388. Cognitive Superpowers with Microdosing, Nootropics, Smart Drugs & Peptides w/ Dr. Dan Stickler

Dr. Dan Stickler

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. Dan Stickler unearths the science behind the most innovative treatments for brain optimization and improved cognition. 

Dr. Daniel L. Stickler is the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of The Apeiron Center for Human Potential and Chief Science Officer for Apeiron Academy. He is the visionary pioneer behind systems-based precision lifestyle medicine, a new paradigm that re-defines medicine from the old symptoms based disease model to one of limitless peak performance in all aspects of life. A physician to high-performing executives and entrepreneurs who want to upgrade their current state, he’s also an author, speaker, blogger and podcaster. He is the Medical Director for the Neurohacker Collective, a Google consultant for wearable technology, epigenetics, and AI in healthcare and a guest lecturer at Stanford University on Epigenetics in Clinical Practice.

He discovered that lifestyle was the key to creating an optimized life and his journey to find the ideal approach to optimizing human potential took him on a path through functional medicine, alternative care, holistic, naturopathic, and age-management medicine. Each modality fell short of the outcome of creating a truly optimized human mainly because they focused on the disease model of treating symptoms as opposed to a model that focuses on human systems, homeostatic balance and optimization. In 2008, a new world opened through the lens of genetics and epigenetics and his near obsession like fascination of the potentials for personalized human systems design led to the realization that we truly have the ability within us to take charge of our destiny and become the architects of our evolution.

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.

I don’t know about you, but I have entered this year with a clear-cut intention to keep my mind, and my brain, in optimum condition. I figured an uptick in collective brain functionality is something we’re all in dire need of right now, which is why I invited Dr. Dan Stickler to join the show. As medical director for the Nuerohacker collective and co-founder of The Apeiron Center for Human Potential, he’s easily one of my brainiest neighbors here in Austin, TX. 

Join us as we go full-throttle on the cutting-edge ammunition you need to supercharge your brain and feel fully sovereign in your meat suit. We talk about how ketamine is transforming the realm of neurofeedback, the nootropic wonders of Qualia, all things peptides, and the legitimacy of microdosing. You’ll learn about every physical modality that can boost your bandwidth. Buckle up!

05:40 — Dr. Dan’s Path to Optimization Medicine 

  • Optimizing the body beyond the average 
  • Looking for patterns over a singular root cause 
  • The consequences of over-identifying with a medical diagnosis 

18:47 — Brain Optimization + Stimulation 

57:53 — Natural Products vs. Synthetic: Is There a Difference?

  • How foreign substances react in our body 
  • Is “natural” really better for you?
  • How ceremony and ritual affects outcome 

01:10:15 — The Peptide Lowdown 

01:42:00 — Microdosing as Therapy 

More about this episode.

Watch on YouTube.

[00:00:00] LukeStorey: I'm Luke Storey. For the past 22 years, I've been relentlesslycommitted to my deepest passion, designing the ultimate lifestyle based on themost powerful principles of spirituality, health, psychology, and personaldevelopment. The Life Stylist podcast is a show dedicated to sharing mydiscoveries and the experts behind them with you. Good to see you, Dan.

[00:00:27] DanStickler: You, too.

[00:00:28] LukeStorey: Yeah, man. So, I'm glad we got to do this one in person.

[00:00:30] DanStickler: Yeah, both Austin, I'd say.

[00:00:32] LukeStorey: Live in the flesh. Yeah. Our last one was a couple of years ago. Iwould say, maybe even three years ago or something.

[00:00:37] DanStickler: 2017, yeah.

[00:00:38] LukeStorey: Yeah, we did it on Skype, which is never my preference. So, I'mglad to see you here and I'm so glad you live in Austin. We have so many mutualfriends in the community here, and I was stoked to be able to connect.

[00:00:49] DanStickler: Yeah, I was surprised when you reached out and you were here inAustin. I was just like, yeah, wow. Everybody is in Austin now.

[00:00:56] LukeStorey: We kind of are, kind of are. I always tell people that come herefrom places like California, let's not vote this place into another California.

[00:01:04] DanStickler: Please don't, yes.

[00:01:05] LukeStorey: Yeah, I voted the other day, and I think I did pretty good. I did alittle research, and yeah, I think I made some good choices. I don't know if itmattered, but-

[00:01:12] DanStickler: Yeah, you made a choice.

[00:01:14] LukeStorey: One proposition that I did not get to vote for that I wanted topassed in my favor, and so I guess they did it without me. So, I guess let'sstart at the beginning. What led you into optimization medicine? I know you'vebeen through a few iterations through the functional medicine movement and someother things. Give us a bit of a truncated journey that led you to thecutting-edge stuff you're into now.

[00:01:40] DanStickler: Quick story is I got into medical school, didn't really resonatewith the disease model and pharmacology of things, and really thought medicineshould be something about enhancing human state and enhancing well-being ingeneral. And also, worked with disease model, but not disease model solely, andthat's what it's turned out to be. And so, with that disenchantment, I'mlooking at it like, what am I going to do? This isn't what I really signed upfor. 

[00:02:14] LukeStorey: But I did find surgery, which I enjoyed. I loved working with myhands and I'm kind of ambidextrous, so working in surgery, especiallylaparoscopic surgery was great, and had a great time with it, and started doingweight loss surgery, because I could take people from a baseline of quality oflife and bring them up, which everything else in medicine is a stepwise postponementof death, essentially. And did that for several years, but then discoveredsomething called age management medicine.

[00:02:45] DanStickler: And that introduced me to a world that I had longed for buthadn't known where you could actually work with healthy people and help them tohave more well-being in their life. And that was where it all started, and thatwas in 2005. By 2009, I decided didn't want to do surgery anymore, so walkedaway from that, and focused solely on growing this aspect of what we weredoing, because it was kind of a hobby at first.

[00:03:15] But it hasjust changes all the time, all the new stuff coming. And I mean, I was giving atalk for Paleo FX, and I'd spoken there, and it was 2014, and I talked aboutage rejuvenation and all these technologies that were coming. And I gave thetopic in this year and it was like, okay, these are the technologies we're nowusing in our clients, and it was like that premonition based on the theoriesback then that all kind of came into fruition in the course of five or sixyears.

[00:03:52] LukeStorey: Yeah, we're really living in a very cool time with renegades likeyou out there leading the charge. Seriously, because I remember even years agowhen I discovered that there was this other branch of medicine they callfunctional medicine or working with naturopath, et cetera, and that's benefitedme a lot, because you can go get labs, and then essentially, you're replacingpharmaceuticals with supplementation, typically. 

[00:04:18] But stillwithin that, I find it a little bit lacking, because you're still averagingyourself against the average person. And the life that I lead does not settlefor just being average, so what is optimal then is not optimal, is kind of anindividual thing, right? So, you can look at a set of labs, and while this iskind of where the average person is, and maybe this is optimal for thosepeople, but what's optimal for you as an individual biological organism. So, Ithink what we're doing right now is getting closer to that.

[00:04:53] DanStickler: But I went down the road of functional medicine thinking that wasthe way to go for me, because in theory, it sounded great, but I found a lot offunctional medicine was still focused on the disease, and they just treated itdifferently. They treated it with more natural products, actually, some morelifestyle stuff, which I like. But it was still a focus on that. It wasn't afocus on optimization.

[00:05:21] And they'reall big on the root cause and understanding systems. The human system is not areductionistic system, so there's never a root cause. And when you look at it,you have to say, okay, what kind of system is it? It's a complex system. And toanalyze complex system, it's more of recognizing patterns and seeing whathappens. Instead of cause and effect, you're looking at patterns and evolutionwith it, and what does it end up causing in that regard, but not a direct causeand effect.

[00:06:05] All thesethings contributing to give one outcome. It's a perfect segue way into thebrain, because it's how the brain works, where everybody is looking for the onething that's going to give them that limitless pill, and it doesn't exist.You're not going to have the one thing that's going to get everybody there.People will come to me and they're like looking for cognitive enhancement, andwe have all kinds of tools for it, but then they don't want to make the effortto get good sleep. They don't want to have good nutrition. They don't make aneffort to have these. And without those, without that foundation and thosecontributing to the outcome, not any of the enhancements are going to make muchof a difference for them.

[00:06:49] LukeStorey: I've heard you talk about when people come to your clinic and theyhave some pathology of some sort that you won't even allow them to continue tocontextualize it in a way, I have diabetes, I have whatever, what's yourposition on that? Could you explain that a bit more into the systems approach?

[00:07:11] DanStickler: Yeah, we get stuck on titles when we're going through life and weassume the role of that title. When you're a son, or a father, or a brother, ora doctor, you kind of embody what that role means to you. And when people aregiven diagnoses, that's a label that they get. So, when they say, you havediabetes, and the truth of the matter is diabetes isn't actually a disease, theway we actually think of a disease. 

[00:07:48] I mean, it'sa spectrum of insulin resistance that's gotten to the point where it requiresmedication. So, to get them off of the idea that they have a disease, then wejust say, you've got pretty severe insulin resistance due to lifestyle factors,and here's how we're going to go about correcting that. And we give them thatpath, and the fact that they're no longer thinking that they're diabetic, theyactually resolve it. If they continue to hold on to those descriptors andtitles, then I know I'm going to have a lot of difficulty getting them to thefinish line on that.

[00:08:25] LukeStorey: I see that a lot with people that have something serious going on,where they become sort of psychologically identified with that label. Like it'snot even like I have autoimmune, or I have Lyme, or lupus, or whatever. It'slike they could almost say that's what I am, right? So, on that subconsciouslevel, I'm assuming it's much harder to get someone past that when they'vesuffered so much under it that it becomes part of their identity, right?

[00:09:00] DanStickler: Yes.

[00:09:00] LukeStorey: So then, it's not only you're trying to optimize somewhat or healsomeone, but then there's the psychological element where you have to sort ofdetach them from their identification as the person who has X, Y, or Z. How doyou work with people to overcome that psychological part? I mean, do they justkind of go along with your paradigm, because they really want to work with youand they want to be treated in your clinic, or do you meet some resistance wherepeople are like clutching on to that label, because that's essentially whatthey've become?

[00:09:33] DanStickler: Yeah. Generally, with disease diagnosis, we're pretty good atshowing them the science of what's going on, here's the progression of how youbecame diabetic, which is just on this spectrum of insulin resistance. Type onediabetes can be considered a disease, because they're missing the beta cells.There's nothing physiologically really missing from type two diabetic. It'sjust that their insulin sensitivity isn't there.

[00:10:05] So, we justtell them, this is a descriptor of what you have, not a title of what you have.So, this is what's going on and this is what we're going to correct. The timewe have the biggest problem is in victim mentality. So, when people becomevictims of whatever they have going on, they'll come in with mold or Lyme, andthey just assume this victim role, and they need that for their identity.

[00:10:35] I saw thisin gastric bypass, patients that I worked with, where they would lose theweight and they would think that they're going to have this perfect life,because the weight was the whole reason that their husband didn't like them ortheir boss didn't like this person, and yet they lose the weight, and they findthe same thing exists still yet. And they've lost the excuse rather thanlooking more at, what is it else that is potentially wrong with that person orwith me that's causing this.

[00:11:19] It's got tobe the way, so they'll sabotage themselves and they'll gain the weight back sothat they now have that protection again. And that's a hard one to break frompeople we used to work with. We had health psychologists on our staff thatwould work with them. And now, in our clinic, we have performance psychologiststhat really work with getting them out of that, those mind loops and the victimis hard, though, so we typically kind of stay away from taking clients that arein that mindset, because it takes a lot of work and it interferes with ourability to optimize for a long time.

[00:11:54] LukeStorey: Yeah, I can imagine, because along with that victim mentality isgoing to, I'm assuming, come with the blame, right?

[00:12:04] DanStickler: Yeah.

[00:12:04] LukeStorey: And then, you have kind of a double-edged sword of resistance,because you have someone who is in their perpetuity of victimhood, but also,that needs to be expressed somewhere. So, it's like, well, it's Monsanto orwhatever, right? Whatever they could point it to. And there's a lot ofperpetrators out there that we could all blame, but it doesn't really get youinto the solution mindset.

