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A guest on Ben Greenfield Podcast, Dr. Cook discusses fixing a knee without surgery, building “young muscle”, Zenjections for the vagus nerve

June 3, 2023
Listen Time: 
1h 8 min
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We're delighted to share Dr. Cook's new guest appearance on the Ben Greenfield Life Podcast, his 8th such visit! They delve into how Dr. Cook healed Ben’s knee without surgery, the benefits of vagus nerve hydrodissections, the connection between COVID and musculoskeletal health, the benefits of peptides, and so much more!

 My name is Ben Greenfield, and on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life Podcast, you have more bacteria in yeast in your gut than there are star in the, in the sky, in the colon, but then in the small intestine, it's supposed to be nothing. When the bacteria kind of crawl up into the small intestine, it's small and it can't take being distended.

So then what we do is we do a trio test. We look to see if there are bacteria and if they're methane, the trio is a breath test, right? It's a breath test. And then based upon that, we'll do potentially some antibiotics, and then we will potentially give them some peptides, and the peptides would be like maybe an immune peptide and LL 37.

In parallel to that, then we may give them a diet that focuses on waiting for minable foods. Okay? Like specific carbohydrate dieter or a low FODMAP diet.

Faith. Family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.

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Try it out. Matt Cook is I think one of the most repeated guests in my podcast of all time, Dr. Matthew Cook. Now I'm gonna link to all of his fascinating previous episodes. If you go to ben greenfield mussel, why ben greenfield mussel because. Matt took my knee over the past year and a half from hobbling, swollen and barely being able to like run, walk squat, play tennis, play pickleball, anything, and now it's at like 90% and continually getting better.

He uses exosomes, he uses stem cells, he uses placental matrix. He uses nerve hydro dissection. He has all these crazy tricks up his sleeve, but has a really, really cool perspective from a regenerative manen standpoint on muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, and maintaining this so-called young muscle. And even combines it with things like vagus nerve resets and other combinations that help to treat not only the muscles in the joint, but also the brain.

Now if I happen to sound like I have the voice of God on today's podcast or more specifically a smooth, buttery, best podcasting voice ever, cuz I do have a, I think as we were talking about earlier, Matt, not only a voice for radio, but also both of us have a nice face for radio. Hey man. Yeah, it's probably because of that weird needle you just stuck into my neck and I'd, I would be curious, as I'm sure my listeners would also be about what this thing is that you do with the vagus nerve.

So what is that that we just did? So that is something called a vagus nerve, hydro tion. The traditional thing that I do for people with P T S D and trauma or people with chronic nerve pain, especially in the head and neck, is I will take a needle and put it in the area where the fight or flight nerves are in the front of the neck.

Turns out the rest and relaxed nerves are right next to those. And that's called the rest, the main rest and relaxed nerve that goes to your heart and lungs and intestines that comes from your brain is called the vagus nerve. And so what I do is I take that needle and I come close to the vagus nerve, and then I put a little fluid of growth factors around the vagus nerve.

And what it does is it tends to support it it seems to turn it on. You feel kind of your voice starts to get rich in. And part of that is because one of the branches of the vagus nerves goes to your voice box. And so I did that kind of selfishly just to improve the vocal tone and rocky roots, right?

So when we bring the band back, and if that went over everybody's head, check out rocky roots where Matt and I have a, an EP of an album that we recorded. We're actually recording at Matt's office, passing a microphone back and forth. So this is probably gonna be the least You ever hear me interrupt the podcast guest since we are doing the, the mic passing.

But anyways, the, this whole Vegas nerve approach, like I feel a combination of like super relaxed, de-stressed kind of zen after doing it almost. I, I would love to test my H R V right now, cause I would imagine it's pretty high. What would be the reason besides just cheer curiosity on my part, which is why I did it, that people would do a procedure like this.

Our primary TR trajectory of using, using this procedure is people with P ts D and trauma. And, and for those people we are re rebooting and resetting the, the fight or flight nerves, but then we'll also treat the vagus nerve. One of the things I started to see is sometimes people would lose weight after I did it.

Because they have less visceral fat. Sometimes I would see people, they would say, oh, all of my abdominal pain went away. Or people will start to say, I just start to feel better in my inte intestines. People with chronic pain in their intestines often will start to get better. So and, and we were doing that with numbing medicines.

I'm using ropivacaine, which is a local anesthetic, and that the concept of that is to turn those nerves off, kinda like you're turning a computer off and rebooting it. And that was why I actually called my company by our reset in the very beginning. Oh, wow. Because we we're doing this fight or flight reset and kind of turning the computer off, resetting you to the factory default settings and turning it back on.

However, we eventually started finding that people would do better if we rebooted both rest and relax and fight or flight. And so then that's when we started doing that and I noticed people did so well. I realized I put growth factors around every nerve on the body. And so it kind of made sense to me what would happen if I started putting plasma and growth factors around the vagus nerve.

And sure enough, that is a way of not blocking it to get it better, but putting growth factors around it to get it better. And then almost a hundred percent of the time what I, what I people won't say is, oh, my voice starts to feel a little bit more rich. I start to feel a little bit of a vibration on my chest and people won't, will.

It's a fairly repeatable sense of wellness and calm. So it, I've heard of the, of the thing called the Stella ganglion nerve block before. Is this the same thing as that? I'll get into the weeds a little bit. The fight or flight nerves in the neck, in the middle of the neck, basically kind of between C4 and c6, tend to run in between the two deepest muscles in the front of the neck.

Those. Muscles. The superficial one is called longest capitus, and the deep one is called longest coli. The fight or flight nerves tend to run primarily in that plane at that level. However, they can also be a little bit in the muscles there, and then eventually they come down and run in the front of your vertebra.

In the thoracic area, when you stick a needle into that fascial plane, when you do a cell ganglion block, we block those nerves. Often when you stick a needle in that plane, the fluid will shoot over by the carotid artery and go, oh, wow, and kind of get the vegus nerve. What I started doing is intentionally going over there because it's, it's very safe for me.

When I create a fluid, I'm just sticking my needle, tracking my needle in the fluid, and then going over and putting it, okay. It's kind of in the corner pocket where the vegus nerve lives. Okay, and And you think, I mean, for people listening, they're like, whoa, needles in my neck. Like even. For me, as I was laying there for a brief second, I was like, wait, this is like, I felt really vulnerable.

