491. Be Un-triggerable: Mendi Neurofeedback for Focus w/ Moha Bensofia & Dr. Melissa Wittman

Dr. Melissa Wittman and Moha Bensofia

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Dr. Melissa Wittman and Moha Bensofia use Mendi to help patients recover from brain injuries and optimize cognitive function. Today, we learn how Mendi trains your prefrontal cortex through a feedback loop to build positive neuroplasticity, aid focus and emotional regulation, and make life easier. 

Dr. Wittman is based in Austin, TX and practices full time seeing patients from all over the world. With over a decade of experience, she specializes in pediatric brain injuries and neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as brain optimization at all ages. For more details about her practice, NeuroSolution Center of Austin, or her podcast, The Autistic Female, visit DrWittman.com

Moha Bensofia is one of Europe's most active angel investors who started from nothing just a few years ago, at nearly 40 years old. Invested in dozens of companies and with a clear vision of building great things with amazing people. CEO of Mendi, a neurotech company that intends to improve the lives of 100M people within the next 5 years.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Today, we talk about how we can hack our brainwaves and neuroplasticity with neuroscientist, Dr. Melissa Wittman, and biohacking investor, Moha Bensofia. Dr. Melissa Wittman is an absolute boss who works alongside Dr. Brandon Crawford at NeuroSolution Center of Austin, where they see patients from all over the world. With over a decade of hands-on experience, she specializes in pediatric brain injuries and neurodevelopment issues, as well as optimizing cognition at any age. 

Moha Bensofia has funded dozens of companies and has a knack for building great things with amazing people. He is currently CEO of Mendi, a neurotech startup making medical-grade biofeedback affordable and accessible – the crux of our conversation today.

Their mission is to enable anyone to take control of their brain activity and reach new levels of performance, whether as an entrepreneur, athlete, or just a happier human. Though originally created to help trauma victims and people with conditions like PTSD and ADHD, Moha explains why Mendi's neurofeedback can benefit anyone ready to step up their game.

Together, Dr. Melissa Wittman and Moha Bensofia break down the science behind how Mendi's headband measures and trains your brain in real-time, as well as tangible results like improved focus, emotional resilience, sleep, and more. Strap on your headsets and get ready to hack your own neuroplasticity as we dive into the next wave of biohacking for your mind. Join the brain health revolution with Mendi – visit lukestorey.com/mendi and use code LUKE20 for 20% off.

00:00:00 - Meeting Mendi, Moha Bensofia & Dr. Melissa Wittman

00:00:00 - Moha's Journey: Fleeing Libya, Regulating Emotions & Neurofeedback

  • Moha fleeing Libya during wartime and dealing with emotional regulation
  • How to calm the amygdala
  • Moha on calming the amygdala and the science behind Mendi
  • What is neurofeedback?
  • Living life with less reactivity
  • Democratizing brain health
  • Increasing access through companies like Mendi

00:00:00 - Accelerating Brain Health with Mendi

  • How we can come together to accelerate science
  • Mendi brings oxygenated blood to frontal cortex
  • Tackling cognitive decline with daily habits
  • Improving wellbeing with Mendi
  • The origin of the word “Mendi”
  • Dramatically improving focus with Mendi
  • Declining mental health in younger generations
  • Vertical scrolling feeds the mesencephalon
  • Using Mendi for better decision making
  • Praise for Mendi’s co-founders, Rickard Eklof and Sammy Saldjoghi

00:00:00 - Navigating Psychedelics & Brain Tech Responsibly

  • Discussing the unique control score in Mendi
  • How control score varies by individual
  • Experimenting with different mental states during Mendi sessions
  • Understanding neuroplasticity cycles
  • Intentionally building neural pathways
  • Using Mendi as a tool for intentional thinking
  • Use code LUKE20 for 20% off
  • Caution about using psychedelics while dealing with unresolved trauma
  • Importance of approaching new brain technologies responsibly

[00:00:00] Luke: All right, you guys. So I did a Mendi session this morning, and I was really proud of myself. I got an 83, which is not my highest. I'm up in the 90s sometimes. And for those listening, you'll understand what we're talking about soon, but I just wanted to start with this. My neural activity was 41%. Is that high, or does it depend on the person?

[00:00:22] Moha: It depends on the person. It's probably higher than I have ever achieved.

[00:00:26] Luke: When you're using Mendi, are you competing with yourself and your past scores more so than the general population? 

[00:00:33] Moha: 100%. It's about learning what it is that you did to make you be able to function at that level. 

[00:00:40] Luke: Okay, cool. Because I think that's quite high for mine. And then control, 43 seconds. But this one was really impressive to me. The resilience is 11,639, which I think is much higher than mine usually are. Sometimes they're like 3,000. 

[00:00:59] Melissa: I think that's higher than I've gotten. 

[00:01:01] Moha: Yeah?

[00:01:04] Luke: And I haven't been that consistent. And for those watching the video, I'm talking about this headband, and we'll get in. I'm skipping to what should be 75% into the conversation. Um, but as I said, I was just excited. Um, but I like taking notes on what I did or didn't do. And I was telling Moha earlier that I've tried all sorts of different combinations of when I meditate, when I don't, how much sleep I got, take an ice bath, take nootropics, microdose, etc, to try to figure out what the sweet spot is. 

[00:01:35] But I know what I did this morning. I took a microdose of DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, actually. Then I meditated. I had a great, deep, hour-long Joe Dispenza meditation. Then I went out and got a lot of sun. Didn't drink anything else or have any supplements. Then I took an ice bath, and then I came in and did this, and got, for me, what's a really high score.

[00:01:59] So maybe ice baths and DMT are the key. But anyway, you guys, we'll talk about what all of that means later. Uh, why don't you two introduce yourselves? Obviously, you're going to have very different sounding voices, so people will get to know them. But if you want to start, Melissa, and just tell us who you are, what you're about, your practice, all the things you're up to, and then we'll get your introduction, and then we'll dive in.

[00:02:24] Melissa: I'm Dr. Melissa Wittman. I specialize in pediatric brain injuries, neurodevelopmental disorders, and really anything that has to do with brain optimization as well. Really, if I can take a child who drowned and improve their brain, get them ideally walking and talking again, if an athlete comes to me or someone comes to me to optimize their life, that's pretty cool. 

[00:02:47] Luke: I was watching some of your videos, and I listened to your podcast, and I think we share a passion for wild technology. I was like, yeah. You walk in, and you're like, oh, you got the BioCharger. I'm like, she knows what's up. Yeah. Cool. I'm excited. I'm so glad you were both able to make it too.

[00:03:05] It's always fun to get a couple of perspectives. Uh, Moha. So we met through our mutual friend Josh Trent, and-- it's so funny what the cat is doing right now. He never plays or pays attention to anything, and now he's really going catnip on the sage. That's very strange. Uh, we met through Josh Trent, and when Josh and I find a person, or a brand, or just anything interesting, we're the go-to guys for each other. And he's like, man, come out to dinner. You got to meet my friend, Moha. And I'm like, man, I live a half an hour away from dinners in downtown Austin. That's a commitment. That's an hour-drive time. Usually, end of the day, I'm tired. He's like, no, man, you got to meet this guy.

[00:03:49] Moha: I flew in for that dinner. 

[00:03:50] Luke: You flew in, and I'm complaining about driving 25 minutes. And we really just hit it off. Josh is a good barometer of quality people.

[00:03:59] Moha: He's such a good human. 

[00:04:00] Luke: He's a good dude. 

[00:04:01] Moha: And Brian, great guy.

[00:04:02] Luke: Yeah.

[00:04:03] Moha: Friend of yours. 

[00:04:05] Luke: Yeah, we had a really good time, and it was interesting because it's like, I don't know. For some reason, the dynamic of that dinner is we were each sharing our areas of expertise, or our gifts, and we were talking to you and picking your brain about entrepreneurship, and investing, and business, which you're great at. And then we're telling you about spiritual concepts, and we're all just really fueling each other. It was such a great night.

[00:04:33] Moha: It was so easy. In Costa Rica, we say, dios los hace y luego se encuentran, which means God makes them, and then they find each other. And it was one of those moments where we just sat down. It was just a great night. I bumped into Brian and his girlfriend a week ago. We were hanging out, and literally, it was the day after. Hadn't seen him since. 

[00:04:51] Luke: Well, that's one thing I find really interesting about you is, um, you have this very mobile, jet-setting lifestyle. I'm just like, I'm fascinated by it because I think earlier in life, when I was younger, I was more resilient to travel, but now, man, to fly somewhere, I really want to go there. And you're just like, cool. Dinner in Austin. I'll fly from Costa Rica, or fly in from Sweden, or whatever. It's really interesting how you've set up your life.

[00:05:20] Moha: For me, I think it would be exhausting if there wasn't a purpose to it. But everything that I do, I know that it's meaningful. And so for me, it's not a sacrifice at all. It's like, done. Let's do it. Everything is easy. I don't see the distance. I don't see that I'm going to be on a flight for hours. It's no different than just you're at the house next to me. So it's that approach to life and because I'm so excited about what I get to do, and I'm so grateful for this life that I have that I almost, many times, can't believe that I have it. It just makes all these things be just easy.

[00:05:58] Luke: Well, I think if you could-- I don't know you that well. We're getting to know one another, but I think if you could boil down at least part of your life philosophy, it's that it's just easy, man. We were talking about money and stuff that night. You've done really well for yourself, and Josh and I were like, man, how do you do it?

[00:06:14] And you're like, it's just easy. You just do it. We're like, yeah, but how? It's like, everything's easy. If you decide everything's easy, it is. And I think there's a lot of wisdom in that. It sounds trite, but it's like we create our own struggle. And this is true of health issues too. It's like the more we invest in them and give power to them, the more we feel victimized. 

[00:06:40] Moha: Well, if you want to look at a great example of this, I'll tell you the story of how me and Melissa met. What? A week ago? Ten days ago. 

[00:06:48] Melissa: Yeah, two weeks ago maybe.

[00:06:49] Moha: Yeah. Less than two weeks ago, literally, we're at the Biohacking Conference, uh, in Orlando, and she DMs me. And I end up meeting her for a minute, and then she's like, come see what we're doing using Mendi and using other technologies to help these kids with TBI, with traumatic brain injuries. And I go there, and it's just incredible what they do. And my approach was like, you're a fucking superhero. Why doesn't everybody know about you?

[00:07:14] So when you called me up, and you're like, do you want to be in my podcast? I was like, well, let's get Melissa out there because the world needs to see what she's doing. I admire what she does. It's like, let's use me as a Trojan horse to get that message out and get that voice out. So for me, it's that easy. It's like, you just don't ask. In Costa Rica, we say, no pida permiso. Pida perdon. Which means never ask for permission. Always apologize.

[00:07:44] Luke: I love that. Yeah. I didn't know y'all had it in Costa Rica too.

[00:07:46] Moha: Yeah. Because we just realized that we screwed up your setup with the microphones because it's two guests instead of one, and it's beautiful. We'll apologize afterwards, and this is going to be magical. It's easy. 

[00:07:58] Luke: I followed that principle in building this house. Don't tell anyone. A lot of unorthodox things happened here while it was under construction. Uh, tell us about, uh, so your parents are from Libya. 

[00:08:13] Moha: Yeah.

[00:08:14] Luke: And immigrated to Costa Rica, which I find interesting. I mean, I've only spent a few trips in Costa Rica, but I don't think I've met many people from Libya there. Were you an outsider in a foreign land there? 

[00:08:27] Moha: Yeah. 100%. So my parents--

[00:08:29] Luke: Was your sense that we're immigrants and we're different than the natives here? 

[00:08:32] Moha: Well, I feel more Costa Rican than anything else, even though I'm full Libyan. So my parents fled in the late '70s when Gaddafi started nationalizing all the private industries and just taking away people's-- and the whole thing happened because my dad had a buddy in Italy, in Rome, who was a Costa Rican diplomat, and he was literally like, hey, if you've got $10,000, you can get a residency. 

[00:08:58] And that's how Costa Rica happened. So I ended up being Costa Rican just because my dad had a buddy of his that was like, hey man, you got $10,000? Let's go to Costa Rica. It's this little country nobody knows about. It's basically a jungle. There's no development. And that's how we ended up there. And since 1980, that's where our base was. And so I grew up speaking Spanish as my mother tongue, uh, as-- my sister was already three years old when we got there, uh, but my parents had to learn the language there. That did make me feel like an outsider until I wasn't. And it's a very clear moment when I wasn't. To me, it's very easy to spot that moment when I wasn't an outsider anymore. 

[00:09:40] Luke: When was that? 

[00:09:42] Moha: I've said this story a million times. It's actually after not making the, uh, I was at this school called ICS, and I had not made the junior varsity team because I was two years younger than all the other boys in school. What that did is it made me, uh, and now I'm known as a strong guy, and a fit guy, and all that. But back then, it's like I was a child. That you're 10, and the kids are 12. Or you're 11, and your classmates are 13. You're a boy, and there are men. 

[00:10:11] So that forced me to become really good friends with the girls. And I was one of the girly guys because I was wimpy because I hadn't developed. And what that did is I remember listening to a song, which is A New Level by Pantera, and I grew up listening to metal, and that song just became this mantra that I would repeat over and over and over.

[00:10:30] And to this day, it's still something that automatically happens, and it's just like I found my identity. I was never fully Costa Rican. I was never fully Libyan. I'm never going to really fit in anywhere, but it doesn't matter because I'm-- and that's when I started to get, you could argue, obsessed with the food chain, and how it works, and my place in the food chain, and establishing what animal I was.

[00:10:54] And it was very clear that I wasn't the biggest or strongest, but I was scary, and I could survive even if I didn't fit in. And that's when I became obsessed with-- or I understood that I was a jaguar, and that even in the snow, in Sweden, the jaguar is still going to eat. It doesn't really belong there, but it's going to do fine because it's a Jaguar, and that's my approach to life. 

