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  • Russ Eisenman

Rebel Scientist Epi 19 Dasha Maximov tells Sarah and Russ how to hack brain health

Sarah: Today we have a genuine friend of mine. So this is a fabulous biohacker, Dasha, who I’ve known for a while and who I actually did get to me in real life recently, which was super cool. And Dasha is kind of a fellow rebel scientist. She’s a fellow neuro scientist. And she’s going to talk about my favorite topic, which is the brain.

Dasha: Morning here, it’s definitely the morning here. And before and just to caveat before we keep going. I offered to the two of you to meet in person here down in Dominican Republic. So come on down.

Sarah: We’ll do it. Yeah, the Dominican Republic roadshow. Why not!? Because I know you’re doing stuff down there. We’re going to talk a bit about that later, Dasha, but maybe that’s something that we can come on. That’s super cool.

Russ: Dasha, we’ve heard great things, but can you introduce yourself to our audience?

Dasha: Okay, I’m an Ex-Consultant who got ill, like most of us, we all had our health problems, health challenges, and by realizing that many of my health issues were not being solved by doctors, I needed to take it into my own hands. So specifically, when I say “ill”, I mean, I had six brain injuries. So I enjoy smashing my head. Because I like sports, and I like to just go for it. So I had a brain injury when I was 18 for a car accident, followed by skiing, mountain biking, kiteboarding, wake surfing. And then the last one, which was about two and a half, three years ago, was salsa dancing. I was not drinking and I have been dancing salsa for years. So it just got dropped on my head. And it was a beautiful blessing in disguise because now I’m in this space of biohacking and helping others. So I left corporate America and came into this field. And like Sarah mentioned, I started my master’s in neuroscience, but because of the brain injury, I actually never finished it. So there’s an element of I was studying the brain as I had a broken brain, and I became a case study, my own case study, and for two years, I had chronic fatigue, chronic anxiety, depression, exhaustion. I couldn’t hold a conversation because I couldn’t continue to thoughts. And as somebody who very much identifies or identified with my brain, that was quite a challenge. And yeah, we can get into what I did and what I didn’t do, and what work but that’s me in a nutshell.

Russ: Yeah, I loved it on the injury side. My daughters are all athletes. I was an athlete, played a little bit of sports in college, and I had massive amounts of football injuries. And my one daughter, fantastic athlete, played soccer, and got three consecutive concussions and had to stop playing. She couldn’t focus, her grades dropped, couldn’t be in the bright lights and anxiety and depression kicked in. So I’m curious, the first one, was it a concussion or was it actually something a little bit? You mentioned a car accident, it must have been a little bit more tragic.

Dasha: Yeah, it was a traumatic brain injury. So concussions are types of traumatic brain injuries, as are whiplash, potentially. But they all fall under TBIs. What’s interesting is that, again, it can be different severity, our car rolled twice and flipped once. And so it was, I mean, we celebrate that as a second birthday for my entire family. But yes, it can be a lot more severe. So I think what’s interesting, and I’m glad that you brought that up of your daughter, and I’m sorry to hear that. But it’s so much more common than we think. So much more common.

Our kids are getting slammed, left, right and center with football, soccer, lacrosse, gymnastics, I mean, all of these things are running around. And we’re not preserving, the thing that’s letting us run around, which is our brain. And I love that, that people are starting to become more aware of it. And with football, especially American football, they’re starting to say, “Yes, our players need to be a lot more cautious.” And the time to get back on the field needs to be much longer. So, I’m very happy to see that.

But anytime I think about little kids bashing their heads, and then getting back onto the field within a week or two weeks or even five weeks. I wonder if that’s always enough.

Sarah: Yeah, that’s a brilliant thing you brought up because we had Dr. Joe DiDuro on podcast, and he was talking, most people have had some kind of brain damage. And they just don’t realize it. And people are very blase. Like, I know, you said, one of yours was when you were on a kite board.

Dasha: Kite boarding. Yeah.

Sarah: And you have that initial injury, which everyone knows, if you hit your head or if something happens, but the brain is kind of bouncing around in this fairly hard case. And so you can do damage to an area, that’s not actually the area you hit with that rebound effect. I think, people who think, “Oh, well, this doesn’t apply to me, because I’ve never had a TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury,” maybe look back in your past, and there probably is an instance where that could have happened.

