Why you should listen –
Most people pray for miracles, JJ Virgin fights for them. After her son was critically injured in an accident and given a .25% chance of living, JJ was faced with two decisions. She could either believe what the doctors were telling her and accept that her young son would die from his injuries, or she could wage what seemed like a hopeless battle and fight for her son’s life. She chose the latter. By using a variety of treatments that included nutrition, naturopathic medicine, and stem cell therapy, JJ brought her son back from the brink of death and healed his broken body and his traumatic brain injuries. If you don’t believe in miracles, you will after this podcast.
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Speaker 1: Bulletproof Radio, a stage of high performance.
Dave Asprey: You’re listening to Bulletproof Radio with Dave Asprey. Today’s cool fact for the day is that well, I didn’t prepare a cool fact today because this is a live recording in person with my dear friend, JJ Virgin. If you’re a regular listener, you’ve heard me share my list of Top 10 bio hacks. Let’s talk about Number 9. Fun hacks for the Bulletproof mind. It may sound weird, but hanging upside down is a great way to hack your brain. Regularly inverting trains your brain capillaries making them stronger and more capable to bring oxygen to your brain. It’s pretty straightforward. More oxygen in the brain means better performance.
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JJ has been on Bulletproof Radio before. She’s a well-known celebrity fitness and nutrition expert, four times New York Times best seller. We’re here today not to talk about things like the sugar impact diet, but to talk about something that goes way deeper than that. JJ, about how many years ago was this now?
JJ Virgin: Four?
Dave Asprey: Four years ago. This is about a year after I met JJ. Her youngest son …
JJ Virgin: It’s actually my older one. Bryce is the younger one.
Dave Asprey: Bryce is your young one?
JJ Virgin: I know. He seems like he’s 80.
Dave Asprey: Oh my god. Okay.
JJ Virgin: He’s Yoda.
Dave Asprey: Anyway, JJ’s son, Grant, who’s her older son I just figured out, was hit in a really terrible hit and run, given a 5% chance of living.
JJ Virgin: .25.
Dave Asprey: .25. See?
JJ Virgin: No. He actually got no chance for living.
Dave Asprey: Really?
JJ Virgin: No chance at all. No. That was if he … Well, we’ll tell the story.
Dave Asprey: All right.
JJ Virgin: Maybe I should tell the story.
Dave Asprey: Well, I’m just introducing the story. Trust me.
JJ Virgin: He’s setting this up.
Dave Asprey: I’m doing my best to set it up.
JJ Virgin: He was given no chance for life. Yeah.
Dave Asprey: He was in a very bad way. JJ, in the time since then, has done frankly miracles because Grant had massive traumatic brain injury, which is supposed to be life-ending. He’s now back to better than before. JJ and I are here to talk about what she did, what worked, and how she pulled off what is quite literally a miracle. JJ, was that a good set up for you?
JJ Virgin: That was awesome. Thank you so much.
Dave Asprey: All right.
JJ Virgin: Good job. Good job, brother Dave. You know I refer to you as brother Dave. My community actually thinks that you’re my brother.
Dave Asprey: That we’re related?
JJ Virgin: Could you ask your brother?
Dave Asprey: We kind of look related.
JJ Virgin: We do. We do look related.
Dave Asprey: That’s funny.
JJ Virgin: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: We’re just good friends. What happened? Walk me through the day that Grant got hurt. Tell the audience what happened.
JJ Virgin: I was actually out taping. I was getting ready for The Virgin Diet to come out. I was literally a couple of weeks before that was hitting and so you know what that’s like.
Dave Asprey: The listeners don’t. Tell them what a book launch is actually about.
JJ Virgin: Here’s what happens when your book is about to come out. I had a public television show that was getting ready to air. I had this book about to come out. I had invested everything I had and then some. I’d gone into debt to launch this because I just knew that this could be a life-changing information that I had to get out to the world. I am the sole financial support for my family and I have two boys, 15 and 16 at the time. This has to work. This isn’t optional. I’ve been working all day long doing video. I come home and my 16-year old son is in a mood.
Dave Asprey: This goes to all the 16-year old sons out there.
JJ Virgin: Yes. He wants to go to martial arts but he hadn’t gone to school that day because he or he’d left school because he had a headache, a migraine, but he didn’t get migraine so I was like, “Mm-hmm.” He had a miraculous, spontaneous healing experience and he was now fine.
Dave Asprey: Shocking.
JJ Virgin: Shocking. We have a rule. If you can’t stay in school, you don’t get to go do the fun thing later. Totally reasonable, but not to him. He kept escalating the situation. I was like, “You’re not going. You’re just not going.” He gets mad at me. He says, “I’m not as strong as you think I am,” and storms out of the house barefoot with nothing.
Dave Asprey: Wow.
JJ Virgin: It is dusk. My other son comes out, Bryce. He says that, “Wow. What a jerk.” I’m like, “Right?” I go in the garage. I’m working out, and I’m doing my burst training, and the next thing I know, my son, Bryce and my ex-husband comes storming into the garage. They go, “Grant has gotten hit and he’s been airlifted to the local hospital.” Now, the only reason they even saw him was they were going out. They were driving out and they saw this big accident and went and asked what had happened. This police officer looked at Bryce and said, “A kid got hit.” He looked just like him.
Dave Asprey: Wow.