[00:12:26] It's like, Ithink for any of us that have experienced trauma, for example, there's theinitial acknowledgement of the trauma, looking into it, facing it, doing shadowwork by how everyone does it. But within that, there also has to be, in myexperience, at least subjectively, a release of the resentment and the blameassociated with what led one to be victimized in the first place, right?

[00:12:49] Becauseyou're still kind of putting your energy on the problem rather than on theinfinite potential of solution. So, that's a really great distinction. So, whenit comes to what I want to focus on here, which is mental performance and vocalperformance, when we think of brain optimization, what are the differentcategories by which you define a properly working brain that's firing on allcylinders and is going to allow someone to really have a better quality oflife? What are the metrics that you're kind of looking for there?

[00:13:26] DanStickler: Well, first and foremost, there's not a perfect brain. It's justlike, is there a perfect diet? There's not a perfect diet. There's perfect dietfor you at certain points in your life and certain goals that you have in mind,but the same thing with the brain. You have inputs that you can use,supplements, medications that can alter neurochemical processes in the brain.That's one of the ways you can enhance that.

[00:13:54] Anotherpopular way that's really gaining a lot of traction is external stimulation orneurofeedback. We prefer the neurostimulation, we progressed. We used to useneurofeedback, we found neurostimulation was quite effective in achieving. Andwhen we look at a brain, one thing I will tell people is when we do a brainmap, so we do a brain map on all of our clients, and it's compared to anormative database, and it tells you, okay, these are areas that are outside ofthe normal range, and these are areas that are outside of the normal range,either above or below.

[00:14:34] And theylook at them, they're like, whoa, that doesn't look good. Well, you're beingcompared to a normal brain. This is average, and none of the people I work withare average people. So, if they would test to look normal on these things, I'dworry more so than anything else. So, what we do is we look at it and we alsohave them do cognitive testing, so we see what their performance metrics are aswell.

[00:15:02] And then, wecompare it to the brain wave patterns, and we say, is this pattern supportingwhat they're working towards, what they're working kind of cognitive functionneeds of focus. Like an engineer, you want that more analytical aspect, andthey're going to be way off of normal on baseline, and it's not something youwant to correct. Yeah. There's a big problem with a lot of the neurofeedbackclinics is they base it on these normal brains and they don't really payattention to, oh, wait a second, this is this person's gift.

[00:15:37] This iswhat's actually making them exceptional. But what we look at is, okay, arethere areas that you're desiring to have better performance in that we'reseeing subpar performance in the brain? And then, we say, okay, well, can westimulate in a new wave pattern into that area or they'll have an area that'sdisruptive to them, like they're not able to pay attention, they're not able tosleep, whatever it is. And we can see if we can correlate that with thebrainwave pattern, then we can use neurostimulation to actually program it outof the brain.

[00:16:15] And we neverdo things just single modality. So, when we do brain stimulation work, we willgive them some kind of a baseline cognitive performance like Qualia Mind. Welike that because it's a good general foundational brain performancesupplement. But then, when they come in to do the brain stimulation, we'll givethem some oxytocin, and then two sprays of ketamine, typically. And what theketamine does is it activates this neuroplasticity, this ability to learn thesepatterns very quickly. And we started using it about a-year-and-a-half ago, andwe saw our ability to create new patterns in the brain just go exponential invery short periods of time.

[00:17:16] And now, wecan do just typically 10, 20-minute sessions of brain stimulation. We can get awhole new pattern established, whereas neurofeedback, it used to take us 40, 50sessions of 40 minutes each, where they had to stare at the screen and fly theplane. But this one, what we do is we set up a breath pacing with them. And so,they're breathing according to the breath pacing while the brain is beingstimulated. So, we're taking care of a lot of things all at once, and it's allingraining in them with the different things that we're usng.

[00:17:50] LukeStorey: That is so cool. I've done a lot of neurofeedback over the years,and I enjoy it, and I've definitely seen benefits from it, especially, I wentand did the Biocybernaut training in Sedona with Dr. Hardt, who I interviewedrecently, and we did alpha training, and I cheated a little bit. I admittedthis to Dr. Hardt when I did the interview, but you weren't supposed to takeany supplements or anything like that.

[00:18:14] I don'tthink I had quality of mind with me at that time, but I was doing likepiracetam, and I didn't take modafinil or anything too crazy, but piracetam andsome other mild stuff, and I did really well. I was really good, and I wasdoing like MCT and stuff like that, getting the ketones in, and for lack ofbetter terminology, I was crushing it. I mean, I was really getting greatscores and I think that it benefited me. But it does take a lot of time.

[00:18:45] I mean, wewere in those chambers for hours, and hours, and hours, and it was timedeprivation and it couldn't have your cell phone. There are no windows. Youhave no idea how long each, I think they call them an epoch, you had no ideahow long each one was, and you get out of there at 4:00 in the morning, andkind of going like, what just happened? But it definitely did improve my life,but that's really interesting, the neuroplasticity of the ketamine is a new onefor me.

[00:19:12] I've beenhearing some murmurs around microdosing different things and assisting with theneuroplasticity, and that's something that is obviously becoming ubiquitousamongst circles like ours. But the ketamine, that's really interesting, becauseI've experimented with it a bit myself doing meditations, like doing the JoeDispenza meditations and things like that, and have found with, I don't know ifit's a microdose, because I definitely feel it, but not, I don't think, whatsomeone would take recreationally.

[00:19:45] And I don'teven know how people do that recreationally, because I don't want to recreateanything on ketamine, like I do not want to move, I don't want to open my eyes.I'm just like basically paralyzed in the best way. But I have found that itdoes open up this quantum gateway for manifestation, visualization, and I sensethat something very unique is happening in my brain, but I don't really knowwhat. So, that's interesting that you've combine that kind of opening withbrain chemistry, and then added in another input, so you can actually maximizethat time span. That's very interesting.

[00:20:23] DanStickler: Yeah. I mean, we did a lot of reading on the ketamine, and doingthe studies on, and they were using larger doses in the studies that we'recreating all this synaptic neuroplasticity that was pretty amazing. I mean, alot of the psychedelics do that. Psilocybin is a very classic for all of theactivations that occurs across linkings in the brain. And there's going to be,as that comes out, I think you're going to see a lot more of that used in theneuroenhancement fields. 

[00:20:51] But theketamine fascinated us with that and its ability to do it, so we decided, let'stest it out. And the nasal sprays, I mean, to nasal sprays, most people don'teven perceive that they've done anything. There are some people that get prettytrippy on the nasal sprays, so we have to test them out to see what theirtolerance level is when they come in for the training.

[00:21:14] But wecouldn't believe, so we would map them before doing the 10 trainings, and wedid the 10 trainings in a five-day period, so twice a day for five days. And inthe course of just one week, I mean, we're taking brains that had six standarddeviations away from where we wanted them into either normal in that oneparticular area or just barely above a standard deviation. And it just amazedus that we could do that, and then we would follow them up in three months andmap it again, and it's still persistent. 

[00:21:57] LukeStorey: Really? Wow. That's crazy, because of the neuroplasticity effect,potentiates the longevity of the change.

[00:22:07] Dan Stickler:Yeah.

[00:22:08] LukeStorey: Wow. That's so interesting. What a trip. Have you ever run a qEEGon someone while they're on ketamine?

[00:22:09] DanStickler: Yeah.

[00:22:09] LukeStorey: What kind of brain waves do you see? Does it differ from person toperson, or is there sort of a uniform effect it'll have typically?

[00:22:10] DanStickler: Well, I mean, most people are going to respond differently todifferent things. You see a major uptick in activity. I mean, there's a lot ofactivity going on in the brain. It gets very busy in there when they're on theketamine. And ketamine has a really interesting phenomena associated with it.It tends to, so most of our thinking is controlled by top-down processing. So,the bottom up stuff is coming from more subconscious.

[00:22:13] And as youcome up with these magical ideas or something that the more cerebral centers ofthe brain are going, oh, no, that's not possible. That's not real. Don't payattention to that unicorn or whatever. It shuts those off. And so, it kind ofkicks them to the side, so you never actually experience them. Ketamine hasthis really interesting phenomena, so the medial prefrontal cortex is one ofthe areas that has to do with the fear and the stimulation within the amygdala,and it kind of shuts that off.

[00:22:14] So, youremove that piece of it. But the other thing is it also shuts down the lateralprefrontal cortex. And the lateral is what is in control of the top-downprocessing. And so, once that's shut off, all of a sudden, the bottom-up stuffstarts coming into your field. This is why people, when they go on journeydoses with ketamine, they're having all of these magical experiences.

[00:22:15] I mean, someof them can't really make sense from occurring from the another phenomena ofthe neurons of the brain, there's something else going on, because it can'twork that way. But it allows you to experience a lot of the subconscious whenyou're on it. The nasal spray, that low dose gives you a little bit of aglimpse of that, and there are people that will do the nasal spray for creativesessions and for meditation, because it really, truly takes away that top-downprocessing, takes away a lot of the emotional fear related to things, and givesyou that ability to kind of look from a non-emotional. I know a lot of peopletalk about the ability that ketamine opens up these bolted areas in the brainof past trauma.

[00:22:16] So, pastexperiences where they really had pushed it away so that it wasn't part oftheir memories. And we see people with ketamine, even with a nasal spray, whenwe're talking to them, and they're doing the brain stimulation, they'll comeout, and they'll go, I remember this experience when I was a child, and it'ssomething that had, when you look back at it, it was something that they werekind of holding and recreating in their life, because they weren't aware thatit existed. But ketamine opens those vaulted memories really well. And that'swhy in psychotherapy, using the ketamine, really good psychotherapist can helppeople to navigate that and draw out those areas that they have not been awarethat they actually experienced.

[00:25:44] LukeStorey: So, because of its dissociative effect, you're able to go intothose memories or thoughts that would have been triggering to the amygdala andretraumatized you, potentially, with that sense of, I'm just thinking in my ownexperiences, that that sense of detachment, it's almost like the traumahappened to someone else, and you just remember it, but you don't remember itto the point where it's going to reactivate the neurochemistry of reliving atrauma. Like if you say you had it faced in early childhood trauma ever in yourlife, it's a big secret you never told anyone, you've never really exploredthat shadow, if you were to just start talking about it with someone, it couldhave the effect of actually kind of retraumatizing you and not giving you theability to heal it or work through it.

[00:26:37] I thinkthat's—I don't think, I know that's been the huge benefit of plant medicineceremonies and things like that for me, is I've been able to go into areas, notthings that I haven't faced, but just things that I thought, oh, I'm over that.Like I've talked about it in therapy, I've journaled, I've prayed on it, it'snot really affected me anymore, but circumstances in my life demonstrated tothe contrary, because I'd have patterns that I was still stuck in.

[00:27:05] And the onlything I could connect them to were early trauma that I thought I was over. Andin those medicine experiences, many times, I've been shown, hey, you want tolook at this thing, and I'm like, take a deep breath, take the eye mask off fora minute. I mean, this is what I do, and I go, okay, and I kind of get myselfready, and I'm like, okay, let's go. And then, God guides medicine, whatever,will go in there, and we start looking around, and feeling things, and all ofthat, but there's this sort of safety net to where I can really get in there,and it's much more objective than subjective, and I can experience it withoutactually feeling-

[00:27:44] Well, youmight feel the pain, but not the pain in a way that's going to have me walkingaway feeling like I just got hit by a train. Yeah, it's like you actually comeout of it, and you're like, wow, I'm actually lighter, because I was able to gointo those nooks and crannies, and poke around, and process, and untangle someof those things psychologically, and then come out. And it's like, huh, thatpattern is gone now. It's phenomenal.

[00:28:09] DanStickler: I love the way you describe that being an objective observer.This is very common with the ketamine. So, people will see themselves in thescene, and the person that they're seeing in the scene is really emotionallyinvolved in it, and yet they're looking at it, and they can sit there anddescribe what's happening to this child, and not be emotional about it, becausethat amygdala has less than that charge, it's not there, but they do feel theemotion of the child.

