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TMHS 209: How Culture Controls Your Lifespan with Dr. Mario Martinez
Culture is a very interesting and versatile thing. Culture is like the invisible force that guides our beliefs, behaviors, and knowledge. Culture is what gives color to how you experience your life.
There are many shades and varieties of colors (you already know there are 50 Shades of Gray), and your culture, versus the culture of someone else, is a fundamental reason why two people can have a totally different experience from the same event.
Take seeing a new superhero movie, for example. You have been immersed in a culture that loves the ideas of superpowers. They believe human potential is limitless. They believe that good always wins in the end. While your friend, who you’ve unwittingly brought along to see the movie with you, has been immersed in a culture believes only in what they see. They value hard, cold facts and extreme rationality. They believe in love, but also that bad things happen no matter what, and it’s all about probability.
You think the movie is fantastic and inspiring. As a result, you get a rush of endorphins and positive “feel good” neurotransmitters and hormones. Your stress levels go down, and you are inspired for days after.
Your friend, on the other hand, thinks the movie is a waste of time and resources. They watched with pessimistic cultural views, and they were so busy pointing out what’s not realistic that they missed out on the magic of human creativity. As a result, your friend’s stress hormones elevate from irritation. Their blood sugar is low because of all the mental energy used to dissect the cinematic foolishness, and they leave feeling like they’ve just wasted three hours of their life that they can’t get back. Two totally different experiences from the same event. Neither of you is right or wrong. Just very different.
Now stretch this variance in perception into the realm of food, exercise, stress management, relationships, and, most importantly, what’s deeply ingrained in you about how long you’re going to live, and you’ll discover the real power that culture has over your life. The issue is that its power has been hiding in plain site, governing everything you do and how you experience the world. Today, thanks to the incomparable Dr. Mario Martinez, you’re going to learn how to come out of a cultural fog and embrace only the cultural influences that are serving you in becoming the greatest version of yourself.
In this episode you’ll discover:
- How we can know what’s best for our health but still not do it.
- What psychoneuroimmunology is.
- How much genetics actually play into how long you’ll live healthfully.
- What a culture is and how it affects the brain.
- How feelings like shame impact inflammation and pain.
- Why affirmations alone don’t work.
- What causes people who elevate and “make it big” to come crashing back down.
- How to move beyond pseudo-humbleness.
- Why we need to learn about the causes of health.
- The difference between a ritual and a routine (this is important!).
- The surprising way that pleasure can affect your immune system.
- How to differentiate hedonistic pleasure and eudemonic pleasure.
- How to be an outlier and not lose your health and happiness because of it.
- Why old psychological programs can show up and sabotage your relationships.
- Why speed of implementation is important.
- How junk food can mean love for us.
- Why giving something up can make you want it more.
- The difference between having an illness and becoming an illness.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
- Onnit.com/Model _ Get your optimal health & performance supplements at 10% off!
- Organifi.com _ Use the coupon code modelhealth for 20% off
- Spot-Treating Fat, Lowering Cortisol, And More – Live in D.C.
- Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus with guest John Gray
- The Mind Body Self _ Get the new book here!
Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!
Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to The Model Health Show this is fitness and nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson here with my amazing, gorgeous, talented co-host and the producer of The Model Health Show, dancing as always, Jade Harrell. How is it going, what's up Jade?
Jade Harrell: What's up Shawn?
Shawn Stevenson: How so are you today?
Jade Harrell: Today Ii am lovesful..
Shawn Stevenson: Lovesful?
Jade Harrell: Yes.
Shawn Stevenson: Okay, I'm really curious on this, what does this mean?
Jade Harrell: Peaceful, lovely and tranquil today.
Shawn Stevenson: Lovesful. Now that sounds- I like that.
Everybody, thank you so much for tuning into the show today, we've got an amazing guest and an amazing topic, something I'm very excited to talk about and something that surprisingly is largely overlooked when we talk about health, period. When we talk about just really what's going on and how our culture impacts our brains, and how it impacts our health and how impacts our performance, our success in life.
Early this morning my son had some public speaking, my youngest son who is five years old, right so at their school, he goes to Montessori school, and they have the kids doing public speaking very early on, so he's in preschool still, because he's at the cut off not even in kindergarten yet. And actually everybody just heard him recently on an episode, our live episode from Washington DC which we'll put in the show notes if you happen to have missed it, it is #classic, all right. And he got up on stage, and he did his thing, but he's in that environment and he sees his dad speaking up and he's right there doing the same thing. So he was practicing his line and he had his line down backward and forward, there was a couple of lines actually, and last night I had him to broadcast, to really push out his voice, right, and I kept backing away, getting further and further away from him in the house to make sure that I can hear him. So I kept backing up and he would do it again and would be projecting more and more, so that's what I want you to do tomorrow, when you get on stage project. So, cut to today, all the kids are stepping to the front of the stage in there, giving their lines something like this [whispering] right, and I'm just like wow okay, but everybody's clapping, support, because they are just little kids and they are just doing their thing. And then Braiden steps up and I am like alright, here we go, he's going to broadcast it, here we go- and he's like [whispering]. I was like oh buddy, it's okay you know, I clapped it up for him, and when we got back in I gave him the double thumbs up, not just the one, gave him the double thumbs up.
Jade Harrell: And I know he was looking for you.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes, of course, of course. But it's a perfect example of the cultural influence, he did what the rest of the kids were doing, even though he had this idea and this maybe even a desire to do something else, right, and so that's happening to us unconsciously all the time, and at a very deep level, even when we're talking about the health of ourselves. So today's guest is just going to blow your mind.