JJ Virgin: This had to happen because if they hadn’t seen that and that’s why there’s little miracles all along the way. You could have framed this as, “Oh, my gosh. That was the worst thing.” There was a miracle one, for us to even find out he’d been airlifted because if we hadn’t seen him, he would have died in the hospital before we even knew he was a John Doe. We get to the hospital. We get ushered into a conference room. This is another thing. If you get ushered into the conference room, this is with a very grim looking doctor, you’re screwed. You’re screwed. We’re all in there and he says, “Your son was a victim of a hit and run and he has a torn aorta.” Now that’s what took down Lady Di, Princess Di. 90% of the people die right on the scene with a torn aorta.
He’s got multiple brain bleeds. They’re called diffuse axonal injuries. He’s in a deep coma and he’s got 13 fractures. When we went to see him, half of his body was covered in road rash with big pieces of glass sticking out of him, and his bones were sticking through his skin. I remember looking at that going, “That’s his bones sticking through his skin.” Unbelievable. They go, “We can’t fix him here because if we don’t fix his aorta, sometime in the next 24 hours, it’s going to rapture, but we can’t fix it here because we need a blood thinner here at this hospital so his brain will bleed out. You basically have his brain or his heart but you can’t have both.”
It turns out that there is a doctor who can do this without a blood thinner over at Harbor UCLA two and a half hours away. The thing is though, the doctor said, “Yeah, but he’s never going to survive that airlift. Even if he did, he won’t survive the surgery and even if he did, he’d be so brain damaged, it wouldn’t be worth it.” Bryce, the 15-year old at that time says, “So, like a .25% chance?” The doctor said, “Yeah. That’s about right, son.” Bryce goes, “We’ll take those odds.”
Dave Asprey: That’s awesome.
JJ Virgin: You know Bryce.
Dave Asprey: Yeah. That’s very much like Bryce.
JJ Virgin: You could totally see Bryce doing that.
Dave Asprey: He did three flips. Bryce was on stage at the Bulletproof Conference doing tricking, which is parkour with more style.
JJ Virgin: That’s a good way to put it.
Dave Asprey: He’s a cool guy.
JJ Virgin: He’s a cool kid. All of us, Virgins, were not patient and we defy authority. My ex-husband was a med mal trial attorney, so we’re all looking, we’re like going, “No. We’re overruling you and we’re going to do this.” Grant got airlifted to this hospital. We had no idea driving down there if we are picking up a body or not. In order to airlift him, and this is another miracle, a doctor from the other hospital … First of all, we had to find this one doctor that could do the surgery and there are very few. There’s one in Southern California. This guy, Carlos Donayre. Amazing. Angel. He had to accept the case because the minute horse doctor accepts the case, the other hospital relinquishes it. You knew this hospital was like, “Here, take him. There you go.”
Dave Asprey: Complicated.
JJ Virgin: Yeah, monkey on your back. He had to not only take the case, he had to assemble his cardiothoracic team, and neurosurgery team, and orthopedic team, a critical care team both for adults and peds. He had to do all that. It’s now midnight.
Dave Asprey: Wow.
JJ Virgin: Okay. He had to get the stent to put in and the stent he wanted to use was one that he had used and part of the clinical trial that was over.
Dave Asprey: Wow.
JJ Virgin: Two weeks before, so we had none, and was not allowed to be done in kids. He figured, he said, “I figured I’d ask for forgiveness later. I just need to keep him alive.” He does all of this.
Dave Asprey: That’s amazing.
JJ Virgin: He does all this. We get there at 4:35 in the morning and he has now put this whole thing together. I find this out way later. I walk in, he goes, “You’re the mom?” He goes, “Listen, I got this. I do this all the time. I had someone thrown up an overpass last week. I fixed them. Don’t worry about it. You just go upstairs to the waiting room. I’ll fix him. I’ll come get you.”
Dave Asprey: Wow.
JJ Virgin: Who says this, right? We go up to the waiting room. Now, after the fact, Grant describes what John was wearing, my ex-husband in the waiting room.
Dave Asprey: He was present the whole time even though he couldn’t move or talk.
JJ Virgin: This is crazy stuff. He was way over there. When we walked into the room where they were going to fix him, he saw never saw us. He was in a coma. His eyes are closed, and he’s describing where we were in the waiting room, and what John is wearing. I’m like, “Huh? Okay.” The doctor comes in. He goes, “Okay. He’s fixed. I did it.” He goes, “Now, his brain, I don’t know. That’s not my part. I’m the plumber.”
Dave Asprey: God. It’s not what a mom wants to hear.
JJ Virgin: It’s like you’re, “Hi,” then you’re like, “Bumf.” We go in to see the neurosurgeons, they’re like, “We don’t know if he’ll ever wake up, honestly.” I’m like, “La, la, la, la.” Then we walk into the ICU, and I’m watching him, and I looked over at John. If you’re a parent, you’re going, there are some times you wish you had a do-over opportunity. I’m looking over at John and we’re like, “We got a do over opportunity here. We literally [do 00:11:53].” I was like, “I think we got a do over.”
He’s going to be 110%. We just started operating from that principle, which was honestly a ridiculous concept at the time when your son’s in a coma and they’re not even sure if he’s going to make it through the next night, or ever wake up, or ever walk and we have no idea, but I just operated from he’s going to be 110 and I’ve been operating from that point forward. He had to have two femurs put in. Both his femurs [inaudible 00:12:21] and they had to do that backdated double orthopedic teams working on him. He had a crushed heel that usually people will never walk again with pin and an open wound. They’re like, “We’re just trying to get him to ever walk again.” I go, “You know, what would happen if Kobe Bryant were in this bed with that? Because I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be saying that.”
