It’s All in Your Head: The Key to Peak Cognition


Episode 131

John Lieurance

What do endo-nasal balloons, suppositories, methylene blue, and cerebrospinal fluid have to do with psychedelics? In this fascinating and eye-opening discussion, Paul and Dr. John talk about some surprising tools of the chiropractic neurologist trade, how they can be used in conjunction with ceremony, and what they mean for our stressed-out world.

Dr. John Laurience is a chiropractic neurologist and naturopath with a focus on alternative and regenerative medicine, chiropractic functional neurology, cranial release, and natural healing of chronic conditions. He is the Chief Scientific Officer of MitoZen, a cutting-edge healthcare technology company creating supplements to improve chronic illnesses as well as enhance cognition and physical performance. He is also the director of the Functional Cranial Release Research Institute, whose purpose is to study the neurologic mechanisms behind specific endo-nasal balloon inflations. He is the author of two books.


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Podcast Highlights

  • What is a chiropractic neurologist and what can they do for your brain?
  • Why John prefers facilitating neuroplasticity over prescribing drugs.
  • Activating neural pathways to enhance plant medicine benefits.
  • John’s first experience with psilocybin...  at age 11.
  • How a “neurological hangover” can impede integration.
  • What autophagy is and how it impacts a plant medicine experience.
  • Which supplements are best for particular journeys?
  • How neurofeedback contributes to plant medicine and neuroprotection.
  • The benefits of functional cranial release and cerebrospinal fluid flow.
  • Finding a qualified cranial sacral therapist.
  • What is methylene blue and how can it be used before ceremony?
  • A protocol for the betterment of well people.
  • Why suppositories are more effective than pills or injections.
  • The many surprising benefits of melatonin.
  • John’s supplement Zen Mist and why Paul loves it.

Podcast Transcript

0:00:00.1 John Lieurance: Melatonin has a profound protective aspect to your body, so let's say that we lived in a perfect world, we live on an island, there's no stressors, there's no EMF, everything's perfect, we're not arguing with anybody, we probably don't need a lot of melatonin, there's not a lot of light pollution, there's a lot of what I call melatonin headwinds. So we have to overcome them, we talk about those in the book, but melatonin is the ultimate s tress buffer, so stress... What happens is universally, whenever we have stress, Paul, we're gonna create inflammation, and so if we look at inflammation, we can break that down chemically and call it cytokine, so there's a certain collection of cytokines that would be related to a certain type of stress.

0:00:51.6 JL: Like if I get a sunburn, there's gonna be a certain cytokine combination related to a sunburn where if I get COVID, you have the cytokine storm, those are other specific cytokines, but all stressors are gonna relate to some sort of cytokine, and when those cytokines hit the cell, they create a shift in the way that you can make energy from a way of making energy that's normal to a primitive form of making energy called aerobic glycolysis, and that gives you about 10% of the energy capacity that you would normally have.

0:01:36.0 Paul: I just wanna provide an opening for you to introduce yourself to our audience, just so they have a little background on who you are and what brought you from still point breathing into plant medicine and the stuff that we're gonna focus on today, which is neuro-protection as it relates to working with plant medicine.

0:01:54.3 JL: Well, Paul, first of all, thank you so much for having me on your show. I've been listening to your show for a while now, so it's kind of amazing to actually be a guest. So thank you for that. I graduated as a chiropractor in '96, and then shortly after, went to naturopathic school, and what you call a chiropractic neurologist, and so we do something called functional neurology, and I think it's really more of like real neurology. Unfortunately, these days, a lot of our neurologists are great diagnosticians, but all that really leads to is the latest prescription that the pharmacies are promoting. So I'm not a big fan of drugs, and I've heard you talk about the 5-HT1 receptors versus the 5-HT2A receptors, which we can dive into today.

0:02:47.1 JL: But the problem with drugs... And well, let's back up. So functional neurology, what is it? It's a process where we use different manipulations, different ways of activating the brain to create neuroplasticity, to allow the brain to start functioning normally again. I'll give you an example. I just treated this young girl that came to me from California, and she has a rare neurologic disease called palatal myoclonus, and I've been lucky enough to kind of stumble on being able to correct that and treat more of those cases than anyone else.

0:03:25.1 JL: It's one of the things I'm really, really proud about, but I do a variety of these different treatment to these patients, and there's area in their brain stem that doesn't fire, so there's not the ability for these nerves to really flow through properly. So we use different head and ocular reflexes to allow those nerves to circumvent that and then it kind of just gets rid of this movement disorder that these people have in their throat. And so functional neurologist will use natural functional applications and you can't achieve a lot of these types of healing with people through drugs, because they're globally gonna suppress or globally excite.

0:04:11.9 JL: What we're trying to do is we're trying to precisely activate very specific pathways, and this is really where plant medicine, I think, really shines because it actually allows this opening, almost like this blank canvas, and then the individual goes through their own thought processes and experiences through... 'Cause if you could take plant medicine, you can do a journey, but if you don't actually go through the process, the journey is going through these processes in the mind, maybe re-experiencing the death of a loved one or re-experiencing some negative experience that you've had in your life. But seeing it in a different way, and then those nerves are gonna literally fire through the brain, and now you have this other connection, this other brain cell that you didn't have before that allows you to be able to from then that point forward, see it in a different way.

0:05:16.1 JL: And so that's really the magic of neuroplasticity, that's called dendrites, their branches that grow off of nerves, and so it grows new connections. So look at a child... You look at a child, and a child might have way more neurons than, say an adult, but you take a good, solid functional adult, somebody that's got a high level of intelligence, and you look at that person and say, "Well, that person is so much more functional," but they have massive amount less of neurons versus a little baby or a kid. Why is that brain functioning at such a peak level? It has everything to do with being able to grow these new connections and develop this neuroplasticity, and plant medicine hyper-accentuates that process.

0:06:04.7 Paul: And I wanna dive deeper into that because there's upsides and also maybe some downsides to that hyper-accentuating, which is where the neuro-protection comes in and some of the integration protocols that we can integrate, but before we get to that, I'd love to just lead with your story a little bit about how did you come to plant medicine, when did that sort of enter your life and why did you start to work with it in an intentional way.

