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Using Neurofeedback Tools for Peak Performance and Neurodegenerative Diseases: 72

In this episode, I chat with Guy Odishaw about using neurofeedback. He has such an amazing amount of knowledge! It was fun to learn more about how these tools can help not only improve a normal aging brain but also help neurodegenerative diseases and traumatic brain injury.

Visit Guy at CerebralFit.

Watch the interview on YouTube

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Episode Transcript

Cheryl McColgan (00:01.034)
Hey everyone, it's Cheryl McColgan, founder of HealNourishGrowth, and we're back with another episode of the podcast. Today I am joined by Guy Odisha, and I am really excited to chat with him, particularly because you know about my love of all things, brain health, my background in psychology, and neuropsychology, and Guy actually is a neurofeedback practitioner.

and he has a lot of really great expertise he's gonna share with us today. So welcome, Guy. And if you could just start by sharing a bit of how you got into this work and what is actually neurofeedback for those who might not know what that is.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (00:38.417)
Well, thank you for the opportunity to be here and chat with you. It was a delight so far. It's been great. The little pre-show check-in was wonderful. So my background, so I've been practicing for a little over 30 years, mostly in the area of what's called integrative manual therapies. So that's my kind of my main orthopedic side, a lot of chronic pain and trauma. And…

Cheryl McColgan (00:45.855)

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (01:01.605)
Then slowly that moved into doing what's generally bioelectric medicine. So things like microcurrent light therapy.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (01:13.425)
pulse magnetic therapy, things of that nature. So we've moved into the spectrum of bioelectric medicine. So that's been for about 12 years. And then I would say the last six years been more focused on the brain with neuroimaging, neurofeedback, neuroSTIM. And we'd use quite a bit of bioelectric medicine in our brain health clinics, but they just changed the name.

when you do it on the body versus you do it in the head, they give it a new name. So nothing really changes in terms of the technology, but the name changes. And so, yeah, that's, you know, I kind of consider myself a psychophysiologist kind of working on the brain side of the brain mind continuum. And then, go ahead.

Cheryl McColgan (02:01.758)
I was just going to say what type of things do people usually come to you for? You mentioned chronic pain, but now you're moving more into the brain stuff. Are you more dealing with traumatic brain injury or just kind of natural aging processes or what is it that people are most seeking out help for?

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (02:19.485)
Sure. So I have three main clinics. I have five clinics, but three clinics that are brain specific. So in my one clinic, Bakhti Brain Health Clinic, we're a little more omnivorous. So we're seeing a full range of mental health. So anxiety, depression, OCD, you name it, you know, in the across. So mental health. Then I would say probably our next biggest

Children, learning disability, we kind of put ADHD in with learning disabilities just because it doesn't have a great place to go otherwise. So it might be dyslexia, dyscalculia, just slow reading, and anything that comes up in the school side, academic side. And then again, we put ADHD in there. And then traumatic brain injury, we do a fair amount of traumatic brain injury.

And that can be anywhere from kind of serious that gets the TBI down to say, post-concussion syndrome, which is a less significant injury, but not necessarily less impactful on the person who has it. Just the nature is quite a bit different than that spectrum. Um, and then peak performance. So we do a lot of peak performance. So people who don't have a problem, they just want to be better at whatever they're doing. So maybe that's executives. Um,

We have some students, I have a doctor who is kind of a peak performance in his professional role, so he wanted to, you know, getting a little older, he wanted to kind of, you know, brush up that little bit that he felt he was losing, which is a whole funny story, just that one person in the peak performance. Somebody who's like right next to perfect. But I want to be perfecter.

But the good news is, I mean, the technology is so good that it can do that. It can take somebody who performs above average on every measurable metric and help them be better. So this stuff isn't for people who just have problems. It's for people who just want to do better whatever level they're at. So that's kind of that Bakke Brain Health Clinic is that. It's kind of an omnivorous clinic. Then I have a Bredesen Clinic where we do the Bredesen Protocol.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (04:44.625)
And there we do primarily dementia, prevention and treatment, but that usually leads into also some Parkinson's, dystonia, ALS like that. So brain related neurodegenerative conditions. And then I have another company, Cerebrofit, main one I'm here to kind of talk about today, Cerebrofit. And we do primarily like virtual. So instead of having a brick and mortar where people are coming to us.

Ours is all device-based, so I do a Zoom consult, I put together a suite of devices, ship it to somebody, teach them over Zoom how to use them, and they do at-home treatment. And what we find is that that's, for the most part, that's where the better outcomes are, is when people can use these therapies for, say, 30 minutes a day every day, versus coming to the clinic, where maybe they're coming to the clinic twice a week for an hour each, that model works.

but what works better for the most part, especially for the neurodegenerative conditions. Treating people at home, it's more cost effective, for them ultimately, outcomes are better. And there's just a lot of other positives that work for that population because of some of the restrictions and what's going on for them.

