424. MDMA & Psychedelic Assisted Therapy for PTSD & Beyond w/ Dr. Dan Engle

Dr. Dan Engle

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’ve been tracking Dr. Dan Engle for almost five years. In today’s episode, we finally sit down to delve into his deep knowledge on alternative medicine and incredibly vast experience (350 journeys!) with ayahuasca and other psychoactive substances.

Dr. Dan Engle works with leaders in various industries and his clinical practice combines functional medicine, integrative psychiatry, neuro-cognitive restoration and peak performance methods

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’ve been tracking Dr. Dan Engle for almost five years. In today’s episode, we finally sit down to delve into his deep knowledge on alternative medicine and incredibly vast experience (350+ journeys!) with ayahuasca and other psychoactive substances.

In particular, this one focuses on therapeutic use of MDMA to treat PTSD, depression, and other serious issues that are on the rise in our society. Dr. Dan is in the know, speaking from incredible experience in both the traditional medical field and in lineage traditions. He even spent a year completely immersed in the jungle, living and learning, as he describes, married to the medicine.

I truly believe that these kinds of treatments, administered by experts, and offered within a support structure to ensure long term efficacy – can save the world. Dr. Engle is on the cutting edge of that global change in consciousness and I’m excited to see what he gets into next.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this podcast is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice. The content of this podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. The use of information in this podcast is at one’s own discretion, and is not an endorsement of use given the complexity inherent in these medicines, and the current variable widespread illegality of their usage.

00:06:33 — Transpersonal Psychology to Transformational Medicine

00:26:32 — Historical Markers in Spirituality & Healing

00:51:23 — MDMA as a Treatment for Trauma

More about this episode.

Watch on YouTube.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:00:05] You're going to make a really good argument that every institution is upside down from its ideal expression-- the financial institute, political institutes, educational, agricultural, medical, the list is long. We're not living on a sustainable trajectory interpersonally between one another as a family of humanity or with all the other species on the planet. This is an ecological crisis moment. And it requires a shift in consciousness at large. I'm Dr. Dan Engle, and this is The Life Stylist podcast.

Luke Storey:  [00:00:49] Well, this one was a long time coming, my podcast family. I am pumped to share this episode with you. It's number 424, MDMA and Psychedelic-assisted Therapy for PTSD and Beyond with Dr. Dan Engle. Before we dive in, I'd like to invite you to join my weekly newsletter. In the age of social media and Internet censorship, this is perhaps the most secure way we can continue this relationship and share ideas. I send out an email each Tuesday with the audio, video, show notes, and transcripts for each and every episode of this podcast so that you never miss a show. 

So join The Life Stylist crew by visiting lukestorey.com/newsletter. And by the way, I will never share your email with anyone and promise not to spam you with digital trash. I just want to send you great content. Again, that's lukestorey.com/newsletter, where you can enter your name and email. And I'm going to shoot you an email with all the goods every Tuesday. 

All right, here's some background on our illustrious guest. Dr. Dan Engle is a psychiatrist with a clinical practice that combines aspects of regenerative medicine, psychedelic research, integrative spirituality, as well as peak performance. He is covering all the bases folks. His medical degree is from the University of Texas at San Antonio. His psychiatry residency degree is from the University of Colorado in Denver, and his child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship degree is from Oregon Health and Science University. The dude is well studied, to say the least. 

Dr. Dan Engle is also an international consultant to several global healing centers facilitating the use of long-standing indigenous plant medicines for healing and awakening. He's also the founder of Full Spectrum Medicine, a psychedelic integration and educational platform and Thank You Life, which is really cool, a nonprofit funding stream supporting access to psychedelic therapies. Dr. Engle is also the author of The Concussion Repair Manual: A Practical Guide to Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries, as well as his new book and largely the topic of this conversation, A Dose of Hope: A Story of MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy. 

Now, while the gist of this one was centered around MDMA therapy, we did meander into the more broad landscape of using plant medicines and psychedelics for healing in general. So for those of you who came for the MDMA drop, hang tight as we do get there eventually. And here's a rough map of how we do it, integrative psychiatry and what drew Dr. Dan into the practice, he shares his beautiful vision of full-spectrum medicine, his experience living in the jungle for an entire year and embarking on 350 or so ayahuasca journeys. 

We also explore his newest book, A Dose of Hope, and also touch on his last one, The Concussion Repair Manual. We cover the history of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy and Dr. Dan's journey into that practice, how MDMA helps heal PTSD with-- get this-- 70% cure rate. I know it's crazy. You're going to hear all about it, his experience with other forms of psychedelic-assisted therapy, such as psilocybin and ketamine, how SSRIs compare to MDMA therapy, guess which one wins, you'll find out-- spoiler alert, it's MDMA, why it gives some people such a hangover, including yours truly, where we are in terms of legality in the US, as well as his efforts to provide access to the underserved population who would greatly benefit from treatment. And that bit of work, my friends, is really good stuff, and I'm so stoked to hear that he's doing what he's doing to help make this accessible to more and more people. 

You will find show notes, links, and transcripts for this one at lukestorey.com/dan. I'd also like to say after having met Dan a number of times in a social setting, I just find him to be a brilliant and incredible human, healer, and doctor, just such a cool guy. And I am thrilled to share his perspective and vast body of knowledge and experience with you today. So I strongly encourage you to share this episode far and wide, so that we can help build awareness of this promising and really re-emerging field of medicine. It was last for a few decades and it's coming back. So enjoy the journey, and I'll see you on the other side. Welcome Dan Engle to the Life Stylist podcast. Dan, here we are.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:05:11] Luke, good to be here, man.

Luke Storey:  [00:05:12] I'm so stoked that we're finally having this conversation. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:05:12] This has been a long time in coming. 

Luke Storey:  [00:05:14] Yeah, this might be my longest let's do a podcast together and then it just doesn't work out for whatever reason. It must have been I'm thinking four years ago. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:05:27] I think so. 

Luke Storey:  [00:05:28] I think Kyle Kingsbury connected us and you were living in Boulder at the time. And at that time, I began to become really curious about plant medicines and psychedelics as they pertain to healing and transformation and all the things. And I had very little experience at that time in that realm when we first connected. And I was so excited to come and see you in Boulder and do the whole thing and do a podcast about it. And then for whatever reason, we didn't get around to it. And here we are in Austin, Texas a few years later, on the heels of a lot of exploration on my part since I'm documenting much of that here on the podcast. So we didn't even need to do it. I got it done.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:06:14] And you're still getting it done. 

Luke Storey:  [00:06:15] Yeah, I don't know if you ever get it done, but definitely I remember at that time, I was so curious about your practice and how you worked with people. And it was just such a novelty to me at that time. And now even though we haven't sat with you, I think I have a little more of an understanding of how these things work. So yeah, let's go ahead and jump in. What is integrative psychiatry and how did you get into that being a doctor you are?

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:06:41] Yeah, good question. So paring down a longer story, with the college here in Austin, first in my family to go to college. I really went just to play soccer, didn't have any idea of going into medicine. Halfway through my college degree, my advisor said, "What do you want to do with chemistry?" I was like, I don't know. The only thing it was interesting. He's like, "Well, you have three options. You can work in a lab. You can be a pharmacist, or you can think about medicine." I'm like, "Well, the first two sound really lousy. Let's check out doing number three." 

And so I started getting into ER medicine, surgical care medicine. And I thought I was going to do a lot of hands-on interventional work. And two weeks before med school, drove off a pier in Rockport, Texas, just forgot, serendipitously forgot that it's shallow for half a mile into the Gulf of Mexico. And I've grown up there. I've fished there. I fished there a year before on the same pier that I dove off of, with my hands behind my neck, there was a sandbar, hit that with the crown of my head, broke my neck, C5. So I ended up starting med school in a halo, one of those things where you're screwed in your skull. So I had that on for three months. 

And the first thing is it slowed me down and started to create the curiosity about the trajectory of my life was on. I've just been standing on the gas pedal, living up to other people's expectations, and starting to realize that I was trying to prove my worth to a lot of other people and I didn't want to continue to live my life that aggressively. So taking all of that existential reflection, plus a C spine injury where I wasn't paralyzed, I got into neurology. I was really curious about the brain, also really curious about the mind, so psycho neuro. When you study psycho neuro, you get double boarded. 

So my board certification in studying each of those was just this natural extension of a curiosity of wanting to know more about what makes us who we are, what it is that makes you and I different, or the fact that you can have triplets born into the same family essentially in the same time and same location, but they're all three radically different. We have these different unique archetypal blueprints that we all come in with. So I really wanted to explore the mind and the persona. I also didn't just want to be focused on turning the neurochemical knobs of psychopharmacology. It's not as interesting. 

So the one thing that was sanctioned in my study that was still relatively in the standard of care was hypnotherapy. When I got into Hypno and then I found this whole world of transpersonal psychology, which was a deeper aspect into investigating who we are at the core of our being related to our choice to come into embodiment in the first place. What did we come to be a part of and do? And where's that blueprint and how can we access that blueprint? And what is this experience of what we might call karma, the past energetic imprint of the soul? And what is it that we might call dharma, which is the future imprint of the soul's trajectory, and like, what we've come to do, our purpose, our sacred gift? 

And so all these things were swirling around at around the time that I opened up my first practice, which was to help people get off of psychiatric medications. I did a child psych fellowship too, so I was helping both adults and kids get off of psych meds. We were working with Hypno to get into the deeper waters of the psychic landscape that was causing the issues in the first place. And then I had my clinic open for about two and a half, three years, worked with a Chinese medicine doc. It was in Portland, which is where one of the colleges of naturopathic medicine is. And my first true mentor was a chiropractor. 