And then you have this nice soothing approach where you kind of like talk me into a state of relaxation, but then also you don't feel. Anything like, honestly all I felt was it looked like your fingers were around my neck. Right. But I would say of, of things to do that's, that could be just about the most advanced procedure cuz I'm right next to your clotted artery.

Yeah. And I, I do, which I could see on the ultrasound by the way. I see like needle right there by pipe. Yeah. So I've don't sneeze Matt. I, I do five or six big procedures on the neck mm-hmm. Almost every day since like 2001. So it's something that I do a lot. We say we're, we're starting at a teaching organization to teach basically everything that we do hydro dissection from Okay.

Ground nerves, arteries, veins, every joint in the body, fascial planes. And, and it's a fairly substantial journey to get to a point where you feel comfortable knowing where a needle is to be able to do that. Yeah. Yeah. It's kinda like any surgery, you'd want somebody to do it who's done a lot of procedures before, especially when you're playing around in that area mm-hmm.

Where there's a lot of sensitive nerves mm-hmm. Vessels. Mm-hmm. So, This, this might seem like a far cry from regenerative medicine lower down, like in a joint, for example, and we might be kind of working backwards here, but do you actually combine this with, let's say, work on a knee or a hip or a shoulder?

Like is there any crossover effect into the joints? So the, the crossover is, what I'd like to do is get a sense of where are people in their pain cycle. So some people will come in and have been in long-term pain and their, their central nervous system and their spinal cord are sort of upregulated from a pain perspective.

Yeah. In those patients, they tend to do really well with a Stella Ganglion block. And so often what will happen is people will come and let's say they've got debilitating back pain and, and they've been in pain for quite a while. For those patients, often as part of their journey of three or four days, I'll do a St eight ganglion block on one side, on one day on the other side.

On another day, the right St eight gangling. Resets blood flow to the right side of the brain. Okay. And the, and the right vagus nerve comes from the right, basically side of your brain stem and goes through your liver and kind of the right side of your intestinal tract. And I, I just recently, a couple weeks ago, had a woman come in with that had abdominal pain.

Mm-hmm. And I did the st the stellate and she goes, oh, all the pain on the right side of my abdomen's gone, but the left side's still here, so then that's crazy. The next day we, we did the, the other side. And so then the left Vegas comes from the left brain stem. Yeah. On and so and so on. Yeah. Have you ever, I, I mentioned h but have you ever actually had anybody either in real time measure their heart rate variability or track their nervous system response in some quantified manner or afterwards track it and see it went up?

Oh, yeah. All the time. It al it almost always goes up. Okay. When, when you track it. Yeah. And what I tell people is, is that, Mindfulness and meditation are, and, and everything good that you've ever heard of that anybody has ever talked about on your podcast mm-hmm. Fundamentally, at some level, drives you into higher levels of heart rate variability.

Yeah. And all of those are techniques that drive you in so you can experience and sort of maintain a connected state that is a, quote unquote, a rest and relaxed state. Right. This is just one more tool that does, that will drive you into a rest and relaxed state. And I like to say that you, you leave some breadcrumbs along the way and the, and after having gone through the experience a lot of times then that just is a way for you to help, to reconnect and for some people just to realize it's possible to get into a kind of a deep, connected, calm, coherent.

State. Yeah. And then often once that happens, like I did a cell gangling block for somebody yesterday and I said, how's it going? And she goes, well, my fiance's flight was canceled and he couldn't show up here, but I was totally fine with it. Yeah. And so it was kind of stuff like that. You gotta change the name to call, like the zen injection or something like that.

The zen injection. That's what we're gonna call it from now on. Yeah. Yeah. I love it. Okay, so I mentioned that I was pretty hobbled up. I was actually. Almost not like depressed, but super disappointed. Like two years ago when I felt like I was getting old, like my knee, I couldn't play tennis. I hadn't yet discovered the sport of pickleball, but there's no way I would've been able to play that.

I couldn't run bike riding hurt, couldn't squat heavy, couldn't deadlift, couldn't lunge, and going up and downstairs hurt. And I went to like three different orthopods. They all told me that I was probably gonna have to get surgery, that I probably had arthritis, and that my knee was pretty much shot and that they might be able to scope it.

That might help, but no guarantees. And then I came down and saw you. You did some stuff on it, and then here I am like, you know, we're what, like 10 months out now? And I'm doing all, like, I'm running, I'm playing tennis, I'm playing pickleball, I'm squatting, I'm deadlifting, I'm going up and downstairs, basically my knee.

I can tell like something happened to it in the past, but it's not an issue at all. Walk people through like what you actually did. I'm gonna, I'm gonna do something even better. Okay. Hopefully what happened is, is in addition to that, Ben was a hardcore endurance athlete who was for a lot of years, competitor for a lot of years.

And so when I first met you at the very beginning, you had an effusion in that knee. Mm-hmm. And that knee, I explained if it wasn't effusions, so you had water on the knee. Okay. And so you, when I first met you, I pulled out 30 ccs of fluid. Mm-hmm. And so that. You. You had what's called synovitis, which was inflammation of the joint lining.

And as a result of that, you were just, and the body. The body, you damaged your meniscus a little bit and you damaged some of the ligaments in your knee a little bit. And so your body has this idea, I got a great idea. Let's put some more WD 40 in there. Mm-hmm. And so the body says that it starts to secrete some fluid and the knee is kind of a sealed joint.

Next thing you know, you got a little water on your knee, but you're tougher than the average bear. And you just kind of trained through that. Oh, I know. I trained through it. I raced through, like I did one Ironman triathlon in Hawaii. Where going into the race, my knee was like the size of a softball and I just taped the hell out of it and hammered on it for 12 hours.

There was like teeth gritting pain, like just on ibuprofen. I took a Valium that night and went to bed and I would do that kind of stuff like every few months. Right? So then you're gonna, you're gonna get some extra wear and tear and then when you put, when your body starts to make a lot of fluid in there, it starts to get inflammatory.