But before we get to him, really quickly I want to give a shout out to our favorite green juice super food supplement Organifi, that I give my kids every day and actually Braden had it last night, right before he did his little going through his lines, and so because it actually tastes good and that's one of the things that really makes Organifi stand out; I've tried dozens and dozens and dozens of green super food blends over the years, I've been in the game for a long time and some of them do taste like, I don't know cat hair or something, I don't know, it doesn't taste that great but you know, you do it for the health benefits. But this one has the organic spirulina, organic wheatgrass, organic chlorella, right, and we already know spirulina is one of my favorite things, 70 percent protein by weight, rare source of something called phycocyanin, phycocyanin which is clinically proven to help your body to mobilize and to release stem cells, right stem cells. Literally, these are the building blocks or the roots of becoming any cell that your body needs, so if you need more cartilage somewhere, if you need a little bit more muscle tissue, if you even need a little fat somewhere, stem cells are important. And it has all of this plus the ashwaganda, plus the coconut water which makes it taste phenomenal and the mint, so head over check it out it's organifi.com/model, you are going to get 20 percent off of the organifi green super food blend, so make sure that you're utilizing that on a daily basis like we are. And on that note, let's get to the iTunes review of the week.
Jade Harrell: Alright, this one is really nice. Five stars "Upgrades and entertainment": "Shawn and Jade, I cannot begin to thank you enough for this show. I've been listening for about six months, and I'm so glad I found it. I call it a wealth of knowledge and that is an understatement. I love the guests you have and all the amazing information and research and ideas that you provide, as well as your guests. I also love geeking out with you on some of the science, but it wouldn't be nearly as interesting if you didn't also make it so fun and upbeat. Mostly I love the show because it provides inspiration, whenever I need a reminder or a kick in the pants, I put it on and head out for a long run. By the time I'm done I'm pumped and I'm ready to keep working on the best version of myself. I envy you for the satisfaction you get from helping so many others and would love to be able to do so as well, but I'm also thankful I'm one. Thanks again, you rock, my best, Mike."
Shawn Stevenson: Mike, thank you, I received that man, thank you so much for sharing that and you've put up a smile on my face for the day, I truly do appreciate that. And everybody, thank you for leaving the reviews on iTunes, keep them coming, head over to iTunes leave us the review so we can make sure the show is getting to more and more people.
And on that note, let's get to our special guest and our topic of the day. Today's guest is Dr
Mario Martinez, and he's a licensed clinical psychologist and best-selling author of two books
"The Mind Body Code: How To Change The Beliefs That Limit Your Health, Longevity And
Success", and the psychological novel where he is imbuing science into a fictional story, "The Man From Autumn". And he lectures worldwide on his pioneering work in biocognitive science, a new mind body paradigm that investigates the inherited causes of health and how our cultural beliefs affect our immune, nervous and endocrine systems. Based on how the immune system makes decisions under conditions of uncertainty, Dr Martinez has developed a unique model of organizational science he calls The Empowerment Code, that teach executives of global companies how to maximize productivity, while enhancing wellness. You can find out more about him and his work at biocognitive.com and I'd like to welcome to The Model Health Show Doctor Mario Martinez. How are you doing today Mario?
Mario Martinez: Doing great and I'm very pleased that I'm going to be on your show.
Shawn Stevenson: Ah the pleasure is all ours. We're very very excited to have you. And first and foremost, I'd love to get a little bit more information on your superhero background, right, your superhero origin story. Because the science and the work that you're doing today is really in a league of its own, so I'm curious how did you get interested in psychology and health in the first place?
Mario Martinez: Well, first my mother wanted me to be an engineer, like my grandfather and I went to the University of Madrid to do engineering and that wasn't my world. So I failed miserably and purposely and I came back to the states, and as she said okay, do anything you want except psychology. So that was the beginning. And then I was very fortunate to have really good mentors, people who were pioneers in their fields, John Bransford at the Vanderbilt who debunked a skinner and then later George Solomon who created psychoneuroimmunology, and these people were so humble and so wonderful, they always said I'm really excited to work with you, let's see what we can learn and do together, and have a lot of fun, these were incredible people. So they taught me a lot of humility that sometimes I forget, but basically the idea is that I was always very interested in why is it that when people know already what they need to do that's best for them, stop smoking, drugs or bad relationships, why is it that they don't do it; it's not because they're pathological or because they're lacking intelligence, there's more to that, and that's why the Mind Body Code, the first book that I wrote was about that, to talk about how the brain or the mind communicates with your biology. Then later as you mentioned, The Mind Body Self which is the new book, I talk about how that communication is really structured and molded by our culture, and that's the part that's missing in psychoneuroimmunology. It's mind, body and culture. And I'll go over that as we move along the program, but that's basically the idea that bringing the presence to culture that it requires in the process of healing and longevity and health.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes I'm very excited because that's really where my work has been over the years, the tactics to get things done for somebody change their health, they're very simple, and they're also very well known, so why don't people do them? And for you to really dive in and to do the research, to answer that question like, we know what to do why don't we do it is incredibly exciting, but before we get to it, you just said an important word that I want to kind of give a little bit more information on: psychoneuroimmunology. What the heck is that?
Mario Martinez: Well, back in the sixties George Solomon who is a research psychiatrist, thought that there was more to autoimmune illnesses for example with the rheumatoid arthritis, and he found that it wasn't just the rheumatoid factor, there were women that were having the symptoms and the expression of the illness, without the factor, some with the factor were not having it. So he found that there were psychological processes that influence the expression of an illness, and he called it psychoimmunology at the time, and they almost laugh him out of UCLA because you know, when you try to shift the paradigm you get a lot of the stain at first; then later not only that they confirmed that, but also confirmed that the nervous system so they called it psychoneuroimmunology, then the endocrine system they call it psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology and on and on.
So basically, one day I called George Solomon and said look I have the word for it, and he said how long is it; I said it's biocognition, and he said it is not bad. The idea is to bring psychoneuroimmunology to the next level, which is the cultural psychoneuroimmunology, because it studies unfortunately mostly college students with some levels of anxiety, rats and so forth, which is good, but is not sufficient because it doesn't consider the cultural components of the process of mind and body.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, so that's what I want to talk about next, is actually how culture is influencing these things, because so many of us have been indoctrinated with this idea that our genes are really, are lot in life, you know, what our genes are saying is how things are going to be experienced, it's basically what inherited. So let's dive in a talk about that; why is longevity, specifically why is it culturally learned rather than inherited?
