Manage episode 295856491 series 1333691
Ashok Gupta discusses Brain Retraining with Dr. Ben Weitz.
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2:13 Ashok explained that he was studying at Cambridge University when he developed flu-like symptoms as a result of a stomach bug. And even though the stomach bug seemed to disappear, he felt chronically ill and it got worse and worse, to the point at which he couldn’t study or function. He couldn’t walk more than 100 meters. And at that point Ashok decided that “If I can get myself well from this horrible condition that apparently millions of people suffer from, if I can get myself better, I will dedicate the rest of my life to helping others also find healing from this.” He studied brain neurology, physiology, etc. and he managed to rehabilitate and retrain his brain and got myself 100% better, so he then set up a clinic to treat others.
5:48 Neuroplasticity. Until the 80s or 90s we used to think that the brain was fixed and then we learned that the brain is constantly changing and rewiring itself. Therefore, if we can discover how to rewire the brain, we can change our existence.
6:36 We can impact chronic diseases by rewiring the brain. The major cause of chronic illness is that you go through a period of acute or chronic stress and there is often also a physical trigger like a virus or bacteria. When we are stressed, our immune system is lowered, so we have a tougher time overcoming the virus. The brain may make a rational decision to err on the side of caution and continually release inflammatory responses. At this point, even though the original virus has disappeared, it’s left a legacy. Our brain stimulates our immune system and nervous system, which creates the symptoms in the body. Those symptoms loop back to a hypersensitive brain, which magnifies those signals, thinks we’re in danger, and re-triggers immune system and nervous system. And then, we get this vicious cycle where the brain and the body are stuck in a game of tennis, constantly stimulating each other and creating chronic illness.
10:33 The limbic system sits below the cortex and is often referred to as the mammalian brain. Within the limbic system are the hippocampus, which is for short-term memory retrieval, the amygdala, which is our danger response in the brain, and the thalamus, which is a sensory organ that takes in all incoming sensory data. And this part of the brain essentially ensures survival and is also responsible for emotional responses. There is also the insula, which sits between the cortex and the limbic system and its job is to take in all incoming data from the body, to process it and create appropriate autonomic and immune responses. When our system over-responds when it comes to our sympathetic nervous system, it tends to be the amygdala. When it comes to the immune system, it tends to be the insula where the core conditioning lies.
12:33 There are the 3 Rs of the Gupta program: 1. Retraining the brain, 2. Relaxation of the nervous system, which includes breathing and meditation, and 3. Re-engaging with joy. Compare the brain retraining to phantom limb pain where the patient’s is trained to recognize that there is no longer any leg there and it’s impossible for any signals to be coming up to the brain. And they repeat these processes again and again and again, until the brain is able to switch off that particular part of the pain response. And in the same way, the brain is being retrained and rehabilitated to the new way or the new homeostasis that now exists rather than staying stuck in the on position.
16:04 Some patients with chronic illness are actually fearful of getting better, so Ashok and his coaches will use some specialist techniques to help patients overcome their identification with their diagnosis or their condition and overcome those fears. They train such patients to let go of their diagnosis and they let them know that their diagnosis is a cluster diagnosis. You have a cluster of symptoms and therefore you’re diagnosed as having fibromyalgia or POTS, etc., but we believe it’s the same underlying cause. We all have vulnerabilities to stress. If one person gets stressed, he gets stomach problems. Another person gets headaches. Others get pain. Each person’s nervous and immune system reacts to stress in a different way.
18:20 The Gupta Program can be incorporated into a care plan designed by a Functional Medicine practitioner either at the same time as the main treatment or after the core treatment. Limbic retraining will make the recovery much easier if it is implemented prior to the Functional Medicine protocols.
Ashok Gupta is an internationally renowned speaker, filmmaker, and health practitioner. Ashok has developed the Gupta program, which is a brain retraining program to help patients recover from many chronic conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis, fibromyalgia, Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivities, mast cell activation syndrome, IBS, food sensitivities, anxiety, adrenal fatigue, chronic Lyme, POTS, and even post COVID-19 syndrome. The Gupta program can be found at GuptaProgram.com.
Dr. Ben Weitz is available for nutrition consultations specializing in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS/SIBO and Reflux and also specializing in Cardiometabolic Risk Factors like elevated lipids, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure and also weight loss and also athletic performance, as well as sports chiropractic work by calling his Santa Monica office 310-395-3111. Dr. Weitz is also available for video or phone consultations.
