Dr. Barter and Dr. Engle discuss Dr. Engle’s book, The Concussion Repair Manual, why he wrote it, and the best strategies to recover from a concussion.
His medical degree is from the University of Texas at San Antonio. His psychiatry residency degree is from the University of Colorado in Denver, and his child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship degree is from Oregon Health & Science University.
Dr. Engle is an international consultant to several global healing centers facilitating the use of long-standing indigenous plant medicines for healing and awakening. He is the Founder and Medical Director of Kuya Institute for Transformational Medicine in Austin, Texas; Full Spectrum Medicine, a psychedelic integration and educational platform; and Thank You Life, a non-profit funding stream supporting access to psychedelic therapies.
Dr. Engle is the author of The Concussion Repair Manual: A Practical Guide to Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries, as well as his new book, A Dose of Hope: A Story of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy.
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The information provided in this podcast is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice. The content of this podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. The use of information in this podcast is at one’s own discretion, and is not an endorsement of use given the complexity inherent in these medicines, and the current variable widespread illegality of their usage.
Intro [00:00:03] Welcome to the Fearless Health podcast with host Dr. Ann-Marie Barter. Dr. Barter is on a mission to help people achieve their health and wellness goals and help men and women live their best lives fearlessly. Dr. Barter is the founder of Alternative Family Medicine and Chiropractic in Denver and Longmont, Colorado.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:00:24] Doctor Dan, thank you so much for being on here today. It’s just such a pleasure to have you.
Dr. Dan Engle [00:00:29] It’s great to be with you again, Dr. Ann. And I can’t just help but notice that the mean between our names, so we would just now have a conversation.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:00:37] Who do you are tested and in the same area, I might add, so definitely destined to have a conversation. So I am very curious how you got into working with traumatic brain injuries or Tbis being a psychiatrist. That’s just an interesting combination. So I’d love to hear the history of how you got into it.
Dr. Dan Engle [00:00:58] Yeah, I fell into it literally because I grew up playing a variety of pretty reckless sports, including combat sports, and I had a series of about six pretty significant concussions starting at the age of around five up to about twenty five. And the last concussion that I had was during my medical training. I was studying neurology at the time and got turned upside down on a snowboard park, put eight eight inch crack in the back of my helmet. Actually up here at Summit County, I think it was that copper. And it was like, you know, we had just crushed it all morning and and tried to ride through lunch. But we were all tired and hungry, and I went through a snowboard park and got my goggles a little frosted over. So I couldn’t see depth very well. And I hit the series of kickers and then just got upended and turned upside down. And that was when the peaks got really bad. My fifth concussion, I broke my neck, my picks. Post-concussion syndrome was pretty bad. That’s how we started medical school with a halo for three months. Oh wow. Which was awesome because my four year medical school, it had me in the halo in it, so I saw a new client. They were like, What the hell happened? And but it was after my last one where the pxp was really bad, and even my neurology attendings didn’t know what to do with it. The classic was Go home, get some rest. We hope it gets better. And I’d already done that and it was weeks in and it wasn’t getting any better. So I realize that those guys didn’t have any good answers. So I just put myself in the laboratory and try to figure things out and ended up right in the concussion repair manual. And now I’m medically direct a neurology recovery center out in Arvada.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:02:46] Very nice. I mean, this is pretty common. I still think today. I mean, you said, you know, the advice that was given to you was, you know, go home and rest. I’ll tell you, working in this field and being a chiropractor by trade, I see people that got their head in car accidents or with sports or fall off bikes. I was pretty athletic or ski accidents, and I still think that that’s the general recommendation for concussion repair. Would you agree?
Dr. Dan Engle [00:03:16] Yeah. And I think that’s for a variety of reasons. One is that the science hasn’t evolved, particularly in the field of allopathic, just general allopathic neurology, western kind of orientation, M.D. style neurology. We’re really good as as MDS at dealing with severe acute crises, and we’re not so good at dealing with long term sequelae or the ramifications of an acute event. And that’s the summary statement for neurology. And unfortunately, most strategists still believe that if you don’t lose consciousness, that you didn’t have a concussion, so that’s a wrong assumption straight out of the gate and that if you did have a concussion, that it’s going to get better. And that’s a safe assumption for the majority of people because the majority of concussions do get better on their own. But you can’t use that same approach for all concussions. Specifically, the ones that don’t get better, more rest isn’t necessarily going to equate to better outcomes. So if somebody has put concussive syndrome, there needs to be some degree of intervention. And that’s where we have the opportunity to try to train and educate the new wave of neurologists and psychiatrists, for that matter, too, and all physicians for that matter, too, because most physicians still have the same premise that if you didn’t lose consciousness, you didn’t have a concussion. And if you had a concussion that you should just go home and get rest. And if it doesn’t get better after you went home and get rest after you rested, if it doesn’t get better, then it’s not going to get better. And all of those assumptions are wrong.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:04:57] And I don’t know if you see this, but in my opinion, someone will hit their head and then they seem pretty predisposed because they’re unstable and they hit their head again within a two to six week period, which really sets them up for a traumatic brain injury.