Dave Asprey: Wow.
JJ Virgin: “That’s what I want you to do here. By the way, don’t talk about him like that when he’s here.” We had a total management of his environment. You could not walk in and say any of this crap.
Dave Asprey: I wish every doctor would hear that and just take it to heart, but yeah, people are aware and there’s even studies about that.
JJ Virgin: Yes. Yes.
Dave Asprey: You don’t say bad things about people when they’re unconscious.
JJ Virgin: When Grant described what John was wearing and then I would sit by his bedside, I’m launching this book so I’m full core press. I have to make the book work because now, God knows what this is going to cost. Let’s face it, a lot of the stuff that we’ve done is not covered by insurance.
Dave Asprey: Yeah.
JJ Virgin: In fact, it’s not probably even [crosstalk 00:13:19].
Dave Asprey: It’s not on the menu.
JJ Virgin: No. Yeah. It wasn’t on. It wasn’t even an appetizer or a side dish. This was way off the menu. Here we are doing all of this stuff and Grant says to me later, he goes, “Mom, the gray man came down and asked me if I want to live or die.”
Dave Asprey: Wow.
JJ Virgin: “I did not want to live,” but I literally would sit in the ICU with my laptop open and I’d just be telling him, “Yeah. I’m working on the book.” I’m answering emails, just talking.
Dave Asprey: Talking to him the whole time.
JJ Virgin: I’m just talking to him because I would walk in if his blood pressure was elevated and it’d come down. I was just talking and he goes, I kept hearing you talking so I told that gray man, “I didn’t want to live but I told him I wanted to live because I kept hearing your voice.”
Dave Asprey: Wow.
JJ Virgin: I’m like, “I knew it.” I just could feel him.
Dave Asprey: Wow.
JJ Virgin: I could feel him. There was this energy worker. I will tell you, I’m very left-brained and you’ve got to give me science, you got to prove it. All that goes out the window when your son’s hovering between life and death. You’re like, “Sure, send the holy water and essential oil. Send it all.”
Dave Asprey: If it might work and it’s not going to be harmful.
JJ Virgin: Yeah, send it on over. We had someone coming in, Dr. Ann Meyer, who works at Cedars in their Brain Trauma Unit. She shows up in the first couple of days with essential oils. She starts doing this. Grant starts wiggling his nose, wiggling his toes. I’m like, “Okay then.” We start rubbing progesterone cream on him because Dr. Anna Cabeca got me in touch with Dr. Donald Stein. He did all the progesterone research. I put an email out to my whole community. I’m like, “What you got?” Daniel Amen was coming over with Tana bringing food, [inaudible 00:14:52]. I had all these people over at the hospital. I was like, “Who are you? What are you doing?” Then we started doing fish oil, which was super frustrating.
I actually saw Sanjay Gupta at the Green Room at Access Hollywood. I told them about this, so this was on CNN. They featured this. He was on fish oil before the accident and this is super important. This is what I’m going to get out there. There are couple of things that are now my life’s passion, one that a brain injury can be … I think we’re about to be able to do the C word, the cure word on it, but a brain injury can be healed and it’s not a matter of time because I was told, “Oh, it’s just the brain has its own healing schedule.” I’m like, “No, it doesn’t.”
This is time is of the essence. At any point, if you’re listening to this and you’ve had a brain injury because, most likely, you have. 17 million people have a brain injury every year. Most people don’t realize they did. They don’t understand why they’re a little depressed, or moody, or maybe even suicidal, since 25% of people with brain injury have some suicidal ideation or attempt it, which is just devastating. These things will work even if you’ve got an old brain injury and that’s what’s super cool. We had Grant on fish oil prior to this whole thing and this is important because you never know when you’re going to hit your head.
Dave Asprey: Yeah.
JJ Virgin: Do you, Dave?
Dave Asprey: I probably hit my head a couple of times this year.
JJ Virgin: Yes. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to laugh about that.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, because you made me hit my head, just so we’re all clear on this.
JJ Virgin: We might have had a little tussle and I might have won. Anyway, float that out there. We’ll leave that be. You never know when this stuff is going to happen. My son was on five grams of fish oil prior to all of this. I believe that’s what …
Dave Asprey: A high dose.
JJ Virgin: He has bipolar disorder.
Dave Asprey: Okay.
JJ Virgin: Fish oil is neuro protective. Really, what you should do is you should do some Omega 3 testing. You should balance your Omega 3s, do a four to one ratio of six to one’s, and have that dialed in to produce the ox state of Omega 3.
Dave Asprey: By the way, if you read JJ’s book, you read my book, her The Sugar Impact, you read the Bulletproof diet, we both talk about the importance of that fat ratio because that Omega 6, too much Omega 6 is really bad inflammatory for the brain.
JJ Virgin: Not enough, too. It’s important because then people go, “Oh, I’m just going to go crazy on the Omega 3s.” You need that balance. You need the inflammation, anti-inflammation balance. It’s all got to be there. Anyway, the hospital wouldn’t let me go over two grams because they were afraid it was going to increase bleeding time. There’s not one study ever to show this and so what I did …
Dave Asprey: Really?
JJ Virgin: Zero. There’s not one study. Dr. Barry Sears gave me all of the research because Barry Sears and Dr. Michael Lewis, who both were helping me, a couple more of my angels.
