Rebel Scientist S2 E6 Dr. Cliff Saunders - Brain Reprogramming is FUN!
Updated: Jul 4
Dr. Cliff Saunders is a Behavioral Psychologist and Cybernetician, also known as The Brain Reprogramming Doctor. He is a Master Business Transformation Strategist with the finest reputation in the marketplace. His educational background spans Engineering (1st Class Honors), Applied Psychology (MSc), and Systems Theories of all types (PhD Cybernetics). Over the 40 years of his career, he has worked at the CEO level with large organizations to reprogram the strategic thinking of their executives and employees to dramatically transform the way they approach problems and their solutions, to produce unprecedented performance improvements and financial gains.
Sarah invited her friend Dr. Saunders, as he is the leading expert in the industry on how you can go about reprogramming your brain. He shares his vast clinical experience and teaches easily adaptable hi-tech and low-tech ways for ordinary humans to practice in their lives to achieve better physical and mental health.
Russ: Let's start with how the two of you are know each other
Sarah: Well, the reason why we've got Cliff on today, and the reason why I think it's so interesting is because Cliff Saunders is the brain reprogramming doctor. Cliff and I have been working closely together looking at different combinations of hi-tech and low-tech ways of reprogramming your brain. We have been talking about a lot of red light therapy, and a lot of ways that you can program your brain with light, and how you can modulate your biology with circadian rhythms. So there obviously, is this biological component. This is something that Cliff and I chat about a lot, is how can you utilize the brain's working, work with it harmoniously, and integrate some tech? So I would like to pass over to Cliff, for him to explain some of the stuff we've been talking about and working on.
Cliff: So I'd like the audience just to trust me for a moment and tap the top of their heads. Just tap the top of your head for a minute. Now leave your finger right the top of your head just for a moment. And if we think about this, from electroencephalography, EEG terms, that particular place in the international 10-20 program is called CZ. And it's called CZ because it's easy to find. And right under there, are the neurons we've all used to be able to move our hands up. So you can take it down for a minute, but just bear with me that since you've been able to move and you were able to without even having to look accurately find the very top of your head - Something by the way that robots could not do 30 years ago, [or] 20 years ago. [It's] very difficult for a robot to do that. Now it can do it trivially. But it was a very complicated thing once upon a time. That is where our movement centers are. Right under where your finger was tapping the top of your head is a strip of meat that runs from ear to ear called the sensory motor cortices, sometimes called M-1. So let's say for a minute you wanted to improve your balance. So you're getting on a bit or you just wanted to improve your balance anyway for sports, whatever it might be. You would be able to talk to those neurons by taking a PhotoBio-modulator. I know they're big words but basically a specially engineered red light source, and put it on that M-1 strip of meat. And while you're doing that, the light will penetrate down through to the motor cortex, [or] to the M-1 strip, and give those neurons an extra boost of energy. Now one of the things that I've discovered over the years with all forms of stimulation is,
...once you are energizing or have energized a piece of your body, your body can learn much faster, now you've given it some juice.
So if you wanted to improve your balance while you're stimulating your M-1 with red light, stand on one leg and time yourself until you fall over, and then change legs until you fell over again. And then walked as quickly and as carefully as you can, along a straight line, and time yourself, and in a fortnight or, an American two weeks, you would find that your scores have improved. And subjectively, you'd find that your balance was improved. So there's an easy way of reprogramming or adding more capability to our brain, to our body systems by thinking intelligently about, "Well, where does balance come from?" Well, there's lots of moving parts to balance. In part, a big chunk of it is computed in this M-1 in that strip.
Sarah: In order to get the most results, you're saying you need to actually do something that engages that motor function?
Cliff: Yes. You’ll get a benefit by irradiating or illuminating your brain but adding that extra energy and then working it, gives you a much bigger effect than one alone.
Sarah: Is there any crazy activities you've done, Cliff? What else have you tried to reprogram?
Cliff: Most people don't realize that they don't know a lot of things that they don't even know about.
That they are ignorant of the ignorance. But the way the brain works, is we're not aware that we're ignorant of our ignorance. And you don't think that there's areas that you know nothing about.
But if you were suddenly offered the idea that there's a door in the wall of your perception that you can go through, all of a sudden now your world has become different even though you haven't been through the door now you know there's a door. And now what you have is the opportunity of exploring another space, another capability that had never occurred to you. So without any hi-tech, just be getting curious about, "Well, I wonder if there's stuff that I don't know about? I wonder if there's areas that have never occurred to me?