[00:11:15] And that's what leads to everything being easy. It's like, I'm a jaguar. It's going to be fine. Not in the right place, but it doesn't matter because I'm here. And my perspective has had a lot to do with the hardships from being little. And a lot of my fuck ups, my overdose. We've talked about drugs and all sorts of stuff. And, uh, yeah, I'm just very grateful to be here, man. It's great to see you again. 

[00:11:40] Luke: Likewise.

[00:11:41] Moha: I hadn't seen you in a long time. 

[00:11:42] Luke: Likewise. Uh, I got to back up on that. How old were you when you overdosed, and what was, uh, your weapon of choice?

[00:11:51] Moha: Sixteen. And it was, uh, a lot of alcohol. It was tequila, uh, with a combination of cocaine, LSD, which is very common. And, uh, yeah. Probably more stuff.

[00:12:05] Luke: That sounds like a brutal combination. If I thought of a drug and alcohol combo that would make you feel good, that would not be it. 

[00:12:13] Moha: I was in a coma for five days after that. We were talking about that yesterday. I actually asked her yesterday because she was talking about comas and stuff, and I was like, I wonder if I have a lasting brain damage from my coma. What was your assessment of that? 

[00:12:31] Melissa: Quite possibly.

[00:12:33] Luke: So you haven't brought him in and given him a scan and assessment?

[00:12:38] Moha: Not yet, but we should do that. 

[00:12:40] Luke: He seems to be pretty high functioning. 

[00:12:42] Melissa: I would agree.

[00:12:43] Luke: But sometimes, when we have a deficit--

[00:12:45] Melissa: He seems to be.

[00:12:46] Luke: Sometimes, when we have a deficit like that, though, I think some of us become successful because we have to overcompensate to function. 

[00:12:57] Moha: Oh, 100%. 

[00:12:58] Melissa: Absolutely. 

[00:12:58] Moha: 100%. Oh, one of the keys to my success has been being terrible at most things. I was never a reader. I'm not a big reader now. I was shit in school. My ADHD is like-- I couldn't focus on anything. All these things became the thing that drove me to become more successful than I was meant to be, I guess, you could say. That is surrounding myself with great people, which has been a blessing, obviously. 

[00:13:26] Luke: Well, I've listened to a couple of your podcasts, uh, Josh Trent's show being one of them in preparation for this, and I appreciate people, uh, when they have some degree of humility. I think humility is a really beautiful virtue and principle, and something I strive to have myself as much as I can.

[00:13:44] I'm actually the most humble guy in the room right now. It's my favorite corny dad joke. There's a story about this famous speaker. He gets up on stage, and he goes, well. He looks to Christ and says, I was going to give my talk on humility night, but there's not enough people in the room. Um, but something I've heard in your self-deprecating, uh, persona is, I'm a dummy. I just surround myself with a bunch of smart people. 

[00:14:11] You didn't say that here today, but I know it's something you say on a somewhat regular basis. And I would push back on that and argue because each human being is intelligent in their own unique way. So your ADHD, and your problems with drugs, and being small, and feeling insecure, and whatever you went through, the adaptation that was created based on your innate nature is what I think likely led you to the intelligence that you embody now, and that you use to your advantage and for your ability to be of service in the world. 

[00:14:47] It's like there's all kinds of different ways to be smart. There's a lot of ways in which I feel very dumb. Try to get me to do some math with a pencil and a piece of paper. We're not going to get very far. But I might be able to walk into a room and feel a room out and use my empathy to help people feel more comfortable and have a conversation like this. 

[00:15:07] And someone's intelligence might be sitting down at piano, and they've never played one before, and they can play it. There's musical intelligence, kinesiological intelligence, all these things. I think you're a smart fucking guy. I'm not going to let you say that on my show in case you're planning to.

[00:15:21] Moha: I appreciate that. I love that I'm getting the moniker that I'm humble. I'm just honest. Honest, I'll give you. I don't know humble or smart, but I'll take it from you. I appreciate that. And yeah, being small is what led me to being bigger and being very in shape and all that. So I can see these limitations, they drive us, and they're positives. Because anything that is seen as a disadvantage can be our superpower, and I truly believe in that. I'm not trying to be what I'm not.

[00:15:52] I'm just honest. Just the amount of goodwill equity that I will get just from admitting that I don't know things is incredible. That's what's opened up all our collaborations with the scientific community, and that's what brings people that know way, way more than I do about what I do, like Melissa, for example, who understands the technology or my company better than I do. There's a beauty in just not trying to compete with people and just saying, oh, come and help me. And now we're here.

[00:16:28] Melissa: We're building a team. We were talking about that at dinner with another person on the mentee team last night, and you have such a beautiful vision for them. That's really what sets this company apart. 

[00:16:39] Moha: I appreciate that. 

[00:16:40] Melissa: Yeah.

[00:16:41] Luke: Yeah, I mean, that's an intelligence in and of itself, is being able to spot talent and create an Avengers super team. That talent for connectivity, seeing, oh, if I introduce this person to that person, they each have complementary skills, and talents, and relationships, and then magic will ensue. It's one of the things I really enjoy and get to practice a lot in this podcast, is just seeing, ooh, I see a connection between that person and that person, and then just introduce them and watch the fire start and see what happens. 

[00:17:11] Moha: It's beautiful.

[00:17:12] Luke: Yeah. It's fun. It's fun. Um, so I listened to your podcast the other day, Melissa. Is it called the autistic woman? 

[00:17:20] Melissa: The Autistic Female.

[00:17:21] Luke: The Autistic Female? And I scrolled around, and I wanted to get something that gave me some information about who you are and what you do. So I went to the first episode in which you and your partner, um, talked about you discovering later in life that you're autistic to some degree.

[00:17:40] Melissa: Yeah.

[00:17:40] Luke: I thought that was really interesting. So we could do a whole podcast about that, I'm sure.

[00:17:46] Melissa: Yeah, we definitely could. 

[00:17:46] Luke: But, um, what led you into the work that you do? Uh, your interests first, and then what was it that, uh, led you to dig further in your own experience and see what's making you tick?

[00:18:03] Melissa: Mm-hmm. So I found the field of functional neurology, so that's my specialty, is functional neurology and developmental functional neurology about three months into grad school. It was a Friday night, and so that tells you anything about my personality. I was at the Friday night lecture, and it was Professor Ted Kerr presenting. And he was talking about using functional neurology for various things, brain injuries as well as bringing patients out of comas.

[00:18:30] And I mean, it just blew my mind. And when I went to grad school, I knew that I was not going to be taking a traditional route, but it was also very clear to me that that's where I was supposed to be. So it was very confusing in the first couple of months of, I'm here, but I know that I'm not going to do the traditional route with this. What does this look like? 

[00:18:49] I was patient with it. I kept feeling that it'll come, it'll come. And that night, I literally went home, and I'm like, this is it for me. Sign, seal, deliver. This is the direction I'm going. And I spent once a month driving to Orlando for two, two and a half years in addition to being in grad school to finish that diplomate program. And I was there with practicing doctors, going through all of it. And it's just phenomenal. 

[00:19:18] And so much of neuroscience and, um, neuropsychology, all of these fields are really fascinating. But they stop at the point of figuring out what it is. And to me, that's just not good enough. I'm like, well what about neuroplasticity? You're all talking about neuroplasticity. Do something with it.

[00:19:41] So when we are looking at the brain, what I focus on is I do a neurological exam. I look at where are the deficits, what are the deficits, and how can I make a change? Can I make a change? Almost always yes. And how do I make that change? And then it's off to the races. And it doesn't matter if it's a child who just drowned, a severe autism case, a UT baseball player that-- we see a few of the UT baseball players. 

[00:20:07] It really doesn't matter who's in front of me because I know how the brain develops, how the brain works. And it's awesome. And it doesn't get old. I've been doing it over 10 years, and it's exciting every single day. Very emotional as well, the cases that I see, but it's really exciting. 

[00:20:24] Luke: And what's the difference for those like myself that aren't familiar with the classifications? What's the difference between a functional neurologist and a standard neurologist? Is it akin to an allopathic Western MD versus a functional medicine doctor? Were you looking at more root causes than just symptom treatment and management? 

[00:20:46] Melissa: Yeah, sort of like that. I usually describe it as a neurologist will look at an MRI to see which bridges are blown up, and I'll look at it and say what alternative routes are left. So that's a comparison. 

[00:21:00] Luke: Got it. Okay. And then what led your curiosity to find out if you were autistic?

[00:21:06] Melissa: Nothing. I was not curious about it. I was not looking at it. My husband brought me a TikTok video of a woman who was autistic and put together, she was in grad school, all these things, and he's like, honey, I think you're autistic. I just remember exactly where I was sitting. I think my youngest was two at the time. I was probably nursing him, something. I looked at him, and I was like, I am in this field. I would know. No, I have social anxiety, I'm introverted, all of these reasons. 

[00:21:38] And so I decided to look into it to prove him wrong. I was like, fine, I'll do this, I'll figure out what screening test to take just so we can put this to rest. Because again, I'm like, I'm in this field. I was trained in this. Well, come to find out, I scored off the charts in every single screening test, and that was a whole mindfuck of, wait a second. Reframing my life.

[00:22:03] It made my life make a lot more sense because instead of me just always thinking I sucked at everything and it was just so hard for me, I'm like, oh, my brain works differently, just like I would tell a patient if they were in front of me. But the research on autism, up until really the last five years, was all done on males.

[00:22:20] So the DSM criteria, what I was trained to look for, making eye contact, all of these different things, shows up completely different in a female, and it's missed. I mean, current research is that 80% of females are still undiagnosed. Autistic females are undiagnosed at age 18. That's crazy.

[00:22:39] Luke: Wow. That is crazy. 

[00:22:40] Melissa: And so I had a patient in this week, and she's a 16-year-old, and just the change it made in her life and her family's life to just have this, and I'm not diagnosing her, but I'm saying, hey, take this screening test. And I'm also seeing all of the things on exam. So the right brain deficit, and all the things that go along with that. 

[00:23:04] And just her demeanor and simply me being able to have that conversation with her and relate to her reminded me why I'm doing this podcast, even though it's completely out of my comfort zone, to have an autistic female podcast. It was such a reminder for that. And so as I've been looking into all of this, it has also changed educating the doctors around me in my field going forward. I'm speaking at a conference in, I don't remember, September, October, uh, for an hour just on autistic females to my colleagues. I mean, that's crazy, but really exciting. Really exciting. Yeah. 

[00:23:44] Luke: When you took the assessment and started to backtrack through your subjective experience, what were some of the things about yourself that matched?

[00:23:53] Melissa: Mm. When you're looking at the questions? 

[00:23:56] Luke: Yeah. In the podcast I listened to, you were talking about how when you were in school, I don't know if it was high school or whatever, that you'd go eat your lunch in the library.

[00:24:04] Melissa: I ate lunch in the library, yes. 

[00:24:06] Luke: When I heard that, I was like, maybe I'm autistic because if I would have thought of that, I would have definitely done that too. 

[00:24:12] Melissa: I did. I ate lunch in the library every day. I could not handle the cafeteria. At the beginning of each school year, I'd try. I'd be like, I'm going to do this. I'm going to do this. And it was miserable. I would just be completely sensory overload for the rest of the day. And I really liked school. I enjoyed it, um, the school part of it. But the social aspect, I was at a very big high school. 500 people in my class. Probably about 2,000 kids in the school.

[00:24:36] And it was so overwhelming to me. Everyone would meet in the middle foyer area, and I always took the back stairwells. I never went through that middle area. Actually, just last week, I got a message from a friend that I had in high school who's been listening to the podcast. And it's really interesting because I haven't spoke to her. I mean I graduated from high school in 2006.

[00:24:56] Moha: It's been a while. And she's like, I've really been loving the podcast. This is really cool, and I'm happy for you that you're doing this. This is someone who's very social. She's not listening to it, I don't think, because she thinks she's autistic. But I decided to dig into that a little bit, and I was like, hey, I really enjoyed our friendship, but I always struggled with just understanding how the dynamic should work, and all of these different things.

[00:25:22] And she said, I never saw you as any different than any other friend. And I've not been able to have a conversation with someone from my childhood or past to have that reflected back. And that was so interesting because the story in my head and in my body and how I felt, it felt like it'd have been so obvious. 

[00:25:42] And it just goes to show, again, a big thing with autistic females is masking and camouflaging, of being able to observe the social situation and fit in, basically, and then go home and be exhausted and not really be able to function beyond that. And so that was really, really interesting to have reflected back to me.

[00:26:02] ADMARKER

[00:26:02] Luke: That is interesting. Self-knowledge is so powerful. When I was talking about with Moha, is identifying our strengths and capitalizing on them. It's like with no self-inquiry and self-knowledge, we really are rudderless. We're lost. And it's also really hard on your self-esteem. Only finished, I think, seven grades in school, and did poorly, and had all kinds of behavioral problems. Always felt super dumb my whole life. Just felt like everyone was smarter than me. I don't read a lot. I try. When audiobooks came out I was like, oh, reading is definitely over now.

[00:26:39] That's it. But over time and doing the work that I do, it's been invaluable, man, to just go, okay, well, I have different skills than some other people, but I do have some. Let's find out what they are, and let's just hone in on that, and focus on that, and cut out the noise, and stop trying to be good at the things that I'm just not that good at.

[00:27:01] Melissa: Have you seen that comic where it's a horse, a fish, a turtle, and something else, and they're like, okay, it's time for your test. Climb the tree. 

[00:27:09] Luke: Oh, wow. 

[00:27:09] Melissa: And that's how a lot of public school is. You take all of these amazing talents and creatures, and you're like, go climb the tree, and that's what you're going to get judged on.