[00:28:41] So, theyhave empathy for the child that's there. And I think that's what helps them toresolve it. A lot of them will say, after really kind of viewing this, itdidn't happen exactly the way I thought it did, but that's the nice thing aboutketamine, is that it can give you that objective perspective without theemotional charge that taints kind of what you actually perceived was happening.

[00:29:06] And itallows you to kind of work through it. And then, once you get to the pointwhere you can like look at that, I mean, this happens a lot for PTSD, is peopleget in that loop where they can't go there because the emotional charge is sogreat. But you get them with the ketamine and they can start talking about whatactually happened. You can walk them through the events that initiated thePTSD, and they can describe them, whereas without any medication-

[00:29:36] And the samething happens with MDMA therapy with people because of that heart opening thatthey have and that safety that they feel, they can walk through the traumaagain, yet this time they're not in the trauma or observing the trauma. Andonce they do that, they suddenly realize, this is a memory. This isn't stillgoing on. This is a memory, and I can file it into my memory. And suddenly,it's like they've resolve this. I mean, the results they're getting with theMDMA trials, pretty outstanding for PTSD, there's, I think, some of the earlyresults were published just this week that were pretty outstanding.

[00:30:18] LukeStorey: Yeah, I've definitely experience that. I've not done MDMA therapy,but I have done it in conjunction with the psilocybin ceremony on twooccasions. And wow, I mean, like the stuff that I was able to work through thatwas super scary, like I said, to the point where the inquirer would kind ofcome in, hey, do you want to look at this? And I'm like, ah, that's my edge,that's my edge. And I think the MDMA, well, in one case, MDMA, the other time,it was sassafras MDA.

[00:30:52] But in bothcases, because of that heart opening, and that softening, and that sense ofsafety, when the kind of drama of the psilocybin thread came in, I think that'swhat really enabled me to kind of have the courage or to be able to let go intothe experience, and still felt held, and not like I'm going to hit up againstsomething that's going to hurt me worse from looking at it. There's, I don'tknow, a softening that takes place.

[00:31:22] And I guessthat's why a lot of people that facilitate now use heart openers as kind of anentry point, and you start to feel into that, and then when you're ready to go,full quantum blast off with whatever the medicine happens to be. In my case, itwas psilocybin on those two occasions. I don't know. Yeah, there's a sense ofsafety in that, where you're able to more observe, participate in the threadsthat you go through, but also, there's a non-attachment element to it that'sreally powerful.

[00:31:54] And also,like you've indicated, it's not just looking at something that you know isuncomfortable normally to face, but it actually gets unraveled. There'ssomething that happens where those synapses break loose. So, I don't knowwhat's happening clinically, but that's what I sense in my own experience hashappened. And one time in an ayahuasca ceremony, I went, this is going to soundcrazy to a lot of people, but this is just what happened, and the results haveproven to be, something happened, that was positive, but I went back into somememories that were triggering me into these patterns, and my consciousness, myconscious awareness, traveled physically into my brain, and was in theredisconnecting things from the hippocampus, this memory.

[00:32:46] And then, Icould see the thread where that was connecting to my limbic system, to thelimbic brain. And so, when I would encounter something in today's life thatreminded me of that past thing subconsciously, then it would elicit that sameresponse, And the dump of adrenaline, and cortisol, and all this stuff, andthat's that fight or flight thing we call being triggered. And I went intothere and just started toying around doing this psychic surgery on myself, andI said, ah, this one's related to that, this thread goes to that, this one goesto that. And I went in and just spent hours kind of working with thatneuroplasticity. And those triggers, for the most part, were gone after that.It was incredible.

[00:33:27] DanStickler: And the brain loves that. I mean, the brain loves patterns andpattern recognition. I mean, the connection with the brain, I mean, there'smore connections than there are stars in the entire galaxy, but it's soextensive, and it's so plastic, and throughout life, it's plastic. It canchange. One of the classic examples is the London cab drivers who are reallysuper great at knowing the street patterns and all.

[00:34:12] I mean,they're brilliant at it. But what they found is that their memory in otherareas actually was reduced. But after they retired, that pattern memory reducedand the other memories came up. The brain tends to allocate resources. So, ifyou're using something pretty aggressively, and they found this, too, with thesniper training for DARPA, where they were using brain stimulation techniquesto accelerate the learning curve on the snack for the snipers, and theirlearning curve was off the chart.

[00:34:26] I mean, itwas just, compared to the controls, they learned very quickly. But whathappened is when it came to putting it into practice, they lost automaticity,so they had taken resources from one area, and what happens is all of theselittle dendrites and little connections that are occurring throughout the brainstart getting heavy in the areas that are being used and directed. And theareas that are not, the resources are pulled from there. And so, you see apulling back of some of these little dendrites. And it's fascinating becausepeople want to enhance areas of the brain, but you have to understand, there'sgoing to be a price you pay for that.

[00:35:20] And a lot oftimes, we don't know what that is. And that's why I like doing things incombination. So, like doing the brain training, having a good kind offoundational nootropic to give support to the brain and all of this, becausethe brain is going to be burning through a ton of resources and you've got tohave all of those precursors ready to go. So, using a nootropic supplement tokind of give you that, and using the ketamine to boost the brain's ability todo it, and then you do the stimulation. So, that's why I say there's never asingle thing that's going to make a difference for people. It's usuallycombinations.

[00:36:05] LukeStorey: Yeah. For those that are listening and don't know what a nootropicis, could you define that?

[00:36:11] DanStickler: Nootropic is essentially anything that can, well, in a sense,it's anything that can alter brain function in some way through a neurochemicalmeans. And what we typically talk about nootropics when it comes tosupplements, one of the classic ones that we all do, a lot of us do, iscaffeine. Caffeine is a nootropic. Things people wouldn't even considernootropics like creatine, which we take, the bodybuilders, it's always in theprotein shakes, but it's a great nootropic in and of itself. 

[00:36:44] LukeStorey: Or caffeine—I mean, not caffeine, nicotine. 

[00:36:46] DanStickler: Nicotine, great nootropic. A little bit of nicotine boost brainactivity. That's why a lot of people, they're kind of microdosing with the gumor the lozenges.

[00:36:57] LukeStorey: I am right now. Give a shoutout to my friends over at Lucy. So, afour-milligram pouch is, wow, they are strong. No, these are eight milligrams,that's why. 

[00:37:05] DanStickler: Holy cow. That's a big dose.

[00:37:06] LukeStorey: Yeah, their gum is four, and they're like, how do you like the gum?I say, it's good, I go through them pretty quick, and they're like, try this,but I have one in right now, actually.

[00:37:13] DanStickler: I use one milligram.

[00:37:15] LukeStorey: Really?

[00:37:16] DanStickler: Yeah.

[00:37:16] LukeStorey: I'm sure that's enough. I think honestly, I've become a littleaddicted to them, because I find myself going like, did I leave it in my car?It's the signs of addiction, like you're thinking about it.

[00:37:27] DanStickler: I left mine in my car. 

[00:37:28] LukeStorey: You're thinking about it more than a normal person would, kind ofthing. But anyway, so nootropics. So, I happen to have one of these in thekitchen, this Qualia.

[00:37:39] DanStickler: The caffeine-free one.

[00:37:40] LukeStorey: Yeah. And this stuff, and I always feel weird talking aboutproducts on my show, but I'm just being honest, this stuff is freaking amazing.And I've been taking it for, I don't know, ever since it came out, it's been afew years now. Now, I'm currently using the decaf version of it, because Ifound when I would take the version of Qualia that had caffeine, and I kind offorget that I took the original.

[00:38:04] DanStickler: Is it the original form?

[00:38:04] LukeStorey: Yeah. And then, I'd have a coffee, and then I would just be like,ah, just over caffeinated. And I don't know if I metabolize caffeine slowly orquickly. I think relatively quickly. This doesn't seem to last. I can have acoffee mid-day and it doesn't interrupt my sleep scores, but I definitely feelit a lot more than I think your average person.

[00:38:25] So, now, Ijust strictly use the decaf Qualia, and it's amazing because it doesn't seem tohave any counter-indications with anything else that I do, because I might dosome of the racetams, or like on a really bad day, I might do a modafinil or amicrodose this or that, and it just seems to be foundational. So, with thisparticular nootopic, it seems to me based on the ingredient deck, and some ofthe things I can't pronounce and don't know what they are, but it seems to bemore kind of in the precursor category like a brain food rather than somethingexogenous that is going to actually directly make your brain do this or that.Do I have that roughly right?

[00:39:08] DanStickler: You've got part of it, yeah. This is actually what drew me to thecompany. I've been using nootropics for years. I even had a nootropic courseonline and talked about all different racetams, and the modafinils, and all ofthe things that could be used as ingredients. And generally with cognitiveenhancement, I was getting about a 50-50 response from clients on it, so someof them would absolutely love it, say it was the best thing in the world andothers didn't do anything or made things worse.

[00:39:44] Andsuddenly, I guess it was like released in October, and then within threemonths, I had like four of my clients come in, and said, oh, my God, I startedtaking this Qualia, and I can't believe how good it makes me feel, and howproductive I am with it, and how clear I am with it, and it's like, I've neverheard of this stuff, so I looked it up and I was already into systems at thatpoint. And I'm reading about this product, I'm like, this is a systems-basedapproach to a supplement.

[00:40:20] It's thefirst time I'd ever seen that. And what they had done is they looked at the waythe brain works. They said, okay, what's required from a precursor standpoint?What's required to deliver those precursors, like increasing the blood flow tothe brain? What do we have to do to mitigate things that are going to be sideeffects in the brain? And predominantly, if we increase brain activity, we'regoing to increase free radical production.

[00:40:51] So, we'regoing to increase inflammation in the brain. We're going to increase breakdownproducts that have to be cleared. And so, they took an approach of looking athow they could address each of these areas simultaneously, and that theoriginal quality of product, I missed that one because it had [indiscernible] ,this one still does all of that stuff and works in conjunction with all kindsof different things.

[00:41:21] But it'sthis foundation that you can build off of, or you can use it by itself, becausetons of people will take it. And the nice thing is you can adjust how manycapsules you take before the response that you get, because I find that at lowdose, I don't pay attention to anything, but I know it's giving me thefoundation. At higher doses, it actually gives me that cognitive enhancementthat I'm looking for. So, I'll go some days on the higher doses, most days, onthe low.

[00:41:48] LukeStorey: How many capsules would a high dose be for you?

[00:41:51] DanStickler: Usually six to eight.

[00:41:53] LukeStorey: Yeah. I find I do about four.

[00:41:55] DanStickler: Yeah.

[00:41:55] LukeStorey: Four every morning.

[00:41:56] DanStickler: I like three to four as a baseline.

[00:41:57] LukeStorey: Yeah, because I think it's a good thing for people, too, as kind ofan entry level nootropic, because you can titrate, as you said, right? And ifyou start to hit the threshold where you're like, wow, I really notice this, Idon't find it to be jarring. And I've given them to people, and sometimes,they're like, I don't feel anything, and I'm like, how many did you take? Andthey're like, two. I go on the bottle. it says take six, so take four, see howyou feel, take six, take eight, because as you said so brilliantly, every brainis so unique. There's no two brains alike, there's no flake brains. But it'snot as strong as some of the things that I would categorize more as smartdrugs, things that are totally lab-

[00:42:40] DanStickler: Things you wouldn't want to take every day.

[00:42:42] LukeStorey: Yeah, lab-synthesized, your modafinil, the racetams, things likethat. But it's really interesting to see, too, that I mean, to the point ofbrains being different, I've talked about modafinil a lot, because I like it,mainly these days, just when I fly, because I find that I'm not as fatiguedwhen I land. I'll do it like before I land, I'll take maybe like a quarter ofmodafinil, or a half, or something, and then I land, and I'm actually likefairly awake and able to handle the things when I land.

[00:43:11] But I'vetalked about it a lot, so my friends are always curious, and they'll take it,and I said, just take a quarter so you don't feel too speedy. They take aquarter, they don't feel anything, and then they'll move up. I've had friendsthat have taken a whole 200-milligram tab of modafinil, and they don't feelanything at all. And then, other friends take a quarter, and they're like, Ifelt like I was on meth, I hate this.