So I had all these different influences-- Chinese medicine, naturopathic medicine, chiropractic medicine. I was studying Hypno, trying to put that into practice, helping people come off of pharmaceuticals. So all of it was swirling into this integrative psychiatric kind of milieu, this cauldron of amazing opportunity, that there weren't a whole lot of blueprints for, there weren't a whole lot of teachers in psychiatry, even doing integrative psychiatry at that time. And so I was still looking for something more. It still wasn't the sole aspect fully. And I didn't really have mentorship. But I knew there was more. And I was introduced to ayahuasca. And I learned more about myself in one weekend with aya than I had in one decade of psychotherapy. 

Luke Storey:  [00:11:57] I relate. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:11:58] Check. And so, at that point, I was so both inspired and pissed off. I was inspired about what I knew to be possible. I was also pissed off because psychiatry had actually made all psychedelic experience wrong, like, oh, if you do any of these psychedelics, your brain's going to turn to mush and you're going to end up being homeless on the street. That was the summary statement of where I went to med school and my residency and my fellowship. 

And in that moment and that first experience with ayahuasca, for me, I knew everything that I had been programmed to believe about psychedelic therapy was wrong. So I was pissed about the propaganda, but also really inspired about the opportunity. So I closed my practice, moved down to the jungle because I really wanted to understand why. I lived in an ashram for a couple of years in preparation for moving out to the jungle. I really wanted to understand ayahuasca and where it comes from, and the whole cosmology. And so that's where it build from integrative psychiatry into what we might now call transformational medicine.

Luke Storey:  [00:13:07] So you were down there for a year. How were you different after a year, working with medicine, learning the medicine? 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:13:16] So different. 

Luke Storey:  [00:13:18] Because as you said, one week typically is known to change someone's life. I know the first week that I sat with ayahuasca, just my life was irreversibly changed for the better. And that is immersive experience for a week, four journeys and a lot of opportunity to explore. But a year is a lot different than a week.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:13:44] It's a lot different, and I went full in. I had worked for those two years when I was living in the ashram, it was a spiritual community and we were based in meditation, detoxification, raw veganism, kabbalistic tradition, and also Lakota medicine. It was this really cool amalgamation. And over that two years--

Luke Storey:  [00:14:05] Was it with Gabriel Cousin? 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:14:06] Totally. Yeah. You know Gabriel? Yeah, Tree Life. So I was a medical director at Tree Life for two years. 

Luke Storey:  [00:14:14] Oh, interesting. I didn't know that. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:14:17] And I was coming out of Portland, and I knew I was-- I wasn't totally aware of it at the time. I knew I wanted to find a mentor. And Gabriel was really the only guy doing integrative psychiatry at that time from a spiritual lens, looking at all aspects of being. And he is a true warrior and just a genius in bringing these different traditions together. And that's what I was looking for, like, how do we bring all these different fascinating traditions together? 

My background is not Judaism, but I was into Lakota medicine at the time. And I was really interested in detoxification and more of the regenerative therapy. And so I lived there for two years. And I was still working with aya at the time, maybe once every couple of months, deep workshops. So it was still deepening me and I was getting more and more ready, more and more called for the jungle. And so there was a lot of that preparation. So when I went down, I went fully in and essentially marry the medicine, did eight dietas with different medicines. And we'd go in isolation and just working with that one plant teacher, typically the way that my primary teacher would offer those dietas, we'd open it with aya and close it with aya. But during the in-between stages, you're just in isolation. You're just working with that one master teacher plant. 

And it just drew me in deeper and deeper and deeper, marry the medicine path, didn't want to come back, didn't expect to come back. Really found the first time in my life I felt at home. Yes, I was at home in the jungle. I was very much at home within my own self. And so towards the end of that year, in my last two diets, I started having visions of coming back and being supportive to this field, and being a bridge, so to speak, between the traditional psychedelic therapeutic process that largely is ayahuasca but is also iboga and is also 5-MeO from the Sonoran Desert toad, and psilocybin and peyote and some pedra, all the natural medicines that carry this lineage. So being a bridge between the lineage traditions and the current psychiatric medical model. And my dharma was probably not going to be hanging out in a hut for the rest of my years.

Luke Storey:  [00:16:50] As you describe that, though, I'm like, that's a tall order. You definitely we're up for a challenge, I can only imagine.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:16:59] Well, I didn't think it was going to be a challenge. That was the funny thing. I was like, people are going to want to know about this. The medical establishment should know about this. And that was a bit of a naive anticipation. I think that it eventually will. But with any huge institution that has a lot of lobby interest, those changed slowly over time. And so when I came out of the jungle, it was a rough reintegration because I married the path. I didn't wear shoes for a year, there was no Wi-Fi around, there were no screens. This was 15 years ago. 

And I would go in town only rarely to get maybe a few supplies. Where I was studying was my teacher and his groundskeeper. There were very few other gringos of people around. And it was just deep and it was peaceful and it was beautiful. And then when I came back into society here in the States, it was just a rough freakin landing, just seeing how aggressive we live and how short-sighted we are, and how privileged we are and how much we waste. Anyway, that was a bit of a mess. But once I finally got my sea lanes, but that took two years to get. I lived in a tent in Sedona for the first year of my integration because I just couldn't be around people.

Luke Storey:  [00:18:22] Even a small circle? 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:18:24] Even Sedona. 

Luke Storey:  [00:18:25] Sedona already is living in a tent to me.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:18:29] And then I built a cabin for another year just to get back in my body. So eventually, I came back. And I still believed that it was going to be relatively easy to just share the experience that I had, but also share that data. But at that time, there wasn't as much data. And when I was having conversations with other physicians, I quickly became aware that they didn't want to hear about my experience because I just looked and sounded like some evangelist speaking about some drugged-out plant medicine experience down in the jungle that they had no reference for. 

So eventually, I appreciated the fact that if I was going to have a conversation with a group of physicians and giving grand rounds lectures on psychedelic therapy, I need to first and foremost start with data and start with the data that was available, and the lineages that could be pointed to, so to speak and not to make the current medical model wrong because that's how I came out. 

I came out of the jungle, "The current model sucks. This is the answer, and you should know about it." And that was just not the best way to build bridges. So it was more like okay, this is a phenomenally impactful opportunity to understand more natural and organic plant-based medicines that will engender a transpersonal process. And oh, by the way, we have a lot of data from the '50s, '60s, and '70s before many of these medicines became illegal. So let's point to those. Let's resurrect a lot of what that data was pointing to, and let's show how that can be integrated into the new model to make the current model even better, and help the current model evolve into a new and better system. 

So it took me a little while to figure out how to share that message in the right way to be able to engender curiosity. And once I lead with data, and I also called people to action, like our duty as physicians is to first and foremost, yes, do no harm. And that's important. And it's also to be open to the available information and leave our own judgments and biases at the door. Because if we're not making available to our clients and patients the available therapeutics that have been proven safe, and have proven efficacy, and are significantly better than the current model, if I'm not offering that information to my clients so that they can make their own best decision, and I'm holding that information back because of judgment, then I'm actually not living up to my Hippocratic Oath. So once we're in--

Luke Storey:  [00:21:17] And not practicing science either. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:21:20] Absolutely. 

Luke Storey:  [00:21:22] There's this emergent model of science that is, it's like the scientific conclusion of an inquiry is what we want it to be. And anything outside of that is not going to be considered kind of mentality. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:21:38] That's not science. 

Luke Storey:  [00:21:39] It's the antithesis of science, right? 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:21:41] True. Good point. 

Luke Storey:  [00:21:42] It's search and research, search and research, be able to abandon formerly held beliefs and ideas when something more valid presents itself. To me this is what-- I'm not at all a science geek, but the part of it that I do like is that there's always more. There's very few things that are finite truly when you continue to open your mind. It's cool. Maybe there's an absolute universal truth in place around certain principles that are just fundamentally the way they are. But in the material realm, everything seems up for negotiation. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:22:20] Absolutely. 

Luke Storey:  [00:22:21] Because, of course, beneath the material realm, you have the quantum realm. The quantum realm is so malleable and so little understood that at the micro micro nothing is as it seems, anyway. And it can change just with having an intention about it. So it's like, that's exciting to me.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:22:39] Yeah, I think your points are really good. There's so much lobbying held judgment around what we, as scientists, quote, so to speak, or the scientific community is "held dear." And when Rupert Sheldrake came out with his book, Science Delusion, and he and Graham Hancock spoke at the same TED talk, and both delivered these legendary talks that both became the first to banned TED Talks ever. 

Luke Storey:  [00:23:11] Are you serious? 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:23:13] Which was a terrible idea for Ted because if you ban something, then people are going to get more curious. 

Luke Storey:  [00:23:17] Now I have to find these things. I'm going on the dark web. I'm going to find them. Anyone listening, you find it, send me the link.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:23:23] So Rupert Sheldrake, what he does in that TED Talk is he deconstructs all the scientific constants and everything that we thought was the truth and shows how they are not actually what we've previously believed. And that's why it was banned because it was so antithetical to what the scientific community was trying to hold on to as some semblance of control. And when we can become aware of that degree of bias and prejudice, then, to your point, no longer are we able to actually practice that degree of what we might call like, scientific bigotry.

Luke Storey:  [00:24:08] Yeah, or scientism, almost like a religion of science, which is funny because if you think about it, science is more of a verb than a noun whereas-- 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:24:20] It should be the search of truth. 

Luke Storey:  [00:24:22] Yes, science held as a belief system becomes a noun. Now it's Science capital S. This is what it is, this box.

