Hello, and welcome to Get Yourself Optimized. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer, and today, we have Tony Molina on with us. I have to tell you an amazing story of what I experienced at his Rewire Project facility just yesterday. I was inside of a cryotherapy chamber and we’re using bioDensity machines-you’re going to hear quite a fun story, but before I do, let me introduce Tony to you all. He’s the co-owner and founder of The Rewire Project, which is the first practical rejuvenation center in the US. It’s really centered on this idea of adaptive medicine where Eastern medicine meets Western medicine in a way that is, not just integrated, but really, the best use of these different modalities applied to your specific situation. For example, he had diagnosed some issues with my foot on my left side and where it was coming from, in the hip and everything, we can talk about this in a minute, but it was using a modality called muscle activation therapy and then you can use other modalities to address that and in addition, as needed. We’ll be talking about muscle activation therapy on this episode. We’ll be talking about cryotherapy, about bioDensity, and intermittent hypoxic training-really cool stuff so without any further ado, Tony, welcome to the show!
Hey, how are you doing? Good to be on!
Yeah, it’s great to have you. What an amazing experience that was to be at your facility and trying out all these different modalities. I’m going to share videos of me in the cryotherapy chamber and on the bioDensity machine for our listeners so when they go to the show notes, they’ll be able to see those videos. It’s going to be a lot of fun to check that out, but let’s start with the first modality that you worked with me on when we were there at the Rewire Project yesterday. That’s muscle activation therapy and I had never experienced this before. I had only heard of it in passing just recently so, tell us about muscle activation therapy. What’s it based on and how does it work?
Great! Well, in the industry, it’s called MAT or muscle activation techniques that began formally in about 2000 and it’s generally run through what’s called an internship process. You go, generally, to Denver, Colorado and for about seven to eight times a year over the course of a couple years, you get this knowledge base or the the skill base that systemize and reproducible and then you actually get to the point where you get certified in this manual therapy modality that can treat and assist the body in improving its function as contract availability. The challenge is that once you actually get certified and you realize how much you don’t know. The body’s obviously very intricate and metabolism is always going on, people are in a lot of need for a bunch of different things in their function and in their health. A lot of people are dealing with pain-chronic and acute.
When I got started with MAT, the process was to really try to help people. For years, what we would find by just working for people in health and fitness was, people would come to us looking for general fitness type goals and they had some form of pain and we had to turn them away so we would say, “You need to see your chiropractor,” or “You need to see your doctor,” or “You need to see your physical therapist.” Months will go by and they would return and they’d still have the same complaints even though they had done whatever work they had done. One year, we were working with the health fitness professional division of Nautilus on both-Nautilus owned Bowflex that were sold at homes and the person that ran that division, I had a nine-year relationship with him on the phone. I never met him in person and he came to Los Angeles and said, “You have to check this out.
This has been the largest thing I’ve ever done and invested in my education in my entire life,” and this is a PhD talking to me. We met at a restaurant and he starts treating my shoulder with this muscle activation modality and I was like, “What are you doing?” He’s moving my arm in his motions and he’s talking about tightness is being secondary to muscle weakness. He’s talking about receptor expression and changing from a potential protection danger mechanism and going back into control and eliminating pain all manually and all done on the spot, not taking weeks and months like generally, people experience with when they’re dealing with improving function or trying to get out of pain episodes.
That’s how I got exposed to MAT and as I’ve gone through the process, as we’ve evolved as a business and individuals, really, MAT is like a vaccine. MAT seems to reinstate the reflexive motion of the body and what the goal is, so then MAT is looking to improve the unconscious contraction capacity ability of the musculoskeletal system to handle unexpected loads. A quick story: There’s a woman who came to us a couple years ago from the Midwest. She was rear-ended and had your general whiplash mechanism in the neck. She had several years of really intense pain, all types of therapies, and she was unable to get out of the pain continuum so she found MAT and moved to California and found us. We started to work with her and she couldn’t even hold her head up-literally, her head would wobble so the head is about 12 pounds and so, she’d be sitting there and you’d say, “Okay, just look straight,” and her head would flop left. You’ll say, “Look straight,” and her head would flop right and I was like, “How are you doing this?” and she’s like, “I cannot, for the life of me, hold my head up.”
I used to sweat during the sessions because I was just learning. The head is a pretty complicated area and obviously, it’s your head and you value it a lot so I was doing my best not to make things worse. As we started to create stability around the joint of the head, her ability to start to hold her head came back. As we started to improve the body’s ability to subconsciously, which is the important part, control the joint in relation to space and time, her capacity increased. What was fun about it was the watch-the pain go down, not because we’re treating pain, but because what the body was trying to get resolved in the neurological system is trying to get control back. That’s why it had pain because the control mechanism wasn’t being handled so she’s, basically, in a protected state and the protected state is what elicited the pain response, which is called nociception or nociceptor, which is a type of receptor that expresses pain. As we did this MAT process, which converts the control mechanism-it reinstates a control mechanism-then the body decides, once it has enough control, that it doesn’t need to express this protection reception. Her evolution was fairly radical over just a couple of weeks, really, as her stability mechanism was reinstated. She was able to gain her function back and most importantly, hold her head up and not have any pain. That’s one of my first real experiences live with doing the MAT process and attempting to help people improve function in quality of life.
Yeah, that’s amazing. I got to experience it first-hand myself so the idea here is that, you’re increasing the stability and, potentially, mobility at the same time so they kind of go hand-in-hand and if you’re not doing both-meaning, you’re working on increasing mobility, but you don’t have the stability to back it up-you’re actually creating a potential serious problem for the future, right? Let’s take tightness as an example.