Dr. Dan Engle [00:05:14] Yeah, yeah, a hundred percent. That’s why and that’s why the in the NHL, the NFL, the NBA, the AMA, all these professional sports agencies are getting better. Their return to play criteria and their return to play assessments for readiness to reenter the game is the appreciation that if you get dinged again on top of another ding that hasn’t healed or you get concussed on top of a previous concussion that hasn’t healed now you just have an exponentially worse injury and one plus one equals like 11 at this point. And so it’s really important that’s probably the biggest number one take home after anybody’s concussed is don’t get concussed straight away again. So you have to be super aware of your environment, super aware of the activities that could put you in in risk of another one. And that includes just spatial awareness because the vestibular system or the balance system is a little off. Oftentimes, people’s peripheral view is narrowed into a more focused centralized area, so they can. People can lose the degree of perception in their visual field peripherally that keeps them safe. So the nervous system when he gets concussed is going to go on to survival, and that means rest for sure, so that that recommendation does hold water. Try and stay out of stressful events. Light, really bright lights, loud noises, environment, super high stress environments, late bright light exposure, high EMF or like cell phone use or a lot of time on the computer next to your Wi-Fi signal. All these things are triggers to the already inflamed nervous system. So when all of those things when people can take care of their environment than they usually do start to heal on their own, and if they don’t, then we have strategies. But it’s in that two to six week window that is really critical for people to not to have another concussion.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:07:29] Yeah, I think the six week time I’ve really seen people start to heal, but it really seems premature if somebody hits their head again, they’re just in trouble, as it has been what I’ve seen clinically in practice. So I’m glad you’ve seen the same thing or saying the same thing. I got up and doing the right thing. Yeah. So are you evaluating with a neuro psych exam to determine the amount of concussion or brain injury?
Dr. Dan Engle [00:08:01] We use a variety of different diagnostics, so at revive treatment centers here in Arvada that was founded by Josh Flowers, who’s a chiropractor trained in functional neurology, came out of the Carrick Institute and the Carrick Institute’s legendary for Brain Rehabilitation Science over the last 30 years. And Josh founded his own center, and it was open for about a year before he brought me on. And my background is both in psychiatry and neurology, from an indie or allopathic perspective, and he wanted me to build out the integrative psych suite and the regenerative medicine suite. And so we pooled our data and our minds and our creative vision together to build out what Revive is today. And the diagnostic suite is built largely in functional neurology, and that includes VIDEO Nice tag biography. So tracking eye movements, balance and posture on your feet to be able to see how people are holding themselves in space. Neurosci. Give Al with a more streamlined digital platform that’s more specific in its data points. It’s also a little bit more efficient to use, and we can track that over time and a variety of different lab markers, including looking at people’s metabolic. Because oftentimes what we found, too, is if people aren’t able to heal after that usual six week or so spontaneous remission that happens with most mild TBI. If people don’t heal on their own, then it’s usually because they have something ongoing that’s limiting the the juice, so to speak, that their nervous system has towards rehabilitation. And those things could be a variety of things. But they’re 90 percent of them fall into one of three categories immunology, endocrinology and gastroenterology. Or your digestive system, so people are it’s their digestive system is inflamed and they’re not absorbing the nutrients and the nutrients can’t get back up to the nervous system to heal if their immune system is downregulated. Then there are a lot of their energy is going towards fighting off co-infections. And if their endocrine system and a lot of people who have significant Tbis have downregulated hormone system because the master glands, the pituitary hypothalamus and pineal are downregulated now can’t tell the peripheral glands like the thyroid, the testes or ovaries and the adrenals how to function with this much input. And so they get peripherally downregulated and you can look at markers to see if it’s a central issue for it’s a peripheral issue. What we find is that usually there’s one or more of those same three things going on. And so if we have a suite, a diagnosis, it looks that they’re functional neuro metrics, right? So how the nervous system is functioning, as well as their functional psychometrics, how their cognition is, how their mood, anxiety, sleep architecture is and then their biometrics, their metabolic rate. When we look at all three of those, we get the best frame and view at which to be able to really assess how they’re doing when they first come in the door. And then we put them through a suite of services and we can continue to follow up on those labs and those metric points to see how well they get. But usually they feel better straight away. They’re just they feel like they have more energy, more clarity, less headaches, less pain, less insomnia, less mood disruption or dysregulation. Usually, they’re going to feel better before they even show huge changes in neuro metrics or metabolic. They’re just their general state of well-being is going to shift, and that can happen