Episode 179 Dr. Don Wood Treating Trauma By Rewiring Your Brain
This transcript is from episode 179 with guest Dr. Don Wood.
Scott DeLuzio 00:00:00 Thanks for tuning into the Drive On Podcast where we’re focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty guard, reserve, or family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio, and now let’s get on with the show. Welcome back to the Drive On Podcast. Today, my guest is Dr. Don Wood. Dr. Wood has helped trauma survivors from anywhere from the Boston Marathon bombing attack, to the Las Vegas shooting, to highly successful executives and world-class athletes perform at their highest levels. His Inspired Performance Institute has worked to create innovative strategies to help people heal from the limiting effects of trauma so they can feel and perform at their best. The result has been the development of a revolutionary approach to performance improvement, which is referred to as tip the inspired performance program. Welcome to the show Dr. Wood.
Don Wood 00:01:08 Thanks, Scott. I’m glad to be here and share with your audience. I love what you do and the people that you’re talking to.
Scott DeLuzio 00:01:15 Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background for the people who may not be familiar with you in the work that you do?
Don Wood 00:01:25 Yeah. I mean, I got into developing this program, not traditional.It was really because of some family situations. My wife and daughter had experienced trauma and my daughter got very, very sick. With two auto-immune disorders, my wife has an auto-immune as well. My daughter developed Crohn’s and idiopathic pulmonary hemosiderin ptosis, which is when the iron in the lungs gets released and her lungs will start filling up with blood. They said, there’s no cure for Crohn’s, no cure for that. They don’t know what causes it. That’s what made me start researching. Why is this happening? It got completely connected to trauma. What I see is most people who are having a lot of the health issues that they’re having it’s coming from this unresolved trauma. What I explained from my research is that I believe that unresolved trauma creates inflammation in the body which compromises the immune system and the neuro-transmitters.
Don Wood 00:02:27 People are getting sicker because their immune system is compromised and then they feel bad because their neuro-transmitters are compromised. The solution has always been built around managing, living, and coping with it. I set out a way to try to figure out how to fix it. Because when people come in and say, I have anxiety, I have depression, I have post-traumatic stress. I say to them, that’s a symptom. That’s not the problem. What is creating that? That’s what I developed is sort of a cutting-edge neuroscience approach to eliminate or reduce the effects of trauma.
Scott DeLuzio 00:03:04 That’s an interesting way to look at it. We’ve had people on the show before who talk about these holistic approaches to resolving a trauma or what other things that are going on in people’s lives. It was like the light bulb moment when they started talking about people who are suffering from anxiety or depression. Maybe it’s not necessarily from combat-related things that they have been going through, but maybe they’re stressed out and they’re depressed about their financial situation, or maybe there’s something going on in their home life that is not ideal. It’s not an optimal situation for them. But then when you start thinking about this unresolved trauma that some people have experienced, and you think that there might be a connection now to some other things that they’re experiencing. It’s another one of those light bulb moments like well, duh, why wouldn’t we have thought about this before? I want to dive into this a little bit more because to me, it’s fascinating that there could be these connections from the trauma to other physical and mental issues that people might be experiencing. Let’s talk a little bit more about this and where this trauma comes from and how it is affecting the body in all these different ways.
Don Wood 00:04:45 Yeah. That’s a great question. Because this will really help. It sort of makes a lot of sense. Well, after I explain what’s going on, our brains are just computers. They’re giant computers. What I say is we’re creating glitches and error messages. Because of the trauma. Animals and humans have some similarities. Animals are 100% present in the moment all the time. Everything for an animal is happening now. They’re fully present. It’s survival-based. Their brain is survival-based. 95% of our mind works just like the animal brain survival-based fully present. The glitches are coming in from two unique features that we have that animals don’t have if we have this 5% frontal lobe, which is our intellectual part of our brain or our conscious awareness. We can think of things, imagine things that have never happened and create something.
Don Wood 00:05:47 If animals don’t know how to do something, they don’t sit around and try to figure out how to make their life better. They’re just dealing with what’s happening. However, we can imagine it. It’s created the world. We live in computers, automobiles, airplanes, we couldn’t fly, but we figured out a way to fly an animal. Can’t do that. For example, if a Wolf is walking and he’s looking for something to eat and he sees a bird flying overhead, the Wolf is not capable of thinking.” I wish I could fly because then I could catch that bird.” The Wolf would just continue looking for something that was possible for humans. We can’t fly, but we can figure out a way to create a tool to shoot that bird down. We can also figure out how to fly, right? That’s unique to us, but it’s only operating in about 5% of the brain.
Don Wood 00:06:37 95% is still survival-based fully present. The second unique feature that we have is our ability to store explicit memory. We can store everything you’ve ever seen. Your touch in your lifetime has been recorded and stored in this explicit memory system. Now animals and humans have a second memory system. We have two, they have one. Their memory is based on repetition and associations. They learn through repeating and associating a particular place or person or whatever or situation they don’t store the details of it. That’s why do you have any pet Scott or have a dog or anything?
Scott DeLuzio 00:07:22 Yeah, we have two dogs. I was just going to say, that sounds very much like how you would train an animal, a dog or another animal were you reward them for that positive behavior. If you tell them to sit and they sit, you give them a treat in order to reward them, and then over time, they start to associate that word with positive things with the tree in their mind.