And so then that was going on. And when you do that, then you can cause. Damage and inflammation at every level. And so the title of our talk was Muscle Ligament. Tendon Fascia, yeah. Joint. But, and, and our, I changed to Young Muscle, we changed it to Young Muscles and Zen injections. Yeah, yeah. Injections. And so then you came in, in a super, super inflamed state.

You, you'd tore your M mc l all of the nerves around your knee were super painful. So your, your peral nerve was super painful. You had a a, a huge baker cyst. Mm-hmm. Which is fluid in the back of the knee. Mm-hmm. Bakers used to lean into the thing to pound the dough. And then they, that's what it's called it, that's why, and what happened is they would kind of tear their meniscus and then there's a little hole basically between their gas rack and their hamstring and fluid would pop out.

And so that would be case would happen way. I thought it was, cuz it looks like you have a cinnamon roll in the back of your knee after bakers almost like Mad Hatter's disease was because people used to dye the hats. Yeah. Okay. What happens is that when you're, when you run in real hard or take some trauma mm-hmm.

You can get inflammation in your bone marrow. And so you had a little, you had bone marrow edema, and so bone marrow edema is super, super painful. Which is why you were hobbling around in a lot of pain. Yeah. And you, you had a little bit of an osteochondral defect, which is basically. Where you've lost cartilage that is between the cartilage, basically between the cartilage and the bone.

Mm-hmm. And the reason for that is, is when you have edema in the bone marrow, then the bone marrow is what's giving all of the nutrition that leaks across the bone to support that cartilage. So then when you start, when you get inflammation in the bone marrow, then it can't make all the growth factors to keep everybody happy.

But thank God for c CRA and weed cuz I could still work out with the former and still sleep at night with the ladder. So I was pretty much good to go. Pretty much shut down pain. And, and the one thing that I would never take away from you is working out, cuz I don't know what, you just be bouncing off the walls.

So, so then what I did was I, and so then I'll, you know, there's a variety of ways to fix, fix bone marrow lesions. Probably the one that makes the most sense is to treat bone marrow with bone marrow. So we pulled some bone marrow to your hip and then spun a needle inside mm-hmm. The bone and put some bone marrow in there.

Was that the one that's called intraosseous needling? That's, that's where it's almost like, like aerating a lawn where you're like drilling holes into the bone. Yeah. Patching that up with bone marrow. And then the cartilage apparently regrows in response to that. Yeah. And your, your cartilage is, About 60%, 70% better, but it's not a hundred percent perfect.

Mm-hmm. There's a hint of an osteo osteochondral defect, but it's way better than it was. I treated all of the ligaments I hydro dissected, which is putting fluid around those nerves. I treated the joint, I pulled all the fluid out. Mm-hmm. Treated the joint. And I think that this is kind of a testament of one of those cases.

You know, a lot of times people come and you, you have these heroic experiences where somebody has some big problem and you kind of fix it in one time your knee was in super bad shape and things were not looking good. And then I did that and it was a slow recovery, and then I took you to Mexico twice and gave you stem cells.

And you've just doggedly kept at it. And today I treated you again. Treated a couple ligaments. Yeah. Treated the joint. I pulled all the fluid out of your bakers cyst. So now, now we're, we're gonna call you a baker. Mm-hmm. Baker Ben. Yeah. I pulled fluid out of the front of the joint. I said, I said, how much fluid am I gonna pull out?

And I, Ben goes, 35 ccs. And then I thought, and we were thinking about the over under on that, and then I, I thought, I'm not gonna take it over under, because he, it's, it's within like one cc. I don't know why I didn't. So I just didn't even say anything. And then it was literally 30 fives. You took a picture of it, didn't you?

I took picture. I'll put it in the show. People wanna see the nasty yellow fluid that you can pull out of a knee. And, you know, you, you talked about doggedly keeping at it. I should mention that at the same time that we were doing all of this, I met and interviewed Ben Patrick, the knees over toes guy. And I started doing knees over toes lunges.

I started doing reverse hyper extensions. I started doing a lot of clamshell and external rotator work. I started doing some of his like deep squats, but unloaded where your knees are actually going over your toe with the idea that despite it being general no in strength conditioning to squat and have your knees go forward of your toes.

Ben's theory is that by loading it in that manner, you're actually increasing blood flow, causing the cartilage to become loaded, triggering a regrowth response and actually increasing vascularization to the joint. So I got his cheapo little book on Amazon. He's got two on there. One called ATG for Life and one that's more of a knee book.

You could find him easily. Go listen to the podcast, a link to it in the show notes of ben greenfield mussel. But I started doing his program. It's only, it only took like 10 to 15 minutes, and I usually did it in the sauna, like when my knees were pretty warm. Mm-hmm. You know, I, and most of it unloaded in the sauna and then occasionally I'd do a little bit loaded, like holding a couple kettlebells or whatever for some of the lunges.

And so I think that combined with the regenerative medicine protocols helped a ton. So this wasn't like me sitting in my butt in between stem cells and bone marrows and the other stuff you were doing. I think that the physical therapy is pretty important as well. Yeah. A hundred percent. A hundred. And you're, you're still doing the light.

The, you're, you're wrapping, you're wrapping it in light every day. Oh yeah. So what I do now, also, and this is like I do this for both knees cuz I just feel like when I do my morning workout, cause I usually work out like about eight 30 in the morning. Mm-hmm. And so I get up about four 30 or five and I roll over and grab these little, they're called kenon lights.

Mm-hmm. The Canon move Plus, and it's like this combination of l e D and laser. You wrap it around a joint and then you can just walk around the house making coffee or you know, doing whatever you're doing in the morning while it shines light for five minutes. And I usually will do it like 20 minutes.

I'll just press the button when it turns off and go for another five minutes. And that feels like it just kind of wakes up my knees for the morning. Yeah. And so I a hundred percent believe in that. I, I, I, I believe in the knees over to stuff and I believe in the, the, we talk about, you know, muscle, ligament, tendon, fascia, joint, all of that stuff where you're working, your muscles and fascia.

There's little nerves in your fascia. And so then when you start to get that healthy, then suddenly then the, that's all of the structures that support the knee. And what I've found is a lot of times what will happen is people will have pain or dysfunction of one or two muscles. So a classic thing in the for people is they'll have a tight, super tight VAs laterals.