Dave Asprey: Barry’s a great guy.
JJ Virgin: Oh my gosh, they did the [inaudible 00:17:43] stuff, the coal miner stuff, so they were doing all of the work that you see out there. I had all the research. I took it to the hospital. They said, “Oh.” They took it to their IRB. I’m like, “Oh, great.” Sanjay Gupta told me that he has parents lying down saying, “You’re going to have to get security guards out or give my kid fish oil.” He said they’d been taking blue babies off the bottom of pool force and bringing them back.
Dave Asprey: Wow.
JJ Virgin: There’s no risk to this. We got to give him two grams. I’m like, “This is ridiculous,” but Grant hacked up his feeding tube ad then it was game on. Then I had a NutriBullet in the hospital with me and I was doing all sorts of stuff. I was doing glutamine and probiotics because he had holes everywhere, major antibiotics, Vitamin D, all sorts of stuff, but fish oil was the big thing. I just started taking up and doing because when he came out of the coma, there was no eye contact, nothing.
Dave Asprey: Were you concerned that glutamine was going to lead to higher glutamate, which is tied to neuron cell death after injury?
JJ Virgin: No I was not because I was much more concerned at that time that he was going to die of cachexia. One of the things that happens when you’re in a coma is they can’t get you enough nutrition. He had dropped 50 pounds. He was wasting away.
Dave Asprey: Holy crap.
JJ Virgin: I was putting him on really amazing amino acids.
Dave Asprey: This was right after.
JJ Virgin: This wasn’t right after.
Dave Asprey: Okay. That makes sense.
JJ Virgin: This was over the course of a month, he lost 50 pounds and I’m watching him waste away. I’m like, “Not on my watch.” I was giving him glutamine. I was giving him amino acids. Then I was just [chlorophy-densing 00:19:22] out these little shake because he had to learn how to eat again. We had a big sign up there, “No hospital food.” You’re going to love this one. Do you know what they wanted to give him at the second hospital? He was in the hospital four and a half months.
Dave Asprey: Probably NutraSweet.
JJ Virgin: Yes.
Dave Asprey: Did I guess it?
JJ Virgin: No, I kid you not. They’re like, “What should we give him to drink?” I’m like, “Water? How about water? How about if you want to give him anything else, maybe coconut water? I mean, water.”
Dave Asprey: People listening may not know this. NutraSweet or Aspartame is an excitatory neurotoxin.
JJ Virgin: Worst thing for a brain injury.
Dave Asprey: Yeah.
JJ Virgin: Like what could be worse for a brain injury? They’re like, “What about Crystal Light?” I’m like, “We cannot give him artificial sweeteners. You’re going to give him Aspertame with a brain injury?” When you have a brain injury, you now have a totally unstable brain.
Dave Asprey: Yeah.
JJ Virgin: You do not want something that’s going to destabilize it further. That was craziness to me, totally crazy.
Dave Asprey: It doesn’t make any sense unless you have a very broken paradigm that food doesn’t matter and some hospitals still have that. Fortunately, some are changing.
JJ Virgin: Some. There are not many, unfortunately.
Dave Asprey: Well, like where Mark Hyman is working.
JJ Virgin: I know. Mark’s a crusader. Also, the Cancer Institutes of America. Actually, I went over and visited there. They had a whole organic farm. I was like, “This is badass.” With Grant, the first hospital, I actually had to put a sign up. They didn’t have a fridge for me to use. The second hospital had a whole fridge and kitchen for me. I was like, “Fantastic.” I made sushi downstairs and everyday, Grant was like, “Sushi.” The first hospital, I had to go to Whole Foods, drag it over and Whole Foods actually shipped me stuff, too. They’re so good.
Dave Asprey: We love Whole Foods.
JJ Virgin: We love Whole Foods and thank you, Betsy Foster. I would pull everything in and the whole floor was like, “We’ve never seen a mom do this.” I’m like, “I can’t imagine why not. What are you talking about? This is the most important thing we can do now is this piece.” That was in the hospital part and then of course, once we got him out of the hospital, it was really game on.
Dave Asprey: Once you’ve fixed his body, which is really miraculously you pulled that off, what about the mind though? After a traumatic brain injury like that, I’ve got personal experience where I’ve had two substantial [inaudible 00:21:40] last year. It can take a while without some pretty serious inventions.
JJ Virgin: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: What did you do? You had the short term with progesterone, fish oil.
JJ Virgin: Short term was fish oil and progesterone and essential oils we started right away.
Dave Asprey: Which ones? Do you remember?
JJ Virgin: I’ve got it in my protocol.
Dave Asprey: Okay.
JJ Virgin: There was a bunch of them because they literally had someone who … She works in the brain trauma unit and brought them over and started doing. I’m like, “Thank you.”
Dave Asprey: We actually use essential oils at 40 Years of Zen when people are doing that Neurofeedback training, when they just get a wall where their brain can’t go anymore. We use essential oils to give them more. I didn’t have that in the protocol.
JJ Virgin: Thank you. I was like, “What about me?” I guess I’m going back though. I’m going back.
Dave Asprey: The version two is very strong.
JJ Virgin: It was the first thing that we did. Again, this step, I saw it from my own eyes. It was one of the first things that we did and he’s responding. When you’ve got a kid in a coma, you’re watching for anything, anything at all. When they wake up and they’re staring off into space … I was bringing him anything to activate his taste, his touch, sound, I just did everything I could think of to just start waking him up. It was like having a baby. He would get super upset and agitated if I went too far and then he had to sleep.