0:06:28.6 JL: Yeah. Well, the first time I did psilocybin , I was 11 and...

0:06:36.7 Paul: You were 11 years old?

0:06:38.4 JL: Yeah. I was a baby. And a friend, my friend had some really liberal parents, and he found a High Times magazine and he's like, "Oh, we're gonna go to these cow patties," and we woke up at three in the morning, it's dark, rode our bikes up, and it's still misty and foggy, and we picked all these mushrooms and we consumed a lot of them, we really had no idea what dosage, we literally just put it all in the blender, it was my job to go back home and prepare it, so I'm thinking orange juice blend it up, it's like this green, nasty orange juice. Show up with a big thermos, we're like at this little... What do you call? Like a little park with our skateboards at that moment.

0:07:23.2 JL: And so were we guzzle all of it back and forth as much as we can guzzle, and then we get on the bus and we had to... This is in Hawaii, Ala Moana Center, which is like a mall.

0:07:33.1 Paul: Oh my God!

0:07:36.6 JL: Why wouldn't that be a great idea, right? [chuckle]

0:07:39.0 Paul: Yeah.

0:07:40.0 JL: So it went on. Hawaiian psilocybin is not as strong as the normal psilocybin, so it really wasn't as big of a deal that we consumed so much, 'cause that's kind of how you consume those particular mushrooms, but they last a really long time, like eight, nine hours, so it really seemed like forever and we laughed, we were on the ground laughing. It was really a fun experience after I got through the first bus ride wasn't so fun, but then once I got with my friend and we kind of connected, but it was never really in the context of the set and setting of really doing that inward journey, and it really wasn't until about three and a half, four years ago that I was invited to come to someone that was doing a very, very special protocol.

0:08:29.7 JL: And this protocol was a combination of a few different medicines and the people are very professional, they've been doing it for a long time, so it was a very legit situation, and it was just profound for me, they let me record, which I would recommend anybody going into a journey if you can put audio device on and actually record because you might vocalize some of the things that you wanna remember, and so then I journaled afterwards, but the downloads of just my life and just perspective on the past and what might be good directions for me in the future, and just the feeling of being one and knowing that there's beings that are watching over me that are just pure love and they've always been supporting me, just profound experiences that bring you such a sense of well-being and warmth at a deep level.

0:09:36.7 JL: And that experience really changed me. I did experience a couple of more journeys after that, following up on that, and I just feel like I am absolutely a different person, and I feel so much more connected to the planet, it's something that I would recommend anybody that has the opportunity to experience. It can be life-changing. It was for me.

0:10:03.3 Paul: And for so many of us. And you also come at it from a very unique perspective with the functional neurology background and being a clinician yourself, there's also an opening there and a question of, "Now that I've had this experience, the next sort of thought that comes after that is, and how can this experience potentially help the clients that I'm working with," because my sense and having spoken with you at length a couple of different times is that you work with some very unique use cases, some people who have maybe tried everything else, nothing works. They'll come to you because you have a very sort of... It's innovative and unique to you.

0:10:47.8 Paul: And so we know that ketamine is now legal for clinicians to use, the rest of the ones will be FDA-approved in the next two years, but after you have this profound opening and this profound experience, you would send over a PDF which we will share as well around neuro-protection. What was that experience for you like from a neurological perspective? What was integration like for you and coming back from that, and what protocols have you started to develop from your own experiences because you think they'll be helpful for others?

0:11:25.3 JL: So I had that profound experience, that first journey, but I felt terrible for a couple of weeks afterwards, it was like this... Some pretty strong heart-opener medicines, and so the hangover, the neurologic hangover was extreme for me, so it was very difficult for me to start integrating right away, 'cause I just felt very little motivation, I felt a bit of anxiety and a little depressed. So the next time I went for my experience, I figured I would try something to see if I could mitigate some of those side effects, and so I tried using some products. So I should probably disclose this. So I have a company called MitoZen Scientific, and we make a variety of different, very unusual and kind of specialized suppositories.

0:12:26.0 JL: We make some liposomes, we have some various nasal sprays, and really when I first started designing a lot of these products, they were more geared towards people with different neurological conditions, and we treat a lot of patients with Lyme and lots of inflammation, so a lot of these products weren't initially designed for them, but we were able to plug them into some protocols that have become very well-used and accepted from a number of different facilitators. So what I found was there's some specific plant extracts that really what they're geared towards... So we should probably back up a minute, so the brain has immune cells in it, and those immune cells are called Microglia, so typically, in pathogens and heart openers, there's the idea that we're gonna have all this serotonin released, and then the receptor sites are gonna down-regulate.

0:13:34.2 JL: The brain's gonna say, "Oh, we have all the serotonin, we don't need as much receptors," so then it down-regulates the receptor, so then when now the serotonin drops back down to normal, there's less receptor sites, so there's less activation of serotonin receptors, and then it takes a little while for those receptors to come back naturally over time, and so that gap until those receptors are... They come back, people will have suffered from the symptoms of having low serotonin. This is the concept that has been pretty much the mainstay, and I would argue that that's probably not accurate, and this is a bit disruptive, and the reason that I think that that is the case, is because when we use...

0:14:19.1 JL: So when the brain has a toxin or something that creates inflammation, the immune cells in the brain recognize that, and they're called microglia, and I call the microglia like a chihuahua with a bazooka. They're really tiny, little... [chuckle] They're tiny little cells, but once they get pissed off, they'll start blasting away, and that's what actually causes more damage to the brain than the actual insult, like for instance, a football player hits their head, they're gonna have some leakage with the blood-brain barrier and some activation to these microglia, and there's more damage to the microglia activation than the actual trauma itself. So the idea of settling down Microglial activation is a huge part of a lot of pharmaceutical companies, and this is a big part of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and how a lot of these protein tangles start to accumulate in the brain.

0:15:19.9 JL: So anybody interested in preserving their brain and having a healthy brain needs to really consider being able to down-regulate that microglial activation, especially if they're going into medicine. So I designed a product called Lucitol, which has Curcumin and something called Fisetin, has Lutein, Resveratrol, green tea extract... These are all like your highest and polyphenols that are very, very anti-inflammatory, they're also calorie restrict mimicking, so people take them to help... They've been shown to extend life, and the reason being is they mimic fasting, so you've heard a lot of people about talking about how they're doing intermittent fasting and how that can extend life, and because that's activating something called autophagy, which is where you're cleaning up old cellular components.