Mm-hmm. And their IT bands in pain, and then their duct and their VAs medias is weak. Right. And so they get this outside tight, inside muscle outside tight, inside weak. And so then now they're, they're pulling their kneecap laterally. And when they pulled our kneecap laterally, now they've got a tracking problem.

Yeah. Which is, which is a problem. And you had that and I actually spun some bone marrow into your patella as well. Right. And that seems to be way better. And that's a big part of the knees over toes program too, is strengthening of the vases, medias everything from like flutter kicks where you have your VMO contracted to some of the inner thigh strengthening exercises.

And there's like this this step down that you do, I think he calls it like a Quin step down where your heels are down and your toes are up usually on like a slant board and you're stepping down off that slant board and you gotta use your VMO to get yourself back up. Oh. You know, the Charles Quin was like a really good friend of mine.

I knew that and forgot it. And now when I'm just now talking about Ben Patrick and Charles Pollock, when apparently Ben Patrick studied under. Paula Quinn and learned a lot of this knees over to stuff straight from Paula Quinn. Oh, really? Okay. Yeah. So that's a hundred percent. Yeah. Paul Charles, Paula Quinn is basically one of the greatest strength coaches to have ever lived.

And so then I would, yeah, I would, he would come here and then I would do stuff for him, and then he would just basically just tell me stories about the strength and conditioning world, and he would just talk for hours and hours. He was the most hilarious, greatest person I've ever met. Yeah, I recently did a podcast interview with another person who worked with him on foot proprioception.

Oh yeah. And treats everything from the ground up, like a lot of toast laying devices, these proprioceptive texture souls that you stand on. And then like different balls that you roll the feet with. Do you ever do feet mut with your patients? Tons. Like folks on the foot health tons. So then, so then, we'll same, same thing.

Ligament pen and fascia muscles. And so then for the foot, one thing is I'm looking at all the muscles, basically the, the, the extensors and the flexors. And so make checking out, are those muscles working, are they in pain? If they are, I may treat the central tendon. I may treat, I do a hydro dissection in between the muscles.

Mm-hmm. And then I may treat the nerves, and then I Oh, so you're actually doing injections into the feet? Oh, yeah. All the time. Right. And so, well, so then that, that's all basically in the calf. Mm-hmm. And, and often we are hydro dissecting inside the muscle, primarily with plasma. And plasma is basically what's in your blood, which is going to muscles.

And so then we will start to treat basically the central tendons, which is where a lot of the growth, where the nerves are. Mm-hmm. So we're treating the nerve that's basically going down to be around the tendon. Tendons hurt, cuz there's a lot of nerves. Then in the foot, basically what happens is, is there's a constellation of important ligaments that if they're partially torn, then we will treat those ligaments to build stability.

And then I will treat the, probably one of the main things that I do is treat foot pain. And so then just like you've got a carpal tunnel in your wrist. Yeah. You've got something called the tarsal tunnel in your foot, and then basically your tibial nerve goes down and it splits into three branches. One that goes back.

To the back of your foot called Baxter's, and then one that goes towards your big toe, which is called the medial plantar nerve, and then one that goes towards your little toe called the, the lateral plantar nerve. And then we do what's called hydro assu, where we'll put plasma or, or something anti-inflammatory around the nerves.

Mm-hmm. To treat nerve pick. Yeah. Yeah. And, and we did a whole podcast on hydro dissection too, where we got deep into the science of it. And I'll, I'll link to that if people wanna go listen to more about hydro dissection. But there's also like, You haven't talked about this much on a podcast. I know that you appreciate the importance of it, but that's the nutritional piece.

Like I, one of my friends was at my house last week and we were gonna do a breath work session in the sauna and she came down the stairs and she was like, hobbling it. She's going down the stairs. She's like, my achilles tendon is killing me. And she said that she had gluten at the dinner party that I threw the night before.

Cause she had stayed the night at my house. Mm-hmm. And she said that she was just like super swollen and inflamed from that and had a bunch of joint pain. And then you have guys like Tom Brady who are swearing by the No night Shades diet for long-term joint health for athletes. How often do you actually step back and look at a patient's diet when you're doing this kind of work?

All the time, and it's, it's interesting. We have a gluten sensitivity in our family, and because I've treated my mom so much with stem cells, she's the, basically the only person that hasn't had total joint replacements like everywhere. And so then it's, I think that it, it's going to be something that over time we learn more and more about.

And so we pay a lot of attention to it. And so then we'll do the Cyrex, just gluten or, or all of 'em, like lectins and then all ofs and night shades. All of that is. Is significant. Now, one, one thing, just a step back is to say a lot of the people that I see that have the most trouble are the ones that have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or fungal overgrowth.

Mm-hmm. Which means they have leaky gut and they're reacting to everything that they eat. And so in that case, those are the ones that are really susceptible to many of these systemic things. The next category is the ones that are just genetically celiac sensitive. Mm-hmm. And so then generally what I do is I'll pay attention to that and then I'll try to do some testing and sort of managed thinking about that.

But then for the Achilles, I would say of of things that really respond well is I'll put plasma basically around the Achilles tendon and I'll do a hydro dissection of that tendon. Okay. And so then that's kind of an interesting one. You're probably familiar with the fact that the average adult should get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

I realize that's not always possible. More and more people are forced to make lifestyle changes to get more deep sleep, especially. But the good news is that quality matters just as much as quantity. So when you're in bed sleeping, you want the quality of the sleep, even if you're not able to be in bed, seven or eight or nine hours to be as high as possible.

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So I wrote a book last year that is my guide to dealing with personal struggles, spiritual growth temptations, and it's essentially a, a sequel to my original book Fit Soul, in which I talk about, as the name implies, getting a Fit Soul. But this book called Endure is about tools, tactics, and habits for improving your spiritual stamina as kind of a fun side project for that book, I commissioned an artist to create 13 really cool, amazing, limited edition covers of super inspirational figures like a bald eagle and David fighting Goliath and a rock climber and an archer and stallions running through like a wildfire and somebody charging up a hill and a ship on the raging ocean.

Really, really beautiful books. And then I worked to get these books printed. I personally signed each one of them, and so I've got 13 books literally in my office. All limited edition versions of my book Indoor. And what I'm doing is I'm opening up all 13 as an N F T, meaning you can go to ben greenfield nft.