[00:27:21] Luke: Oh my god. I think I have micro-PTSD just from being in school those seven years. It was torture. I hated school, and I had a lot of trauma and other issues, I'm sure that didn't help, but yeah, whatever the school system was set up to teach and how it was set up to teach that way did not fit my personality and my brain at all. Ever. Ever. It's horrible. Uh, Moha, so you're a kid in Costa Rica, and then at some point, I think, in adulthood, you ventured to Libya during the Arab Spring, or went there and then--

[00:27:59] Moha: Right before.

[00:27:59] Luke: Right before?

[00:28:00] Moha: Right before it happened while I was there. Yeah, I went to do a commercial transaction, and I ended up staying there, and that shifted my life. I've had a few shifts, and by the way, I didn't have much money or anything. It's not like I was some billionaire that's going there to become philanthropic. Literally, it was like I was there, and I was overwhelmed with this feeling of people wanting freedom, and people wanting equality, and a chance that, in hindsight, it was a shitshow, of course, but the intention was there.

[00:28:33] There was something so powerful and so impactful that was about to happen that I had to be a part of. I was never forced to stay there, so I ended up having that whole adventure and being in the war in Libya based on my own decision. It was because I have a very strong sense of right and wrong, and I was like, well, this is worth doing. This is the right thing to do. This is more important than anything I would do going back to Costa Rica and watching it on TV.

[00:29:01] And yeah, I was there, and it felt like one of those change the world moments.And I ended up staying there, and I ended up setting up some schools, and I started doing as much good as I could and stuff. And I've always had this thing where I wanted to do good. Uh, I will tell you, it's a lot easier to focus on it fully when you don't have to worry about money and paying bills. So that's one of the pieces of advice that I give a lot of people, is you know what, if you can have more money, then you can do a lot more good.

[00:29:33] And that's one of the first conversations that I had with Melissa. I was taking a run. I was running in Beverly Hills or something. I was in LA, and we just did a call, and I was like, why are you hiding? You're a fucking superhuman. What you're doing is unbelievable. We've got all these influencers showing their asses and their tits. They've got millions of followers. Everybody worships them like they're doing this incredible life. 

[00:29:59] You're actually fucking rehabilitating children's lives. You're literally doing a miracle. The closest thing to what profits would do. You're using lasers and things like Mendi and other technology to rehabilitate human beings. Why are you not on the cover of everything? And then she's like, well. And she can say it better, but she's like, I grew up poor, and I've always believed in working in silence. And I was like, fuck that. You should have a billion dollars, and you should have a billion people seeing what you're doing because that's how we change the world. You can impact 10 people, or you can impact a 100 million. 

[00:30:37] Melissa: Yes. Totally. It was one of those conversations where you get those messages in meditation or something just over and over, and for sure, money, that's been my main block pretty much my whole life. I've worked through a lot of stuff about money. And so I've worked through a lot of that, and then the last couple months, it's been like, okay, put yourself out there. So I start the podcast, and I'm like, okay, universe. I'll put myself out there. That's it, right? No, that's not it. 

[00:31:08] So then we're having this conversation, and he said, what do you want? And I'm like, I don't know. It's not like, oh, I have X amount of dollars, or I have this that I want. And I said, I just know I'm not supposed to hide anymore. I'm not supposed to just be in a room with one patient at a time and having that be my impact. That is a massive impact, and I'm very humbled and grateful to have that.

[00:31:35] But how much more can I do really beyond that? It's pretty cool. I'm pretty exciting. And I also know the times that I have made money, I mean, I turn around, and I just give it back to whoever I can. I mean, that's just the way I am, and I love to do that. And so that's where he was like, yeah, you can do a lot more of that if you are out there and opening yourself up and helping all these people. 

[00:32:01] Moha: For me, it was like, let's put a magnifying glass on those values that you have and all this magic because I admire you. I look up to you. But the problem is, people are never going to hear about you. There's people out there with kids that need this. There's people that need your help that are never going to hear. 

[00:32:15] So for me, my approach is if you're helping a 100 people like you are and you're changing their lives, that's unbelievable. That's incredible. But if you're helping a 100 people and you could've helped a million people, fuck you. It's not even, oh, good. No, it's fuck you. Because what about all those other 900? I understand. It's like, unless we're creating an impact that is big enough as the resources that we can pull next to us-- I mean, this happened with a DM on Instagram.

[00:32:49] Melissa: Just saying, hey, I saw that you're at the conference. We use your product. I'd love to say hi. That's literally it. 

[00:32:54] Moha: And it was literally like we're on the same battle. It took a second for us to see that we're on the same team. We just didn't know that we exist. 

[00:33:00] Melissa: Within two minutes, you were like, you need to be on a podcast with me. I was like, okay. That was literally in the first two minutes of, you're like, hey, tell me about what you do. And a big part of where Mendi comes in, so with autism-- using the Mendi is an amazing at-home tool. And I talked to patients about it. I talked to whoever I'm seeing, and I'm like, you don't understand where this is now and how incredible it is and where it's about to go.

[00:33:29] Because I know the input I have for where it's about to go. And it's also an insanely incredible and talented team that already has so many things lined up. And it matches so beautifully with what I know my purpose is. I know that I have developed this skillset and been surrounded by incredible doctors, including the ones I work with in my office.

[00:33:48] It's not just me. We have an unbelievably talented team, and I have this skillset because my purpose is to help these humans have a more balanced brain and a healthier brain because the outcome of that in consciousness and in reality is going to be a world of humans with a more balanced brain, a healthier brain, making better decisions for a better world. If people aren't getting pissed off all the time because their left prefrontal is out of control, it's going to be a lot better. Calm conversations, conscious conversations. That's pretty badass that I have a skillset to facilitate that.

[00:34:27] Moha: Less fighting, less shootings, less stabbings, less--

[00:34:30] Melissa: Exactly.

[00:34:31] Luke: Road rage, less--

[00:34:32] Melissa: Well, and the study was--

[00:34:33] Moha: Children getting the shit beaten out of them by their parents. We've been through that.

[00:34:36] Luke: I think of things in a very similar way, as everything starts at consciousness. Like it's been said, um, I think it was Andrew Breitbart that said, politics is downstream of culture. I thought, oh, that's true. Well, what's upstream of that? And if you keep going upstream through all the different facets of the human experience, the very top of that is consciousness. And how do we experience and express consciousness? Through the brain. Or in other ways through the body, but primarily through the brain.

[00:35:11] Melissa: It's a big part of it. And my spiritual studies, I think, are what allowed me to excel the way I did despite having autism and ADHD, because I had such deep spiritual practices, and those often are very whole brain or right brain, so it would get me through these times where I might have just not been able to make it through otherwise, which is pretty cool.

[00:35:33] Luke: Well, that's funny that Moha took the girl who was eating in the library and was like, hey, you should be on podcasts, and be on stage, and put yourself out there. So congratulations. I know for people that are more introverted, it's difficult. 

[00:35:48] Melissa: It's a lot, yeah. 

[00:35:49] Luke: It's much more of a push. And you think about, to your point, Moha, you have so-- and God bless everyone and their gifts, and their message, but you have people that are just blessed with the gift of being, um, having charisma and being extroverted, but maybe don't have that much expertise about the topics they're sharing. 

[00:36:07] This is so prevalent on social media where, wow, this person's really engaging and intriguing, but maybe don't have, as you do, in your clinical practice, just, I'm sure, dozens and hundreds of cases, and refining your skillset so that it can really help people. So it makes perfect sense that it's time to scale that despite the discomfort of putting yourself out there.

[00:36:31] Moha: It's so funny. We were talking about it yesterday because we were having dinner with Hannah at this place called Ember. It's great, by the way, if you haven't been. Ember, right? 

[00:36:38] Melissa: Ember Kitchen. Yeah. 

[00:36:39] Moha: Ember Kitchen. It was really good. And, uh, so we're there, and Hannah's a neuroscientist, and we're sitting there, and we're talking, and I'm giving them the blueprint of where I see Mendi going. And you know that my dream is that over the next few years, people don't have to pay for it. Everybody gets it for free. It's very affordable as it is, but my whole thing is that it should be inclusive to everybody. 

[00:37:01] So what I was telling them is that I am the Trojan horse to get them all in there. I'm like, if we can put together 50, 100 of the best scientists, doctors, just absolute-- we're very, very, very science-based. We can put them all there. And the doors that I can open, because people want to talk about bullshit, whatever, the six pack, or the jet-setting, or whatever, that's great because then I can bring a Hannah in, and she can talk about the science. 

[00:37:32] And it's a beautiful way, and that's how we can inform the world. Um, yeah. So there's a plan around that, but I love how you're expressing my limitations in a way that is flattering to me. To be honest, I just think that I'm very lucky. And many times, I don't even find these amazing people. She found me. I didn't find her. I can't even take credit for that. 

[00:37:58] Melissa: And I don't send messages on Instagram. That is not a thing. 

[00:38:01] Moha: You found me because Josh brought you. Yeah. Like I was saying, I can take credit for nothing. I'm literally just--

[00:38:08] Melissa: But he's in flow state. I was like, that's why. 

[00:38:10] Luke: Yeah. That's actually a really good way to put-- when he says it's just easy. It's easy. 

[00:38:17] Melissa: He's in flow state. It's magnetizing. I never send DMs to people, but I was like, do it. This is an opportunity. I'm like, what opportunity? I'm having that conversation right now.

[00:38:29] Moha: I do. I do. I meet Ben Rein through a DM. 

[00:38:31] Melissa: Yeah, you said that. 

[00:38:32] Moha: I do that. I scale fish on DMs. 

[00:38:35] Melissa: For sure. 

[00:38:36] Luke: Yeah, I love the correlation though between it's easy and flow state because when you're in flow state, regardless of what skill is flowing, it is easy. When it's hard is when we're not in flow state. And speaking of something like Mendi, when our brain is not functional, good luck finding your flow state in whatever area of talent you exceed. 

[00:38:59] Melissa: Is that frontal? Prefrontal? Absolutely.

[00:39:01] Luke: Yeah. Uh, I want to back up a bit though. You guys okay on time? Can I do my thing? 

[00:39:06] Melissa: Yeah.

[00:39:06] Moha: Okay. Go ahead.

[00:39:07] Luke: Yesterday, I had an interview with a brilliant man, and he only had an hour, and I was over here sweating bullets with my iPad like, no, I have so many more questions. Uh, it's why this show sometimes is longer. I don't want anyone to leave and feel like, oh, man, we should have talked about it. We could have talked about it. Uh, but I want to go back to Libya. I'm so curious about just being somewhere in a time of war. Is it what I imagine, that you're hearing gunfire down the street and a bomb a couple miles away shaking the building? What was it like in terms of its emotional impact?

[00:39:44] Moha: Closer than that. Yeah. So it's basically, just think about that you're at your most stressed constantly, and that becomes the default for you. So the first thing that Mendi helped me with a lot and the reason why I took the job because I was retired before Mendi, so I became an investor, and they asked me to take the job, and I took it, was because I had really bad nightmares from that time in Libya.

[00:40:08] It's because you are in a state, and even though, like you said, I'm highly functional, and I've always been highly functional, but I've always had a lot of emotional regulation problems and a lot of anxiety which were not made any better, obviously. And it's basically your body is in a constant state of stress. It's like you've got constant whiplash. I don't know how to explain it. You guys would be better at it--

[00:40:33] Luke: I've had a similar feeling, and not to diminish wartime experience, but in dysfunctional relationships in my past, experienced that. Just non-stop fight or flight. 

[00:40:44] Moha: It's probably physically very similar. 

[00:40:45] Melissa: It's the vagal system. 

[00:40:46] Luke: There you go.

[00:40:47] Moha: Where you're just locked.

[00:40:48] Luke: There's no, I'm going to go relax for a few minutes. No, you're not.

[00:40:52] Moha: That doesn't exist. 

[00:40:54] Melissa: No.  get stuck in that. So ventral vagal is like green light. You want to engage socially. You feel good. You're calm, and the next one over is spinal sympathetic, and that's fight or flight. And then that's when your amygdala is going crazy. We call it the asshole amygdala in the office because you might be five years out, and you hear something, and it's going to set you off as though you're there, because that amygdala is like, holy shit, this isn't safe. And how do you calm the amygdala?

[00:41:22] There's two ways that you can calm it. Vestibular system. So you run. I need to go for a run. Humans will get that. I need to run. The kiddos that can't run, we spin them. We do some vestibular thing. The other way for a brain that's healthy enough is prefrontal activation. And that is where Mendi is gold. Absolute gold.

[00:41:43] Luke: So that explains why he's having insomnia and PTSD.

[00:41:47] Moha: My nightmares went away. My nightmares just went away. And I was like, fuck, this is-- and my reaction was, why doesn't everybody know about this? Why did I find out about this shit when I'm 40 years old, and I'm a multi-millionaire, and I'm in Sweden? What chance does a 15-year-old girl in Bangladesh have? She's fucked. There's a girl with my same issues in Bangladesh. It's my obligation to make sure that people don't go 40 years of bad relationships, and bad fights, and street fights, and all sorts of shit.

[00:42:22] Luke: Throwing people's head in a urinal. 

[00:42:24] Moha: Throwing people's head--

[00:42:26] Luke: Inside story he told me.

[00:42:30] Moha: And even to this day, I will do a Mendi if I'm stressed. It'll just take away the jitters. It'll just take away that anxiety. It'll just put me in a mood, in a state where I'm just-- there's an immediate effect along with the long-lasting effects and all that stuff. But for me, it was just, like you said, no different than going and training, going for a run, lifting some weights, whatever. The Mendi, it will just almost align everything, just make everything be balanced.

[00:43:03] For me, it's like my day is a very messy room with a bunch of hoarding and shit. I'll do that. It's like it's just clean. And then I can function a lot better, and I'm just a nicer person to be with. I'm not an asshole. If you say something to me-- do you understand? I'm not as irritable. I'm not as, um, and it's always a work in progress.