Cheryl McColgan (06:06.814)
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense and as in many things, consistency is so key. And so if you can do something for a little bit every day, it makes perfect sense that would be much more effective than just coming once or twice a week to the clinic. You said so many things there that are fascinating that I want to follow up on. I'm going to try to narrow it down a little bit. So the one that I have in mind that is really relevant for the people in this audience is the peak performance aspect, because a lot of people listening to these types of podcasts

are looking for things that can give them that last edge. So they already kind of do healthy behaviors. They know about a lot of this stuff, but they're like, what's the next biohack or what's the next thing that I can try to really, not just, you know, survive, but actually thrive and really optimize their experience. So I'd love if you could share a little bit more on the types of practices that you might have people do.

that are looking to optimize their brain performance. And if you want to share that story about that doctor, that might be a good way to elucidate some of, hopefully that's the right word, illuminate some of what you were describing in peak performance type situations.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (07:17.977)
Yeah, so I will just quickly tell the doctor story just because it's just one of my happiest client stories of all the years I've been doing it. So he comes in, he's a combined degree, so his engineering degree, medical degree, so right off the bat, this is a peak performance, high performing person, has performed for his entire career kind of at the top of the career field. We give him all the neuropsych testing, the neuroimaging, everything, everything comes back.

Cheryl McColgan (07:24.814)
Thanks for watching!

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (07:47.605)
Again, he's above average on all the neuropsych testing. When we do neuroimaging, obviously there, that's where we see some dysregulation, right? So things aren't optimized. And so he's got his list of things that he wants to have improved. You know, again, he feels he's slipping a little bit at work. He's not quite as fast, not quite as on point, not quite getting things as quickly as he would normally kind of grok them and move to solution. So that's his list of concerns that he expresses.

We start, in his case, we did neurofeedback. So we go, we do 40 sessions of neurofeedback. Well, at some point, he comes in and he's just excited. I can tell he's kind of glowing. He's like, you're not gonna believe what happened. I went to a party last night and I told a joke and everybody laughed. And then I told another joke and he said, for a good 30 minutes, I was able to just hold the group's attention and just keep them laughing.

He said, I have wanted that for my entire life. I've taken classes, I've read books. I said, but my timing is always off. I get nervous, I forget the punch line, and it just never goes well. And so it's just been this, this thing he can't accomplish. And he said, it just happened. I didn't even try, there was no effort. And so this whole story. And then as the weeks went on, he'd come in and he'd have more stories of how

kind of his social anxiety was winding down and he'd had a conversation with his ex-wife who had said, you're the man that I thought I was marrying. Like, how come you've shown up now? Right? And so what changed is not so much these like engineering list of functional things that he wanted to get better in terms of speed and performance at work. What changed was his whole

whole social life and the improvement with his partner, with his son, with people at work, with patients, and then just, again, just on the social side. So that was, it was really a wonderful story because again, I had this sense of like, how am I gonna help this guy? And yet, it's not hyperbole to say it changed his life. And so yeah, one of my happiest stories.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (10:17.257)
So from a peak performance standpoint, the way we look at the brain, and again, whether this is peak performance or we're looking at kind of pathology, if we're looking at somebody who has a diagnostic label, we don't really think of anxiety or depression. What we think of is dysregulation. Is the brain regulated or dysregulated? Is it moving energy and information around the networks?

a neurotypical way or not. And so we don't really think about diagnostic labels. We don't think about pathology. We think about regulation and dysregulation. And so, no.

Cheryl McColgan (10:57.162)
And is that something, sorry to interrupt, but is that something that you're now more easily able to see with functional MRI or some other kind of imaging, this like a dysregulation pattern, just because it has been probably 25 years since I've been back in school. So I'm curious to hear what's new in that arena.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (11:11.846)

Yeah, so we in our clinic use 100% EEG. Now we'll refer out for fMRI or SPECT if that's needed, but EEG is the best for being able to see in the time domain. So it's not very good spatially. MRI is really good at anatomy. It can tell you what's where and does it look like it should look like. But it can't tell you anything about function, just that it's there.

or not there, right? So if you have a tumor, fantastic. If you have a tumor, EEG, not great. So we don't see anatomy, we see function. But we see function down to the level of milliseconds. And we see what information is moving from what part of the brain to the what part of the brain, in what brain wave, in what time sequence. And since this is a large part of how the brain communicates, we

we get to see this really important conversation that's happening that you don't see in other forms of neuroimaging. So EEG does this really well. But again, it doesn't do any of the other things. And so if you need those, you should go have those. But for this, it's fantastic. So yeah, so we're using EEG. And then we're doing resting state EEG. And then we're also doing task-based or ERP event-related potentials. So we can look at the brain at rest, the brain.