You can bid on any of the books and when you do. I send the book to your home. You also own the digital right? And we're doing a v i p book signing party with me for the 13 people who each own one copy. Only one copy will ever, ever exist of this this Endure book. So I'm super proud of the way these things turned out.

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Get the signed version sent to you, own the digital version, and also have a private virtual book signing party with me. Let's check it out. Ben greenfield nft. Back to back and fungal overgrowth. I remember at one time you had mentioned to me this peptide called, I think it was LL 37 Hmm, yeah.

That you've used in the past for that. Do you still like that? So LL 37 is an antimicrobial peptide. Mm-hmm. And so there is a c fla pharmacy that I'm aware of that will make a, a liquid LL 37. And so then for people who have active sibo, which means that your small intestines supposed to be sterile and there's not supposed to be any yeast or bacteria for the most part in there.

And then you can get into a situation where the bacteria and yeast kind of get ahead of everybody in the food line. Basically. An interesting way to think about this, you have more bacteria in yeast in your gut than there are star in the, in the sky, in the colon, but then in the small intestine it's supposed to be nothing.

When the bacteria kind of. Crawl up into the small intestine. It's small and it can't take being distended. So then what we do is we do a trio test. We look to see if there are bacteria and if they're methane, the trio is a breath test, right? It's a breath test. And then based upon that, we'll do potentially some antibiotics.

And then we will potentially give them some peptides and the peptides would be like maybe an immune peptide and, and LL 37. And then in parallel to that, then we may give them a, a, a diet that focuses on waiting for minable foods. Okay. Like specific carbohydrate diet or, or a low FODMAP diet. Okay. Well, you know, for, we talked about bacteria and fungus, but from a viral standpoint we did a podcast about like covid and vaccinations and long haul covid and all these covid related issues.

Do you ever see a link between muscle, ligament, tendon, joint health and viruses? Like c or even though I realize this is a controversial topic, something like vaccinations? Yeah. I got just one of the greatest people I ever met. Firefighter came in was basically fine. Got got a recent vaccination.

Because he was gonna have to go be around family members who were sick and then has developed a fairly substantial neuropathy. We get a call every day that is a vaccine or a covid mm-hmm. Complication. Clearly there are some substantial and, and negative consequences that are start at the top neurological.

Mm-hmm. And so then especially covid can affect the limbic system and affects the brainstem. Mm-hmm. The brainstem is where the vagus nerve comes from. It can affect any of the cranial nerves. So it can, it can affect people. You hear people lose their taste, tend of smell and taste to smell. Yeah. And taste.

So that's the first. And then basically the last cranial nerves that can hit everywhere in between. And so then Covid can affect that. It can have a real profound effect emotionally with depression and anxiety. Mm-hmm. And kind of trauma that is sort of out of proportion to what I've seen before.

Interestingly, you say, And, and I'm in close contact with a lot of doctors in Asia who are very advanced at doing the same type of stuff that I'm talking about, treating the, the vagus nerve and doing hydro dissects with the carotid artery. And, and from a regulatory perspective, they're very limited in terms, they don't have regenerative medicine to the extent that we do.

And so they're, they're mostly doing a lot of this either with plasma or with 5% dextrous. And like me, they're also seeing very positive experiences when they do hydro dissects of the carotid artery and really the vagus nerve in covid patients for long covid Wow. For long co, for long, for long covid with neurological.

Hmm. And they're also doing a lot of still ganglion blocks for long covid. And the idea is, is when you do aeic ganglion block, it causes a vasodilation of the carotid artery. Okay. And that causes an increase in blood flow. And that increase in blood flow seems to reboot and reset basically the deep brain structures.

And so we use that for long covid. The other thing that I will do is I'll use plasma basically from your blood. Mm-hmm. And then I treat what's called the C1 plexus where I come to the anterior side of the first cervical vertebrae. And then I will touch on the anterior side of that, and then I will inject fluid.

That fluid will go over and it gets the carotid artery before it goes into the brain and it gets the begus nerve before it comes out. Oh, wow. So I can either do that basically right underneath your ear or kind of in the middle of the neck where I did it for you today. And they're both. Different but interesting ways to do that based on how that affects the carotid artery.

What about headaches? Do, is it something that can help people have like migraines or cluster headaches or anything like that? When I think about headaches, so then the treat, treating the carotid is a great way to treat headaches that are in the distribution of the carotid artery. The ST eight can be helpful in general, and then often when I treat the ST eight.

I'm actually in between the carotid and the vertebral artery because I, I'm in the vertebral artery is basically deeper and the, and, and in it goes through these freemen and the sides of the vertebrae. But when I get in the fascial plain, I'll see fluid go down towards the vertebral artery. And so I'll get that and go up.

So I will, and depending on what's going on, if I'm trying to treat the back of the brain, then we will focus, trying to get some fluid to reboot and reset blood flow, vertebral, those can be quite helpful for headaches. The other thing is, is that if people have headaches that are occipital headaches, the patients with mold, patient with, with Lyme at all, almost all Of the chronic immune people, we'll have a lot of headaches and occipital headaches.

And so then we will do hydro dissection with plasma, most likely of the greater occipital nerve. And so then that comes out sort of, and wraps around in the back of your head and goes over the, goes over the, basically the back of your head. So we try to differentiate what's the cause is, is it immune, is it nerve, is it vascular?

And then kind of manage to those things. Okay. Now, when, when it comes to some of these chronic stilt co-infections that you've mentioned, like the Lyme or the Epstein bar or something like that, is there. Like one test, like kinda like there's like that try test that you talked about for gas issues like sibo.

Is there one test or are there a ton of different tests you have to do? If somebody comes in and they're like, I don't quite know what's going on, we've ruled out almost everything and then you run something and you find out all this stuff that's hidden or is it a whole bunch of different tests? I got a great answer for this.

This is like oral board exam with both. Ben, I love it. This is like one question. This is like rapid sequence. What I've been telling people lately is I said, if, if you pick me and you and Ben Greenfield and all of our close friends, everybody that we know, and then I did $10,000 worth of testing and I'll say what that is, what I'm gonna tell you is all of our friends are going to test positive for three to four things out of the 10 to fif 12 things.

