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How The Emerging Technology Of Vagus Nerve Stimulation Can Help Overcome Chronic Disease Or Improve Human Performance

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Summary
  • Why the brain needs “interoception” to help it grow , heal and function properly
  • Why electrical signals are the easiest form of communication for the “Body’s internet”
  • Why our healthcare system is doomed unless we identify and treat the “root ” of disease
  • How vagus nerve stimulation can modulate the inflammation “storms” that create havoc to our bodies
  • What is the best nutritional “fuels” for supporting the organelles of the vagus nerve system
  • Why we need to learn that we are part of a “connectome” as individuals and as a society
Transcript
Tom McCarthy

Okay, it’s time for our next expert and this is a doctor that I just met recently, but I thought he would be great for our summit. His name is Dr. David Yoder and he graduated from the Life West chiropractic college in 2002. Previously to becoming a chiropractor. He was involved in medical research, funded by the NIH during his undergraduate graduate college at Wayne State University. And that’s when he decided that he’d rather, or maybe later on, he decided, but at some point he decided that he’d rather go the holistic route. And so that’s what he’s done and everybody that I know that knows him raves about his work. He uses something called speed Hell for his patients where he takes the best technologies and different methodologies to help them heal much quicker. And I’m intrigued with his work around the vagus nerve, which is one of the largest or maybe the largest nerve in our bodies, starts up in our head region and then literally impacts much of our vital organs. And so that’s what we’re gonna get into today. So David, it’s great to have you here. Thanks for being on our summit.

 

Dr. David Yoder

Thank you Tom. I’m delighted to be a guest in your summit and help educate as many people as we can reach to help them learn how to speed, he’ll improve the quality of their lives, become a better version of themselves. So, before we dive into the details of vagus nerve, I want to provide a little bit of context as to what led me to added this powerful tool. So I think that the why is important of why I got into it. So if we rewind the clock to the beginning of the pandemic, it was a strange period. It was like the twilight zone. We didn’t know what was going on, We were told to stay at home shelter. We thought if a package was delivered, we couldn’t even touch the package. You know, we had no idea what was going on. So for my world, as a health care provider, I didn’t know if I was able to even go to work, but they did include chiropractors as an essential health care provider to assist offloading the burden at the hospital system because they were inundated if you remember. However, at the same time as this new piece of information was, in my world, my reality, my wife was beginning chemotherapy for breast cancer. And if you have ever had a loved one, a family member, your spouse go through breast cancer treatment. It’s pretty heavy, it’s a very powerful procedure and it can have many devastating side effects. 

So my wife being a nurse was brought up in kind of the Western traditional telepathic model and she felt comfortable doing the standard chemotherapy surgery and radiation protocol. Me growing up in the holistic world, to me, that sounded really like a bad idea and I just could see nothing but possibly losing my wife or the chemotherapy devastating and point of no return. So just the information alone was just it fried my circuits. I was just in stress. I was overwhelmed again and the pandemics going on. So and the first day of chemotherapy and I want to be with her and support her. So we pull up to the parking lot and I was told I had to remain outside. So even if I were to wear a mask or test I wasn’t allowed to be with my wife during chemotherapy. And usually people go to support their friends and family came with every day they bring books, they bring movies, they check because you’re sitting there for like half the day because the chemotherapy is such a thick chemical agent it has to drip very slowly through the I. V. Line into the person. They have to monitor any changes. So that was you know I didn’t know that I couldn’t even support my wife in that way. So it was really really hard on me mentally emotionally to not support her in the way I wanted to. 

So I thought how can I assist her through this program and help her help my clients help our immune system. And so I turned backwards to what I before I became a chiropractor, my research mind. So I immediately go very deep into the community of linkedin And thankfully I connected with a lot of great doctors and scientists that were collecting information as it was just coming to the surface at that time, the world was more open and we could collect information without a censorship. So I got some really good information and I found out that the vagus nerve that I had been studying previously to this had a very powerful effect on the immune system. And so I basically reached out to every vagus nerve company in the world and asked if they could ship me a device to experiment with to maybe, you know, using my clinic help immune system help. My wife and one company came forth and supplied me with a device that I still use in the clinic and coming forward. 

The devastating side effects of chemotherapy for creating brain fog did not happen for my wife, she’s fully recovered, she’s got hair back and she’s in complete remission. She looks beautiful, she’s feeling great. So, you know, she was very blessed. So we’re very thankful for that journey. But I would definitely say that the vagus nerve stimulation therapy was a huge part of that, that healing process. But specifically for me, you can imagine again being overwhelmed with, you know, two new things that you’re not trained for and we like to be prepared for anything new. Right? So I had to literally become an oncologist overnight and then I had to learn a lot about the immune system. So again, my brain was overwhelmed. So doing vagus nerve stimulation on myself. I found that I could stay focused. My sleep was doing relatively okay in spite of the new overwhelming stresses. And I was actually recovering faster, meaning that normally the chiropractor because I’m hunkering down, looking over patients, you know hours and hours a day. And so we kind of beat up our posture and I would go to my chiropractor about twice a month for my adjustments. 