doing something and then see how is that brain moving energy and information around the networks. And then we can look at that raw, just how is that brain doing it. But then we can also do that compared to a database of neurotypical brains. And so, you know, most brain databases are based on peak performers. So West Point graduates, you know, so really kind of elite brains.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (13:12.057)
we're treating and this database of peak performance brains. And we look at the difference. But we also hand analyze the data so that we're bringing our own experience of looking at EEG and brain function to it. We're not just relying on databases and a lot of artificial intelligence, machine learning being used now in the analysis site. So yeah, so we're looking for dysregulation.

And the ways in which the brain can kind of lose the plot are virtually unlimited because of its complexity. You know, we have billions and billions of synapses with information flying all over the place, multi-dimensionally within the brain, thin the layers. And so there's a lot of ways for that to get off just a little bit. And so…

common kind of analogy that is used is the idea of Grand Central Station. So you've got all these trains kind of coming in and then people getting off the trains getting on other trains and the trains going out. So you've got that happening and if somebody came in and just changed the timing a little bit you can imagine what would happen. You come in, you get off your train but the train that you're gonna get on has left already. Well you don't get to where you're going to.

If that's information, then that means the information flow is missing the information that didn't catch the train in time. And so this thing called the thalamic cortical loop, the timing mechanism of the brain, that can get knocked off by having an infection. Having a viral bacterial infection can throw that off. Having a high fever can throw that off. Having even something that doesn't even register as a concussion, but a blow to the head can throw that off.

let alone having a more significant one. So the brain is so sensitive, it can get knocked off just a little bit and the person feels like they're fine. They have no sense of loss of function deficit symptom, or they might, but it's very easy for us to, again, have COVID, so you've got a virus, a virus that we know affects the brain, have potentially a high fever, come out the other side and think I'm fine.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (15:34.853)
but actually not be. Your thalamic cortical loop may have been knocked off kilter by 2%. So you have a 2% degradation in function. And that doesn't necessarily mean that shows up in cognition. We always think of the brain as our thinking, but our brain runs everything. So it's running our hormone system. It's running our digestion, our temperature regulation, our blood sugar. It is running also all of our.

thinking and emoting and it's got its finger in everything. And so if that's off a little bit, then we can see a degradation in performance over time. And again, performance isn't just cognitive performance. If one's hormones are off just a little bit over years, that can have a serious impact on how we age, on longevity, but not just longevity, the quality of those years.

the likelihood that we develop a medical condition that we might not otherwise, because the system isn't running as good as it should be. So from a peak performance standpoint, what we're doing is trying to bring all those systems back as close to optimal or to optimal, so that we get optimal functioning, again, not just in our cognition, but in our physiology as well.

Cheryl McColgan (16:57.058)
Yeah, I'm glad that you reminded everyone about the brain being involved in more than just thinking. Because I think when we talk about this kind of stuff, you hear neurofeedback, you think brain, you're thinking, oh, my memory is not as good. Or maybe like you're talking about your doctor client that was just noticing like processing time being a little longer. But really things like hormones can significantly affect so many processes in your body. And you know, it's almost like a negative feedback loop where

your hormones aren't working as well, and your neurotransmitters aren't working as well, and then your brain declines some more, and then it all just kind of feeds on each other, right? So really nipping it in the bud and noticing, or maybe when you don't notice, things are not necessarily true, but you have some tools that you could use to function more optimally. Like, why wouldn't you take advantage of that, right?

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (17:46.181)
Yep, exactly. Yeah. And that what you've just said, you know, it's this cascade. And when a client comes to the clinic, they're all they're in process. You know, I don't know what started it. You know, the example I was used with my clients is if you look at a circle and somebody asks you, well, where did that circle start?

You know, you don't know. And if you drew the circle and you were there for the start and the end, well, you know where the start is because you started it. But clients, when they come in, for the most part, they're a previously drawn circle. We don't know what started it. Did somebody have a truly a hormone issue because there's a gland, physiological gland problem, they have a thyroid problem, they have a pancreas problem, adrenal issue, and that has thrown the system off.

Or is it in the brain and it's probably in the brain and that's having a downward effect on those organs and now those organs are thrown off But the fix is really in the brain Virtually nobody knows the answer to this unless you get somebody right at the moment of acute injury And and so you know where it started. Otherwise, it's all of these and so You know, we that's why we need and you know in our clinic uses an integrative approach. So we'll bring in

a functional medicine doctor to do labs if that's what's needed so we can look at hormones so we're not wasting somebody's time and money trying to regulate their hormones through neurofeedback or neuroSTIM. It's a bad use of the technology. But the same is also true. Hormone doctors should be going through the logic of, might this be a brain-based problem?