Say, you have a really tight neck or shoulders and your body is compensating for some issue, right?
Let’s say that you’ve got-
Let me give you a good example-a simple one that most people understand is, if you lay back on the ground and you raise your leg up, a straight leg raise-generally, we experienced tightness in the hamstrings, correct? Everybody understands what that means-that tightness in the hamstring. Most people look at the tightness and experience the tightness (1) experience it as a bad thing and that something has to be gotten rid of; (2) they experience it as something that needs to be relieved-it means that the body needs to be mobilized, circulation needs to be increased, and some form of release that the tightness needs to occur.
What was so crazy is, really, the MAT process looks at it the opposite way, which is the muscles that put you in the position, which should be on the opposite side of the axis, by the way, that would be the hip and that be the hip flexors are the muscles that raise the leg way aren’t effectively doing their role and this process called reciprocal inhibition occurs, which means the backside of the leg-the muscles that seem tight-seem to be the problem are actually just protecting the joint because the muscles that lift the leg don’t lift the leg effectively. With MAT, what you end up seeing is, that’s a classic example. Someone’s like, I can’t get my hamstrings to stretch. I’ve been on yoga classes, I stretch after exercise,” and if we start to just activate the hip flexors, the hamstrings relax because they were just guarding the joints protected because the person couldn’t raise their leg into hip flexion. That’s a classic example.
Right. One of the first things you had me do was-I forget exactly what exercise it was, but essentially, you were looking to see if my big toe would touch the floor or not and it didn’t.
Explain what that was that you’re having me do, what you were looking for, and what it meant.
Well, in the exercise world, generally, these functional continuums are available so there are endless ways you can analyze your body to help potentially help improve its function. A pillar of movement is to see the body unfold at multiple jointthe hip, the knee, and the ankles-a squat. When you see a person squat, you get to look at things like lever lengths. Is their femur and their fibia length even? Can they fold well? Are they going to have good movement? Is there a limitation in the ankles, which a lot of people have? Hence, a lot of the shoe designs is not optimal because they build a heel into the shoe to help compensate for the limitation of motion. During a squat, what we saw was your big toe, which is called the first ray, comes off the ground, which is kind of a classic thing, and that means there’s a limitation in propulsion so that means the muscles that “toe-off”-like, if you were to run, your foot lands on the ground and you would propel off that foot.
When you have a limitation in propulsion, you have to have a compensation mechanism up the chain so then, the body has to compensate above the knee joints and, generally, you’re going to end up having a hip or a low back compensation mechanism to help propel the body since the lower leg and foot isn’t doing propulsion. With you, Stephan, what we saw was that classic propulsion mechanism was limited, which means that lower leg does need to be treated with MAT process. That’s kind of the longer view then the short view is the game, the availability for the trunk to help compensate to drive more horse production so that the lower leg doesn’t have to work so hard and that’s where we started to do, right? We started to work on your trunk and what started to occur was that your propulsion mechanism started to seem like it was better and motion was opening up and that’s because that forced coupling of the trunk and the lower leg combination is what the body’s trying to get resolved. It’s really fascinating just actually how, and I’m not downplaying what’s needed for the body-again, the body is really complex and the body is so extremely resilient-so you just give it a little bit of the right information and it really can respond very fast.
Yeah, it was amazing. You were adjusting something in my back like, touching different sensitive points and they were really sensitive too-I had no idea.
Right, that’s a good point because what’s occurring is no adjustments are going on, what’s occurring is thiyou have to contract into a position of limitation and as you consciously and subconsciously have the recognition that you can’t control the joints or joints in position, that’s when the body turns on the connection to just that muscle. My job at that moment is to agitate along the origin insertion manually and the reason you have that painful experience was, it’s actually sensitivity in the connection to where the communication occurs between the muscular system and the nervous system, which is called neurogenic inflammation. It’s actually inflammation that’s there and if you touch that area before we did that test, you wouldn’t have the inflammation, that would have been sore, but because you had the conscious and subconscious recognition that you couldn’t control the joint in that moment and reflexively contract it, that’s why it was sore. It’s a good thing that it’s sore because when we palpated it, it resets that position of weakness and the nervous system goes, “Oh, I know what I need to do. I need to contract this direction,” and then we would put you back in the position and we test again and that’s what confirms it into the nervous system. The nervous system understands, “I see. I push this way with these divisions or these muscles and now, I’m ready to go,” and then it reinstates and then function and the continuum immediately picks it back up and it’s re-integrated.
Yeah, so I had very limited range of motion when we started in these different exercises and then you were doing these things to address the neurogenic inflammation-palpating, I think, is the word that you used?
Yeah. Actually, the terminology is called DFAMAT or Digital Force Application to the Muscle Attachment Tissue.
Yeah! There’s an acronym for everything these days.
Oh, wow! So, you were doing your magic and then I had this greater range of motion.
And it was market. I mean, I was so surprised at how much more I was able to turn to the left, for example. I remember, ever since I’ve started learning downhill skiing, I had trouble slaloming in just one direction. I had no problem slaloming to the left, but doing it to the right was always a struggle for me.
I had to put in a lot more effort and this explains it.
Yeah. Right? You had percentages of tissue that weren’t really available for use so you were, what they call in athletics the best athletes or the best compensators, you were compensating to make the turn.
Yeah. That’s fascinating!
You added all this additional range of motion to me so that was the mobility, but we would have had to have kept going to work on the stability so I would have to be given some exercises to strengthen those muscles, right?
