Do this math. If you do the math on it, let’s take a random, 10-minute mile or jog a 10-minute mile, walk a 20-minute mile. I do not pay attention.
Some people will walk from this, say this is all fascinating. I’ll say, yeah, I’m not in a hurry. It’s work. Work is rate times distance. There’s not a time factor in that. And you think, if you lift weights, if you’re strong, some guys look strong, doing curls with, I don’t know, 20, 30, 50 pounds. When you walk, you’re moving 160 pounds for an hour. You’re doing a lot more work and doing a lot more stuff with a walk. So anyways, so you walk and if you do the math on it, if you’re 21 miles a week, at 20 minutes a mile, okay, that’s an hour a day on the average, right? So, it’s three miles a day, whatever. So, it’s about an hour a day on average.
If you did, if you listened to Audible, if you listened to a book an hour a day, times 360 days, if you do the math on that, it’s about two and a half months of 40 hours a week in school. So, I don’t worry about how fast I’m doing, but I’ve listened to a lot of books, Wall Street Journal, and a lot of phone calls because I’m not trying to get my pulse up to anything. And I get away from people. I don’t like group walking unless it’s we have a business meeting. Now if a sales person wants to come talk to me and say sure, we’ll go for a walk. Trudy used to make the press walk with her. So yeah, we’ll go for a walk we’re having me walking. Daniel and I’ve had lots of staff meetings walking. You think better.
Steve jobs did a lot of his meetings walking. Okay. So my point is you will have more time, you’ll think better, yes. You’ll remember better what you’re listening to than you would sit in your ass. George Sheehan said never trust an idea you get sitting on your ass. So all right, so walk between 21 and 25 miles a week, get your core temperature up to 105 or so a couple of times a week. So we got the heat, the resistance training a couple times a week of what feels comfortable. I’m back to lots of pushups and chin ups, lots for a 59 year old guy. If you want to go lift weights, that’s fine, but you can just let your body do the old school stuff you learned in high school that will do too. You know jumping jacks and crap. Do some chins, do some push ups, that kind of thing if you didn’t want to lift weights but resistance training.
It’s not our main business, but I bought that machine for me and I said if people like it, I’ll keep it there. If they don’t, I have a four-car garage and I just had one car so I know where I’m taking it if people don’t like it. When you say we had the same shear that building that the Cleveland Indians have. You get in it, it takes you minus 200 to 220 degrees in your underwear and your body thinks you’re going to die. Your brain thinks you’re going to die. You shiver a little bit at the end, but before, before you actually die, your skin thinks you’re going to die and all these things that happen, just like if through heat, if your body still at 105 degrees, you will die eventually.
So that same idea happens and that’s why I’m saying anti inflammatory. If you don’t want to go to staying in a cloud chamber, some of the guys, the athletes, high-performance people now would just dump lots of ice in their bathtub and get in there. The old school way was hot, hot and jump into an ice bath. When you train for football, it’s just inconvenient to do an ice bath twice a week to three times a week. Do something to bring your core temperature down. Boom, start to shiver and then you stop. That’s all need. Okay. Hot cold, stay anaerobic for a while. So whatever that is, walking just to where you start to get you’re panting. It’s not the whole freaking work out or you’ll start to avoid it. So low oxygen is one of the hormetic things. You didn’t get to never get out of breath back when you were a cave woman.
So the body will adapt to that and things happen metabolically. Go anaerobic just to the point of getting short of breath, stop and then do the rest of your walk comfortably. And then there’s hypercapnia. And to do that, I swim laps, very gently with a snorkel because the snorkel builds up your CO2 and you adapt to that. Then build in a stretching routine and do all that. And the last thing then I’ll stop is that sitting silently doing your prayer or whatever that you do with meditation, you weren’t constantly bombarded with stuff. You were left alone with your thoughts when you were a primitive man or woman, and there are some things for your peace of mind. So that’s my new formula. And if you did that, statistically your risk of dying in the next 365 days would be cut in half, your body would change, you would think better, you’d have better sex and life would be better. So that’s the whole formula. Thank you guys for having me. I hope that’s helpful to you.
