Power Up Your Brain
Power Up Your Brain

Power Up Your Brain

Later that same day, back at our hotel, I asked Alberto about the shaman’s apparently unique ability to access complex information by means of intuition. (Location 184)

I began to focus on the small but growing number of patients who were actually able to regain their health despite what could have been a diagnosis of incurable disease. What was it about these patients that turned things around? The answer was presented to me late one Friday afternoon during a consultation with a woman suffering from chronic progressive multiple sclerosis, a frequently fatal and crippling auto-immune brain disorder. (Location 195)

“Basically, I’ve gained the ability to tap into what I call healing energy,” Beth continued. “Not only am I doing so much better as far as my MS is concerned, but I also feel really peaceful and positive about my life. I’ve been practicing some meditation techniques for years,” she explained, “but they never really clicked until about three months ago.” (Location 206)

One day, two years into my research, I realized that I had been viewing the mind through the wrong lens. I had been trying to understand a spiritual tradition of indigenous America by looking at changes in brain and blood chemistry. (Location 230)

Everyone I knew, including my own family, thought I was mad to throw away a promising career in academia to follow a harebrained dream of being an explorer and adventurer. (Location 234)

Dark spots in the matrix indicate the presence of disease, they said, even if the illness had not yet manifested in the physical body. (Location 248)

With time, I learned that trauma leaves an almost indelible signature that a healer can perceive in her clients’ luminous field. (Location 255)

For example, Amazon sages claimed that, after fasting and praying during vision quests, they were taught by the plants themselves how to prepare curare, a neurotoxin employed for hunting and also used for modern anesthesia. (Location 393)

This web of life, which they refer to as the Divine Mother, is a living energy system that supports and informs all creatures. (Location 405)

Western medicine was born of this worldview. Instead of relying on natural remedies to cure the ailments of the body, physicians turned to synthetic drugs and surgery. (Location 439)

If Hameroff is right about microtubules exhibiting quantum mechanical events inside your brain cells, then consider the possibilities and potentials that you are capable of, especially when you turn off thoughts of fear, sex, greed, or incessant worry. (Location 481)

“Those on a high level of spiritual experience have . . . developed meditative concentration to the point of becoming clairvoyant and generating miracles.” (Location 485)

His Holiness the Dalai Lama describes enlightenment as “a state of freedom not only from the counterproductive emotions that drive the process of cyclic existence, but also from the predispositions established in the mind by those afflictive emotions.” (Location 497)

the entire body and brain need to be healthy, fed with the proper nutrients, and trained with an inner discipline. (Location 503)

Brain synergy signifies a neurocomputer whose circuits are all turned on, tuned in, and operating collaboratively, each region attending to its functions—much as the heart attends to circulating blood while the lungs attend to respiration—creating a system that cannot be defined or even described by its component parts. (Location 511)

the challenge is to dis-identify with your limited sense of self that was created by destructive emotions. (Location 516)

Likewise, you have a choice: To feed the wolf of chaos and confusion, the wolf that devours your positive thinking, destroys your sense of self-worth, and consumes your entire being. (Location 528)

You will no longer need to pursue happiness through artificial means, because happiness will arise from you with ease. (Location 532)

We’ve met and studied with sages who were able to achieve extraordinary brilliance, inner peace, and creativity. We’ve heard of Tibetan monks who are able to meditate overnight on an ice-covered mountain without freezing to death, dusting the snow from their naked shoulders as the sun rises. (Location 540)

Yet societies that rely on traditional healers— medicine men and women—have long understood the power of the mind to either heal or kill. (Location 562)

Studies have shown, for example, that a sugar pill can be as effective as morphine in 56 percent of people. (Location 570)

I also added a high-dosage DHA to augment the meditation practices and affirmations he was to begin. The focus of both of these techniques was simply the thought, “I am healthy.” (Location 593)

that the mind can be programmed to purchase vehicles that will make us feel like we are young again and dresses that promise to make the hurt of depression go away. (Location 619)

because they believe these methodologies constitute phony medicine. They worry about the implications of “tricking” the patient into healing the body, even though the success of many medically accepted therapies and surgical interventions currently performed by those same doctors may be, in large part, enhanced or facilitated by the placebo effect. (Location 626)

In effect, the hippocampus operates something like a digital camera that can process both still pictures and video. Facts, like photographs, are pieces of data that can generally be verbalized in simple terms. Recalling facts is termed declarative memory. (Location 669)

The amygdala, from the Greek word for almond, governs our so-called fight-or-flight response, which is our automatic and instantaneous reaction to real or imagined threats. Basically, it’s the fear center of the brain that allows us to respond to dangerous situations reflexively, unconsciously, and immediately. (Location 682)