Dr. Weitz: Hey, this is Dr. Ben Weitz, host of the Rational Wellness Podcast. I talk to the leading health and nutrition experts and researchers in the field to bring you the latest in cutting edge health information. Subscribe to the Rational Wellness Podcast for weekly updates, and to learn more, check out my website, drweitz.com. Thanks for joining me and let’s jump into the podcast. Hello, Rational Wellness podcasters. Today, our topic is brain retraining, also known as limbic system retraining, with Ashok Gupta. Today, we will be talking about how chronic diseases can adversely affect the nervous system and how the brain can be retrained to help your body to heal.
As a practitioner who often treats patients with chronic symptoms and conditions, having another tool to help patients is quite welcome. Ashok Gupta developed the Gupta Program, which is a brain retraining program to help patients recover from many chronic conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis, fibromyalgia, chronic inflammatory response syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivities, mast cell activation syndrome, IBS, food sensitivities, anxiety. Do these sound familiar? These are topics that we have covered many times on the Rational Wellness Podcast, chronic Lyme, POTS, and even post-COVID-19 syndrome. This Gupta Program is described as a neuro-plasticity program, which refers to the brain’s ability to reorganize itself throughout life. The Gupta Program combines meditation, mindfulness training, with what is called amygdala and insular retraining. So, that sounds very mysterious and hopefully we will bring some light on exactly what that means. Ashok Gupta is an internationally renowned speaker, filmmaker and health practitioner. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Ashok: Thank you, Ben, for inviting me. Great to be here.
Dr. Weitz: Excellent. Excellent. Perhaps you can tell us a bit about your background and what you were doing prior to developing this program and how did you first develop it?
Ashok: Yes. So, my background is like many people who are involved in this area, it was as a result of my own experiences. I went through a chronic illness when I was at university. I was studying at Cambridge university and I developed a flu-like symptoms as a result of a stomach bug. And even though the stomach bug seemed to disappear, I just felt chronically ill and it got worse and worse, to worse, to the point at which I couldn’t study, I couldn’t function. I couldn’t walk more than 100, 200 meters. And it was like a brick wall in front of me. If you’re a young person, you’re used to a full-on life and suddenly doctors are telling you, “That’s it. We have no cure for this. You might have this for 20 years, 30 years.” I mean, you can imagine, it was the lowest point in my life. And at that point in my life, I said, “If I can get myself well from this horrible condition that apparently millions of people suffer from, if I can get myself better, I will dedicate the rest of my life to helping others also find healing from this.” And so, I studied brain neurology. I studied physiology. I studied so many different books in the literature on chronic fatigue syndrome and ME. And I worked out that I believe this is in the brain, not in the mind, but in the unconscious brain. And so, in some ad hoc techniques, I managed to rehabilitate my brain, retrain my brain, got myself 100% better and then set up a clinic to treat others.
Dr. Weitz: How did you decide it was in the brain rather than the mind? And what is the difference between the brain and the mind?
Ashok: Yes, it’s a really, really important question. So many people with these chronic conditions get dismissed by doctors or their peers to say, “Oh, it’s in the mind. It’s psychosomatic.” The challenge we’ve got in defining what’s in the mind what’s in the brain is because science and medicine split essentially these different departments. So, if there’s something wrong with your mind, it’s the psychology department. If there’s something wrong with your brain, it’s the neurology department, or if there’s something wrong with your body, it’s the physiology department. We are one person, we are one system, the idea of holistic health and anything that changes psychologically affects us physiologically and vice versa. In fact, they say, 50% of depression cases are actually the cases of over-inflammation nowadays. So for me, the difference is-
Dr. Weitz: Oh, Cartesian dualism is still with us.
Ashok: Absolutely. Yes. This is going back two, 300 years when religion and science split in the Renaissance periods in Europe. And since then, science says, we define things as things that we can measure and treat and physically see, and anything in the mind is the realm of religion and spirituality and all of those types of things, but it’s an artificial split. And now these things are coming back together and I think it’s the dawn of a new-
Dr. Weitz: Well, actually, I think medicine is saying that yeah, the mind is actually just a manifestation of the brain. It really comes down to the brain. You don’t even need to worry about the mind.