in as little as a few days, as long as we’re giving them the right tools and not stressing their system past their metabolic threshold, which a lot of people do. And so in rehabilitation, particularly neurologic rehabilitation, you have to be able to press people up to their their metabolic threshold. And it’s essentially like if we can exercise the nervous system, it’s just like going into the gym. If you want to get stronger, faster, then you do a series of exercises and you stress your system to be able to perform better, faster, stronger with more coordination, whatever the output is or the goal is. But you don’t walk in the gym and never have gotten out of the squat squat rack and start just adding pilates until you have an injury. And it’s the same thing in neurologic rehabilitation. We want to exercise and stress the nervous system, but not to the point that it crossed them over that threshold and they get a re-experiencing of their target symptoms. So the first few days are oftentimes just finding out where people’s metabolic threshold is, how much stress they can handle without getting overly taxed and having it be counterproductive.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:13:05] Yeah, I think it’s a really important point not to over simulate the nervous system. I mean, parents work is brilliant. He is just a brilliant clinician and people that bastardized his work and didn’t listen to him or listen to his teachings ended up killing people because it could wake people up out of comas. And when people would just try to bastardize his work, they would end up having the adverse effect. And, you know, I think that that’s a really important point to drive home. And I mean, everything that you’re talking about with the metabolic system mean most people have these problems. You throw a stone and most people are out of functional ranges across the board. So it makes sense that when you hit your head, you’ve got more inflammation or you’re busy fighting infection or whatever it is because that gut brain connection is so important. And also along with the environmental issues that people are exposed to them. I love that
Dr. Dan Engle [00:14:08] that agreed with everything you just said there, for sure.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:14:11] Yeah. And I see, I mean. You know, I think people will be in a car accident or they’ll have their head or they’ll be in sports, right? For example, like a sport that’s really come up recently in the media has been soccer or the headers in soccer. So how can. Parents know that it’s safe for their kids to play potentially soccer or, God forbid, I say, football or wrestling or boxing, or do you feel like there’s any safe threshold on those sports?
Dr. Dan Engle [00:14:48] Yeah, it’s a great question. Soccer is actually my sport of choice. I play from four until twenty four and I got a spec scan at one point. This wasn’t actually that long ago. By six, seven years ago, I got a spec scan from the Aman’s clinic and their medical director said, You know, I’ve looked at about fourteen thousand scans and I’ve never seen a scan look as bad as yours for the brain functions as well as yours. And he said, So what are you doing? Because obviously you’re doing something, although your scan looks horrible and what it was is these two big tracks just chewed out of my prefrontal cortex because of all of the headers for 20 years. And the position I played was a lot of aggressive heading because I was central defender. And that means you’re taking a lot of punts from the other team’s goalie at like 60 70 yards. And I saw a study that that showed when you take a full volley out of the out of the air like that compared to boxing, whereas boxing, when you’re when you’re in the ring and you get slugged in the face, it’s about 20 pounds of pressure to your brain, which is a lot. Yeah. And when you take a full volley from a punt like at that velocity, it’s about 40 to 50 pounds. Of velocity to your brain. Well, it’s like two to three times stronger than just getting slugged with a with a right hook, which was super news to me because, you know, we were never taught that we were just taught to get the ball out of our defensive third at any cost. And I was an aggressive defender, so I was always trying to do my best to beat people to the ball. And so I just was raised with this mentality that if you got dinged, then you just wipe some dirt on it and kept going on. So probably there’s been a hundred or so concussions or I don’t really even know if we can estimate that much, but I know that between 20 years of playing, there were probably about twenty thousand headers that I took. And I see now the ramifications, and I had severe post concussive syndrome and I was in a suicidal depression for a year because I was just out of sorts and didn’t think my brain was going to come back online. And it’s a frustrating situation to be in. And I also have a love of sports, and I work with a lot of athletes and I know those guys aren’t going to hang it up until they have to until they’re told to, you know, or or they have to be dragged off the the the mat or off the field or, you know, when when their bodies are, the brains are going to shut down. And ideally, it doesn’t have to get to that point. So you’re actually seeing now more and more pro athletes opt out of multiyear extended contracts because of concern of how their brain is functioning now and how it’s going to function in 20 30 years when the chance of CTE or this chronic traumatic encephalopathy goes up exponentially because they’ve been stacking so many injuries. So it’s an important conversation, for sure, and it’s one of the reasons that the Youth Soccer League nationally in the U.S. is outlawed. I don’t think this is a state initiative. I think there’s a federal or national initiative outlawing