0:16:17.5 JL: This is our cleaning mechanism, so these polyphenols actually do the same thing, they activate autophagy cleaning of the brain. So there's really two powerful reasons that someone might wanna take its surrounding plant medicine is one, is it's going to calm down any inflammation or over-excitation of the brain as like a natural anti-inflammatory, but it's also gonna help clean out some of the old. So if you're looking to kind of go through medicine and have a fresh start, you want autophagy, and that's one of the reasons I think fasting helps people in rituals and religion is 'cause fasting is the strongest trigger to autophagy, and this is when your body literally just cleans itself out, recycles, this is what you're looking for with a lot of your emotions and your mental spiritual self, so you've got the physical part and it's gonna support the energetic part, I believe.

0:17:20.4 Paul: And we've seen something like an Ayahuasca dieta, for example. Those are rituals or practices that have been used for potentially hundreds of years, if not longer, in the Amazon, prepare someone for ayahuasca. When I've done psilocybin retreats in the past or even my own experiences, I'll often fast the day of as a way to totally go into that clean and clear, and I'll be honest, I haven't paid that much attention then to what comes after the experience, and for a little more context on that when I've done some work with in pathogens, and there can be, like you were saying for a week or so after, a few days after, just not the greatest mood, psilocybin though...

0:18:11.8 Paul: And I'd love if you could speak to some of the differences here, because I think our audience is interested in the nuance between, let's say the trip to means and in pathogens, if you will, or even though the surgeon mines. When I do something like psilocybin for a week or two after I have this incredible afterglow, I feel really connected. And certainly, my diet is very clean already, and I would be curious as to how, let's say, a specific supplementation regimen with polyphenols, and some of these other things that you're mentioning, how that would either elongate because what feels true is that this afterglow period with psychedelics can be tied to this window of neuroplasticity, where a lot of suffering, if you will, comes from resistance or friction to change, and that with that open window of neuroplasticity, it feels like we can adapt and go with life where it's moving us rather than having to be so rigid and so sort of resistant to whatever it is that wants to move through us. Now, that's obviously a very broad view, this isn't.

0:19:26.0 Paul: I'm not diving deep into the neurology of it, but I'm just thinking out loud in terms of that nuance between, let's say a empathogen, a tryptamine or even something like" target="_blank">San Pedro , which is a steno thiamine. What's your perspective on that in terms of the different plant medicines and their different impacts on the brain, is it... Is it sort of like a one-size-fits-all in terms of looking at supplementation, or are there specific ways that we can support brain function depending on the substance or the medicine that we're using, or even Ketamine, Ketamine would be another one that's quite a bit different as an NMDA antagonist, I think it is compared to a tryptamine, for example.

0:20:11.7 JL: They're probably could. I can't say that I've delved into experimenting with all the different medicines, so if you read the article that I sent you on neuro-protection, these are gonna really be the tryptamine and the empathogens are really more geared towards that, 'cause that's where you get a lot of over-excitation. Ayahuasca, that's a pretty powerful anti inflammatory, usually people feel pretty good after they do an Ayahuasca journey, San Pedro is pretty mellow as far as... There's not really a hangover with that, and Psilocybin, I think some people could overdo it with that and they could benefit from some neuro protection. It just kind of depends on the individual. So the way that I understand it, and I'm not gonna... I'm not gonna sit here and say that I'm like the expert with this, I would say I probably am not the expert, but I have some questions and perspectives that I think are unique that I think will help some people. So with that said, the way I understand San Pedro and Psilocybin and LSD is those three are really the top of the pile as far as creating neuroplasticity, and what I understand about San Pedro is it can be a pretty amazing product to literally take for a month or two straight and some people that might be suffering from sexual addictions or even just drug addictions in general, particularly where it's hard for them to achieve dopamine levels and happiness, it takes more for them to achieve that feeling of happiness.

0:22:21.1 JL: I have heard through different experienced shamans that micro-dosing or even higher dosing of San Pedro over a long period of time can be really helpful, and the same thing with caapi, which is from the Ayahuasca, there's some protocols that can be really interesting with even children that are having nightmares and just one drop of caapi for them to actually be able to sort through some of their nightmares, so there's some really interesting applications with... The way I understand it is LSD is probably the most powerful with neuroplasticity and Psilocybin kinda probably right after that. It's just allowing the brain to communicate with all the different components of it, and usually when our brain is focused on a certain task or subject or event, there's very few pathways actually being fired, but then with the medicines open up, all the different parts of the cerebellum, the parietal lobes, the temporal lobes, the frontal lobes, everything starts to fire and light up. So you have access to all this, it can create such a powerful neuroplastic change 'cause it just not just rewiring it, but you're anchoring it to other parts of the brain, so it really gets solidified, I think, in the consciousness that way.

0:23:51.0 Paul: Do you have any experience with neurofeedback and that whole world?

0:23:56.4 JL: I do.

0:23:57.8 Paul: I'm just, I'm gonna go into my first neurofeedback session about a week and a half from when we're recording this, and that's a topic that I've been interested in more and more around how does that relate, or how can that even be combined with plant medicine and general neuro-protection, because what I'm hearing from those who have gone through with their own feedback is, it's almost like the brain knows, and if you get the mind out of the way and the ego and the personality, that in creating greater connectivity between the brain and training the brain in certain ways, it will actually open up a lot of healing pathways that maybe modern regular medicine might not have access to. So it's a bit of a random question, a bit of a tangent, but I'm just curious how an external technology like that might support the work that you're doing with neurology in general.