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So back to the data. So you come back and you're like, okay, I have to realize what I'm up against, for lack of a better term, and I can't just come in and be this evangelist. So I'm going to go to the data, as you indicated. What was the most substantial because I really want to talk about MDMA today, because you know a lot about it, you've got a book about the therapeutic use of it and all that, but it's just something I haven't talked about a lot on the show and I'm just fascinated by. When you started looking into the data from the '50s, '60s before the drug culture was starting to be demonized for drugs like LSD and psilocybin and whatever else was around, what was the largest body of data around in terms of substance? Was it LSD or what could you point to and say, look, there were studies?

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:27:23] Yeah, great question. So the four primary ones that I was pointing to at the time was DMT for the spiritual process that Rick Strassman had in the mid '90s. He was studying DMT in a very clinical setting. His research orientation at that time had to be looking at the physiologic effects of DMT because he wasn't going to get a research pass for the spiritual effects, but he knew that that was going to come in. That was evidential, how many people had transformational, oftentimes conversion level experiences of being able to reclaim the divinity of their own lives. MAPS was starting to put out there really good MDMA, therapeutic data. First, phase one rollout was like 83% cure rate for chronic severe PTSD, which was amazing.

Luke Storey:  [00:28:21] I want to highlight the word cure because when we're talking about something like we're going to with MDMA, curing something is so much different than symptom management. Cured means it's gone. Taking some medicine that makes you not off yourself or someone else, while that might be helpful, it's better than the alternative, it's not really curing anyone. So it's interesting that you use that word. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:28:47] Orders of magnitude different. 

Luke Storey:  [00:28:49] When I was on psych meds, for one second, I had the sense that I was cured of what I was ailing. It was just like, well, it's not bothering me as much, but I have all of these other issues that have now developed as a result of taking this medication like being totally addicted to it for one.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:29:09] Yeah. Compared to the standard model of pharmaceutical intervention and cognitive behavioral therapy, MDMA therapy for PTSD is orders of magnitude improved because the standard of care is like 30 to 40% improvement rate. Now we're talking about 60 to 80%, depending on if you're looking at phase one, phase two, or phase three trials, 68% cure rate. So it's not just like 2x benefit. It's several fold benefit because you're actually talking about a curative process at 60 to 80% versus only 30 to 40% improvement rate, which means only 30 to 40% people get improvement of their symptoms, and then those tend to relapse if they come off the pharmaceuticals because nobody, at least in the medical training that I was taught, no physicians are really skilled at helping people come off of psychiatric medications in the first place. So then coming back to the other two that you were mentioning, LSD is the most widely studied psychedelic therapeutic on the planet up to this point. 50,000 or so case reports, and that was in the '50s, '60s, and '70s. 

Luke Storey:  [00:30:21] Really?

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:30:22] Yeah.

Luke Storey:  [00:30:22] Wow 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:30:22] A ton. 

Luke Storey:  [00:30:23] Damn. I would think the world would be better now. What's the tipping point there? 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:30:32] Shouldn't there be a critical mass at some point?

Luke Storey:  [00:30:33] Yeah, exactly. We're at that. I think about that sometimes, especially with 5-MeO-DMT. Anytime I've had that experience, it's quite common, I think, for people when they journey they're like, "Everyone needs to do this." But with that one in particular, I'll look at someone that I judge are determined to be really super unconscious leaders and such or even sometimes quite diabolically evil, I think, God, if someone would just give them bufo, they'd straightened out and there'd be this trickle down effect into culture, and we'd all be winning. But obviously, the duality that we find ourselves in seems to be created for a reason. So I've over time surrendered the desire to change the world in that way, but--

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:31:15] It might be part of the embodiment contract. 

Luke Storey:  [00:31:17] Yeah, exactly. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:31:18] Experience that duality. 

Luke Storey:  [00:31:19] Exactly. And, ironically enough, I've had the most profound, not just realization of that, but truly experience of that with 5-MeO-DMT, where I've really made peace with duality because you're so far outside of it for a few moments that you see that-- what I've been shown, I think, is that the harsh contrast of the duality that we live in is absolutely divinely created and perfect. Not only did I sign up for it willingly and knowingly, to some degree at some soul level, but also that there's no part of it that's not God. It's like Bufo 100%. And not in a theoretical way, but knowing that that is, in fact, true, which is pretty cool.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:32:07] And it's also intense to come from that place of non-duality, or at least relative non-duality at a soul level prior to embodiment, like where consciousness is before and after a body. To have the conscious choice, to come in to experience duality in such an intense human time as it is right now, and maybe it's always been intense, so maybe duality is always intense just by itself, but it's a really dynamic time in human history. So for us to be able to choose to come in to accelerate our soul's growth and evolution, there's some conscious orientation to the right time, the right place, the right environment for us to learn what we've come to learn and do what we've come to do. 

And so when we have those moments, like you and I were talking about right before the podcast where these clarity moments give us this radical gratitude for our parents, as being the greatest teachers to offer us the exact opportunities that we needed for the evolution of our souls' trajectory, and that was a part of the contract, too, that we came in, in that family constellation to be able to accelerate exactly what we were meant to bring forth in that evolutionary trajectory. 

It changes our entire relationship with life, saying, oh, well, thank you for everything that got me to this point, including my parents and all the ways that I want to celebrate them and I want to ridicule them or all the resentment may I turn that into gratitude. It's just a mind shift, but it's such a conversion experience, to actually go from the contraction like, oh, life is happening to me to the opening and appreciation like, life is actually happening for me. Like, okay, can I move from victim to participant? Life's happening for me. Then can I move from participant to student? Life's happening with me. And then can I move from student to teacher? Life is happening as me.

Luke Storey:  [00:34:14] Oh, that's good. I hope that fits in a tweet. How many characters is that? That was good.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:34:22] And soon they'll come back to the fourth medicine because that's how I got on this whole train in the first place. It was iboga. And my sister committed suicide from addiction and depression, and anxiety, all stimulating from PTSD. We grew up in different households. And she experienced this really horrific early childhood trauma that she just was wracked with her whole adult life as a result of it. And she had done the standards of care. She had done AA ad nauseam, psychotherapy ad nauseam, circa pharmaceuticals ad nauseam, and would go through these episodic experiences of sobriety. 

And then after 14 months of being in a relatively good place, had a relapse, and shot herself. Just like that, she was fucking gone. I was crushed, we were crushed, it was a bomb in our family. And at that time, I was still living in Sedona. It was about 11 years ago, 9, 10 years ago at this point, and I was still working with ayahuasca. It was all underground, all quiet. I hadn't come out and started to speak. It was a few years after I'd moved back, but I still wasn't really beating the drum. And when she died is when it was my call to action, like I can't stay silent anymore. 

And so I wanted to understand the first medicine. And I was only at that point working with aya. I had been working with aya for eight years and only aya. I was pretty religious about that. It was a bit of a dogma, and I was super in relationship with that medicine. And then so when that happened, I got more curious about other medicines, wanted to learn other medicines. And the first one I went to was iboga because iboga is the iboga ibogaine. Iboga is the whole plant. Ibogaine is the primary alkaloid of that plant. And I wanted to understand the best therapeutic agent on the planet for addiction recovery, and that's iboga. 

So that was some of the data that I was sharing with the medical community. I became the medical director for a brief time at Ibogaine Center in Mexico. And we had really good data for our addiction recovery rates. And I needed to tell all the physicians I knew, including grand rounds presentations at scale about that data, because particularly for something like addiction, our treatment recovery rates are crap. You well know our treatment recovery rates are crap. But with something like iboga or ibogaine, you can have a fundamentally neurochemical reset in a very short period of time. That can be longitudinally tracked over time with continued efficacy and sobriety as long as there's addiction recovery coaching. Our recovery rates after one treatment with ibogaine were around two-thirds. 

Luke Storey:  [00:37:23] That's insane. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:37:24] One treatment. And if people stayed in addiction recovery support, we used the harm reduction model too. So it wasn't like, people's primary drug of choice was heroin, coke, math, hard drugs, and they shifted over to cannabis, or kratom, or something that was legal, less toxic, easier on their system-- yes, I understand cannabis and kratom can also be addicted and addictive, but if a person is able to now hold a job, have better ease in the relationship, live independently, that's a harm reduction model. We call that success. So if that was the trajectory and they stayed in addiction recovery, and we're still doing their work and maybe had another ibogaine experience for their on the road, they would tend to stay sober, one treatment. Nothing like that on the planet.

Luke Storey:  [00:38:18] That's insane. I have not worked with iboga. For some reason, it scares me. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:38:23] It's a big one. 

Luke Storey:  [00:38:25] That's what I hear. So I haven't felt called. Opportunities have come up, and it's like, man, getting better over the years to understand when it's a true calling versus a curiosity or novelty or something. So there's some curiosity there, but never had an invite that I just knew I'm supposed to be there. But what's interesting about that, that you describe in one time, because I've made a lot of correlations and even a couple of podcasts about it as the similarities between the 12 steps as a long-term integration, and I guess, just fundamentally changing one's character through adopting spiritual principles, which is what happened for me, but ultimately, the purpose of the 12 steps are to deliver whoever's practicing them as a way of life for a spiritual experience. 

And the co-founder of AA, Bill Wilson, famously, the program was essentially founded on him having this what he described as a white light experience, a religious or spiritual conversion experience where the room filled up with white light and smoke and it got very transcendent and weird and he was struck sober and never drank again. So he set out to recreate that wholesale widespread with a book and his fellowship. And the purpose of, according to him, of those steps, what was codified in there was this spiritual experience. 