Dasha: Oh, for sure. And I think it can be minor as well, right. All of mine have been quite intense because of sports. But it could be as simple as, if you’re from a place with snow or ice, that you’re walking, and you slip and you fall, and you brace your fall, you hold on to your arms, let’s say but your neck kind of slaps back and forth a little bit. That already your neck, while it’s quite strong in your head itself, and in your skull, your brain is bouncing between one side and the other side. And like I said, it can result in a bruise on the brain. And what’s tough about these brain injuries is that they’re silent and they’re invisible. And whereas if you broke a wrist, you go to the doctor, you get a cast, the people see it, and you have six weeks where you are immobilized. Now, can you immobilize your brain? No, because even now I’m sitting here talking to you, and you guys as well, at the same time that we’re having a conversation, we’re thinking, what is the next thing we’re going to say? How are we responding to the person sitting across? How are we engaging? Also, by the way, there’s a noise that’s coming from over to the right, or how am I sitting, my digestion that’s happening? There’s so many beautiful things that our brain is doing simultaneous to the cognitive things that we think of. So it’s very, very difficult i.e., almost impossible to immobilized the brain. And so for me, one of the things that I had to do was, and what I needed to do. And what many people need to do is completely remove themselves from the vast majority of inputs that they’re receiving. So Russ, like what you were saying with your daughter’s, if she had light sensitivity, how do we remove the light? How do we remove computers and flicker? And even reading, even taking in any other inputs that causes the brain to work? So for me, I had three months, where I was lucky enough to be able to take that time off. And I went to my family’s house in really the middle of nowhere. And I didn’t see a single soul. And the only thing I did was give my brain time to rest. So no reading, no podcasts, no, nothing. It was kind of Dr. Kruse talked a lot about it, but light water magnetism. I was grounding every day. I was swimming, I was out in the sun. I was vegetarian for nine years, and understanding more about the fact that my brain needs as fuel, I started taking in a lot more Omega-3. The challenge with Omega-3 is, and its beautiful brain book, “When Brains Collide”, I would recommend anybody to read. Which talks about an army, I believe, as an Army doctor, who started using a lot of Omega and Omega-3 in a protocol to help Ex-Army Bets. So if they had PTSD, if they had concussions, if they have traumatic brains, any of those things, and he found that Omega-3 was a beautiful thing to get the brains back up and running. The challenge, again, be making sure that you have a very good and clear source. Because many of these Omega-3 can oxidize very quickly.

Sarah: Did you eat fish? Or did you take the tablets?

Dasha: So I eat fish, I first started doing Omega-3 because I didn’t really... It was a challenge to go from nine years of vegetarianism to eat fist. But at the end of the day, it was like, “Wait, my brain needs this, I need this. So I’m going to need to make some changes, if I want to get back, because I swung all the way to disease. So I need to swing quite far the other way to right myself.” So I mean, I was eating fish, probably three, four times a week, which was fantastic, because it gave my brain what it needed. But then obviously, it resulted in mercury toxicity.

So, there’s always a balance when we talk about health. And I think that there’s that element of find the thing that is your biggest pain point and start with that. Because there’s so many different things within health that you can start with, you can try to start with. And if you’re having gut symbiosis, you’re having a poor bowel movement, start with that. Don’t start talking about EMFs and electromagnetic fields until you’ve figured that one out.

Sarah: So how did you then decide to take three months off and go and do that for your brain and turn off all the lights and start eating fish? Because that’s not something that I think is probably recommended to do.

Dasha: For me, it was, I hit such rock bottom that I needed to figure something out and I was going to all these doctors and they said all my scans are fine, everything’s fine. But if you wake up with a chronic headache, and you have a headache all day long, and you go to bed with a headache, that’s not fine. That is not fine. So I figured and I had previously, kind of years before I had apprenticed at an Ayurvedic Clinic in India. And one of the main things that they had said was, they would only take in patients for three weeks, that was the minimum. And they always said, when we take our clients and our patients in, we asked them to stop everything for those three weeks and focus and let their brain and their body and everything focus just on here. And so three weeks it was because it’s funny to me to think that once we’ve gotten so diseased, whatever it is, be it women with PCOS or endometriosis, or brain injuries or gut symbiosis, you name it. Our bodies are fighting against the environment. They’re fighting against all these things that we’re doing that are invading us. So we need to start unpeeling everything. And if it’s something as traumatic as what I had, which was quite intense, then I knew I needed to do something quite intense. So I just started on, I was living in London at the time, and I knew that London wasn’t good for me, frankly the food was awful.

Russ: It could have been a neighborhood thing, Sarah.

Dasha: Sorry, not sorry. But like, when your food is wrapped in plastic the way that it is like, there’s no need for fruit to be wrapped in plastic.

Sarah: You’re totally right. You know what is going on? I mean, yeah, it’s crazy town. Yeah, I totally agree.

Russ: Dasha, Sarah and I have a thing now we’ve started to realize we have to speak up when we’re pushed to a point on our podcast, you just made Sarah speak up and say, “I’m gonna defend my food culture here.” But you’re probably right on that.