[00:43:28] Libya, that's what it was. It was imagine that you're-- I think for the average person, they can't relate maybe to levels of abuse that we've been through, or to war, or something like that, uh, perhaps just being at your scariest moment watching a horror movie, and then you're stuck in that moment, and then you expand that for months and months and months, and that's your life, that moment of being that tense. It's like you're going to sleep and your heart is racing because you hear a sound. And you're expecting the worst. I probably didn't explain that very well, but I think you get what I'm trying--

[00:44:07] Luke: I get the picture. Yeah. In terms of frequency and duration, so you're having these nightmares after spending this time. 

[00:44:15] Moha: Every day.

[00:44:15] Luke: Wartime, Libya, every day. Uh, when you discovered the Mendi, how often were you using it, and what period of time before you started to see like, wow, I slept last night and had no nightmares.?

[00:44:27] Moha: I remembered my dreams the first night, and they were pleasant. I was like, oh, fuck. It wasn't me getting stabbed and waking up. And then, uh, I remember it just kept getting better to the point where I remember saying, oh, I have nightmares once a month. I can't even remember.

[00:44:48] I don't know if I've had nightmares once or twice this year, which is probably normal for the average person that hasn't been through war and hasn't had the childhood I had and all that. Yeah, it's incredible what it will do. And my thing, my issue with talking about it is that it just sounds like it's too good to be true. And that's what people need to understand. 

[00:45:13] That's why I need the Hannahs and the Melissas of the world to explain the science so that people can land it and understand that, oh, it actually does make sense because that's how the brain works. And as somebody that's never been very interested in biohacking like you're, I'm not nearly a gadget nerd comparable to you.

[00:45:36] I've never been interested in studying really, except for things that I really cared about. I'm the nerd on sports. But now, to me, it's fascinating that I can have access to these experts, and I can have conversations with them. I don't have to read the books. I can actually tap into somebody. 

[00:45:52] Luke: That's my method too. I'll open up a--

[00:45:56] Melissa: Bring a living book. 

[00:45:57] Luke: Exactly. I'll look up something on PubMed, and I'm just like, uh, I'm just going to interview someone who knows how to read this. 

[00:46:03] Moha: Find the author and bring them over. 

[00:46:05] Luke: Exactly. Yeah, that's my hack. I want to let everyone know you can find everything we're talking about today at lukestorey.com/mendi. M-E-N-D-I. lukestorey.com/mendi for your show notes. Because we're going to get into some of the science and things like that. 

[00:46:20] Moha: And everybody can download the app for free on the app store, Mendi. They don't even need a device with it to get a lot of value. And that's what we're doing over the next six months. Like Melissa says, it's really exciting the stuff that we're inputting. But obviously, to do the training, you would need a device, but just go ahead and download the app. 

[00:46:40] Luke: And for the device, for those watching the video, it's this little headband right here, which I can't put on because I have a headset on. But this is what I had on this morning.

[00:46:49] ADMARKER

[00:46:49] Okay, I've done a few shows, at least two or three, devoted to neurofeedback, with QEEG, the full-on thing. One of them was three years ago at BioCybernaut in Sedona, Arizona, where I went and did a five-day training. Yeah, I don't know. They take your, uh, phone away, and then you're doing your training in a dark booth with no windows, and you have no idea-- you know what day it is because you know when you walked in there, but you have no idea what time it is, and it's this whole thing.

[00:47:23] Um, it's very intense. Alpha training basically. So I did a show with Dr. James Hardt and Andrew Hill in Los Angeles from Peak Brain Institute. So some of the older listeners will be familiar with neurofeedback. Many people listening, probably the vast majority, are like, what the hell is that? So maybe you could just give us an overview on neurofeedback as a genre, and then we will talk about how it's been adopted in a much more accessible way with the Mendi.

[00:47:49] Melissa: Yeah. So we do QEEG in the office. So I'm very familiar with that. And we have people do neurofeedback with QEEG.

[00:47:58] Luke: What system do you use?

[00:48:00] Melissa: BrainMaster. 

[00:48:01] Luke: Oh, okay. Cool. 

[00:48:02] Melissa: I don't know if you're familiar with that one. I've seen that for a while, and we got the Mendi, and I was like, hold on a second. This is so easy. It's so easy. And a lot of the people, if they have sensory issues too, you're putting all the goop in their hair all the time, every day, and there's a lot of value to doing the full QEEG for someone who has a severe TBI, and maybe they need more temporal load, or they need something else going on other than just frontal, but for the average person, and that's who Mendi is really marketing to you right now, working the frontal, prefrontal lobe area, it's like a dam.

[00:48:45] Our prefrontal lobes are like a dam. The majority of the brain is excitatory, and so it spends most of its energy inhibiting. So if that dam starts to break down, you have water rushing through of impulse control issues, anger issues, sleep issues. These different things that come through. So when you're using Mendi and you're strengthening that prefrontal cortex, you're strengthening that dam, and you're building that wall back up, and that's neuroplasticity. 

[00:49:15] And that's why it's something you need to repeat. Typically, when you're trying to build neuroplasticity, it's a higher frequency at the beginning, and then you can go to maybe 10 minutes a day, or whatever it is. Maybe instead of two sessions, you're doing one session, something like that. But that's how to look at it. When we're looking at that prefrontal cortex of, we need to keep that strong. And that's for life. That's not just at certain periods.

[00:49:40] We want that into 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond. We want to have that integrity in that prefrontal cortex to be able to go through life in a regulated manner and in a calm manner, and be able to have conversations with family members that might otherwise be triggering and being able to keep yourself calm, that type of thing.

[00:50:00] Luke: I mean, living life with less reactivity in and of itself is a massive win. You know what I'm saying? 

[00:50:06] Melissa: It's a massive win. It changes the world. 

[00:50:08] Luke: Yeah, it really does. 

[00:50:09] Melissa: And that's why I am oddly obsessed with this thing. It's not oddly, because I know why, but I'm literally like, this just matches with my purpose, my goal, my vision, and it makes it so accessible in a way that I've never seen with a tool. And I mean, I've seen a lot of the tools, all the neurofeedback stuff, whatever. It's great. It has value, but it's very expensive. It's very limiting for people to be able to do, and this is just golden. 

[00:50:35] Luke: And difficult to do at home. I mean, I know some systems. You can buy a PC backdrop.

[00:50:40] Melissa: It's thousands of dollars, though. Yeah. 

[00:50:41] Luke: Um, to unpack neurofeedback a little bit more, and maybe you can explain this with more, uh, eloquence, but the way I think about it is with an emphasis. I mean, obviously, the neurology part of it, but the feedback, where you are experiencing, uh, something sensory, like you're looking at a screen.

[00:51:04] In the case of traditional neurofeedback or the Mendi, I'm looking at the app, and through your, uh, visual stimuli, your brain is then responding to what you're seeing, and it's behaving according to what your goal is. So there's a feedback loop between your perception and the brain waves, or different things. So the blood flow, in this case, in the prefrontal cortex, that's happening. Is that--

[00:51:30] Melissa: Yeah, yeah. Pretty much. And it's reinforcing that. It's reinforcing. Whatever you want to have happen, which is more oxygenated blood flow to the prefrontal cortex, it reinforces that with the ball going up, and the stars, and the nice noise, and everything. Yeah.

[00:51:44] Luke: So when I'm looking at the app, and I wish I could show it on the video. I could just do one. But when I'm looking at the app, it looks like a very basic video game, like most neurofeedback. It's not like World of Warcraft or something. It's just super simple. And there's a little wave form, and there's a little, uh, yin yang looking ball that goes up and down, and then makes stars when it's going up, and a little ding, ding, ding. 

[00:52:14] And so what I perceive to be happening when I use Mendi is that the more my brain is doing what we, myself and Mendi wanted to do, it's getting stimuli because it's going higher and going ding, ding, ding, and that's encouraging the brain to get more oxygenated blood into the front of the brain. Is that what's happening? 

[00:52:34] Melissa: Yeah, yeah. And it's just reinforcing that pattern. And that's how you build neuroplasticity. 

[00:52:37] Luke: Cool. Cool. 

[00:52:39] Moha: And we are building, by the way, more games. And that's one of the things that are coming, more exciting. Not World of Warcraft type stuff, but a lot more games. But the way that I look at it is like I've been bench pressing since I was 14. It's like, it works. If it works, it doesn't really need disco lights. 

[00:53:01] Melissa: For sure. 

[00:53:01] Moha: I don't need disco lights for--

[00:53:03] Melissa: From my perspective, that'll cause neurological fatigue, which we don't want. We don't want it to be too much.

[00:53:08] Moha: Yeah. So everything's got to be-- and everything that we build, just so you know, our CPO is a neuroscientist, our head of content is a neuroscientist. We're very, very science-based. 

[00:53:21] Melissa: We've got all the good nerds. 

[00:53:24] Moha: Yeah. And they're all amazing people with a moral compass that is unshakable. You've met some of them already, and I'm just-- 

[00:53:31] Melissa: Incredible.

[00:53:32] Moha: Yeah. But that's the thing. We're not just doing things. Bells, and whistles, and hype is not really what we're going for. We've gone the slow and steady route because we wanted to do things right. And we're not about making-- I'll give you an example. I turned down the sale, before we launched on Kickstarter, of 30,000 devices to one of the big healthcare companies in the US that wanted to give 30,000 Mendi devices as a CSR project to at-risk youth.

[00:54:00] So basically, uh, kids that are in gangs, gang members, and kids with issues, with problems. The intentions were good, but many times, good intentions lead to poor results. And we had to say no to that. I said no because what that's going to do is it's just going to give us a bunch of noisy data. 

[00:54:21] For us, it's about learning how we can help, like for example, understanding what she does, is seeing how these kids react to the training, etc, so that we can-- I remember one of the things that she told me on the call. She's like, well, there's something that could be done better. I'm like, perfect. Let's get it done. And she's like, well, what if that's bad for business? I'm like, I don't give a shit. Clearly, I'm a terrible CEO. I'm horrible for business.

[00:54:44] Melissa: Really not.

[00:54:44] Moha: But it's like, let's do what is right. And the sooner we do it, the better. And that's why we want all these scientists, and we want all these communicators, everybody, giving their opinions and feedback so that we can build something that can help. The Luke Storeys of the world and the--

[00:55:02] Luke: My brain needs a lot of help. I've put this thing through hell over the years. Well, to your point of democratizing this, brain health, I mean, that's the unfortunate thing about a lot of the great technology, those more extensive neurofeedbacks, and the BioCharger, and all these things. I mean, you're talking 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 15, $25,000 dollars for a thing.

[00:55:25] It's like, cool. There's a very small percentage of people that can afford to see a practitioner or have something like that in their house. This thing's 300 bucks, which, I have to admit, in the beginning, when Josh first introduced me to you, and then I looked, he's like, I got Mendi. And I looked it up, and I thought, just because the world I'm in and the people that I interview and whatnot, when it was only $300, I was like, eh, it probably doesn't really do that much because it's only $300.

[00:55:52] Which is a really bad way to think about things, but getting to know you a bit more, and understanding what your long-term goal is, I mean, obviously, from a business perspective, your margins allow you to still become a profitable company at $300 retail. No one in the consumer base knows that. You could have charged $1,200, and no one would know the difference.

[00:56:14] Moha: And there's a lot of companies out there, and there's a lot of drugs out there where they could sell them for a 10th of what the price is. They just don't because they can't charge that. It becomes a moral question. 

[00:56:27] Luke: And I'm no master businessman by any stretch, but thinking about long game and what your ultimate goals are, whether it's to make a bunch of money while helping people, I mean, just, say, on a very positive note, yeah, you want to help a bunch of people, and you want to make a bunch of money.

[00:56:43] I think that making something that is valid, and really works, and has the science to back it more accessible to more people, ultimately, is going to bring a bigger financial gain than just trying to take all the money right now. You know what I'm saying? It's a short-term plan. It's like, oh, let's get this small section of people to pay 1,200 bucks versus your ultimate goal, as you stated, like, let's have this covered by insurance and completely democratize it so that it's free for everyone. 

[00:57:13] Moha: 100%. And it's a relative term. How much is a bunch of money. And another thing-- so that's why we turned down the sale of these 30,000 devices, which would have been $9 million in cash, which is great for a little startup. But we said no because what we want is we need people that actually want the Mendis, and that are going to use them. We need highly motivated users so that we can build the best products. 

[00:57:33] If I give 30,000 Mendis to people that are-- it's like giving treadmills to people that don't want to use them. They're going to put them under the bed and the data is going to tell us that, hey, it doesn't work. It doesn't help you get in shape. For us, it was about picking people that use it, run tests, have an open dialogue, a transparent communication with our users. Uh, and also with the scientific community, just opening up to criticism. 

[00:58:03] Uh, and that's what's led to us being in this stage now where we actually can collaborate with people that are the hardcore neuroscientists, people from the Stanford's and the Princeton's of the world, and doctors, but also, at the same time, we can bridge that gap and start talking about people that are more in the spiritual world and all that. 

[00:58:24] Just burn these bridges, a lot of these biohackers and stuff, and we can have this discussion. It's like, why is it that this person feels better? My problem with science or a lot of scientists was that a lot of scientists do science for the sake of science but not science to impact people. They'll do research for the sake of research. It's like notches on their belt.

[00:58:47] It's not really because they're trying to get-- over a technicality, they'll throw out something that could have helped a ton of people. Whereas for me, it's like, okay, let's look at it. Let's analyze it. Let's be open-minded. Let's get the hardcore scientist. Let's get the practitioners, the neurofeedback people, the neuroscientists, the doctors, the psychologists. Everybody looks at this problem together, and let's figure out how we can help people.

[00:59:10] And, uh, without overpromising, without telling people, oh, use this one time, and it's going to fix your depression. Because we know it will help people with depression, but there is not one thing that's going to fix everything magically. That's not how the world works. Not even plant medicine will do that where you just take it, and you're done, everything is figured out. It's like everything requires work.