Now, let's talk low-tech, but hi-effective. Now, supposing you, dear listener, got curious about this. You've been tapping your head and then wondering about all these funny people that have been talking about this crazy stuff. And you thought, "I wonder if there is something to this?’’ Guess who's been listening to these words we've been using? Your brain. So tonight, I dare. No, I double dog dare you, just to play some of this podcast over again to yourself, in your mind's eye. And as you fall asleep, just ask that brain of yours that's been listening... Why? I don't know. It's probably a load of nonsense. I'm sure nothing can come of it. But anyway, on the off chance that it does, perhaps while I'm sleeping, how about you use my REM sleep, my creative sleep and see if there's some stuff that I'd never even thought about thinking about. So that in the morning, you may have some insights, or while you go about your day for the next couple of days, you suddenly get drawn to something that you hadn't got curious about before and discover, "Oh, yeah. That's the door in the wall."
Sarah: Brilliant Cliff. I know, I've done this with you a few times. I've been on a few of these trips with you. And we've been doing all kinds of things. Mental cribbage. I'm doing paper folding later, with my red-light stimulation to stimulate dexterity. It's tapping into the subconscious, that’s what you're talking about.
Cliff: Absolutely. I tend not to use the term subconscious, because it implies we know the structure of consciousness.
Sarah: What do you call it, Cliff?
Cliff: It's other than. So that's the most general thing we can say. There's stuff, I'm conscious of. I'm conscious that I'm tapping the top of my head, but I'm completely other than consciously aware of how I do it. I have no clue. I'm just glad it does.
Russ: Are there ways to reprogram yourself to see your traumas, as something different than a trauma?
Cliff: Absolutely. I hope you don't have to edit this out. Let's just say each one of us have had some stuff in our lives. And if you're listening to this in English, there's a good chance you're either North American, or Northern European, or a Brit, or an Aussie. And those cultures have something in common, which is it is unseemly to pat yourself on the back, but it is absolutely fine to denigrate oneself. "Oh, I could have done better. No, it's nothing. I really couldn't have done that." And we think that if we would only do a root cause analysis on all the stuff in our life that somehow magically it will go away, forgetting that our brain is a connection machine. It is a neural network of neural networks.
And if there's one thing I can tell you from cybernetics that neural network is really good at, it's learning things. So if you're not careful, you can get extremely good at finding the stuff in your life because you've trained yourself to do it. So step one is to realize diagnosis is not cure.
Now if you want some fun things to do to clear the crap out, what I suggest to most of my clients is to find, what I call a Dagwood cupboard. You remember Dagwood and Blondie? And he opened this cupboard all the stuff would fall out on him. Now, not everyone has a Dagwood cupboard, but some people do. Everyone usually has a Dagwood drawer, and a lot of guys have a Dagwood garage, right? They do. Okay, so one of the things I'll get them to do is to get a bunch of black garbage bags. They don't have to be black. Get those you know handy garbage bags, and go into the garage, or the Dagwood cupboard, or the crud drawer and take out each piece at a time and look at it, and say, "Do I keep this?" Put it in one pile? Is this garbage? And I wonder why it's here, put it in another pile, or I'm not quite sure, put it in the third pile. Go through all your crap until you've got... And now I'm going to say keep the things you're not sure about and put that in with the other stuff. Because it would be horrible if you throw it away. And [realize], "Oh, I needed it." But I guarantee you, at least a third of it is going to be stuff you no longer need. And go through a little ceremony of chucking it out. And that night, as you go to sleep, invite that brain of yours to do the same with all of the crap that you've been reinforcing, all of those years.
Russ: Did we all Marie Kondo our homes in the last year or so? She's the one that says, "Get rid of all of your stuff, and only keep the things that bring you joy."
I think what you just said is we're going to Marie Kondo our trauma, and acknowledge it and say, "That brings joy to my life." And if it doesn't bring joy, thank it for existing and then let it go.
Sarah: And then let it go. It's like the joy of tidying up, isn't it? It's the joy of tidying up your brain.
Cliff: Well, the metaphor really is now you've opened up the possibility of you storing more stuff in there than you have before. So the next thing
I get people to do is begin to make a list of all the things they're proud of, and all the things that they've done that given them joy.