Dasha: I’m just saying that the groceries that are present in London, do cause me to desire more.

Russ: Well, it’s funny, Sarah and I did talk about this recently about the fruit availability in America versus the fruit availability in European countries like, we are spoiled here. And because we get year round blueberries, we get year round fruit, because we’re importing from Chile, but I live in an area where like, we grow all this stuff, and it’s like, right here, and it’s giant. But we’re not all as lucky as US Californians to have fruit 24.

Sarah: So I think that’s the whole thing about eating seasonally. And if Dasha, you’re specifically looking for high antioxidants and all that stuff, yeah, London, especially in winter might not be the place, although maybe you could get some mackerel or some oily fish for your brain. But I totally get it. I mean, this is also something else that we always say, it’s about the environment, you have to put yourself in an environment that is suited to what you are trying to do. And if you’re trying to recover from a brain injury, maybe being in the center of London, it’s not the best.

Dasha: And I think the thing is, I just started looking around and saying, “Is this going to give me what I need to right this?” And I knew that I needed sun, I knew that I needed to be grounding. I knew that I had all of those things, but help to reduce my inflammation.

Sarah: Did you go and get like the EEG’s

Dasha: Yeah, I had everything done. I had them all done. And frankly, none of them showed anything intense, which was interesting.

I feel that the main reason why I had such a kind of a strong injury was because a year prior to that, I had three root canals.

I also had one implant done, which means metal, metal in the mouth, not so good. We know this, there’s a really good documentary called The Root Cause, which I’d recommend everybody to watch, it used to be on Netflix. It’s since been taken down. But if you can find The Root Cause, it talks about how important the teeth are to the function your brain, to the function of your body.

Sarah: That’s interesting.

Dasha: There are many different meridians. And what if you have root canals, wisdom teeth removed or any implants, then those can result in what’s called a Cavernoma. And a Cavernoma is wearing your tooth, that canal is blocked off because there’s no longer a nerve left there, you don’t feel any pain, but there could be inflammation that could be passed, there could be a lot of things that are going wrong and your mouth is very close to the brain, and therefore it’s feeding for inflammation in the brain. And you don’t even know what’s going? What’s happening?

Sarah: That’s interesting and maybe stuffs crossing the blood brain barrier there then because you’ve got that direct access from all of those nerves going to your teeth. Again, that’s something that’s being linked very closely with Parkinson’s disease. What kind of bacteria do you have in your mouth? And like you say, the fillings and what’s going on? So I think people are starting to catch on to the interconnectedness of the whole body, the whole body is a system, but it’s interesting that you brought that up in relation to that could have made your neuro inflammation or your brain inflammation worse. But you had that awareness. So did you have the metal taken out?

Dasha: Yeah. So I had that taken out. But yeah, it’s so funny that now modern medicine is getting to the point where older traditions, Chinese medicine, Acupuncture and things like that has been around for decades. 1000s of years, and only now are we able to quantify some of the things that they already need to be true. Yeah, so we knew that the teeth are linked to these meridians and so if you have a specific tooth that’s taken out, could it be that it’s actually the same meridian as your pancreas could have been that it’s the same meridian as another organ in the body, which then when the tooth is taken out, then you end up having issues.

Sarah: And you’re talking about an energy channel there, because we also had a lovely Reiki teacher who came on the show.

Sarah: And she was talking about these energy channels. But it’s hard to connect that with like, something very physical, like, “Okay, you’re connecting your teeth to your brain.” Because the language is so different, you have this kind of very esoteric language, where people are talking about energy channels or meridians and kind of healing in a way, which isn’t mechanical. And then here, you are saying, “This is a very real connection. This is actually like some kind of channeled in the body.”

Dasha: Yeah, so I’m not a specialist in this. So forgive me if I’m speaking out of turn, but from what I understand it to be, it’s that each tooth is linked via this meridian channel. Yeah, I mean, it is esoteric in the sense that, can we specifically see it? I believe that there are people as acupuncturist, they can follow a meridian channel down the line. Now, so that, therefore, that means that it’s not specifically the cardiovascular system or the lymphatic system and things like that, but there is a channel that’s going throughout the body.

Sarah: It could be something to do with structured water going on the outsides of vessels. I’m sure sooner or later, we will find something that correlates because now, people are starting to see, “Okay, you have blood vessels, but also the integrity of those blood vessels and how hydrated they are, that also allows flow of information.

Dasha: That’s really interesting. Oh, I want to look into that.

Russ: I’m pretty obsessive about my teeth. That’s one area where my mom taught me well, like brush twice a day, floss, and I do. My children, just look at me, like, “You’re not gonna bully me into brushing my teeth.” I’m like, “Okay, but your yellow teeth will bully you into brushing your teeth,” but it’s super important. It’s so funny you say that because we’ve talked to people that say, “The music you listen to affects impacts your body.” It starts with your mouth, and your nose and I think what you put into your mouth, and what happens in your mouth is probably an area we haven’t really discussed a lot of, it’s probably something we need to dig into more.