Don Wood 00:07:46 They don’t store the information about that. That’s why you can feed them the same thing every day because they don’t remember eating that yesterday. This is just a new meal, right? It’s a meal and they’re associating you with love and safety and food, but they haven’t stored the information. Humans store all that detail. If we have a traumatic event, a traumatic or disturbing event, all your senses are heightened sight, smell, hearing. How’s it going to record this event? High definition, very bright, very intense. This is where the glitch comes in. If your mind recalls that event, right? For some reason, something looks like, sounds like, smells like it, right? Your mind then goes into our explicit memory system and starts looking at that event in detail. When do you think the event is actually happening right now?
Don Wood 00:08:43 That’s post-stress. If your mind thinks that you’re in a dangerous situation, that there’s a threat to your survival, it’s going to create a response to it. Anytime you have an emotion, a feeling or a sensation, your mind is actually calling for an action. The purpose of fear is to escape a threat, the purpose of anger is to attack a threat. If you think about something that happened to you five years ago, and you feel fear, your mind is actually thinking you need to run, but you don’t need to run. There’s nothing happening. That’s the glitch and error message. I asked you about what you ate for dinner last night, can you tell me what you ate for dinner?
Scott DeLuzio 00:09:23 I had pasta for dinner.
Don Wood 00:09:25 Pasta. You’d look up and sort of sideways. You saw pictures, right? Of what you ate when I asked you that. That’s how you store the information about dinner last night. Your dogs can’t do that. It’s only humans. Now last night wasn’t threatening or disturbing. It’s stored as a fairly low-resolution file. There is no threat to it. Your mind’s not going to call for an action, right? But if that event had been threatening or disturbing, there’s a tremendous amount of detail stored with it. Very high definition. Your mind would activate your nervous system, believing that there was a threat, it’s just a glitch and we can fix it. What we do in our process with tips is I take you through a process to get your mind, to reset, reboot that information about the traumatic event in the same format, as what you ate for dinner last night. Then it stops calling for the action. It’s that simple.
Scott DeLuzio 00:10:23 Could you tell us how that works? Like what they walk us through the process and maybe talk a little bit about how all of that would work so that we can reprogram that.
Don Wood 00:10:37 It’s pretty, actually simple. I do a four-hour program and the reason I do four hours is I find it takes about two hours for the mind to really get into a restorative mindset. Your mind generally doesn’t like to make changes, especially quick changes because that could be dangerous. The idea is to get you into a very calm, alpha brainwave state, where the mind is very relaxed and super focused. We have four brainwave states, beta alpha, theta, Delta, and beta is about 15 to 30 Hertz or cycles per second, fairly fast taking in a lot of detail. If you have a traumatic event, you’re going to be in a high beta state and your mind is going to be storing a lot of details about what’s going on. When you move into alpha alphas, between seven and 14 Hertz, the mind is super relaxed and super focused.
Don Wood 00:11:33 That’s where we want you performing. This is why I call it a performance program. When I work with the athletes, I say, I want your mind relaxed and focused. I don’t want a lot of detail coming in. You need to have your mind focused on what’s happening now. That’s the flow state, right? I know you were military as well, right? When we perform at our highest level is when we’re actually the comments, because you can think more strategically. I use it as an example. If you had two people, you had to fight, the first guy jumping up and down and screaming. He’s totally out of control. The second guy’s just standing there looking at you looks very calm. You want to fight the guy jumping up and down because he’s predictable, right? He’s going to move in straight lines. He’s got a lot of anger. That’s easier to defeat than the person who’s calm and calculated because they can be responding to whatever you’re doing. The person who’s angry is just reacting.
Scott DeLuzio 00:12:34 But the image that popped in my head when you mentioned that is some martial arts movie where a good guy or the bad guy who, whichever person in this case, usually it’s a good guy. They’re calm, cool, and collected. They walk into the situation and the person that they’re there fighting against is doing all of this motion, they’re kind of a little bit more all over the place, but then the good guy comes in and then just takes some down in like two seconds. That’s the image that just popped in my head there. I get where you’re, where you’re going with that.
Don Wood 00:13:11 That’s a great example because when you’re in that calm state, you can actually process better than you can when you’ve got too much information being brought in. The idea is that’s what we want you to perform. Isn’t that an alpha state? What I do is the reason why most people have trouble with that is they’ve got too much trauma that unresolved trauma loopy. It constantly is activating the nervous system, taking them into a high beta state. That’s the anxiety. Those are all the things that your mind is dealing with because it doesn’t feel safe. What happened to my wife? That’s what happened to my daughter. They were in that constant state of activation, right? Because their mind was not feeling safe because it kept reviewing all this old data continually calling for actions. The problem is, is actions that aren’t possible.
Don Wood 00:14:04 If your mind keeps calling for an action that is not possible and says uses anger, right? Keep trying to get you angry, right? To fix what happened to you 10 years ago. Well, you can’t do it. What happens is if your mind keeps calling for an action that you don’t take any action for, how does it protect? You go into depression. It shuts down, stops calling for the action. Depression is the absence of an emotion, right? You’re flat. Once we get to the resolution of what your mind has been trying to fix, then we can get it right to stay back in depth in the present. It’s really that simple. Here’s a good example. I worked with a US army who had to shoot and kill a 12-year-old boy. For eight years he was at the VA and he said, I just can’t live with myself anymore.