Mario Martinez: Well, when I first started studying centenarians, people over a hundred, I was very interested in looking at longevity, but healthy longevity. So I looked the centenarians that were healthy, some of them were living alone, but they were not vegetating in hospices and hospitals. So I came in with the idea that genes were really, if you have the genetic predisposition or if you have the genetic endowment and that's it, you're going to live long. And after studying hundreds of these centenarians, I found that at most 25 percent has to do with genetics, the rest is the culture believes that I found out later, and the way that they live, the way they view the world. And based on that, I developed the biocognitive theory, but had to come up with a new language, because the old language the reductionous language would not really express the things that I was learning about. So one of the things that I learned is that the brain is really very cultural, the brain will adjust to the culture beliefs.
And what is a culture? A culture is basically the collectively learned propensity to perceive the world, so you have a propensity to perceive the world, and I'll give you something very specific: in some countries, when women have menopause and they have the hot flashes, in Latin America, they call it bochorno, which means shame. We know now that shaming someone causes inflammation, if someone shames you will have inflammation, as if you had some kind of infection, you have [13:49 indiscernible] factors and other kinds of molecules that cause inflammation. And even the doctors will say oh, she's having the symptoms of shame, or bochorno. Well, these women have lower self esteem, more inflammation, more pain and more related problems with the menopause and the hot flashes, than women, here's a culture than women in Japan that call it konenki, means a second spring; those women have higher self esteem, lower levels of inflammation, because they're going into a place of wisdom and a resource for the communities, completely cultural affecting your biology.
Shawn Stevenson: Holy guacamole. First of all, this is like profound because of how- the thing is we can consciously try and label something differently, but if it's culturally integrated that is a whole other can of potatoes in and out of itself because I don't think that's easily shifted. And so is this, this is a good space-
Mario Martinez: That's a great question, I'll tell you why, though at least I believe. It's because we learned thinking in clusters, we learned the cognitive component, we learned the biological component, what the immune system does to it, the nervous systems of fourth and then we try to intellectually change that cluster so that's only a part of the cluster, so if we say I'm a good person, and you have a history of not being a good person and you have a biology of not being a good person, it's not going to buy it, so it doesn't work. Affirmations alone don't work, but if you embody it with the methods that I have been developing, then yes, then it works.
So I'll give you a simple example of what to do, because biocognition really takes complex processes and makes them very simple so they can be applicable, and you can use them. So let's say that you tell yourself I'm a good person, and your culture tells you that you are not; all right, you say I'm a good person, and instead of repeating it, you go to your body to see how your body is responding to that and you might find a little bit of tension around your chest, or you might have your saliva will dry up, all of these things that are coming up that are saying no, no, you're not, your history says you're not a good person. Then you stop and how do you change it? You go back to some archive, you go back to some memory that allowed you to see that you have evidence that at some point you were a good person. So you go back and you realize that the way back you actually helped a friend of yours that needed some help, and you felt really good about it, you bring that feeling emotion cognition back and you experience it.
After you experience it, then you have the signature of what it is to be a good person, and the signature of what it is to be a bad person, but the brain needs evidence that the brain does not function just with you giving it cognitive information, so then what you will do, you make a commitment that day to do things to create evidence that you are a good person, then you neural maps begin to change, and then you can go against the culture and you become an outlier.
Shawn Stevenson: You just said it, and I was just watching something from Malcolm Gladwell who kind of coined that term, and pushed that into culture, you know being an outlier and making it more attractive, because even hearing that word though, when we talk about culture, being an outlier doesn't necessarily sound exciting or it might not be something that we are all kind of inclined to do, so why would we be motivated to do that?
Mario Martinez: Well at first, what happens is that the culture is very collective, even in individualist country, the cultures were made to stay within the pale within the enclosure to protect you, and to work for the collective good of the culture; when you try to get out, and even if you do well, you are beyond the pale and beyond the pale has kind of a negative connotation which is actually not bad if you're doing the right thing. But what the culture will do then, implicitly it will wound you with one of the three archetype of wounds that I found all across cultures; it would either abandon you, it would betray you, or it would shame you. So not even consciously you know you're getting away, and one of the things that I've done with some country music stars and people that have come from very humble environments and they become a success, not overnight but a success, then they go back to their environments and at first they are the heroes and they're wonderful, but after a while they start bringing them down, oh you haven't been over to visit are you too good for us. So what I found is that in order for them to get back and be accepted again they either lose the money they make, they go into drugs, they go into bad relationships, and they come back broken and then the culture takes them back and helps them, so it's some dynamics that need to be worked out in order to be an outlier without getting sick.
Shawn Stevenson: Wow you just said, that's like 50 percent of movies, right there, where somebody makes it and you know, that whole thing like you forgot where you came from. And so, I'm very curious as I'm hearing this, a lot of different things are coming up for me just thinking about all the situations that I've seen personally and also in the lives of all the people I've worked with over the years; I think it's important for people to know that that's coming right, so is it like built into the system and how can we avoid having that take us down?
Mario Martinez: Yes, you're right it is built into the system and what happens is the cultures will teach you sudohumbleness, false humbleness in order to keep you within. A little girl says to her mother, look mommy look how pretty I am, and the mother will say no darling you never say that you wait for people to tell you and then you deny it. It's a setup, so what I found from centenerinas, is that they have that sense of accepting their greatness in a very humble way, which sounds paradoxical, but it's not. I interviewed a 102 year old women, and she was really beautiful, and I said you know, you are a beautiful woman, and she says yes I
know I am, I was beautiful even when I was a little girl, so refreshing.
And that's the kind of thing that we need to learn, not to boast but when somebody says, hey you're brilliant- thank you, yes I appreciate that, why- because you're creating brilliance in a contextual way. If somebody sees brilliance that means they're brilliant, so why would you deny a gift of somebody saying to you I love your hair, or I love the way you talk, whatever, that's the first thing to do. And second then you have to create the subcultures of wellness, that support that, that support your brilliance, that support your greatness, and that allow you to expand as an outlier because we're social beings, we need people to support our beliefs, and to confirm our beliefs. And that's what I do in my work, trying to create these subcultures of wellness that allow people to be the best they can be.