IMPORTANT: Going down to -160°-220°F without your clothes can have side effects in some people. Though Dr. Runels bought the Cryo Chamber and started CryoYoga in an effort to bring to the community what he’s found to be very helpful for both himself and for his family (including 3 sons and his parents), using the CryoYoga chamber does not establish a Doctor-Patient relationship with Dr. Runels. Here’s our consent form for adults. Here’s our consent form for teens who need parental consent.<–
Charles Runels: Okay. What you’re hearing is liquid nitrogen. One of the cool things about this machine versus the one where your head pokes out is that the nitrogen is blowing into the walls. The ones where your head pokes out, the nitrogen blows into the chamber where you are. The reason this is better is that … for several reasons. One is when the nitrogen blows into the chamber where you are, it can actually spray on your leg. Well, heck that’s how we take warts off. So it will, understandably, burn you. It doesn’t happen often, but it can happen. Most people that have a cryo-center like this, eventually they burn somebody, which we don’t have that risk because the nitrogen does not blow into the chamber.
Charles Runels: The second thing is that the nitrogen is not poisonous, 70% of the air I’m breathing now in this room and in your room is nitrogen. It’s inert basically. It goes in and out of your body. But if there’s too much of it, then there’s not enough oxygen, and you pass out. So the ones where your heads poking out, down here, there’s not enough oxygen to live on. Your head’s poking out and that’s on purpose because if they didn’t stop it here, you couldn’t breathe. You could breathe, but there wouldn’t be enough oxygen. So you’re not getting a whole body treatment. You’re getting a neck down treatment.
Charles Runels: This is still part of my body. The research that’s been done, much of which has come out of Europe, is whole body, is people putting their whole body in here, including their head. In Europe, insurance covers it. In Poland, Europe, throughout Europe, their national insurance covers two treatments a week for five weeks for orthopedic injuries, paid for by the government, because the research is so strong that it helps orthopedic injuries. But in Europe, you’re not in a little chamber with your head poking out. I’m not saying it doesn’t help, but in Europe, you’re in a chamber big enough for several people at the same time in their underwear walking around in a chamber until their three minutes are up, because you need all of your body in there. So it works better than the head poking out kind, it’s safer than the head poking out top kind, and it’s just more fun. It’s cooler.
Charles Runels: So here we go. Oh, and we have a window. The window comes down so if you’re claustrophobic enough that being completely closed in is a problem for you, you can push a button, and I’ll show you.
DanielleGautier: I don’t think it will open until you start treatment.
Charles Runels: Okay. So we can’t do it until I start. But they’ll demonstrate for you when I’m in there, they can make the window come up and down and we can talk to you. We also got Bluetooth. I usually like to freeze to either Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird,” or Prince’s “Purple Rain.” That just tells you how old I am. But sometimes I’ll listen to classical music or just the silence and meditate. But we can take whatever your favorite music is and you can listen to it while you’re being treated.
Charles Runels: Okay, so, things that are dangly like earlobes need to be covered. Fingers and toes, so I have on shoes. You don’t have to show them my feet, but I do have on shoes. We give you clogs. You can wear your own underwear and socks. Okay. And then I have a mask, just because the cold will sometimes make people cough, so I’ll hold it over my mouth sometimes until I kind of get used to it and then I’ll take it away. If it feels like it’s about to make me cough, I’ll put it back on. So it’s not necessary, but the air actually kind of feels good to your lungs. Some people actually think it helps fight infections. But anyway, this is the garb you need. If you’re a female, all you really need is this, gloves, and sock and shoes. If you’re a male, you need to wear your underwear too. But we have females who will wear their bra and panties, whatever. I have all girls here, so whatever you want to do.
Charles Runels: Okay, so let’s do this thing. We should re-cool it, because it’s gotten hot. Heck, it’s minus 193 degrees. I’m going to be sweating in there. So can we re-cool the thing?
DanielleGautier: Mm-hmm (affirmative). We stop it.
Charles Runels: Yeah, stop it and restart it. Good.