Don Wood 00:14:59 This is just too overwhelming. They just medicate me. They keep asking me to talk about it. He says I can’t talk about it anymore. He says, I actually got arrested last week in the VA. Because I got so angry. I started throwing tables and chairs and they said, well, here’s the good news. I said I’m not going to ask you to talk about it. I said we’re going to get it resolved. He says, well, how are we going to do that? I said I’ll show you, I’ll take you through the process. I’m going to be looking for a two to three-minute highlight reel of that event. That’s it. I don’t need a lot of detail while you’re reviewing that your mind is looking at that memory. I’m going to get it to reprocess that into that alpha brainwave state. And then it’ll start taking away. A lot of that detail. By the time we were finished, he had no problem completely talking about it without shaking, without crying. And he said to me, he goes, how did you do this? How am I able to talk about it now? And I said, I really didn’t do anything. I said, what happened is your mind reprocesses that data for eight years. Your mind has been trying to get you not to shoot because it thinks you’re shooting him now, what is going through that data? That makes sense.
Scott DeLuzio 00:16:10 Yeah, it does make a lot of sense. Actually, I experienced a very similar situation when I was in Afghanistan, where there was a child and I had to make the decision whether or not to shoot this child. It’s one of those things that replays in my head over and over again in my situation. I didn’t end up shooting the child, but it still is one of those things that just kind of pops back into my head every once in a while. As you’re describing this. I know exactly what you’re talking about because it’s a very similar situation to what I had experienced. The age range is uncanny too. Because it was right around the kid was maybe 10 to 12 years old. It’s about that same age period.
Don Wood 00:16:55 When you think about it now, are you still feeling an emotion?
Scott DeLuzio 00:16:59 Yeah. I mean, it’s one of those things where for me and my situation prior to that moment, I thought of myself as the type of person who would do just about anything to protect children. Then in that moment here, I was with a loaded rifle with the safety off, with my finger on the trigger, pointing it at this kid. I didn’t end up having to shoot this kid, but, it kind of just flipped my whole vision of myself upside down. am I really this person who will protect children because here I was standing with a loaded rifle pointed at this kid. Right?
Don Wood 00:17:37 It’s because it’s in conflict with what you believe and who you are, right? Your mind is not okay with that resolution to it. The reason it wants a resolution is because it stored a tremendous amount of detail about that. Once we get that reprocessed right, your mind, then it gets a lot more clarity and it doesn’t have that same effect. That worked with the Boston Marathon bombing survivors. I’ve worked with a lot of veterans. Another gentleman who had since 2015, he had had nightmares every single night. He couldn’t sleep in bed with his wife anymore because he was kicking and fighting and battling. He came to see me. We took him through the program and the nightmares are gone. So now he can sleep back in bed with his wife. He’s not having those flashbacks anymore. All of that was because his mind was reviewing the old information. It’s really just that simple Hollywood has made trillions of dollars from this. They can convince us when we’re sitting in a movie theater that something’s real on the screen, right? Memory is viewed the same way.
Scott DeLuzio 00:18:49 It’s a process that more people should know about. This is something that should be out there, treating everything in a more holistic way, looking at that trauma and getting people to process it differently, as opposed to the medications that oftentimes get thrown at the problem. Or the other solutions that get thrown at it, which don’t always work. I mean, not discounting any of them because they do work for some people, but, if we can process these memories and this trauma differently, than maybe it’s worth looking into because it seems like from what you were saying, you end up in that beta state without that high brainwave kind of function in when you’re in that memory, right.
Scott DeLuzio 00:19:55 When you’re thinking through that memory. That’s not where you want to be, that’s not that cool, calm, collected, person from that martial arts movie. But that’s the other guy who’s jumping around like a lunatic and sees everything for what it is. Thinking about those movies, that type of person, that calm person is able to see the attack that’s coming from the left or from the right, because they’re not so out of focus on everything else that’s going on. They’re able to see the whole picture for what it is. Not just be in that high-intensity state. They’re able to perform at a much higher level. That’s why they ended up seceding more often than not in those things.
Don Wood 00:20:57 That’s the idea which most people would say, oh, they think it’s good to be sort of high energy. I had an athlete say to me, isn’t it good to have that nervous stomach and sort of all amped up before the race? I went, no that’s burning energy, right? Your mind is not focused and you want to be calm. I want you in that alpha brainwave state and that’s counter to what people are sort of taught, that nervous energy is good for you. It gets you really focused. It actually doesn’t make you focus. It goes the opposite way. It makes you distracted, right. Where your mind can actually feel and watch what’s going on and calculate much better.
Scott DeLuzio 00:21:42 It is focused in a way, just kind of about what you were just talking about. It’s focused, but it’s focused on the wrong things.
Don Wood 00:21:54 It’s focused on every sound, every noise, every little thing that’s going on. Right. Well, if you’re in a particular battle, do you really care about all that other stuff? Or do you want to be focused on your opponent?
Scott DeLuzio 00:22:05 Exactly what you want to be focused on the opponent.
Don Wood 00:22:09. But if the mind is going into a high beta state and is focused on everything that’s going on in that environment right now, that is not as productive as it is. If your mind is just focused on that guy’s movement, the shoulder turning is his arm moving up. Is his leg moving forward where his eyes are focused? That’s what you want your mind focused on. So it’s just another issue. Point one of the reasons why traditional therapy is not very effective in dealing with trauma for the simple reason. If you go into see your therapist, and you’re going to talk about a memory that stored in high beta chances are just like this guy was saying, when he goes into, sit down, the sniper was telling me when he goes in to sit down with his therapist, what state is he in when he begins to start talking about it? He’s in high beta.
Don Wood 00:23:03 How can you fix a high beta memory in the same state? You experienced it. That’s why I use the two hours to get the mind moving down into that alpha brainwave state. We don’t even talk about trauma until about two hours in. Then we’re only going to be looking at three different events for a very short period of time for a minute, two minutes, and the mind will reprocess it because it’s in the restorative mindset and it’s ready to make changes. I couldn’t do that in the first 10, 15, 30 minutes. The first couple of hours that I worked with somebody it’s all about the science. Let me tell you how your mind works. Let me tell you how memory is affecting, right? The way you’re living your life. I give all of the examples of what I learned through my research, and then people go, wow, this makes so much sense.