Ashok: Yes. Exactly. And I think the challenge here is that when people say it’s in the mind, they think that people are making it up because it’s psychological in that state. When I say it’s in the brain, I believe that it’s not under our psychological control. That is the key difference. We could think differently or do different things, but actually, it’s not going to impact the unconscious brain.
Dr. Weitz: Right. Okay. So, what is neuro-plasticity?
Ashok: Neuro-plasticity is this amazing idea that until the ’80s or ’90s, we used to believe that the brain was pretty fixed, right? So, you’re born with certain genetic inheritance. You go through experiences during childhood. Then once you’re an adult, your brain’s pretty fixed. And then in the ’90s and the noughties, we realized actually, the brain is constantly rewiring itself. We are not a static personality or a static person. Things are constantly changing. And so, the idea is that whether it’s a psychological shift or a physiological shift we need to make, if we can understand how to rewire the brain, we can make significant differences in our different aspects of our existence.
Dr. Weitz: Okay. And then, how is this going to help patients with chronic diseases? I guess, the concept is, is once we realize that the brain can constantly change … Because I remember in high school learning, you get this amount of brain cells and then over the course of your life, you simply lose them and that’s it, there’s no developing new brain cells or rewiring, but now that we know we can rewire it, that’s essentially what we’re going to try to do through programs like yours. Right?
Ashok: Correct. Yes. I mean, to answer your question, if I can just give a background to how I think these illnesses start and then it will make sense in terms of how we can change them.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah. Perfect.
Ashok: So, I believe that many of these illnesses do have a genetic component. I think it’s overplayed in the literature sometimes. So, I think there’s a small genetic component, but the major thing is when somebody goes through a period of chronic or acute stress, that’s one factor. And that stress could be, we typically think emotional stress, but obviously yourself involved in sports science, there’s something called athletes over-training syndrome, where people can actually put a physiological stress on their bodies. So, it can be emotional stress, physical stress, et cetera, combined with a physical trigger. Now, that trigger could be a virus, a bacterial infection, some kind of noxious agent, and obviously in the modern era, COVID-19, we’re treating a lot of long-haul COVID patients.
And the combination of those two things creates a legacy in the brain. So, normally the brain would switch on the immune system, fight off the incoming threat, like the virus or bacteria, and then reset itself and go back to normal. But we know that according to psychoneuroimmunology, when we’re stressed, our immune system is lowered, its effectiveness is lowered. So, it takes us far longer to get over flu or perhaps even COVID-19. And if we ask the biggest question of all, why are we here? The biggest question is, why are we here? We’re here because our nervous system and our immune system have evolved over millions of years to get us to where we are now. So, the number one priority is survival.
So, you imagine if we have a traumatized defensive system and we only just overcome the COVID-19 or only just overcome the flu or the stomach bug, the brain makes a rational decision, I need to err on the side of caution and continually release inflammatory responses, the immune system, and the nervous system. So, anything that reminds me that we might still be in danger, that the virus is still a threat. And from that moment onwards, even though the original virus may disappear, it’s left a legacy. Our brain stimulates immune system and nervous system, which creates the symptoms in the body. Those symptoms loop back to a hypersensitive brain, which magnifies those signals, thinks we’re in danger, re-triggers immune system and nervous system. And then, we get this vicious cycle where the brain and the body are stuck in a game of tennis, constantly stimulating each other and creating chronic illness.
Dr. Weitz: Is this similar to the cell danger response that’s discussed by Dr. Robert Naviaux and others?
Ashok: It’s so interesting, we probably have commonality in terms of how we see the downstream effects, but probably not commonality in where we see the source of this.
Dr. Weitz: Okay.
Ashok: I believe the cells do not operate in a vacuum, they’re obviously constantly communicating each other, but where does the intelligence come to tell them what to do, to trigger that defensive response? It’s the brain. The brain is that CPU. The central processing unit that takes in all incoming data, processes it, and sends outwards signals. So, I believe that yes, there is a cell danger response, absolutely. That’s why the mitochondria are affected and et cetera. But the master signaler is the brain, that’s telling the cells and the organs what to do.
Dr. Weitz: What is the limbic system?
Ashok: So, the limbic system is what they call a mammalian brain. So, it sits below the cortex. The cortex is the outer part of our brain that we associate with being human and the limbic system sits underneath it, and is more our primeval, animalistic type, defensive responses. And within that structure sit the hippocampus, which is short-term memory retrieval, the amygdala, which is our danger response in the brain, the thalamus, which is a sensory organ that takes in all incoming sensory data. And this part of the brain essentially ensures survival and is also responsible for emotional responses.