0:24:56.7 JL: Yeah, it really does. And it would support an individual in an integration standpoint as well. The way neurofeedback works is they'll put electrodes around your skull, and so those electrodes can pick up on certain brain waves and also certain areas of the brain, and so the programs are basically gonna say, "Well, we want the left brain to activate a little bit more 'cause the right's, a little bit too excited and the left is not as excited." So they can map all that and then they can have a plan of action that will balance your brain better and maybe bring your high beta waves more into a theta. So calming it down a little bit, and so then there'll be like a reward that you'll get when the brain acts that certain way, it could be that you're able to control a unicycle, or it could be that certain music plays a little bit louder, and then you kinda lose the music when the brain goes off course. It's really, I think, a very high level of brain fitness and so I'm glad you're doing it.

0:26:07.5 Paul: Yeah, I'm super excited. I'm working with someone who's top of the top, he helped to run 40 years of Zen when they were doing that program for many years, and it's just like a small private workshop that I'm doing it in San Diego and as part of it, the protocols are no Ketamine for two weeks before, no cannabis for four weeks after, minimizing psychedelics two weeks before and four weeks after to allow the brain to do what it needs to do.

0:26:33.9 Paul: And I'm just generally curious how that will be trying out all these different modalities is fun and to see how that's different than an Ayahuasca experience or how that's different than... And I've talked about this on the podcast before, but I've done Ketamine as a suppositories with Body Work, which Ben Greenfield is also spoken about, and to see how that shifts. It's fun to play with all these different tools to become a more coherent, centered, powerful self in many ways.

0:27:02.7 JL: Yeah. Well, Ben got that idea from me.

0:27:06.5 Paul: The Body Work with the...

0:27:07.6 JL: No the Ketamine and suppository. Yeah.

0:27:12.8 Paul: It's a powerful one. It's a very powerful one.

0:27:17.6 JL: We were interacting on the phone leading up into that and that happened. So I'm very familiar with that experience, so I'd like to propose something that maybe you and your listeners haven't heard, there's a liquid called cerebrospinal fluid in your... That surrounds and bathes your brain and spinal cord, and it carries neurotransmitters and oxygen and nutrients, and sometimes that doesn't flow so well. So have you been to a Joe DispenzaJoe Dispenza retreat?

0:27:46.2 Paul: I have not, no.

0:27:48.2 JL: Okay, so he has the pineal breath, right? So there's a certain breath and you're locking in your chakras and you're like creating this kind of squeezing to push the cerebrospinal fluid up the spine and in to activate the pineal. And the idea is to create a mechanical stressor on the pineal to activate these little crystals that then are... Act as a radio receiver, which is what's happening when we're in medicine is our pineal is becoming very active and the substance DMT that comes from Melatonin, I believe is the Spirit molecule that let's to us actually see what's real. It let's us see the energy world that is invisible in the physical world, and so it's really interesting to really look at the flow of that cerebrospinal fluid in the result of something called cranial rhythm and the sacrum moving. And so there's something called cranial sacral motion, and there's a technique that I was privileged to experience first hand late '90s, and it was called endo-nasal balloon adjustment. Have you heard of this?

0:29:09.2 JL: So it's a balloon that goes in the nose, and it literally opens and releases all the cranial and facial bones, and it was profound, I felt just calm and centered, I had broken my nose in my youth, and it opened everything up like the constriction was completely open, and I just felt fantastic. So I learned... I took the training and I learned how to do it. So I've actually been teaching this technique for many years, and so we call it functional cranial release, and so what it is is it's this cranial adjustment that releases this flow of cerebrospinal fluid. So one of the things I would invite people to consider is, there's a variety of different types of cranial adjustments, there's cranial sacral therapy that you can get but really... If they can find someone that does endonasal adjustments, this can be a real benefit moving into a celebration or a journey, the cranium... Michael Rice, we talked about before, he always talks about how he feels like the cranium is the antenna to the Quantum.

0:30:26.5 JL: And we know that structure and function can be closely related, and so besides that, the flow of this liquid life the cerebral spinal fluid, bathing and carrying minerals and cerebrospinal fluid and all the different nutrients that vitality can carry over to a higher level of consciousness so my personal beliefs are, I call it the three-legged stool. So one of the legs of the stool... And this is my three-legged stool analogy of someone that really wants to achieve the highest level of function in this world is that direct experience of God, that direct experience of oneness, this is the experience that some people might find without medicine, but I think medicine is the best way to achieve that. The next leg of the stool is gonna be the vitality of the body, so how vital are you eating good nutrition, doing some intermittent fasting may be fasting into a ceremony, just overall taking care of your body, that's gonna be... Mean a healthier brain, that vitality will have a direct relationship to the levels of consciousness that you can achieve. And the third leg of the stool is really mastering the mind, we talked earlier about some of the work that Michael Rice was doing with true forgiveness.

0:31:52.7 JL: So there's tricks the mind can play, we get caught up in the illusion of the subconscious thinking that that's actually a reality for us and it doesn't have to be. So there needs to be work done in that area, but all of them have some overlap, but they're all extremely important, and so I would put the cranial and the cerebrospinal fluid kind of within that vitality leg and a fairly important part.

0:32:21.6 Paul: I'll use myself as a personal example, I have a lot of tension in my neck and my jaw, some tightness in my face, I tend to be a little hyper-vigilant at times because of some patterning that I grew up with. And I've noticed that whenever... For example, I go and do body work with a really great body worker, a lot of what he'll work on is my neck, my jaw, my face, my head, to open that up. So if someone's sitting at home and it is asking sort of even in a way to self-assess is the cerebrospinal fluid and cranial sacral therapy, when might that be appropriate and how might even someone find a qualified practitioner or someone to work with when it comes to that?

0:33:08.4 JL: It's a great question, Paul. And so I would say probably everybody in a civilized culture would benefit from this and endonasal procedure to some level, it sounds to me like you could really benefit from it. So the Jawbone is one bone, but all of the bones of the skull can move, so this hinge won't be lined up if the skull is in it, what happens is it becomes more narrow, so this was pioneered by Weston Price and the Price-Pottenger Group, so Weston Price is considered the father of the raw food movement. And he was a dentist, and he traveled all over the world, and what he noticed is that people in the Aborigines that were eating off the land and didn't have all the stressors of modern society in the industrialized areas that their skulls were very wide. You can see that when you go out and see people that are more living off the earth, and so they wouldn't have to have their molars removed or the wisdom teeth removed, they didn't get cavities, their bones were strong and... So he wrote a whole book, it's called on Physical Degeneration, and you can just see all the pictures and you can very clearly see people that... Even twins, one that would live in the Aborigine tribe, and the other one was transplanted to a industrial area and just the crowding.