And what my client needs is to regulate their central nervous system. And then the organs will do the job perfectly fine. A great example of this is I had mentioned, you know, working in the pain space. So I treated things like fibromyalgia for decades as if it was a physical problem. Person presents with physical symptoms. I have pain. Touch me here. It hurts. Well, we know now. And, you know,

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (20:02.657)
to me is that so little of the medical, the practicing medical community actually knows the research on this, even though it's been around a good 15 years, it's not common knowledge, that fibromyalgia goes in this cluster of what's called central sensitization, which is mostly a central nervous system problem. So having treated people for decades with fibromyalgia and done it basically as a management.

because what I was doing was never going to resolve it. We all hoped for resolution. We just never got there. For the first time in my career, what I'm seeing is when we treat, take somebody with fibromyalgia, and we treat the brain, finally I'm having a collection of patients who reach resolution, who can say, I don't have this anymore. I had this, I used to have to live my life this way, but now I live my life this way.

They're not modifying their diet. They're not modifying their activity level. They're just living their life. And in the change, and this is all within my experience, the change was going from treating it as if it was a body-based issue to treating it as if it's a brain-based issue. And doing that has allowed me to have some people actually go to resolution where they would not be diagnosed anymore. And so…

Cheryl McColgan (21:27.01)
That's amazing.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (21:28.153)
Yeah, yeah. So seeing this, you know, helps me understand that we have this completely interconnected system that loses the plot someplace or in multiple places and needs, we need health care that is able to think that way and then address that way.

Cheryl McColgan (21:49.578)
In case there's anyone out here listening to this thinking, I wonder if this XYZ problem I have could be more like a Bain brace, Bain, wow, tongue twister brain based problem. Got it out. Besides fibromyalgia, are there other conditions that you've seen that kind of tend to be the same case where we've thought about it as one paradigm for a long time, but you're actually finding that it seems more brain based?

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (22:15.985)
Yes, so under this umbrella now with central sensitization, we have chronic fatigue, IBS, sometimes regional pain syndrome. So, yeah, so a collection of these kind of chronic conditions that Western medicine has had trouble treating because, again, they're trying to treat it at the level of physiology instead of at the level of neurology.

And so most of the time the approaches at best are management strategies and at worst are, you know, not even management strategies. So yeah, so there's a cluster of conditions under central sensitization that fit into this rubric, in which case I would say something like neurofeedback might not be the only answer, but it's an essential part of what will be the answer, because if we don't…

correct what's happening at the level of the brain, we're just not going to get to a path of resolution. And part of that has to do with the brain learns. And so if a person has been, if we just think of pain, if a person has been in pain for three months, we know there's neuroplastic changes. The brain has learned how to produce that pain as a signal. And so the reason for the pain can completely go away, but the symptom doesn't.

It's like phantom limb syndrome. Person has no arm, but they complain about the pain in the arm. We know that that's because of the homunculus in the brain, and there's neurons in the homunculus that are still representing that limb, and they're representing a pain signal. So we know this happens in chronic pain. Person doesn't have to be missing the part for this to be true. It's just that pain is now being generated in the brain. It's not being generated in the body.

treat the body all day long, do whatever you want to it. No meaningful effect because the problem is actually in the brain. So this neuroplastic piece is going to come along with any condition that persists long enough to have a neuroplastic effect. And so, again, from my side as a clinician, on my orthopedic side, I start including some type of address to the brain right from the get-go.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (24:39.957)
you know, in our, in our clinic, if we're doing treating low back pain and we're doing kind of a standard decompression to try and remedy a disc issue, the same time we're doing that decompression, we're doing a neuro modulation for that person, for the brain. So we're, we're affecting the neuroplastic side of the nervous system at the same time we're treating like the mechanical

functional part that we think is the cause of the problem, the disk.

Cheryl McColgan (25:14.55)
That makes a lot of sense. And it's kind of sad that that's not really standard practice, especially in pain situations, because we always want to say, I think doctors kind of the paradigm is, well, this hurts. I'm going to fix it. But they kind of miss out on that. Not only the neuroplastic changes that you're talking about, but also just the mind-body connection of having the, I guess, like there's a neuro component of the brain that we're talking about right now, but there's also this component of

like healing and focus on a body part when you have pain and just kind of, or like when you're lifting, probably a better example is when you're lifting weights, if you're actually focusing on your bicep while you're lifting that you can able to affect that muscle more, right? Just by thinking about it. So maybe that's like a three prong thing with the pain like the brain with the neural, the actual neurology of it and then also just the mental focus part of it.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (25:59.836)

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (26:10.685)
Absolutely attention. So a very challenging condition to treat is tinnitus. So the ringing in the ears. There's a lot of reasons a person can have tinnitus. So it's a complicated condition even though almost everybody who presents with tinnitus just says, I have ringing in my ear. But there's a lot of different ways to have that ringing, which is why it's challenging to treat.