DanielleGautier: [inaudible 00:04:14]
Charles Runels: All right. All right. Because I want it minus 200. Now, yo would think that women because they’re usually at the same age not as lean as most men, you would think that they would get cold more slowly than men, but research actually shows that women conduct the cold faster and their core temperature drops faster than men even though they have higher percent body fat. So if you’re a female, minus 160 for two and a half minutes. It’s about the same as a male going minus 200 for three minutes. They’re equivalent. But if you want to go to minus 200 as a female, go for it. Most of our athletes do that. They’ll go minus 220 for three minutes and they really love it.
Charles Runels: So here’s one of our superstars right here. Say hello.
Katelyn Duff: Hi.
Charles Runels: Introduce yourself.
Katelyn Duff: I’m Katelyn. I’m a cryo therapist here.
DanielleGautier: [crosstalk 00:05:16]
Charles Runels: Okay, so Katelyn is a really elite basketball player. She’ll be one of the people that will be freezing you when you show up, and she understands this both as a cryo therapist standpoint and from an athlete standpoint about how to integrate this with your training, how often and how to think about it.
Charles Runels: Okay, so we’re down to minus 197 and it’s spraying nitrogen in there and we should be ready when we get down to minus 200. Give me some Prince “Purple Rain.”
Charles Runels: Okay.
DanielleGautier: And we’re ready.
Charles Runels: So we’re ready to fly. All right. Prince “Purple Rain,” and here we go. You going to close me off?
Katelyn Duff: All right. So this can also help promote weight loss, burns anywhere from 5- to 800 calories a session. And the more you’re in there shivering a bit, the more that this is going to be working for you and pushing all the blood to your organs.
And once you come out of the chamber, your blood’s going to rush back to your appendages and you can get into much deeper stretches if you’re doing your yoga or getting ready to go play golf or basketball, whatever it is that you do. Runners A lot of people at time can be nervous. This is semi-new. Some will ask, “Is this painful?” It is not painful. Not at all. Especially once you come out, there’s almost a euphoria that you’ll feel.
Katelyn Duff: Let see if we’ll … wait.
Charles Runels: So drop the window down so they can see how it works.
Katelyn Duff: Well, it looks like our window’s stuck at the moment. That’s no problem. That’s an easy fix but I don’t want to mess his treatment going through this. The door also is only held with magnets, so you can just push this open if you wanted to and I could push that red button and it’d actually make that window come down. It doesn’t hurt anything, but we want him to get a good session here. And your favorite tune will just keep things moving a little faster for you.
Katelyn Duff: Let me see. Pretty simple. Myself, whenever I’m feeling … Let’s just say moody so to say, this really does help lift your mood. I feel like I’m walking around on a cloud afterwards, but it gives you this mind clarity, this calmness. It’s this energy burst but without that caffeine jitter.
Katelyn Duff: You can do this more than once in a day. We have some of our members that will come in before they go to work, after work, before workout, after workout. You just don’t want to be sweaty when you go inside, but this has been remarkable for a lot of our patients who are either trying to not be on pain meds or wean off of the pain meds. Doing this instead of having to be on some sort of opioid. All right. End of three minutes. You’re done. There you go.
Charles Runels: All right. That’s how it goes. Beautiful.
Increase clarity of thought, strength, endurance, creativity, sexual libido & pleasure with this 6 – step recipe to counteract the ravages of a couch society…
Hello, I’m Charles Runels. I’m a physician here. I’ve been a doctor now for quite a number of years. I’m going to talk with you about some really, I think fascinating and powerful ways to increase your performance as an athlete and to enhance your clarity of thinking and your creativity, some of the strategies that I’ve used and seen many thousands of people use, and some of the research to back it up.
In particular, I’m standing in front of a whole body cryotherapy machine. It’s the same one that the Cleveland Indians use. All the pro athlete, all the pro football teams are now using this as part of their training. I’ll get to this part, but first an idea just about how to function and how the body works. By the way, I’m in a robe because I’m about to jump in.