Well, the reason the mobility was created was because the stability was reinstated. That’s why it’s the ability with mobility.
The stability is handled in the process. What occurs next-like, if the person continues-like, “Okay, what next? Now I’ve got this. The range is back, I have symmetry in both sides, and I can I can control what I have available.” Well, then the development process is really powerful, right? Exercise really makes a good sense to implement because then you can develop this tissue that, potentially, you didn’t have it available to develop it before that. That’s where the exercise kind of falls off right there.
Right. You develop a set of exercises specific to the person’s individual needs and their weaknesses that they need to address, right?
Yeah, we’ve created an entire system for back pain, for example. I do symposiums on back pain and I can teach you in five minutes how to diagnose and treat chronic back tightness or chronic back pain through this process and you would do self-activations and you’d be up and running because you’d be reinstating that stability and the body would not have to have the protection and the tightness as the by-product. It’s not that challenging once you understand just, generally, what it is you need to do.
Right. I know we’re limited on time here to an hour for this episode, but just kind of the Cliff Notes version of that process that you would teach for addressing back pain, can you give us some highlights?
Yeah, sure. There’s generally five to six range of motion evaluations you would do so the person is lying on their back and what they’re looking for is symmetry and asymmetries in the body. For example, you are doing trunk rotations-if the person sits and does rotation of the thoracic spine, just turning the body left and turning the body right, if there’s a difference on one of the sides, that difference isn’t just arbitrary, it’s potentially this inflammation and this inhibition process that needs to be jump-started and activated. You would go through five or six separate range of motionhip extension, hip flexion, trunk rotation, and then you would gather which is the largest limitation in the body out of these five or six motions. You just need to learn the activation into the position of limitation and you do what’s called these Positional IsoAngular Contraction, another acronym for you, these PICs, which are basically, graded isometrics activating with a very light effort into the position of limitation.
What that does is, it resets the nervous system and turns on what’s called, Type I Fibers. What’s important about that is, that’s what does the control basis-the Type I fibers. So, real quick, there’s Type 1, those are the slow-twitch, oxidative, aerobic fibers; there’s Type IIa and Type IIb. IIa and IIb are your sprinting fibers and they are the fast-switch ones. Those are the ones that are anaerobic. Those are called glycolytic in their energy and metabolism. The Type I fibers, those do control so when you’re in this MAT process, diagnosing yourself and looking for range of motion limitations and asymmetries, whether you have pain or you don’t have pain, when you find the greatest asymmetry, if you can apply that light-graded isometric into that position of limitation at below a 10% output, you can turn on those Type 1 fibers. Those Type 1 fibers in that process is called, gamma biasing.
What’s so powerful about that is, just through isometric exercise, having just a quick analysis of the diagnostic process, you can reset potentially limitations that may have been there for decades, which will instill a sense of control because the stability has been returned, which will allow the motion to come back as the by-product. As that occurs, then the person can have the change in receptor expression, which means instead of having potential pain receptors be expressed, then nociception system, pain protection danger, and the body goes, “Oh, I have control. I can do whatever it is-I can raise, I can flex the leg, and I can rotate the trunk.” That process happens right there in the moment so it’s self-evident and you don’t have to spend weeks or months doing it because it happens right on the spot. That’s why it’s a very powerful process for people to be able to make changes on themselves.
Right. One thing you shared with me yesterday when I was at your facility is that, there’s a guy who came to your office. He had spent decades getting into the predicament that he was in and he didn’t like hearing that. Can you share that story again?
There’s been a bunch of people who have, I think, gone through that. I’m thinking of one person right now so there was one person who had decades of lower back pain and his identity was really wrapped around low back pain and he created a lifestyle around it. He stopped practicing law, he removed himself socially from interactions, he started to change his social interactions, he was eating much more volume the food, and it just became a real circle. There was a lot of pharmacology and drug use to help manage the pain state. Hey, you know, when people are in chronic pain, it’s not easy, and it’s very tough. When you’re at a really high level of pain and it’s chronic, you’ll do anything to get out of the pain so it’s a real challenging thing. Pain, what that means, is that something’s wrong.
The body’s telling you something’s wrong. When it’s acute, it’s not that large of an issue, but if it’s chronic for month and years, okay, that’s a larger thing. He was able to, through the MAT process, in a matter of moments, get out of pain and he was beyond upset in the process and I think he was overwhelmed with the reality-kind of similar to people who spend a year or more losing over 100-pounds of weight and they still look in the mirror and they see someone who’s overweight yet their physicality is without the weight, he was in the same predicament. He was really astonished at what was going on and he couldn’t even recognize it and confirm it. He couldn’t even accept it or surrender to the fact that he was actually not in the pain state and that was a bit of, I think, overwhelming for him.
Yeah, because his identity was wrapped up with a suffering individual.
Yeah. The body wants to take the information and apply it so what you have to understand is, if there is pain then you need to go to the doctor, it needs medical intervention-for this person, he had been living in the medical establishment for years and nothing was happening even with multiple serious surgeries. As the stability was starting to finally be reinstated and that protection mechanism was finally being addressed, because it was never addressed, he was always mobilized, he was always stretched, and he was doing exercises, but the body was just looking for the one thing, which is that stability component that it was basically compromised and it was finally given an information. The receptor expression shifted enough and he started to have that different experience that was a bit of an overwhelming experience.
Yeah, and he also took offense to your kind of pointing the finger back at him and saying, “What would you have spent 30-40 years working on getting into this predicament?” and he didn’t like hearing that.