headers for youth soccer up to high school age or like around 12 right now, the brain still developing at that point. But at least you’re giving it much more plasticity and space to be able to develop on a normal trajectory versus a lot of intense head trauma, at least from soccer. And then I think in football, they’re doing the same thing, which is trying to outlaw tackle football up until high school age and just staying with flag football and then high school sports. There’s just so much of a lobby. And and it it I I’m on the I’m on the fence. If I had to, if I had a kid, I’d probably say, Look, this is the picture of my brain. This is the picture of the normal brain. You don’t want this brain when you’re 30, 40, 50, 60 or further down the road. And three out of four of my grandparents had neurodegenerative conditions. Both of my mom’s parents had advanced Alzheimer’s, and my dad’s dad had Parkinson’s. So I’m already stacked for neurodegeneration and I’ve had a boatload of brain hits and concussions. So that’s essentially what got me into the lab. One out of need for function, just that I could essentially be more cognitively present and able to drive my brain like a supercomputer, but also out of fear because I don’t want to. I’ve seen what neurodegeneration looks like an advanced age, and it is not pretty.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:19:37] And is there a difference in the developing brain versus a developed brain that, like twenty five years old?
Dr. Dan Engle [00:19:46] Repeat that question to me again.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:19:48] Is there a difference in a developing brain with the head trauma head versus a developed brain?
Dr. Dan Engle [00:19:55] Oh yeah, for sure. Because the developing brain is more plastic, so it has a higher stem cell potential, has a a greater flexibility to be able to stimulate new neurons in place of an acute or previous injury. And that’s one of the benefits of using stem cell therapy now, it’s actually one of the huge opportunities for stem cells that are being used globally. We don’t have, unfortunately, the opportunity to use the most effective stem cell lines in the United States. They’re they’re outlawed at this point. But we do have some really good secondary options. So revive, we use the most effective stem cell lines that are available now, and that’s placental cell trincomalee, mesenchymal expanded culture, stem cells. And so there’s something it’s a substance called Wharton’s jelly from the amniotic fluid in the umbilical cord that has the highest stem cell potential. Now they’re undifferentiated, so they’re essentially like blank canvases versus other stem cell lines that are partially differentiated already in the direction of new nervous tissue or brain tissue is then all of the cells that you give are only going to turn into brain tissue versus, if used, blank canvas or completely undifferentiated cells and you put them in the body, they’re going to go wherever they need to, which is amazing because the body needs repair all over you just because somebody from the brain doesn’t mean they don’t need repair somewhere else. So we use systemic stem cells to be able to go globally and support more broad based inflammation throughout the body, as well as intranasal stem cells. Because you can drip stem cells if you have somebody in a mostly inverted position. You can GIP stem cells into their upper nasal or sinus cavity, and it’ll absorb right across that bone. That little bony plate called it could perform plate that separates the upper sinus from the brain. Go right across the blood brain barrier right across the olfactory bulbs that you smell through. It takes about 20 minutes or so to seep in. And that and the best way to get into the brain is actually through the nose. It’s not through the the systemic circulation. So there are some work arounds, and I do consistently think that stem cells and exosomes were essentially like stem cell growth factors, neuropeptides, this whole suite of neuro regenerative medicine. We’re really just on the cusp of and I think we’re going to see some amazing continued accelerations in the science over the next decade that is going to revolutionize concussion care medicine.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:22:45] Do you think the reason that we’re seeing varied results with the stem cell is the quality? Is that what’s going on here or is it the delivery system? Because I’m seeing very varied results with
Dr. Dan Engle [00:22:59] it has super varied. Yeah, for sure. I think it’s a point that you mentioned there’s a variety of different, just like anything out there, just like cars, right? Oh, OK. When you think about a car, you got pickup trucks, you got cars that run really slow, run really fast, have big chunks of big engines or the reverse. And you’ve got a lot of different stem cell companies that are working with different stem cell lines, whether they’re fat derived from bone marrow aspiration or even fat derived from adipose tissue, just like extra fat around the body. Those are, and those are adult al of their endogenous, so they’re their own stem cells because that’s one source that you can extract stem cells from. So they’re you’re not receiving a graph from another or a stem cell line from another donor. And so we as adults, we lose our stem cell potency as we age. So the stem cells that we have at 50 are going to be very low in number and low in activity or potentiality versus when we were like 10 or 20. And so when we get younger donor cells from placentas, from healthy moms that have been that have birth their children and the placentas are often discarded, there are donor banks that are harvesting and utilizing those placentas and then screening them for disease and genetic morphology so that the cells that are being utilized