Don Wood 00:23:56 I start off with everybody the same way. There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with your mind. If I have experienced your life, the way you experienced it, I’d be experiencing exactly what you are. It’s just how our brains work. It’s just science. And I believe that what we’re doing now is going to be the way we’re going to be treating this in the future. Neuroscience is really starting to grow. Neuroscience, I believe, is going to be the answer. And it started to become more and more popular here and about different kinds of things that people are using. I had a clinical psychologist come in to see me about four months ago because two of his clients went through our program. And he was like, I knew something like this would be developed. He says I knew exactly what this was when I saw it. He flew in from Denver to come and see us. I took him through the program and he explained he had 50 years of Terror nightmares. Now, this is a guy with every resource available to them. But he hadn’t found anything that was able to fix it. After going through this program that turned, the nightmares are gone. He can sleep again. That was completely different.
Scott DeLuzio 00:25:08 That’s an amazing thing too, because again like you said, he had all these resources available to him. He could have taken advantage and I’m sure he did take advantage of all these resources trying to fix this. But then here we are all these years later, and it goes through this process, and now, boom, now he’s able to sleep right now. You mentioned that the whole program takes roughly about four hours. Is it kind of a one-and-done sort of thing, or is it a thing where people continue to come back and use this program over and over again in order to get the full benefits of it?
Don Wood 00:25:54 No, it’s pretty much one and done. Once we get that trauma resolved, think about this. If we took, we’re doing the opposite of what they did with the Wizard of Oz movie, they took it from black and white to color. We’re taking it from color to black and white. Once it’s in black and white, it’s in black and white right now. It doesn’t mean life stops coming at us. You can still have additional things, but you’re going to be able to handle them a lot better. I’ve had people who have experienced another trauma who may come back in, but boy, we can clear it really quick because they understand the whole concept is the memory, right? You can’t stop the memory from being recorded in high definition if you’re in a high beta state. When they came back in, because I had a lady who had really bad anxiety for years, went through our program.
Don Wood 00:26:40 It was life-changing and then had another, and her boyfriend called me, she, her dog got killed in front of her by another dog. That was a pretty big trauma. The boyfriend called me that night and he says, she’s in hysterics right now. You need to see it right away. I said I can’t resolve it yet. The mind’s still processing that trauma. I said, so we will get it fixed. I said, but we’ve got to let it sort of process because it would be pretty hard to do it right now. She’s in such a high agitated beta state. Let’s give it a little bit of time, but let her know that we’re going to fix it. So her testimonials on our site and she absolutely, and it took hardly any time at all because she already understood the whole process.
Scott DeLuzio 00:27:29 If someone comes into the process, the first time coming in, they’ve never gone through this program before. If they have a lot of trauma from their background, is it something where one session addresses one particular trauma, or can you wholesale get the whole thing taken care of in one session?
Don Wood 00:27:54 Yeah, what we do is we do three events. The three events could be three separate events. This is a great example. A lady come in who had a lot of sexual abuse as a child. I mean a lot of episodes and experiences. We worked on three of them. She said to me, when we finished the third one, she said, well, we’re going to be here all night. Because I have so many of these. I said we don’t need to do it anymore. She said, well, don’t we have to go through each one. I said, no, because when you go to sleep tonight, you go into a theta brainwave state, and then your mind processes what it learned during the day. So it’s going to take this down, start processing more data for you.
Don Wood 00:28:33 If you came in with a broken leg, your legs are going to heal, once we reset the leg, right, we don’t have to do anything else. Just let the healing happen. It’s the same with this. I met her at a store just by chance about a month later. She came up to me and she said, I got to share something with you. She says those three events that we cleared that night, she goes for the first time ever, I was able to go home and talk to my husband and share it with them. She said I could never do that before. She says I know that that absolutely changed it. She said, but when you told me my mind would clear all the others, she goes, I’ll be honest. I didn’t believe you. She says, but I was at Universal Studios with my daughter and my husband on the weekend. We’re riding on the escalator. I was looking over the railing and my daughter said to me, mom, look at what you’re doing. She goes, I never told you I had a fear of Heights. We never discussed it and it’s gone. She said, I went to the top of the escalator and I looked over the rail and saw people walking underneath the bridge. She was, I couldn’t have done that before. Whatever event created that got processed
Scott DeLuzio 00:29:38 Well, and that’s interesting too because that’s completely to the sexual trauma that she originally was talking about and what she was processing during that day. Well, I’m assuming it’s unrelated.
Don Wood 00:29:51 It may have, or may not have been unrelated. It could have been coming down to a fear of heights. Could have been an experience that she had when maybe she was in a situation where she didn’t have. She was up high or she was afraid of falling or something like that. There could have been a number of different things like that.
Scott DeLuzio 00:30:08 Yeah, it could have been, but, but to me that that’s encouraging to have that type of result because, the type of people that I was referring to, where they have maybe multiple traumas could be someone who, we talk about a lot of the military here in, on the show. it could be someone who was in a situation like that sniper, where they had to shoot somebody that it’s just tearing them up inside. But then they also could have themselves been a victim of an IED blast that hit their truck or something like that. Then they may have even also had something like a sexual assault or something like that took place in their life. Maybe all three of those events are just internally struggling causing this battle going on inside of them. It’s encouraging that if they can process through some of those things that healing takes place and, potentially even heal some of the things that maybe they don’t even cover in the session with you.