So having gotten sober myself by that model, which lasted for 22 years before I entered into plant medicine-- now in 25 years or so, but what has occurred to me in my plant medicine and psychedelic experiences that had been done post sobriety is that almost every time I've had that white light transcendent experience, and so my inquiry to you or just out of general curiosity with something like iboga if it's that one time, how much of it is the transcendent spiritual experience and direct contact with source God creation versus what's going on with that particular medicine in particular, physiologically and neuro chemically? 

Because to me, if I think about a conversion experience, I would say 5-MeO-DMT is pretty much reliably going to give that to someone if they get a big enough dose of it. You're not going to walk out and be like, oh, that was no big deal. It's going to change something. So the 12 steps are a very slow, slow-burning process of having that direct experience with God. And then some of these medicines, just boom, you're there. So with iboga, I find it interesting. And again, it's just from not having experience with that. How much of that do you think-- of course, it's individual and dependent on so many factors, but how much of it is the the wow of the experience versus does that have something unique in it that affects addiction specifically?

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:41:25] Excellent question. I think it's both. It has a very wow experience. It's such a strong medicine. It lasts a long time. It shows you a lot. Interesting, iboga is not classically described as a psychedelic. It's classically described as a neurogen, which is a medicine that will induce a bit of a dream-like state. And there's a quality of iboga where-- ibogaine too, largely to a similar degree, so it's similar like if you took peyote and you took out the mescaline and you concentrated the mescaline and you just gave that or some pejo. You took out the mescaline, you concentrate, you just get that. So that's what's happening when we take out the ibogaine concentrate and just get that. 

So you don't have the rest of the plant. Ibogaine can be a little edgy and sharp because you don't have the rest of the balancing alkaloid profile. And it's also easier to dose and it doesn't last as long. So yes, it's a little sharp, but it's a bit more specific, particularly when you're working with people who have a lot of toxicity coming off the streets with multi-year history of daily drug use. And even though it's only one of the alkaloids, it's the primary alkaloid and is very effective. So those classically, both iboga and ibogaine has this life review, these different aspects of showing us different parts of our lives or different scenes of our lives, what do I need to clean up, what do I need to set straight, it's pretty direct that way. So people oftentimes come out with homework, the to-do list. 

And to your point, when that's put within an educational framework, now you've got a bit of the wow factor with the ground and the container to hold that wow factor experience. Now I've got accountability. Now I've got personal practices, ethics, frameworks, a bit of understanding and knowledge of how to take that really transpersonal experience, that wow factor experience, and put that into action because it's in the integration where all the work happens. Because we also saw crossroads is that people that did, they had that wow experience, they had the reset, and it's not just the wow experience, particularly with the iboga there's a neurochemical reset. And you mentioned that, and I want to come back to that. 

So yes, there was that wow experience. And those that did well and stayed well had integration coaching support. And so we might call that a 12-step model. We didn't use a 12-step model, but you could have. That could have been an integration aftercare coaching support. Whatever the model is, it should ideally be an effective model. Neurochemically, yes, iboga is one of the most fascinating and complex medicines that we know of. It works on at least 50 different receptor profiles. 

Luke Storey:  [00:44:51] What! 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:44:52] Totally. 

Luke Storey:  [00:44:53] That's crazy.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:44:55] And it's amazing to see someone go through an experience. And I've had the experience too. I've worked with iboga and ibogaine because I wanted to understand how they were unique and also similar. And I had had a long history of addiction in the past as well. Ayahuasca was really very much of my healing of those addictive patterns and cycles. And as mentioned, I had worked with aya for eight years before I ever worked with iboga. And still there was work that happened with iboga. And this was 300, 350 aya ceremonies in to working with iboga. 

So I had worked with aya fairly deeply. And there was still work that iboga got to that I hadn't because they're all a little different. And so that wow factor, yes. But what I appreciated for me and the neurochemical reset, is that I didn't appreciate the fact that at that time I was addicted to anything. But it's easy to get addicted to things that are so universal that you don't even appreciate you're addicted, like sugar for me at that time, and screen time now for most people. 

Luke Storey:  [00:46:10] Totally. You just pulled my covers on both. And the dance with nicotine--

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:46:17] And so for me when I went through iboga experience, all of a sudden, now I had no charge with sugar. I had no desire. And where I was at, at that first facility there was a plate of pastries or some sweet treats the day after. And I walked by it without even thinking versus before, I would have noticed and I would have taken 1, 2, 3, or 4. And I walked by it, didn't even register until I was all the way down the hall. And I recognized like, oh, I just walked by a plate of sugar and there was no sticky energy to it. It was clean. And that's what people with addiction, having the experience of that conversion neurochemical and psychic process is that there's no craving or withdrawal on the backside. And if there is, it's very minimal compared to that's what's hard for most people with addiction, particularly something like heroin, or nicotine, or caffeine, or sugar is there's a drop off on the other side if you just stopped cold Turkey.

Luke Storey:  [00:47:37] Well, thinking about heroin was the thing that really did me and the period of three or four days, depends how long you've been strung out, but say four or five days, you're really going after it. But if I think about going back and finding out about plant medicines or psychedelics as a possible solution to that particular addiction, I can't imagine a worse nightmare than the first day you decided to stop taking that opiate and then you go into a psilocybin journey for six hours or whatever, maybe have a beautiful spiritual experience, then you come out of that and you're dope sick for three more days, that would fucking suck-- excuse my language for those with children in the car listening to us talk about heroin. 

But that's the thing that's fascinating about iboga because you have these ibogaine clinics popping up in Mexico in different places, and people go there specifically to kick heroin, or fentanyl or whatever they're on, which is I'm like, ah, that's the perfect combo. If you can get through the physical withdrawal part and start addressing your emotional issues that were really what your problem was in the first place anyway, as most of us find when we get sober, God, that's just like, what an incredible opportunity.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:48:53] It's a fascinating medicine. It goes in there like a brillo pad and just scrubs the nerve receptors clean, no craving, no withdrawal, one treatment.

Luke Storey:  [00:49:04] That actually pisses me off. I used to do what I call a Trainspotting for those familiar with the film. I'd get someone to one of my drug buddies just locked me in their house basically for four days and with no car and no-- we didn't have cell phones then anyway, but yeah, just be like, don't let me leave, don't give me any drugs, and I would just take pills and drink myself into my version of sobriety at the time, which is not being addicted to heroin.

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Dude, we're supposed to be talking about MDMA because my plan, sometimes I think of a rough title for an episode and I was like, I haven't covered MDMA. Dan's the guy. And then I'm going to probably title it that. People are going to be listening and go, "Hello, when are you going to be talking about the thing?"

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:51:37] You should title it, we'll get to MDMA 

Luke Storey:  [00:51:40] Yeah, title it, be patient. It comes in the last 35 minutes. But this is fascinating to me because of the efficacy, especially regarding PTSD, which for most people I know that have been addicts, it's literally just we use drugs and alcohol to treat our PTSD. We just don't know that. And so we get sober thinking that the drugs and alcohol were the problem. You're left with a festering wound of a soul and a body and a mind that's going like, I'm still unhappy. This is very common as you probably know. And then if you're lucky, you figure out oh, I got to look at the reasons that I drank and used. So I find the MDMA therapy really interesting because you're able to actually go in and do the healing that's going to manifest as whatever form of dysfunction that you vibe with, whether it be addiction, or codependency or just being an asshole. Because you're in so much pain, right?

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:52:38] Yeah, whatever that character persona expression is of that trauma.

Luke Storey:  [00:52:43] Because I've known people that have had a lot of trauma and didn't become addicts. They just are neurotic and sometimes self-destructive or harmful to others, etc. And then some of us the key of addiction fits the lock. That's how it was for me. Just eight, nine years old I was like, oh, I figured it out. I need to be high all day, every day, and I can probably not kill myself. I'm joking about it. But that was really how it was. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:53:08] To your point, the addiction is not the problem. It's the solution. 

Luke Storey:  [00:53:14] God damn, right. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:53:16] And so if we can understand what the core wound is, which is what medicines allow us to do, particularly something like MDMA because if I can just start-- 

Luke Storey:  [00:53:26] Yeah, let's go for it. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:53:26] MDMA, it's a fascinating molecule. You'd have a hard time constructing a better molecule for trauma because what it does is it does three primary things in the brain. It's been a long time since I've talked about specifically MDMA. This is good to get back into it. It increases our ability to witness, it improves the connection between our witness position and our memory and it relaxes the fear center. So there's less guard because the fear center is relaxed. So it works as essentially a psychic de armoring. Now we have a better witness position and we have better memory, particularly those memories associated with the trauma. 

So not only are we looking at PTSD, classic PTSD, we should talk about PTSD too. There's classic PTSD. And what we cover in the book is complex PTSD. The differential being classic PTSD is the veteran on the battlefield, severe war exposure, the experience of having a life-threatening process happen or somebody getting close to death. That trauma being so overwhelming, that needs to be compartmentalized, and through the kind of recapitulation of the psychic process, trying to heal that compartmentalized deep wound, there are flashbacks, nightmares, hyper startle response, on edge, essentially sympathetic overdrive constantly in fight or flight, classic experience, classic PTSD. 

The difference between that and complex PTSD is complex PTSD is something like you might have started to describe about your childhood. It was not complex PTSD. It's the usual, the downstream effects of what we might call ACEs or adverse childhood experiences. Usually, those are less explicit traumas. So it's not necessarily I got beaten or had this horrible thing happen, sexual abuse, etc. It's more like I was neglected, not validated, ignored, ridiculed, emotionally bullied, abandoned. So when we think of it as five primary wounds of the soul, abandonment, rejection, humiliation, and justice, betrayal, it could be any of those, usually over time, not just once, but typically also in the formative years. 