[00:59:35] Luke: That right there is a really good point. I know you're not a big plant medicine guy, but when I first started working in that realm, I had so much benefit, and it was so transformative that I thought anyone who's ever ventured into that, uh, practice would have had the same results. And I started meeting people that were still really screwed up people that have done a lot of psychedelics. Not that I'm not in my own ways, but I mean, quantifiably, my life changed dramatically. I became much more healthy emotionally and mentally as a result of that. 

[01:00:11] But yeah, there's integration. So it's like someone might use the Mendi just like someone might go do an ayahuasca ceremony, and there might be some changes in your psyche, but then you are left with the responsibility of actualizing those changes, and actually acting on them, and integrating them. 

[01:00:28] Moha: And not only that, but I just hate the concept of either or. There is many things. I'm not saying like, okay, your life is fucked up. You need to start exercising. Period. You're done. You go to the gym. You lift weights. I mean, that's a good thing, but you lift weights. You do Mendi. Maybe you do the plant medicine. There's a lot of different things. There's different layers to improving people's lives.

[01:00:50] And what we wanted to do is we wanted to make one of them accessible, and to do it science-based and something that is-- for people like me, the changes are life-changing. And, uh, everybody needs to go on their own journey, and everybody needs to see. And there's different people that react to it differently.

[01:01:07] And a lot of the knowledge that I have over right lobe and left lobe, and the differences, and all this stuff, and I've been researching it, and I talked to the science team about it, was over a conversation with her. So for me, it's just fascinating that if we all come together, we can accelerate science so much. And these things piss a lot of people off, but it doesn't really matter to me. 

[01:01:29] Luke: Good.

[01:01:30] Melissa: Well, and what I tell patients all the time, because parents will come in, and they're like, we've done all of these therapies, and we hardly saw any results, and I'm like, well, you didn't get to the core. The brain's controlling everything. So if you can get that figured out, so if someone wants to go do plant medicine, but their prefrontal cortex is shit, how are they actually going to make it through processing all of that when they come back out of it? But you pair that up? That's pretty cool. 

[01:01:58] Moha: Or even you follow up normal neurofeedback with something you can take at home. There's so many things. 

[01:02:03] Melissa: Yeah, I mean, there's endless options with this, for sure. 

[01:02:08] Luke: Going back to the neurofeedback, it just occurred to me, with the Mendi, we're measuring blood flow, but with traditional neurofeedback, we're measuring electrical activity. Is that correct? 

[01:02:22] Melissa: Brain waves. 

[01:02:23] Luke: So what's the difference, fundamentally, between the results you get or what one subjectively experiences working with the blood flow, in this case, versus the electrical activity? Is it you're giving feedback to the brain and encouraging it to do what you want it to do in two different ways-- 

[01:02:47] Melissa: I think it's different. 

[01:02:47] Luke: But ultimately, it's like the same goal? 

[01:02:49] Melissa: Yeah, there's the same goal because you want a healthier brain, but when you're looking at brain waves, I can look at a QEEG, and someone never told me that they had a head injury, and they've got this hot spot, and I can say, are you sure you never hit your head? Oh, actually, when I was 12, I fell off a ladder, or something. That happens all the time. So when you're doing the traditional QEEG neurofeedback, I might target that more. 

[01:03:18] But again, that's different. That's someone coming in with a brain injury, really severe symptoms, something like that. That's different than optimizing prefrontal cortex for a better life, better regulation. It's two different things. They're both going to get you some outcome, but it depends what you're looking for. But also, I love to put people-- they do the QEEG, the traditional QEEG. That doesn't mean we don't do Mendi with them, because their brain is going to be healthier to be able to handle doing Mendi and get better results from doing Mendi. That's what I've observed clinically. 

[01:03:57] Luke: Okay, cool. And the prefrontal cortex is related to our emotional responses to life? 

[01:04:07] Melissa: More like the impulsiveness. Um, anger, sleep issues, more of that. There's a lot of different pieces that have to do with the emotional part. But it basically has to do with the regulation of those things.

[01:04:23] Luke: Ah, okay. 

[01:04:25] Melissa: Does that make sense? 

[01:04:27] Moha: Better decision-making, more control, more agency. So the executive function. Uh, so, for example, when we're talking about things like addiction, which we touched up on, uh, I mean, that's what will literally give you the ability, the physical ability to put down the bottle of vodka.

[01:04:42] Melissa: So you might still be having the emotions, but then you'll have the agency over it.

[01:04:47] Luke: Right.

[01:04:48] Melissa: To be able to make a decision. 

[01:04:49] Luke: Impulsivity.

[01:04:49] Melissa: Yes. 

[01:04:50] Luke: Right. Oh, that's good. Maybe that's why I like this thing so much. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool addict, man. It's like I quit doing drugs and started taking supplements. People point that out. I'm like, yeah, no shit. It's not lost on me. Look in my cabinet down there. Follow me around with a hidden camera all day. You'd be like, you got to act like an addict. Well, yeah.

[01:05:12] But the compulsiveness and impulsiveness, and all of that, I mean, it's so important for every person, regardless of what their background is, to be able to-- sure, you have these emotions, you have crazy thoughts, but what do you do with it? Are you able to take a breath and pause before you yell at your kid, or flip off the driver, or even spiral down into more depressive thoughts. 

[01:05:35] Moha: Yeah, rumination. So people just overthink things. You have a breakup, whatever. It's like, oh. And then you start to overthink things, and your life becomes this black void, this hole that never ends. And then how do you stop that? How do you swipe that away, kind of? 

[01:05:51] Luke: Does the Mendi and its ability to bring more oxygenated blood into the prefrontal cortex help with rumination, with overthinking? 

[01:05:59] Moha: 100%.

[01:06:00] Luke: Yeah. Cool. That used to be a huge problem for me. Less so nowadays, but maybe I've been using the Mendi a lot. How long ago did we meet? I'm so bad at times. 

[01:06:12] Moha: When was it? I think it was--

[01:06:13] Luke: Three months ago, or something. 

[01:06:15] Moha: It might have been the beginning of the year. Might have been six months ago.

[01:06:17] Luke: Oh my god, okay. Well, to my point. So that's how long I've been using Mendi. I think we reached out to you guys within a couple weeks after that, and y'all sent me one. And I went ham when I first got it. I was like, seven days a week, 15 minutes, non-negotiable. It's like anything too, you start feeling better, and then you're like, well, I don't need to do the thing. 

[01:06:37] Moha: Exactly. That's the thing. 

[01:06:38] Luke: The compliance factor. 

[01:06:40] Moha: People are like, oh, how long do you have to use it? I'm like, well, do you go to the gym, get a six pack, and then you're done training for the rest of your life? Now, it's just cookies, and sitting around the couch, and never taking a walk for the rest of my life? No, obviously, that's not how things work. You use it, or you lose it. 

[01:06:56] Luke: So in terms of, uh, benefits that you're seeing clinically, feedback that you're getting from your client base, what are the main things? You mentioned your nightmares. So insomnia, depression, anxiety, addiction. Can we unpack those a little bit and anything else that I missed? 

[01:07:15] Melissa: Impulse control. That's a big one. 

[01:07:19] Luke: Do you find the impulse control is, um, more quantifiable in kids? Because they're generally more impulsive, or the kids that you're dealing with are even more compulsive than, uh, other kids.

[01:07:35] Melissa: A lot of adults have impulse control issues. They do, and they might not recognize it. 

[01:07:42] Moha: I discovered this at 40,

[01:07:45] Melissa: Yeah. I mean, food is a big one for people with impulse control issues. 

[01:07:48] Luke: It is for me. 

[01:07:49] Melissa: And even healthy food, that doesn't mean you don't have an impulse control issue just because you're eating something healthy.

[01:07:57] Luke: Right. My impulse control issue, and I know you have a candy room at home, which is totally bizarre. Mine's sweets at night. Maybe I should have said the intention for my Mendi practice tpo help with that. And there's the devil and the angel on the shoulder. It's like, Luke-- I just lost 20 pounds recently. I don't know what was happening, but I ballooned up. 

[01:08:20] For me, I was going into the orca range, and lost a few pounds, and then when it happened-- and I did alter my eating a bit. Things obviously worked out a little bit more. But still, there would be that angel devil where it's 10 o'clock at night, and I'm like, you should totally be winding down and going to bed, but I'm like, my wife does not have impulse control with sugar, so she buys these gluten-free cookie dough packets, and if I know they're in the fridge, dude, I cannot stop myself. I just can't. Literally. 

[01:08:51] Moha: Well, this will help you stop it. 

[01:08:51] Luke: I'm like, don't do it, Luke. Don't do it, don't do it. And there I am. I'm like, I'll just take two out of the bag. That's not that much sugar or whatever. And next thing you know, I crushed six of them. I almost wish my wife got mad when I crushed all her sugar stash, but she doesn't. I'll be ready to eat the last one, and I'm like, she's going to get mad. I'm like, no, actually she's not. She never has said it once, don't eat all my shit. And that doesn't help. But maybe the Mendi will help me. 

[01:09:17] Moha: 100%. Yeah. It's like a waterfall effect of benefits on your prefrontal cortex. I mean, we can talk about things like Alzheimer's, cognitive decline. We're on our way there. It's like, how do you fight that? You make your brain stronger. Uh, I think an analogy-- and I love your dam analogy. I've been thinking about that in the background. I love that. That makes so much sense.

[01:09:41] But the way I look at it is like, if your prefrontal cortex is like-- when you see a very old person that hasn't trained a lot, and they've got really flabby triceps, that's your prefrontal cortex. It can't really carry bags. Do you understand? It can't really go and do the chores. Whereas if you strengthen that tricep, I'm talking about the prefrontal cortex, then you can carry your kids, and carry the shopping bags, and do whatever it is that you need to do. Push the car if it breaks down. Uh, deal with those everyday problems in life.

[01:10:17] Yeah, I think it's about strength and resilience across the board. Yeah, I mean, there's a lot of people that we hear that are writing us things that, like, I got off X or Y medication, depression, whatever. And, uh, we're not anti-pharma. We're not telling people to get off their medication. We're not telling people to-- do you understand? But what we're saying is, put this into your daily habits, and you are going to see benefits, and then go from there. That's the best thing that a person can do for themselves. The whole concept of biohacking comes from that, right?

[01:10:56] Luke: Yeah, absolutely. Self-agency. I think that's what appeals to me about it. I'm not that crazy about that term because I don't have a really mechanistic relationship with the body. It's more of a living, breathing, loving relationship. So I don't think about hacking my body. It's more partnering with it. Biopartnering.

[01:11:15] I have to come up with a term that I like better, but yeah. It's exciting now. I think more people are learning. Yeah. Medical systems, is there a psychiatrist? Is there a therapist? Great. It's all there. And there are some wonderful and brilliant people helping people have better lives, but man, there's a lot you can do on your own if you have a little discipline.

[01:11:39] Moha: Look at COVID. It was like half the population of the United States, for example, where we are right now, has some mental health issue that a lot of these things,you could dramatically improve by yourself without getting on drugs. Uh, and again, I'm not anti-pharma, but it's like, there's a lot of work that you could do. It's like these people that are just taking these pills so that they can keep eating the cookies. Whatever. There's a lot of these drugs out there, but it's like there is also the choice of eating less cookies and going for a walk. I mean, that's a drug that exists as well.

[01:12:17] Luke: Yeah. 

[01:12:19] Moha: That's the approach to it.

[01:12:22] Luke: Uh, I want to let people know, and I'll put this in the show description, because I know when I listen to podcasts, it's hard to remember links, but if you guys want to try out a Mendi, uh, we've got 20% off for you. Go to mendi.io/discount/luke20. And the code's LUKE20. Uh, but we'll put that in the show description so it's just easily clickable. And I'll remind you guys that all the show notes for everything we're talking about are lukestorey.com/mendi. 

[01:12:46] ADMARKER

[01:12:47] Moha: One thing that I want to point out, and it's one of the reasons why I love that people like Melissa exists, and I'm so grateful for them, is the word Mendi comes from the verb to mend. And that's really no different to what she has been doing for years at her clinic. She's been mending people's brains. She's been mending people's lives. She's been mending these drowned kids' lives, and all these things. 

[01:13:08] And basically, how do we get a version of that? Because we will never be able to recreate Melissa. That's impossible. Technology will never be able to recreate her. But what's a supplement to that that we could make available to everybody? And that's the spirit of what we do. 

[01:13:25] Luke: I love it. Mendi is a great name. It reminds me of, uh, making amends. When you make amends to someone, you're repairing--

[01:13:35] Melissa: Easier to do that when your prefrontal cortex works. 

[01:13:38] Luke: You can't admit you're wrong if your prefrontal cortex is shut down. You're always right, and everyone else is wrong. Another application to this I wanted to talk about was focus. ADD, ADHD, all this stuff. I've never been diagnosed with those, but on some days, it's really hard to sit at my computer and do the thing I'm supposed to do. Uh, what have you seen clinically or in your own subjective experience, Moha, that, um, indicates that Mendi is supportive for focus? 

[01:14:07] Melissa: You start with that. 

[01:14:09] Moha: Speaking personally, as a user, my ability to focus has so dramatically improved. It's like, I'm just way more present than-- people that have known me for a long time, they really see the difference. I wouldn't even be able to literally just do a normal job. I literally talk about the fact that I wouldn't be hired for any position at Mendi. Literally. I've never had the capacity to do any of these things. So it's like I've had to build a skillset where I could be worthy of a job and give myself a job.

[01:14:44] Because, as far as focus, yeah, uh, ADHD is a huge one for us. The help that kids are getting, they're just-- anybody, you could just go see a doctor and get a prescription for ADHD in a second. Yeah. The technology curve is really steep. There's a lot of information happening at all times.