Yeah. We do our best to empower people and let them lead themselves on this journey of improving function, health, or whatever their goal is and there’s a responsibility component to it. Part of the challenge that we’re seeing is, really, it’s a cultural paradigm that we’re in a process right now-we call it the war on aging. As researchers, as biogerontology, as the leaders of research are working on actually the causation of aging itself as its own phenomenon and not the disease factors of it, there’s a personal responsibility that comes into it because the body is like a car-that’s how we see it so either you’re doing the maintenance and if you don’t do the maintenance, well, then, it’s probably not going to run too well. Well, this person had done zero maintenance and also had zero accountability that they brought themselves into the position. At this point, when they actually have an experience now and in that moment where you can talk to them and they don’t have pain, they need to be able to be available to look at the component of, “How did I get in this position in the first place?” so that was a big deal.
Yeah, personal responsibility is key and just like with a car-in fact, we treat our cars, oftentimes, better than we treat ourselves.
We just run ourselves into the ground, literally as well as metaphorically, and we treat our cars with more respect because we don’t want to void the warranty so we get the oil changed when it’s supposed to happen and all the other preventative maintenance and then we manifest some disease years or decades later and we just feel like the victim when we created that scenario for ourselves by treating health as the absence of disease instead of treating it as wellness and preventative maintenance.
That’s right. If you look at aerobic capacity in general, right? How much oxygen can you process per minute-your VO2 max? People, generally, think of athletes. They think of sprinters on a track and they go, “Oh, I can’t sprint that well. I never was a good sprinter,” the concept, though, of how much oxygen can you process-can you produce enough oxygen to handle normal metabolic demand? The answer for most people is, no. I used to go to the waiting rooms of emergency rooms at the hospitals and I would interview people and ask them what are they there for and people were in the emergency room for the same things that we see them when they come to the Rewire Project. They’re there for chronic pain and they’re there for all kinds of things and I would ask them and about approximately, 40% of the people who go to E.R. rooms report chronic fatigue as a component of why they’re there. What that says is, we’re just not even able to produce enough oxygen to handle normal demand of the body, let alone the insults of life, as you’re saying, right? The stimulants that are chronically being put in the body, the excess sugar that’s being put in the body, the insults are actually quite large, and the body will be resilient against them much better when you fortify and maintain the car, as you’re talking about.
Right, yeah. Let’s switch over to cryotherapy. It’s a muscle activation technique or MAT, which is amazing. I’m so grateful for giving me that first experience. I’m going to have to come back and work with you some more because we’re not done yet.
And so, cryotherapy is an important aspect of your practice for what reason? I mean, what are the benefits of cryotherapy? I’ve never been in a cryotank or whatever you call it before. I was scared to death that I would be so uncomfortable. I once tried an ice bath.
That was horrific to me. I could not sit in there for-I forget how many minutes I was supposed to be in there, but I think 60 seconds was all I could last. It was horrible! It was absolutely horrible! The cryotherapy chamber is not so bad. In fact, listeners, you’ll be able to see what it was like for me-my head was sticking out so you could see if I was looking terrified or screaming or anything in the video. It was actually not bad. It was not bad in fact, I went in twice because my skin temperature didn’t get cold enough. Let’s talk about cryotherapy-you wanted to get my skin temperature to a certain degree for what reason? What’s the therapeutic benefit?
Cryotherapy actually originated from the Greek words “cryo” or cold and “therapeía,” which is cure so it’s really “cold cure.” Hence, this cryotherapy is a creative health treatment involving these low temperatures. It’s fairly cold. It goes down to approximately -220 degrees Fahrenheit. The reason it works is taking what we’ve done for generations, which we’ve always gone with the cold intuitively, but it removes the negative side of like the ice bath or the ice bath concept because in the cryo-type full-body treatments, the core temperature isn’t affected and your organs and your muscles are unaffected so just skin temperature in the skin receptors are getting the signal to make this constriction possible and then the body can make a therapeutic value after the dilation occurs. Before that, there’s a lot of literature on cryotherapy. It was developed officially for full-body use in the 1970’s in Japan by researchers who are starting to look at inflammatory conditions mainly rheumatoid arthritis patients because they suffer in their hands and feet.
They have defamation and they were trying to get manipulations done in the joints and those people just had so much pain, they were unable to get significant results from any of the treatments and the therapies they used. They started to do local cryotherapy to remove inflammation and then they would make better gains in their therapies. They started to look into, “Well, what about this whole body effect?” and in the ’80s, they worked and there’s a lot of research done then and that started to give the conclusion that these rapid short term freezing of the skin’s temperature into the 40’s Fahrenheit while inside the chamber is more beneficial on the human body than the gradual cooling, which is what you get while you’re in the immersion of the ice bath. Also, the temperature in the ice bath, you can’t get that low because you’ll turn on the hypothermia response, right? The body is in survival in the ice bath and the cryotherapy really gives you all the upsides and removes all the negative, that’s why it’s so effective. You’re in there, right? You’ve actually seen it do well. You even went in the second time.The body is in survival in the ice bath and the #Cryotherapy really gives you all the upsides and removes all the negative, that’s why it’s so effective. Click To Tweet
Yeah, I’m surprised. I’m a wimp when it comes to cold temperatures so even if I grew up in the Midwest.
Yeah. I am too. I was in an amphibious reconnaissance in the Marine Corps and I started training down in Coronado, California and we would do this hypothermia training in the surf zone and so my initial, and actually personal experience with the cryo treatments on myself, I was scared. I had the emotional content of, “I’m going to have to go back in this thing and really persevere and suck it up like I did when I was 19,” and I didn’t really even want to do it because I’m like R&D at Rewire. I’m constantly going to symposiums and looking at the literature base and see what’s really going to be the best way to have a modality be implemented so that we can have the best practical system for rejuvenation and people can make the most gain with the least amount of time safely so I was like, “Oh, I’m not going to get in there. This will be good for everybody else, but me,” and then, when I got in there, I started to understand it differently as I had the experience.