The psyche, 85, 90% of the psyche is solidified in our core belief patterns by the time we're five, six years old, which is largely before we've really connected the narrative and the witness to the memory center. That's why in therapy, it's hard to get to the earliest route because we don't have the declarative memory for it. We go back to like, five, six years old, the majority of what made us who we are is before that. So therapy by itself is handicapped in that way. The benefit is therapy is usually a connection with another adult that is well-meaning, caring, intuitive, can help us look at these different-- 

Luke Storey:  [00:56:45] And objective. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:56:46] Ideally, objective.

Luke Storey:  [00:56:47] Hopefully. I think for me, that was always the value in therapy was just like getting another point of view because you get so myopic, and me just up in my head, intellectualizing my problems and trying to fix them, it's trying to fix the hammer with another hammer, just ding, dong, dong, just going around and around and then have just someone that understands the psyche a bit and family system, just go, "Well, hey, Luke, have you ever thought of a, b, and c?" Oh, my God, it just seems totally unattainable because I'm just stuck in this hamster wheel.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:57:26] So you just brought up internal family systems. So if you have an objective, really skillful therapist who has a good toolkit and a good system, internal family systems is one of those really incredible systems, and then you pair that with a medicine like MDMA, that gives us a better witness, can help us see not just the real intense part of that core wound event, but can help us see the whole context, which is what we were talking about before. 

When we have a context of like, holy shit, my mom and dad, if they were the object of that adverse childhood experience, or whoever the perpetrator was, or the other person on the battlefield, or the other person that killed my friend, or my loved one, or fill in the blank of whoever I've been holding judgment against, persecution against, resentment against, if I can understand their position, understand their psyche, and what encouraged the development of their psyche to perpetrate some horrible act, or a series of maybe less than horrible acts, but ultimately had a shitty experience or outcome, if I can understand their experience, that's very much family constellation's work, also internal family systems to an extent, but very much family constellation, like, kind of understand the primary people that were the environmental container that encouraged all of this programming in my own self view and belief about life, if I can understand their position, and the fact that they were just doing the best they knew how to do given the tools they had, and they were the generational propagation of likely transgenerational trauma, now I can have a mountain of compassion for their suffering too. And wow, if I can now start to generate true compassion for my perpetrator, it's essentially akin to cultivating the process of my traumas becoming my teachers and therefore my allies, when that can happen-- 

Luke Storey:  [00:59:43] That right there is everything.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [00:59:43] Everything. 

Luke Storey:  [00:59:44] Think of everything of course, just subjectively as I've gone through it, but with having been victimized, and many of us truly have been objectively victimized, myself included, there's the stages of it. For me, there's like a stage of acceptance, of being able to talk about it, face it, admit it, disclose it with someone else where you're like, oh, this thing happened, it was really scary or creepy or hurtful, and then there's an intellectual process of forgiveness, where you start to begin to understand that your perspective wasn't the only one, that there were other players and other dynamics and you maybe grow into that. 

But what you're talking about of having the positionality of innocence becoming the perpetrator being able to see through their eyes, it's almost like that level of forgiveness and compassion can get to a point where-- this is going to sound weird to anyone that's been victimized, so please, bear with me, I'll try to explain my own process is that at a certain point it's almost as if forgiveness isn't even needed because there was nothing to be forgiven, meaning that the experience as a whole happened as fucked up as it might have been, for the betterment of myself and for an opportunity to grow. This is like way zoomed out. This is way zoomed out, meaning one that is–

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:01:12] If I may, I 100% agree.

Luke Storey:  [01:01:16] Because that's what it's been for me. It's just like oh, actually, if I zoom out far enough, and my heart is open enough, it's not that I would condone the behavior of people that have harmed me or harmed other people, it's just I have an understanding of it. And when there's like, a real sadness for them, and just like, ah, a love for them, truly.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:01:37] Hurt people hurt people. It's only hurt people that hurt people. And I 100% agree. And what I would add to that so that we can make it also applicable to somebody who might be going through an immediate trauma recovery process, is if we try-- because I've been in that same process too, if we try to jump to compassion, forgiveness straight away, usually, that's a bypass. Because we really need to get into the understanding and the feeling tone. Most of us if we're traumatized have been cut off from that feeling. It's important to metabolize the anger, the shame, the guilt, the rage, the grief, the sadness, the confusion, the doubt, the hurt, all of that. 

Luke Storey:  [01:02:19] Absolutely. And that's the middle piece that I missed. So thank you for bringing it in because I'm just looking at it from how I look at it now, all the things that happen but in the process, there was so much of that. Just to get to the depths of that shadowy shame around some of the harm and also to really, really feel it, to really feel it and just allow presence in that pain, I think you're right, it would be a major unconscious bypass to try to jump to, "Hey, it's my karma and it's all good now." There's a lot of not good in between the event and years hopefully of processing that.

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Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:05:11] Coming back to medicine like MDMA, when it de armors the psyche and the fear, because the fears is evolutionarily advantageous, if we didn't experience fear in the midst of trauma, we'd probably get eaten in the jungle if the jaguar jumped in the path and we didn't freak out and run away. Fear is evolutionarily advantageous. However, oftentimes, it's a process of uncovering the accuracy of that fear. Was fear in that moment of trauma warranted? And if so, let's give it its due appreciation and acknowledgment. And then it may still be a residue of that trauma, that when a medicine like MDMA can start to massage that kind of fear, ego, defensive pattern to be more plastic-- there's neuroplasticity and ego plasticity, when that can become relaxed and the fear becomes a little bit less, then we can go back into the trauma to feel it, to go back into that middle stage and get into the shame and into the guilt. 

That's where the memory part comes in too because it's like, oh, yeah, actually, I may have had a role to play or I thought I had a role to play. That's why I've been shaming myself for that thing happening. If I'm three years old and somebody's being an asshole to me, I probably don't have a role to play, truth be known. But I may have thought I did because that's the little person's trial of understanding of, why is this person that's so important in my life so mean or mad at me? Am I to blame? Did I do something wrong? And from that little person's perspective, the world revolves around that little person. So everything I think is an extension of me, and therefore happens, and therefore, whatever happens outside of me, I've had some role to play. 

So all of that starts to get unpacked and massaged and made available. So there was a question earlier, I think Ian mentioned, what is it that I think MDMA does? I think it's one of those medicines that when done and orchestrated well in a therapeutic container, helps us become whole with all of our parts, which is internal family system's work. All of our parts coming home, those traumatized parts of ourself. We might call those are exiled parts, we have our protector parts. All the parts are sacred, just like all medicine is sacred. Pharmaceuticals have their place. Hospitalizations have their place. I don't think somebody should be put on a psychopharmaceutical medication without also the approach to looking at the causative factor. But if somebody only has that in their toolkit, and they're standing on the ledge, I'm going to say use the medicine or the medication. And also let's uncover why that's happening in the first place. 

So all forms of medicine have their place at the table, all of our parts have their place at the table. All of our emotions have their place at the table. Everything is sacred. [Non-English Speech]] phrase that I heard, that landed so deeply in a sweat lodge for me many, many years ago, and it's always stuck. The translation of in the Lakota, this is how it said, [Non-English Speech], everything is sacred. Everything is sacred-- our shame, our wounds, that person, that bleep, bleep, blah, blah, blah, that person's sacred. Their life is sacred. All life is important, everybody's important. 

And when we get that, then we can really bring all of ourselves, and that's what these medicines help us do. They help us drop those ego defenses long enough to see like, all this has been a part of what's made me whole and my life is sacred because we've all come from the same part of the universe, the same creative spark that imbued all life in the known multiverse, however, we call God or source or creator, we've all come from that same place. Therefore everything is imbued with that same degree of divinity. 

And so I don't know of a more effective tool, efficient tool for helping us wake up and remember that. And then it's up to us to continue to cultivate our lives in reflection of that awareness so that we're not just circling the altar and coming back to the medicine space trying to get fixed because the medicines are also not about fixing us. They're here to help us see truth. One of my teachers, Don Howard, would describe these as clarigens. They're agents of truth and therefore we can see our truth and we can also see what is ours to do to live the most whole life, integral life, congruent life with who we choose to be in our life, who we would hold ourselves in comparison to like our teachers and those that we would want to emulate and who we would want to be for our children and the coming generations. 

So these medicines help us catalyze consciousness and see what is ours to do, but they don't fix us. And they're not designed to do that, because they would be robbing us from our dharma, from our evolutionary path. So these are very much sacred tools. I would call them sacred tools. And then someone like science hardware colleagues would say, "Okay, now I'm getting off the reservation," because we start talking about spirit and sacredness and divinity. And those are like, taboo topics and hardcore science. That's why I think we're here to do is rescue psychiatry from such a hardcore stale expression because psyche not only means minds, psyche means soul. And we as psychiatrists should be agents of the soul and voices for the right kind of therapeutic process to help people all get reconnected with their soul.

Luke Storey:  [01:11:06] That's so true, thinking about what I think has been most useful to me, it's maybe equal parts, exploring divinity, and getting the philosophical or intellectual framework of what life is all about and how I've gone astray. You know what I mean? It's like just having an intellectual understanding of negative patterns, let's just say, is one thing, but then having the backing of the power of divinity to actually affect change are two different things.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:11:42] Super complementary. We might call them complementary feminine principles and masculine principles. 

Luke Storey:  [01:11:48] Oh, that's interesting. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:11:49] Like the intellect and wanting to understand the science, the blueprint, the behavioral patterns, oh, yeah, if I eat this food, tomorrow I'm going to feel shitty. Let's not do that. If I'm going to get really crappy sleep, then I'm not going to feel well. So all of actuarial, or how to take care of the monkey suit matters. But we are also spirits in a physical body. We're like it's the waveform and the particle complementarity too. So to your point, I think, both are necessary, having our heads in the heavens and our boots on the ground, and then bridging heaven and earth to do what we're here to do.