Shawn Stevenson: I love that, subcultures of wellness. And also, you know there's a kind of tipping point right, theory that once a certain amount of people or certain percentage of people are implementing a certain behavior or a certain way of thinking, the culture shifts over to that dominant way of being. So that's really what the outliers are, that's what every single person listening to the show, you have that within you, by being a part of this inherently for you to be an outlier, for you to be somebody who is really kind of stepping out of the normal paradigm of culture right now which is very abnormal, and showing another way.
Mario Martinez: And that comes from the, and it's called a hundred monkeys rule from psychology, in World War 2, very quickly, the US was bombing some islands around the Philippines and so forth, and they cut the food supply for monkeys, so monkeys could no longer get their food and they were dying, so the soldiers would come and drop food a banana some things, on the sand but monkeys are very clean and they don't eat anything that's dirty. So there were bananas and nobody would touch them. Then a female monkey comes up, washes the banana, peels it and eats it. Then another monkey does it, and another monkey does it; when they got to about a hundred monkeys, all the monkeys around all the islands began to do it, and what Sheldrake calls the Morphic Field and I call it the bio- informational field. So later, some psychologists tested and I said ok well if we can get that information out to the group, how would that be implemented? So what they did is a very clever simple experiment- they had one group of people try to work out crossword puzzles the day that the paper came out, and another group the day after the paper came out, which they already, the group or the world already had the solutions. And they found that the people that actually did the puzzle after the paper came out a day later, did better than the ones that were doing it before the information was out into the morphic field.
Shawn Stevenson: So now you're talking about this morphic field and kind of how we are connected, and there's a lot of data out there about this, you know even with the US military looking at how, if two people are just even creating report 22:58 for a few minutes and then their brains literally start to sink up, right you can separate them and put them in different rooms and have one of them, one of the subjects exposed to stimulus, stimuli that maybe you know something emotional maybe they give them some shock therapy or whatever, but they would find that the other person's brain who they just got connected with, their brains would light up as if it was happening to them, right? Crazy stuff!
Mario Martinez: Many terms have showed that.
Shawn Stevenson: Crazy stuff and absolutely amazing, and this is, the thing is like this sounds like Matrix level staff, like future but it's real, this is now and there's this and what's happening now and what's so great about Dr Martinez work is that he's stepping in and affirming and finding out what are the underlying mechanisms behind this stuff, and doing work to explain it to the rest of us. So you mentioned the centenarians, so I want to talk a little bit about that, but specifically first thing is why the causes of health, you talk about something called the causes of health, we usually hear about causes of illness. So why do you call it the causes of health and that they are inherited and what do we need to do to trigger them?
Mario Martinez: Ok, part of biocognition indirectly tries to challenge all the myths, what I would call a reduction as our conventional science, and what happens is if you could look at the anthropology of human beings, as homosapiens who had been around for a 150 thousand years- maybe a little bit less, and we have been doing trial and error to maintain our health, to maintain a resilience, we're not learning to be sick, we're learning to be healthy. Now, that doesn't mean that we're just going to because we inherit the causes of health they're going to come out naturally, they have to be triggered, they have to be brought out, and I'll give you an example, one of the cases of health is setting emotional limits, letting know people how far you can go without beginning to sabotage yourself, without beginning to hurt yourself with the exceptions of emergencies and so forth. In fact there were some studies and especially George Solomon did, he was looking at the HIV positive patients and he measured their T cells, which are the ones that the virus attacks and makes the learned immunity, and he found that the HIV positive patients who were more assertive, which means that they can set limits, have more T cells than the ones that were not that assertive and could not set limits. So what that means is the immune system responds to the consciousness that you presented, and that's good news.
Shawn Stevenson: That is, like it blow my mind here again, because it's right, these are things that we, when you say it is like but of course, that just makes sense, you know, but to actually have the research to back up that idea, it's something that we generally know and it's really a result of our disposition in life, our world view, our perception of reality. And I was surprised when you said that one, even though I read your book that setting emotional boundaries because I'm still caught up on the cause of health being related to nutrition, being related to exercise and stress management all those things, but there's things that govern those, those aspects of our lives, and one of those is setting those emotional limits.
Mario Martinez: Exactly because those things that you mentioned are necessary but not sufficient, and especially here's another one, another cause of health is rituals. And the way I found that out is I went to Cuba and other places where there are a lot of centenarians and Sardinia and I would ask people so what is it that you do that has meaning, that has sense for you, I didn't want to bias it in anyway, what are do you do on a regular basis that you find to be important to you, and rather than what's your secret of health, or things like that. So one of them, this 101 year old woman said, well I have a shot or rum before I go to sleep; so I thought oh it's got to be some quality in the rum.
Then another one, oh I have a cigar when I wake up in the morning, and what I found was that this is the ritual, the reverence you give to a routine, but you never abuse it, I never found an abusive, addictive centenarians, and I would ask them how many shots of rum do you have? One. Why? That's what I want. So they do things that they love, not things that they need. So that having rituals is extremely important, and what's the difference between a ritual and a routine, you take a shower to stay clean, a routine is something that you do to maintain the status quo. But what if you gave reverence to that shower, and you're bathing yourself and cleaning yourself in order to be cleansed of mind body and give it like for example the ritual of having tea, then it becomes a ritual, rather than a routine, and that is one of the causes of health.
Shawn Stevenson: I love that. Making that bridge, that's exactly what I was going to ask you about was, how can people transform their routines and is it possible for them to become rituals? And very much so, and I think it's because when that happens, it becomes more deeply ingrained in your psychology, and who you are, and you also develop a very strong passion towards doing it. So for me, I have a morning water ritual, every single day I get up and I drink about a leader of high quality structured water, and even doing that process, there's certain things that I'm saying in my mind, there is I'll do a little bit of movement and things like that, but I'm just really embracing the fact of how clean this is making my body, and starting me off fresh for the day, not just kind of like I just took a shower way, but I have a clean slate and so is that the same thing?
Mario Martinez: Yes, because one is repetition and the other one is meaningful events, and that is so important, the meaning is really important in the process, the immune system, it has morals, it responds to the morality that you assimilate from your culture and the morality that you choose to live.