Dr. Weitz: Okay. You just mentioned the amygdala and also the insula and why highlight those two parts of the brain?
Ashok: Yeah. So, the insula isn’t specifically a part of the limbic system. So, sometimes these types of treatments are called limbic system retraining or whatever, but actually it’s not quite accurate because we believe it’s the insula as well. And so, the insula sits between the cortex and the limbic system and its job is to take in all incoming data from the body, to process it and create appropriate autonomic and immune responses. And from animal studies, we know that when there is conditioning in the system, when the system learns to over-respond, when it comes to our sympathetic nervous system, it tends to be the amygdala. And animal studies have shown when it comes to the immune system, it tends to be the insula where the core conditioning lies or the core programming.
Dr. Weitz: So, maybe you can start to describe what your program actually consists of. I watched a few videos that were really about meditation and breathing, which I think most of us are familiar with the benefits of, and I know I certainly recommend those, but what about the brain retraining techniques? Can you give us a sense of what this is like or what it consists of?
Ashok: Yes. So, the program consists of what we call the three Rs of the Gupta Program. The first R is retraining the brain. And that is the unique core part of it, because many people have chronic illness and they meditate, but they don’t feel better necessarily. So, the core thing here is the brain retraining. The second R is the relaxation of the nervous system, so that includes breathing and meditation and lifestyle changes that can relax the nervous system. And the third R is re-engaging with joy. And this is something that’s often missing from modern medicine, is that actually our physiology completely changes when we are in a positive mood or when we’re laughing or engaged in activity that brings us joy. That’s an important part of healing. But the core of it is this retraining and the retraining is essentially, we teach patients to recognize on the periphery of consciousness, those danger signals.
So, we’ve talked about the cell danger response. We can’t directly impact our cells, but the brain has a safety valve, where on the periphery of consciousness, if we are able to detect those danger signals, we can actually do something different and train the brain that we are no longer in danger. And an example of this, which people might be able to relate to, is when veterans come back from a war zone, so many veterans have legs amputated or arms amputated, unfortunately. And when they come back to their respective countries, there’s a very odd thing that happens, they keep receiving signals in the brain that that part of the leg is injured and it still exists. And this is where the brain can make mistakes.
And there’s some specialist brain rehabilitation techniques, it’s called phantom limb injury or phantom limb pain, and they’re able to train the brain that there is no leg there anymore and therefore, it’s impossible for any signals to be coming up to the brain. And they repeat these processes again and again and again, until the brain is able to switch off that particular part of the pain response. And in the same way, we are retraining and rehabilitating the brain to the new way or the new homeostasis that now exists rather than staying stuck in the on position.
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Dr. Weitz: Do you feel that a percentage of patients with some of these chronic syndromes identify with their diagnosis, with their condition and are somewhat reluctant to actually give it up?
Ashok: I will say that, that can be the case in some patients. Yes. And some patients will be open to us, they will say, “Actually, I’m really fearful of getting better.” Which is totally understandable because if somebody has been ill for 20 or 30 years and their entire life has revolved around illness, a person asks themselves, “Who am I? Who am I without this condition?” Now, let’s be very clear. We don’t believe people are making up these conditions and we don’t believe that it’s psychological, but at the same time, yes, it can inhibit someone’s recovery if they are fearful of getting better, because the moment they get better, they re-stimulate their nervous system and immune system defensive responses, producing the very result that they’re trying to retrain. So, we have some specialists techniques that if that is the case, they’re able to overcome that identification and overcome some of those fears.
Dr. Weitz: Right. I think part of it comes from, some patients have been in pain or discomfort or had other problems for years and then when someone finally gives them a diagnosis, they really own that diagnosis. And it gives them a sense of comfort that somebody actually knows what’s wrong and I think there may be an identification with that diagnosis sometimes.
Ashok: I agree. And therefore, what we say to our patients is, “Let go of the identification because even that identification is a cluster diagnosis.” You have a cluster of symptoms and therefore you’re diagnosed as having fibromyalgia or POTS, or all of this, but we believe it’s the same underlying cause. And the different syndromes that are being caused are down to each person’s individual genetic and physiological vulnerability. So, we all have a vulnerability to stress. So, if I get stressed, I get stomach challenges. If someone else gets stressed, they get headaches, right? Stress goes to a particular part. Other people get pain. So, in the same way, these unique clusters of symptoms are down to some of the unique ways our nervous system and immune system is reacting.