Luke Storey:  [01:12:27] So you talked about how with iboga or ibogaine there, ideally would be a philosophical or therapeutic framework that helps carry that on through integration and actually effect lasting change or sobriety, whatever the goal is. And when I think about MDMA as a party drug was just used for fun or escapism or whatever it's used for, read a rave, I don't imagine that a lot of people are necessarily having the type of transcendent experience that's going to last like maybe for that night, "Oh, my god, wow, I love everyone," and you want to hug a lot or do other things. But you're probably not going to wake up the next day and be like, "The clouds have parted. My life has changed." So as the therapist or psychiatrist, how does the session go when someone ingest the medicine? How is that container framework set up? I'm so curious about how that works.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:13:32]  It's a great question. Not a sales pitch at all, but that's part of the storyline to unpacking the book so that a person reading the book can get a sense of the cadence and the therapeutic process, how you prep somebody, what the experience is like, how you help that person integrate. So we cover all those different stages.

Luke Storey:  [01:13:50] Is the story in the book, which by the way, is called A Dose of Hope, and we'll put the show notes for this episode at lukestorey.com/dan, D-A-N for those that want to link to it, but in the book, is this a fictional character and you're giving--

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:14:07]  It's an amalgamation of a variety of people.

Luke Storey:  [01:13:50] Yeah, that's the sense I got. But there's a lot of back and forth between you as the clinician and then your client and all the inquiries and stuff. It's really cool. I like the way you did it. It's very unique.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:14:22] Yeah, my co-author and I wanted to be able to present it as a parable and tale of an average person with complex PTSD being introduced to MDMA, getting curious, going through the investigation process, then going through the vetting, and finding the right facilitator, then going through the experience, then going through multiple experiences, and that's another thing with the MDMA trials, it's not just a one and done. There are three experiences over several weeks or several weeks in between with many psychotherapeutic sessions in between to create the framework, and then the integration process afterwards. 

So that medicine process when you're talking about the differential between a recreational experience and a therapeutic experience, recreational might be at a rave, crushing it on a six-hour playlist and dance set and really living it large with my friends and coming to that full, embodied experience of love and connection, that's amazing. We all need more connections in our life. We all need more love in our life. I'm not here to say that MDMA should be completely legalized recreationally, because at least if that was going to be done, that needs to be done with education because there are ways to do that dangerously. 

Most of the time, if people experienced MDMA and it was dangerous, it would be because they were dehydrated, mineral imbalanced. It does also increase your blood rate and heart rate another 20, 30 points. So if somebody has cardiovascular disease, it's not totally a neutral medicine. That's part of the screening, screen out contraindications, the people's readiness. So let's just say a person was healthy and having a recreational MDMA experience, and somebody was healthy and having a therapeutic experience, and how would those be different. The recreational experience is largely externalized, the focal point is outward, versus therapeutically, the focal point is inward. So it's all the setting, how we're staging the setting, the physical environment, the person's mindset, their intention, what we're going for. 

Recreational is like, okay, let's play and reach the high celebration realms. Therapeutically, particularly with something like MDMA, because it's a PTSD-oriented medication or medicine, usually, the orientation is like, okay, let's get into the deeper waters. Who are you? How's your life? Are you symptomatic with a diagnosis of PTSD or depression or addiction or anxiety or whatever it is? Tell me about that. How has that colored your life? Where did that come from? Who was involved? Tell me the story. Let's start unpacking the story. And then in the midst of the medicine experience, the orientation is okay, let's explore some of those shadow realms. Let's see if what you've told me is actually representative of the core wound. If it is classic PTSD, and like, oh, yeah, on the battlefield, I almost got blown up, or I saw my best friend blown up, it's very clear. 

But with complex PTSD, as mentioned, some of the early wounding is very early. And so it might be hard to access. So one of the things I love about psychedelic therapy is we make plans and God laughs. We think we're going for something and then something else comes up. And if we can have the availability to explore that thing, that might be the very thing or it might be the doorway to that very thing. So if we can just keep processing what's on top, and then see what the next layer holds and then process that and see what the next layer holds and you just keep letting it unfold. And usually, it'll come down to a core event or a core experience.

Luke Storey:  [01:18:23] So true. I'm thinking of multiple occasions in which I wanted to work on something and had an intention and an experience like this, not with a therapist, but with facilitators and such, I can feel this shadowy thing that I'm scared to look at. At some point during the experience, it'll pop in my awareness. And I'd be like, okay, take the mask off, or whatever, take a pause and gear up for it. All right, I'm going into a wormhole that's super gnarly. This is something I don't want to look at. 

But inevitably, just exactly as you described, I'm like, oh, I want to find the answer to this thing. And then no, you don't. It's like you're going on all of these other side streets and nooks and crannies that are actually at the root of what that thing is. And it's almost as if at the end of all of these threads that one follows that the original inquiry has already been solved, even though you didn't directly have to go at it, because it was actually downstream from all of the shit that in some cases, for me, I wasn't even aware of even happened ever, speaking to the memory piece of just something like circumcision, for example. 

It's like yeah, that sucked. I don't think that was a great idea. But I just got used to it and live my life. But that was one of those things, for example. I was looking into just the idea of becoming a parent and fears I had around that and went through all of the shit we don't have time and I would be embarrassed to say on my podcast anyway. But that led me through all these other threads. And at the core of that piece was actually that medical procedure, and I didn't I never knew that.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:20:07] You weren't scripting that, you weren't tracking that, you weren't going for that. But what you had in that moment is such an asset to this work, which is you had willingness and curiosity. So the willingness, the availability, whether we got to like pony up because we know this is going to be a deep dive, or it's like an aya where I feel the purge going like, all right, I got to get ready for this one is that we have the willingness, we engage it, avail ourselves to it, and we have the mindset towards curiosity to keep tracking and seeing what's next, what's there, what is that about, the availability to learn from it. 

And so that's on the facilitation. So that's aiding us to get to the core wound. The biggest detriment to getting to the core wound is expectation like, oh, this isn't what I came in for. I'm supposed to be tracking something else. Or I don't want to look at that. Or I heard on a podcast that this person did aya and then big bald great eagle came down and sat right in front of him and told him his dharma and gave him the transmission and he's caught on fire. And it was like he was a phoenix rising from the ashes. It's like this grand story. I go in and it's just all like uncomfortable and I'm wallowing in my own unhealed trauma and unmet purge. It's like, well, that might have also been sacred for you at that moment. It's like the expectation to psychedelic therapy is the biggest handicap because we just have to have radical faith that whatever is happening exactly is what needs to happen and then avail and then be curious and let it unfold and see what's there.

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It must be rewarding as the therapist to have the assistance of something like MDMA to just excavate so much of the bullshit and the armor as you described it. I know just working with people in recovery, you can see so clearly or so you think of what their issue might be and just solutions come to mind. You're like, I have to work through 12 layers of their ego to even get to rationality. And then with rationality, we have to get past the intellectual prison that they're going to put themselves in once they-- it's just like there's just a line of soldiers between you and that person's heart that you just need to get to their heart. That's it. You need to get to love and they need to feel that love. And in that field of love, boom, that's the ultimate power, and then the transformation can happen. So I'm imagining just hearing you talk, I'm like, oh, that must be sweet to just bypass a lot of the resistance and just get into that malleable state of just healing where healing can happen.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:24:33] I can't imagine doing transformational therapeutic work without psychedelic catalysts. It can happen and it does happen, but usually it takes a long time to develop enough rapport with somebody who's really well armored and might not trust your love of them or their process. Because love and that kind of degree of connection might have been a part of the trauma that now they no longer trust. So yeah, it can take a long time to just chisel through that psychic armor. And then to have a tool like this, that allows it to become flexible pretty efficiently, I can't imagine doing it otherwise. 

And that also is to be said, to your point, it does require container still, it does require the relationship. Ideally. The medicine isn't here to save me from my work. It's here to help stimulate it, and show me some of the more efficient maneuvers to take so I'm not just going on so many blind alleys. So I think it's going to continue to unfold. And we're already seeing it. Austin's become the social media mecca for psychedelic therapy, above ground and underground.

Luke Storey:  [01:25:57] Has it really? 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:25:57] It seems to be. 

Luke Storey:  [01:25:58] I think I'm just immersed in it. I just think the whole world is like this now.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:26:02] I don't think that's the-- it's becoming more and more so everywhere, for sure. And it seems to be like Austin has become one of the vortices for this.

Luke Storey:  [01:26:11] Maybe my tipping point theory is not that far off. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:26:14] I think it's close.

Luke Storey:  [01:26:16] If at a certain point the critical mass of people that have healed perhaps, I don't know, it'll just catch fire. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:26:26] 100%. 

Luke Storey:  [01:26:27] Where are we with legality? So as some people are aware, and I've talked about this on the show, ketamine therapy clinics and whatnot are pretty prevalent in the United States at this time. It's legal, and sure, there are a lot of people doing it poorly, and some people doing it with intention through and care. I can only imagine the things going on there. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:26:48] That statement is very true. 

Luke Storey:  [01:26:49] Yeah, you drive by the liquor stores and it's like ketamine clinics. It's like that, really? Whose? I digress. But anyway, it's legal and helping a lot of people. I've had some profound experiences with ketamine just self-guided that have been healing and productive and amazing. Where are we timeline with MDMA? Is it next in terms of or do we even know? 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:27:13] Well, interestingly enough, so psilocybin is legal in Oregon, not yet federally. MDMA is not legal at all, except for clinical trials. Interesting, there is this kind of gray zone where you could make a case that those medicines because they've been proven effective and safe could be used in life-threatening conditions. That's the Right to Try Act that did pass under the Trump administration.