[01:15:04] The younger generations are having it even harder than we were. There's going to be a big crisis showing up in the future. The next generation is headed for a lot of issues. Um, my buddy, Dave Asprey, sent me this study that was fascinating that showed that, um, a healthy teenager today has poorer mental health from a psychiatric ward teenager in the 50s. Just think about that. 

[01:15:38] And remember, the difference, the technology curve from the 50s to now is not nearly as fast at what it's going to be over the next 20 years. That is accelerating dramatically. What we've seen in the last 15 years is unheard of. I've said this many times. The fact that a little kid can't go to the bathroom and take a shit without watching six TikToks and sending 15 messages, the layers of behavior that have been added through, it's just going to pile on these already humongous numbers, and these humongous problems, and obviously, nobody sees the individual.

[01:16:19] Nobody cares about me. Nobody cares about these people. The beauty of what Melissa does is that she knows these kids, she knows these patients by name. It's like each of them matters to her. The emotional toll it must take on you is unbelievable, and you're a fucking superhero. I've said that since I met you, and I admire you and people like you so much, but it's very difficult to be able to focus on each individual and give them the right amount of help.

[01:16:52] That's why they'll just throw pills at you. You could literally just go and be like, hey, I think I might have ADHD. Yes, you do. Here's your pill. And that's basically the way that we treat all these conditions. And there's a better way. And we're going to power our way through and make it more accessible so that people understand that. But, yeah, ADHD is a very big one. Um, that's always a very non-scientific way for me to explain things. 

[01:17:15] Melissa: It's so relatable, though. That's why I like it. It's so relatable. 

[01:17:17] Luke: Melissa, what can you tell me about, um, human neurology and the effects of these social media apps on the brain? So I've noticed subjectively, because of the way they're designed, to just get you dopamine strung out basically. 

[01:17:35] Melissa: I mean, that's a huge part of it. 

[01:17:36] Luke: If I get up and get on my phone and start going through Twitter and refreshing and refreshing, which I do my best not to do, but it's difficult at times. I do much better if I get up and meditate, just get myself grounded, and then I can engage in the world and have more resilience to that temptation.

[01:17:51] But if I fail to do that and I get up and get on social media instead of doing a Mendi session, my focus is going to be shit that day. 100%. And I've noticed over the years, because unfortunately a lot of my work involves interacting with social media, it's like you're wanting to put yourself out there now, or I want to put myself out there, unless you can afford to pay someone to be you as your personality and trust that they're going to do that authentically, which is very difficult, uh, you're in the game.

[01:18:20] Um, I have noticed, going back to the reading, I used to be actually quite a good reader and more of a reader. I could stay focused. I would read pretty dense, especially spiritual books and things that were not really exciting to read, but information that I wanted to integrate. I've noticed my reading of physical books is way worse since I've had a phone in my hand for a few years. 

[01:18:43] And there's no other explanation for it, because I'm healthier, my brain's healthier. In every other quantifiable metric, I'm doing way better. Why is it that my reading is so much worse? The only thing that has changed is my relationship to technology, and specifically, social media. So I know it's not good. What do you see with children or people that you work with in terms of--

[01:19:07] Melissa: It's not giving you those dopamine hits. Unless you're rewarding yourself with each page, you're not getting that. And we've become accustomed to needing that, unfortunately. I'm part of it. I know all of this, but I still will find myself. I know if I'm on my phone before I get out of bed in the morning, it's not good. I'm wearing out all that dopamine.

[01:19:30] Luke: You notice you focus and presence is--

[01:19:34] Melissa: Absolutely. And productivity is going to be down the drain. Get up, do the shit, then look at social media if you're going to do that. But it also has to do with the vertical scrolling. And I've been saying for years, I wish there was an app on the phone that you could change TikTok to scroll from-- I don't actually use TikTok. I'm assuming it scrolls vertical. Everything scrolls vertical because it's just feeding the mesencephalon. You're just feeding that beast that's just addiction, addiction, addiction. Where if you have it scrolling vertical, it's not going to feed the mesencephalon the same way. 

[01:20:08] Luke: Horizontally,

[01:20:08] Melissa: Ah, sorry. Yeah. 

[01:20:09] Luke: Really?

[01:20:10] Melissa: Uh, the vertical versus horizontal.

[01:20:12] Luke: Those bastards do it on purpose. It's funny. 

[01:20:15] Melissa: And even the colors. And then you add in blue light toxicity on top of it. 

[01:20:18] Luke: Yeah. Now you're speaking my language. Uh, my worst social media addiction, strangely, is Twitter. And it scrolls vertically. 

[01:20:29] Melissa: They all scroll vertically.

[01:20:29] Luke: And what's funny is, I have no followers on Twitter. No one will pay attention to me there at all. I've had Twitter for years. I have 5,000 followers. I get no likes, no retweets, I'm just dead in the water. So I don't really try to use Twitter to express myself, but it's my news feed. When I want to doomscroll and see how shitty the world is, I go on Twitter to torture myself. It's like that refreshing and the ding, ding, ding. It's a negative neurofeedback. 

[01:20:57] Melissa: So this is a really important thing because we talk about neuroplasticity. And it's gotten really popular. I've been doing this a long time. People thought I was loco when I was first talking about it. You can change the brain? Hell, yeah, you can change the brain. Everyone knows that now. Neuroplasticity. But there's positive neuroplasticity, and there's negative neuroplasticity. And that's a really important distinction. So you can build negative neuroplasticity in anything. Really in any habit. Any habit that you don't want is negative neuroplasticity.

[01:21:27] Moha: Like ruminating about what happened in a relationship, for example, or something.

[01:21:30] Melissa: You're building neuroplasticity in that pathway, which is going to make it that much harder. You just made a superhighway out of that thought.

[01:21:38] Moha: Negative thoughts. 

[01:21:38] Melissa: Exactly. And you have to have a more powerful stimulus than that rumination for six months to overcome it. And that's often where people will end up in therapy or in something else because their mind is going down that superhighway. They have to seek something outside to break that down because you have to stop traveling down that highway to let it break down. 

[01:22:02] Luke: Wow. That is deep. That is tweetable, which I would tweet if anyone listened to me on Twitter. Maybe you can do it. 

[01:22:10] Melissa: I don't have Twitter. Maybe I do from 10 years ago. 

[01:22:13] Luke: This concept of, uh, deleterious neuroplasticity. I literally never had that thought once. I'm just like, I know something's wrong when I'm on my phone too much, and I can't read a book or focus, and I just feel super sketchy. But that's so interesting. We're training the negative patterns into our brain. 

[01:22:35] Melissa: Yeah. It's what happens when a concept gets popular. You lose the meat of what's actually going on. 

[01:22:41] Luke: Yeah. Wow. Hardcore. Um, so it would stand to reason that on those good days, when I get up and set my prefrontal cortex-- it's such a hard word to say. What's the acronym? 

[01:22:57] Moha: PFC. 

[01:22:58] Luke: PFC. I think I'll say PFC. When I hook up the PFC with the oxygenated blood and I'm getting the neuroplasticity that we want, it makes sense that one would be more resilient to the hooks, the addiction of all of that fake stimuli. You're setting yourself up for success.

[01:23:16] Melissa: 100%. 

[01:23:18] Luke: You're setting yourself up for success. Uh, do we have anything going on in the military, in acute care, in the medical system? Are there any people that are under a tremendous amount of stress that are using Mendi?

[01:23:32] Moha: So we've had talks with the military, uh, with some branches. People from the Air Force have reached out. Uh, the UFC, for example, uses Mendi. When it comes to PTSD, when it comes to the military, twofold, obviously, having them be able to focus under those stressful situations and when it's needed, to be able to perform and be fully there and to be in the zone. Uh, and also, the traumatic events. 

[01:24:04] There's a lot of veterans and a lot of different people. Um, what we've been doing with Mendi right now is a lot of it has been B2C, but that will change into B2B, which we were already doing a few big things in, but also B2G. I believe that anybody, not only that has fought but anybody that's been in a war zone, should have access to this to naturally be able to improve their lives and supplement whatever else they're doing to be able to cope.

[01:24:36] Yeah. I mean, for me it was the nightmares, and for other people, it's even worse. But yeah, there is a world where everybody that's in that world will have access to this. Yeah. And I think a lot of it happens here in the US first. I mean, China's doing some stuff as well. I believe a lot of them have different intentions on how they use technology. They're using different technologies, for example, again, to manipulate the focus of students, teaching them how to focus and all that and, but it's more a surveillance type situation. I mean, it works, right?

[01:25:14] The light turns red. The teacher scolds you. That teaches you how to--it's a punishment reward system thing, I guess. Um, we feel that there's a more ethical way of doing that, and that everybody should have agency and control over their own stuff, and it's not a tool of manipulation.

[01:25:32] Luke: It's voluntary.

[01:25:34] Moha: Yeah. 

[01:25:35] Luke: Imagine you're a kid in school, you're in China, and you have ADD, and you can't focus, and your social credit score goes down. And then you go buy a loaf of bread, and they're like, sorry, your score fell too low. That's terrifying. That stuff just freaks me out. 

[01:25:50] Moha: Well, when you talk about military and stuff, it actually eats up on me. So I get anxiety. I get stressed knowing that there's so many people that need what we have that still haven't gotten it. So it's just like I'm thinking, you know what, if I would have started using Mendi at 35 instead of 40, what could I have achieved in those five years? How much better could I have done my FishBrain journey, all these companies? Do you understand? Whatever. My relationships. Bad breakups, all these bad decisions.

[01:26:19] Luke: Oh my God, I'm going through this.

[01:26:21] Moha: Wouldn't you kill to go back 20 years? 

[01:26:23] Luke: I'm going through the reel of how my brain used to ruin my life for me. 

[01:26:28] Moha: Imagine if you would have had the ability to make better decisions. That's an infinitely better life.

[01:26:36] Luke: Right, man. Because your life is dependent, obviously, on your decisions and the actions you take. And those are motivated by thoughts and feelings that emerge within. I think that's why meditation is so powerful. If you have the ability to be the observer of that phenomenon, there's a bit of a gap between what you're thinking and feeling and then what you do with it.

[01:27:00] So it sounds like meditation is giving us more of a pause, more of a gap. Someone says something that strikes you the wrong way, there's many different reactions, but two of them mainly. One of them being, ah, just immediately reacting back and wanting to punish or defend. And the other is observing, oh wow, that person just said that thing, now I'm having this hot sensation in my body, and I'm seeing-- yeah. And I'm seeing these thoughts start to form of what I want to say to hurt them or defend myself against them. It's microseconds in there, but being able to make those micro-decisions and change our actions has everything to do with the course of our life.

[01:27:44] Moha: It goes back to setting yourself up for success. You avoided a physical confrontation, for example, or you avoided, whatever, shooting heroin. Do you understand? It's these things. It's, uh, very tangible what we do. And by the way, I take no credit for it. I didn't build it. So two Swedish founders built it, namely Rickard Eklof, is the one that built the technology, and Sammy was basically the first guy.

[01:28:13] And their foray into it was that they had issues, and they needed it. Sammy is a deeply, deeply anxious person that went through everything, went to hell and back to find something that would help him. And that's where the genesis of Mendi started, when this genius that builds hardware that does touchscreens for Sony Ericsson, all this stuff, Rickard, walks in, and he's like, oh, you could help me build this thing? And he's like, yeah. Why does it cost this much money? I can build it for a lot less.

[01:28:41] And the other guy was like, oh great. Let's build it, and let's sell it expensive. And then Rickard's a little bit of a communist. He's like, no, why that expensive? Then he brings me on, which, I've been called a little bit of a communist myself. I'm like, yeah, even cheaper. Let's make sure everybody gets it for free by 2030. And that's the path we're on.

[01:28:59] But I don't want people to wait until 2030, to be honest, because what's going to happen in the next seven years? How many people need to die, and how many people need to get beaten up, and how many people need to do drugs that they could have avoided, and how many failed relationships that could have been avoided? 

[01:29:19] I think that's the thing that really eats up at me, is not moving fast enough, but doing things consciously and having smart people that are not motivated by just make money, make money, make money around me because then we can do things right. Not fast, but right. Just exactly the way that we should be doing them. 

[01:29:39] Luke: I love it. So I talked about the scoring when we first started this conversation. And I don't know if either of you are geeky enough to dive into this, or if you are, how deep, but when we're looking at the performance score, so as I said, today was a pretty good day. I got an 83. What is this 41% neural activity actually mean? What's happening with that? Do you want to go? 

[01:30:05] Melissa: You can speak to that. 

[01:30:06] Moha: Yeah, so basically, you've increased the baseline by 41%. So you've increased oxygenated blood flow in response to neural activation as you're playing the training game. So when you look at the scores and when you look at the numbers, uh, in the app, there's a very clear explanation, but basically what it does is it's an algorithm that will reward consistency on top of your actual performance. 

[01:30:32] So there's a little bit of, uh, and maybe to the people that are super black and white, they don't want to hear this, but it's almost like you get an extra point for going to the gym, even if you don't do the best squatting session in the world. Because what you want to do is you want to reward consistency. Because consistency, it really adds up. 

[01:30:54] It's the little things that you do that will really change your life. It's not that one big thing you do right now. It's the little things that you do day in and day out. Those are the things that are going to prevent conditions, that are going to improve things, that are going to improve your life, that are going to improve how every day looks for you. So that's what it is. Basically, it's a combination of your actual performance plus your consistency and commitment. 

[01:31:22] Luke: Got it. Okay, cool. And before I forget, I know you weren't the engineer that worked on this, but I want to compliment-- and just pass this along to your geeks in the factory or whatever. I mean that in the best sense.

[01:31:35] Moha: In Sweden. 