0:34:41.3 JL: So what happens is there's low-grade inflammation that might lead to mouth breathing, and so then the tongue isn't holding the maxilla up, and so these cranial sutures are just very similar to the teeth, were their stem cells that wrap all around that tooth root, so that you have stem cells between all the sutures in the skull, and so a subtle amount of pressure over time can completely change the shape of the skull, and so what this technique does, which is unique from any other technique, is the balloon is going in the nose and it's expanding from the inside out, and it's very common when this adjustment is delivered for people to hear a lot of cracking and popping, and there's a certain moment that is pretty intense, so things start to expand and that balloon starts to expand, and then there's this really intense moment, and then there's this big release and then it's over. The balloon is removed, so it takes only a few seconds, but generally, people will get up and be like, "Wow, I can breathe so much better, I can see clearer." I had a well-known musician, actually he's in town right now.

0:36:03.6 JL: And we did his treatment the other day and when we went to dinner together and he's just like, "I feel so connected to the quantum," like he was just so... And we did an IV on him that I've been using. It's pretty... I'd like to say it's pretty rockstar, this IV.

0:36:22.3 Paul: What's the IV?

0:36:23.6 JL: I call it Luma Blue. Are you familiar with methylene blue.

0:36:26.0 Paul: Yes. And ted, Is it Ted Akaosa? He talks a lot about that.

0:36:33.2 JL: Yeah, so he's got the troki...

0:36:34.5 Paul: Troki, yeah, yeah.

0:36:34.6 JL: Which is 20 milligrams. I run 500 milligrams IV. Alright, at the same time, I have a catheter in the other arm running 616 nanometers of RevLit, which is the perfect frequency to activate the methylene blue, so you have something called photo bio-modulation, so substances become activated by light. Curcumin is more of a blue light, but methylene-blue happens to really be activated with this 616 nanometer with the Rev. So we run... Well, we do a high dose magnesium to kind of relax and open up the blood vessels, then we do the methylene blue IV with the RevLit, which is... It's literally the laser is in your vein, and then we put them in the closet with the red light panels, then we use a CVAC, which is a lot like a hyperbaric oxygen, but it's changing the pressure, it's like this pod. And that's the protocol. So this really activates mitochondria like nothing I've ever seen, and so this particular individual was out at dinner after this IV and he received the balloons and it was a pretty nice combination.

0:37:54.0 Paul: And just so our listeners know, what is methylene blue? Because it's been talked about a little bit, but I assume most of the folks who are listening probably have never heard about it or don't really know much, much of anything about methylene blue.

0:38:06.6 JL: Well, it was the very first synthetic drug ever approved by the FDA.

0:38:11.5 Paul: Really?

0:38:11.6 JL: And it was approved...

0:38:12.7 Paul: Wow.

0:38:12.9 JL: The very first one, and it was approved for chronic urinary track infections, so if you take a tablet of methylene blue, and the IV is the same thing, you're peeing blue, so it does... It concentrates in the bladder, and so it robs the microbes from being able to utilize oxygen, so it's very anti-microbial, it's also anti-viral, especially when you combine it with the light, so this type of protocol could be pretty amazing for like HIV... We use it for Epstein-Barr, Lyme disease, cytomegalovirus, HHV-6. Really any virus. I know an individual that's using a similar protocol in California, and he's treating COVID and HIV and really has some pretty amazing claims with it, so I would kind of agree that the results seem to be pretty amazing, and I've got some pretty amazing technology at my clinic that we do such as like 10-pass hyperbaric ozone and NAD IVs, and we also do ketamine infusions in our clinic as well, but this particular protocol is really special, and I think that sick people can benefit, but I also think that maybe in the future, people will be receiving these types of treatments leading into a ceremony.

0:39:48.1 Paul: Well, and that was gonna be my next question. I'm someone who... I have my things, but I don't have any chronic diseases, I don't have any major clinical indications or conditions, or... I'm generally very healthy, good energy, good sex life, all those sorts of things, and if I were to say, Hey John, I wanna come work with you. And I have some hyper-vigilance and I have some tension in my jaw and my heart isn't as open as I want it to be, and there's definitely things that I feel are lacking or things that could be opened up more. What's that assessment like? I suppose would be the first question, how do you assess clients coming in, and then let's say for someone like me, what would be a really cool, unique thing to bring me through in terms of like a protocol that you yourself... Like if I were to look to you as being like John as a healer or a master in X, Y and Z, what would your sort of special protocol be as John Lieurance?

0:40:43.5 JL: Well, if you had no particular issues, which you have some. You have some TMJ, maybe you get some occasional headaches, I don't know, some muscular involvement. So we could address that. To me, I think based on just this brief understanding of what's going on with you, the endonasal technique, the functional cranial release would probably resolve that, and if we wanted to create a really high level of consciousness with you, I would think about taking you through this fast track fast protocol, where we load you with NAD and then we have you fast with this Lucitol, which are all those plant polyphenols to really dig a lot of this into the activation of the genes of autophagy and cleaning and recycling to just really help clean out and prepare the brain. I think this methylene Blue protocol could be good for anybody that wants to just get like a boost. I don't know that there's a real need for NAD IVs anymore. We formulated the first NAD suppository. It's called NAD max, and so let's back up first.

0:42:10.1 Paul: If you need any guinea pigs just let me know.

0:42:16.3 JL: Yeah. Well, didn't you try it?

0:42:17.2 Paul: I've tried the... I did the melatonin, which I do wanna talk about in this conversation as well, 'cause that melatonin is also your jam, so I did the melatonin suppository and I did the Lucitol, I think there's a Lucitol suppository, but I don't believe I've tried the NAD plus. So I have to give that a go at some point.