[00:43:32] It's sointeresting to see like that, but I think you run a little more of a risk of anadverse sort of reaction like that when you're doing things that are just, Iguess, as you said, just kind of activating one part of the brain withouthaving that systems approach, and then finding the right blend of thesedifferent things is kind of like poor man's chemistry, and maybe not asuniversally reliable and predictable as just like the quality of mind as you'regoing to get, as you said, the precursor is the things that open the pathways,things that get the metabolites out of the brain that are produced. It's prettycool. It's brilliant.

[00:44:09] DanStickler: Yeah. I mean, that sold me on that. So, I had a long conversationwith Daniel Schmachtenberger when we talked five minutes about this, and endedup talking like 45 minutes or an hour-and-a-half about just systems andmedicine, and it was just fascinating. And a month later, he called me up, andhe said, would you be interested in being our medical director? And that was thehistory of me becoming medical director for them.

[00:44:35] LukeStorey: That's cool. What other things do you do as part of your rolethere? I know they've come out with like a sleep product, and they've verycarefully dripped out other products in their product line relatively slowly,I'm assuming, because of the R&D that goes into the systems for eachparticular thing they want to work on.

[00:44:55] DanStickler: It's interesting. Daniel Schmachtenberger has been the primaryformulator, and he's just brilliant with the way he thinks, and I can rememberone time we were out there and we decided we were going to develop the sleepformula. We'd been working on it on a—we had an Excel spreadsheet online with,I mean, we had 250 different ingredients, and we would classify them in whatpathway they affected, what cross pathways they would interact with, what theyneeded to support them. So, we had this huge spreadsheet, and then I went outthere and Daniel is a bit of a vampire, like-

[00:45:37] LukeStorey: I remember that from his interview. He's like, we can't start until5:00 PM or something like that.

[00:45:42] DanStickler: Yeah, that specific time, and I'm in bed by that time. But I wentout there and we would start like 1:00 each day, but we would be just locked ina room. It was me, Daniel and Dan Pardi, but the three Dans in the room, and wehad a whiteboard, and we were just marking off ingredients and addingingredients. This was getting the sleep formula, but we did that for threestraight days, and it was like eight, nine hours in that one room, and justthrowing things out, and discussing, well, if we do that, then we can't do thisone. It was amazing to go through that, but it was all theory. And then, theystarted formulating product, and testing it, making adjustments in that, and weget feedback on that. The formulation process is a lot of fun with them.

[00:46:37] LukeStorey: Oh, I can imagine. I mean, when I first got this product, I didn'treally understand the systems approach, so I looked at it at first. I rememberlooking at the ingredient deck, and going like, they just put everything thatyou could possibly put in your brain to help it in one thing, like it'sprobably overkill, or else, there's not enough of any of the one thing toreally do anything.

[00:46:57] I mean, thatwas just my first glance at it, because I'm used to things that have threethings and you feel it in a way. But yeah, it's pretty amazing, what you guyshave done with that stuff. Going back to the kind of overarching nootropictopic, do you have any distinction between a nootropic and a smart drug, or arethose just two words that people use interchangeably for the same kind of deal?

[00:47:22] DanStickler: Yeah, same thing. I mean, what do you consider smart? What do youconsider cognitive enhancement? I mean, some people think increasing empathy iscognitive enhancement. Other people think you've got to increase intelligenceor you've got to increase creativity. So, cognitive enhancement, smart drugs,nootropics, I mean, it all falls into the same category, but the definition ofthat is going to vary by the person.

[00:47:50] LukeStorey: I think I've, in my own mind, separated them based on if somethingis synthesized like modafinil, and a racetam, or piracetam, or something likethat versus acetylcholine or some other kind of precursor that's moreplant-based or an extract derived from an herb or something in nature. I'vekind of broken them up like that, but I think it's just my own way ofdetermining whether or not I'm taking something that comes from nature orsomething that comes from a lab.

[00:48:21] Andultimately, I mean, obviously, if you break down the constituents of an herband you're extracting the effect of molecules out of it, then, well, that's nowkind of synthesized in a way, too. So, pretty much everything that's not just aground-up herb, like a kratom or something like that, that you just don'ttouch, you just grind it up and eat it, I guess would be qualified as that.

[00:48:43] DanStickler: Why are you so prejudice?

[00:48:45] LukeStorey: Well, here's the thing I came to recently, actually, because I wasthinking about, it's an interesting thing, maybe to kind of explore, but I wasthinking about the difference between something like iboga, or ayahuasca, orpsilocybin, where you have something from the plant or fungi kingdom, peoplealways called mushrooms plant medicines, it irritates me because it's not aplant, or something like Bofo 5-MeO, again, not a plant.

[00:49:13] I don't knowwhat to call them all, but these are things that just exist in nature on theirown. I mean, I guess with ayahuasca, you got to brew two things together to getthe inhibition of the liver to get the DMT in and all that. But there's aschool of thought amongst the kind of shamanic community that something's onlylegitimate if it just comes from nature. And that something like an LSD or MDMAthat has to be completely synthesized in a lab is of lesser value or not partof nature.

[00:49:46] And I wasthinking about this. I want to see what your take is, because humans arenature, right? This is a fake plant, but when I see plants, I often remindmyself like you're the same as that. I see a deer in the neighborhood, and Iused to think, well, there's an animal, and then there's a me, but like I amthat animal, I'm the dirt on the soil, the microorganisms. So, thinking ofoneself as nature then would lead one down the path that if a human mind andintention had the idea to synthesize certain molecules or combine differentchemicals in a lab, that the net result of that is also a natural productbecause humans are natural.

[00:50:31] DanStickler: Well, regardless of that, though, I mean, I get into thisdiscussion a lot, because people will come in, and they'll say, I only wantnatural products, and I'm like, okay, why? And they're like, oh, becausethey're better for you. Like you have no idea what the body is actually doingwith this to you. I mean, supplements, plants, foods that we eat, they'reforeign bodies to our body.

[00:51:01] I mean, wedon't produce them, so we're putting in a foreign substance. And what they dois they go in and they react with ourselves. And even plants, most plants havea low-grade toxicity to them to body. And that's a benefit, though. It's ahermetic benefit on the liver, it up-regulates the detoxification system, butyou're actually poisoning yourself with them. 

[00:51:23] LukeStorey: Like if you take a bitter herb or something like that.

[00:51:24] DanStickler: Right. But medicines are the same way. Medicines, even thoughthey're synthetic from the lab, they're still an input to the system, and thesystem doesn't say, oh, it's natural or that's a plant, it's seeing a moleculethat's affecting it, and it responds to it. So, it has to react to these inputsthat go in, so I can get people to get off the idea of classifying anything.Just look at it as an input to the system, is it giving you the net result thatyou're looking for?

[00:52:01] Becauseeverything we put in, there is a pro and a con, absolutely everything. Evenfoods that we eat, there's a pro and con to every food that we eat, and they'rebionutrients, is what they are. And beyond the caloric aspect of them, theyhave all kinds of other impacts on the body, and you have to look at it, andsay, okay, is this going to net result in the benefit I'm looking for?

[00:52:26] People wentdown this road with metformin, and it cracks me up that people talk aboutmetformin, because it's a derivative of the French lilac. I mean, they justtook out the poisonous parts of the French lilac so they could use the molecule.But they were talking about this, it's a great longevity medication, and we'vebeen using it for years in the longevity industry, but there was this reportabout how it causes some toxicity to mitochondria.

[00:52:54] And so,people were like, oh, it damages mitochondria, you got to stop taking it. Likeso what? I mean, what's the net result that you're getting? I mean, you get allthese positives, you have this one negative that you've identified so far,what's the net result? What are you trying to achieve with it? And the netresult is, yes, it's going to elevate this outcome that you're looking for. Andthis is the problem with complex systems.

[00:53:20] When peopletry to look at the individual parts of it, like in a watch, we can look at thisone cog and know exactly what it does. And if you remove it, what happens then?The human system doesn't work that way, because all of these interactive piecesplay off of each other and have feedback loops, and it's impossible to actuallyisolate, so we have to do predictabilities with it. Ad people do, they get onthis kick of, this is better for you because it's natural. Well, there's a lotof natural things that will kill you, too. 

[00:54:02] LukeStorey: Yeah, try rattlesnake venom.

[00:54:04] DanStickler: I mean, you could do DMT from a lab and not have to throw up, oryou can do the ayahuasca and throw up. So, it's a plus, minus for just abouteverything.

[00:54:19] LukeStorey: Well, I've thought about that debate from another perspective, too.So, you have a plant, right? And the plant has its own intelligence, and peoplethat really believe in medicine plants of all types, not just psychoactiveones, sort of trust that plant, that that plant has put together certainmolecules that signal reactions in our bodies and in our brains.

[00:54:41] But if we'rereally the same as a living organism, if we take ourselves out of thishierarchy that humankind is above the intelligence of a plant, yet we'reputting so much faith into the intelligence of that plant, what about thechemist who synthesizes some formula? Are they not doing the same exact thingas the plant is doing? Right? It's like the ayahuasca vine. It's gotdimethyltryptamine in it, and it's making it out of soil, and water, andsunlight, right?

[00:55:12] DanStickler: Yeah.

[00:55:12] LukeStorey: And then, it took another human to go, oh, interesting, well, if weput this plant, this vine with this leaf, and we boil it up, and we drink it,something else happens, right? So, that's the systems kind of approach to this.There's a synergy between the work that plants do, just like the work thatanimals do by making nutrients that are not bioavailable in the soil and in theplants available to us, in the case of like an animal fat, right?

[00:55:40] DanStickler: Right.

[00:55:40] LukeStorey: It has things that we can't get in a concentrated way from nature,and our bodies need and use. So, I think that's another way to kind of zoom outfrom that and not be so dualistic, and it's either this or that, or because thehuman mind is essentially doing the same thing as the plant is, it's just usinga laboratory instead of its own grounded innate chemistry to produce thatsignaling molecule. That's kind of where I've arrived at it, because withthings like ketamine, I mean, that even has a feel of something not natural.You know what I mean? I don't know. There's something when you do ayahuasca, orBufo, or psilocybin, it feels, to me, more natural in my body than like aketamine does, for example.

[00:56:27] DanStickler: Well, I think a lot of that, though, has to do with the set andsetting. I mean, these ketamine clinics, I mean, the sterile environments whereyou go in, and you're laying on a table with an IV in your arm, and there's notmuch ritual or ceremony associated with that. So, set and setting have a hugeimpact on the outcomes that people have. I mean, that's why ayahuasca is somuch related to ceremony and ritual, because that informs on the outcome. I waslike, when Brian Muraresku in the, what was it, The Immortality Key?

[00:56:59] LukeStorey: Oh, yeah, I'm about halfway through that.

[00:57:12] DanStickler: He was talking about how they would use the entheogens in thewine and the bread in church, and people would go in and they would take it,they would have these experiences, but they were kind of framed in the set andsetting that it was a religious experience they were having, because they wereeating the body of God and drinking the blood of Jesus. And it gives them thatpre-framing of things, and then when they experience it, that's what they tendto experience. So, when people do the ritual aspects with the ayahuasca, youtend to evolve into that experience as part of the ritual.

[00:57:57] LukeStorey: Yeah, so true. I guess one could be led then to—I mean, I'm notsuggesting people do this. I think that you should have a guide, but let's sayone was to do ketamine and actually be outdoors, immersed in nature, youprobably would have a much different subjective experience, and perhaps nothave something that feels so, I don't know, it always feels a little bitmechanistic to me.

[00:58:19] DanStickler: I don't understand it. I never got why people started ketamine toparty.

[00:58:24] LukeStorey: Oh, my God, a nightmare. Oh, my God. I can't imagine a worseexperience. I remember a couple of years ago, I was watching one of thoseintervention shows or something, and they were following this kid who wasaddicted to ketamine, and he would do I don't know how many milligrams, but amassive dose of it. And then, just kind of hang out and party. I'm like, A,how's the guy walking? Like how do you get him across the room, because it's sosort of paralyzing?