And yet in our cohort, most of those people are not gonna have any symptoms. And so what that means is we have a microbiome in our gut, and so, and that microbiome is there's more bacteria in our colon than there are stars in the sky. So then if you think about this, we also have a viral, and so we've been exposed to all kinds of different viruses.

We've been exposed to potentially CMV, obscene bar viruses of vi a virus that millions of people have, and then bacteria and some of, and so then some people will CMV that, that cytomegalo virus. Yeah. So some people will have. Devastating symptoms from this. And that's because their immune system is dysregulated.

They may have toxicity, they may have a big gastrointestinal problem, this driving dysfunctional immune system. And so then all of it comes is out of control. Or you could be like you, and you might have some of those things, but you don't have any symptoms. So then the question is, what do you do for testing?

So then there's a company that looks at your, how you're, what you're making antibodies to. We know about antibody testing be because of pe. People did antibody testing to see if you were, had made antibodies to covid. Yeah. So then Cyrex that does that. There's so, well there's a bunch of different companies, but the HYGIENICS does antibody testing.

There's probably Hygenics is the best antibody testing, which looks for Borrelia barella. Baia Licia and kind of the, the primary infections. Mm-hmm. From an antibody perspective. Then in the United States there's a company called In Facto Lab, and they look at your T-cell response, and so they look at your T-cell response to the same things, and then they have and then they look at your T-cell response to Epstein Bar and cmv, and, and, and Hygienics also looks at those Infect Lab and Hygienics will cover your, your B-cell and T-cell responses, which is going to be interesting.

Next thing is Andrew Campbell has a company called My Myco that will look at your, to see if you're making antibodies to mold. Okay. And so then those three labs together, my Myco, Isogenix and Infect Labs. Hygienics, my Myco and Infect Labs. Okay. And then if you're in Europe, it's Armin Labs. Okay. Armin Labs instead of.

All three of those, or Armon labs instead of infect lab. Okay. Got it. And so and so then the, that as a constellation will, will give you a fairly robust assessment of those. But then are those all blood tests? That's all. That's all blood tests. Okay. Now you can do a mold, urine test. There's controversy.

Some people think it's the best thing since sliced bread, and some people think it's mm-hmm. It's invalid slice, moldy bread. It's sliced moldy bread. Yes. And so you can go, you can go into testing for days and days, but what I'll tell you is what you have to do is get your immune system working, get get dialed in from kind of a lifestyle wellness perspective, heal your gut.

And then for, and, and you're gonna do the same thing whether you're focusing on high end wellness or whether you're, you're in a fairly devastating situation of chronic fatigue. If there's, in the chronic illness people, there's usually one thing driving it and so may, it may be the Borrelia, which is Lyme disease.

It may be the Epstein Bar is the big driver, and that's kind of the classic driver of chronic fatigue. What happens with Covid is Covid comes on and creates the cytokine storm. That creates a, a huge immune stress and then often it disregulates your immune system. And as a result of that, then these other things that were in the background come out.

Oh, okay. So you got basically two versions of long, of long covid. Okay. Yeah. It could be that. And that basically data's come out that when they first, it first came out, they said, oh yeah. Covid comes and it's gonna be gone. It's no longer in your body. And I thought, there's no way that's true. And sure enough, now some people will have a viral reservoir, most likely in their gut.

Mm-hmm. And so the virus is living on and then triggering you. Option two is, is that you just have viral particles of the covid bacteria. Option three is viral particles. Those in the bloodstream or the gut, or both? In the Everywhere. Okay. Because those viral particles and that viral particle would be like the spike protein.

Okay. That your body's having a hard time getting rid of. Long covid could be those things or long covid could have triggered your immune system. Brought all of these other Epstein bar, C M V infections and mold triggered that to kind of come into the forefront. And so then we're trying to kind of sort that out.

And then when people come in, then we're sorting that out. Sorting out what's, what's going on neurologically with them, and then kind of building sort of a treatment plan to support 'em. How big of an issue is covid still? Because it seems like, you know, there's obviously not a lot of masking policies and stuff like that, but you still seeing a lot of people come in with it fresh.

At the time we're recording this was April, 2023. No. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, when we did our last podcast and you said, well, are you, what's going on with vaccination? And I said, well, you know what's happening? It seems like there's a trend where covid may be starting to dwindle. And so then we are minimally involved in, in hearing about people that are with Active Covid, we hear all the time about long covid.

Okay. Which means that the covid that people contracted, say like perhaps during the pandemic, is sticking around for a very long period of time. Well, most likely the Covid has long gone. And there may be some particles of the virus or there may be some particles and the of that are related to the vaccine that are triggering an immune response.

And that immune response is what we call long covid. Okay. And that, and that is either a pure immune response to covid or an immune response that is covid plus whatever else was go, happened to be going on with that. Yeah. Okay. Now, this isn't a total disconnect from Covid because in our last podcast you talked about some different peptides that can be handy for working with Covid or long haul covid.

But then I think a few months ago you told me you had a chance to hang out with Dr. Vinson. The, oh, Kason. Yeah. Kason, the Russian researcher has all these crazy, like human long-term studies on decreased all cause risk of mortality with peptides or peptide bio regulators. Have those become like a major part of your routine or your practice?

So, so the Biore peptides are gonna be amazing and I'm a, a big fan. Yeah. I mean, I interviewed Phil Mikes about them, and I'm shocked more people don't know about them. Right. And it will explain to people. So Phil, shout out to Phil. You're the best. Basically all of your major organs have a. One or two peptides that are regulate functions within that organ.

Right? Liver, heart, pancreas, kidney, brain. Yeah. Goana gland. Yes. And, and, and so then these are, these are small peptides that are two or three or four amino acids. The great thing about that is, is that are oral versions of them and because they're just a few amino acids, you can absorb them. Mm-hmm. And so then I take the oral bio regulators all the time.

You take 'em all the, I thought you only do like a couple stints of them during the year. So, so then there's, there are people who will take all of 'em for a short period of time. There will people who will take two or three of 'em, and then they will cycle through them. Oh. To a new set. To a new set.

Okay. And so then for different orders, you're gonna have. Say 1820 bio regulators. And so then you can, you can take four at a time and kind of always be rotating. And then there's some that help your immune system. And so I, I find that it's super interesting. Dr. Kason was the person who came up with these because they were able to figure out what the sequence was.