This brain allows us to create new ideas and entertain notions such as democracy as well as to understand mathematics, write poetry, compose music and art, dream of freedom, and envision the future. (Location 693)

But perhaps the worst dismissal of human value occurs in the spinmeister term “collateral damage,” which would have us heartlessly gloss over the killing of innocent civilians who happen to be caught in a war zone. (Location 787)

These were fish and mollusks rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a brain food that has become increasingly scarce in the human diet of today. DHA provided the neuronutrient boost that brought the previously installed prefrontal cortex’s software online. (Location 856)

The old brain perceives the world as a frightening place, filled with rivals competing for the same scarce resources. To this brain, what matters most is survival, and it is always ready to fight or to flee. Considering that the old brain developed in mammals at a time when large, stomping dinosaurs still roamed, it is no wonder that these survival mechanisms were firmly embedded in the core of those small, fuzzy creatures that we developed from. (Location 868)

But we did check one simple blood test, an evaluation of lipid peroxides that is available at most standard laboratories and provides an assessment of mitochondrial function. It took three weeks to get the results, but what they showed—a very abnormal condition—did confirm that we were on the right track. (Location 1064)

Instinctual emotions linger. If you are angry and it passes after a few minutes, this is a cognitive emotion. If you are angry for 20 days or 20 years, this is an instinctual emotion. (Location 1170)

This forced mass exodus proved to be a very traumatic and disruptive event in their lives because they knew they would never return to their homes. (Location 1403)

And this sets the stage for an everincreasing decline in hippocampal function in adulthood, which inhibits our ability to respond to situations in novel ways. (Location 1437)

he invited me to the operating room to watch him remove a tumor from the base of a patient’s brain. What a way to spend a Saturday afternoon, especially considering that I was a young teenager at the time! (Location 1501)

he revealed that his speech had been compromised for at least six months following the attack. There was nothing “transient” about it. (Location 1527)

Likewise, repeating a prayer over and over without positive focused intention makes enlightenment less likely. If you want to experiment, try brushing your teeth or holding your fork with your nondominant hand and notice how much concentration is required to perform this simple task. (Location 1545)

“Experience coupled with attention leads to physical changes in the structure and future functioning of the nervous system. (Location 1560)

Without focused concentration, brain connections are not made, and memory is not stored.”3 (Location 1568)

They were then asked to look at the faces and associate them with the words anger or fear—an intellectual task involving words. (Location 1589)

And while the first lessons from our infancy generally serve us well, they can negatively color future experiences that would otherwise have been perceived as benign or even positive. (Location 1596)

First, you have to enhance your brain’s physiology, which you can achieve by making specific dietary and lifestyle modifications. Second, once your brain has been optimized, you can take full advantage of its powerful (Location 1606)

ability to develop pathways that will enable you to experience people and events you once perceived as negative, instead, as enriching, fulfilling, and positive. (Location 1608)

Research now demonstrates that if you merely imagine yourself engaging in an activity, you can create the neural connections associated with learning it—without actually performing it. (Location 1655)

meditation enhances blood flow as well as function in an area of the brain called the anterior cingulate, an evolutionary newcomer that mediates empathy, social awareness, intuition, compassion, and the ability to regulate emotion. (Location 1682)

“Anger interrupts the functioning of your frontal lobes. Not only do you lose the ability to be rational, you lose the awareness that you’re acting in an irrational way. When your frontal lobes shut down, it’s impossible to listen to the other person, let alone feel empathy or compassion. . . . When you intensely and consistently focus on your spiritual values and goals, you increase the blood flow to your frontal lobes and anterior cingulate, which cause the activity in emotional centers of the brain to decrease.” (Location 1692)

The gene that turns on BDNF is activated by a variety of factors, including voluntary physical exercise—animals forced to exercise do not demonstrate this change—calorie reduction, intellectual stimulation, curcumin, and the omega-3 fat known as docosahexaenoic acid. (Location 1803)

But, interestingly, animals forced to exercise produce considerably less BDNF than those who voluntarily choose to spend time on the running wheel. (Location 1808)

Curcumin activates the Nrf2 pathway, a recently discovered “genetic switch” that works by turning on the genes to produce a vast array of antioxidants that protect mitochondria. (Location 1899)

But so little DHA is produced by this chemical pathway that many researchers in human nutrition now consider DHA to be an essential fatty acid, meaning that health maintenance requires a dietary source of this key nutrient. (Location 1929)

To emphasize again, hyperbaric oxygen therapy empowers mitochondria to energize the brain. It is as if a light switch inside the brain is suddenly flipped to the on position. (Location 2183)

protection offered by glutathione deserves center stage. Not only is glutathione a powerful antioxidant in its own right, but it also regenerates another important brain antioxidant: vitamin C, which recharges the brain’s allotment of the powerful fat-soluble alpha-tocopherol, a member of the vitamin E family. (Location 2253)

it was already well known that Parkinson’s is basically a mitochondrial disorder, so treating him with glutathione was actually targeting the root cause of the disease. (Location 2286)