Dave Asprey: Wow.
JJ Virgin: To bring up someone out of a brain injury, it is very much like raising a baby. How they go through and they get too much and then they had to process and sleep. Too much. That’s what we did. We brought him home. Now, the biggest challenge I had was I have all of these resources, and I have not even come close to exhausting them, and I wanted to do all of it at once. The first thing that we did was took him back over to Amen’s. Now, here’s what’s super cool is Dr. Daniel Amen was Grant’s doctor. He’s a personal friend.
Dave Asprey: He’s a great guy.
JJ Virgin: I went and found him at a party because I was like, “I want this guy to help my son years and years ago,” 12, 15 years ago. I found him.
Dave Asprey: Daniel Amen.
JJ Virgin: Yes.
Dave Asprey: Cool.
JJ Virgin: I literally stalked him and I went running up to him at this party and I go, “I’m a huge fan girl.” He’s like, “Okay.” We got to be super close friends and I actually helped him pick out his Valentine’s Day present when he and Tana were dating. Yeah.
Dave Asprey: That’s so cool.
JJ Virgin: Yeah, so We go way back. He had pre-accident scans because he helped me with Grant’s bipolar and that’s why he was on fish oil and everything else. We now have post-accident scans and he could actually show me where we were and what we needed to do. We started with him hyperbaric and ping pong.
Dave Asprey: You know, Daniel Amen buy a ping pong table.
JJ Virgin: Anyone who’s gone to Amen clinic has a ping pong table.
Dave Asprey: I have a ping pong robot, too, JJ.
JJ Virgin: I know. I saw that.
Dave Asprey: It’s so cool. It throws balls at you way faster than normal ping pong. I can play with nunchucks now. Okay, not really. Anyhow, did you actually get a ping pong table for Grant?
JJ Virgin: Yes. We got a ping pong table. Yes, we did because it was a great way. We started working major hand-eye coordination. Then he went back to tennis and he was doing a lot of training. Even though I started out as a personal trainer, it’s like I needed other people to do these things. He was going to the gym with me, too. He started doing all of that and then of course, I had real tight control now over his diet. Then we started Neurofeedback.
Dave Asprey: Of course.
JJ Virgin: We had the brain mapping stuff, so that helped.
Dave Asprey: I just got to say, anyone who’s had a stroke or any traumatic brain injury who doesn’t do Neurofeedback, it’s not okay.
JJ Virgin: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: Here’s why. We’ve added brain mapping to 40 Years of Zen since you went and the 24-channel thing. We’re finding about 90% of people who come in the door as fully functioning executives, celebrities, whatever they are, they have TBIs and they don’t know about it.
JJ Virgin: I would agree.
Dave Asprey: It’s always there and it’s affecting their personality. In a day, you program around it.
JJ Virgin: You listen too. 26.4% of the population has a mental illness right now and at some point in your life, 50% of people have something at some point in their life. Why? I got to tell you, I think a lot of this is brain injury.
Dave Asprey: I do, too. [crosstalk 00:25:48].
JJ Virgin: When you think about it, because we think of a brain injury as someone like Grant in a coma. No. If you hit your head, you’ve just gotten a brain injury. You do it repeatedly, your body is a history book. It’s crazy what’s not being talked about. I had a brain injury. I was driving down the freeway. There was traffic flowing. There were two kids racing and a car spun out, hit me this way and then a big truck hit me that way. I wasn’t in a Lexus SUV and literally cracked it. You don’t crack Lexus SUVs. I was out on a stretcher.
Dave Asprey: Wow.
JJ Virgin: I remember going home that night. I went to the doctor the next day. If you touch me, I threw up. He goes, “Oh, it just takes time. The brain has its own time schedule to heal.” At the time, I knew I was doing GPC, and Acetyl-L-carnitine, and [phosphatidylserine 00:26:39], and ginkgo, and fish oil, and curcumin, I’m thinking all the things he did, but not at the level. I didn’t even think that much of like, “Oh, I have a brain injury.” I could still think creatively, but I was like, “Yeah, okay.”
Dave Asprey: You also don’t always think you have a brain injury.
JJ Virgin: Exactly. That’s the biggest problem. The biggest challenge with a brain injury is it’s going to impact your memory. It’s going to impact your reasoning. It’s going to impact your impulse control massively.
Dave Asprey: Emotions. You turn into an asshole to be perfectly honest.
JJ Virgin: In fact, that’s what John would say, my ex. My ex, honestly, I think one of the biggest reasons that Grant is where he is today, there’s a couple ones. What I want to share is the number one reason Grant’s here. My ex-husband is the angel on earth. He is the most patient, tolerant. He would say to me, he’d be texting going, “His inner asshole is out,” because literally in the hospital, when you’re coming out of a brain injury, you lose your internal editor.
We had him at the second hospital. We had a 24-hour security guard. We had him in a posse bed, a zip up bed so he’s in there. You can’t get out. Then we had this cocktail that we would hit him and it was Haldol, Ativan and Benadryl. This would knock a horse down and it would just take him to calm. You can’t do that and heal your brain at the same time. It’s a little balance, but I would see this thing come out. It was like the Hulk was coming out. It’s like he turned green and we’d be like, “Run for it.”
Dave Asprey: Wow.
JJ Virgin: The security guard was trying to show the nursing staff how to handle him, then he went on a rage and tore the security guard’s clothes off, but it wasn’t his fault.