It works on three levels. It’s important to go over that. This cryotherapy full-body work works on three different levels. It works on the biochemical level, which is the circulatory system; it works on the energy level, which are the energy meridians; and it works on the informational level and that’s the nervous system so the lymphatic system gets turned on, the vascular system is turned on, the body has this response where the blood gets super concentrated into the cardiovascular system, you get super oxygenated, and then once you open the chamber door, because core temperature hasn’t been affected, it pushes that super oxygen in the blood back out to the extremities. As the body temp rise in systolic pressure blood pressure to meet that demand and then the therapeutic value starts improving that lasts for days, weeks, and months, depending on what’s going on for the person and how is that they should be using the modality. Some people are using this process as a recovery tool.
There’s a lot of that in the medi-these cyro-type treatments as recover tools, which they are. They turn on and battle lymphatic system so you can do really intense workouts that you should have soreness, do a cryo session and you won’t have soreness. I think how we look at it is really the short term view. I think to a longer term view is back to the maintenance of the car-you want to have your system running well, we want to put the oil in the car when you need it, we want to change the tires and rotate them-that’s how we see it in the cryo whole body treatments. As we’re promoting it and basically, teaching a system, a reproducible system, so people can feel good and not wait until they don’t feel good and then start to need the modalities then.
Right. So, this is something that you would recommend doing on how often of a basis? I met your wife at the Rewire Project as well and she does the cryotherapy chamber every day.
Yeah, we’re in a process of doing a bunch of different studies with it to look at efficacy in all different areas. There was a feasibility study we did on weight loss just using the cryo with no exercise and so she was doing double sessions five days a week with no exercise component and the body was responding with loss of inches and so we were finding that interesting and we should be doing that. We have people in there-one person in their 30’s, one in 40’s, one in 50’s, and one in their 60’s-and everybody lost inches. The interesting part was, the person in their 60’s lost the most inches out of the whole group. Yeah. Their system is more-I would imagine that it’s not as resilient so that it was able to adapt even more strongly than maybe the resilient, healthier, stronger, and younger nervous system of the person in their 30’s.
You’ve mentioned dilators. Can you revisit the concept again because I’m curious how this all works? I get that this operates on three-levels; biochemical, energy like on meridians, and nervous system. What’s the process with the dilators?
The evasive dilation component?
Well, when the person is in these whole-body treatments for two-and-a-half to three minutes, and when the person steps out of the cryochamber or sauna into the warmer air, that signals the brain, which indicates this new temperature change. All the peripheral tissues then expand, including the blood vessels, muscles, and skin tissues as opposed to the constriction that occurred at the beginning of the treatment when the skin surface temperature was rapidly cooled. Under that process, there’s a temporary rise in the higher blood pressure systolic and the blood is now released from, what’s called, the internal cycle and it flows back out to the peripheral tissues by filling all the remote corners of the body from which it was withheld during the low temperatures when you’re in the sauna. That enriches blood reaches the peripheral tissues. They’re enhanced in the same beneficial way as the internal organs during the treatment so, really, they’re starting to treat organs with these types of processes as well. This process is beneficial for up to 6 to even 12 hours after the treatment so there’s a lot of acute positives. If someone’s in today who are in a pain state or they can’t get out of that inflammatory statements chronic, you can break that cycle because you’re actually killing the histamines themselves since the temperatures are so low.
Yeah. There’s a certain temperature you have to hit in order for it to become therapeutic because the first time I was in there for three minutes, you had this device to check my skin temperature like a laser-type thing I don’t know what it was.
But it was 59-degrees and that was not cold enough so I had to go back in. We got on to the Power Plate, which is a vibrating plate, for a minute or two and then I got back in. What’s the temperature that you need to reach and why is that the magic temperature?
You’re looking to get the skin temperature to the ’40s to create the most favorable conditions for the internal organ regeneration, for expelling toxins from the subcutaneous layers, for the cell renewal process, replacement of damaged cells, elimination of dead cells from peripheral issues, and basically, the rejuvenation the body at the cellular level. There is a benefit if you get to the ’50s, but the goal is to get to those ’40s for all those, what we call, the therapeutic value of it. That’s why for you, you were probably a bit resistant to it because where you were, I can say, where you were brought up and raised so initially, the body resisted the stimulus and it took that second dose, and then it tripped it, and then your body went into the ’40s to get the full value.
And it’s likely that if I continue with this and do more cryotherapy sessions, my skin temperature drop-rate down much faster than the first time because it’s getting acclimated to this kind of environment of cryotherapy chamber.
Yeah, that’s right. One session would probably do it.
Yeah, cool! I heard somewhere-I don’t remember or recall where-but this could have health benefits for your telomeres because our telomeres shorten over time as part of the aging process. Those are the caps on the ends of our chromosomes and as they shorten, we get more errors in DNA copying. Do you know much about any health benefits terms in terms of the telomere length for cryotherapy?