One of the most effective treatments is actually just treating attention. Right? So you can use meditation or you can use technology, but if you go simple and just use meditation, training somebody to put their attention away from the ringing and onto something else. So for the people who are able to do that, we all know meditation is challenging and it's not for everybody, but for the people who are able to shift their attention away from the ringing,

they have the experience of their tinnitus being gone. So you've done nothing to change the physical production, whether that's in the ear, in the nerve, in the brain, we've done nothing to change the production of that sound. All we've done is got them to not attend to it. And their experience is, I don't have tinnitus anymore. So this goes right to your point of one of the things that we can work with is just the mechanism of attention.

And it can be positive in the sense of, if you're training your bicep, pay attention to it. But if you have pain, don't pay attention to it. Which, you know, anybody with chronic pain would smack me for saying that, and I don't blame them. But it is still true from a functional standpoint, attention is a capacity. And like we can move our eyes, we can move our attention. We just have to learn how to do it.

Cheryl McColgan (27:51.55)
Easier said than done, for sure.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (28:05.817)
And we can learn to move our attention away from the unwanted experience.

Cheryl McColgan (28:13.678)
Well, and because that is challenging for people, this is probably a great segue into something that you mentioned a while back in the conversation, which is cerebral fit and your ability to now work with people online and kind of send these tools to them in their home so they don't have to necessarily have your clinic in their backyard. Can you describe a little bit more, I mean, there's obviously multiple kinds of conditions that this could be useful for, but if someone's hearing this and they're like, hey, I'd like to learn.

more about what this is, if I consider using this as a treatment, you can just share more about how that works and what actually a day-to-day treatment using these tools looks like.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (28:51.069)
Sure. So we have seven devices in our lineup at this point in time. So we have a near-infrared helmet to do transcranial photobiomodulation, or put near-infrared light directly into the brain. So we've got a helmet for that. We have an audiovisual entrainment device that has glasses with blinking lights and headphones with beeping sounds and ear clips with transcranial stimulation. So three modalities in one device. So we call that neuromodulation.

actually is one of our more potent devices for controlling or affecting brain function. And then we have a nasal laser, which is exactly what it sounds like. It's two lasers, you stick up your nose. And then that comes with ear lasers, which are lasers you put in your ears. And that's just to get red light into those tissues for all the benefits of red light, which is the same as the benefits of near infrared light, which we can chat about, but just to say the devices. And then we have a mouth guard that puts

red light or red blue light or red infrared light into the mouth for the oral cavity for all the reasons that red and near infrared light are beneficial to tissue to vitalize the function. And then we have red near infrared light panels for the body that also can be used for the face, for anti-aging, for the brain. But it's just a more potent form of light therapy. And then microcurrent.

So we use frequency-specific microcurrent to deliver microcurrent alternating current therapy to the body, mostly. It can also be used for the brain, but it's a little unsophisticated compared to our other devices that are brain-specific, but it's great for pain. That's our orthopedic side for the body. So those are our devices. So, you know, to say a little bit about like red infrared light.

There's roughly a list of about 11 benefits. I won't drag you or your audience through all of them. But I'll just, a couple of top.

Cheryl McColgan (30:51.93)
We've been down that road a little bit before. It's a great road.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (30:54.545)
Great, good. Yes, yeah, it is. It's fantastic. So we have an increase in mitochondrial activity, which is ATP, which is energy. So having more energy, I think of it simply as it's like having more money. If you have more money, you're more likely to take care of things in your life. Handle like that squeaky door or that ripped screen or the steps that are a little unlevel. You fix things when you have some more money. Same thing in your body. If you have more energy, your body spends more time.

on repair and regeneration than on getting through the day. But also increasing mitochondrial activity, it turns out mitochondria are these incredible little beacons of cell signaling and information processing. And many of the diseases we're finding out that we suffer from at their root right now, the lowest level we can see, what looks to be is a drop-off in cell signaling. When the cells can't talk to each other,

they start to lose the plot and then start doing things they shouldn't do, and we call that disease. So increasing the mitochondria's ability to do cell signaling turns out to have a very broad-based effect in regeneration, but also kind of prophylaxis protection against diseases and conditions that might come along. So then we have anti-inflammatory effect, increased nitric oxide, which is going to increase blood perfusion.