Sarah: Yeah, for your brain, for sure. All of this is, it’s good for the health of your mouth. But what Dasha is talking about here, yeah, this is all about brain health. And whereas we kind of haven’t even talked so much about the brain yet. We’re talking about all kinds of other things. So I think yeah, this is the cool part because that’s something you can easily do. You can’t fix your brain. But yeah, you can look after your teeth, you can see a biological dentist, you can think about these meridians.

Russ: I am curious about the recovery process and the scar tissue and the longer term impacts for the rest of your life. And you recover, you get better, but how you’re fully healed? And will you ever fully heal?

Dasha: I love that question. Because I saw so many doctors and I tried so many things. I’ve now kind of been helping different people. They just hear of me randomly of, “Oh, yeah, you’re the girl with all the concussions.” And so I’ll guide them a little bit of what I think might help you, might not help you. And that’s one of the things that actually talked to people a lot about of, you may never be back to your “Normal.” And that’s okay. Because change is part of our life. We are going to age; you’re not going to be the same person you were six months ago. Hopefully not. So these brain injuries, I’ve seen them and it took me a long time to realize that they weren’t really a gift and I still am learning this lesson, it’s caused me to slow down because I was always rushing around. I’m always and

it’s the Rushing Woman Syndrome. And it’s a very western thing. And it’s, we have to be here and there and over schedule and make sure we squeeze the most out of the day. And it’s amazing. And we’ve all been trained that way in the West. And that is causing disease. Full stop. And so for me, it was a really nice reminder of slow down.

And I keep on having to have that reminder because it’s just inherent who I am, I want to squeeze the most out of the day. So I think for a lot of people, Post Concussive Symptoms, PCS, they can last for months, they can last for years. I am now two and a half years out. And I would say, I perceive myself to be about 90% better. Now, do I still have lingering things? Yes, the lingering things that for me, I’ve been which is I’m still electro hypersensitive. So prior to this last concussion, I never felt electricity or computers or screens, I never felt it. And I never even knew that that was a thing. Now, I know that I’m electro hypersensitive, I am exhausted for two, three days, after a flight, where obviously, when you’re in a flight, you’ve been through the metal detector, you’re in the air, the higher up you are, there’s more radiation. Plus, in every airplane, you now have Wi Fi. And you have these little screens behind your head, you’re literally have a computer right behind your head. And everybody in the airplane has two, three devices on average. So, it’s understandable that I get very white afterwards. So I still am electro hypersensitive, I still am not 100% in terms of my energy levels, I’m still tired. And loud noises still get to me. So if somebody has really loud music, or if there’s the TV that’s on, I find it very difficult to concentrate, like I need that focus, I need no noise in order to be fully concentrated. Whereas before, as any person of my age, I would have been doing, working and having music play. And I was not annoyed by that. So I mean, is it annoying? Yes. Am I ever going to get over it? I don’t know. But I think that there’s also for me, it’s becoming okay with saying, “This is me,” and being able to say it to people and say, “Hey, listen, this is what’s going on. This is the new me.”

Russ: It’s an incredible process to have to go through, an incredible fight and battle. So, there’s the transformative moment, which it’s funny. We’ve talked to many people, one of our friend last week, we talked to, Brett Moran talked about his life and his transformative moment was not an injury, was sort of a self-induced injury, drug use and going to jail and being a soccer hooligan. But there’s a transformative moment. And your transformative moment was slowing down probably led to your career change, I imagine because I’m still doing the tech stuff. And slowing down is impossible, because it just doesn’t ever stop. But that transformative moment. What was that for you?

Dasha: That I couldn’t remember anything, that I read the next day before. Yeah, I think that’s what it was. Like I mean, I was reading scientific journals. I was spending four hours; I’d say reading them. I would take my notes. I would read everything. I would have highlights. I was the nerd. I was a complete nerd. And then the next day, I would look at my notes. And I would barely remember anything that I read yesterday. And especially, Russ, you’re saying that you’re in this tech world, and you’re go, go, go Imagine if tomorrow, you weren’t able to remember what you did today. Imagine if you didn’t have that.

Russ: That would be amazing for my job. No, I am kidding, that’s a terrible joke. No, but you’re right. You’re absolutely right, it’s really challenging. And so you decide to make it shift in your life and a change in life. But it wasn’t like a momentary thing. It was a gradual thing where you said, “I’m gonna take life slower, I’m going into take care of myself and teach others how to take care of themselves as well.”