are all super clean. And then so once you know you have good cells, that’s one point of differentiation. What is the source of those cells? That’s another point of differentiation. And again, bone marrow fat is very different from placental. How many cells are you giving at a given time? That’s also very different. And what are you doing to accelerate those stem cells to work even better? It’s one way to do that is to use hyperbaric oxygen therapy is that also stem stimulates stem cell endogenous or your own stem cell production. Exosomes, which are stem cell growth factors that you can add on in conjunction with stem cells, you can use low level laser therapy to direct the stem cells and expand their potency. So this kind of like a little crash course on stem cells. So there’s a lot of different ways that you can have even better, more and more highly targeted stem cells when you actually get stem cell therapy.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:25:56] That’s great, thanks for bringing that point up. I want to go back a little bit when you were playing sports and you you had you called it suicidal depression and I like because I don’t think a lot of people relate that to any sort of traumatic brain injury. So at that time, were you looking insane? I think that I need to be on drugs for this. I need to be on antidepressants for this. I mean, what? What ended up being able to calculate for you that this was a traumatic brain injury from the hit? Or did you know all about,
Dr. Dan Engle [00:26:36] you know, I didn’t know that the depression that I was experiencing was related to head trauma depressions also in my family. It’s really strong on my mother’s side, whereas addictions really show my father’s side. And so I came in with a bit of a predisposition. And I actually, as much as the depression was a huge buzzkill and really did quite suck, it wasn’t my biggest concern. My biggest concern was narcolepsy. I actually had drop attacks after my fourth concussion. I had hyper somnolence spells. I did a multi sleep latency test where we actually in the sleep lab. And you have to be able to fall asleep within five minutes and then go into REM sleep within another five minutes. And when you do that out of in three out of five naps, successive naps, then you’re diagnosed with narcolepsy, which essentially means you have like these drop attacks and you just have this consistent high level urge to sleep. And it wasn’t so much an issue until I started driving in high school and college, and I would fall asleep driving, and then I stopped driving for a while because I kept getting in wrecks and then that was kind of a problem. And so I went back to my same or later in my medical training, I went to my neurologist and I was learning about narcolepsy, and I didn’t have a name for before. I was just like, Wow, I fall asleep all the time. That’s kind of wild. And then when I was learning about narcolepsy in my neurology class and I asked my attending physicians about they’re like, Oh yeah, totally sounds like you meet criteria, come into the sleep lab. Let’s check you out. And sure enough, I did. And sure enough, they had a solution. And that solution was pharmaceuticals, Adderall, Adderall. Right? Well, I was actually taking a cousin of Adderall called silent, and Adderall is amazing. Adderall is like prescription methamphetamine and and Ritalin like prescription cocaine. And there’s a reason that people get hooked on those things because they are really wreaking work is like, Holy cow, I really feel like my brain can has the potential to actually work like a supercomputer now. And I was on those for three and a half years through the rest of my residency and into my fellowship. I did Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship. And then I realized, you know, as far as these guys are concerned, I’m going to be on this for the rest of my life. And that is not OK. So I got back in the lab and I started overhauling everything. My diet, my what turned into a very regimented sleep cycle, a very regimented exercise routine. Things were just I didn’t have a whole lot of rhythm or regularity in my schedule up to that point. I was still in a lot of medical training and still doing overnight shifts, and I stopped drinking alcohol, stopped smoking pot, stopped. I stopped everything and just went back to just the clarity of food and water and basic sleep and good exercise. And I figured, let’s start with the basics and the foundational and then build from there. So I stripped everything away to the foundation. And then when I did that and I committed to only really clean, targeted optimized foods and committed to those other regularity styles of practice, then my narcolepsy went away. Totally. And and I’ve never heard of anybody else’s assessment on that. Sleep science doesn’t tend to get me out as much as psychedelics and rehabilitation, although I’m still fascinated in it because I know that there are a lot of things that we call disease and we label as an illness and we prescribe a medication because you have we as an agency and the person going through it, hasn’t stripped everything away and recommitted complete overhaul in lifestyle down to the studs, you know, the foundation and then rebuilt from there. And I think once we do that. And that’s actually how I work with my clients in regards to helping address their depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction and pain. Most of the psychiatric issues, when you strip it down to the studs, get you a healthy foundation. You can build back up with efficacy and excellence and not the need for pharmaceuticals or prescriptions. That’s not always the case by any means, but that’s the vast majority of the kids.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:31:16] So it’s more of a crutch really at the end of the day.