And I can say on a consistent basis using this device as technology, I’m holding my adjustments for months and months. So then I wanted to do some experiments with my patients that had tough cases. And so I have a soldier who served three tours and I’m sorry that we’re talking about Vietnam earlier Afghanistan and he had to leave due to ptsd anxiety and stress and he just wanted to function again and get back to life and work in his family. And so  we started doing vagus nerve stimulation on him. And research does show that it can even help with ptsD and anxiety. So he is back to normal, engaged his faculties, mental faculties, emotional way better stabilized. And I can definitely say it was this tool that made a difference in his speed healing. And then two other cases real quickly. A dentist who also during the pandemic was stressed because his dental assistants were not wanting to come into work because they didn’t want to be near an open mouth again. We didn’t know how bad covid was. So you can’t blame the dental technicians, but the dentists were really stressed because their dental technicians weren’t coming in. People didn’t want to go to dentist and open up their mouth, you know? And so he had a lot of stress as he was getting acid reflux. And he’d been on proton pump inhibitors for about a decade. And so there’s news and information and research that vagus nerve stimulation can speed heal the gastrointestinal track. It’s like internal wound healing. And so he started using the device and he’s off the medication and he can even cheat and like have some, you know, spicy food and not worry that he’s gonna be having acid reflex 

 

Tom McCarthy

Before the, before the next one you’re talking about the device. Is there just one device that you use or is there are many ways that you’re treating the vagus nerve or stimulating the vagus nerve?

 

Dr. David Yoder

You’re right question Tom. So if you jump on the summit or google or go to the internet, you’re gonna see a lot of different ways of stimulating the vagus nerve. You can meditate, you can hum, you can gargle, you can take a cold shower and why those techniques may work is, it’s forcing you to calm and slow down the busy mind and tune into the body and increase a process called inter reception. So interception is a technological term for having awareness within the body. The brain is very busy, right? So being able to slow down and tune into what’s going on in the body is very useful however, for people who have a lot of stress, PTSD, anxiety, concussion injuries, going through chemotherapy, it may not be practical to sit still and meditate because they’re distracted. They’re in pain. 

There’s other stuff going on. So you could say with this technology, this device, you’re doing all of that in just a couple of minutes. You’re bringing to the table your own personal meditation guru, a gastroenterologist, a neurologist, a life coach, a psychologist, a wound healer, an immunologist. All in this technology. It is quite fascinating. So I’m supportive of any means that works for you. But I’m a busy guy. So time is precious. So I like the fact that I can just grab this device and do it. Now. The research does show time that of the devices out there, there’s a regular or ear vagus nerve stimulation, acupuncture can stimulate some points here and then there’s cervical vagus nerve stimulation. It does happen to be that the fibers in the cervical vagus nerve have about an 85% more of an affect on stimulating the vagus nerve compared to I think you can peek at only 16% in the year. That’s a big difference, 85 versus 16. 

So I’m going with the cervical devices. And then you were describing the Vagus nerve as you know, emanating, it’s one of the 12 cranial nerves and then from the brain it goes down both sides of the neck and then it becomes one unit below the diaphragm that goes all the way down to the pelvic floor. So it does connect the brain to the body but it’s actually designed the opposite way. 80% of this communication is actually a fair meaning upwards to the brain. So we’ve set in the world and neurology and health and medicine that the brain is everything. Let’s develop the brain, let’s develop the brain. Well really the brain is like this caveman is really clueless what’s going on. And he relies and depends on information coming into messages. So like our five common senses, sight, smell, taste, sound, touch, but that’s on the outside. How can the brain know what’s going on? Like if your blood sugar is low or if you have a bacterial or viral infection about to invade or travel somewhere if you have an ulcer that need to be healed, it needs to know what’s going on. So it needs and relies on the vagus nerve to send it continuous messages going upwards to the brain. So it’s again it wasn’t designed 50 50 times designed 80 20 80% of it is going to the brain,

 

Tom McCarthy

Wow, interesting, very interesting. Yeah. And we’ll talk more about this device and potentially how people can work with you and access that device. I am familiar with it because at a four M. I did it where you know you put it right on here and you kind of makes your lip pull and but it’s yeah I mean it’s doesn’t cause pain and it creates a nice stimulation of the vagus nerve with the stimulation of the vagus nerve. What’s the impact of that on inflammation?