Well, there’s a lot of literature and a lot of, definitely, in the mainstream media now about shortening telomere length and improving lifespan, but I think, the main thing to focus on really is that, if you can affect the body at the nervous system level then you have the best chance to be able to impact all the different cellular processes that are unfolding. So, that would be the way to look at it versus specifically working in one area in these types of modalities because it’s challenging when you get into a lot of these different categories for aging, such as the telomeres, because a lot of these things are not necessarily just directly impacted from one area and you have to remember that metabolism is always occurring. It’s kind of like if we handled high blood pressure, we still could die of cancer, right? If we handled heart disease, we can still die from dementia so the process of dealing with one area of the body and metabolism doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re protected from the other areas of metabolism.
Got it! Now, what was the Power Plate for? You had me get right on to the Power Plate as quickly as possible out of the cryochamber, but what was the benefit of that?
Power Plate is outstanding. You can use it for regeneration of energy, skin, mind, and body. It allows the body to access reflexive contraction so what that means is, back in 1910, way back, men used to walk 9-10 miles a day while women walk 6 miles a day, but now, we don’t necessarily walk much at all so we’ve lost our ability to have the general normal reflexive response of the body handling different things as gait and walking occur. Now, we need to be able to turn that process on so Power Plate looks at Newton’s equation of: force = mass x acceleration, and removes the mass and focuses on acceleration. Generally, with strength-training, resistance-training, and exercise, we look at overloading the body through mass and we lift a weight.
Power Plate uses harmonic vibration, which drives acceleration so that part of that equation and when that occurs, the body then can turn on the hormone response. You can increase growth hormone just from ten to fifteen minutes of Power Plate use several times a week that’s significant when you look at what it means in terms of function for our bodies and, what you’re talking about, aging-the implications of that are massive. I mean, people spend thousands of dollars a year and they need daily injections to get growth hormones to a level where they can become anabolic again. Power Plate is really safe. It allows you to improve any quality of any exercise you do normally and when you do it on the Power Plate, you get that reflexive contraction capacity. We like to really encourage and teach people to use it in the growth hormone way, which is at a high amplitude, to promote the upper regulation of these hormones so that people can feel good.
Gotcha! When I was on the plate, you mentioned the number of vibrations or contractions per second.
What was that again?
The G-factor. That’s how fast the plate is moving so it goes from 1 all the way to 6, and there’s even a level 8, and that’s used for the lymphatic system so you can lay on the plate-for example, you could ride your bike from Los Angeles to San Diego, having never done it before, you’d probably won’t be able to walk for two weeks. If you got on the Power Plate, you lay your thighs on it, we rolled your thighs out while it was on the level 8 or a G-factor of 8, your lymphatic system would turn on, and you basically wouldn’t get to the point where the soreness mechanism would even be maxed out. You would remove 80-90, potentially, almost all of the soreness from an acute bout of exercise so it’s very powerful to use it that way.
The other way that we really like to see it used and how we’re seeing people make the most gains of it is, it creates a cardiovascular response while using the acceleration from the plate so doing normal strength-training type exercises just in the Power Plate done circuit-style back-to-back because of that reflexive contraction as the body is trying to figure out, “What is this?” and it’s going, “It’s not really a balance challenge, it’s past that. It’s not really a cardiovascular challenge, it doesn’t understand.” That’s why the hormone response gets turned on so then, all of a sudden, cardiac output goes up so you can have people driving a cardiovascular response without having to create more degeneration through like consistent-type exercise-whatever it is they’re doing from a cardiovascular standpoint.
Yeah, very cool!
That is powerful.
Yeah, because back when I was running a lot, this was in high school long time ago, I got shin splints from all that impact over and over, day after day, which are these tiny fractures in your shins and I got laid off for the rest of the season. I mean, I could still walk, but I was no longer able to run and missed out on that whole season because of the shin splints so this Power Plate is a great way to get a lot of the health benefits without that kind of continual impact on your system.
Yeah. I think the Power Plate kind of brings this into the bioDensity, land because when you talk about joint pain-when you deal with bioDensity concept, which is this way of loading bone non-invasively, isometrically, once a week, it’s very effective. You can change and impact fiber cartilage creation. That means, someone who has real sensitive knees or they can’t get out of a knee pain separate from them, clearly and probably needing the MAT process to activate tissue so they can reinstate control, you can actually improve the function of joints because you can actually drive it actively with the bioDensity you process. We’re dealing with that right now with many people. They don’t have reliability in their hips, their elbows, their wrists, their knees, and as you allow them to load isometrically with the bioDensity, since it’s self-induced and they can always back off, the body has a chance to actually build the actual structure itself versus use the structure, which generally occurs in exercise, and that’s why they end up having the pain so that’s a great fantastic tool to be able to have as a segue for people that have those types of issues.
Yeah. We had a whole interview dedicated to the bioDensity machine. John Jaquish was the guest and he’s the inventor of bioDensity and, I think, also the chief technology officer?
Yeah, at the bioDensity company. It was a great episode so listeners, be sure to check that one out. The machine is really unique in that it allows you, with a very small range of motion-you don’t have to kind of exercise it to a large range of motion so it’s good for joint safety and that sort of thing. It allows you to max out the amount of force that you put against it like say, a bench press or a leg press and do it safely so I did that exercise yesterday. I’ve done it before a few other times on bioDensity machines. Tony Robbins has a bioDensity machine in each one of his four homes and I was at one of his homes once in Sun Valley, Idaho and I got to try the machine there. It was really cool. The idea is you just go five seconds, maxing out with that exercise, which is either a leg press or a bench press-what are the other two?
There’s the seated chest press. There’s the seated leg press. There’s the two pushing movements.
And the two-pulling movements. One’s called, the Core Pole, for the torso and one’s called, the Vertical Lift. Three of the movements are seated and one standing.