[00:58:51] DanStickler: It's an anesthetic.

[00:58:53] LukeStorey: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So, yeah, interesting thread. Where do Iwant to go next with you, my friend? Let me see. I have so many questions foryou. It'd probably be a two-hour plus interview if I'm not careful. Not thatI'm mad at that. By the way, do you have anywhere to be? Are you good for thelong haul?

[00:59:10] DanStickler: Yeah, I'm good.

[00:59:11] LukeStorey: Okay. Good. I love that. What about the synergistic effect oftaking something like Qualia Mind? You kind of alluded to this earlier as yourfoundation, because it's not terribly upsetting or dysregulating. It's prettymild, I find it. Even in a high dose, there's just kind of, hmm, someone turnedthe lights on. Are there any other stacks that you've experimented with, withthat as the foundation, like taking a racetam or some of these other nootropicsthat are a little more hard-hitting?

[00:59:42] Dan Stickler:Well, prior to using Qualia or finding Qualia, I was creating my own stacks andI would take the similar approach that they would have. Okay. Let's getincreased blood flow. Let's look at these precursor molecules that need to besupplied there to keep the engine running. So, I would do like Alpha GPC prettycommonly. I would use some type of nitric oxide booster, and then do thenootropic, and I would experiment with the racetams with some of theadrafinils, these different forms in there.

[01:00:23] I mean,there's a hundred different classifications of these and you just kind of workwith them to find one that you like. And it just so happened that I likenoopept, which is a peptide, which I love peptides. I mean, that's \the way togo, in my opinion, because peptides are different than what we talked about inthe body being unfamiliar and reacting. 

[01:00:44] Peptides,the body knows what it is. It's something that it produces, and an amino acidsequence goes in there, it goes to the receptor that it's designed to go to,and the body knows how to respond to it. It's a very on-target effect. Andnoopept is wonderful. Some people don't get a response from it, but I find thatpeople who do respond to it really love it. Unfortunately, it's not availableother than as a research chemical right now, which is kind of ironicconsidering the body makes it. I mean, it's a very simple amino acid.

[01:01:19] LukeStorey: Well, that's a good segue way into the peptides then, somethingthat I've experimented with over the past couple of years. I've done thestandard stuff, BP-157, TB-500, melanotan, and DSIP, and I think C Max, a fewdifferent ones here and there. And my body, I guess it's because the reason youjust explained, I respond really well to peptides, like they do what they'resupposed to do.

[01:01:49] But thething that I found challenging about it, and I think a lot of people listeningto this will also find challenging is that they are for research only online.And so, unless you know a doctor or a clinic that you can go through that hasaccess to a legit compounding pharmacy, it's kind of the Wild West. Like I usePeptide Sciences just because enough smart doctors and people have said, yeah,they're legit.

[01:02:15] But evenwhen you get your hands on some that are clean, and not tainted, and areactually real, the dosing of them is actually really challenging. You got to bereally good at math, right? Because you're counting, well, how many MLs doesthis syringe have and how much of the backwater do I put in there to get the—Imean, it's just like mind-boggling, so I've gone in and out of it at differenttimes just because it's so difficult to kind of figure out on your own ifyou're not a doctor that understands these things. Are you guys in your clinicworking with peptides?

[01:02:50] DanStickler: Oh, yeah. We've been working with peptides for probably fiveyears now. And it comes and goes, because sometimes, the compounding pharmaciesare able to make them, and then other times, the FDA sends them a letter says,quit making it. And so, we lose things that we start working with. I really hadamazing results with most of the peptides. I mean, Thymosin Beta-4 is a healingpeptide. It is just unbelievable. Thymosin Alpha, which boosts the immune system.And there is a lot of docs that got in trouble during COVID, because they werepromoting it as beneficial to the immune system, too.

[01:03:22] LukeStorey: God forbid, we hopefully will build an immune system.

[01:03:24] DanStickler: Well, it's strange, because they took it off the market. FDA camein and said, you can't do this, and they sanctioned doctors for making claims,and yet there's plenty of studies on it, on the commercial brand, thymalfasin,which is a commercially made Thymosin Alpha, but you can't really patentsomething the body already makes. So, I guess the only control they had was toactually go in and have some reason why the compounding pharmacies couldn'tmake it.

[01:04:11] Well,thymalfasin is not approved in the United States yet, so they said, it's not aproduct—to compound something, it has to be a component of an existing productthat's in the commercial market, but not the same. And that's happened with acouple of them. Like tesamorelin. Tesamorelin is kind of a modified growthhormone-releasing hormone, but it's $1000 a month to treat AIDS wastingsyndrome, and you could get it from a compounding pharmacy at one-fifth of thatprice.

[01:04:46] LukeStorey: Right. Do you think that's behind the FDA periodically coming afterpeptides? Is it like an influence of the pharmaceutical industrial complex thatdoesn't want anyone to-

[01:05:01] DanStickler: The conspiracy that everybody goes for.

[01:05:01] LukeStorey: ... compete with patented drugs that are much more profitable?

[01:05:06] DanStickler: I mean, the thing is they're enforcing the laws that exist. Imean, there's been a couple that were like, wait, that doesn't qualify underthat law, but they went ahead and did it. There's been a few like that, but notmany. I mean, most of them, they do. They come up with requirements like, toget tesamorelin off, they said, okay, you can't compound anything over, I thinkit was 40 amino acids long. And so, that took off a couple of the peptides.They just said, it's just not safe. Once you get that long, you can't guaranteethe purity as well. But who knows? I mean, I'm more of an optimist in thinkingthat there's not some evil agenda out there to take these away, but just peopleill-informed.

[01:05:57] LukeStorey: Well, it's also I'm so just innately anti-establishment andparanoid, so I'm always like, it's the man trying to hold us back. But on theother side, like let's say the FDA just went, okay, it's the Wild West,everyone, do what you want. I mean, we'd have a lot of either fake or taintedpeptides on the market, and there probably still are coming from China orwherever they come from. But it's like there kind of needs to be someregulatory agency to make sure that-

[01:06:25] DanStickler: Well, there is. It's called Reddit, and it works extremely well.I mean, companies that are putting out false stuff, they get found out reallyquick, because the people on Reddit, their experience with it, and they'll takesomebody's product, and they'll say, uh-uh, this didn't work, and then otherpeople will chime in on it, and suddenly, the company just gets all this badpress. So, this crowdsourcing of this stuff of the nootropics, I mean, that'swhere I learned most about nootropics when I first started down the path, wason Reddit.

[01:06:59] LukeStorey: Yeah, me, too. Me, too. When it comes to the ones that youmentioned that support the thymus, and thus the immune system, I wanted to diveinto that a little bit, because I was talking to one of our two-time guest anda friend named Robert Slovak a couple of days ago, and we were talking aboutimmunity. And he said, Luke, it's all about the thymus. He said when you'reyounger, your thymus is about the size of a walnut.

[01:07:22] By the timeyou're whatever, it was 50, it's the size of a pea. A lot of people don't paymuch attention to this little gland. And then, my next question was, well, I'm50, like how much is my thymus shrunk, and how do I help it? And we didn't getto that part of the conversation. So, these peptides that signal to thethalamus, how do they work? And is that what makes them effective at boostingimmunity, because they're kind of nourishing that gland, again, or what?

[01:07:48] DanStickler: Well, I mean, your glands atrophy completely by 50. I mean by 30,most people don't have any function of the thymus gland anymore. Dr. Fahey, whodid the study with Horvath on the epigenetic age reversal with growth hormonevitamin D, DHEA, and metformin, he was doing some work using, and I think itwas Thymosin Alpha. He was pretty vague on what he was using, but he was usinggrowth hormone, and Thymosin Alpha, and something else, but he was gettingactual regrowth of the thymus.

[01:08:28] And he wasdoing MRI studies and I had a conversation with him. And I can tell that he wasprobably using it, but I can't say for sure, because he was very secretiveabout the research. But that's a big deal, bring the thymus back. I mean,there's the potential. And I've heard from a researcher that with rejuvenationof the thymus, they were able to get people to resolve autoimmune thyroidissues.

[01:09:02] LukeStorey: Wow. That's huge.

[01:09:03] DanStickler: That's all just hearsay, but that's what they were talking about.And this is a big part of aging. I mean, we look at CD4, CD8 cells, and we say,how much of these are aged cells versus naive cells? And this is a good markerof aging. It's called the extrinsic age. It's marking the age of immune systemand things that can boost that that we have seen, when we were able to useThymosin Alpha, we were actually seeing that happen in clients. Again,anecdotal, our experience, we don't have a good research study on it, but whatwe look at is good sense making when it comes to informing decisions, and thensetting up ways to measure whether it's working or not. And with that, we couldmeasure the CD4, CD8 levels and see what has happened.

[01:10:00] LukeStorey: Oh, interesting. Let's run through a couple of the other peptides.So, a couple that I mentioned, I think these are the most ubiquitous withpeptide users is the BPC-157, is a body-protective compound. Is that what thatstands for? And then, the TB-500. Those seem to be often used in conjunction,and those are ones that I've experimented with just doing like a subcutaneousinjection, just systemically.

[01:10:25] But I'vealso used them in my bum, shoulder, and elbow, and things like that, which istypically a little more painful of a shot. But there is one school of thoughtthat using peptides like that locally at the problem area doesn't make anydifference, that you just do them systemically like with a subcu shot, and thenthere are other people that say, oh, no, they work much better if you do themlocally. Have you had any differential of experience between those?

[01:10:54] DanStickler: We don't have a good answer on that. I'm always in favor of amore systemic approach depending on what you're trying to do. I mean, if you dohave traumatized tissue that is in a very local area, why not inject into thatarea? I mean, it's still creating a systemic effect, it's just being a littlebit more concentrated in that particular area. But some of these don'tnecessarily work right at that area. They work at something distant to create aresponse that causes it to happen.

[01:11:27] LikeBPC-157, one of its best things is its ability to create angiogenesis, which isgrowth of new blood vessels. We found just spectacular results with the oralBPC-157, with people with any gut dysbiosis or intestinal issues. I mean, it'salmost 100% that people would put it on. We don't even use probiotics,prebiotics, gut-healing protocols, we used BPC, and for a month or two, andthey're done, and they're all healed up.

[01:11:59] LukeStorey: And that's interesting, because I've been using this oral BPC-157from a company called BioPure, and I read a bunch of stuff on their site, and Iwas like, it seems much more legit than some of the other oral versions, and Iforget exactly what their metrics were, but it was convincing enough that Ithought I'd try it, and I just ran out of it, actually. I got to get some more.But it's interesting, because my gut has improved a lot, but I also do enzymes,and different probiotic runs, and a lot of bone broth, and I do other things.

[01:12:32] So, it's onething that kind of sucks about being the kind of experimental guy that I am isit's often difficult for me to say exactly what's doing what. So, I can'tunequivocally say, I just live my normal life, and I started doing the oralBPC-157 from BioPure, thanks BioPure for sending it to me, I appreciate it, Ican't say that it was just that, because I did all these other things. And Idon't have the kind of discipline to just do isolated tests on things, whichit's a disadvantage, because I can't share that with the audience, and say,okay, I didn't change anything about this one thing, and here's what it did forme.

[01:13:07] But I cansay that a combination of using the BiOptimizers enzymes and the JustThrive'sspore-based probiotics, like a lot of my sponsors on the show, it's stuff thatI take all the time, and as a net result of all of those things, like my gut isbetter than ever, digestion, everything, eased that horrible heartburn, andjust digestive problems of not regular bowel movements, too much one way or theother, I won't be too graphic. But that's interesting because I kind of forgotabout that part of the BPC-157. I just took it, because, well, it's good foryou.

[01:13:43] DanStickler: I should share, I have a conflict of interest, because I have asupplement company that we sell BPC-157.

[01:13:48] LukeStorey: Oh, really? Yeah. Do you guys have an oral version of it?

[01:13:51] DanStickler: Yeah.

[01:13:51] LukeStorey: Oh, no shit. What's it called?

[01:13:53] DanStickler: BPC-157. It's Apeiron, A-P-E-I-R-O-N.