 

Dr. David Yoder

Yes. So Kevin Tracy, famous doctor, he did a pretty big ted talk, you can find on Youtube there but he found out and discovered this anti cholinergic anti inflammatory pathway and specifically tumor necrosis factor is modulated with vagus nerve stimulation. So the first patients who benefited from vagus nerve stimulation had implanted surgically implanted devices in their neck and chest. And these are patients that had seizures. And so epileptic seizures are very dangerous because you don’t know when they’re gonna happen. You could be in a car in a public place, fall down, hurt yourself. So they didn’t have time to grab a device and stimulate their neck there. So they just thought let’s just put it in. So they benefited first and foremost. And so you could say that a seizure is not just scattered brain wave activity that’s not coherent. It’s also a stress signal and also part inflammatory. 

So vagus nerve stimulation helps modulate and calm down that inflammatory storm wherever it may reside, whether it be the brain or the body. So it’s the pathway of the vagus nerve to the anti cholinergic, anti inflammatory pathway that helps modulate inflammation. Does it help with pain? I know one of the things that can do is by stimulating the vagus nerve is help with headaches or migraines from what I’ve heard. Is that correct? Yeah, the device that you demo at the frm conferences actually FDA approved for treating migraine headaches. So, there’s an imbalance of no transmitters, and pain signals that go up from the brain stem to the brain that this helps to reverse and calm down. So again, you could say that pain is a partly false signal almost if you will illusion of what’s going on because that famous quote, what do you think you’re right or wrong? You are always right because it’s always what you choose to perceive. So sometimes our body gets stuck in a past memory of pain and there’s no current pain or danger going out of the body, so stuck in the past cycle.

 

Tom McCarthy

Right? Because the pain is being generated by the brain, not the site that you’re feeling it typically or not. I mean always, even if it’s an acute injury, the pain didn’t start there, it’s the brain trying to, hey, you know, you need to pay attention to this.

 

Dr. David Yoder

Correct. And so as the Vagus nerve again is 80% going to the brain. You could say it’s like a software update. So how often do our phones do software updates weekly? We benefit because they process smoother faster to help us live in this fast paced life. Our brains. You could make the easy analogy that it’s like a computer program and it’s using both hardware and software hardware being the actual neurons. The structure you go the doctor you get an M. R. I. Cat scan E. G. That’s hardware but the software is the vagus nerve and the program of perception and awareness and the neuro immune crosstalk communication. So if we can update the brain and nerve system with what’s truly going on and say oh this is false information or this is past unresolved healing. Let’s actually work and finish healing that. Then we’re in in present time here. So it’s again because it’s a mind body connection. Anything that’s mind body connection helps us become a better version of ourselves. So the more we can tune in with an inter reception using vagus nerve stimulation, we update the mind body field connection and we speed heal.

 

Tom McCarthy

That’s awesome. I mean should everybody be learning how to stimulate the vagus nerve? I mean or is it just for people that are suffering or sick. I mean it sounds like something that would be good for everybody to know how to do, Right?

 

Dr. David Yoder

A good question. So obviously it’s always preference what you’re comfortable with. Some people don’t like electrical tingle sensations there. They have a version to electricity. So, it’s realizing you’re thinking right now you’re moving. Even your emotions are dependent on electrons flowing. You can’t think you can’t emote, you can’t move without electricity. We are electrical by nature. We’re a big battery. If somebody is having a massive heart attack, what are the paramedics rushing to that patient with holding in their hands?

 

Tom McCarthy

Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. 

 

Dr. David Yoder

So they’re not going to massage you do a chant with you. You know give you a supplement. They’re gonna blast with a lot of electricity to reset that heart there. Okay. So I know that’s kind of an extreme example. But that’s just a good illustration of like yeah, we depend on proper electrical signaling are hard to beat a certain way. Our brain thoughts are muscle movements, even our emotions. So I think as we get more comfortable with technology and vagus nerve devices come out that are accessible and wearable that it’s going to be an option. Just like we never thought you and I, You know, we’re pretty close to the age that everybody would be on their phone 24/7 as a way of life here. But I mean you we use it for all communication.