Dasha: Yeah, and I think to me, I mean, I was already shifting away from consulting, I was a management consultant, I was already shifting away from that. I knew that I wanted to do something with the brain. So I had already shifted, I had shifted, saying, “I want to just study my focus.” But the question of where my focus goes next, because I was thinking of going back into private equity and kind of being in the translator between the scientists and the business folks. And I said that doesn’t actually give me that much joy. And I know it’s gonna be a lot of stress and it’s going to be very lucrative. But it is going to be extremely stressful and I cannot cope, my brain cannot cope and moreover, even if it did, do I want it to? I think, we’re stuck a little bit, [unclear 29:59] of myself that I had this plan, I had the checklist, “I’m going to get the 4.0, I’m going to get the great job, I’m going to get the internship.” And even now, look at where we’ve been in the past year and a half, many of the people, my peers, who have all the amazing things, all the accolades, all the things on their resume, they’re stuck in a very beautiful penthouse, apartment in New York City. And they’re not living the life that I have now, which I’m living on beautiful islands, in Dominican Republic, I’ve slowed down, and yet I feel like I’m moving forward so I think my career change has said, “How do I empower people with good information?” And I really like the phrase, it’s kitschy, and a lot of people use it, but I like it, which is, “How do you be a lighthouse? How do you shine a little bit of light onto something,” to say, “Hey, try that over there? You’re very stressed. Okay, let’s figure out how to remove that,” not remove that stress, because it’s not about removing it. It’s about learning how to be more resilient to it? How do you take little breaks throughout the day? How do you start incorporating that? How do you start setting boundaries with your job to say, “Hey, listen, I’m not going to work until 10 o’clock at night?” And that’s okay. And what I found, even when I did that, five years ago, six years ago, I got more respect for it. And I actually was more efficient with my time, because I knew that I had to go and I think that any parent probably sees knows that as well. The second that often you have a little kid to take care of, you’re no longer saying at the job that much longer, you’ve got to go pick them up, or you’ve got somebody to take care of it.

Russ: Did you meditate and pray? Are you a meditator?

Dasha: Yeah. So, prior to that, probably five years ago, maybe longer. I had done a Vipassana meditation in India for 10 days, and I absolutely loved it. And if anybody gets the opportunity to do so, please do so. Please do so, it’s 10 days. Sounds absolutely mental, sounds bonkers. It’s 10 days of not talking. And you guys can tell that I clearly talk a lot. And it was exactly what I needed. It is a shower for your brain, it is a surgery for your brain. Because when was the last time you had a day, two days, three days, 10 days, where you are not speaking.

Sarah: In lock down, I think I was close to three months. I think it’s brilliant, what you’re doing. Also, tell us a bit about your retreats now Dasha, because this is something that you’re trying to teach people, you had your awakening with these terrible concussions, but it would be great if people could get there without having to go through the smashing their head part. Can you tell us about those brain retreats? Because I think a lot of people listening also want to have that. They also want to be able to live their more authentic life or find ways to cut down the hours that they’re doing. But does it really take something so dramatic to get there? Or how do you coach people to do it?

Dasha: Yeah, thank you. And thanks for even kind of mentioning it.

So I’m starting to do these retreats down here in Dominican Republic. And the idea here is it’s not a yoga retreat. It’s not a meditation retreat. It’s a healthy vacation, a health vacation. And the intention here is that you get to understand more about this world of health, So, instead of just listening to a podcast or going to a conference and seeing some of these things, you actually get to experience it within those five days.

So it’s five days, you come down here, every retreat is co-hosted with myself as well as somebody else. So I’ll have a specific doctor or research or a specialist, come down and there’ll be a focus. So we have one that’s coming up in January, one in February, one in March. And each of them have a different focus, physical fitness, aging with vibrancy and vitality. And then breath work and ice vaping, if you will. And again, the idea is you come here, we’re going to have separate workshops to teach you about ice bathing or cold showers or why do we need to wake up in the morning and look at the sun first thing in the morning? What does that actually do to your circadian rhythms? And let’s try it. Let’s practice it. Same thing was fasting. Let’s talk about fasting for women versus for men. It’s very different. And we need to understand why that’s different as well as give it a go. A lot of people that I speak to they hear these podcasts. They’re like okay, “Yeah, I should do that.” But then they don’t know where to start or it’s a little scary.

Sarah: Yeah, you’re totally right. And that’s where we’ve tried to come in and try to do the seven day challenges, because people talk about it. and it’s very interesting, but then how practical is it? And this is where Russ and I have tried to come in and do some of these things. So I think it’s so cool that you’re doing that down there in a kind of a holiday or vacation, as you say, in the environment. Because then if you’re doing it with other people, you don’t feel so silly doing some of these things, which seem a bit far out. It’s totally cool. But yeah, that’s exactly where we’re coming from too because it’s one thing to get this information, you just need to start trying little things, like implementing little things. And Russ and I found out some of these things are easier to implement than others.