I’m 59, and I want to be like Jack LaLanne as best I can. Of course, I’m not going to be Jack LaLanne, but I want to be that same order of magnitude, the best I can be in functioning, thinking, physically much better than my peers. That goes to whatever age you are. If you’re a 19 year old athlete, why shouldn’t you want to be functioning stronger, faster, smarter than other 19 year old athletes? Or if you’re a 60 year old triathlete, or you’re a 60 year old mother/business woman.
I think what we owe the planet, just I’ll getting to this part, but what we as people owe the planet is our best self. George Washington, after he had climbed to fame and was the president, his mother wrote him and said, “Well you shouldn’t be prideful about it considering you were blessed with a nice brain and good health and all these advantages. It would have been a crime had you not become something helpful to the planet.” I think in that same way, we owe it to ourselves and to those around us to be our best self.
Back to how could you be your worst self. Your worst self is you never put any stress, you never think hard about any sort of problem or creativity, you don’t move. You’re never any resistance, so your muscles become weak. You don’t ever put your body into anaerobic zone. You never go in an endurance hard enough that you actually pass anaerobic threshold and go and pass and experience what your VO2 max is. You never go into ketosis because you’re always fed. You’re never hungry. You’re never exposed to cold. You never exposed to heat.
If you did all those things, you’re basically sitting on a couch or behind a desk, or moving easily through a completely controlled temperature environment, never stressing your oxygen burning capacity, never stressing your strength, never stressing your brain, just watch TV all the time, so it’s always a three second interval. Next time you watch a movie, start counting. One, two, three, 1,000, 2,000, 3,000. You will seldom get to 4,000, usually 2,000, before the camera scene changes. You’re literally, you don’t have to have an attention span longer than three seconds to pay attention to a movie or anything on television.
That’s the way you become a blob. Your muscles get weaker. Your endurance goes down. You gain fat. Muscles get weaker because you’re not doing controlled resistance training. You get out of condition because you’re not going into anaerobic threshold. You get fat because you never get ketotic. You get brain dead because you’re never using your brain.
Now let’s think of the opposite of that. If you want to be a high performance athlete, whether that means performing … As an ER doctor I trained because I thought I was a better ER doctor if I didn’t get tired as quickly. I wasn’t lifting anything heavy, but I was on my feet for 12 hours at a time. I had to think as well on the 12th hour as I did on the first hour, so my brain needed to be clear. So, if you want to be the not only the fastest and the strongest at your sport, but you’re out thinking everybody and you’re seeing what’s coming before everybody else, and so you’re performing, whether it’s an athletic situation or an intellectual situation … You know that Bobby Fischer trained for chess matches by lifting weights.
The great intellects were usually, they claim that Leonardo da Vinci could grab a horse by the harness and stop a horse. Leonardo da Vinci, people when they saw him walking, we have records that when they saw him walking through town, he was a physical specimen that was also very amazing. Just his physique and his … Many of the intellects were also athletes and vice versa. The dean of my medical school said they have never had a college athlete fail medical school. The discipline required physically and to be able to get through college successfully while playing a college sport pretty much meant that medical school was a slam dunk.
Back to this machine. Here’s my plan for being a super athlete, super intellect, super momma, super executive, super salesperson, whatever it is you do. You’re always … Stress is not the enemy. It’s not dealing with stress. There’s a limit, but your body needs to be stressed to a certain extent on periodic basis. Obviously if you fasted every day, well shoot that’s malnutrition and you die, but periodically going into ketosis is good for you. Jack LaLanne, who was lived to be almost a hundred and is still exercising, I think he celebrated his 70th birthday by pulling a boat with 70 people in it, swimming shackled across to Alcatraz. One of his birthdays he walked up the Washington monument on his hands. He was always a juice faster every seventh day. He was a big student of Paul Bragg, who preached juicing. They were into ketosis before ketosis was cool. That’s a hundred years ago. You should be going into ketosis, in my opinion, once a month at least.