And I'll give you a really simple example, well it's not so simple, but it's amazing and you don't see it anywhere, it should be written on every newspaper and journal. When Aristotle talked a lot about pleasure, but there are also other philosophers have talked about hedonism, and one of the philosophers said that our purpose in life is to have pleasure and that's it. And whatever pleasure you have that's good. Well now, after all these over 2000 years, we found that Aristotle was right, because Aristotle said it's not just pleasure, it's pleasure with meaning; one is hedonistic and the other one is pleasure with meaning, and what they found with the immune system is that when you have pleasure just for pleasure, something called CTRA which is set of clusters of the immune function that it's anti viral, anti inflammation, and also a way to function better overall. The CTRA goes down, in a negative way, when you have hedonistic pleasure. But if you have what they call eudaimonic pleasure, which is the pleasure with meaning, the CTRA goes towards the enhancement of the immune system, so you can, the immune system is responding to a morality higher than ourselves.
Shawn Stevenson: Wow, that's incredibly powerful and empowering as well, that we can consciously attach meaning to things, to really change our experience, physically, mentally. And before we get to the next thing I want to ask you about, because I want to talk more about the outliers and the wisdom of the outliers, we're going to take a quick break, so sit tight everybody, we'll take a quick break and will be right back.
Massive research is now pouring in with his blossoming field of science and nutrition called nutrigenomics. And this field is studying how every single molecule of food that you eat impacts your genetic expression. So we're literally talking about how your body appears, your health or lack there, all of this is going to be determined by every single molecule of food that you eat. So whether it's a banana or a doughnut, or a hot pocket- whatever it might be, we have to be in tune with the fact that this is going to impact what genes are getting expressed, and there are genes like the fto gene for example that has been found to be this quote "fat gene" and have a high propensity towards obesity. If you carry this gene, now you can silence these genes by making sure that you're eating real foods that are in alignment with your own genetic integrity. The basis of that needs to be from earth grown nutrients, things that your body actually recognizes as real food that you have a history with, that your ancestors have a history with, not things that have been invented in the laboratory like last week, all right so we want to make sure that we're eating real food that are from earth grow nutrients and this is why I love Onnit so much, this is why they are a family, this is why I endorse them so powerfully because they are part of my life, they are part of my family's life, and I want to make sure that you head over to onnit.com/model, and you're going to get ten percent off for all of their health and human performance supplements. I'm a huge fan of the hemp force protein, I've been using it for many years, it's one of my favorite things in the world. I give this to my kids as well, and this is one of the things that I love to have post workout. Now hemp is based on some powerful amino acids, some powerful protein building blocks like albumin, which is a very soft globular protein, it's very easy to digest. Plus, edestin, this is a unique protein compound that is found in hemp that might be the most bioavailable usable protein for the human body, crazy right? So a lot of people today are hearing about the benefits of hemp, hemp seeds and hemp protein and things like that, we want to make sure again that you're getting organic and that it's made with integrity, right, so that this cold process, that you're actually able to get the nutrients that you are looking for in this kind of protein powder or protein cake, that you're getting with hemp force protein from onnit. So they've got multiple flavors that got to cocoa and maca, they've got the vanilla, they also have a brand new recovery protein that adds in the powerful component of colostrum, which has every single amino acid, every polysaccharide aka essential sugar and every essential fatty acid right there in these powerful building blocks, growth factors, every growth factor that influences your body's metabolism is there in that recovery protein, so make sure that you check in that out as well, super powerful stuff, also has immune factors to help fortify your immune system, just great stuff. And they've got exercise equipment, tons of great foods, head over and check them out today, onnit.com/model for ten percent off, now back to the show.
Alright, we are back and we are talking with the one and only Dr. Mario Martinez and he's breaking down some stuff for us today, and I'm just really interested, we were talking about outliers a little bit earlier, and making that jump out of what you called this cultural pale. So let's talk about some of the wisdom of the outliers.
Mario Martinez: The outliers, I think what's important is to understand that if you're not aware of the price that you could pay, it could actually work against you, some people get sick when they come out and they start doing things as an outlier, and the important thing to understand is what I said earlier, that you are going to be, they're going to attempt to wound you with one of the three archetypes, not consciously, not in a malicious way but that is how it's set up you're either going to be shamed, you are going to be abandoned, or you're going to be betrayed, that's the way that the culture works on it.
Second, as you become an outlier, you have to really confront how your body has been used to responding to things, so if you are an outlier, and you are coming away from for example a woman who was told that she can't go to college or that she is not smart enough because she's a woman and she has to marry and all the stereotypical kind of things; when you come out, you would think that this is great because then you start being an outlier and you expand your consciousness- well that creates anxiety, it creates a tremendous amount of anxiety, because you are going beyond the what I call the limits or the ceilings of abundance, and you have to learn to go beyond the ceiling of abundance.
And there are techniques for that that I talk about, but basically you have to be aware that the anxiety comes when there's something new, good or bad, because it is shaking up the horizons and when you shake up the horizons, it's necessary, it's built in to create a little bit of anxiety to then let the brain know this is new information I have to pay more attention to it, so it's very adaptive. But all those things you become aware of it, then you learn the journey of the outlier which is one of the workshops that I do, the journey of the outliers, to teach people how to really come out, but without getting sick, without paying the price of going through a battlefield.
Jade Harrell: Sure. Well that takes me back to what you said about our immune system having moral, because if we add a meaning to being an outlier, would that help our immune system respond more positively to some of the wounds that may come up against us, and then, you know, as we're looking at how we're creating a new connection or remembrance for example with health; say I remember when I used to be so vibrant and healthy and loved being strong, and I go back to that, is there something that can pull me to that moment that not only helps me do it more, but also helps me address those wounds and my immune system to respond positively with a moral response?