[01:13:59] LukeStorey: Oh, and is that the name of your clinic, too?

[01:14:00] DanStickler: Yeah.

[01:14:01] LukeStorey: Oh, okay.

[01:14:02] DanStickler: So, we have a generic company. We have a supplement company. Wehave an education company. And we have the clinics.

[01:14:09] LukeStorey: Wow.

[01:14:09] DanStickler: And a mastermind.

[01:14:11] LukeStorey: Well, your brain's got to be really working in order to manage allthat. Okay. So, BPC-157. And then, what about TB-500? That one seems to bepopular and kind of used for similar stuff.

[01:14:22] DanStickler: Yeah, they kind of cross over. Like when we had it available forprescribing, people would have a good result with. It's usually the first oneyou try. You will claim it has a better result for you. So, if you try BPC-157first, and then you try Thymosin Beta-4, you'd be like, oh, no, the BPC worksbetter. If you try Thymosin Beta-4 first, and then you tend to get theresponse, I like the combination of two, because anything for me, I don't likeany one thing to go after something. I like combinations.

[01:14:56] LukeStorey: Systems guy.

[01:14:57] DanStickler: Right. And so, a combination of BPC-157, Thymosin Beta-4, andlike AOD, those work really well together for tissue healing, and I've seenreally great accelerations in people that have been stagnant in theirrehabilitation process, and they go on that, and they just have really amazing resultswith them.

[01:15:21] LukeStorey: That's cool. And then, this one I always find funny but also usefulin some cases, and that's this melanotan that results in this crazy tanning,and also, sometimes, too long-lasting erections in some people. Does melanotanhave a place in your wheelhouse?

[01:15:41] DanStickler: Yeah, melanotan is pretty ubiquitous. I do use it every year justbecause I don't like sunscreen, like how it feels. I don't like having to putit on. And I'm not really well-protected up here, so I feel like having a tanis the most protective thing. And with melanotan, I can get a tan with muchless UV exposure and very rapidly. I mean, within a couple of days, it's justlike 30-minute exposure for a couple of days, and suddenly, you've got like afull summer tan, so it doesn't take much to do it. But again, it's not approvedfor human use. But the melanotan II and the melanotan I are different animals.

[01:16:27] LukeStorey: Ah, okay, because I am trying to think back. It's a couple of yearsago, but I got some of the melanotan and it didn't really do the tanning thing,but it definitely did the erection thing like to a fault.

[01:16:40] DanStickler: Yeah, that was melanotan II.

[01:16:41] LukeStorey: Okay. There you go. Thank you. Because I thought, I guess I'm oliveskin, maybe I just didn't notice it or something.

[01:16:47] DanStickler: And melanotan II crosses the blood brain barrier, whereasmelanotan I does not. So, melanotan I is better if you're just going to get atan, although it seems to be less good at it, as melanotan II, but melanotan IIcrosses blood brain barrier and it stimulates Alpha MSH receptors. This iswhere you get the erection piece of it. In fact, they found that to be sopronounced that they took the melanotan II, and they say, what part of this isstimulating this response? And they found a small segment called PT-141. PT-141is the erection peptide.

[01:17:31] LukeStorey: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Actually, you know what, that's what I wastaking, because I-

[01:17:36] DanStickler: Oh, that will-

[01:17:39] LukeStorey: Yeah, it was PT-141. I've been out of it for a while. I liked itand it definitely works. I mean, you get erections for days. The thing that wasweird about it was totally unpredictable in terms of when it was going to hit,so one would think they were perhaps going to get frisky on a particularevening. And so, maybe at 7:00 PM, you think, ah, there'd be a couple of hoursbefore that transpires, and then nothing really happens. And then, you findyourself waking up at 1:00 in the morning like a 13-year-old and not been ableto get it to stop for many hours. And then, said partner might not be around orawake anymore, and you're kind of like left there with your D in your hand.

[01:18:19] DanStickler: You can't roll over in bed.

[01:18:21] LukeStorey: Yeah, you got a full pup tent going there. So, that, I kind of waslike, oh, there's something here, but I didn't continue with it to try and geta predictable result with it, but absolutely. And no side effects of like aheadache or something like that that one would get with the Viagra.

[01:18:39] DanStickler: I had a lot of elderly clients that had found just completesaving grace in PT-141, because the phosphodiesterase inhibitors weren'tworking for them and PT-141 actually gave them that sexual life back. But yeah,it's a problem. I mean, you can take it, and sometimes, it'll take eight, ninehours to even onset, whereas other times, it'll take two hours.

[01:19:07] LukeStorey: Yeah, I found that to be true. I guess that's why I didn't keepdoing it. I thought, well, this could be useful, but you'd have to really likefine-tune it to understand the duration, and onset, and things like that. Doyou think the PT-141 would have a similar effect on females as well? Do theyget like increased arousal or anything like that anecdotally?

[01:19:31] DanStickler: I've had some females that tried it because they were looking forthat libido enhancement piece and not really much of a result, although theydo, they do get some sexual arousal with melanotan II in certain females.

[01:19:48] LukeStorey: Interesting. I wonder with the melanotan I if it's having this sortof protective effect that allows you to get less UV in a shorter period oftime, and then tan, I wonder if there is any possibility of it helping with theproduction of D3. Do you think it has any interaction there? Has anyone doingany testing to see if your D3 levels go up, because you're able to take in andsoak up so much sun?

[01:20:14] DanStickler: I mean, the tanning actually does increase. The tanned skin doesbetter with D3 and actually creating the D2. And it's hard to say. I mean, Ithink it would. I give my clients supplement D3, so I don't rely on the Sun,because from a genetic standpoint, there are so many people that just don't dovery well with converting.

[01:20:43] LukeStorey: Yeah. With the melanotan I, is this something that a fair-skinnedperson could use, someone that's freckled kind of complexion?

[01:20:52] Dan Stickler:I've seen it, but you have to watch, because the initial thing is the frecklesget darker, and they can darken pretty significantly. I mean, people will beconcerned about the risk of melanoma. There was one reported case, but thewoman also had done 20 years of sun bed. So, hard to say if there was an actualcausation there, but you have to watch for that, because they tend to darkenfreckles and they stay dark.

[01:21:21] LukeStorey: Oh, really?

[01:21:22] DanStickler: I actually had a scar on my leg, and I took it, and got tanned,and the scars just like permanently dark from that one year that I got the scarand used it.

[01:21:32] LukeStorey: Wow. Interesting. And then, what about for cognitive function? Imentioned semax, and I think I've done a couple of other peptides that I gotfrom Craig Conover. He would send me these sort of preloaded syringes that hada nice blend of different peptides. I didn't pay that much attention. He callsthem the neuro-something. And I found them to be effective, but I couldn't keepup with it. You know what I mean? I ran out, and then kind of forgot, but Ithink semax was in there, and maybe a couple of other things. 

[01:22:01] DanStickler: Semax and selank both are really, really nice for some people,but not for many. Many people, taken it, was like, it didn't do anything forme. One that's been doing pretty well is RG-3. It's not a peptide, but RG-3, italso goes under the brand of Synapsin. But it is a [indiscernible] derivativealong with some methyl B-12, something else I think in it, but it's a nasalspray, and I've had better results with that than I have with the peptideboosters, the short-term enhancers. We were talking about this earlier, but theketone ester is one of the best things I've seen.

[01:22:59] LukeStorey: Thanks for reminding me of that. And what do you think it is? Is itjust you're giving the brain more ketones for energy? And so, those differentactivities that the brain, as we know the brain burns up so much energy workingdoing almost-

[01:23:14] DanStickler: Yeah, man. It's 20% of your metabolism. And if you're focused onusing it, it's going to be a lot more.

[01:23:17] LukeStorey: That's crazy. So, do you think the ketone ester is just energy,just fuel?

[01:23:24] DanStickler: Yeah, it's just feeding a very clean fuel directly into it.

[01:23:28] LukeStorey: Yeah. I take these company, Perfect Keto, and they have some ketoneesters that actually taste pretty good. There's like a-

[01:23:36] DanStickler: No, no.

[01:23:37] LukeStorey: I mean, to me, okay, because I've had just plain ketone esters, andI can eat or drink anything. If it's good for me, like the taste is secondary,I'll get over it. But maybe it's because I had those and they were sodisgusting, but I think the Perfect Keto ones, there's like a berry one and achocolate one. I don't know. I put a big old scoop in water, stir it up, I chugit down.

[01:23:57] DanStickler: Yeah, they taste okay, they don't have enough esters. I mean, Ihave truly tried every one on the market. I just tried a new one today fromJuvenescence, it's a chocolate one, and I took it, and I was like, oh, my God,this actually tastes good. And then, I was like, hmm, no, okay, got theaftertaste, and it was the ketone ester taste.

[01:24:19] LukeStorey: Well, saying they taste good, I'll admit it, is a littleoverstatement. I guess they taste, let's say they taste better than plain,okay? Because at least you're like, oh, I recognize some chocolatey flavor inthere, it's better than just-

[01:24:30] DanStickler: No. For me, the flavored almost makes it worse, because you getlike fooled a little bit by like the Delta G ketones comes in this like reallysyrupy like berry flavor, and you take it, and you taste it, it tastes like areally strong cough syrup flavor, and that kind of goes down, but then theketones come on. So, the aftertaste, you're still getting the ketones. So, forme, I'm going with, I'd use the ketone aid, the KE-4s, just do a couple ofcupfuls of that, and just get it over with, rinse it down, and I'm good.

[01:25:11] LukeStorey: Alright. Good. And you were saying that you do that before physicalexercise, too?

[01:25:16] DanStickler: Yeah, before workouts, before any real big cognitive lift.Sometimes, for sleep, too.

[01:25:21] LukeStorey: Oh, interesting. Yeah. Speaking of the brain-burning energy, as I getmore tuned into my brain function, just always kind of optimizing that, andgetting a more narrow path where I can kind of tell what's doing what, it wasyesterday, I attempted to adopt a new email program. It's called Superhuman,and a shout out to them. I think they're doing something very cool. I mean, ithas potential, but I did the onboarding call with them.

[01:25:48] DanStickler: They turned me down.

[01:25:49] LukeStorey: Oh, really? I could have referred you when I was still on.

[01:25:52] DanStickler: I had too many emails for the beta program.

[01:25:54] LukeStorey: Okay. Well, they're able to do it now, by the way. It's very cool.I mean, it's AI, intuitive. I mean-

[01:26:00] DanStickler: Oh, no. It looked really awesome, man. I was like, they don'twant me.

[01:26:03] LukeStorey: It could be great for the right type of brain. But we did theonboarding consult, and it was maybe 30 minutes, and my brain was exhaustedafter work, because it's just, I don't know, it's the way I'm wired, that typeof focus just wears me out, where I could do a lot, I could sit down and playguitar for five hours, and I feel energized afterward. I mean, I can use mybrain in different ways, but not to put them down, as I said, it's prettyincredible, but it was just abundantly clear to me very quickly, like thiswould not work for me, my brain, it's not visual enough. There's a lot oftriggers that are happening and like keyboard shortcuts you have to remember.And I think if you really learned it and you had a brain that was good at that,it would revolutionize your email.

[01:26:51] DanStickler: If you were Superhuman.

[01:26:53] LukeStorey: Yeah, if you were Superhuman. But by the end of it, I was like,okay, and I'd already signed up for the first month, and at the end, I said, mylast question was, and what do I do if I want to refund? Because I wasexhausted, and then I went and did my NuCalm meditation thing, I did 20 minutesof that, laying in the sun, and then I was ready to go on with it, but I reallyhad to recoup that brainpower. That was an example of that. Like wow, I justburned up a lot of energy trying to get my brain to become malleable around away that it doesn't intuitively like to work. So, definitely some truth tothat. What's your take on methylene blue? Have you-

[01:27:32] DanStickler: Didn't have much experience with that one. I just haven't beenreal excited about what I've read about it. So, it hasn't been one of thoseones that's high on my list to go down. I mean, there's so many out there. Ijust got a guitar and I'm going to learn how to play guitar, so I'm going to doa combination of some neurostimulation that can boost learning, and then maybesome diexo with that to—diexo is really amazing with the rapidity of dendriticgrowth that occurs with it. So, hoping to hack the quick learning of a guitar.