However, one form of cysteine, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), as well as the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid, does show promise. Both of these supplements are available without prescription at healthfood stores. (Location 2336)

These phytonutrients include the spice turmeric (curcumin), green tea extract, pterostilbene, and sulforaphane, a chemical found in broccoli and one of the most potent activators. (Location 2347)

But part of me could not help wondering if I might not have been “stepping outside of ordinary time,” as many shamans claim they are able to do, to find the completed book and bring it back from the future. Could I have been accessing some relativistic time-space where my destiny was available to me? And if so, might I also be able to do this to find a future healed state for myself, or perhaps even for my clients, one in which they lived long and disease-free lives? (Location 2387)

Many are members of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), whose doctors are listed at www.acam.org and can be searched by zip code. (Location 2412)

After the third day in the program, Byron reported that he was feeling weaker than ever and could hardly make it out of bed; he missed two of his morning sessions. Both of us, Alberto and David, recognized that he was detoxifying too rapidly, thus overwhelming his system. (Location 2441)

We ordered a lymphatic massage, which would help cleanse his system, gave him fresh organic vegetable juice, and asked him to rest for the remainder of the day. (Location 2444)

On the last day of the intensive, he told Alberto that he had discovered his life calling: that he had come here not merely to own food stores, but to feed people real, living food. With that, he left the Power Up Your Brain Intensive with a new sense of direction and meaning. (Location 2455)

Shamans believe that the world seems real only because we perceive it as such and that everything we perceive is a reflection of an internal map that we ourselves, along with our culture, have constructed about the nature of reality. (Location 2463)

The shamans were not only healers and ceremonialists who tended to births and deaths, but also the earliest astronomers and mathematicians. (Location 2504)

Yet the Osage sages assured their people that the earth would look after them for many generations if they were to settle there. (Location 2526)

The shamanic practices (along with optimal brain function) contribute to the development of intuition, which in the case of the Osage, translated into great fortune. (Location 2535)

Thus, different diets lead to different patterns of genetic expression, which result in different proteins being manufactured as well as changes in energy metabolism. (Location 2548)

I made time to see her on a Saturday because I understood how important it was to intervene before she was diagnosed and possibly labeled a cancer patient. (Location 2584)

To emphasize, I do not suggest that you not go for medical checkups, but I want you also to remember that your body has a tremendous ability to heal itself naturally. (Location 2587)

Claire simply smiled and said, “Yes, they do.” He asked Claire to come back for a follow-up exam the next day. She has had physical exams every six months for the last few years, and all of her tests show no foreign mass of any kind in her breast. (Location 2601)

it does so at the cost of muscle breakdown, something less than favorable for a starving hunter-gatherer. (Location 2667)

Reducing muscle breakdown provides obvious advantages for the hungry Homo sapiens in search of food. It is this unique ability to utilize beta-HBA as a brain fuel that sets us apart from our nearest animal relatives and has allowed humans to remain cognitively engaged and, therefore, more likely to survive the famines ever-present in our history. (Location 2673)

many scientists now believe that food scarcity may have played a more prominent role in their disappearance. Perhaps the simple fact that Neanderthals, lacking the biochemical pathway to utilize beta-HBA as a fuel source for brain metabolism, lacked the “mental endurance” to persevere. (Location 2684)

“Recent studies have shown that beta-hydroxybutyrate, the principal ‘ketone’ is not just a fuel, but a ‘superfuel’ more efficiently producing ATP energy than glucose. . . . It has also protected neuronal cells in tissue culture against exposure to toxins associated with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.”2 (Location 2691)

Fasting actually speaks to your DNA, directing your genes to produce an astounding array of brain-enhancement factors. (Location 2706)

In a recent report in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, researchers stated that administering simple fats called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) as part of MCT oil significantly raised levels of beta-HBA in as little as 90 minutes after consumption. (Location 2715)

Most commercially available MCT oil is derived from coconut oil, which is nature’s richest source of this important precursor to beta-HBA. Coconut oil contains about 66 percent MCTs. (Location 2720)

The Power Up Your Brain Program includes total food restriction for one complete day (24 hours) every four weeks. During this fast, you should drink adequate amounts of water in order to remain very well hydrated. Fast only after consultation with, and approval from, your physician. (Location 2730)

While any day of the month would be fine for fasting, the Power Up Your Brain Program recommends that you fast on the 11th day after the full moon, which is the day considered auspicious for fasting in Ayurvedic texts. (Location 2736)