[01:31:36] Luke: Um, dude, I find there's a huge issue with most wearables that sync. That they're really hard to sync. It's a pain in the ass. I mean, so many people, I'm so grateful they have, but they've sent me their technology, something like a Mendi, some wearable. And you're like, cool. Download the app, make an account, turn on the Bluetooth thing, sync, won't sync, forgets it. You come the next day, can't connect, and I just throw it in the trash.

[01:32:02] I'm so frustrated. So that's one thing that I've actually really enjoyed about this, is it's super easy to use. Click the on button, open the app, connects every single time, instantly, no problem. And for those, uh, listening too, one of my concerns, and long-time listeners will know one of my concerns is always EMF exposure.

[01:32:24] So there's a lot of great technologies that come out. A sauna or something. Oh, saunas are great for you. Well, you measure them with an EMF meter, and you're getting fried with all kinds of, uh, different um, frequencies. Not good. Now there's companies that do it better than others, but in the wearable space, that's always been challenging for me because I don't want to put stuff on my body, especially on my brain, that has EMF.

[01:32:47] This is actually the first one because I know it has to have Bluetooth in order to work because the device is talking to the app in real time. It's not recording data and then uploading it to the app. This is the only one that I've actually been like, you know what? I don't care about the Bluetooth. It's 15 minutes a day, and honestly, I've never had EMF testers in here, and just my phone sitting two feet away from me for an hour as I watch TV or something is way more radiation than I would ever get from 15 minutes of, uh, Bluetooth. But I want to let you know. 

[01:33:22] If they buy this thing, and they're like, wait, Luke. Does the EMF guy have Bluetooth? Personally, I ain't worried about it at all. It's a cost-to-benefit ratio. It's like drinking a great, uh, I was talking to you earlier about a canned drink that has natural flavors. And some natural flavors are, I'm sure, more artificial and toxic than others.

[01:33:41] I don't really care if something has natural flavors, or citric acid, or whatever, that might not be optimal if the net benefit by far exceeds that. So I like the connectivity, and I like that it's only 15 minutes, or even shorter. I just happen to pick the longest, uh, seconds. But that's how the app works. Kudos to whoever designed it so that it doesn't frustrate the shit out of me.

[01:34:01] Melissa: So for the connectivity thing--

[01:34:04] Luke: You know what I'm talking about? You work with these technologies all the time. 

[01:34:08] Melissa: Multiple times a week, struggling with some Bluetooth something. And I always make a joke, I have to go get one of the younger doctors to figure it out. But the amount of time, I just won't do it. I'm like, we're not doing that today. And I've literally not once ever had an issue with Mendi. Ever. And that is another reason why I will grab it. Because I know it's going to work. 

[01:34:30] Luke: And for you, it's even worse because when I'm trying to connect some device, some wearable, it's just annoying and frustrating to me, but you're under the pressure of having a client in there.

[01:34:41] Melissa: Oh, for sure. I have the parents, and they're like, we're paying you how much and say you're trying to figure out-- 

[01:34:45] Luke: You're fumbling around, like, oh, I think it'll connect. 

[01:34:47] Melissa: For sure. I grab one of my techs. I'm like, okay, you come over and figure this out while I continue. But it actually isn't a really difficult thing because there is some great stuff that just is poorly built.

[01:34:59] Moha: And it comes back to what you-- everybody in Stockholm and Sweden, they'll be hearing this, and I'm sure they'll say thank you. Um, but that's the thing, is that we built a clinical grade fNIRS device. It's a clinical grade functional near infrared spectroscopy device that could have been sold way, way, way more expensive. Um, it's just that there was no need to. We're not in the business of milking as much money from users as possible. We're in the business of giving a single mom with four kids something that can help them without her having to worry about not making rent. That's the approach. Um, but yeah, I appreciate that. It's a very well-thought device.

[01:35:48] Luke: It makes me glad that I don't have to throw it in the trash. Because I get so frustrated when shit won't connect. I don't know. Maybe I need to do Mendi more and be more patient.

[01:35:56] Moha: And not be as frustrated. 

[01:35:57] Luke: Yeah. It happens in my car all the time. Um, when I go on long drives, I'll turn off all the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in my car because it's just off the charts EMF. And then the next day, I won't know where I'm going, so I want to see my ways on the dash, so I turn the Wi-Fi and all that back on. Phone never connects. So if anyone at BMW is listening, get your shit together so we can--

[01:36:16] Melissa: Contact the people at Mendi.

[01:36:17] Luke: We can turn it on and off easier. So that was the neural activity. Then the next part of the score is, uh, control. And as I said, mine today was a whopping 43 seconds. What does that mean?  

[01:36:30] Moha: Which is great. There's people that can, uh, yeah, I have a buddy of mine, uh, Mikey, and his mom can literally do 150 seconds, 200. We have different brains. Our brains are very, very different. There's no way that I can compete with somebody. I was just chatting with Kevin Durant, uh, a couple of hours ago, and he's seven feet tall. He's way better at some shit than I am. There's no way we can-- that's how the brains are. If I'm comparing my way of playing basketball to Kevin Durant's, I'm fucked. There's no way.

[01:37:08] And, uh, I think you can explain it a little bit better, but control is how long you are able to maintain your focus. And what you want to do is you want to hold it there for as long as possible, and you want to train it so that you can control the ball at will. And that's something that takes a lot of work. Some people get it very quickly. Some people, like me, it takes a long time for them to get really good at it. I'm not really good at it.

[01:37:32] Luke: When you're watching the ball in the app, this is one thing I've wondered, and I'm sure some of these answers are like in the FAQ of the app, so forgive me for not just reading that, but we can share with everyone here. I'm always a bit, um, confused as to how much effort to put in. Do I want to get my temples engaged and try to focus really hard on the ball or just chill? I've rested on more just like relaxing, just staying relaxed, breathing, a temperate breath, and just gently watching the ball, and trying to not be distracted.

[01:38:09] Melissa: Part of it is what neuroplasticity do you want to build? I don't want you frustrated and focusing because that's still going to build some neuroplasticity. That's my clinical observation from it. You can probably speak from more of the actual Mendi side of it, but it's like when I have people-- we do a lot of core work in the office, which seems like, what are you doing here?

[01:38:31] You have people doing planks? Well, yeah. That feeds into midline cerebellum. It makes for a healthier brain, all of these different things. But it's very different than an athlete training to complete fatigue because I'm trying to train their brain. So I'm like, when you start to lose form, you stop. And then we do it again and again. So I want it to be proper form. So really, for Mendi, you want to sit, you want to be relaxed. 

[01:38:53] Moha: Yeah. More is not better.

[01:38:53] Melissa: I don't want you stressing because you're reinforcing that in your body. That's the same thing. Okay, when this ball goes up, I'm all tense. I don't want that reinforced for you. 

[01:39:02] Luke: Okay. Another thing I've noticed, because I'm always experimenting with shit to see if I can get better at it, and some of the things I've done have made it worse, which I'll tell you about in a minute. But one thing I notice is if I'm doing a Mendi session and I take a really deep breath, I'll get a little boost, and the ball will start to go up, and I just assume, boy, you just got more oxygen in your blood, and it's seeing that. Is that what that is? 

[01:39:25] Moha: Yeah. You're hacking the system. There's people that be like, oh, I do pushups, and then I do a Mendi session. We're like, that's not the point. That would be the same as you going to the gym, getting on the squat rack, and just not knowing what the numbers are. The barbell is like-- just get rid of the colors, get rid of the numbers, and just be like, oh, that's great. You could have done a 100 pounds. You could have done 400 pounds. Awesome. How do you improve if you don't know? 

[01:39:51] Or being on the treadmill and running and not seeing the numbers. You don't know if you're running at five or if you're running at 15. So how do you know that you're actually building up that resilience and that strength? So that's the thing. What you want to do is you just want to relax and just basically do nothing. Just relax and do your Mendi session. 

[01:40:12] Luke: So you don't have to strain and be pressured.

[01:40:13] Moha: Don't be agitated. It's actually about being in the zone. And once you're there, you're in there. You're in that flow state. For me, my way of doing it, as always, is I start to feel my forehead get warmer. It's been something that I've used from the beginning, is I will just start recruiting the blood to my prefrontal cortex. That's how I imagine it, and that's basically how I do it. It's basically what I'm focusing on it. And of course, if you talk to me, it'll drop. And I need to be better at not being distracted if you talk to me now.

[01:40:55] I do Mendi sections, for example, in the back of cars, in an Uber. I'll do a Mendi session on a flight. I fly all the time. I'm flying everywhere. I will always do a Mendi session on a flight. For me, that's how it is. I just focus on getting the blood to the-- I'm consciously activating the neuroplasticity. Um, that's my technique. I don't know what you tell your clients, um, how they use it.

[01:41:19] Melissa: Just relax, usually, and think about the ball going. That's usually how I describe it, especially to the kids. Use your imagination. So they're sitting there in a relaxed state, but using their imagination because that's still going to start to bring blood flow. And then it starts having like the video of [Inaudible], right? 

[01:41:37] Luke: Yeah.

[01:41:38] Melissa: He literally goes, what do I do? And I said, just think about it going up. And he looks at it, and it starts going up, and he is like, whoa, freaking out. And that's so cool for a kid to see the power that they have over their own mind. I mean, that's life-changing for a kiddo to see that.

[01:41:56] Luke: Do you find kids respond well to this because it does have the look and feel of a game of sorts? 

[01:42:02] Melissa: Oh yeah. Yeah. It's fun. I mean, I do a lot of boring stuff for them in the office, so this is a much more fun thing than-- yes. Than Stimpod their brachial plexus and their arms jumping. That's not so fun for them. 

[01:42:17] Luke: That's hilarious. I had some of that the other day with a functional neurologist over at Alive and Well, Dr. Karla. I don't even know her last name. I just call her Dr. Carla. But yeah, she has all those vagal nerve activators and all this stuff. She hooks me up to all this crazy stuff. I imagine as a kid, this would be way more fun than some of that would be. Uh, what about, uh, the resilience? As I said today, I think this might be the highest resilience of 11,600 that I've ever gotten. What does that score tell you? 

[01:42:47] Moha: Yeah. The resilience, it's a metric. And you can go and check in the app, the explanation of them, but basically, it's the sum of the strength that you've added to your prefrontal cortex.

[01:43:00] Luke: Oh, cool. Cool. Cool.

[01:43:02] ADMARKER

[01:43:02] So I've done some experiments with this, trying to just-- I usually do it in the morning, so I switch up the morning routine to see what gives me the highest score. I was doing this thing called the Lucio light back there, this hypnagogic psychedelic light, and I put on this software called, uh, NuCalm, which is a neuroacoustic software, it's really relaxing. Drops you into theta. So I'd basically just be in a drooling psychedelic zone. And then I'd do my Mendi, and I would get really low scores.

[01:43:30] Moha: I could imagine that. 

[01:43:31] Luke: I think I was just spaced out, theta, not activated. And I was like, okay, that sucks. So I'm not doing it that way. Then I started going down to the BioCharger and sitting in front of the BioCharger. Dude, if you do the Mendi in front of the BioCharger, it goes crazy. 

[01:43:48] Melissa: You're brave. I would not sit in front of the BioCharger with Mendi on my head.

[01:43:52] Luke: Well, brave/stupid. Depends what you look at. But yeah, it goes crazy, but I don't feel like it's-- I've only done it a few times because I feel like, well, I'm totally cheating. 

[01:44:02] Moha: You're hacking. 

[01:44:03] Luke: My brain's getting so much energy artificially that the thing is just going-- but then it's interesting because you can watch the BioCharger. It has these frequency sets, and you can watch-- it's on 1700 kilohertz, or whatever it is. And so you can watch it cycle through the sets, and I would watch my Mendi score, and it would be like, BioCharger's going, and my little ball is cranking up, and then the BioCharger switches gears in a different frequency, and then it goes-- and just plummet. It's really trippy to watch. Yeah. I thought, well, am I really getting benefit? Because my brain's getting so much help.

[01:44:38] Moha: It's like you doing a military press and I'm behind you.

[01:44:41] Luke: Yeah, something like that. 

[01:44:42] Moha: You're not getting that much help. 

[01:44:43] Melissa: You're going to take the time to do it.

[01:44:44] Luke: Something like that. But I'm an experimenter and all that. 

[01:44:47] Melissa: That makes sense. 

[01:44:47] Luke: So I did another experiment a couple months ago. Um, I was packing for a evening, uh, plant medicine ceremony, and I was putting my minerals and my little survival kit together. And I thought, ooh, I'm not going to promise this to myself, but if I remember, and it's appropriate, it feels like it's okay to do within my own experience, I'm going to do a Mendi on medicine to see what happens.

[01:45:11] So it's toward the end of the night, and I had already had the peak experience, but it was still definitely not able to drive a car or anything like that. I was just going to rest. And at the end, I remembered it was in my bag, and I did when I was like, I feel like my brain is so, uh, on fire, in the best sense, just firing on all cylinders.

[01:45:32] I'm like, ooh, I bet this Mendi score is going to be super high. So I put it on, and do the 15-minute session. Worst score ever. Yeah, it's interesting. I don't know what that means from a neurochemistry, uh, point of view. And I was like, okay, note to self. The prefrontal cortex, not activated, uh, with those particular substances.

[01:45:51] Yeah. So that was my one. But that leads me to a question about neuroplasticity. So there's a growing trend, which I think is largely positive where people, um, even within the scientific community are understanding that certain substances like psilocybin, for example, can dramatically improve neuroplasticity.

[01:46:11] Moha: A lot of the people on our team are experts in this and study them, like Ben Rein, for example, from Stanford. He'll do everything. Research on, uh, what's it called? Uh, on mice with MDMA. And they start behaving in a completely different way.

[01:46:30] Luke: I bet. 

[01:46:30] Moha: They're so nice to each other. 