Dr. Weitz: What about the implementation of your program into a care plan that a functional medicine practitioner like myself, might be incorporating? Let’s say, I have a patient who I’m working with, with a set of gastrointestinal issues and maybe they have SIBO and they have dysbiosis. Is it more important for me to try to address those physiological issues first and then add your program in afterwards? Is it better to do it at the same time? It would seem to me, that if we try to do too many things at the same time, it might be too complicated or might take too much of the patient’s time. But I don’t know, what’s your experience with the incorporation of the brain retraining program when a patient is getting care from a functional medicine practitioner for their physiological issues?
Ashok: That’s a really good question. And as you know, many functional and integrative medicine doctors are prescribing our program as part of their treatment plan. And some people, like Beth O’Hara, for instance, they’re actually saying, it’s important for people to go through limbic retraining, or what they call limbic retraining, first, because actually that reduces the workload of the functional medicine practitioner down the line, that 50, 60, 70% of it has already now been dealt with. And those final remnants are far easier to treat, over a shorter period of time. So, that’s actually some of the recommendations of some of the doctors.
Some people do it in parallel. So, if a client comes in and you feel that actually they’re going to be committed to doing both things at the same time, and they have the time to do it, then they can certainly occur in parallel. And at that point we don’t know what has worked, but so what? It doesn’t really matter. And some people do it afterwards as well. But certainly our preference is that if we identify a person in our clinic or someone identifies them as quite clearly fitting the pattern that we describe, then it’s better that they go through our retraining first, because you’re getting to the core of it.
Now, there’s no doubt some downstream issues which may get stuck as it were, and there are supplements and nutritional changes that can be made. But those are far easier when you’ve … The analogy we use is, someone’s standing on a bridge and there’s people drowning in the river underneath, and people jumping in and taking them out. But no one’s asking, “Who’s throwing them in the river in the first place upstream?” So, literally, let’s go upstream first to stop people from chucking them in the river and then we can come downstream and rescue the final few people that are there, right? So, that’s the analogy we use.
Dr. Weitz: Now, how much time commitment does your program take? And then, how long a period of time before they start to see results?
Ashok: Bless me. We generally suggest a minimum of 30 minutes a day.
Dr. Weitz: Now, if that happened while you had a patient in a room right now, they’d go running.
Ashok: Yes, exactly. We’re all on Zoom now. Even on Zoom, we recoil. Don’t want to get a virus through the internet. Yeah, exactly. Sorry, I’ve lost my train of thought completely now. We were talking about the minimum amount of time. Yeah, we say a minimum of 30 minutes a day. And we have people who are bed bound sometimes, right through to people who are working full-time. And wherever they are on the spectrum, they can integrate the program into their lives and do what they can manage. But we know that the more that people do the program, the more time they invest in it, obviously the better the outcomes are. We were interviewing a couple of people yesterday on Facebook who had had long-haul COVID for a year, and there was a guy who was 56 years old, who normally would run half marathons and cycle for 100 miles a day. And he was bed bound for many months.
And he used our program. And initially first few weeks, first couple of months, saw a little changes, but didn’t see anything major. Now, many of us, if we’ve been using a treatment for a couple of months, and it’s not having any effect, we would give up on it. But we say, this is a minimum six-month program, because we don’t know when your brain is going to get retrained. It might be a day. It might be an hour. It might be a week. We’ve seen recoveries in a week. But we also say that sometimes it takes two to three months and he was so glad he committed because now … The benefits started coming in month three, and now he’s 100% better. He’s once again, training for the half marathon, he’s cycling many miles a day. So, that is really the important thing, is not so much how much time you put in, but just that commitment to say, “Whatever happens, even if I don’t see instant benefits, I keep going. I keep going because we’ve got the evidence base that this works.”
Dr. Weitz: Is there any quantitative way to measure the patient’s progress?