Don Wood 00:31:17 What I find from my experience, especially when I work with a lot of military people, is that we’re going to do one or two events from their military experiences, but we’re going to do either one or two from earlier in their life. There’s generally some other trauma that’s there. If we work on one or two of the childhood traumas and one of the military traumas or two military, one childhood, it starts to pick up on all of that stuff. My experience has been that most people have childhood trauma that they think like from the Boston Marathon bombings, everybody was said, that’s your biggest trauma. She thought it was until she got into the process. We actually only processed the one event from there. All the other things were from her childhood. We had two other events from our childhood because she didn’t realize that those were affecting her. The marathon bombing became sort of the the sort of what she thought was the big one that set everything else off. But she was struggling with those other ones earlier too.
Scott DeLuzio 00:32:23 It’s interesting too when you talk about childhood traumas, when you’re a kid, you don’t really know that something is traumatic in that moment all the time. That might just be to you. It’s like, oh, that’s just how life is. okay. I just live in this household where I’m getting abused or something is happening and that’s just how life is. It must be the same way for everybody. I’ll just deal with it. I don’t know, psychologically, or what happens in the brain with that. But I feel like, you probably just file that away as just another day. That’s probably not the best way to process these things.
Don Wood 00:33:10 That’s why I talk about it as unresolved. The mind is not okay with it, even though consciously you’re thinking you’re okay. But the subconscious mind is still trying to process it. It’s not okay with what happened to you as a child, not okay with the BDMs or assaults or violence that it was experiencing. It wants a resolution to it. Funnily enough, that’s why I find a lot of the people who are in the military have had that kind of abuse because they come in because they want to do something. They want to become a defender of the people, right? Who needs protecting. Because they couldn’t protect themselves. Or they couldn’t protect who they loved at that time. Then they start to go in there and they have a passion for helping people and protecting people. That’s what brought them into the military.
Scott DeLuzio 00:34:00 That’s interesting. I hadn’t even thought about it that way, but it does make sense. Why wouldn’t someone when they’re young and vulnerable don’t have the ability to defend themselves or other people, their siblings, or a parent or something like that? Why wouldn’t they want to get into a profession, whether it’s in law enforcement or in the military, or something like that? Their job is to go out and protect people. That just makes a lot of sense.
Don Wood 00:34:33 I think it really does. That’s been my experience. The military, law enforcement, even therapists have suffered a lot and they want to go out and help somebody because they got hurt. They got injured. This is their way to try to help other people who have been hurt. So it tends to draw those kinds of people in.
Scott DeLuzio 00:34:56 In a way that’s a good thing, in my opinion, because those people are empathetic towards the issues that the other people are facing and they want to be there. They legitimately want to help these people in whatever way that they can. You want people like that on that side of things, you want people who want to help you, when they, when they’re responding, whether it’s a police officer, who’s, who’s coming to your door, when something is wrong, you want that person to want to help you, like that’s, that is a good thing. I think we also should look at it from a different angle where we should want to help them to process that.
Don Wood 00:35:42 Yes, that’s why I’m passionate about helping the military and law enforcement because these are the people out there protecting us, but chances are, they have been injured themselves and nobody’s helping them. Or what they’re trying to do is teach them how to live and manage their pain. What I say is, I think we should be eliminating the pain if we can.
Scott DeLuzio 00:36:03 Right. Yeah, for sure.
Don Wood 00:36:05 This is what I have found is it really came because of the passion to help my daughter in particular, and my wife and find a solution that was different than what she was being prescribed, which was just pretty much medication steroids for Crohn’s, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications for all of the pain that she was dealing with from her trauma. That wasn’t the answer.
Scott DeLuzio 00:36:29 You mentioned that this trauma that people have experienced can impact their physical health, as well as their mental health implications. What are some of the benefits on the physical side that people have experienced, in your, in your experience?
Don Wood 00:36:52 What was the best example of my own daughter? She had Crohn’s, which was diagnosed when she was 14. She ended up having four resections done, where they literally had to go in and cut out pieces of the intestines because they died, and what they said to us that she’ll eventually end up with a class for me bag. Right. That was the solution. What I discovered is that when we have this trauma creates inflammation, and I believe the inflammation goes to the weakest genetic link in the body. For my daughter, it was her intestinal area. It becomes inflamed. Which is the response to trauma. The reason it becomes inflamed is to protect the system. When it’s inflamed and hardened, nothing can get into the cell. It’s meant to try to protect any kind of foreign invader from getting into the cell and infecting the cell.
Don Wood 00:37:50 Temporarily nothing’s getting into the cell while it’s in that state, it’s a cell danger response, but nothing’s getting out of it. It is meant to be a temporary measure until the danger has passed. If somebody is hitting you on the arm, right, it eventually swells up. As long as they stop hitting you on the arm, eventually, the swelling will go down, right? And the cells will come out of the inflamed cell danger response and go back into normal operating. The problem is that memory keeps it active, the cell danger response and inflammation active, because it still thinks that danger is still active.
Don Wood 00:38:36 There’s viewing it in real-time. Don’t come out of cell danger because we’re still being hurt. My daughter was still being assaulted. That was the way her mind was seeing it. It stays in that response and because the cells aren’t meant to stay in that response, they die because they’re not circulated. It’s not meant to be anything more than a temporary measure to protect the system. That’s why they’d have to go in and cut out pieces of her intestines. Anyway, after we take her through this program, her Crohn’s has gone. Now that makes no sense to the medical community because what they’ll say is there’s no cure for Crohn’s. There’s no answer for Crohn’s, but they’re not, but they don’t know what causes it. I believe in at least in my daughter’s case, is it every case? I don’t know. But I know in my daughter’s case, it was created by trauma because when we resolve the trauma and her mind then says, okay, we’re safe. The inflammation came down and then that changed her whole health position.