Yeah. And you only have to do it for five seconds. I mean, you get to the point where you’ve maxed out and then you hold it for five seconds. You continue to use maximum amount of force and energy to maintain that and then the thing flashes red and you can stop.
Well, if you think about it also and what’s so fun is, when is the last time you done anything maximally? Like, physically, we don’t necessary take ourselves the max because we think that we’ll be injured so we always hold back a little bit. In this process, you get to maximum voluntarily stimulate as much the neuromuscular system as possible, which gives you the essential nervous system adaptation response. That short-term isometric load has been shown repeatedly in the literature base to allow this osteogenic process to occur, which is basically, a slight agitation on bone because you’re loading it and compressing it and then the remodeling and regeneration process-that’s why you only do it once a week. More isn’t better.
Right. It’s really quite cool! I did that exercise and the data went into the cloud basically, and it keeps track of each time I do it and I can see my trend line as I continue to make progress, but it also can compare me with other people in my same age group. Can you describe a little bit about that? I think I was in the 50th percentile for the chest press or whatever. I think that from memory-I have to check the numbers again, but it was like maybe 800-pounds or something?
Right. At this point, there are roughly 15,000 people, give or take, in the database across the world doing bioDensity and it grows every day. It takes your age range and sex. If you’re male, it will be looking at men in your age range who are doing this at the same rate that you’re doing it at and it’s not like they have been doing it for years and you are being compared with them-it’s in the same time frame and you get to see where you lie in terms of force production, given across that spectrum of the same cohort. That’s fun! It’s also a good way to motivate people. It doesn’t necessarily need to be the only variable because sometimes, people get over-excited to focus on that being the objective, the short-term objective is, you’re turning on the neurologic system, and you’re driving force production.
The long-term is, you’re driving bone density, which is a hallmark of our health, which is the skeleton. If you had to make a choice between doing resistance exercise and the impact-level loading that you can get accomplished with the bioDensity, you would choose the bioDensity every time because that’s actual health in years added once you make a gain in bone that never goes away. That’s a significant benefit that is not available in exercise because it’s transience exercise-you have to keep doing it. That’s why a lot of people I think don’t exercise because they feel like they’re a little hamster in a wheel. They have to keep doing it and they don’t really ever reach the goal or the finish line. With bioDensity, in as little as a year, you can make a shift long-term in function of the skeleton, which impacts you for the rest your life. That’s significant.
And it’s improving your bone density and muscle density at the same time.
That’s right. You’re accessing the Type II fibers, those fast-switch fibers, which allows you to improve the contractual capacity that’s called the myofibrillar density-more arms crossing the joint to pull the lever closer and when you do that, you actually make more insular receptors so that’s a big deal because they’re starting to work on treating adult-onset Type II diabetes with the bioDensity stimulus. That’s a big deal because Type II diabetes is one of our fastest-growing diseases and if we can infect people globally with just three to five minutes once a week, we have something big on our hands.
Yeah, for sure. Listeners, definitely check out the bioDensity machine. Check out that episode with John Jaquish where we go and really deep-dive into the bioDensity machine and the science behind it. One last topic I want to cover with you, Tony, is IHT or Intermittent Hypoxic Training, also known as Altitude Stimulating. That’s something that I actually got to experience with you firsthand back in 2012. When I was at your facility yesterday, I hadn’t realized that we actually met before.
In Whistler in 2012 and again, in 2013, you presented both years. This was at a Tony Robbins Platinum Partner trip and I was a platinum partner at the time for almost three years and I actually have, right here in my living room, the altitude simulator from that event.
I’d love for you to share with our listeners what the benefits of IHT are and how it works.
It’s exciting! I think I involved with IHT in the 1990s during expeditionary scene. We used to do Mark Burnett’s Eco-Challenge expedition races. I did those for ten years and some would call those the unconventional Olympics. We would do seven to ten days, non-stop, twenty-four hours a day. We had to know 7-10 different disciplinehorseback riding, mountaineering, climbing, paddling, riding camels, or whatever their concept was. During that time, I was exposed to IHT because we were dealing with world-class, elite athletes from around the world and I’m the kid from Glendale who grew up in sea level. With these world-class athletes who, clearly, had an advantage for all types of reasons, the IHT mechanism gave me a way to close the gap and to perform at altitude so I got exposed to it from the altitude, pre-acclimatization phase-similar to how mountaineering now uses IHT to help people pre-acclimatize to things like going to Machu Picchu or climbing to Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.
There are a bunch of beneficial effects of the IHT concept or hypoxic training and one of the main things it does is, it increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood in the muscle. Like whales and seals, they can hold their breath for multiple hours and that’s because they store oxygen in the tissues. That’s called, myoglobin. It’s like a chaperone molecule that helps oxygen diffuse across the membrane. As humans, we need to mobilize our bodies to generate that through exercise because we don’t hunt anymore and people aren’t exercising so the IHT process is very fast becoming, I believe, really one of the best accelerators for health and wellness because it’s passive, you can do it thirty minutes at a time, doesn’t have to be done daily-if you do it in cycles so it’s five days every three weeks. What you get is, you improve oxygen delivery, you improve the respiratory system delivery, you improve response, you improve metabolic response, your immune function, and gene transcription. Really, it’s turning on the survival mechanism of the body, which is called hormesis.