And get your brain to reinforce the skill of going. "Oh, yeah, I did that. I did that. And I did that. Oh, yeah, that's so cool." And you'll find that you'll start smiling and you'll be setting off endorphins, serotonin and feel good neurotransmitters, which is a much more glorious sensation than digging through the crap.
Sarah: I'd like to add Cliff, probably if you paired that with something where you are charging your brain, like either using one of these red-light devices, or even walking out doing it at sunrise, or doing it in the sunshine, then you're doing the task, but you're also giving your brain the juice that we were talking about.
Cliff: I love what she just said.
Russ: Let's name it. We're going to have a ceremony. We're going to have a Cliff and Sarah ceremony. And let's do it. I think it's powerful. You've already changed my life. I'm going to leave and go through my door, and visit all the new things, and fill my now new empty brain with some new lessons and new learnings.
Sarah: Brilliant! The Fabulous art of tidying up your brain. So what would be your three top tips to reprogram your brain?
Cliff: I think the first thing I would say is re-listen to what we have just gone through, because we've gone through a lot very quickly.
Get curious about the fact that your brain is listening to what we're saying.
Your brain is not a passive, free pound of hamburger meat. It is creating us every moment. That said, if our brain has not been exposed to certain information, it cannot conceptualize what's not in there to be conceptualized. It's the idea of the door in the wall. Get curious about what it is that you don't know. And actually actively ask, "What do I not know? What do we not know about?" And then begin to harness your sleep more deliberately. Most people are like, "I'm just going to go to sleep." No, you are going to sleep. You're wearing the most amazing supercomputer, and if you just take a few moments before falling asleep, to say you could do with a bit of a hand, please, it will do it. It's a different type of habit. And I suppose the last thing I'd say Sarah is, if you don't know about photobiomodulation, or if you don't know about electrostimulation and their sister technologies, get curious about it. And learn how to pair tasks with stimulation because you're going to find you have a superpower you didn't even know you had.
Sarah asked me particularly to focus on photobiomodulation. Another time, I would like to talk to people about the value of very, very weak but sculpted electrical fields. The photobiomodulation is carefully sculpted light fields. It is not the only electrical fields. Our brain uses electrical fields to function. It makes sense to use electroceuticals to do the same and different classes of things that you can do with photobiomodulation. For me the two work hand in hand together with the sort of hands free kind of methods.
Russ: Can I give you my spiritual George Harrison raga Buddhism approach to this? So what you're saying is there are electrical fields all around us. And the energy that we create from ourselves connects to the energy outside. So let's make sure we create positive energy to connect to the positive energy outside. Is that okay to say, or am I crazy?
Cliff: I love it.
🚨***7 DAY CHALLENGE***🚨
Russ: I'm joining a podcast, I believe. I have no idea who is with me here. My brain has been reprogrammed. Who is this person I'm talking to?
Sarah: I'm not entirely sure. It's a bit like the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. We've got to start all over again, Russ, right from the beginning now.
Russ: I know. You look familiar, but I don't actually know who you are. You brought that movie up, and it is my all-time favorite movie. I mean, it is number one.
Sarah: Dr. Clifford Saunders, he was a very, very interesting guy. Obviously, a lot of experience. I think because we're doing the seven-day challenge, what I decided to do was take on some of Cliff's ideas about using different parts of your brain, and stimulating them at the same time. So if you want to be able to concentrate more, you stimulate the part of that brain, but then you also do an associated task. And this is something that's actually quite different, when you're talking about neuro-tech and brain stimulation. People don't often talk like that. So this was really what I took from our session with Cliff. It's actually a very clever method, and a very novel method. And it's something that I've been doing with my red light.
Russ: So he talks a lot about opening doors, tapping into kind of the fullness of your brain and really focusing on those things.
Sarah: Yeah, and he has this little technique of referring to his brain as Brian. And you can kind of ask yourself in the third person. Come on, Brian, how are you going to deal with this situation? Get a different perspective on the problem.
Whatever you like. Brian, or Brianetta Whatever you would like. There's no rules here. Maybe I'll go with Elon Musk's 7, 2, symbol, five.
Russ: Let's go for a number. I'm going to name my brain after a form of cryptocurrency.
Sarah: Yeah, you could. Brain coin.
Russ: Brain coin. Done. We'll have an IT app. We'll launch an IT app just for our podcast. We just doubled the value of our podcast by doing that.
Sarah: Well, yeah. Except it will crash next week but never mind.
Russ: That's true. It's a good time to buy.
More about Dr. Saunders