Scott DeLuzio 00:39:40 You often have an example of some high-performing athletes as well, who have gone through this program. Not only have they broken world records, they’ve broken their own records several times. Could you give some examples of these high-performing people who maybe have come in with some sort of trauma or whatever it was they were experiencing, and now we’re performing at that focused level where they’re able to excel in their fields?
Don Wood 00:40:16 Yeah. I’ll give you a couple of examples. The first one, which will be military, will be a great one just to show you.I believe when the cells go into that cell danger response, the ATP, the energy, the mitochondria, and that cell is also not releasing the energy. When I work with athletes, I love working with athletes because you can see the results really quickly. I worked with a Juno Spartan race. I was speaking at the Spartan world championships in 2019, then like Tahoe and the lady who runs Spartan, Japan asked me if I would work with a friend of hers who’s in the special forces. Green Beret. He’s running in the world championships. She says, now there’s three guys that are winning, most of those races, I’d like to see his name was Rob Kilian. She said I want to see how much he can improve against them. That was sort of the bar, right? How much can he improve against their time? I took Rob through the program on Friday and he ran to the world championships on Sunday and beat them all.
Don Wood 00:41:24 Even the guys who were favored to win by over a minute. What I always say is I didn’t make Rob a faster runner. How could I do that? In two days, he already had that ability. It was just held back because of some of the trauma. When we released the trauma, we released the energy, he just had more accessible energy, so he could run faster.
Scott DeLuzio 00:41:50 Yeah, it sounds like that the energy that he was wasting on this trauma,
Don Wood 00:41:59 Trying to fix the problem. He was able to divert that energy, kind of like a dam in a river where you’re diverting the flow of the water to another place. He was able to divert that energy to his running as opposed to floating around in his brain, trying to solve whatever problem that he couldn’t solve anyway.
Don Wood 00:42:21 Anyway, it wasn’t happening, but as mine didn’t know it wasn’t happening. It’s using powers like having an open program on your computer. It’s going to pull power from the rest of the computer., and the damn examples are really good ones. The same kind of thing. It’s just damming up the flow. When we get him back into a full flow position, of course, he could run faster. It’s just natural. In two days, he didn’t do anything different in two days, except that. That was really what the change was. Another example is Marco <inaudible> We had talked a little bit about him. He’s a double amputee. His story is everywhere. He lost both his legs to a suicide attempt. He’s a runner from Kenya, a marathon runner. His cousin committed suicide.
Don Wood 00:43:13 He got so distraught that he tried to take his own life, passed out in the snow for a couple of days. The frostbite was so bad. They had to amputate his legs below the knees. Marco ended up having to learn how to walk again on prosthetics. Then they made them blades to then start running marathons. Then they called me and they said, we really think Marco has amazing potential, but he seems to have plateaued. Why is he not improving anymore? We think it’s in his mind now. Can you work with Marco? That was in January of 2019. I took Marco through the program. Nine days later, he ran in a marathon and took 15 seconds per mile of office time, Which is pretty big over 26 miles, especially at his level. He says, yeah, it was all in my mind. He went to the Boston Marathon in April of that year of 2019 and broke the world record. He’s now the world record holder for marathons by an amputee. Then a couple months later ran in the Chicago marathon and broke his own world record again and got signed by Nike. Then he just ran in the New York City Marathon again this year and broke his own world record again.
Don Wood 00:44:43 I work with golfers too. I Worked with Tim Burke. Who’s a long-drive competitor. He competes in those long drive championships. Tim came in to see me. Within two days flew out to Phoenix for the first tournament of the year. I saw on the Golf Channel that he had made the finals that was being aired on the golf channel on Monday night. I texted him. I said, how are you feeling? He wrote back three words. He goes alpha, beta, alpha. He was in an alpha brainwave state. He won the tournament. His final drive was 470 yards. He went to have the first three tournaments of the year and he says, I’ve never been so calm playing golf. He says it’s just totally changed the way I play. We’ve got a lot of examples of athletes that the key is to perform an alpha because your mind is focused and it’s relaxed. Then your skill takes over. If you’re stressed out, your skill and your energy is being drained, and then it’s hard to compete at that highest level.
Scott DeLuzio 00:45:47 It’s not saying that you don’t still have the skill. It’s just, you don’t have the energy to put it into peak performance. It sounds like. Right?
Don Wood 00:45:54 Yeah. That’s exactly it. The thing about the car. You’re losing horsepower and your car, your car still has the horsepower. But you’re not maximizing it. We’ve got to get all that energy, all that gas, right? It’s like one cylinder, right. It’s focused on something else. You want all those cylinders focused on what you’re doing now,
Scott DeLuzio 00:46:15 Right. Or like the computer example that you were using earlier. If your computer only has so much processing power and it can only run so many programs at once. And if you open all the programs on your computer and run all of them at the same time, your computer is going to start to seem like it’s slowing down. It’s not optimized, optimized to work at that high performance. If you just close down everything except for what you need to work on, then it’s going to work so much better. It’s like the old shut it off and turn it back on kind of thing where something’s not working correctly.
Scott DeLuzio 00:46:58 That’s nine times out of time. If my computer is acting up, I shut it off. I turn it back on. Boom. Everything’s working just fine. It’s probably because there’s just that stuff stuck in the memory of the computer and it’s not, it’s not going away and you shut it down, you reboot it. Then life is good. Right?