 

Tom McCarthy

Yeah. Yeah. Now things that people can do during the day. Obviously the stimulation is going to be really good. We’ll talk more about that in a minute. But the humming, the meditating the cold showers, all those things are helpful. Right? Just to keep it in tune. And then what about nutrition? Are there anything anything in terms of foods or supplements or things like that that are good for the vagus nerve too,

 

Dr. David Yoder

Yep. So there was an interesting observation of patients with Parkinson’s that when the vagus nerve was surgically cut, the progression of the symptoms immediately ceased. So what was traveling up the vagus nerve that would stop the progression of the Parkinson’s symptoms. So it’s currently suspected that there’s these tau toxic, you know plaque accumulate toxins that are in the brain that we needed to clear out to prevent neurodegeneration that includes Alzheimer’s as well to Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s. So I’m thinking my hypothesis is that by cutting the vagus nerve whatever was traveling up the vagus nerve to the brain wasn’t a good nutritional source. And so it’s stopped the progression, it’s not gonna heal the system but it stopped the advancement. So again, since the vagus nerve comes from the gut, we want to make sure our gut health is very well established. We want a very good diverse gut microbiome. So if you work with a holistic doctor that does functional medicine. You can do a gut microbiome test to see if it’s diverse. A lot of my clients. I just did a lab update. 

They’re taking a lot of supplements. They eat a very diverse whole food diet. Lots of veggies. But their nutrient levels are very low and so it’s lacking gut absorption. So we need to heal the gut there. So korean probiotics, you know if you’ve ever had a history of antibiotics, you want to re establish good microbiome. So you may need to put in probiotics there and the all nerves. Not all nerves, but most nerves have a myelin sheath a code and that’s made of healthy lipids. You want to make sure you’re taking a good omega three lipid omega threes are protected for the brain and the heart and the nerves. And specifically we found out that even the expression of certain cells in the brain. Micro glial cells are listening for how they’re being fed. So if they’re being fed like a ketogenic diet, high fats and proteins, it stays anti inflammatory. And if you switch to a carbohydrate, sugary alcohol diet, you’re gonna switch the expression of those micro glial cells to a pro inflammatory state. So then it’s really hard to switch back there. So my patients that don’t really respond well to vagus nerve stimulation. They’re inflamed with their diet. Their lipid panel is off. Their mega three is low. Their gut microbiome is not diverse.

 

Tom McCarthy

Mm hmm, interesting. Okay, cool. So how do people work with you? Do you work with people obviously work with people in San Diego. But do you work with people outside of San Diego too?

 

Dr. David Yoder

Yes. So we can use this format and zoom here so I can do telemedicine and I would just need the person’s labs and they’re kind of health history overview. And then because this isn’t just a physical model, it’s also you know psychosocial I always get a context for you know what kind of past traumas may have happened. That could be again stuck that can produce anxiety or inflammation and pain there. So I need to understand their child history, their parenting style. You know how they deal with stress. So we look at always physical, emotional, environmental and nutritional as a four factors for creating a holistic program for patients. But yes, they can access to me access to me telemedicine style.

 

Tom McCarthy

Okay. And then they can by doing that they can also have access to the device that you’ve been we’ve been talking about that stimulates the vagus nerve.

 

Dr. David Yoder

Yes. The company previously regulated the device by doctors through there was a proof of migraine headaches. They just released a wellness version that you don’t have to have a history of headaches and it’s not indicated for any particular disease but just for wellness and so this just was released recently so we can get these into the hands of people. They don’t have a specific symptom or have to work with a primary care doctor. We can get these out.

 

Tom McCarthy

Awesome. How people contact you, David? How did they get in touch with you?

 

Dr. David Yoder

Yes. My website is www.DavidYoderwellness.com, www.davidYoderwellness.com.

 

Tom McCarthy

Okay, outstanding, awesome. So the vagus nerve is super important. You’re an expert on it. I encourage everybody to, you know, that would like to learn more to reach out to David. And I’ve heard such great things about you from people I know that have worked with you in the past. So I know that everybody that goes to you is going to be in great hands. Any final words you’d want to share with everybody before we say goodbye here.

 

Dr. David Yoder

Well, the big picture Tom is, you know, again, why do we do what we do, what do you do, what you do, what do I do when you want to improve yourself? Why are you doing it there? So for me, the big picture is that I want to help make the best version of you so that you can do what your heart is calling for. You’re on your journey there. So if I can assist you in becoming the best version of you, then that really inspires me. So I know there’s a another version of all of us just waiting to happen. And I believe that technology has come to a point where we can update our software and achieve that faster so you can never do any therapy wrong. You just may be doing it long. So, but again, since the vagus nerve talks to us from down bottom up, I think it is just a realization that we’ve become too mindful, our minds are too full and we need to get back to being mindfulness. And so I think vagus nerve has been a gift to technology and invention that is here for us and we can definitely partake of it and help ourselves and others.

 

Tom McCarthy

That’s awesome. Thanks so much for being on with us, David. That’s been outstanding today. Thanks so much.

 

Dr. David Yoder

Thank you, Tom.

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