[01:28:09] LukeStorey: For those that hear this conversation and get really hyped up onpeptides, I mean, the Qualia, they can just go to neurohacker, is itneurohacker.com? 

[01:28:18] DanStickler: Yeah.

[01:28:19] LukeStorey: Yeah, Neurohacker, you can get it, it's affordable, fast, it'samazing, it comes in huge bottles, like that's done.

[01:28:24] DanStickler: Yeah, you get a subscription, you can cancel it at any time, andit's a lot cheaper.

[01:28:27] LukeStorey: Yeah, that's what I do. But there's going to be a lot of peoplelistening to this like, oh, my God, peptides are amazing, I've heard aboutthem, and now, they know a lot about them. But as I said, it's kind of a darkweb thing. It's a little bit difficult to navigate. So, I've had great successwith Peptide Sciences, that site, and everyone I've talked to said, oh, they'relegit, don't worry about it. But again, the mixing of them and all that, verycomplicated. So, if one wanted to explore this, is this something they could doby going through your clinic, or other clinicians, or doctors that are familiarand well-versed in the peptide world?

[01:29:05] DanStickler: We use the ones that are approved right now. We've used the otherones after they were taken off, so we know the correct dosing of all of them.So, I have clients that'll say, I'm going to do this one way or the other, soyou can either help me to do it safe or not. And that first do no harm criteriais there, because I've seen some people like overdo it, like somebody wassupposed to take melanotan II, and after they mixed it, they were supposed toinject like 0.15 CCs. I mean, 15-tenths of a CC, and they injected 1.5 CCs,because they said, it didn't look like it was the right amount.

[01:29:54] LukeStorey: That sounds like something my dumbass would do.

[01:29:58] DanStickler: Paid the price for it. It was a long night for them. But yeah, Imean, the places where you buy the injectable peptides, they say right on thebio, not for human use, and they give you zero instructions, so you're left onyour own to figure that out. And it amazes me, because it's just something Iknow how to do, but it amazes me that some of these really smart people thatare just at a loss for how do you get this many milligrams per injection andmix it the right way. So, yeah, I mean, there are some resources out there.There's like a peptide mixing calculator-

[01:30:42] LukeStorey: I found that eventually, yeah. Yeah, that was helpful.

[01:30:46] DanStickler: ... that people have been using, and it works for some of them,but you've still got to know what milligram dose you want to be getting in thedifferent one.

[01:30:52] LukeStorey: And also, like I use that calculator, and it was, I mean, I kind ofgot myself deeper in the weeds until I figured, I had to really spend somebrainpower, the same kind of brainpower I try to use in that onboarding call,that's like the shit my brain does not like to do. So, I'm looking at mysyringes, and I'm like, well, it has these numbers on, is that the numbersthey're talking about on the site? I mean, it was complicated, but eventually,I figured out. But I think that is one of the barriers to entry of trying to doit yourself. So, like at your clinic, for example, do you ever work with peopleremotely or is this like they have to come in for the full on program, and likesee you guys in person, and all that?

[01:31:32] DanStickler: We'll initially start off working with some people remotely justbecause of COVID. We traditionally did not. We always required that visit tous. With COVID, we've been a little bit more lenient on that. Yeah, we have amastermind program where the mastermind members have the option to have medicalcare through us as well, and we'll work with them remotely. But we have eventshere in town and they're required to come to the event, be seen by theirclinician. We have two PAs and a nurse practitioner that work in the office,and they're the ones that do most of the one-on-one stuff. I take very few clientsmyself, I oversee all the others.

[01:32:25] LukeStorey: Okay. Got it. And the last thing I want to ask you about is, thatwe alluded to it a bit around neuroplasticity, but around microdosing. I'vebeen for, I don't know, a couple of years now, doing psilocybin microdosing,100 mg, 200 mg, so a tenth of a gram or two-tenths of a gram, like not adiscernable like, oh, my God, I'm tripping and seeing rainbows. But definitelyhas absolutely helped with my mood regulation, general sense of well-being, creativity,focus. I'll do that probably maybe three days a week or something. I kind ofjust split it out. I have someone who will remain unnamed who makes anincredible tincture that has all of the other medicinal mushrooms and some-

[01:33:02] DanStickler: Can you give me their name and number? 

[01:33:04] LukeStorey: No. And people are going to DM me on Instagram, and be like, can Ihave your contact? I'm like, guys, this shit is illegal. Like I'm admitting Ibroke the law. Okay. Come get me, but I'm not going to like connect people. Atthis point, I think that we'll move past that in terms of legislation. But fornow, I'm sorry, guys, I can't give it to you. But he makes these great littletinctures and I turn to a friend of mine on to it, actually, two friends backin LA who have never done any nootropics, they've not done-

[01:33:31] DanStickler: They went straight to LSD.

[01:33:32] LukeStorey: Yeah, they've not done any sort of cognitive enhancementmicrodosing. They don't do any drugs or drink. They're sober guys. And I said,hey, this is technically a drug, but be careful, but it's helped me a lot. Ihad two guys to try it, and like the psilocybin tincture changed their life. Imean, their relationships improve. They're doing better at work. It just was ahuge needle mover. And again, for me, I notice it, but I'm doing so much stuff.

[01:34:01] It's hard toisolate anything. So, that was the psilocybin experiment on two total normies,and that really showed me, wow, this is real. This is powerful because theydidn't change anything else in their lives, and they both just had theseexponential healing and growth spurts. And then, personally, actually, from thesame guy, and I definitely can't share this one, but started doing LSDmicrodosing maybe a couple of years ago, and I'll do five micrograms or 10micrograms, I guess one-twentieth of a hit of acid or something like that.

[01:34:31] And again,not discernible, hence microdose in terms of feeling high or anything likethat, totally able to function. But on the two days or so that I do that for aweek, it's a guaranteed, super productive, super focused, super creative day,and in the best mood ever, which is why I don't do it every day, because Idon't want my body to get used to it. So, that's my subjective experience withthose two microdoses. What's your take on microdosing those two substances?What does it do? What makes it work? Anything that you have to share with us?And then, finally, as a kind of a tail on that, do you see this becomingsomething in the future that becomes less regulated because of the obviousbenefits?

[01:35:24] DanStickler: First of all, I just don't want to hang out with you anymore,because you inject drugs in altered states. But yeah, I had to become a bit ofan expert on some of the psychedelics, because my clients are a lot of SiliconValley executives, entrepreneurs. I mean, it's just ubiquitous in there. And you'vegot to learn all about this stuff to understand how it's impacting health andwhat it's doing for the person, how it interacts with something you mayprescribe them, because most people are pretty straightforward with me and theytell me exactly what they're doing.

[01:36:00] And so,based on the research I've seen, based on the clients that I've seen that havebeen doing it, and the research is pretty clear, you look at MDMA, you look atpsilocybin, you look at LSD, and there are true medical indications and thereare indications in enhancement. Medical community is not going to be doinganything that deals with enhancement in any way.

[01:36:31] The abilityto get more creative, LSD is really amazing in microdoses, where it's notactually altering your perceptions or your normal state in that regard, butthey report a sense of well-being all over. And their creativity, they're ableto see things in how they work together. I think Steve Jobs was notorious formicrodosing quite frequently, and he attributes the ability to come up with newideas to that. I don't know how much of that is truth, but the studies arepretty good right now.

[01:37:17] Now, whatwill happen with it? I think the decriminalization is probably the best routeto go with this stuff, because when it goes into the medical community, itbecomes regulated, and it becomes regulated to the point that they exert theircontrol over the way to use. Like MDMA right now, I mean, there's a lot ofpeople that are wanting to get the MDMA back available, because I mean, there'sa book called Love Drugs by Earp and somebody else, and they're bioethicistsout of, I think, Imperial College.

[01:37:46] But it's anamazing book, and it's a good kind of thesis on why MDMA should be madeavailable to people. It's a true love drug. And we have plenty of anti-lovedrugs on the market, and it only becomes a drug and not a medication, becauseit's illegal versus legal. Well, even things that are legal, if you buy Ativanfrom the pharmacy versus you buy Ativan from a street vendor, it's a drug.Pharmacy, it's a medication.

[01:38:18] So, what'sthe differentiation there? But the microdosing, it needs to be studied more indepth. I mean, you can find studies online of it right now. I think RobinCarhart-Harris had a really nice study on LSD microdosing that they did, andthey looked at what type of creativity changes the way people were thinking andhow it persisted after the microdose for days, even like a week out without anypsychological alterations in that regard.

[01:38:58] LukeStorey: Yeah, there's one thing that I'm curious about with the LSDmicrodosing specifically. It's like I just wish I had a qEEG machine at home,so when I do things, I'm like, God, I'm so curious, even just-

[01:39:08] DanStickler: I do.

[01:39:09] LukeStorey: Oh, really? Oh, that's so cool. Even just in a meditation, I go,oh, that was a deep one, I must have been in theta, I might even hit gammathere for a minute, but I don't have the ability to do that. But subjectively,with the LSD microdosing, something that's very unique about it is that itseems to have the ability to produce hemispheric synchronization where I can beequally left and right brain, like analytical, creative, attention to detail,super focused, but then also very creative and in a really happy kind of freemood, and there's nothing else in my experience that creates reliably that sameeffect.

[01:39:49] DanStickler: Well, psilocybin is pretty classic for the interconnectivitybetween them.

[01:39:53] LukeStorey: The same thing is true for psilocybin?

[01:39:55] DanStickler: Yeah. 

[01:39:56] LukeStorey: Because I definitely notice it more with LSD, that particularthing, where I can jump from like a very focused, analytical task to create atask, jump back and forth, like the bridge to, what, the corpus callosum thatit's called, seems like something's happening there, because I can like boink,boink, boink, boink, jump back and forth much easier. And typically, that'sdifficult for me. Like I have to go into a creative project, and get like inthe creative zone, and then stop that, and then like take a break, shift gears,and go in and work on my taxes. Like there's not typically a way to kind oflike merge those, and just dance in and out of them. It's very pronounced. It'sreally cool. 

[01:40:34] DanStickler: Yeah, the mapping on the brain of people on psilocybin and themicroses predominantly.

[01:40:39] LukeStorey: It shows the same stuff.

[01:40:41] DanStickler: Yeah, you see the interconnectivity go through the roof. Onething you might want to look at is the Muse S-

[01:40:46] LukeStorey: Oh, yeah.

[01:40:50] DanStickler: That's essentially an EEG headband. And I was talking with ArielGarten, the founder, the other day, and she was telling me that they dopolysomnograph comparison, and they were equal. They're getting ready topublish the data.

[01:41:02] LukeStorey: Really?

[01:41:03] DanStickler: Yeah. So, I'm interested to see if it can really map thebrainwave patterns during meditation and stuff.

[01:41:13] LukeStorey: I had a Muse, and I liked it for that effect, but I ended upreturning it, and nothing against Muse, and this is probably just my ownpersonal-

[01:41:23] DanStickler: [Indiscernible] , didn't it?

[01:41:24] LukeStorey: No. I liked it. I liked it, because it was cool, because I wouldtry different styles of meditation. I'd be like, do my old school Vedicmeditation, and I would get a certain type of result, and then I would justsort of daydream, or I might like do any number of different kind ofmindfulness practices, and it was interesting to see the quantification, but Ididn't like it because there was no ability, at least at that time, to turn theBluetooth off.

[01:41:47] And so, I'mputting on like a Bluetooth halo on my brain, and I've had some pretty negativeexperiences with acute EMF exposure. I'm super sensitive to it. And I just haveinterviewed enough physicist and smart people that tell me what EMF actuallydoes to you, that it's like, I don't want any EMF too close to me. And so, Istopped using it, but I was kind of bummed, because I did like that effect. So,if I get close to you-

[01:42:11] I'm going toget a headache, man. I mean, that's the thing, though, with EMF. It's like partof it's psychosomatic, because of the power of the mind, right? If you thinksomething's hurting you, it's hurting you worse than if you were ignorant of itsexistence. But I had a situation in which I was living under these cell towersunknowingly, and I got really sick, like for three years. I mean, it justwrecked my life. It was horrible. So, there's like a quasi-PTSD around it, soI'm just like, this house we're remodeling, it's all hardwired, there'sEthernet everywhere, like just no smart technology, none of that stuff.