Don Wood 00:47:20 That’s the exact analogy I use for this. We just need to reboot it. That old memory that has been bogging down the system, because it still wants a resolution to it. It’s not okay with what happened to you. It wants you to do something about it, but there’s no action possible, but your mind doesn’t know that because it’s looking at all that high definition data in real-time, continuing to call for actions, how it calls for actions is it uses emotions to call for an action.
Scott DeLuzio 00:47:50 Right. That makes a ton of sense. It sounds like, and correct me if I’m wrong, there’s no medications involved in this. It’s really just reprocessing the trauma, right?
Don Wood 00:48:01 Yup. Zero medications it’s very gentle. We don’t even get into a lot of detail about the trauma. For example, I’ll say there’s three different ways. We can do it. One, if you can give me a two-minute to three-minute highlight reel, just like a movie trailer. Give me the highlights of what happened in that event. I take you through a process while you’re talking about it. Or two, I say, I don’t even need to know what the trauma is. We’ll do it all visually. You’ll go through it in your mind while I take you through the process. I have no idea what it is. Then the third way is I have you just basically tell me in a new language and I give you a new way to tell me a new language. I call it flowing. There’s only one word in the flowing language and it’s flowing. Instead of saying, I walked into the room, you’d say, flowing, flowing, flowing the idea behind it is that your mind is viewing the data. Even though you’re saying flowing, I just need you to pull up the information.
Scott DeLuzio 00:49:00 Oh, that makes sense. I think that seems like a good program that would definitely change a whole bunch of lives. It sounds like you already have changed quite a few lives and created some high-performing people. and not that they couldn’t have been high-performing before. They needed to reroute some of that energy to get to their peak performance.
Don Wood 00:49:27 The same thing with executives, CEOs, everybody in their life, they all have a new gear. If you want to be a better parent, a better husband, a better wife. If your mind’s got a whole bunch of trauma built up, maybe you don’t have the patience you have with your kids. Maybe they activate your nervous system because of something earlier in your life that then I never used the word trigger. I know the military probably wants to use triggers all the time, but I always think of triggers as a negative. Your mind is not trying to hurt you. It’s not triggering something. It’s activating something. Why is it activating your nervous system? Because it’s looking for you to do something. Is it possible to do what your mind is asking you to do? Now, if there’s a current threat, right? You feel fear and need to run or feel anger to attack, that makes perfect sense. There’s nothing wrong with that emotion. That’s perfectly designed because it’s appropriate to the situation where it’s not appropriate. If you’re thinking about something that happened to you 10 years ago and you’re feeling fear, what action do you need to take?
Scott DeLuzio 00:50:33 Quite frankly, there’s nothing you can do at that point. That’s going to change the thing that happened 10 years ago. From what I’m gathering, it doesn’t turn off your ability to fight or flight or whatever that reaction is. It doesn’t turn that off when you’re in a situation where you need that response, where you can actually do something about it. It just makes it so that you’re not constantly in that mode, thinking about those things from the past, right?
Don Wood 00:51:07 I think it actually improves your ability to respond to a current threat, because if you had a whole bunch of old trauma that was activating your nervous system. You may not be able to perform at that same level, but when you can just focus on this event, without all that old data coming in, disrupting your nervous system. You’re going to have more power.
Scott DeLuzio 00:51:30 Yeah, absolutely.
Don Wood 00:51:31 There’s a focus.
Scott DeLuzio 00:51:33 Well, I know there’s going to be a lot of people who are going to want to find out more about what it is that you do and how they can get involved with this, this whole program. where can people go to get in touch with you and find out more about the inspired performance Institute and, the program that you offer?
Don Wood 00:51:55 You could go to just inspire performance institute.com or quicker ways to go, to get tip T I P p.com. Get tip.com and then that’ll take you to all the information about the program. I always encourage people to look at the testimonials because you may see something that relates to you so we have, people who have through all walks of life from younger people, older people, military veterans, law enforcement healthcare, all those different things, check out those testimonials and you’ll see who you relate to and the stories that they’re telling about how it changed their lives.
Scott DeLuzio 00:52:36 Just the handful of testimonials that you mentioned today, or success stories, I should say that you mentioned today, make it seem like there are quite a bit of benefits that can be achieved in a relatively short period of time. So what’s the process? If someone does reach out and they want to go through the program. Is there a way for them to do this remotely or do you have a location that they come to? How does that work?
Don Wood 00:53:08 There’s a couple of different ways. One, they can come and see me directly in Orlando at our office. I take them through the process too. I do it via zoom, so I can take them through the same process through Zoom or, the third way is we have an online version of it. Actually, the whole four hours are at an online program at night, just guide you through it online. It’s not one-on-one with me, but it’s still me taking you through the process. Those are the three different ways.
Scott DeLuzio 00:53:38. Anyone who is looking for more information about this program, I’ll have links to everything in the show notes that we talked about today. Check that out. You can click through, go to their website, get more information, and read the testimonials. Like you said, find out if this is the right thing for you, but it seems to me like it makes a lot of sense. It’s that holistic approach that we’re, that I was talking about earlier. But it’s resolving things that may seem unrelated to someone running at their peak speed or other performance-related issues. It’s diverting that energy to the things that you want it to be focused on. It’ll allow you to do the things that you want to do, even as simple as getting a full night’s sleep.