balancing reactive oxygen species. You know, we don't want to have too much of it, but we also don't want to have too little of it. It's important, but too much is a bad thing, oxidative stress. So we actually, so red light balances reactive oxygen species levels in the system. Something that is a little geeky, but to me it's one of the most exciting things is a red near infrared light ability to affect.

what's called RNA transcriptase. So it's when a cell makes a copy of itself. mRNA is the functional unit that's there actually making the replica. And when we can optimize that, we can repair genetic damage in the cell that's being copied, made a copy of a cell that's dying. We're going to make a new one. We can actually make a better copy.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (33:12.449)
And so that's great when we're getting into the area of kind of genetic conditions and how could we possibly address that red near infrared light? One of the benefits is affecting the mRNA transcriptase process and optimizing that. So long list of benefits of near and red light. And so our devices, we use a great deal of that. So you asked the start of this question was like what conditions. And I know that.

Cheryl McColgan (33:38.87)

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (33:42.397)
People think in terms of conditions. They have, like something is going wrong. That's what's important to them. I have anxiety, I have OCD, I have ADHD. So our symptoms are kind of how we know ourself. The challenge a little bit from my side is our devices aren't really designed to treat a condition.

they're designed to optimize function. And that's the difference between allopathic medicine, where they cut it out, cut it off, medicate it. You have a problem, we're gonna get rid of your problem. Versus what we think of as more holistic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, the forms of traditional medicine that really have a focus on creating health. So we're not gonna go and try and…

address the problem, we're going to help the system become vitalized such that the problem can't exist within a system that's so healthy. And that's the side of the line we're on for the most part is in optimizing, vitalizing, restoring, regenerating the system as opposed to being anti anything. So that's why.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (35:09.585)
these devices treat this broad array of conditions that usually you would think, well, guy, you can't treat all of those. That sounds like magic. And it's not because it's treating the condition, it's restoring function to the natural mechanism. And then, you know, we treat macular degeneration and have about an 85% success rate at treating macular degeneration, a condition that allopathic medicine says is untreatable.

Cheryl McColgan (35:35.938)

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (35:38.749)
It's not untreatable. But we don't try and do anything to the process of macular degeneration. You've got blood vessels that burst. You get druids in. It blocks the retina, can't pick up light there. And so a person has this block of vision. We don't do anything to try and make that go away. We just revitalize the tissues. You strengthen the vasculature so the blood vessels don't burst.

you recharge the cells again, so they have that more energy. What do we find? The body will reabsorb that drusen and take care of it itself. We don't have to do anything with that. We don't have to go in and try and cauterize vessels, right? No, you just give the vessels what they need to return to their normal, natural, endogenous function, and they will. And so that's why this approach is

can be a little hard on the brain to understand. Like, how can it have an effect across, like how can you treat anxiety and depression with the same thing? Well, because you just regulate the function of the neurons. Loosely speaking, very loosely, we could say anxiety is an over-excitable neuron and depression is an under-excitable neuron. If we can normalize what's called the resting membrane potential of the neurons, so that,

neuron kind of fires neurotypically, then the person effectively doesn't have anxiety because their neurons don't fire with too little stimulus. But we've done nothing to their anxiety. Like all we've done is normalize the resting membrane potential of the neuron. Yeah. So it's a different way to think about healing.

Cheryl McColgan (37:33.206)
Well, in this way of thinking about health, it's too bad that, you know, you mentioned allopathic versus more, you know, using a functional medicine doctor or something like that, you know, more like finding root cause and creating overall good health so that in and of itself fights disease. But one of the things you said, I just as a final question before we kind of start to wrap up here, as I've heard so many professionals talk about lately, that dysfunction in the

maybe as the base to almost every disease. And I'd just be curious to see what you found in your work as far as working with mitochondrial function and the red light therapies, how that has affected different patients that you've worked with.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (38:20.065)
Yeah, so what to use as an example, I think in some ways, one of our more challenging populations is maybe our dementia population. Because again, it's a condition allopathic medicine has made virtually no headway in. There's another one of those, you get this diagnosis, it's going to be a fast or a slow slide into losing your cognitive function, but again, it's not just cognition.

the body starts to go along with it because it's not getting the right information to continue functioning optimally. And so I probably have 50 clients in the dementia space under treatment right now. And we're seeing, I mean, many are making remarkable recoveries. Some are, the recovery is maybe minimal, but they're not decreasing, right? They're not losing function. And I would say one of the…

places that this is happening is by just increasing mitochondrial function. And it's back to kind of like what does that do? On one hand, we know in an aging brain period, no pathology, just an aging brain, the number of mitochondria drop off. It's a little horrifying. The change between 20 and 40 is significant. The change between 40 and 60 is dramatic, the number of mitochondria. So the…

this important little cellular friend in there who does all these functions that we need, just that we're losing so many of them, just coming along and adding, boosting the efficacy of the ones we have left has this very broad-based effect. So in our dementia population, my guess is why are we seeing the results we're seeing somewhat on the timeline that we're seeing it?