[01:42:47] It's justold school. So, when technology's come out and have great benefits, but theyalso have that Bluetooth thing that you can't disable, I'm kind of like, oh, Igot to wait until enough biohackers bitch about the EMF, and then they'll finda way to do it. But I don't think it would work with the Muse because thebiofeedback is using Bluetooth, they would have to create like a wired versionof it to eliminate the Bluetooth, it seems. But it was a very cool device.

[01:43:14] DanStickler: [Indiscernible] in epigenetics and body's always constantlyadapting to stressors to be stronger. That's what it does. I mean, we even knowthat people living in areas of the US that have the highest backgroundradiation from the environment, they actually live longer than people at lowerrates.

[01:43:34] LukeStorey: What?

[01:43:34] DanStickler: Yeah, because of hormetic effect.

[01:43:38] LukeStorey: That's crazy.

[01:43:40] DanStickler: So, they adapt to be more antifragile. I mean, that's just thething that happens. They did a study on people working on the docks of anuclear subs and monitored their radiation exposure every year, and they foundthat they had higher longevity. They didn't even publish this data at first,because they were like, this is too far out there for people.

[01:44:04] LukeStorey: That's wild. 

[01:44:06] DanStickler: You can look, like I said, everything has a good and a bad to it,and evolutionarily, and this is the reason we die, is so that we can turn overour genes and the adaptations that have occurred with the changing environmentsthat occur. So, from an epigenetic standpoint, how do you create the nextversion of the organism that's stronger, and stronger, and stronger? I mean,even now, if we would take you back and put you in the environment of 12,000years ago, the paleo environment, you couldn't really survive, because all ofyour adaptations are designed for the current world where it is. It wouldn't bethat you lack skills, it's just that your body wasn't adapted to-

[01:44:45] LukeStorey: Your body's going, wait, it's not 60 degrees 24/7? Right?

[01:44:50] DanStickler: Yeah. 

[01:44:50] LukeStorey: That's so funny, the hermetic stress of EMF. That's interesting,because I've thought about that, but my timeline is much longer. I think, okay-

[01:45:02] DanStickler: Well, you're talking about high-dose, too, under a cell tower.That's very different.

[01:45:05] LukeStorey: But let's just say, wireless communications in general, just theambient radiation that's in this room right now from the Wi-Fi and the nearbycell towers, which, by the way, I know where they are, because I mapped themand purposefully didn't move into an apartment near them. But let's just say,okay, I'm getting that hormetic stress. And so, the adaptation is happeningright now in my genetic expression for this generation, I've always thought,well, it hasn't been around that long, so how many generations do we have to gothrough until that adaptation takes place, and then we're made better for it orat least tolerant to it? But what you just described is like a very quickadaptation, which is really interesting.

[01:45:40] DanStickler: Well, that's the epigenetics, to change genetics that's going totake generations, but the epigenetics is a gene expression. Those are whatchange in the short term. But I mean, you think about it, you know how much EMFis in this room altogether right now? I mean, how many football games are beingplayed right now that are flowing through this room? How many songs are beingplayed that are flowing through this room? How many conversations are takingplace on the cellphones everywhere around us that are passing through thisroom? I mean, you take a look, I mean, this room would be packed solid with EMFif you looked at the full spectrum of it.

[01:46:16] LukeStorey: Yeah, I had a group of photos that I had at some point, I postedthem on Instagram, and I don't know how they generated this, but they wereessentially showing different rooms inside a building. And they made a visualrepresentation of all the RF in there. And it's just like these rainbowingcascading tunnels and plumes just filling every square inch of the space, andit was a really good visual representation of what you just described.

[01:46:40] Now, I tookthat as like, holy shit, I'm never leaving the forest again, you know what Imean? But I think that's the thing, a lot of people don't understand about EMFis because it's invisible, it's like, I don't know, I feel fine. And I thoughtliving in that apartment I lived, I mean, at first, I felt great, and then overtime, it was like, what's happening here? Now, if we could see some sort ofthermal imaging of that space, it would have been like living next to afreaking X-ray machine or something. Hence, when I found out, I moved likehell. 

[01:47:10] I even endedup creating an EMF course, because I was like, man, this could happen to otherpeople. And because you only feel the symptoms of it, typically, unless youknow the source of it, you can get jacked up. But I like where you're goingwith that, of just the epigenetic effect of the hormetic stress from just thegeneral low-level ambient EMF. That's actually reassuring, because I now havethis sort of nocebo thing where I see a router across the room and I have thisnervous system response, it's like, I'm in danger, I'm in danger, which is, ofcourse, making it worse, because now, I'm in fear and anxiety around the thing,instead of it just being there in the background. It's kind of a doublejeopardy.

[01:47:51] DanStickler: Oh, I should have brought you to my apartment downtown when Ilived there, because you would pull up the Wi-Fi and there'd be 42.

[01:48:01] LukeStorey: I know. That's why I don't live in the city, man. That's why Idon't live in the city. In the house that that we're renovating right now,actually, my buddy, Brian Hoyer, has been on the show a couple of times. He's abuilding biologist, and finally, because it's the first time owning, I had himand his team come out, and screen the whole place, and I made the bedroom aFaraday cube. I mean, it is like the forest and the two other additionalbedrooms.

[01:48:18] And then, Idid something interesting in there, too, which totally negates your theory ofthe epigenetic effect, but in a room where like our TV room and the sittingroom, and then my and my fiancee's offices, we just did a low-frequency paneand grounded it all. So, we grounded the floor, grounded like a U-shape aroundwhere the desk or the sofa would be, not to block the RF, but just so you'renot getting hit with that AC current the whole time you're sitting there tryingto relax. So, I'm really excited. It's like the house is so dialed in.

[01:48:55] DanStickler: Yeah. I mean, any mitigation you can do, especially when you'vehad health issues or you do have kind of a story around it. It's just like wewere talking with the stories around the plant medicine stuff, and it reallydoes impact the physiology in ways. And so, like for me, I look at it, I'mlike, okay, none of this stuff bothers me. I moved from living on a 54-acremountain home in North Carolina with no Wi-Fi to that downtown Austinapartment, where I had 42 signals coming in at the same time, and I didn'tnotice anything.

[01:49:30] LukeStorey: You didn't feel any different?

[01:49:34] DanStickler: Felt nothing. But I wasn't like, am I feeling something? Becauseif you get into that mindset, you start, oh, okay, that's symptom, that'sprobably that. And so, you can get yourself into that mode, I'm not saying thatthere isn't health issues that can occur, it's just, don't create health issuesand attribute it to that without really paying attention to what it's comingfrom.

[01:50:00] LukeStorey: Yeah, I think that's sage advice. And it goes for stuff we eat too,right?

[01:50:04] DanStickler: Right.

[01:50:04] LukeStorey: It's like if you become orthorexic because you're so paranoid abouteating animal products or whatever it is, like people go on these extremecarnivore diet, vegan diet, paleo diet, and then become so rigid and kind ofcontrolling about it, and I know because I've done this, that then that's likeits own sort of mental pathology disguising itself as like your desire to keepyourself healthy, and love your body, and take care of yourself.

[01:50:32] There's thissort of razor's edge there of just having an awareness and trying to make wisedecisions to support yourself, but also realizing there is only so much you cancontrol and the effort to control everything in your environment, become sobiohacking nut, I know from experience, is probably worse than just living yourlife. So, one night, I have some sour dough bread, and I love bread, you knowwhat I mean?

[01:50:56] I lovecheese. Pizza, what better food is there? And I'll find myself eating it, andgoing, oh, you're probably going to be hurting tomorrow, and it's like, no,delete, delete, I'm going to actually enjoy this, and I'm going to see this asthe most nourishing, healthy, supportive, biocompatible food that I could beeating right now, and it makes life a much more enjoyable-

[01:51:16] DanStickler: I do that with full gluten pizza.

[01:51:18] LukeStorey: Yeah, that's what I'm saying, because it's like, hey, I know I'mnot going to be perfect, I'm not that disciplined, and I don't really want tobe, so it's kind of finding that balance. Now, am I going to go out and go tothe grocery store, and buy a bunch of bread, and stock the house with it? No.But if I go out with friends, I don't want to be that one guy that's like, ah,I don't eat this, I don't eat that, no this, no that, it's just, relax.

[01:51:39] DanStickler: I use the cockroach theory.

[01:51:41] LukeStorey: What's that?

[01:51:42] DanStickler: The cockroach can survive anything because they just do whatever.And so, I think as long as you have some of those like pizzas and those thingsperiodically in your diet, then you have that protection to eat that stuffwithout getting a massive reaction to it. So, the intermittent exposure ishormetic. 

[01:52:03] LukeStorey: Right. I love it. Well, I think we covered everything I wanted tocover, Dan. This is an amazing conversation. Thank you for your generosity oftime and spirit. Man, I think if anyone's wanting to know how to not onlyoptimize their executive function, but just so many different things wecovered, it's really valuable information. Thank you for doing the work thatyou do.

[01:52:21] DanStickler: Thank you.

[01:52:22] LukeStorey: Your commitment to research and also the commitment to yourpatients that's helping you further refine all of your knowledge. So, thank youso much.

[01:52:31] DanStickler: Thanks for having me.

[01:52:32] LukeStorey: Yeah, man. One thing I got to ask you before we go, who are threeteachers or teachings that have influenced you and your work that you mightshare with us?

[01:52:38] DanStickler: Plato, Nietzsche, and Teilhard de Chardin.

[01:52:49] LukeStorey: Damn, going deep. Usually, people are like, oh, my granddad, Wow,okay, cool. Well, we're going to put those in the show notes for those that areunfamiliar. I know the first two. The last one, I've never heard of.

[01:53:00] DanStickler: Oh, you will like him.

[01:53:01] LukeStorey: Yeah. Say it again.

[01:53:03] DanStickler: Teilhard de Chardin.

[01:53:06] LukeStorey: What's the basis of his teaching?

[01:53:09] DanStickler: He was the early 1990s, 1920s, 1930s, he was a Jesuit priest thatgot into really looking at how we live and the fact that we don't need morehappiness or more bliss, we need more well-being, and that's the philosophy ofNietzsche as well as Plato, is that we're in this pursuit of happiness and it'sthe wrong pursuit, well-being that we really want. And it was reallyinteresting to go through de Chardin's journey.

[01:54:18] I mean, theJesuits didn't like him because he was talking crazy stuff about no sphere ofconsciousness, of this unity consciousness that was out there, and that we wereheading towards greater and greater complexity in life so that we couldunderstand more and more, gather more and more information until the pointwhere we get to the point where the collective consciousness kind of triggersand we all are able to share the knowledge together.

[01:54:18] LukeStorey: Pick the 100th monkey kind of thing.

[01:54:18] DanStickler: Yeah.

[01:54:19] LukeStorey: Oh, cool. Well, thanks for sharing that. And then, where can wefind your website, social media, anything like that you want to share?

[01:54:26] DanStickler: The website that covers all of our ecosystem is apeiron,A-P-E-I-R-O-N Z-O-H, apeironzoh.com. That's Greek for limitless life.

[01:54:39] LukeStorey: Oh, nice.

[01:54:39] DanStickler: Yeah. And we are at Apeiron Zoh on Instagram.

[01:54:45] LukeStorey: Alright. Sweet. And then, I wish I would have known that when I wastagging you earlier, because I didn't find your name. I tagged Neurohacker. Andthen, for the Qualia, people listening, you can get that at neurohacker.com. Ithink I have a discount code or something, I'll announce it in the intro oroutro, but thank you so much for coming by today, man. I appreciate it.

[01:55:03] DanStickler: It's fun. 

[01:55:03] LukeStorey: And I'm happy that I share the home of Austin with you today. Ilook forward to spending more time with you. 

[01:55:08] DanStickler: For sure.



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