Don Wood 00:54:34 I wrote a second book, I called it “Emotional Concussions”. Because it’s not always the big T trauma. It could be that coach that told you you’re not good enough. The teacher that called you stupid.Or like my wife had an example where her teacher maybe not intentionally, but put her up at the front of the class and then started asking her multiplication questions. She froze right. When she taught, that was one of the things we had to clear for her because she said, I felt stupid. My entire childhood. I felt like I wasn’t very smart. She’s brilliant. But that event created that belief in her that she was smart, right. Because children don’t have enough life experience to understand what they’re experiencing. They attach a meaning to it. What does it mean about me that this happened?
Don Wood 00:55:26 Well, obviously I’m not smart. I couldn’t answer the questions. That sticks with her. Those are kinds of emotional concussions that can accumulate just like physical concussions. Then the other thing I wanted to mention too, especially because we’re dealing with veterans. One of the things that I think is really important is a lot of times if they’ve been in combat and they’ve been around some of those bombs that have blown up, well then maybe not got hit by the bomb. Immediately they’re saying, well they’re okay. Then when they come back, they’re experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress. The post-traumatic stress symptoms are actually being caused by traumatic brain injury. Even though the bomb didn’t hit you. That com concussion that comes from the compression of those bombs are so powerful that they actually can cuss the brain. It shows up later as symptoms of post-traumatic stress. So they medicate them and it’s not working. What they actually need is hyperbaric oxygen therapy to get more oxygen, to heal the brain it’s actually being physically concussed. It’s something worth looking at.
Scott DeLuzio 00:56:36 That’s another interesting point too. Because you’re right. People end up on medications that don’t work. They get frustrated with the whole process and they maybe sometimes feel like they’re a zombie walking around with, with the way the medications make them feel and everything like that. if that’s not going to work, if that’s not working, then it doesn’t make sense to keep using that. Find something else. This other therapy seems like it could be the way to actually heal the brain as opposed to just covering up the symptoms.
Don Wood 00:57:16 A lot of times what will happen too, is they can get into addiction with drugs or alcohol because what they’re taking in terms of the medications aren’t solving the problem. They’re seeking solutions. Other than that, when they may actually just have traumatic brain injury, that they need to have treated. It’s worth checking that out, but make sure you go to somebody who specializes in hyperbaric oxygen and traumatic brain injuries. Because if they’d look at a typical MRI, they won’t see it. They really look at it from a SPECT scan or fMRI to look at the functioning of the brain. That’s when they’ll see TBI. As I mentioned, there’s other solutions. I want to make sure that the veterans understand there’s all kinds of hope. To heal your brain, whether it’s emotional or physical. It’s just a matter of reaching out and finding those resources.
Scott DeLuzio 00:58:11 That’s exactly what I wanted to do with this episode. In a lot of the other episodes that we’ve done on this podcast is to talk to people like yourself who have these alternatives to the medications or the talk therapy or whatever. There are other options out there. If you’re open to trying some of these other options, it could very well help to heal you in ways that you may not have thought even possible. Especially like you were saying with a TBI, some people may feel like it, a life sentence for them. there is no solution. There is no help or hope for that. In cases like this, if that type of treatment will work for them, then maybe they don’t have to live with those symptoms for the rest of their lives.
Don Wood 00:59:09 Great examples, Because football players experienced those kinds of concussions. Joe Nemeth talked about how a lot of the players he had played with were experiencing those symptoms from traumatic brain injury and they’re just medicating them. He says he found out about hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Now he’s got a lot of money, so it’s easier for him to do this, but he went for multiple treatments and he says his brain is absolutely perfect. It would not have been had he not done that. When you get more oxygen to the brain, you get more blood flow. It actually activates 8,000 genes in the body and the brain. It takes out the anti-inflammatory genes. It calms all that down. It’s definitely worth looking at but listen to his episode. The reason I use him is because everybody knows who he is. But it’s the same kind of thing that the veterans are experiencing just from a different place. But when you start here, when the more celebrities that come out and start talking about that, the more people can then relate and say I maybe didn’t have post-traumatic stress. I actually had a TBI.
Scott DeLuzio 01:00:28 I’ve talked to several people who’ve had those symptoms. After we get done with this recording, I’m going to reach out to those people and let them know like, Hey, there may be some other options for you if you haven’t found this out already.
Don Wood 01:00:44 The reason I use Joe Nemeth is because it’s probably easy to find a recording of him talking about what hyperbaric oxygen did with him. Just type in Joe Namath, hyperbaric oxygen, Dr. Harsha, Louisiana is a pioneer. He does a SPECT scan, hyperbaric dives. There’s lots of foundations out there that will help with it as well. Traditionally the VA, I don’t think covers it so they won’t pay for it. Depending on where you go, the treatments are like $200, $250 a treatment, and you need at least 40 treatments. It gets expensive. I know, the Green Beret foundation signed up with us. They’ll pay for our treatment anyway. I don’t know about hyperbarics, but they’ll pay for our treatment if they’re Green Berets. Like I said, find out those resources right.
Scott DeLuzio 01:01:45 Well, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you today. I’ll have links again for the listeners to check out all your information. I’ll have that in the show notes. I really appreciate you coming on and sharing this whole program with us because, without this information, there may be people out there who feel like there’s no hope platform and they don’t know where else to turn. This is just one of those other alternatives that they can check out and hopefully it will do the trick for them and what they need.
Don Wood Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate the time Scott. The opportunity to talk to you and your audience.
Scott DeLuzio 01:02:28 Yeah. Well, I really appreciate you coming on. Thank you.
Don Wood 01:02:31 Very good. Thanks. Take care.
Scott DeLuzio 01:02:34 Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to check out more episodes or learn more about the show, you can visit our website DriveOnPodcast.com. We’re also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube at Drive On Podcast.
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