0:42:35.3 JL: Yeah, we'll have to send that... The idea with suppositories, for those that might be listening to this, thinking I'll never do that. Well, why would you want to. Because if I take a pill or if I get an injection, there's something called peak plasma, so there's the level of that nutrient in my blood stream for a certain period of time, so that's gonna peak, and then you can say peak plasma for this particular nutrient given orally might be an hour. So yourselves literally have one hour to collect that nutrient and then it's gone, but cells are kind of like black beans, you ever soaked black beans, you gotta let the water soak there for hours, right?

0:43:20.6 JL: You come back an hour later. How much water actually made it into that black bean, and that's the same thing that happens with a lot of pills, that's why you have to keep taking them for so long, 'cause there's very poor absorption, and besides the short peak plasma, you also have the breakdown of the nutrients through your gastric juices and your liver something called first pass, so really, very little of the nutrients we take orally actually get into our blood stream anyway, with a suppository you're by-passing all of that, and it's a slow bleed into the blood stream over the course of five hours or more, and so literally the cell has five hours to absorb this certain nutrients, so that delivery method is so unique because you could do an IV that lasts for five hours, but who wants to sit there for five hours? That's kind of inconvenient where you can put a suppository and you don't even know it's there, it takes like two seconds, it just slips right in, wash your hands and you just walk away, and it's just...

0:44:30.2 JL: It's working while you're not having to really think about it. And so we hear from a lot of people that when they start using these nutrients through suppositories, like whether it's glutathione or NAD, or some of these plant polyphenols that are all very poorly absorbed, all of these polyphenols, they really... Not much of it gets into your blood stream, so it's really profound to get that into the blood stream through other delivery routes, but people really will notice a much higher level of change... Physical change in their body. So since the NAD suppository is literally almost as much as what most people IV may be more than some people, and you don't even know it's there, so there's none of those side effects because it's such a slow absorption, and you're able to do it like two, three times a week, if you want. Versus if you were to go to an IV and pay $1500, you'd have to sit there for five hours.

0:45:29.4 JL: And it's expensive and convenient, and so this is, I think, a comparable, possibly better way to up your levels of NAD, and so what NDA is gonna do is it's gonna support your mitochondria because if you have bad sleep, a lot of mental emotional stress, chronic alcohol or drug use, all of those things are gonna really drain this NAD, but NAD gets drained just with having birthdays, so just the fact of getting old we have last NAD as we got older. So if we can rebuild those levels of NAD, there's scientists that have looked at this and found that animals live longer and there's much better mitochondrial function, which is the energy that your cells have, and that's gonna show up in your brain and heart more than any other part because your brain and heart are the two most metabolically sensitive organs in your body, so if anybody's particularly dealing with any problems with their brain or their heart, they really wanna take a hard look at NAD, 'cause it could really help them.

0:46:35.7 JL: And so then we make the high dose melatonin suppositories, SandMan. And so I wrote a book called melatonin, miracle molecule. And we take a deep dive into a lot of things besides sleep with melatonin, and then I have a particularly awesome article chapter on the pineal, and we really dive into a lot of some of the discussions we're talking about today in plant medicine, DMT, LSD, neuroplasticity, spiritual awakening, some of the science that dispenses doing that chapter I'm particularly proud of, but it's a long book, there's 22 chapters, over 500 pages. So right now we have it available in a PDF that we can give away for free to your listeners, so you'll have to let me know what coupon code you wanna put, but if you go to, and then you put in the coupon code that we'll put in the show...

0:47:38.6 Paul: Okay, thirdwave is the one word. Thirdwave is a coupon code, will be perfect.

0:47:43.5 JL: Thirdwave, there you go. And so you can download it for free. The book will be coming out in hard copy in a couple of months, and then we'll have it, we can have a special for that, but there's chapters on skin, gut, brain, mental, emotional, cardiology, reproductive. I mean, just almost... Cancer, everything that you can think of, the liver, Melatonin has a profound protective aspect to your body, so let's say that we lived in a perfect world, we live on an island, there's no stressors, there's no EMF, everything's perfect, we're not arguing with anybody, we probably don't need a lot of melatonin, there's not a lot of light pollution, there's a lot of what I call the melatonin headwinds. So we have to overcome them, we talk about those in the book, but melatonin is the ultimate stress buffer. Stress, what happens is universally, whenever we have stress, Paul, we're gonna create inflammation.

0:48:48.8 JL: And so if we look at inflammation, we can break that down chemically and call it cytokine, so there's a certain collection of cytokines that would be related to a certain type of stress, like If I get a sunburn, there's gonna be a certain cytokine combination related to a sunburn, where if I get COVID, you have the cytokine storm, those are other specific cytokines, but all stressors are gonna relate to some sort of cytokine, and when those cytokines hit the cell, they create a shift in the way that you can make energy from a way of making energy that's normal to a primitive form of making energy called aerobic glycolysis, and that gives you about 10% of the energy capacity that you would normally have.

0:49:35.0 JL: And what happens is when that shift happens, melatonin is naturally produced in the mitochondria, every single mitochondria in your body makes its own melatonin to buffer the stress, that's why it's such an important molecule, and that's why we see people taking really high doses where we're dosing people up into the 200 milligrams, and not necessarily for sleep, some people find it to give them the best night sleep ever, some people don't find it to change their sleep much at all, but what I do know is that high dose melatonin is working on the body at some pretty extreme levels that I think most people, if they start looking at some of the research, the references that we go through in the book.

0:50:24.4 JL: And the melatonin is also part of my neuro-protective protocol. You look at the neuro-protection aspect of melatonin is profound, and so taking a high dose melatonin like the SandMan product the night of a journey, you're gonna get a really good night sleep. Usually, which is sometimes hard. So if you can get a really good deep restful night's sleep that night and wake up feeling really refreshed and on top of it, have this powerful neural protective aspect that you'll get from the melatonin. I think that that's a smart thing.

0:50:58.6 Paul: And there are probably some listeners who are going, But wait, I've heard that melatonin, it's a hormone. We're not supposed to take it. It'll impact overall sleep quality, 'cause there's been a lot of discussion around melatonin as... And I thought this even before we connected a few months ago, I was like, but I've heard that I should only take melatonin if I'm trying to help with jet lag, so to say, What do you say to that in terms of the listeners who might be thinking, But I heard melatonin is a hormone, and then if we take it, that our body can't produce it, etcetera, etcetera.