Ashok: Well, we definitely want to go down the scientific route. So, we’ve published a couple of studies on this. So, we published a clinical audit in 2010, which found that two thirds of our patients with ME and CFS reached an 80 to 100% recovery within one year. That’s published as a paper, but there was no control. And then as you may know, we’re very pleased to have been the first neuroplasticity program to publish a randomized control trial in November last year. And it showed that compared to a control group, patients with fibromyalgia, there was a 40% reduction in fibro scores within eight weeks. And that was sustained as well. And halving of anxiety, depression, halving of pain, a 50% increase in functional capacity. And that was published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine. Now, these were pilots, but very promising pilots. And we’re now researching for phase three studies to finally prove the effectiveness of this program.
Dr. Weitz: So, by phase three, essentially, it’ll be with a larger number of subjects?
Ashok: That’s right. So, hundreds of patients in each arm. Just like with the vaccine trials, hundreds of patients and comparing them to a control, obviously randomizing, and we’ve already kicked off a randomized control trial for long-haul COVID because it’s such an urgent health issue right now.
Dr. Weitz: Well actually, the vaccine manufacturers were able to bypass phase three, right? Or no, they bypassed phase two and went right to phase three.
Ashok: Exactly. Exactly. They had thousands-
Dr. Weitz: I think the Federal Government needs to commit to buying a hundred million dosages of your program.
Ashok: Well, certainly, our aim is to embed this, our aim isn’t to hold onto this as a private clinic. Our aim is to prove this and then actually embed this into insurance companies, into healthcare systems, train other practitioners to deliver it so that we can get to as many people as possible, because they’re saying millions of people are suffering from long-haul COVID. I mean, this is a tragedy, really.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah. There’ve been a lot of discussions about what it’s about, is it autoimmune in origin? What is the exact origin of it and then, what do we do about it?
Ashok: Yeah, absolutely. And so, there’s many different theories. And obviously, we have speculative theories. We believe it’s yet another syndrome, which triggers ME and chronic fatigue syndrome, and there are many crossovers between the two. Just like mono, Epstein-Barr or what we call glandular fever, about 10 to 15% of patients with those conditions go on to having lingering symptoms. And we believe that’s a similar thing with COVID-19, but that’s yet to be proven. Perhaps there are other issues that are occurring.
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Dr. Weitz: In the functional medicine world, we see a lot of patients with these various types of chronic symptoms and a percentage of them are related to some low-grade chronic infection that is often missed.
Ashok: Yes. Yeah. Absolutely. This what we call pro-inflammatory bias or Th2 bias, where the system keeps responding as if there’s a toxin in the body that needs to be removed, but in doing so is keeping us in that chronic ill health state, and also primed to over-respond. And the irony is, by the system being in that over-primed state, there are so many opportunistic viruses and bacterial infections that then inhabit the body, like Lyme, for instance. So, we believe, fix the core system, get it back to it’s an efficient balance and then the body is its own best healer. Yeah.
Dr. Weitz: Yeah. Lyme is interesting because that’s a very tricky condition, very difficult condition to treat. So, having your program as an additional tool is very welcome.
Ashok: Absolutely. That’s why we’re not dogmatic. We don’t say, “Right, you can’t take any supplements and nutrition, or you can’t see anybody else, only do our program.” It’s actually, it is that holistic approach. If there are other things that people are finding helps, of course, let’s bring that in.
Dr. Weitz: How has the conventional medical profession reacted to your study and what has been their reaction to the idea of incorporating your program?
Ashok: It’s been positive. I think there’s always going to be people who see this as something very alternative, or it doesn’t have the evidence base, but because we speak in scientific terms and we have randomized control trial now, which is the gold standards … That’s the funny thing, they’ve always said, “Well, where’s the evidence?” And now we’ve provided the evidence it’s like, “Oh, but you need the phase three trials to really prove it.” Which is fine, and that’s what we will do. But I think the key thing is realizing that this is the next evolution of medicine, in the sense that this is a new branch of medicine, where 70 to 80% of the conditions that someone goes to see a doctor for, they can’t actually treat the core root of it. So, pain syndromes, depression, anxiety, fatigue, exhaustion. These are common symptoms that people experience from the modern way we live.
And it’s often, as you say, this low grade inflammation, this overstimulation and it is a brain wiring issue. And you can give all the antidepressants or whatever, and it will heal the symptoms to a certain degree, but it doesn’t get to the root cause, and that’s what we’re aiming to do. I believe in 20 to 30 years, perhaps, or maybe it’s 100 years, you’ll actually go to what we call a bioelectric clinic. Let’s say, you might have some kind of reaction, a mold reaction or a fatigue reaction. They’ll plug some electrodes in and they’ll rewire your brain in like one minute and you’ll be cured and you’ll walk out. But until we get to that level of technology, where we map every single neuron in the brain, we believe that we’re the stop gap. This is the neuro-plasticity treatment, where a person can themselves get the system back to homeostasis. And we even believe things like asthma and hay fever actually have the same root causes, which is a defensive system in the brain, in the limbic system, which is overreacting.