Dave Asprey: No.
JJ Virgin: That’s the sad part. No one wants to be a bad guy.
Dave Asprey: He probably feels guilty about it.
JJ Virgin: Then he feels so bad about it.
Dave Asprey: Yeah. Yeah.
JJ Virgin: He comes home and we had these instances at home where he tried to swallow handfuls of pills and he tried to run out to the street because 25% of people with a brain injury starts to talk about healing themselves or succeed. I would literally, we jumped him. “I did not go through all this for you to come home and swallow a bunch of pills.”
Dave Asprey: How dare you waste this?
JJ Virgin: No, you don’t. No, you don’t need them. Yeah. It’s been quite a wild ride.
Dave Asprey: When I hit my head, this was in February, I had such bad food poisoning after a business trip that I passed out from throwing up, hit the side of my head on the tile. Just boom, hit the floor. When I came to, I came close to dying because I was face down and my puke was gross. Fortunately, my wife’s an ER doctor and she figured out this was happening. If she hadn’t given me [inaudible 00:29:27] I probably would have died. For a couple of weeks after that, I couldn’t Go Fish with my kids, JJ. I couldn’t remember where the cards were. I don’t really swear much at home because I have little kids. I actually don’t swear that much anyway because I’m actually not that angry. I’ve [reprogrammed 00:29:41] all of that stuff, but man, I started swearing like a sailor. I couldn’t believe it.
JJ Virgin: Yeah. It’s like you get [inaudible 00:29:45].
Dave Asprey: Yeah. It was like that.
JJ Virgin: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: Yeah. Did Grant get that as well?
JJ Virgin: Yeah. It’s classic what happens. One of the things that can happen is you can get hypersexual. I remember I’m looking at one of the nurses and saying, I won’t say the F word here, but he was like, “I freaking love you.” I’m like, “Wow. Okay.” It’s like, “Okay. Inappropriate.” That can happen. They get violent and you just have no editor, no filter. If you think about some of the things that go on in your head, if you had no filter, if they were just coming out, what could happen?
Anyway, now he’s home so we’ve done Neurofeedback, we’ve done hyperbaric, and we’re stopping and starting because I’ve got all these deep plans of what I’m going to do but he has to participate. He’s going between, “I’m angry. I’m suicidal.” We’ve had to put him in and get help along the way with this. I have stuck with this we are going to get him to 110% and he was progressively getting better, and then we hit a stuck point. It was not 110%. It was about 70% with periodic suicidal issues, which is not a way anyone can live.
Dave Asprey: Yeah.
JJ Virgin: When he first came out of the hospital, one of my doctor friends, Dr. Elliot Lander, awesome human being of Stem Cell Revolution. Got to give him a plug. He’s so awesome. Love him. Anyway, he did IV stem cells for Grant. Part of the challenge when you’re coming out is you’re just throwing everything at him. I’m like, “What’s working?” At that time, you couldn’t put them into the spine. It’s called intrathecal where you just …
Dave Asprey: Yeah. In fact, I’m doing that next Saturday.
JJ Virgin: Yey! Anyway, we finally found out you now can do this and we did the first round. We did the first round into his spine and then we sent the stem cells out to grow because if you’re not a baby, you don’t have that big concentration of stem cells so you want to boost that.
Dave Asprey: Did they pull them from his marrow or from his fat?
JJ Virgin: No, from his fat.
Dave Asprey: Okay. Cool.
JJ Virgin: I did a Facebook Live of mine being taken.
Dave Asprey: You too?
JJ Virgin: I did, yes, because I’m doing them into my knee and hips. He does this. He had to have another knee surgery. He’s had a couple knee surgery since. It’s ongoing with some of the stuff but he works out. He’s totally cool with that.
Dave Asprey: It’s so cool.
JJ Virgin: We did a knee surgery and this is an important one. We did the surgery and then did stem cells right after.
Dave Asprey: Yes.
JJ Virgin: This should just be standard.
Dave Asprey: I’ll tell you all right now having done a good number of stem cells. I’ve got 25 more doses. If you have any surgical procedure whatsoever and you don’t get intravenous stem cells afterwards, you’re wasting your time. Just that big.
JJ Virgin: Yeah. It’s ridiculous. Here’s the other part. What we’ve done now is I’ve banked my stem cells.
Dave Asprey: Me, too.
JJ Virgin: Grant’s banked his stem cells, so if something happens …
Dave Asprey: Explain what banking means.
JJ Virgin: What we did was we had them drawn and then we sent them off to a lab that grows them and then keeps them over there. Here’s why this is so important. You don’t know when you’re going to get in an accident and that’s when you need them.
Dave Asprey: Also, the younger you are when you get your stem cells taken out, the more powerful they are. What they do to get your stem cells, what JJ and I went through is in fact, we both Facebook Live, which is hilarious.
JJ Virgin: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: They basically take this long needle and they do what they would do for liposuction where they pull some fat off over above your kidneys. Not that much of it and it’s painful.
JJ Virgin: Yeah, one ounce.
Dave Asprey: Yeah.
JJ Virgin: It took me forever. I was so bruised, awful. Here’s what should happen: in the perfect world, hopefully we’re getting to this point, if I was going to have babies right now, I would have them genetically tested and their stem cells banked then. That would just be what you do. Right now, I know at least if something happened where Bryce had to have surgery, let’s say he broke his leg, boom! I would have the stem cells there for him. That’s what you want to do is bank them or have familial banking, which isn’t legal yet.