The old school bodybuilders even, Vince Gironda who trained Clint Eastwood back when Clint was kick ass, went back in his early western days, he trained at the bodybuilding gym in Beverly Hills. Vince Gironda was the trainer back before they had steroids. The way you got bigger was you actually fasted once a month. You put yourself into ketosis just long enough … Then when you came back out of ketosis, you got strength and clarity and more endurance. That’s been a strategy for over a hundred years, actually over a couple of thousand years because most of the prophets did it too. You should be going into ketosis once a month. It could just be a 24 hour fast.
If you want to see more about that, it’s all over the Internet now. I have a course called the Three Day Fat Burn that you can Google. Okay, if you want to … So, it’s once a month at least ketosis, once a week if you can tolerate it. I know the big thing now is doing it sort of eat every 24 hours and you’re doing it every day. I think that’s maybe not necessary, but if you’re eating healthy the other seven days, but once a week. Then you get your body, you should go, I think you should have at least one or two days a week where you go anaerobic for a short time. That could just be going a little faster than you normally do until you get, you’re huffing and puffing. You’re anaerobic when you start huffing and puffing. Then you need a long distance. Most people need about 21 to 25 miles a week on foot walking or running at a comfortable pace to stay aerobically fit.
That covers your aerobic stressor and your ketotic diet stressor. For resistance training it can be just, depending on what level of athleticism you aspire to, it can be of course extremely weight training if you’re trying to perform an athletic feet that requires strength, but now we have exercise, even people in their seventies and eighties who are trying to maintain mobility, weight training now has been shown to be associated with clarity of thought, maintaining bone mass, maintaining muscle mass. Everybody should be doing at least two times, two episodes a week of some sort of thoughtful resistance training.
Now all that’s old hat to you. What I’m going to add to this is that what’s also been known, at least since Roman times, is that using heat and cold stressors. We think that we’re supposed to be in this controlled temperature environment, but I can remember I was born in 1960, we didn’t get an air conditioner in the sunny south where temperatures are often close to 100 degrees until I was in high school. I remember going to people’s houses that had air conditioners thinking this just doesn’t feel healthy. It Just didn’t feel healthy to me. It felt too cold because my body was adapted to the heat.
But there’s actually research showing that if we expose to heat … In the Seventh Day Adventists world there’s some really beautifully written ideas about health that came out of their holy scriptures that have to do with being healthy. They advocate doing what they call fever therapy. They have their own medical school in Loma Linda that’s done research in this area. Where you get your core temperature up to 105. Most people when they finish a marathon have a temperature of 104 degrees. Most people that just do a regular workout, you’re going to finish your workout at 100 to 101 degrees.
Why would you want to have a fever? When you get your body temperature that high, interferon kicks in, which helps your immune system. Your white cells demarginate. They’re normally stuck to the blood vessels, but they actually get unstuck and float free, so your immune system is functioning. But also you recover better, your body just goes to a different level, so the heat is helpful. You should get your temperature up. You’ll do it some from exercise, but I think you do like the Romans and at least, and the Orient, I think they understand baths better. When I’m in Atlanta I always go to the Jeju Spa. There’s a Korean bathhouse there where they have really hot hot tubs.
The normal hot tub and most places where we live is kept at about 103. The health department cuts off at 104 because they’re fearful that little children would get in the tub and be hurt, which they could be, but adults can handle 105 and 106 hot tub if they’re healthy for a short time. I recommended, if you have to turn the bath on in your house, or if you can get to a steam bath, get to somewhere and artificially raise your body temperature, which I think is easier.
You can do it in a sauna, but the water helps conduct heat better, so a steam bath, which blows steam, or not a sauna, which is dry heat with usually wooden planks that you’re sitting on. A steam bath usually has tile. People get those confused. Usually a steam bath or a hot tub. If it’s your hot tub and you don’t have little kids, set the temperature at 105. But most of the public hot tubs around here are not enough. Or just run a bath at your house and if you want to put a thermometer in your mouth and sit there until you have a temperature of at least 102.