Mario Martinez: Yes, yes that's also an excellent question; and yes, there is a solution and the good news is that every wound I found has what I call it an antidote, a way of healing that wound. So, for abandonment, there's commitment consciousness, for shame there's a sense of honor consciousness, and for betrayal- loyalty consciousness. So as you begin to develop those processes, for example in relationships, let's say you have a relationship and what happens with relationships is we bring in our history and we don't know that we manipulate each other with our histories, so let's say your partner has a wound of abandonment, and you have a wound of shame; without knowing it, when you get hostile and angry with each other you start manipulating with the wounds, so the thing to do is you stop and if you know you have a wound of abandonment, immediately you going to commitment consciousness, you bring in memory from commitments, you bring memories from things that you've done that gave you commitment, and at that moment you make a commitment to love. And what it does is immediately it changes your psychneuroimmunology in the sense that you're not secreting those stress hormones anymore, but you're secreting oxytocin another kind so hormones and processes that actually enhance immune system functioning.
Jade Harrell: Can you do an example of that, like in a real play kind of conversation?
Mario Martinez: Yes, that's really good, because I'm glad you asked me these things, sometimes people talk about theories oh this is really nice, get in touch with the universe. The universe is too busy expanding, it's not going to pay a lot of attention to what you're doing. So anyway, one example: you come home, your partner is cooking for you. And you come home 15 minutes late, and your partner gets so angry, and you can tell you are responding to an archetype wound, because it's not commensurate with the situation. Your partner is so hostile, so angry that the questions why would this person get so angry because I'm 15 minutes late, what your partner is doing is dumping all the history of abandonment into the situation.
So if you know that, then you stop and you acknowledge that you're late, okay, I'm late, I'm very sorry that I'm late, but tell me what you need from me now to show you my commitment to this relationship? That person will start go well, you are late- no, no, what do you need me to commit right now? And the person may say give me a hug or promise you are going to be more on time, whatever- you agree to it, you touch each other, you hug to get oxytocin and the connection of the psychoneuroimmunology of it, and that resolves the situation, if you're willing. Now, if you want to be a victim or a martyr then it doesn't work.
Jade Harrell: Now would you do the same with honor and loyalty, would you say what would you need me to honor, or what can I-
Mario Martinez: Yes, exactly.
Jade Harrell: With loyalty in response to the betrayal and shaming.
Mario Martinez: Yes, you bring the consciousness, and then for that day, since you know you've been disempowered for that day, ok now I need to go into commitment consciousness, how do I create commitment evidence, to get my brain the neural maps of commitment. And it begins to change your health, your wellness, I've found that with hundreds of patients who were in situation that were very difficult, and they were able to resolve it but you have to have a partner that is willing too, what I call the guardians of the heart- you give then your heart to take care of it for you, and they give you their heart and you take care of their heart. So we don't commit to perfection, we commit to creativity in the process of loving.
Shawn Stevenson: This is so powerful. Two quick things, so if somebody is hitting my abandoned cord and they are sort of late and asking me what can I do- 50 pushups, everybody 50 pushups, alright, just put that out there, you are doing pushups, I don't want to hug, hit the ground. But also, this is really speaking to the necessity for us to be more evolved, like we think we're more evolved, like I've got an iPhone 7, I'm evolved. But is being more evolved in our awareness really, because when we're in these relationship context, we tend to be so in our body and so in blame state, that we're not aware that we can instantly change our state and approach it from a more evolved perspective, you know, and not be right into the amygdala, and so it's like talking about the things that he is speaking of today which is remembering when your partner is this upset what is this triggering for them, right, and do they really want to throw the pie in your face, or is it just that they are feeling this whole history of abandonment, and it's for you to have the opportunity to remember, like they actually do love me, and they care about me that much, that's why they're upset that I'm late or whatever the case might be. And if you come from that perspective, we're just talking about a healthier relationship, but there's a fear there of you forfeiting your own standards right, can you talk a little bit about that?
Mario Martinez: The fear of being used, of being manipulated and that's the kind of thing and you talked about the amygdala which is really important for the audience; the amygdala is a part of the brain that registers fear and emotions of very primitive levels, but with functional MRIs you can show that when people do processes similar to this, the amygdala loses some of the activity and it goes to the prefrontal, to the left part of the prefrontal which has to do with the when people come out of depression and when people are in a good place. So actually, you're getting brain changes when you do these things.
Jade Harrell: That's powerful.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, exactly, and you also of course talk about this throughout your book as well, and we've done many episodes talking about neuroplasticity and how our brain is so changeable, and how the synaptic connections like they're always taking place, but some of them are getting more love, than getting more mild laid down because you're doing the thing over and over again, it's really a part of who you are and I found that it's not necessarily trying to break down those old pathways, but building a new one, because your brain can do that, and as soon as you hear ideas like he's talking about today, you have to put in a practice because another thing is that speed of implementation, you know, like writing something down in your notebook and that notebook is just going to sit there on a shelf for a while unless you immediately do something with it. Even if we have the best intentions, so another big thing about this show is that this isn't about you being a human filing cabinet, right this is about you making these things are part of who you are.
And on that note, I want to talk a little bit more about- so many people over the years have and I've seen this firsthand and of course I've seen it in my own life, but just the process of changing one's lifestyle from just kind of really being tied in to how our society is today. I grew up on strawberry honeycomb cereal, hot pockets and TV dinners, so seriously, every fast food if I could, I would have fast food every day for every meal, and I've done it before, all right, and I've lived to tell the story fortunately. But, so going from that to shifting over and making yourself into when you have this health habit, heavy lifestyle and a healthy life affirming lifestyle I know that both have these cultural implications, so I'd love to know why so many people struggle when they have to, when they try to make the decision to get healthy. I
want to dive in more and talk about that, so that people can have more tools when they're making this lifestyle change to get out of the societal norm and to really step into being the best version of themselves; what can they do, because it's really about culture first and foremost from your work?
Mario Martinez: Yes, and I think the way to break things down, Shawn, as when you wanting to come up with a solution is to look at how these things are developed, what is the developmental process and what happens is, let's say you're in a family gathering, you're breaking bread which is a really important component of immune function ability, and you’re eating junk food and that junk food is associated with love, that's love. Some societies if you don't clear your plate you don't love them, so all of that is associated in the part of the brain that has to do with the pleasure and positive things, connection with family. Then all of a sudden, you say okay I'm not going to have this anymore and consciously you know that it's not good for you, but they're all kinds of other components, clusters of emotions and physiology that are there, and you have to become aware of that.