Dave Asprey: It’s not legal yet. Well, not in this country.
JJ Virgin: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: You can also …
JJ Virgin: Legal schmigle.
Dave Asprey: Right. You can also do interesting things. If you do a full human genome workout on people when they’re born, and I’ve had my full human genome done, you can understand what drugs are going to work, what detox pathways work, and things like that, what B vitamins you should take. If I had known about some of the mutations that I have when I was a kid, I probably would have covered in stretchmarks the way I am now. It’s one of the contributing factors is I have something called a CBS mutation. That means that if I don’t get extra zinc and biotin, that I am at high risk for having poor collagen formation.
Who the heck would ever know this? I think Chinese medicine wouldn’t even figure this stuff out, but we can do it. If everyone knew this, even if you just [inaudible 00:34:27] me, you can figure that one out, but the whole genome would also tell the hospital for Grant, “Hey, here’s the drugs that are likely to cause problems [inaudible 00:34:34],” so we can avoid a lot.
JJ Virgin: So much. It’s just the way it needs and it’s moving in that direction. You know what? What I’m recommending is that we do not wait for that to get there. I’m not waiting and I’m going to share everything that we do because with the fish oil in the hospital they go, “Okay. Well, we can do two grams.” I’m like, “No. No, we’re not going to wait.” Everything is risk-reward. You’ve got a kid hovering between life and death with a severe injury and you’re afraid he might bleed a little more. Sorry. Risk-reward. Give him the fish oil. Plus he didn’t. I actually was checking his bleed times. What I would do is every time we knew they were going to draw [inaudible 00:35:15].
Dave Asprey: Nice.
JJ Virgin: Yeah. This has not changed anything. It has not changed anything at all. Then when I went to Children’s Hospital, I just told them he was doing 20 grams a day and they gave it to him. We did 20 grams a day for 6 moths, then we went to 10 grams.
Dave Asprey: For six months, wow.
JJ Virgin: For six months. Then we dropped to five grams. We did progesterone for six months too.
Dave Asprey: In comparison, that was a really major injury, I took a pretty strong knee to the head right here not that long ago. I’m not saying whose knee it was. [inaudible 00:35:48] someone’s name. It was all in good fun.
JJ Virgin: Things happen, you know.
Dave Asprey: Things happen.
JJ Virgin: Things happen.
Dave Asprey: It was entirely accidental when we were having a fun sporting event and I went on high dose fish oil as soon as I could.
JJ Virgin: I felt really bad about it just so we … I did. The first thing was like, “Get fish oil.”
Dave Asprey: Of course, you would. You’re like my sister, JJ, and you’ve had enough trauma in your family.
JJ Virgin: It’s like, “Oh no.”
Dave Asprey: I did go on fish oil but also, within five minutes of taking a hit, I had 10 [inaudible 00:36:25] advantage and I had 10 keto primes all at once because the first thing that happens within minutes of a brain hit like that is neurons start to die and they can leak. If you can support mitochondrial function, these are unlikely to harm me. They’re probably going to support the mitochondrial function and I didn’t have most of those stuff. I took a lot of glutathione too just for the antioxidant effects. Then as soon as I got home, which was the next day, I went onto the full …
JJ Virgin: You went to hyperbaric too, right?
Dave Asprey: I went into hyperbaric right away and I also took one of those progesterone. I did 400 milligrams a day. That was because you told me to. 400 milligrams a day for 4 or 5 days and 200 milligrams for another few days and I recovered really quickly from this.
JJ Virgin: Yeah, and that was a big hit.
Dave Asprey: It was a huge one.
JJ Virgin: Yeah. My knee hurt.
Dave Asprey: Yeah.
JJ Virgin: What about my knee?
Dave Asprey: Should we tell them what we were actually doing?
JJ Virgin: No, we are not. Nope. No, we’re not telling.
Dave Asprey: Come on, JJ.
JJ Virgin: No, we’re not telling. No, we’re not.
Dave Asprey: All right, you guys are going to have to wonder. The other thing that really made a difference about 40 days after it happened, I had a chance to go back to the 40 Years of Zen facility in Seattle. I don’t live in Seattle, I live in Victoria and I’m traveling all the time for work, but I didn’t feel like I was all the way back. I went in and maybe we can paste this into the video or something, but we do the 24-channel brain scan on the first day and we know what my brain looks like. It looks like a Zen master brain because it has very high coherence. It’s a very smooth brain without a lot of assymetry at all and that’s because of three months of intensive …
JJ Virgin: Yeah, it didn’t start that way.
Dave Asprey: No, not at all. The post-hit, oh my god.
JJ Virgin: I know. I can’t believe those pictures you showed me.
Dave Asprey: It was like spaghetti. My brain was really not working. Even though I was functional, I was doing the podcast just like you guys hear me, I was being a dad but I wasn’t all there in an organized fashion. It’s like my car will still drive, but it’s not driving the way it should, that kind of feeling. That’s why traumatic brain injuries are so slippery and eve worse, you get used to feeling that way so you think that’s then your normal.
JJ Virgin: Yeah, you think it’s in your normal. Here’s a bigger issue too with all of this and it comes from Daniel Aman. He says, “How do we know unless we look?” He says, “This is the one area in the medicine where we don’t look at anything” that’s spec scans and brain mapping are so critical because he was able to look at Grant’s brain with the spec scan and go, “Here’s the issues are, here’s what you need to do.” Then we came back another six months he goes, “Here is where it’s healing.”