[01:46:31] Luke: They start hugging each other. They start saying, I love you, man. That's interesting. So I wonder, as was the case this morning, and I don't know if this is the sole reason for this, but I got really high scores, and I had that microdose that I described earlier today. I'm not encouraging any illegal behavior. Do the stuff where it's legal, kids. But let's say someone was microdosing LSD, DMT, mushrooms, or whatever, and you're encouraging that neuroplasticity, and you're in that state. Could there, hypothetically, be an added benefit of using the Mendi while your brain is very neuroplastic?

[01:47:14] Melissa: Can I say it off the record? 

[01:47:16] Luke: Yes. Everything here is off--

[01:47:18] Melissa: This is not medical advice. Um, it makes sense to me. That's what I can say. Theoretically, that would make sense to me. But I have a-- it's going to piss some people off, a controversial view of all these people trying to build neuroplasticity because what the fuck are you doing with it? When your brain is trying to create neuroplasticity, it does it in a very specific way So you're building all of these new roads, and if you think of it like a subdivision with all of these roads, okay, you're microdosing and you have all of these new roads. That's not efficient at all.

[01:47:50] You want superhighways, ideally. Positive neuroplasticity, not negative neuroplasticity. So what I have observed, and my friends, I have a lot of friends in LA, they've been doing this for a long time, there's some things that don't speak to me to do, and this is something that I've just chosen to observe. And they're suddenly having these different issues or perseverations or these things, and I'm like you're creating this neuroplasticity and you're not doing anything with it. 

[01:48:14] And now it's actually less efficient because the brain goes through building neuroplasticity and then pruning. So then it creates those superhighways is how it should go. So when someone's in my office and I'm trying to create positive neuroplasticity, I'm doing it in a very specific way to build these superhighways. Yes, exactly. It's not like willy nilly neuroplasticity is good. Let's just do this. 

[01:48:37] Luke: Oh, that's interesting. 

[01:48:38] Melissa: Because then I observe people coming in and they're like, I'm having all of these vague things go on, and you're actually reducing efficiency.

[01:48:47] Luke: Oh, this is interesting. So in the realm of microdosing-- 

[01:48:52] Melissa: And this is mostly my observations over the years and my knowledge of neurology. I haven't read a paper on it. It's probably out there. I hope it is, but I had time to get to that yet. 

[01:49:03] Luke: I mean, it fundamentally makes sense, though. It has to do with everything, with plant medicines, and psychedelics, and the integration.

[01:49:11] Melissa: That's the key part of it. If you're going to do it, integrate it. Do something with it. So to answer your question, theoretically, if someone's going to microdose, at least they're doing something with it.

[01:49:21] Luke: Right. 

[01:49:21] Melissa: Put the Mendi on, do something with it, I guess. I don't know. I don't know if I can legally say that. 

[01:49:26] Luke: This is a great point because this is why psychedelics can be so dangerous. And I talk about them a lot on the show. I always do my best to give disclaimers. It's not for everyone. Be careful. 

[01:49:38] Melissa: They can have beautiful results, but-- 

[01:49:41] Luke: But earlier in life, like you, you had your overdose on alcohol, or tequila, coke, and LSD, which I'm sure I've had that combination for sure. 

[01:49:49] Moha: Many times. 

[01:49:50] Luke: Just didn't OD. But I mean, thinking back in my early years, when I was, a kid with unhealed trauma and was addicted to all these drugs, and I was using psychedelics like candy, I mean, just no discrimination whatsoever and had so many bad trips, I can't even count. So I was traumatizing myself emotionally, traumatizing my brain by creating all this neuroplasticity and then putting myself in really dangerous, toxic situations. 

[01:50:17] Melissa: Theoretically. 

[01:50:18] Luke: Which is the definition of a bad trip. It's like you think it's going to be one thing. You didn't plan shit well, and now you're in a dark place because you're so sensitive and open to the energy. 

[01:50:30] Melissa: It's powerful. 

[01:50:30] Moha: You've added all this unnecessary complexity, I think. That's how I would understand it. I think that the beauty of things being easy is that they're simple. So the analogy of the highway makes sense to me, but a bunch of little dirt roads doesn't sound easy to me.

[01:50:48] Melissa: It's not easy, it's not efficient, it's not what the brain wants. The brain wants efficiency. 

[01:50:53] Luke: Wow. I'm so glad I asked that because that's going to be really useful for a lot of people that are just following the trend. Oh, everyone's microdosing. It's good for your brain. Well, it depends on what you're doing with your brain when it's in a plastic state.

[01:51:05] Melissa: Totally. 

[01:51:06] Luke: Shit. So we should play an instrument, do a Mendi, spend some quality time with someone. I don't know. Now I'm thinking much more intentionally about it. I think myself and many other people think about microdosing as just another supplement, like a nootropic. It's like, oh yeah, today I'll do some LSD, tomorrow I'll do some mushrooms, whatever. Because you do, subjectively, at least in my experience, um, have access to more focus, or creativity, and a better mood. You might not be anxious or depressed, but it's a really good point that you might be building grooves in ways that don't serve you. 

[01:51:41] Melissa: Well, and it depends on the state of the person when they start, like you said. When you were younger versus now. When you've worked through stuff and you're doing it, that's different too. 

[01:51:50] Luke: True. True, true. What do you see happening, um, results wise in your clinic with kids with autism and, uh, issues like that, using the Mendi and other modalities that you work with? 

[01:52:04] Melissa: Just in general, it's making life easier. That's how it felt for me. Everything was just hard. I'm like, why is everything just so much harder? It feels harder for me, harder to focus, harder to deal with the lights, the sounds, whatever. So a lot of it, I'll describe it to the parents or the kids if they're old enough, and I'm like, hey, there's nothing wrong with you, but what if we could make life a little easier? Not so hard. And they're like, yeah, that sounds good. Sounds good to everybody. 

[01:52:37] So whatever modality I'm using, and Mendi is absolutely included in that, that's the perspective. And obviously, I'm boiling that down to a very simple explanation to, I'm looking at a super complicated picture of this person's brain. But for autism patients, we see someone who, it might be me. I have kids, I come in, and I'm just a stressed out mom. But it also might be non-verbal, tantrums all the time, the really, really severe cases. We see all of that. I don't usually put the Mendi on those kids because it's going to get chucked across the room.

[01:53:17] Luke: They'll break it. 

[01:53:17] Melissa: Yes 

[01:53:18] Luke: Wow. And how has your life changed since you diagnosed yourself or were diagnosed with autism later in life?

[01:53:28] Melissa: I know. Self diagnosis is completely acceptable within this, but because I'm in this field, I actually got two separate professional opinions because I just didn't ever want someone being like, oh, that was your opinion, anything like that. So I did have that done from two separate people. And really, it's allowed myself two things. More grace, and not so hard on myself, because I tend to historically be very hard on myself. 

[01:53:53] I go very much into my masculine, and I've really worked in the last few years to stay in my feminine. And when I'm being hard on myself, I'm just expecting myself to push harder, to work in that masculine energy that it just causes burnout, especially in females. And I've done that repeatedly in my life, and I'm resilient as fuck. So I get up and go again, but that's not necessarily the ideal way to do it 

[01:54:17] So it's allowed myself more grace, and it's also created a different way of looking at myself because I know what to do, and I have the tools. That's such a rare thing that now I'm like, oh, okay, I need to bring up my right, uh, brain. I need to do some vagal stim. I need to do the Mendi work on my prefrontal cortex, and I know the things to do. So before, I knew I was a left brain female, but I was like, eh, whatever, not taking the time for it. So it's really allowed me the space to be like, this, actually, is important. So that's it. Those two things.

[01:54:54] Luke: Amazing And that's so cool that you had the impetus to do that, to just look into it. What a huge change in your life. 

[01:55:01] Melissa: I know, it really is. 

[01:55:02] Luke: It's wild. 

[01:55:03] Melissa: Yeah.

[01:55:03] Luke: You could have lived your entire life not knowing that information. So hitting up against-- 

[01:55:10] Melissa: I was very, very close to my grandmother, and I'm quite certain that she was autistic as well. We were very close. As young as I can remember, she's chasing me down with essential oils and smudging me, all of these things that where-- 

[01:55:22] Luke: Where did you all live? 

[01:55:23] Melissa: In Wisconsin. 

[01:55:24] Luke: Oh, really? In Wisconsin 

[01:55:26] Melissa: She was a Reiki master. She did all the things. 

[01:55:29] Luke: Really? 

[01:55:29] Melissa: Yeah. This is funny. Um, I was young, so don't hold it against me, but I didn't know that Atlantis wasn't real until I was in middle school. Because she spoke of it. I obviously have my thoughts on it now, but I feel like she spoke of it as though it was another continent. So I was just in that world, and it was such a blessing to be in that world because I can go so into the spiritual side and so into the scientific side and really relate to both, and then bring it together with the brain because it all still comes back to the brain and a healthy brain. 

[01:56:05] Luke: Wow. 

[01:56:05] Melissa: Because I've sat in ceremony. I've sat with people who are very spiritual, and they're just perpetually lost because their brain is just not functioning the way it should. You have to work on that. Yeah. 

[01:56:20] Luke: Thank God for new-age granny. That's great. I love that. Tell us about your clinic. Where can people find you? It's the NeuroSolution Center?

[01:56:31] Melissa: NeuroSolution Center of Austin, yeah. We're in Cedar Park. Not too far from there. 

[01:56:36] Luke: And what's the website? We'll put it in the show notes at lukestorey.com/mendi so you can click on it. 

[01:56:41] Melissa: It's, um, neurosolutionatx.com, I think. But double check the show notes. 

[01:56:46] Luke: Okay, cool. We'll make sure and get the right one in there. 

[01:56:48] Melissa: Yes, make sure you do. And it's amazing. It's an incredible team. And like I said before, it's not just me. I mean, it is literally everyone from the front desk to the techs that I work with. It completely makes the team. And everyone who comes in can see that. Because it's a hard job. Day in and day out. It's very emotional. I mean, I saw patients for four hours before I came in here. I don't stop.

[01:57:12] It's four hours straight, a lunch break, and four hours straight again. From patient to patient. I don't stop. And so it takes a team. But also, this is the first office I've worked in where we take it seriously. If we can tell someone is getting off, if I'm getting really aspy, they're like, hey, work on yourself. And it's a beautiful environment to be in, where someone will hand you a Mendi, or a Stimpod, or grab a couple lasers. It's a really good environment to be in. We walk the talk. 

[01:57:42] Luke: Awesome. It's a great resource. I'm glad we met. Thanks for the intro, dude. Moha's a great connector. I think he and I share that skill. So does Josh. Josh is the same way. I was like, hey, man, can you bring someone sciencey to talk? We'll just shoot the shit and not get down to the nitty gritty because we're both like that, and he's like, I know the perfect person. It really worked out well.

[01:58:06] Moha: I just met her. She's great. I'm going to bring her. 

[01:58:08] Luke: So cool. So you live, Moha, in Sweden most of the time, or do you have a--

[01:58:15] Moha: I've probably spent more time in Austin this year than anywhere else. I'm in LA now for a few weeks. I'm in the US a lot this year. 

[01:58:22] Luke: I mean, where do you have a home?

[01:58:24] Moha: Stockholm, Sweden.

[01:58:25] Luke: Stockholm, Sweden.

[01:58:26] Moha: But I'm going to be in the US a lot. I got some trips back and forth to Dubai, which has become a base, uh, as well. 

[01:58:35] Luke: And do you have a residence in Costa Rica, or do your parents still live there?

[01:58:39] Moha: Yes, yeah. I've been in Costa Rica three, four times this year already.

[01:58:43] Luke: Wow.

[01:58:44] Moha: And it's only July.

[01:58:45] Luke: Cool. 

[01:58:46] Moha: I go there a lot.

[01:58:47] Luke: I'm jealous. 

[01:58:48] Moha: We need to do a trip together. 

[01:58:48] Luke: I've only been once. We didn't want to leave. Alyson had never been there, and she was like, we got to move here. I'm done. We just got to Austin. She's a jungle girl. She's a jungle cat. That's her book right there.

[01:59:02] Moha: Can't wait to meet her. Oh, is that-- that looks incredible. 

[01:59:05] Luke: The book's called Animal Power. 

[01:59:07] Moha: I love that. I'll get that.

[01:59:08] Melissa: I'm going to dig into that. 

[01:59:09] Luke: That one got the cover. Yeah. So you're going to be spending time, uh, more in the States. Here's my vote. I recommend that you get a place in Austin.

[01:59:18] Moha: Yeah. 

[01:59:19] Luke: Yeah. Get a little apartment, man. There's a lot going on here. There's a lot of great people like me. 

[01:59:22] Moha: I love Austin. 

[01:59:23] Luke: Josh Trent. All of our friends. 

[01:59:25] Moha: Well, I've got family here now. I consider you guys family. The second time I've seen you, but you know how it's been since the first day, man. I pulled you aside and I said, I love you. We're going to be friends, man. I want to hang out with you more.

[01:59:36] Luke: Yeah, you do. 

[01:59:37] Moha: So thank you for having me.

[01:59:38] Luke: Yeah, it's been great. It's been great. No, I love that dinner, like I said, because we all, I don't know. It was almost a round table set up where each person had their lane, and we all got to share. And I find it fun when you're in a social situation. I mean, I love learning about other people. I'm very interested in people, which is why I sit and talk to them for a living. But it's also fun sometimes to be able to express yourself and share you too. So that night was really fun because we all got a little time just to sprinkle our magic, uh, at the table. So that was real cool. 

[02:00:13] Moha: Beautiful night. 

[02:00:14] Luke: All right, you guys. Well, I think we did it. Hot damn, thank you so much for your time and energy today. It's been really fun. I feel like we can just keep talking. I just want to hang out and shoot shit. But for the benefit of the listener, we will shut this one down--

[02:00:26] Moha: And keep talking off camera. 

[02:00:29] Luke: And, uh, we'll see you on the next one. 

[02:00:31] Moha: Thank you.

[02:00:31] Melissa: Thank you. 


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