Then how do you make that change, number one, by realizing that you're a product of that culture and that it served you well for a certain amount of time. Then you don't want go to the other extreme of replacing something you really love with something that's very bland, because that is not going to work as you know. So what you do is you find something that not replaces, but it comes as another option. When you replace something the option that you lost gains value, the reactants theory. So what you do is you say, ok I'm not going to eat a pie right now, I'm going to eat something that I really like and you go to all the options of the healthy food and you find one. Once you have options, the freedom goes up. Then, you don't give that other one up and you say, okay I am going to have it maybe once a month, I'm going to have this, and it's no big deal, I'm just going to have it. Then it reduces the value, because you have given an option, gradually what happens is that as you know your taste buds become more sophisticated, and after a while you- I haven't had a soda in maybe 30 years, and if i drank one now, I couldn't because of the sugar. So what you're doing is your taste buds change every few days, every seven days, and if you give them an opportunity to adjust to new food they will learn to like the new food. But you can do that with food, you can do that with relationships, you can do that with anything because the process is the same.
Shawn Stevenson: I remember a couple of years ago that I had a drink of a cola, and man it burned, I could not believe how much it burned like physically burnt my tongue inside of my mouth and I used to drink soda all the time growing up, it's just like wow, you force yourself to get adapted to that. And my son Braden he had these little different sodas or whatever at some birthday party that he had access to, and he took a drink and he was like I don't want it, like he just wasn't used to that and he did didn't feel pleasurable. And the same thing we do with smoking, you know the first time you have a cigarette it's like your body is revolting against it, like you're probably going to cough, every cell in your body is saying don't do this bro, don't do this mama, you know, but you force yourself until it becomes comfortable.
Jade Harrell: Because of culture. In connection with culture.
Mario Martinez: Yes.
Shawn Stevenson: Exactly.
Mario Martinez: The culture will shape you, the culture it's cool to smoke, so then you have to tear your lungs to not respond in a healthy way, or like the diet coke, or the diet soda, the culture has really made you believe that you're going to lose weight; what it does is, and you know this better than anybody, it creates a false sense of security, people overweight will have a large meal and they will have a diet Pepsi, and you know what the diet drinks do, they increase your appetite, they toxify the liver and it doesn't burn the fat it increases your appetite, so it's a way of maintaining the product. If you actually lost weight, you wouldn't do it anymore, but what it does is that increases your appetite, it doesn't allow you to lose weight and you have that pseudo sense of confidence that you're doing the right thing, totally culture.
Shawn Stevenson: You said something so important, like this is paradigm changing and I want everybody to really hear this, you said that when you lose something it gains value. So when you give up that thing or you try to stop eating pizza or smoking, when you quit something it gains value, okay, inherently it's going to gain value, so you also talk about something in the book and what so beautiful is that this basically echoes many things that we've talked about over the years, and filling the vacuum, right you know the universe it 49:38 affords a vacuum and so when something is removed, something is going to fill that space; and so if you're not conscious and filling that space with something that's of greater or equal value to that thing that you lost, it's going to be an even greater struggle. And you talk about that in your book.
Mario Martinez: Yes, and I'm glad you said that, because it reminded me of something that I
would have lost if you hadn't said this. In relationships for example, I propose that compromises are terrible, compromises are good for50:09 ledger relationships, if you do this now and you know, those books I tell you make a list and what you like and-- that's junk, what you want to do and why- let's say that your partner likes football and you like soccer, well what will happen if the week that you have to go to what you don't like, you are going to resent it and your partner is going to feel guilty, and vice versa, so what do you do? You allow the person to maintain their identity, I like soccer, I go to soccer, or I watch soccer by myself, then here's the key- you create a win-win, you create something that's even better than soccer and football, you say okay now we're going to create a new ritual, and you give it reverence and the new ritual is going to be that once a week we're going to go on a picnic to a lake, or whatever you decide. Then what it does is it takes away the resentment and it takes away the guilt and you create a new ritual that is immune enhancing.
Jade Harrell: That is immune enhancing too, so then that inflammation goes down, you are not getting sick, you are going to be more attractive and more fun to be with, when you go on your picnic on the beach. Oh.
Shawn Stevenson: This is something we talked about this, we had Dr John Gray on the show and the legendary author of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" and we talked about all the different aspects is going on in the minds and the hearts of men and women, all over the world, and they're these consistencies, and one of those things that you just mentioned for me it's a consistency, and we actually talked about it on a show when we had my wife Anne on, we were talking about these core principles to having a really healthy, happy relationship and I said this I don't like the word compromise, it's not about compromising, it's really about blending and finding ways that there can be a happiness or win-win-win across the board for these things, rather than sacrificing in the name of like in the dirty version of sacrifice, which is giving up something that's of joy to you, and doing something that you don't want to do, and versus the good word that the good name that we give sacrifice, which is to make sacred, which are two different things, but we use the dirty version in the context of a relationship and wonder why there is so much suffering.
There will be times of course that you're going to do things you might not necessarily want to do. that's the nature of the life right, but you can make that in the minority, some people are living it daily and you don't want to fall into that camp. And one of the things I wanted to ask you about, in the book you talk about we need to differentiate between having an illness and becoming an illness, and I think this is really an important topic, so can you talk a little bit about that?
Mario Martinez: Yes, because if you identify yourself with anything, a diabetic, or even an alcoholic, what you do is you develop an identity based on something that is not as much as you are, you're much more than an alcoholic, you are much more than a diabetic, and even a diabetic your blood sugar is not up all the time, it goes up and down based on context, there has been a lot of research on that, so you have an illness or a condition, that is a transitional process. At this point we don't have the cure for something, for example a hundred years ago there were over one hundred illnesses that were terminal, and they are not anymore. So, hope is very important, you have a condition that they haven't found the cure for first, and you're much more than the condition, and as you became much more than the condition you get away from the support groups that support the HIV positive, that support diabetes- it doesn't work well, because what you're doing is your identifying yourself with the illness.