The stress defense mechanism in the body is turned on, the body’s been told to survive the chemoreceptors, and the brain are saying, “Okay, we’re at altitude. Do something!” The kidneys turn on the EPO production, the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, and the muscle goes up. It’s a very effective and powerful way to improve the economy, function, and health of the body. What I’ve seen with people as we start to implement it as a system with rejuvenation in Rewire, people start to sleep better, people start to not need their stimulants, people start to eliminate pain because they’re improving their oxygen delivery, people start to make different choices in their diet because they actually feel better, and energy levels go up so separate from performance and how I got involved, really, I think the future of it is really just the fact that, if you breathe oxygen, which most of us listening to this do, then you need to challenge and develop the ability to process and make as much oxygen as you can so you can handle more than the normal metabolic demand of life.
It seems like we’re fairly impacted life these days and it’s pretty challenging for people to habitually exercise consistently and not struggle with the mechanical limitations of chronic exercise and be able to, I think, still feel like they make a gain from it because really, people want to look good and they want to feel good. You can do that just with IHT-doing this 30 minutes, five days a week, pretty much once a month-that’s not a big investment. I do it at night. That’s how my cycle is.
Very cool! I have to admit I didn’t really use the device once I got it. I was excited about it at the time when you gave the demonstration during your presentation and then many weeks later, I got the device-there was some mishap over with the platinum partnership people and not every one of us got our device, our altitude stimulator, in a prompt manner. By the time I got it, I kind of lost the motivation.
So, I actually haven’t used it, but I’m now re-inspired to give that a go.
Yeah, there are computerized versions of it available, which, eventually, we’ll have at our center. Similar to bioDensity, it gives you computerized biofeedback, gives you, what’s called, a hypoxic training index, which, basically, tells your physiology like what saturation level is needed, how much of this intermittent hypoxia is necessary to elicit the demands, and then make the gains from the stimulus. With these little rogue units, like the plastic unit that you have, it’s a little hard to get excited by plastic, hence why probably they sent me over to try to inspire people to get exposed to these things. I think what’s happened is the paradigm still hasn’t transferred yet or the tipping point hasn’t occurred yet with IHT because we still have to have an intellectual discussion about the benefits of it and why does it work and when you think of, at this point, cryotherapy, the tipping point has occurred and people understand what it is, even if they don’t know why, they understand what it is. We’re still in the, “What is IHT?” and I think we’re not far enough along the continuum yet until eventually, I think, when everybody understands what it is then they just know, “Oh, IHT!” then we’ll be in a position to really have people make the gains from it.
Yeah! Sounds great! Thank you so much, Tony, for sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience and getting us really excited about using some of these new modalities that maybe our listeners have only heard of in passing. If somebody wanted to work with you, to talk with you more, and maybe come to the Rewire Project to get a membership or whatever, where would they go? Where would you send them?
They could just go online to RewireProject.com. They can, obviously, find us that way. We’re in Santa Monica, we’re right in the heart of Santa Monica, so I think it’s easily available for people. We, people, come from all over the world really to get involved and be part of this practical system for rejuvenation so it’s an exciting time. People want to feel good and these things are now, finally, available.
Awesome! Well, thank you again, Tony! Listeners, be sure to go to Get Yourself Optimized website, which is getyourselfoptimized.com. The show notes will be there with links to different things that we discussed in this episode and the videos from my session at the Rewire Project are going to be included in the show notes. You’ll be able to see me getting very cold in the cryotherapy chamber and really given it my all on the bioDensity machine. I think you’ll be entertained! Until next time. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer. Catch you on the next episode of Get Yourself Optimized!
Links and Resources Mentioned
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
☑ Try full-body cryotherapy to improve your circulatory system, your energy levels, nervous system, and the lymphatic system-you may even lose some weight and inches!
☑ Get moving! Exercise is important to our health, range of motion, and helping to decrease pain. Talk to a professional if you need specific moves to help ease problems with pain.
☑ Go to RewireProject.com to learn more about The Rewire Project and Tony’s work.
☑ Feel and see how your body unfolds at your hips, knees, and the ankles-do you have good movement, or is there a limitation? With MAT, the motion can open up.
☑ If you’re using IHT to help with training at high altitudes, commit to thirty minute sessions every three weeks, and you should see great results.
☑ Increase your growth hormone and muscle mass by training with the Power Plate several times a week.
☑ If you see incredible results with natural therapies after years of treatments, understand that it may be overwhelming at first. Be prepared for anything.
☑ Instead of an ice bath, use cryotherapy as a recovery tool. You can’t get the temperature in an ice bath as low because you’ll turn on the body’s hypothermia response.
☑ If you’re been unable to find relief from pain problems, find a location near you that practices Muscle Activation Therapy. It could completely change your pain levels.
☑ Get the benefit of a full-body workout without being too sore with the Power Plate-it can remove 80-90% of the soreness from an acute bout of exercise.
About Tony Molina
Tony Molina (founder) has been described as the Willy Wonka of the fitness world. A master teacher of the human mind and body, his wealth of experience includes degrees in high altitude physiology, cognitive neuroscience, biomechanics and exercise science. Having worked with thousands of individuals over the last 17 years, Tony has perfected the process of shifting people’s limiting beliefs to redefine their life experiences and realign their potential.
Tony holds the vision for everything Rewire, does all the ongoing research and development, and contributes to the design, integration and execution of the program.
When Tony and Valerie Molina met it was the perfect match for the expansive Southern California health and fitness landscape. Immediately they started training, competing and dreaming together. Several years later, after having gained national prominence as elite participants in the Discovery Channel’s Eco Challenge, Tony and Val finally settled down in Santa Monica to found the Rewire Project: a fitness, wellness and adventure company. Currently in its 18th year of operations, Rewire has successfully changed the lives of thousands of members through a combination of traditional fitness, groundbreaking methodologies and extreme adventure challenges.