Dr. Dan Engle [00:31:20] Yeah. You know, pharmaceuticals are they’re meant to be that, especially psychiatric pharmaceuticals. They’re meant to be a crutch. And I mean that in both the positive and the negative sense, what what is a crutch do? It helps you not bear a weight on an injury until that injury can heal itself because we’re self designed healing machines. But you have to be able to address the point of injury and if the body can do that on its own, great. But if we’re if we’re doing it, some, if we’re doing it because of a lifestyle choice or a trauma that we’ve experienced or the. He’s been passed down, right, because transgenerational trauma is a thing that we need to be able to use the pharmaceutical only why we’re looking at the causative factor and understanding better, how to intervene and address that primary insult or injury or trauma or imbalance, and bring in something that’s going to be more effective for the long term than psychopharmacology because pharmaceuticals don’t have a great track record for the long term. There’s a really good book on the anatomy of an epidemic by Oh, what is? Oh, I lent that out. I had it, and he gives great data on the long term ramifications of psychiatric medications. And there are even really good studies now retrospectively that suggests that schizophrenia, which is the big elephant in the room when it comes to psychiatry. The outcomes one hundred years ago were better than the outcomes today when they didn’t have psychopharmacology and they had to, they had to use more baseline foundational areas of intervention. And that’s not to say that again, psychopharmacology doesn’t have its place because meds are really good at subduing symptoms when there’s a crisis and if somebody’s standing on the ledge and all they have in their standard of care. Primary care physician or psychiatry or internal medicine doctor visit available to them is pharmaceuticals. Then use them for sure because people can oftentimes get distance from symptoms that are so intensely severe. But that should only be done while we’re looking at the causative factor. And ideally, medications are not used for longer than six to nine months because after that, they start to really lose their efficacy and start to have more side effects and then people get more medications tacked on and it becomes this really vicious cycle.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:33:54] You are so well-spoken on this topic. I could not agree with you more. Just so well-spoken the you mentioned something. Generational trauma or trauma that’s passed down or trauma in general. We’re talking about emotional trauma here. And so I think that that’s a really important point because you’re saying that that can also contribute to some sort of traumatic brain injury. I am I correct as well.
Dr. Dan Engle [00:34:23] If you have if there’s deeply held psychological psychological trauma, then the epigenetic imprint, not just the genetic code, but the environmental factors that expressed the genes epigenetic influence imprint is already influenced towards trauma. Now, I haven’t seen studies that suggest that that increases your chance for posting cuts of syndrome after a head injury. But I would say that I would expect so because any injury in the system you can’t separate the mind from the body. You can suffer in the mind from the brain. Right. So any insult or trauma in the psychological system will suggest a deeper challenge in healing the neurological system. So if that’s a trauma in this lifetime or it’s a trauma in the in the previous ancestral line, there’s a really good book called It Didn’t Start With You. I’m going to miss that guy’s name up, too. I think it’s Wolin or something to that effect. And he gives great data and science into the into the data that shows trans generational trauma or trauma that’s passed on generationally is a thing. You can see epigenetic changes in Holocaust survivor ancestors or, I’m sorry, the the kids that are born from Holocaust survivors themselves. And so it’s it’s not so appreciated in the general medical construct, but the data’s there. So if the trauma has been passed on, it’s still hours to heal. And it’s my belief that we do come in in a particular frame or like a theoretical position, if you wanted to call it as such, I do believe that the fact that we came in to help heal our lines and I’m a huge proponent of a variety of different transformational medicine tools and catalysts for consciousness. One of those being psychedelic medicines when they’re held in a really good way. MDMA supported psychotherapy is the most effective thing on the planet for chronic severe PTSD period. Post-Traumatic stress disorder and MDMA essentially being the chief component in street ecstasy. They got a really bad rap during the rave days of the 80s and 90s, but now MDMA supported psychotherapy, and you can look maps, dot org maps, dot org to have all the data. And they’re supporting MDMA going in a Phase three trial. So that could be legal in the in the therapeutic arena or the clinic in the next 12 to 24 months. And there’s no better agent 83 percent cure rate after two or three sessions of chronic severe depression. That’s not just improvement rate, that’s cure rate. And that means the standard of care, which is like 30 to 40 percent improvement versus 80 or so percent cure. You’re looking at orders of magnitude different, and that standard of care is psychopharmacology and cognitive able therapy. I’m not here to say that those are bad or inadequate. I’m just saying it’s not the whole picture. And we have really powerful tools, particularly in these psychedelics, that many of which we just mentioned one psilocybin is another that’s going into phase three trials for depression, chronic severe treatment, resistant depression. These are just two of many. Ketamine is legal, and it’s not necessarily. Psychedelics more of a dissociative, but there are so many medicines that are coming on board now for treating the very psychiatric epidemics that have only gotten worse even in the arena of psychopharmacology. So it’s clear that pharmaceuticals aren’t the whole answer and that many of these novel medicines, when held in a therapeutic way because recreational