So, heat therapy and do that twice a week. You’re fasting, you’re ketotic once a week. You’re doing aerobic exercise, preferably six days a week, and you’re going in anaerobic at least a couple times a week. You’re doing heat twice a week. Then this is where this come in. This is not the magic thing, but it’s magic enough that every pro team in the United States now has one. This is exactly like the Cleveland Indians have. This thing costs as much as a house. I’ve put it here in the community hoping other people will understand how helpful it is, and many people have. People who are using it to treat depression, just like doing a steam bath will sometimes make you feel better, or going for a walk.
It’s stressing your body to the point where it thinks it’s going to die. That’s the bottom line. Not kill it, but acts like if you did fasting too long you’re dead. But you if do fasting along where your body thinks it’s about to die, then in adapts. You run until you’re out of breath, and if you keep running, you would just pass out and vomit, which I’ve done before. Take it to that extreme and you’re puking and lots of athletes have done that. Or you lift weights until you can’t pick up anything else again. You just go to failure is what some people call that. Your body thinks it’s going to die.
This goes down to minus 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If you stayed in there much longer … I’m about to sneeze, hold on a second. If you stayed in there much longer, you would die. But you wear gloves and you wear earmuffs, so things that dangle don’t fall off. If you’re a man, you wear underwear because there’s something down there that dangles. If you’re a woman you can just wear your panties, or nothing if you want. But you wear socks. I have all female employees, so there’s never any embarrassment if a woman comes in here. I never treat anybody in here. It’s all females working here, so females never feel uncomfortable.
But you go down to minus, we can set it at minus 160. You can start with that for two minutes. I go to minus 200, 220 for three minutes. I do a technique where I do breathing. I breathe in for 10 seconds, I hold it for 10 seconds, I breathe out for 10 seconds. It’s a 30 second cycle that calms me down while the cold is telling my body I’m about to die. If I go three minutes, that means six breaths, maybe seven if I breathe a little bit faster, and I’m out of there. Then what you will find is four the next, just like if you get out of a hot tub, you feel relaxed, your mind is clear. We have so much research showing the clarity of fault that comes after exercise and fasting and all these things.
Here’s the Plan
1. Ketosis once a week,
2. go anaerobic once a week, and do endurance exercise six days a week,
3. resistance training two to three days a week,
4. hot twice a week (core temp to between 102-105F,
5. cold twice a week (-160 to -230 for 2 to 3 mintues). You can go more on these if you want, up to three, three’s probably better. Past three maybe there’s diminishing returns. With running, I used to do marathons and was in marathon clubs and triathletes. Once you pass about 25 miles a week total, the risk of injury goes up. Less than 21 there’s less benefit. In the 21 to 25 miles a week there’s a sweet spot where you’re less likely to get injured and you’re all cause mortality is cut in half. More than one research project has shown if you’re doing that many miles on the street at any speed, your risk of dying, I don’t care if it’s from a car crash, or from a stroke, or a heart attack, or whatever, it’s cut in half. I think part of the reason is when you do all these things, you start to think differently and you crave different things. You quit craving the sweets and you start craving something else.
6. Now we’ve integrated this with also yoga. The sixth thing is that extending your body’s tendons and muscles farther than they would ever go on a normal day so you don’t get stiff. By combining this therapy, it doesn’t have to be at the same time, but it could be here because we have a yoga studio. It could be this followed by the yoga. Combining this with the yoga, there’s a great synergy that many of our, we have yoga instructors who come here and they’ll do this and then go do Bikram, or they’ll do this and then they’ll just do our regular yoga out here on the mat, either privately or with classes.
I’d love for you to come. We’ll give anybody that comes in and says they saw the video, we’ll give you four free treatments. That will give you two weeks at twice a week. This is my mission. Obviously, you can tell I’m into it. I could go on and on for hours about the research. I won’t keep this much longer.
But, if this place closed down tomorrow, this would go in my garage because I want to be another version, I want to be a combination of Jack LaLanne and Leonardo da Vinci and Walt Whitman and William Osler, all kind of in a blender with a little Batman and James Bond. I know that’s kind of high aspirations, but whatever. It’s better than watching television. If you want to be your version of a superhero, this is not the recipe, but it goes into the mixture. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you shoot me an email to tell me how it changed your life.