is by increasing the mitochondria function, we're increasing energy, we're decreasing inflammation. So neuroinflammation is often a big part of dementia. It's not always the case. There are many things that are going wrong, but neuroinflammation is often near the top of the list. So being able to down-regulate neuroinflammation, again, a list of things, but with the mitochondria, we also know that there are…

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (40:44.049)
Like mitochondria become niche specific. So the mitochondria, say, in the frontal lobe is different than the mitochondria in the occipital lobe. If we look at, say, the salience network, and within the salience network, there are different hubs. The mitochondria in those different hubs are different mitochondria. They've specialized themselves for that niche. And so when we're using near-infrared light, if we can…

to those mitochondria in a way that's more specific to how they function versus their neighbors in the back of the brain, then we can increase not only their activity but their signaling function. And it turns out that that's really helpful for information flow in the brain. If you can bring those mitochondria back online and have them doing their cell signaling, that improves the information flow within a network.

Cheryl McColgan (41:46.107)
That's, I, I just makes me want to get these tools in my house. I mean, I have a, what I think is so far normally aging brain, but you know, I'd like to keep those mitochondria good for as long as I can.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (41:49.581)
I don't know.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (42:00.673)
Yes. And one of the new to me, it's not that new in terms of research, but just research that has come to my purview relatively recently, was seeing this piece of the drop off of the number of mitochondria from age 20 to age 40, that we have about a 20% drop off. And so even though most of us would not really complain about the cognitive change in that…

Time frame, physiologically, we've lost a significant amount. And the way I say this to my clients is like, say you're working and you're making however much you're making a year and there you go, you're living your life and somebody comes along and just gives you a pay cut of 20%. Like you would feel that. Like, and you wouldn't be ambivalent about it. You know, you'd be like, wait a minute. No, I'm not doing the same amount of work for 20% less pay.

Cheryl McColgan (42:54.05)

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (43:00.325)
And in a sense, that's what's happening when we drop off the number of mitochondria. And then from 40 to 60, we have overall from 20 to 60, we have about 40% drop off in total mitochondria. And so again, this is a significant factor. So I was a little alarmed myself when I'm like, ooh, I'm like, well, I'm not 40 anymore.

Cheryl McColgan (43:25.763)

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (43:26.605)
So I'm closer to that mark that says I've lost 40% of my mitochondria, right? Like I've taken a 40% pay cut. Yeah. It hurts. Yeah. Um, also explains why. Yeah, please.

Cheryl McColgan (43:34.926)
Right. That's hurts. That hurts a lot. So to finish.

I was just going to say to finish things off before we, I definitely wanted you to tell people about your website and how to get in touch with you at the end that in the very end. But just before we go, I mean, not to leave it on a depressing note because right, we need some way to fight this. So we've got the red light therapy. We've got obviously meditation. We've got your services that they can look into, which is a more comprehensive program. But are there any couple little actionable?

things that people can do to kind of stave off some of this mitochondrial dysfunction and help their brain that we haven't touched on yet. Things that you might recommend like, hey, do this every day, whether it's actually recently learned. People think playing Sudoku is gonna do it, it's not. It has to be something that's significantly challenging for your brain, like learning the guitar when you don't know how to play guitar or something like that. That's really supposed to help brain function. But anything else you can think of to share with people?

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (44:22.512)

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (44:38.469)
Yeah, wow. Like, this could be a whole podcast right here, this piece. I'll try and keep it short. Okay, so a couple of my favorites. Get out in the sun, right? We're doing light, near-infrared light. It's light, it's what the sun produces. The sun mostly produces kind of red and infrared, and then of course during the midday we get UV and we got our blues and whatnot in there. But just get out in the sun and…

Cheryl McColgan (44:41.422)
I'm out.

Cheryl McColgan (44:45.574)
Yeah, right, I know.

Cheryl McColgan (44:52.855)

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (45:06.901)
and get like, it's simple, sun on skin. Now I know I'm breaking all kinds of rules here and there's probably people that are just like pulling their hair out, screaming at their podcast speaker. But, but.