Dasha: Yeah. And I think the thing that these retreats give you is, in addition, we’re going to be giving lab analysis. So one of the main things with when people get it wrong, in my opinion in terms of biohacking is that they will get started. And they will buy up all the different supplements, they will try everything before understanding what their body actually needs. So there’s my mentor and friend, Dr. Nasha Winters, she always talks about test, assess, address, don’t guess. So the first step of it all is to test, you need to test to understand what is actually going on underneath the covers, if you will and figure out, “Oh, I do have this imbalance, therefore, I do need to supplement” or “My hydrochloric acid is very low. Okay, so what can I do either in supplement form or naturally? What are the foods that I can eat?” For example, if I see that somebody’s cortisol levels are very high or flat lines, I’m not necessarily putting them into an ice bath.

Sarah: Yeah, that’s very interesting. It’s definitely about doing what’s right for the individual. And that means your own self-assessment or which we’re trying to bring out to people or also getting some expert opinion, if you’re not quite sure about those numbers. So, it’s super cool. I hope we can come down and do a rebel scientist, brain retreat, maybe we’ll do some stuff about light that will be super cool.

Dasha: I keep it really simple and start doing cold showers in the morning.

Sarah: We have done. Do you know Andres Breitfeld? We had him on and in his Biohacking Center, he has a chest freezer that he sits in, like an actual chest freezer, which is so funny. So we have a little experience of the cold showers. But I think we can probably do that one again. But what did you think of Russ? How did you get on with the cold showers in the morning?

Russ: I actually do the cold shower. I actually do take cold showers, of course when I shower as often as possible. I really actually enjoyed it, it wakes me right up and I actually don’t like warm water. I’m very much an Eastern European. I don’t like heat. I like cold so I would prefer to be cold. I love it.

Sarah: We love it. I don’t love the cold showers but I don’t mind the sea swimming or the lake swimming or something although I was in Florida recently and the sea was like a bath so that’s probably cheating. But I don’t love the cold showers but for you, Dasha.

Dasha: So another one that could be a simple one. And I think that a lot of people talk about it. Before you go to bed at night, this one thing that I just never thought I had time for. I was always busy, and we always are busy. But people talk about a gratitude journal. I don’t have time right away that fashion journal. I don’t have time to write it down. But I do have time at some point asleep just to say, “What are three things I’m grateful for?” I wouldn’t write it down. If you don’t have time to write down, don’t. But for me, it’s really nice when I’m falling asleep with my partner say, “Hey, what was good about today? What are you grateful for today? And I think, especially if you’re somebody who’s dealing with a brain injury or dealing with some health issue, it’s a moment to say, “Actually, there was goodness here.” And there’s this term micro-aggressions that people talk about, well, why don’t we start finding micro-joys? And I have these little things where it’s like there’s micro joys literally everywhere, and we just need to keep an eye out for them. So for me, I love my coffee in the morning and I love pouring it over after I’ve added cacao butter and all this stuff to it.

Dasha: All right,

so the idea of the micro-joys is find these micro-joys, find these moments where you’re like, “Yeah, that was good.” Because there’s so much negativity in the world right now and I think that this was one thing that I read somewhere, “For every one negative thing, it takes us five positive things to balance it off.” So think about the amount of crap that other stuff that we have that is bombarding us day in and day out right now with negativity. And so to offset that, we need to have five to one ratio. So finding, “Okay, what was good? So right now, I’m gonna hang up the phone here and be like, yeah, that was pretty good. What was good about this meeting? What was good about the podcast?” And even at night when we’re falling asleep, “Hey, what are the things that made this day great?”

And I think if we start priming ourselves for this, not only is there, I mean, Joe Dispenza talks about it quite a bit, but you start attracting more of greatness to you. Yes, it’s woo-woo. But you know what, I’m gonna go with it.

Sarah: Yeah, why not?

Russ: I am a huge, truly a believer in kindness and compassion. And I would have spent the weekend fretting about something. And my typical reaction was like, and I’m gonna say, “Fuck that, fuck that thing. And I was so mad.” And it was just as my old pattern of thinking, and I was going to do something that I probably was going to regret because of it. Like I was gonna rifle off an email and say, “I’m so pissed about,” and I decided I was gonna do the opposite and just said, “How can I help?” And it was transformative for me, for the person didn’t expect it. I think that sometimes they expect a different and I think kindness is just so important and especially when everyone’s stressed out. Everyone’s working hard and doing challenging things. Just little micro kindnesses, little micro-joys are great. I love that.