Luke Storey:  [01:27:39] I remember when that happened and I was like, well, that's cool. But you can't talk about it, because he did it. Everyone will hate you.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:27:47] And so interestingly enough, you can make that case for addiction and for severe PTSD if somebody's suicidal. So not too many people have really tested that law.

Luke Storey:  [01:28:01] Fester the confines of the system. So it's going to be the first doc that's like, hey, let's see what happens.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:28:08] I might stand up and opt-in for that only because I think it's important to be able to stand for what we know to be true and what we know to be right. And somebody's going to jump in at some point. Or we may just wait till it's legal federally. Unfortunately, right now, there are still people literally dying on the streets because they don't have access to these medicines. I do believe both of those are going to be legal federally likely in the next two years just because of the trajectory we're on. 

And as it relates to accessibility, with people still literally dying in the streets not having access to these tools, one accessibility point is not just legality, it's also financial. Because the way it's set up now, the MDMA therapy, because of the way MAPs has done the trials and the way the federal government is requiring MAPS to extend those parameters to expanded access centers, it requires 12 psychotherapy sessions for one person going through MDMA therapy, 12 psychotherapy sessions, three sessions of the MDMA therapy itself and that's with the two therapist model. So you've got to pay for all that therapy time.

Luke Storey:  [01:29:20] Are we looking at like 10 grand, 15 grand? 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:29:22] 12 grand, 12 to 14 grand.

Luke Storey:  [01:29:26] We got to fix that. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:29:26] We got to fix that. So we just launched a nonprofit called Thank You Life, which is like a psychedelic therapy fund.

Luke Storey:  [01:29:35] Wow, there we go. You're not just sitting around complaining about it. You're actually like, let's do something about this. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:29:41] We need to fix that. 

Luke Storey:  [01:29:42] Because that's what's so interesting thing about psychedelics in general is the substances themselves are not typically hard to come by or expensive, but it's the therapist support if you think about whatever 350 bucks a pop to sit down with your psychoanalyst for an hour.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:30:01] Two. 

Luke Storey:  [01:30:01] Two, okay, two hours. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:30:02] I mean two therapists.

Luke Storey:  [01:30:04] Oh two. So you're double billed. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:30:06] You're double billed. And MDMA versus ketamine, ketamine is a 90-minute process, MDMA is a six-hour process and you have all those 12, one-hour of psychotherapy sessions, in addition. And you're also paying for some of the research and some of the bureaucratic oversight.

Luke Storey:  [01:30:23] And the rent for the clinic and all of that. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:30:26] So it's all now like, you're looking at 14, 15 grand, 12 to 15, depending on states. So now you've just priced out 95% of the population.

Luke Storey:  [01:30:36] It is probably the 95% that really needs it. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:30:39] Exactly. So the people that need it the most, we want to be able to get rid of the financial barriers to entry or at least significantly improve a person's ability to have accessibility financially. So Thank You Life as a psychedelic therapy fund, people will apply for medicine, availability, and medicine work, and that can be for ketamine, MDMA, or psilocybin. And we're holding the funds for the MDMA and psilocybin until they become legal, or for Oregon until they finalize their therapeutic model and start having people go through their process. And so we as an organization, we receive those applications, we vet people for readiness, screen them from contraindications. We also ask them to tell us their story, tell us about where you're at in your life. If you could paint the script of what you'd want to accomplish in your life, what does that look like? How do you think medicine work is going to help that? 

We want people to be engaged in the process. And also, to have a little bit of skin in the game too. So to have some of their own payment in the process is not 100% guarantee, but we do cover the majority, or the therapy fund will cover the majority. And then what we also do on the other half of the equation is to matchmake with those people in the geographic area with vetted facilities and vetted providers, to be able to say, okay, we know this person is offering excellent care. You are a good candidate for the service. So we're going to match you with that person, help you track the data of improvement over time because we want to have a therapeutic model, an educational model, and a research model. 

So we're offering the therapy. We provide the therapeutic educational framework, and then the research piece is, "Okay, when we start tracking people's beneficial outcomes, how do you quantify a qualitative experience?" It's not easy to do. How do we tell the story of when Sam, who has PTSD goes through an experience and his life turns into a life of fulfillment, and service, and chronic health conditions improve? And all these different ways that life became more beautiful, so to speak, and all the people that he impacts as a result of that, how do we quantify that? 

So that's the research model that we're building to be able to tell the larger story, because it's not just about hard costs negation, like $250 billion annually for depression in North America alone, it's not just negating those hard costs, it's actually showing the positive impact of these medicines in the first place. So our task is to make these medicines available to the best of our ability so that finances is not a barrier to entry and to be able to show the necessity for inclusion into the medical mainstream for these because there's going to be this massive, positive impact to the culture at large.

Luke Storey:  [01:33:55] Do you see any pushback from the pharmaceutical cartel in that availability of these medicines are going to cut into their profits being something like MDMA is like I'm assuming off patent? It's like you look at what's happening with something like ivermectin, even methylene blue. I don't think you can say that word on Instagram, or they shut you down now. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:34:21] Really? 

Luke Storey:  [01:34:21] Yeah, if anything works, especially when you're doing viral infections and stuff, but when something works and it's off patent and can't really be capitalized upon, it seems like oftentimes, there's a fight against it from the powers that be calling it horse dewormer, whatever, the horse dewormer, oh, it's a rave drug or something like that, looking at only negative consequences that people have had as a result of taking it. Do you foresee any pushback like that? Or is everyone kind of like, hey.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:34:52] No, I think there's going to be pushback. And I think MAPS has done a really good job. And Rick has had the foresight. Rick's been working on this mission for 30 years, Rick Doblin. That's where he got his PhD in, which is essentially like how to speak to the Feds about-- 

Luke Storey:  [01:35:08] How to play the game. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:35:09] Yeah, exactly. And kudos to him for holding the torch when no one was. Everybody told him he was crazy. And so he's been really methodical. And yes, there's going to be a lot of constraints, but that's how it had to go so that the DA would pass it in the first place. I do think that there's going to be a push by the pharmaceutical industry to create a lot of novel analog psychedelics. For example, there's the push to have ketamine-- well, this is part of what s ketamine nasal spray was promised to do, which is all the benefits with none of the downside. And they were describing the downside as a psychedelic experience. 

So we won't be able to give you a medicine without the psychedelic process. And you're like, well, that's a pharmaceutical. It's exactly the same kind of pharmaceutical model. Psychedelic experience is the healing. You can't divorce the two. But if we just take that strict model, yeah, I think there are going to be people to try and continue to position the new novel psychedelic analogs as being promised to have therapeutic efficacy without the psychedelic experience so that they can create a new medical patent that can be leveraged. It's business as usual. 

Ideally, what we're talking about at large is a shift in consciousness that spreads culturally because you can make a really good argument that every institution is upside down from its ideal expression, the financial institute, the political institute, the educational, agricultural, medical, the list is long. All of these institutions that are essentially the governing bodies of how we live as a culture at large have a lot of work to do to come back into a sustainable expression for benefit to the generations to come, for benefit to the natural ecosystem, in our relationship with our natural resources. We're not living on a sustainable trajectory interpersonally between one another as a family of humanity, or with all the other species on the planet. This is an ecological crisis moment and it requires a shift in consciousness at large. 

I think medicine work has just one vital, but only one of a lot of different tools in the toolkit to help us come back into a place of healing, harmony, appreciation, gratitude, service, reciprocity, love, those exalted expressions that we know are the core of our blueprint. We just got really diluted by the orientation towards success being these externalized metrics and still chasing the next best thing and living in a society that's really overrunning our nervous system's ability to cope with as much sensory information and information or short-term click rate packages. 

Everybody's in this kind of like fever pitch emotionality experience. It's important to get right with the crisis. We're in crisis. The water's boiling, but crisis precedes transformation. So it's just the stimulation of the transformation that needs to happen, which is when we take it like a little bit of a larger external 30,000-foot view. But we have to do both. We have to be a part of the change. We also have to know that this experience of us going through this cocoon, this metamorphosis, the caterpillar, we've been living a very caterpillar-esque society. Caterpillars consume 26,000 times their weight in a three-week period, getting ready for the transformation, consumption, consumption, consumption, consumption, consumption, just like our society, very consumer-oriented, very short-term focused. 

And then we go through this caterpillar metamorphosis and come out with a more beautiful expression. So I think it's all by design, like part of the embodiment contract. But it's hard to see a lot of our brothers and sisters and myself at times included suffering because we live in such a crazy time and a crazy place and we know we can do better. So we'll just do the right next thing, take the right next step and support the right therapeutic model, the right humanitarian cause, and live into the more ideal expression that we know as possible. 

Luke Storey:  [01:39:41] Man, thank you. Thank you for doing the work and thank you for that accessibility effort too. I can't help but be aware that being in a place like Austin, Texas, although, of course, I always leave the country to do illegal drugs, but it's just prevalent in my community, in my culture, there's opportunities, and many of them quite valid and aboveboard and legit. And I know from getting messages on Instagram, someone's like, "Hey, I live in St. Louis. How do I find people that do this?" And it's like, it's tricky due to the legality and the need to really vet a facilitator or therapist, and that they know how to navigate these waters, as I'm sure you do. 