0:51:31.5 JL: Right. Well, I'm gonna just go officially on the record to say I think that there's a conspiracy against melatonin, and I'll tell you one of the things that really makes me think that is, if you look up melatonin and side effects, WebMD is gonna give you a list of side effects, depression, anxiety, headaches, blah, blah, blah, what they won't tell you is when they did that research, when they did that study, those side effects were the exact same thing in the placebo arm. So it's a little misleading. And if you go in and search degenerative neurologic disorder melatonin, and go to Google Scholar. So you're really looking at the research itself.

0:52:17.8 JL: What you'll find at the end of a lot of these studies is that the researchers are very surprised at how safe melatonin was, and there was no side effects. I mean, study after what... Cancer or skin, gut, it's just universally, the scientists are saying it's like This is so safe, we're not seeing any side effects, so there's no negative feedback loop with melatonin, like there are a lot of hormones, so you can take Melatonin, it's not gonna... Testosterone, you shut down your own production of testosterone when you take it.

0:52:56.2 JL: And so you don't have that with melatonin. I've taken 800 milligrams of melatonin every night for a year, and then stopped cold turkey, and I still slept great, there was no fall off a cliff or anything like that, right? So there's no concern there now, is it dangerous to take really high doses, right? So people say, Okay, well, my doctor said I should take two or three milligrams. Well, they gave what would be a cool equivalent to 150,000 milligrams to an animal, and they stopped the study, they said there's just no toxic effect of melatonin, so I can't see anything in the research that would suggest that there's any danger at all. If you're taking it for sleep, maybe you don't need that much, but that's not what I think a lot of people are interested in that gravitate towards this narrative, I think we see people that are looking to maybe reverse some damage that they have in their body or gain a higher level of health or be able to... We live in such a stressful environment Paul, but we were not designed...

0:54:11.1 Paul: Especially in the States. Especially here America, it's very stressful, it is like a fucking chamber of stress that we live in.

0:54:18.2 JL: Yeah, so here comes Melatonin to the rescue, so... Are you familiar with the word hormesis?

0:54:25.2 Paul: Mm-hmm, absolutely.

0:54:28.0 JL: So you have what I call the familiar zone, this is like, we're in the familiar zone right now, probably. This is comfortable for us, we're having a great conversation, but let's say that you're an athlete and you're training at the gym, and maybe you do too much right. So if you go out of that familiar zone into a zone where they call the hormetic zone, you're pushing it a little bit, where you're gonna get more gain in muscle, where if you go too little to that, you're not gonna really get a change. So it's not enough activation or stimulation for those genes to be activated that help you get stronger, but then there's a limit to the amount of stress that one can have where I call the danger zone, and this is where you have damage, you don't wanna get into that. What melatonin does, it actually extends that ceiling so that we can handle more stress before we start getting into that danger zone, we can actually dip into a deeper level of hormesis.

0:55:32.3 JL: You might be able to work out harder. This is really, I think, the beauty of melatonin, and I think a lot of people looking at it for that reason, we weren't adapted to handle the stress, so we need something to support us to have the same level of health that we might have if we were living without all these stressors.

0:55:56.9 Paul: Going back to ancestral wisdom or the way that we as humans evolve for tens of thousands of years before industrial culture hit or even just the last 100 years hit, so to say. So melatonin helps us to find that sense of homeostasis again, is what I'm hearing, that's actually appropriate for what we need as a human beings.

0:56:18.4 JL: Because it's there to quench those cytokines... It's there to jump in and say, I'm still gonna maintain your energy levels even though you're like stressing me the max, here you go, and so you have the energy levels to deal with the hormetic stress, that's really in essence what it's doing, but there's even more. We don't have time...

0:56:39.6 Paul: But you wrote a 500 page book on it. So there's gotta be... There's gotta be so much more.

0:56:45.2 JL: We're just taking a little...

0:56:47.1 Paul: A tiny, tiny bit.

0:56:47.7 JL: We're dipping our toe in. We'll have to maybe do a follow-up podcast on it.

0:56:51.6 Paul: On it. Specifically. Well, one last thing I wanna talk about before we wrap up is Zen Mist. Because I think the product that you've created with Zen Mist is fascinating, and everyone I talk to about it now is so interested and curious about it. And some try it and they're not as big of a fan of it. I use it every morning in my meditations. Usually one pump in each nostril. This morning I did two pumps in each nostril. I would love if you could just tell our audience about Zen Mist and how you came upon it, because I think it's just so inventive and interesting.

0:57:27.3 JL: I am so glad that we're gonna talk about this, 'cause if we would have missed this conversation, and not talked, it would have been a tragedy. Because there's such amazing applications in medicine work with this particular product. So Hapeh. Anybody listening to this that doesn't know what Hapeh is, it's a blend of Amazonian herbs and there's a sacred tobacco called mapacho, and it's generally blown up your nose with a particular device, and it burns extremely bad. And so the first time I had it done, I was like, Hell, no, I'll never do that. In fact, it was, it was miserable. I was like, I will never do that again in my life, like why would anybody do that to themselves? And then fast-forward a couple of years, it was shortly after I did my first journey, and it was one of the facilitators out at this place, and she was just going on and on about how she loved doing Hapeh, she'd do it in the morning, it just gave her this sense of well-being. And I'm like, Wow, am I missing something? Right? So I said, Give me a little bit. And I took it back home with me, and I just took a teeny bit, and I just kind of sniffed it through a straw. And it was just a tiny microdose. And I got it. I felt it, and I'm like, Now I see the upside to this. Like I felt the calmness, I felt the focus.

0:58:58.1 JL: And we were already making nasal sprays with glutathione and NAD and things like that. So I'm like, This would make a great nasal spray. So I started working on... And we have three formulas. We've got the original Zen, which is really just straight mapacho, a special mix, and it's our strongest version. And then we have an essential oil version, which is a bit minty, it's got some rosemary and some other herbs in there. And then we have another one that's CBD, Zen CBD. So there's three versions there. And so what happens is when you spray it up the nose, there's a burning that occurs, and that burning is actually activating your brainstem. And there's a nerve nucleus in the brainstem called the trigeminal nerve and it innervates your eyes, your face, your sinuses, your mouth. And it's kind of how Sananga works as well, which is an eye drop that burns, which we're working on a Zenenga formula, which I'll be sending you a beta test here pretty soon.