experience is totally different from therapeutic experience and not everybody’s ready to have a psychedelic experience anyway. So this isn’t a blanket endorsement, and I’m not even super excited about broad spectrum recreational legalization. I think we need to legalize it in the therapeutic arena. Have everybody get a good sense of how to use it? Well, do a lot of public education because it’s been in the shadows for so long and then help people realize that, yes, these are civil liberties and we can express to to explore our states of consciousness. These are also very powerful tools that can significantly alter one’s mindset, and we want to optimize the likelihood of success and use it in a therapeutic clinical arena with trained providers. And then once people have an idea of how to use it on their own, then they have a lot of educational support and a lot of back support on the other side for integration to know how to land that experience in a good way.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:39:13] And how is this different in a in a therapeutic environment versus a recreational environment?
Dr. Dan Engle [00:39:20] Yeah, that’s a great question. You know, I’ve I’ve been involved with a variety of different clinics as a medical director and medical advisor in the country, out of the country, working with things like ayahuasca, ibogaine, ketamine. I haven’t overseen the clinical aspects of MDMA and psilocybin, and though that research is really good. However, my orientation has been more around the observational research and not the IRB, or like the long term projected data that we need to see in the scientific community. And I appreciate everybody doing that work for sure, like Johns Hopkins, NYU. There’s a lot of university organizations. And what I’ve seen in my experience is that you can give a person in a recreational setting and that same person in a therapeutic setting, the exact same molecule. Whether it’s psilocybin, MDMA, ketamine, something else, and they can have the experience that it’s two totally different substances that they were working with. Because the experience in a recreational setting, which has a lot of chaos may be, well, not always, but classically people’s first bad trip like a rave or burning man or at a party or, you know, when they’re when it’s not a calm, safe container can have a really negative psychological impact. And you can use that same substance and medicine with the same person in a therapeutic container where it’s really held and the opportunity to look under the hood or behind the curtain of the conscious mind into the subconscious and see what’s there. And there’s a really good book called How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan, just released about a year ago about the history of. LSD and psilocybin and MDMA and DMT, and the data is amazing, but that is really, really good, and the data that’s really, really good is therapeutic data is not recreational data. And there is some recreational data and many of these medicines that I just mentioned. Well, most of the ones I just mentioned are LSD and ketamine, or synthetic DMT has both synthetic analogs and natural forms from plants and toads. Ayahuasca is a natural medicine. I is a natural medicine. Psilocybin is a natural medicine. So many of these medicines we’ve been working with for hundreds, if not thousands of years. And I do believe it’s one of our primary needs to have experiences of transcendence. And if we’re not exploring that, then. And Joseph Chilton, Pierce wrote an amazing book like 20 or 30 years ago called The Biology of Transcendence, and he expressed that there in that book and the first time I read it. So anybody like articulated if we don’t express our primary needs and they’re going to get, they’re going to get expressed in distorted ways. And one of those needs to love to be heard, to be connected or belong to feel safe. All of these are primary needs, as well as the need for transcendence. And if we’re not expressing that, then it can come out as depression or on the flip side, as violence. And so this this whole movement of transformational medicine, being able to use tools to catalyze consciousness is a way to help us become more whole not to try and escape because the medicines aren’t here to fix us. They’re just here to show us truth. And and that is part of their foundational blueprint to help us see what is our work to do. And so when we go through a transformational process, oftentimes we come out with a lot of clarity on how to live life in a better way or the sometimes the things to clean up or to make repairs for or to bring current because we weren’t ready to face the anger or the grief or the resentment or the betrayal or whatever, particularly these core wounds of the soul, right? Abandonment, rejection, humiliation, injustice and betrayal. And so maybe we didn’t have the tools. Maybe we weren’t ready. Maybe we didn’t have the coaching. Maybe we didn’t have the support. But we can work with these tools of transcendence and transformation to get current and be able to work through all that stuff. Now, bring those lost parts of myself into an integrated whole and now see what life wants to offer from it, like a fully present, whole human. That’s a very different way to live life than many people living in this day and age, and certainly myself at times in the past, for sure, living in states of scarcity and state of fragmentation and not knowing what was my stuff and what was my ancestral patterning or the cultural programing. And it’s a dynamic time to be in human history. And there’s never been this many people on the planet, and we’ve never been able to share information this quickly, for better and for worse. So a lot of people are walking around virtually connected but less physically and soulful connected. So there’s I just think there’s this massive opportunity that we have with all these tools that are coming into the forefront at a really, really important time.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:44:44] Very, very well said. It was beautifully said. And thank you so much for sharing all of your knowledge and information. Is there anything that we didn’t touch on that you think’s important?