Sarah: Yeah, we’ll take that micro-joys. Yeah, for sure.

Dasha: Micro-joys are greater than micro-aggressions. Boom!

Russ: Boom!

Sarah: But you are macro-joy for me, Dasha. Definitely. So it was so lovely to have you on, we really do support what you’re doing down there with your retreats, and we’re pumping that out as much as possible. Hopefully, we’ll even get down there to see you so yes, thank you so much for coming on. It was a real treat.

Dasha: Likewise, I can’t wait to see you guys down here. Perfect.

Russ: We’ll be there. We will be there soon. I’ll bring my beautiful wife, she’ll come to you. She and I travel a lot. And it’s funny as my daughter’s middle name is Joy, her mother’s name was joy. And my wife is literally like the joy. Like I walk out and she’s always so positive. Even after like an incredibly stressful day. She always finds a way to be positive. And I try to be like that. It’s so hard. It’s hard. But when I say it’s hard, I’m just setting myself up for it not being easy.

Sarah: Yeah, and you have a lot of great examples by the sound of it. That’s so cool. We’ll do it. We’ll do a whole contingent of us, we will go down there.

Dasha: Oh, yeah and for anybody who’s listening if we’re still recording, if anybody’s listening who does want to come on down again, we’re having three retreats right now we’ve got planned for January, February and March 2022. And the website will be up for people to sign up, www.WHealth.Community. And again, most of them are going to be geared specifically towards women’s health and women’s biohacking because I think that there’s a lot of a need for it, a need for community and better understanding of women’s biohacking. So we’ll likely have a brain biohacking or brain health retreat as well in the future with our but for now, Jan, Feb and March is that so stay tuned. And if you want in for more information about what it is and how to get involved or how to sign up, then just feel free to message me as well.

Sarah: Perfect. We’ll put all your details up in the blog. That’s great.

Dasha: Thank you. Thanks for your time guys. It was fun.

Sarah: Yeah, it’s been great. Take care, Dasha, we’ll see you soon.

Dasha: Thanks and good luck Russ with the dentist.

Russ: Thank you.

Dasha: I’ll send you a picture of each of the meridians. So then you can tell the dentist, “Don’t touch this meridian.”

7 Day Challenge

Russ: So Dasha was lovely.

Sarah: She’s fabulous. And I think the fabulous thing about her is that she’s had her own health challenges, and she’s finding a way out of it. And now she’s bringing that to other people. It’s a story of a lot of biohackers, of course, that people come from a place where they need to find a solution and the medical system isn’t working, which is exactly what happened with Dasha. But she’s now taking that step further, she’s doing brain retreats. I mean, as you know, I’m totally into the brain. But I often talk to Dasha and kind of bounce ideas, because she really has studied a lot on it.

Russ: Yeah, it’s really becoming clear, the, the balance that you need in your life, that if you lean too far down, and you fall, you kind of fall off the edge a little bit. You sort of need that to become one of these people that we’re meeting because I think you need to see what that dark place is like; to really understand what the light place is like. And I think we saw that with Deanna, we’ve seen that with many others. And I think, again, now in with Brett too, I think that when you have that dark part of your life, the light becomes even more inviting.

Sarah: Yeah, I think for a lot of people, they’ve had a wakeup call of some kind. I mean, actually, I think it’s cool that what we’re trying to do is bring this to people without them having to hit rock bottom.

Russ: Please don’t hit rock bottom.

Sarah: Well, if possible, make these improvements now before you have to have like a really awful health challenge.

Russ: Yeah, I mean, to be awakened means you’re asleep. So maybe let’s just let you be asleep. And then you can become awakened. You don’t need to go to jail or be a soccer hooligan or get into a terrible car accident like poor Dasha did. But you’re right, let’s identify it now that it is important to be good with your brain and be good to your body.

Sarah: Exactly, yeah. And we had Joe DiDuro, who was talking a lot about how easy it is to damage your brain, we’ve had Dasha talking about it. So I think, this is kind of a wakeup call for people out there that if you’ve gone through life, you probably have done a few things to your brain, that get it to the stage where you really do have to make some emergency choices. These are things you can start doing now. Very, very simple things, protect your brain, make sure that you’re eating food that’s not inflammatory, make sure that you are optimizing your circadian biology, all these simple things that we’ve been going through for the course of the episodes, these are things you can do now, before you damage your brain. Let’s try and kind of head off those issues. Prevention is always better than cure. But of course, as humans, we tend to.