There are synthetic versions of these available, not super available. There's normally harvested from like the tissue of the animal. Yeah. And, okay. And so then there are, there's, there's synthetic pills and then there's also pills where they take a, a thymus gland from a, a cow that was raised organically, and then they extract and isolate that peptide and give that to you.

And then you can also, there are also versions that are synthetic, synthetically produced and in an injectable form. So you have all of that available. Okay. Okay. There's this one company called Ancestral Supplements that is sent me up, like, Desiccated, glandulars and capsules like thyroid and obviously liver, heart, kidney, spleen, et cetera.

Is that kinda like the same thing as taking a peptide Biore, but just direct from the animal? Or do you think bio regulators are more precise or more bioavailable? All things that are great mm-hmm. Have been happening for a long time. Yeah. And so then I, except chat. G p t Ex except Ch. Exactly. And so the Glandulars have been a great product forever.

And so people in Chinese medicine have always used them and used them to a lot of su success. And I know a lot of people in Chinese medicine and otherwise that used Glandulars a lot to support PE people from an immune perspective. Mm-hmm. Going through Covid. Mm-hmm. And then almost for sure, those glandulars have bio regulators in them.

If you look at anything from a plant slash herb based product, then there's one theory that you're gonna get an entourage effect if you have a constellation of things that were Yeah. Came together. Yeah. There's another side of the equation that says, well, what if I had a synthetic one and I could do it in, in higher dosing?

And so then Dr. Cavs hadn't had protocols where he was regularly treating people and then even after they stopped, Doing their treatment. Then they, they tracked these people and he presented this. I went to a conference in Europe basically just to meet him. And that's where I met Phil. And I was just totally, totally impressed.

He's done a lot of work and what we need to do is we need to have a, a better way to start to study this. And I think that we will fundamentally be able to reproduce all of the work that he's done. And, and they've got a, a huge basically clinical research program that they've done for a long time over there.

This, that's impressive. There's like 25 or 30 of 'em, right? Like at least a couple a dozen. For me, what I've had access to has only been 16 to 20. Okay, so let's, let's say 18 or whatever. Could you just take all of 'em, all the fragments, put them all in one insulin syringe, and then just do a stent where you inject all of 'em for a few days in a row, like a couple times a year?

That, that would be an appealing concept to study. It seems to me like that would be a pretty good anti-aging or longevity play if that actually worked and well, so, so then you think so then go, go into longevity. So what, what is longevity and then how are we gonna manage that? I think the, the Biore peptides are one interesting thing and, and, and you have Cav since data whi, which is gonna be an interesting perspective on it.

And, and they had less cardiac mor morbidity and mortality. That's gonna be an interesting one. Then this is gonna be, immune peptides I think are gonna be an interesting one because the, why did they call pneumonia the old man's friend? Because what happens is our immune system starts to get derailed when we get old, and so then we just start to have susceptibility to immune problems.

Yeah. And so then there's a theory, just like when people get older, a lot of times their thyroid gland is not making enough to support them, and so they take a thyroid supplement. Eventually we're gonna start to take immune supplements. And so things to support the immune system from a peptide perspective, I think will be standard of care in 10 years.

Okay. Okay. We're gonna, if we'll, we'll get on a podcast in 10 years and that's gonna be like a super normal thing. Maybe 15 years. Then next thing is the exosome and stem cell conversation, which, which I think is gonna be interesting. And then the next interesting thing about that is, is how do you drive exosome stem cells plasma to different parts of the body?

You know, part of that is things like doing a cell to increase blood flow to the brain. Oh, there's another doctor who's using red light, Dr. Todd Oval Koski, something like that. Yeah. Yeah. I met him at the Da Vinci conference, and he was talking about they'll do stem cells and activate them to the area where they need to travel by using lasers.

Mm-hmm. Have you heard of this? Yep. Yeah. So there's a, I think a very good logic of activating. Fluid. And so what can you do? You can, if you pull, you pull blood out and then you separate the blood and you get plasma. Then plasma has a host of interesting things in it. So one of the things that's in plasma is platelets.

And so that's why we like the platelets and we use those platelets and you can concentrate those platelets. The other thing that you could do is you could just take the plasma with the platelets. What else is in there? V cells are in there. And so the very small embryonic like stem cells? Exactly. And so then those are pluripotent stem cells.

My mentor in, in VCE is one of my favorite people in the world is Bill Pastis, who is in Australia, who's done a, a deep amount of research in this. And he has a company named, called Python. And so then there's a fairly robust protocol that they have, which is isolating those VSOs and activating them.

And, and there's a light activation in those. And so I've, I've done quite a bit of this. And then Dr. Todd also has a great protocol for, for activating those solves and then giving them back and there's approaches of giving them back around a nerve or like muscle ligament. Tendon, nerve, fascia. Yeah.

And so then imagine if I was gonna inject plasma into muscle, which I do a lot. Mm-hmm. Then one of the things that happens is, is there's V cells in there. Yeah. But the primary thing that I, I call that, I call it plasma cuz because there may be VCE and, and we, we do our best to do to activate them, but overall it's back to the entourage effect.

There's a consolation of kind of positive things that are in plasma that seem to be helpful for muscles. Okay. All right. Got it. That makes sense. By the way, I can't seem to get out of my head since you mentioned about how pneumonia is an old man's best friend. The old Jack Handy quote, you watched Jack Handy.

Should be on Saturday Night Live. Oh yeah. These like crazy random quotes. And he goes, you know, my grandfather used to say that laughter was the best medicine, which is why I guess several of us died of tuberculosis. Look up Jack hand. If anybody Googles jack hand, you're gonna laugh. For best, the best laugh for hours.

Matt, you're always a wealth of information. If you were to put all our podcasts together, you'd have like eight hours of pure regenerative medicine, gold, and all sorts of crazy ideas. When I act as a a like I'm quizzing you for the board and put you in the hot seat and I'll link to all slash young mussel.

Anything else that you wanna throw in for folks that's super cool that you're up to lately? I'm, I'm gonna do a shout out and this one, we're not ready for this, but it was kind of funny just because of this podcast. Mm-hmm. That you brought up Charles Pollock Quinn because my trainer that I go to every week and is training me is one of the greatest people in the world also named Toby Hansen.