Dr. Dan Engle [00:44:58] Um, yeah, that’s a good question. I think the plan that’s really important today. I think I don’t think we have enough connection to the planet today. I think I think our natural resources have been commodified and it’s easy to just get all the bananas while we think we’re in one monkey suit and not think about the generations to come or all the other species on the planet, and it goes by fast, this life goes by really, really fast. And I get really. Interested in and how we can re weave our family of humanity into a more sustainable living culture that does significantly consider the next coming generations and how we can each make our own choices because everybody’s choice matters. All of our input matters. All lives matter. And if we can start making choices around more and more orientation and respect towards sustainability and an understanding of where our resources come from and voting with our dollars, voting for politicians that talk about sustainability and vote with our dollars at the grocery store about companies that are more engaged in fair trade practices versus just slash and burn or whatever the unhealthy expression of fair trade is, I don’t know. But I think I think it’s time for us to all feel empowered. And that’s a crisis precedes transformation every time, collectively and individually. And so I think there are many ways that we are at a cultural crisis point by get really excited about to a means for our transformation because crisis tends to mobilize people and it helps us start to pay attention and start asking deeper questions and our challenges, our biggest opportunities too. So it helps people grow. And I’d love to see us become more caring, compassionate and resilient humans. In many ways. We’re not growing resilient humans. We’re getting more and more comfortable on the couch and with all of our immediate needs met. But to the exclusion and at the expense of our natural resources and many of our primary relationships. So I just want to see everybody whole happy and well. And I appreciate your your podcast series and the work that you’re doing in chiropractic medicine. And, you know, just it starts one person at a time when relationship at a time. And it’s a it’s a really dynamic time to be having these kind of communication connections to podcast networks that shares information so readily so that people can start to source the information they feel really inspired by.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:47:50] Yeah, I agree. It’s just important for people to have the knowledge, not just information, but the knowledge to know how to move forward and what to do and to become empowered, which is at such a great message. And it’s so important. And that’s why we’re in this space doing this. People can get healthy and feel well and feel better because we feel healthy. And when you feel better, you help people. You know you’re not in it exactly what you said a scarcity complex. So or a scarcity place. So just really like that. So where can folks find your book and where can they find you?
Dr. Dan Engle [00:48:27] Yes, thanks for asking. So the book I authored a couple of years ago is the concussion repair manual, and that was just it just happened kind of spontaneously because I was looking for answers for my own concussions. And there are a few more books coming out in 2020 that I’m super excited about. The first one I just mentioned concussion repair manual. You can find it through most distribution channels, as well as the concussion repair manual dot com website and other websites of mine are Dr. Dana MiLB.com: died and NGL e-comm and full spectrum medicine dot com and full spectrum medicine is my desire to put out really good up-to-date information about antigenic and psychedelic medicines, including resources like books and podcasts and movies. And just I want to give people data. And once people see the data, usually it changes the skeptics into at least curious investigators, and that’s the minimum I’ve done. Then I’ve done my job because the data tends to speak for itself, and there’s a lot of other things coming out in 2020, but that’s a good place to start.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:49:34] Well, thank you so much for being here. All those links will be in the footnotes for the show below. So thank you again for being here. Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed learning with us today, please give us a five star review. Comment like and share our podcast with your friends and family. As always, if you’d like to learn more information about today’s guest, please head over to FearlessHealthPodcast.com for links to their site and other educational resources.