Now, if you are a diabetic and you want to identify with something that will help you, identify with diabetics who are not into diabetes, who identified with people that do things that are completely incompatible with diabetes. But you hear people talk about illnesses, it's like they're going to Tahiti, oh my doctor said, well my doctor said, well he's going to have this surgery and it's good for the medical profession but it's terrible for the immune system.
Shawn Stevenson: Dr Martinez, this has been very enlightening, I've got one final question for you, and I'm interested to hear your answer. This is The Model Health Show, so we're providing people with a model, we're providing people with a principle, a standard, a way of being that they can replicate in their own lives to get the results that they want to have. So I'm curious, what is the model that you're here to set with the way that you are living your life personally?
Mario Martinez: Well the first thing is to remember that we are the recipients of 150 thousand years of wisdom, that is there, you don't have to think about how you're digesting the food or how you're processing your thoughts, it's there. Knowing that, also being aware that the causes of health are already built in, they're there, and that illnesses are transitional in many cases, and that only about two or three percent of the illnesses are really completely genetically passed on, and the rest are learned, we learn illnesses, not consciously but we learn to bring out the genes that express the illness.
But, what we need to learn is to bring out the genes that express your health, you can't change your DNA but you can change the expression of your genes, so if you have an illness for example, if you have a family illness, which is a myth, then they say well if you have diabetes in the family, you're going to be a diabetic- no, that's not true. You have a propensity for diabetes, and the evidence comes because people live together, they eat together, they think together, and they have a diabetes consciousness, but what can you do- you look at outliers in the family that are not diabetic, and how do they live and how are they different; those people are exercising the causes of health the others are exercising the causes of illnesses.
Shawn Stevenson: Excellent. I think that people can follow the causes of health by following you and how you live your life. So thank you so much for sharing that.
Mario Martinez: My pleasure, and thank you for your work.
Shawn Stevenson: Oh thank you, it's my pleasure. Can you let everybody know where they can find your book, because this is going to go live when your book is available and where they can connect with you online?
Mario Martinez: Yes, from March 21st, the book will be available everywhere, and Amazon is the best place, but you can get it at bookstores and anywhere, and it's called A Mind Body Self, and for more information you can go to biocognitive.com and there are quite a bit of free stuff as well as you have mentioned earlier Shawn that some of your audience is interested in the research- there are all kinds of articles on the website as well as an extensive bibliography in the book and a glossary for the new terms.
Shawn Stevenson: Perfect, perfect. Dr Martinez, you are in fact the man, I appreciate you so much for sharing your gift and for doing this work.
Mario Martinez: Thank you, my pleasure. And thank you for having me.
Shawn Stevenson: It is our pleasure. Everybody, thank you so much for tuning in to the show today I hope you got a lot of value out of this. And this is about changing your paradigm, you know, and realizing that those small pieces, those action steps they were all wanting to take to have the health and well being that we are truly after, these are just tiny little specks in the grand scheme of things in you having the results that you truly want. It really starts with you changing your mind, it really starts with you being aware of how culture, your culture is influencing your actions, your thoughts and your behaviors. Because it can be really like trying to run uphill constantly to change your practices with your exercise, to change our practices with your nutrition, with your sleep, with your relationships.
If you're not aware of the fact of how your culture has influenced all of these decisions that you're making in your life. And, awareness is really power, awareness is really an opening of possibility and it really trumps everything, once you begin to become aware that these things are influencing you, you now have the opportunity to work on them and to change them, but if you just don't know what you don't know, this is like why do I keep doing this, why do I keep doing that. And you don't wake up to the fact of wait a minute, this is my environment, these are the people that I've been around, these people that I grew up around, these are the people that I'm around now, how is that influencing my behavior, because that is imbued into the culture. It's not just a culture of people you know personally, but the people you engage with online, the people that you engage with when you go out to different places.
You mentioned sports earlier you know going to the soccer game versus a football game, every environment that you get into is influencing you in your thought process, and your actions, you know you might find that I'm straight, like I eat clean all the time, but when I go out to the soccer game or the American football game, I just get hammer time, like I get hammer time times ten, right.
And it's just waking up to that fact of like well wait a minute, if that's not who you want to be, maybe you want to change your environment, maybe you want to just watch the game at home, I don't know, invite some people over, change your behavior a little bit. But that's just a very small example in the grand scheme of things, it's just again, about becoming more and more aware of how the culture is influencing your actions, because there is a dense amount of science proving that this is in fact one of the major driving forces for your immune system, for your genetic expression, and that's why I was excited to bring Dr Mario Martinez on the show for you today.
So, last thing I want to touch on for you guys was the importance of understanding that having an illness and not becoming an illness. We've talked about this many times, because when you label yourself as this incredible important term, this is an important quote to remember, when you label me you negate me. When you label me, you negate me. And how often do we negate ourselves by saying, I am diabetic, I am ___ fill in the blank, whatever the case might be for you, I am depressed, I am a single mother, and as soon as you put that label on yourself, you isolate yourself and you become that thing when it's just, it's a symptom, right it's a part of the experience, it's a category, it's a cluster of symptoms. But you are far more than that, and when you take the label off, you give yourself more of an opportunity to change.
Jade Harrell: It takes the confines off.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes, and so you can say, I am in this situation where I have the blood sugar issues, I have this blood sugar condition that I'm working with to shift and to change. So just remember that, and how powerful your words are in your own mind. And also how you allow people to speak to you as well, you know, so that's very important, so I wanted to really just hammer that point home that when you label yourself, you negate yourself. Allow yourself to be free of the labels, so that you are better equipped to take the action necessary to have the results that you desire and deserve.
Everybody thank you again for tuning into the show today, we've got so many amazing things coming up; make sure to share the show out with your friends on twitter, facebook, instagram, you can tag me @shawnmodel and I appreciate you so much. Take care, have an amazing day, and I'll talk with you soon.
Make sure for more after the show you head over to themodelhealthshow.com that's where you can find the show notes and if you got any questions or comments, make sure to let me know, and please head over to iTunes and give us a five star rating and let everybody know that our show is awesome, and you are loving it and I read all the comments, so please leave me a comment there and take care everybody, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering great content to help transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.
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