Dr. Weitz: Now, does each patient get the same program? Is it geared differently for different patients or different conditions?
Ashok: Everyone gets the same program, but we tailor the certain advice in there, based on whether someone’s using it for an internal sense of signaling or an external signaling. Now, let me explain what I mean by that. So, internal signaling would be fibromyalgia and any chronic fatigue syndrome, where the signals are coming from the body. Pain, fatigue, et cetera. Yep. That’s a danger signaling. But things like mold, food sensitivities, those are symptoms which are being triggered from external triggers. And therefore, we differentiate between the two, but the same underlying brain retraining works.
Dr. Weitz: Essentially, after they have this trauma from this environmental stress or whatever it is that’s causing fibromyalgia, whether it be toxins or excessive stress or whatever it is, their brain is getting is going into some sort of a loop that they can’t get out of.
Ashok: Exactly right. That’s exactly right. Let’s take pain, for instance, with fibromyalgia, many people have some kind of localized pain syndrome. So, it might be a historic injury or they’re in a car accident, where a certain part of their body gets into pain. And then suddenly, the entire body is now inflamed and in pain. So, that shows that the brain generalizes these responses, its defensive responses. And so, our pain networks are very interesting. In fibromyalgia and often lots of different chronic, undiagnosed pain, or idiopathic pain, I believe that the sensory system detects pain in terms of the amount of signaling, the strength of the signaling into the brain, gets magnified. The insula can no longer control the number of signals going into the brain. So, therefore the insula gives up on its modulation or its inhibition of those pain signals.
The insula and the amygdala then overstimulates defensive responses. They direct inflammation to where the pain is, because that’s what the body’s supposed to do. You get pain, quick, put inflammation there because there may be an injury. That is the body’s natural response. But if it keeps doing that, we’re going to be in a chronic state of pain, causing the very symptoms that the brain is hyper-sensitive to, creating this vicious cycle, which is why people can be ill for five years, 10 years, 20 years. Those of us in science and math and physics will know that many illnesses go up and down and you need a feedback loop to have a cycle. One day, we feel better. One day, we feel worse. Why is that? Because of that input-output signaling that is occurring.
Dr. Weitz: Great. I wanted to let everybody know that if you’re interested in signing up for the Gupta Program, if you go to guptaprogram, that’s G-U-P-T-A program.com and you use the affiliate code, WEITZ10, that’s my last name, W-E-I-T-Z 10, you’ll get 15% off if you sign up for the program. So, Ashok, that’s the questions that I had prepared. Are there any other things that you’d like to tell the listeners about?
Ashok: Yes. So, many people will be skeptical. Yep?
Dr. Weitz: Yep.
Ashok: And that’s totally understandable and I totally get it. So, the first thing I’d encourage people to do is come on and they can have a free trial of our program. They can try out some of the videos and experience it. And on top of that, until we get the phase three trials, which will probably take many years, we offer a money-back guarantee for a year on our program. So, if people are skeptical, it’s totally fine. At least give it a go, see if it impacts on your health and then if not, you have that guarantee there in any case. And we obviously have the science-base behind it. But we just want to give people that inspiration. Many support groups can be very negative, many doctors can be very negative, say, “There’s no cure. Nothing we can do.” And actually, giving people that hope, that people do get better, not just from our program, but other things out there. People are getting better every day. So, just have that hope that you’ll eventually get to something that will actually help you.
Dr. Weitz: That’s a good, positive note to end on. Thank you.
Ashok: Thank you.
Dr. Weitz: Thank you listeners for making it all the way through this episode of the Rational Wellness Podcast. Please take a few minutes and go to Apple Podcasts and give us a five-star ratings and review. That would really help us so more people can find us in their listing of health podcasts. I’d also like to let everybody know that I now have a few openings for new clients, for nutritional consultations. If you’re interested, please call my office in Santa Monica at 310-395-3111. That’s 310-395-3111. And take one of the few openings we have now for a individual consultation for nutrition, with Dr. Ben Weitz. Thank you and see you next week.