Russ: Yeah, and there’s I think having lived with someone, I mean, multiple people in my life who had hit like head traumas, like I myself had many concussions playing football and my son had three or four playing football. And then my poor daughter who played soccer and loved it had three kinds of in a row. And that was the end of her soccer career. And you can see, it takes a long time for the brain to heal from a physical damage. And people really don’t know what emotional damage they’re doing to their brain. And it takes time to heal. And what are the things that you’ve taught me about healing? It’s sleep. It’s turning off the blue light. Well, the blue light toxicity I’m learning. What are the other things we can do to heal? Sarah, what are the things to do to heal? I’ve run out of list.

Sarah: You are struggling already, Russ.

Russ: Yes.

Sarah: The main things of course, is sleep, rest, taking care of your light exposure and by light, we kind of encompass Wi-Fi and every other electromagnetic field around us, shutting off the things. We have breathing, Kristin did the breathing, we have ice baths ways that you can get back to that natural state.

Russ: After we finished with Dasha, I looked up, its EMFs. That’s what they’re called?

Sarah: Yes, electromagnetic fields.

Russ: And recognizing that I wear these silver headphones wherever I go, I feel like we say, there’s a comic book character that’s always wearing headphones. How dangerous is that? And why is it dangerous?

Sarah: Well, you’re constantly putting that field into your brain, I mean, you’re literally, baking your brain in those electromagnetic fields. And I don’t know if you notice with Dasha, but she had those things. They’re called ear tubes, where actually the electricity only goes to a certain point. And then they literally just tube, the part that goes into your ears because she has this electromagnetic sensitivity. She’s one of the people that can actually sense that, there are ways that you can negate that but certainly having those things attached to your head for a big percentage of the days, it’s probably not a great idea if you’re really trying to focus on brain health.

Russ: Gone, they are gone.

Sarah: Take them off, you don’t need them.

Russ: I can’t hear you. But you’re right. And I think it’s just bringing those things to light. It’s so Sarah, you’re it’s so funny about you that I think what I love so much is that you are a light expert, but you are shining the light on all these things that I think I didn’t know about. And I hopefully our audience will learn something from you. So thank you for being our flashlight. And I think as one of our other guests said, I think you are our lighthouse. You’re the lighthouse for us.

Sarah: It’s such a good metaphor. We’re all about like, in so many ways. So yeah, I love that. Thank you for saying that. But yeah, I love that because it is about shining light on these things and trying to nudge people in the right direction before it gets to a critical stage. So let’s try and look, like you say kids at the moment playing football, they’re now saying, “Should we be teaching kids headers?” All of these things because people are starting to realize, “Oh, right.” This is a long term effect that we’re only just now seeing as the population ages and all of these things are starting to become apparent.

Russ: Right. That’s very true. So I will be the light keeper, the salty, old man in the White House, chuck it, while you were out there, shining the light on everyone. How’s that sound?

Sarah: Shining the light. Well, with the help of all of our lovely guests, of course, because Dasha for sure, she was great. And I think doing these brain retreats is a brilliant idea. Hopefully she can help people out there, we’ll put up where people can find Dasha, if they’ve got any questions about concussion, I know that she’s looking to use certain measurements that people may find helpful. Her seven-day challenge was to do the gratitude, which we had done with Boomer, so already had a bit of a head start on that. But of course, one of the things I’m grateful for is having all of these lovely guests to speak to, I mean, I know we’ve got some really cool ones lined up.

Russ: That’s right, and I write all my gratitude down. And it’s interesting, I was reading an email that I sent for work the other day, and I use the word grateful for times, and I think it’s just something that I now recognize that I am grateful for these people. It’s not that I’m not just using the word to seem nice, I really am grateful, like without other people, I would not be able to get my job done. Without my wife, I would not be able to do a lot of the things in my life, without my children I would not be able to do it, without you. Like, I think, we should just stop for a second and say, “I’m not using you. I’m grateful for you.”

Sarah: Yes, I think so and it’s amazing. We’re all of this high tech and all of this amazing stuff that’s coming out. And yet, this is not the first of our guests to say this is some really, really simple fundamental thing about being human is just gratitude. We can have technology that cost 15 grands, you can lay in it, you can do all kinds of fancy things. Just being grateful, that’s one of the things that people come back to.

Russ: I had a college professor that said to me, “Do you think driving on the freeway, humans in cars are selfish? Are they helpful?” And half the class said, “They’re selfish, rude, honking at me.” About half the class said, “No, actually, they’re being kind because if they weren’t being kind, they’d crash into my car or cut me off,” we are all driving straight lines, but slowly, and I think that every time I crossed the road when I’m in New York City, “Thank you for not running me over. He stopped. Thank you.”

Sarah: Of course. Super cool. So thank you Dasha, thank you Russ and yeah, I’m grateful that I will be able to speak to you soon with the next guest.

Russ: Beautiful. Bye, bye.

Sarah: Take care. Bye, bye.

Dasha's Links

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