1:00:11.3 Paul: I would love that. Thank you.

1:00:15.3 JL: Yeah. So for those that might be kind of interested in trying the Zen, when you get to Zen, there's also oxytocin that we put in this product, which helps to support this kind of calming sensation. But it works with the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is kind of the home of the parasympathetic nervous system. So the opposite of the parasympathetic nervous system is the sympathetics, which is that fight or flight, which we're always in. Most of us get stuck in that. And you kind of need to be somewhat in that to function and accomplish things throughout the day, and so we wanna support that parasympathetic nervous system as much as we can. And so breath work is a great way to do it, and then activating the trigeminal nerve. You can stick your face in ice water, this actually does it pretty nicely. The Zen, that burning sensation, along with the actual medicine itself that gets absorbed through the nasal passage, that combination very powerfully puts you into a very calm state, a very focused state, but you're also alert. You notice that, right? And it doesn't burn as much as normal Hapeh.

1:01:28.6 Paul: And you don't get the throat drip near as much either. And normally with normal Hapeh you'll blow your nose and it'll be all of this powder that comes out, and with the Zen Mist, it's very clean and clear. There might be a tiny... But it's very clean has been my experience with it.

1:01:49.8 JL: Yeah, and, you know, what's nice about it is it's so convenient. It's a little awkward to do Hapeh, because it has to be blown up your nose, and it's a powder, and blah, blah, blah. So when someone's actually in medicine, right, so when we've facilitated people in medicine, we'll offer them the Zen. And we do it in our clinic with the ketamine journeys as well. It's fantastic in Ketamine journeys. So, sometimes people get to a certain block; I like to utilize the Zen after a good round of breath work. I had recorded a show with Ben, right? And he was a huge fan of Zen, and we went out there and we decided to do this really, really solid soma breathwork in his sauna, and we took our Zens in there, right? And so we're doing this hardcore soma breathing, and then right at the end, we inhaled and then we sprayed the Zen up the nose, held it, kinda did the holotropic sip, sip, sip into the third eye, full exhale, hold as long as you can. And I was like full-on just in the quantum...

1:03:03.1 Paul: Kundalini.

1:03:04.2 JL: At that point. Yeah, I was having a major kundalini experience, and it was blissful. You feel just so connected. It's just such an amazing space to be in, without any medicine. This is a natural state that we can achieve. The medicine shows you, it's a sign post, This is what's possible. Then the work starts. You integrate the experience. And then we want to be working towards getting and achieving this level without medicine.

1:03:37.0 Paul: And that is integration, and that's where the hot-cold thermogenesis and the breathwork and the meditation and the yoga and all these practices, the diet and exercise and sleep, or even going back to your metaphor around the three stools. That's another framework in which to look at it. We embody this higher self when we're working with medicine, this connection to something greater, and then stress and deadlines and bills and taxes and all these things kind of bring us out of that, and yet for us to feel like we're at our greatest, it's often the question remains, How do we come back into that state? And so the way that I do it, or the way that I like to bring myself, are those morning rituals, with the Zen Mist. I'm glad you brought up the sauna, 'cause that's also sometimes, I'll go in the evening, like I'll do that after our conversation today, I'm gonna go sauna, do a little breathwork and do a little more Zen Mist just to come back into that space. And it's easy, it's clean, it doesn't burn, like normal Hapeh does, and it's been a great ritual to have.

1:04:42.1 JL: And you know what's beautiful about the Zen Mist is it energizes you, but it's not something that'll keep you awake. Like if you were to have coffee this late, it's really gonna disrupt your sleep. But one of the utilities I found with the Zen is like if I'm at a cocktail party or if I'm out to dinner with friends in like a social event, it kinda gets to that point... And I'm such an early riser anyway, sometimes I'm up at 4:00 AM, and so people don't realize I'm out and it's nine o'clock or 9:00 PM, that's like midnight to a lot of people, right? So I like having the Zen in my pocket, because it just kind of brings me back for about 30-45 minutes. And then, of course, whenever you do that at a party, then people are like, "Oh, what are you doing?" "Oh, here, come try this." It's always a big hit. People absolutely love it.

1:05:32.5 Paul: Yeah. Yeah, they do. Well, John, I wanna thank you for all the pioneering and inventive work that you're doing out of your clinic in Sarasota. There is a lot of things that you've invented a lot of formulations and products, all the work that you've done with melatonin. When we had a chance to connect a few months ago, it just opened my mind to so much more, so I just wanna thank you and express my appreciation for coming on the podcast and sharing your wealth of wisdom and knowledge and information with our audience. It's been, as I expected, a ton of help.

1:06:07.0 JL: Yeah, well, it's my pleasure. I'm feeling grateful to be here with you as well and sharing this information. It's just important information to get out there. I feel compelled to support this movement that's happening, and I think that the more we can kind of wrap some science and creativity and some artwork to this, to continue to forward it, is gonna do nothing but improve this current situation that we're in. And it's gonna require some hard work from a lot of us. So if any of this information helps anybody listening for that narrative, then that's what I want.

1:06:51.9 Paul: And so if folks wanna find out more, check out the melatonin book, just learn a little bit more about you and your work, where is the best website or resource to point them to?

1:07:04.0 JL: Yeah, so our clinic website is, and then I have an educational site called, as well, where we do some interviews, we have a YouTube channel. So those are probably the best.

1:07:20.0 Paul: Beautiful. So is the clinic, and then, and the melatonin book that you'd mentioned can be found on

1:07:31.6 JL: So, will link to a page on, so that page is all about the book and you can read about it and then you can go ahead and download it with the coupon code.

1:07:45.2 Paul: Perfect. Great. Well, thanks again, John, this is awesome.

1:07:49.9 JL: You're welcome. [music]

1:07:52.3 Paul: Thanks so much for watching. If you wanna stay up to date on the third wave of psychedelics, subscribe to this channel and visit the, where you'll find plenty of free resources on intentional and responsible psychedelics.

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