So thank you for putting in that work and helping to move this forward. I think it's one of the most important things we can do right now in the stage, in which we find ourselves as this gooey caterpillar that's molten in there. And things are crazy right now as we all know. And I do really believe, and this not just coming out of an experience going, "Everyone needs to do this, this is going to fix us." but I really think at this point in time that humanity as a whole are being led in this direction. And of course, it seems much more to me because it's part of my immediate culture. But I mean, even if you just step back and look at a decade, two decades ago, everything in this category was just like, those are drugs. And they only have benefit in escapism. And that escapism comes with a very high price in many cases. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:41:31] Amen. 

Luke Storey:  [01:41:31] But the differentiation between drugs that only have a utilitarian purpose of killing pain or escapism, and that there's anything wrong with any of those drugs, they all have their place, too, I believe, many of those drugs helped me tremendously, even though they had horrific side effects, but in this realm, we've been talking about if done in the right context, and if people like you continue to do the work that you're doing, and make this accessible and have a framework for it, I think it could be the thing that saves us. It only takes as many individuals healing and really finding themselves to hit a critical mass, a tipping point of consciousness.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:42:17] And how amazing is it that we get to be a part of that process. We won't see the downstream effects fully in our lifetime of this shift in this re trajectory into a sustainable path, but we will be a part of reaching that critical mass. And that seems like a cause worth fighting for.

Luke Storey:  [01:42:38] Maybe in 60 years, someone will listen back to this podcast and go, "They were the pioneers. Thanks, guys." Well, man, thank you so much. I know your wife's waiting for you, so I'll to let you go. I could talk to you forever. We're going to have to do another one next time. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:42:51] I'm happy to. 

Luke Storey:  [01:42:51] When I come to Sedona it'll be another good reason. I like to go places and do interviews in people's realm. So I'm already putting a part two on the books for you. But before we go, I want to know who you would cite as three teachers or teachings that have impacted and influenced your life and your work that you could share with us.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:43:12] Three my heroes and heroines. First is Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning consistently. I mentioned when I moved back from the jungle, I was in a year of a suicidal depression, lived in a tent in Sedona and just trying to figure out culture again. And that book, Man's Search for Meaning graced my altar. And when I was ready to check out, that was the savior because when you know his backstory, then everything he's speaking about in regards to searching for meaning has more depth. He's just not evangelizing some intellectual concept. The dude lived it. And he lived through some of the most horrific experiences that humanity could know. So that became massively inspiring. 

Krishna Murthy, similar teacher, similar depth of intellect, strong mind, and has a very fascinating background as well. Was seen by the Theosophical Society as the second coming of Christ, lost his brother, gave up the guru throne, so to speak, in his coming out speech, his coming out speech in his mid-20s, when he was essentially going to take the mantle of being like, according to the Theosophical Society, the second coming of Christ, his coming out speech was there are no gurus. You're your own guru. And that caught everybody a bit by surprise because that's not what he was supposed to say. And he has this really good book called Total Freedom. It's a very intellectual kind of process. Yogananda has complement to the heart side of Krishna Murthy's serious mind side. But those two guys from the Hindu yoga philosophy became teachers. And then the third is Joanna Macy. 

And she was one of the primary pioneers for what we would now call eco therapy and brought together Buddhist philosophy with systems theory. And wove a really important tapestry in the '80s, '90s and early 2000s around us, like becoming really freakin responsible humans and taking care of our home, and being so short-sighted that all of the next generations are going to have to clean up our mess. But doing that with a lot of ferocity, but also with a lot of that Buddha's compassion like the Dalai Lama. 

It's just amazing to see that that warrior heart with still love connected, we don't see that in our culture. I didn't grow up with that. It was like Clint Eastwood and Rambo. And that was like the masculine archetype of the warrior, but to see the warrior embodied with heart and love, because we care about the planet, we care about each other, we care about supporting accessibility to therapeutics for all people, we care that all beings are important, all life is important, and we're willing to fight for that. And we're also willing to try and have as much fun and create as much beauty and harmony through the whole process as possible. And those are not easy things to balance, how to stay light and buoyant while doing really freakin important work in the world. And she carried some of that balance. So yeah, thank you for asking that.

Luke Storey:  [01:46:50] Awesome. And we're going to put those in the show notes again, guys, at lukestorey.com/dan, D-A-N. And for people that want to look up those teachers, we'll put them in there.

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:47:00] And thankyoulife.org we mentioned.

Luke Storey:  [01:47:02] Yeah. And the book, and we've gotten a photo of it here if the camera's still on me, A Dose of Hope. We see the MDMA capsule right there. There are other things I wanted to ask you, but now I'm like, man, I forgot to ask him about that. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:47:17] Part two. 

Luke Storey:  [01:47:17] I'll hold my tongue. We'll do a part two. But man, thank you so much for your work. I'm so glad we got to sit down and finally have this conversation before you get out of Austin and head out to Sedona and I'm definitely going to come look you up when I'm there next. 

Dr. Dan Engle:  [01:47:30] Absolutely. Thank you. 

Luke Storey:  [01:47:32] Thanks, brother. Well, my friends that brings another episode of The Life Stylist podcast to its conclusion. I want to thank you on behalf of myself and Dr. Dan Engle for your kind attention and ear space. This was an incredible conversation for me, and I am so excited about the reemergence of this type of medicine in the world. I really think it might be our saving grace. I know so many people are suffering from PTSD, addictions, all sorts of different things out there, much of which, by the way, I've suffered myself. So it's a personal stake that I've got in this game. If you felt inspired or lightly educated by this conversation, I highly encourage you to share it with some friends. If you know someone that's struggling and you feel like this information might inspire them to do some research and perhaps explore this direction in terms of treatment for what ails them, that would be incredible for you, me, and hopefully them. 

All right, let's thank our loyal sponsors, man. And finally, let's give it up for our loyal sponsors. These guys make it possible for me to keep dropping these knowledge bombs on you each and every week. Our sponsors today are higherdose.com. Man, these guys have an awesome new sauna blanket. And I had their old one, then had their PMF, crystal, hippie mat, and now they've got this new zippered sauna blanket. It's freaking awesome. So that's higherdose.com. 

Then we've got organifi.com/lifestylist. Right before I recorded this intro, no joke, I put some of the Organifi Red in a glass of water with some Piracetam which is a smart drug. You'll learn about it on another episode perhaps if you're unaware. And I did that for some blood flow because it's now 7:16 Central time at the time of this recording and, man, my brain was just not working. So I did that, hung upside down in the garage for a few minutes, got on the vibe plate, fired up the Joovv even though they're not one of our sponsors today-- that's what I did, hopped in the old Mariska forge ice bath and came back in to nail these intros and outros which, by the way, I don't record at the same time as the episodes, you might have guessed that if you're a regular listener.

So thank you to Organifi for creating that awesome product called Organi Red which has beet juice and all sorts of great herbs and vaso dilators that kept the blood flow going up in the dome so Luke could get this done. Then we've got earthechofoods.com/lukestorey. And those guys, of course, make Cacao Bliss. And we've got this stuff all over the house, man. It's really good cacao mixed with a bunch of other rad herbs. 

And finally, magbreakthrough.com/luke. And let me think, when did I have a mag breakthrough? I had one last night before bed and I have one right when I woke up. See I practice what I preach, man. They send me product, I try it. And if I like it, then they pay to have ads on the show. That's how this works. The word ads sounds so corny, let's call them plugs. Whatever they are, there's great brands out there doing cool stuff. I research them, I explore them, I vet them, then I share them with you. That's how it works. 

By the way, I know I drop a bunch of links, sometimes during and also at the end of the shows. Just know as a practice, the easiest way you can probably find all these links, including the show notes for this one, which again are lukestorey.com/dan is just to take a peek at the show notes on your podcast app. Most podcast apps that you're going to use today have all of the shownotes and clickable links in them. And a lot of people don't realize that. And I know this because people will send me a DM on Instagram or telegram and be like, where's this? Where's that, the thing you talked about? And I'm like, it's literally right on your podcast app. We do our very best to make all of those links work right and provide them to you at every turn. So there's a little hot user tip for you there. 

Next week's episode is number 425. Oh man, I am also pumped for this one. Both this interview with Dr. Dan and next week's episode were some that took me five, six years to actually manifest. Next week's show is called Where Science Meets the Mystical: The Fourth Phase of Water with Dr. Gerald Pollack. And I've been following this guy's stuff for years and was even set up to record with him a couple of years ago in London. And he didn't end up coming out there to the health optimization summit where we were scheduled to record and I was really disappointed. And lo and behold, we got her done. And that one comes out next Tuesday. 

It was really cool to actually explore water from the standpoint of more traditional method of scientific inquiry, as outlined in his very famous at this point book, I think it's translated into 10 languages, The Fourth Phase of Water, Beyond Solid, liquid, and Vapor, a seminal book for water freaks like me. So that's what's coming up. Thank you, again, so much for listening. I know that I can't see you, I can't hear you. You only get to hear me. But I do meet you guys on social media, at least virtually, and oftentimes at events. And I got to say, I just love people that listen to the show. Every time I meet someone, it's just, it's like, fam, we're just on the same page. So I appreciate you so much. Thank you for supporting what I do here, man. It's been six years. 

And every once in a while, I'll say that to someone, man, I've been doing this six years. And then I think, am I going to keep doing it? Like, how long do you keep doing this? 425 episodes, I guess you just keep going. I don't know, I will do it until I don't like it anymore and I lose the passion for it. But I don't know, there's times when I start to get burned out. And I think, man, I get so much positive feedback from you, the listener and it's just on, it's just nonstop. I mean, there's just messages from people all the time, exclaiming how the content presented and this show benefits their lives. And so as long as that's happening, and as long as I'm still interested, and curious and passionate about learning myself and extracting wisdom from all of our incredible guests, I'm going to keep rolling. So thank you for joining me. I'll be back next Tuesday.



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