Biologists also recognize that all of the poetry of life is written with an alphabet containing only four letters: the four letters, or base pairs, of DNA. The only difference between the shamanistic view and the physics view and the biological view is that the sages believed they could summon and interact with these forces of nature, effectively communing with the biosphere. (Location 2820)

In our modern Western world, while we are not faced with many roaring lions, we are, instead, caught in frustrating traffic jams and toxic emotional assaults at the office or at home. (Location 2868)

So, what else can you do? You can look beyond your physical or genetic side to your spiritual side. (Location 2931)

With time, you will start to realize that you are none of your feelings or your thoughts but that you are the Seer who observes all. Notice where your mind wanders off to, and then bring it back gently to focus on your breath as you gaze at the morning sky. (Location 2984)

Now call to your mind the image of someone you feel has wronged you—a former lover or business partner, or someone who abused you physically or emotionally. (Location 3013)

not only speaks truth but recognizes and understands the true nature of reality both when awake and when asleep. (Location 3023)

Amazon sages speak of learning to dream with open eyes. They feel it is unfortunate that people in the West have stuffed dreaming time into the domain of sleep, where clouded consciousness inhibits recollections and blurs the images and insights that dreams are meant to reveal. (Location 3029)

Once we learn to change our sleeping dreams, we can begin to change our waking dreams. (Location 3034)

Drink one half a glass of water before you go to bed and tell yourself, “When I wake up, I will drink the other half glass and remember my dreams.” (Location 3047)

The long-held story of being abused as a child, for example, explained timid and withdrawn adult behavior. The replayed story of a struggle with addiction explained not living up to full potential. These stories often served as an apology to life for what a person had become. (Location 3106)

The shamans believed that everything a person recalls about their past is a projection of an internal map held in their psyche. (Location 3109)

The shamans help clients change their stories at very deep layers of the psyche. (Location 3128)

determined to change my story. I would no longer be the child who did not belong anywhere, wounded by a revolution that I was too young to fight in or flee from, and who required an older role model in order to become a man. (Location 3146)

No, I would need to transition from old-brain thinking to the wisdom of the prefrontal cortex, which means I would need to lay aside—even slay—my old mythologies and create new maps for the remainder of my journey. (Location 3148)

You can be like Siddhartha, the young prince who left an easy but unfulfilling life in the palace to discover enlightenment and become the Buddha. (Location 3151)

Now put this book down and try this exercise before you read further about the outcome of the practice. (Location 3172)

Discontinue caffeine. You will be able to reintroduce it later on. (Location 3250)

1,000 mg (milligrams) daily. Vegetarian DHA typically comes in the form of a 200 mg capsule, so take five capsules daily, all at once or split the dose throughout the day, with or without food. Keep refrigerated. (Location 3263)

600 mg daily, 30 minutes before meals or on empty stomach. Available under the brand name ALAmax CR from www.Xymogen.com (tel. 800-647-6100). (Location 3269)

On the days you fast, drink ample amounts of water. If you find fasting to be an overwhelming challenge, eat fresh fruit, such as sliced oranges, on the day you fast. Again, it’s important to check with your physician before engaging in a fasting program, especially if you are diabetic, have low blood sugar, take pharmaceutical medications, or are experiencing any other physical concerns. (Location 3332)

On the fasting day, continue to take all of your nutritional supplements, but add a second tablespoon of coconut oil and a second tablespoon of olive oil in the afternoon. Take a double dosage of pterostilbene, sulforaphane, curcumin (from turmeric extract), and green tea extract twice on this day only; or simply take two capsules of Nrf2 Activator morning and evening. (Location 3339)

“Imagine,” he said. “No human being has ever seen Jennifer’s brain. You and I are the first. Drum roll, maestro.” (Location 3726)

And then he began to describe Jennifer to me, how she had lived, whom (Location 3746)

And perhaps she knew, somewhere deep inside, that you would bring her to me and that we would relieve her suffering.” (Location 3752)

He looked at me and frowned. “You’ve done a very bad thing,” he said. “But maybe it was for the best. Now we will heal her and help her go back home to the world of spirit.” (Location 3758)

Someone once explained to me that the difference between religion and science is that in science, you come up with a hypothesis and you test it out against the facts. If the facts don’t support your theory, you toss it out and come up with a better one. (Location 3789)

With religion, the older the better. There are few new religions. With science, the newer the better. Both the physics and the medicine of 20 years ago are dated, yet the religions of hundreds of years ago remain vibrant and alive. For shamans, old and new, past and present, all collapse into the eternal moment. (Location 3794)

Quiet the mind and discover the Seer within. Once you discover the Seer, when you are able to drop in between the moments, when the clock stops ticking and you have not died, then you can experience infinity and become a master of your own destiny. (Location 3799)