And oh, and he's, he's very Charles Quin esque. Mm-hmm. And he basically developed something and I'm, I'm gonna create chaos. I've already created chaos for myself because I got him so busy and, and he's so great that it's hard to get in to see him, but he basically, Took and re-engineered basically flywheel training with this, with the original inventor of it pair and in who, who lives in Spain.

And so then they have flywheel training, which basically does a profound eccentric load of muscles. And we've been going deep and he's developed exercises. To train basically every part of the body using flywheel training to build eccentric load. And so then when you said how, how important is the the concept of physical therapy and myofascial stuff and training?

Yeah. To go along with basically our hydro dissection approach, a hundred percent important is the most important thing. And is there a name for his devices? If I wanted to find them and link to 'em and show us? We're gonna, I'm gonna, we're gonna, we're gonna find a website for just for Tony, find it and let me know.

Flywheel training, by the way, I believe has a very high isokinetic component. Cause I worked out on a couple of flywheel like machines, meaning whether in the concentric or the ecentric phase, the harder that you generate force against the flywheel, the harder it pulls or pushes back against you. Exactly.

Exactly. So it's constant tension throughout the entire range of motion. Very similar to if you were like in water and you were to open your palm and move your arm straight up against the water and then down against the water, it'd be hard the whole time. Like that's an ISO kinetic force generation.

Yeah. And he's training at AT and we, we see a lot of pro-athletes together and he's training a lot of pro-athletes and Wow seems to be fixing musculoskeletal problems that other people couldn't fix. And often were you doing combinations of therapy plus stop. I was here longer. I'd go work out with you.

You know what, we can, you know what? We can go over there cuz I have access. And we could actually go do it tonight. I'll sneak in there in the morning or tonight after pickleball, after I school you in pickleball. All right, well, I'll put all the show slash young mussel again, along with a link to all the other shows that Matt and I had done and resources for everything that we talked about in today's show.

If you wanna come see Matt, his clinics in San Jose super close to San Jose Airport, but you can check it out. It's a Biore Reset Medical Bio, reset Medical. Let him know you're a friend of the show and he'll take good care of you. And Matt, once again, thanks for coming on, ma'am. Thanks to you the best.

And now for some bonus audio from Dr. Matt Cook on hydrodissection and treating joints and connective tissue. People always ask, what's the best product to use for the injections that we do? I like to break it down into products that come from your own body and then products that come from somewhere else in terms of the products that come from your own body.

If we pull some blood out and then spin and separate the red blood cells from everything else, we call that plasma, and plasma has platelets in it, it has growth factors in it, and it has been probably one of our favorite products that we use for hydro dissection. You can further separate out the platelets and have platelet rich and platelet poor plasma.

And those can have a variety of benefits that we will use for, for different problems, both in joints and in in connective tissue and in fascial plains. Another thing that is potentially one of our favorite products of all time is something called nano fatt. For nano fatt, we do a small adipose harvest and take some of the fat, which contains fat stem cells, and then we size that through these little screens and break it down so that you can inject it into a small needle.

And then that does something that both transfers some of your own cells from one area to another. And so we can do that and, and, and place them either into joints or around nerves or into fascial planes. And of everything that we use, this is probably our longest lasting product. And there are some interesting things going on now in terms of being able to bank your own fat stem cells.

And so as a result of that, often what we will do is do a nano fatt procedure and then also bank stem cells and, and that would allow you to potentially use those in the future, final thing of your own cells that come from your own body as as bone marrow. And as you know, Ben, we've used these for you, a great product and, and something that we have a lot of experience with.

It can be a little inflammatory in, in terms of putting it into joints. And we generally find we have so much success with everything else. That is probably our last choice. But it can be helpful and it can be very helpful if you're, if there's a bone marrow lesion and we use bone marrow to fix bone marrow.

In terms of products that come from someone or somewhere else, the thing that has been probably the, one of the most helpful products that I've ever found is Place Matrix, which is. Connective tissue, basically that was gamma radiated. So there's that, that came from a placenta that was donated at a C-section.

And so this, it doesn't have any stem cells in it, but it does have growth factors and it tends to have an anti-inflammatory effect. On connective tissue. Another one is peptides. And there's a whole host of peptides that you know, we could do a whole podcast on that have different mechanisms and so there's different peptides you can use both in joints and in connective tissue.

And that's kind of a great topic. The growth factor products that had been quite popular in regenerative medicine are fundamentally going away in North America. But then there's also some other things that are, are real cheap products that if you do a great job with ization often it kind of relieves impingement and compression and opens up fascial planes.

And so we've used 5% dextrose and saline for a lot of injections over the years with a lot of great success. All right folks. It's coming up Quick, v i p event with me. That occurs during the time that I am in London for the health optimization Summit. I'm throwing in a private V I P meetup at H U M two N Labs with Dr.

E over there. This is one of the most advanced biohacking facilities I've ever stepped foot into. We're opening up to a select group of VIPs. Very small group. You could be one of them kicks off at 5:30 PM. In London on Monday, June 19th, you're going to get to network with me and a bunch of the other biohacking enthusiasts and physicians there.

We will do a special talk on age reversal. There'll be a q and a, a variety of healthy organic foods, biohack cocktails, a swag bag where you get to try IV cryotherapy, red light therapy, hyperbaric oxygen, different types of, of neutropics and smart drugs that they have there. So it's gonna be a pretty cool event and you can get in now if you go to ben greenfield u.

Two N London, that's ben greenfield U two N London. If that's too much for you to remember, just go to ben greenfield and everywhere that I'm going, that I'm speaking where you can join me, all the events are also there on the slash calendar.

But this H U two N event Monday, June 19th is gonna be a good one

more than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh, entertaining, well-informed, and often outside the box approach to discovering the health and happiness and hope that we all crave. So I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel, wherever that might be, and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode.

Say something nice. Thanks so much. Means a lot.

We're delighted to share Dr. Cook's new guest appearance on the Ben Greenfield Life Podcast, his 8th such visit! They delve into how Dr. Cook healed Ben’s knee without surgery, the benefits of vagus nerve hydrodissections, the connection between COVID and musculoskeletal health, the benefits of peptides, and so much more!

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