Cheryl McColgan (45:18.762)

I only wear sunblock on my face, not anywhere else.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (45:24.385)
Yeah, good, right? So, I mean, we have to be mindful. We can't just pretend like being out in the sun all day, every day is perfectly fine, but we've definitely been given an overcorrection by the sun police. And so we're missing an essential nutrient. There's really good research right now telling us that compared to our ancestors, and I don't mean 10,000 years ago, I mean 500 years ago. So our relatively recent ancestors,

Cheryl McColgan (45:42.133)

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (45:53.925)
we get about 93% less red and near-infrared light than they did, 93% less. Like think of a plant, you took a plant and you moved it out of the light and it only got 6% of its normal light. Like that plant would not survive, it would just die. And so that's what we've done. We have done it, we are photosynthetic beings, we don't do it through chlorophyll, we have other chromophores.

Cheryl McColgan (46:15.009)

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (46:24.145)
But there's about 1,400 cellular reactions that are driven by sunlight in our bodies. So we think about vitamin D is one that everybody kind of like, oh, you got a vitamin D, right? Well, that's one. There's 13,999 more that are being driven by the sun. So get out in the sun. Second part of that, grounding. Bare feet on Earth. Absolutely, the research on grounding is fantastic. It's 100%. This is not.

folklore and legend. It's simple physics. We are basically capacitors. Our bodies are capacitors. We're bioelectric, biochemical, electric entities. So when we put our feet on the ground and we have the sun shining on us, it's creating a charge differential. And if we put our feet on the ground, that gives us a grounding, which can move ions out.

and our battery can charge. So you literally, when you go out in the sun and put your feet on the ground, you're charging your physiological battery, right? So, and that's for free.

Cheryl McColgan (47:33.278)
my latest crazy thing that I'm doing because I live in Utah now. And so for many months of the year, it'd be difficult to get my actual feet on the ground. But I now have a grounding mat on my bed. This is how serious I am about this. Like after I read the science, I'm like, this is a no brainer. This is like, why wouldn't you just put this mat under you so that you can get rid of some of these ions, you know, that are, yeah.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (47:43.449)
Yes, perfect. Yes, yeah, absolutely. And I think that's a great.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (47:53.649)
do this.

Yeah, yep, absolutely. The grounding mat is the next option. Again, I'm in Minnesota, so half the year, it's uninhabitable outside. So a grounding mat, yeah, on your bed. You can get the ones that go on the floor by where you sit for your work, whatever computer. So yeah, lots of options to the grounding mat because it's doing essentially the same exact thing that the ground is doing. So yeah, so my recommendation, what are kind of…

Cheryl McColgan (48:02.379)
There you go.

Cheryl McColgan (48:11.97)

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (48:24.573)
Quick, easy, free things people can do is get sun on skin ground. The other thing that sun on skin does is it produces melanin. And melanin, it turns out, is an essential constituent of cells for using light as a nutrient, using light as a communication device within the body, which it does. Our cells communicate with photons.

the receptor of that photic energy often is melanin. And if we're not getting enough sun, we're not stimulating a continuous production of melanin. Like mitochondria decreasing in the brain, melanin will decrease in the brain. And so we wanna get more. So these are, yeah, so some simple things people can do, sun, ground, you're all about the keto diet. So yes, eat keto, massive benefit.

Cheryl McColgan (49:18.87)

Cheryl McColgan (49:22.134)
Yeah, mitochondrial uncoupling. I need to talk about that on the podcast sometime. But yeah, like you said, this could be like 5 million podcast episodes with the amount of knowledge that you have. But I want to thank you for sharing what you have shared today. And obviously, your website's a great resource if people need more information, more education. But if you could just share with everybody your website address, how they can find you, and if they want to.

get started using some of your services, how they go about that.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (49:53.149)
Sure. So our website is So cerebral, F-I-T, dot com, On there, you will find my email address. You can email me directly, phone number. You can call me directly. There's a link on there to my online schedule. We do a free 15 minute consult. So people are happy, more than welcome to jump on there, schedule a free 15 minute consult. We do a 45 minute consult that I call free-ish.

which is if they move forward with a treatment plan, then there's no cost for it. So yeah, so pretty much people in 100% get ahold of me through the website, but also there we have a lot of information about everything. I'm big about putting up the research. So we have pages that are condition specific. So Parkinson's, dementia.

but then also treatment-specific photobiomodulation. They can go and look at all the latest research from MIT, from Tufts, from Durham, and just see for themselves that the research on this is solid, and what are the people who are leading the charge on this have to say about it. I really like to inform the people that I work with so they know that what they're moving towards is real.

grounded, evidence-based, and that it produces outcomes.

Cheryl McColgan (51:23.658)
Yeah, and so please go visit him. There's lots of great information on the website. And thank you again for taking the time today, Guy. I really appreciated this conversation. And you're right up my nerdy alley. I so loved it.

Guy Odishaw, CerebralFit (51:37.14)
in July. Thank you.

Cheryl McColgan (51:38.574)