Then he did one thing where he could show us how far it could go and he goes, “Here’s how far he can go.” I’ve completely disregarded that, I will tell you. Sorry, Daniel. To me, I do not operate in a limited space. To me, I went, “The minute you tell me we can only get this far, I’m going past that. I’m going past that and I’m sure when we go back again, we will see that we did.” The final thing we did was we’ve … Not the final. I’ve got so many more things to do because now I think we can actually get him to 40 Years. He wasn’t quite ready yet.
Dave Asprey: Anytime, JJ. You know my door is open for you.
JJ Virgin: We did intrathecal stem cells and here’s what happened, and this is important because no one have this information so I want this out there, is when he was waking up out of the brain injury, he was very violent, like we talked about. We do this intrathecal stem cells and the first three days are amazing, like amazing. He’s been reading like he reads crazy stuff and he’s super smart. He’s developed his whole hydroponic system in the backyard.
Dave Asprey: What is he growing there?
JJ Virgin: Well, it’s now legal in California. He’s been doing amazing art, so he’s very, very smart, but he was very unstable. Everything was great for three days. We’re like, “Oh my gosh. This was the answer,” and then he went off the rails. It was like he was waking back up again and I’m watching this. I always operate from what’s good about this, like what’s good here, and I’m watching this and I’m like, “This looks like he was in the hospital. We must be waking up neurons. We must be reconnecting things. Stuff must be coming back.” I send out an email to a bunch of our neuroscientist friends like Dr. Andrew [inaudible 00:40:36], and Daniel Amen, and everyone’s like, “We don’t know. We don’t know what because people aren’t doing this.”
I sent one to Carrie, and I don’t know if I have her name right, [inaudible 00:40:47]. It’s Mark Hyman’s buddy. She’s a spinal surgeon. I go, “This is what’s happened,” and she goes, “I’ve been doing this and about 72 hours into it, the cells start to differentiate and people who had numb limbs are screaming out in excruciating pain because they’re waking up,” and I went, “That’s it.” It took us about two and a half weeks of pure terror because he was back to that place again. I never had an adult conversation with him. He was 6 when he got hit. I haven’t known this person. Like he was gone.
Dave Asprey: That’s profound.
JJ Virgin: I had a conversation with him a couple of days ago. He actually watched the documentary that we’ve done around this and he watched three times with John and then he started texting me really mean, nasty things. I woke up in the morning to all this mean stuff.
Dave Asprey: It’s not about me.
JJ Virgin: I was like, “Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo,” and I call him. Now, the old Grant would have broken a wall, ran out in the streets. The new Grant I go, “What’s going on here?” He goes he’s brought up all this stuff. He started throwing this in, “You guys got divorced.” I’m like, “Whoa.” I go, “First off, hey, we all have done the best we could do at any time.” I go, “And maybe I didn’t show up as my best self then, maybe Dad didn’t, maybe you didn’t either.” I got, “But we did the best we could at the time and look how we are all now.” My ex-husband is an ex-husband. We are all super close. We are a great family. I go, “Look at you. Look where you are now.” He goes, “Oh, you’re right.”
Dave Asprey: That’s a big change.
JJ Virgin: I’m like, “What?” You know? He starts having this totally great conversation. Thank you for pointing that out. I went, “Oh my god, I’ve never talked to him like this is a different human.” Here’s what else he did and this is crazy stuff. I come home and he says, “I’ve done this things with [Tesla coils 00:42:34].” He orders these Tesla coils, and he set up this thing, and he’s wearing, like a muse, something that tracks your brainwaves. He’s got that set up in the computer, then he takes Tesla coils. He does something so he’s gathering the energy and he’s modifying his brainwaves, so he’s using it to calm himself down.
Dave Asprey: Cool.
JJ Virgin: Then he got that thing from the Steven [Gluckster 00:42:55] I turned you onto. He’s wearing this copper coil that pulses and we’re putting all the stuff together. He can take himself if he’s starting to get agitated and calm down. Crazy stuff that he’s putting together. I go, “You realize you’re going to change brain injury. You realize you’re going to do this.” He kept going, “What’s my purpose,” which is interesting in its own because who at 17, 18, 19, what boy do you know at 17, 18, 19, or even girl, who’s going, “What’s my life purpose?”
Dave Asprey: I knew my life purpose when I was 17. It was to get laid.
JJ Virgin: Right. Right? I mean, there it is. It’s not like what’s my life’s purpose, why am I here? I got, “I know why you’re here. I can see it, so just go with me in mind.” He’s like, “Oh, I get it.”
Dave Asprey: Wow. That’s profound.
JJ Virgin: He goes, “I’m going to create this. I’m going to show other people this.” I go, “You show people what’s possible.” Now, we’re going to start the next one with 10X as many stem cells next week and we’ve got a [inaudible 00:43:50] ready if necessary.
Dave Asprey: Is that next week when you’re doing it?
JJ Virgin: He’s doing it. I’m doing it the week after.
Dave Asprey: It’s funny because right now, I guess it’s Saturday, a week from today, because we’re recording this on a Saturday, and that’s when I’m getting it. It might even be on the same day. It’s funny.
JJ Virgin: We’ll all swap.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, exactly.
JJ Virgin: So exciting.
Dave Asprey: I don’t think I want your stem cells too, JJ.
JJ Virgin: Yeah, not swapping stem cells. Swapping success stories.
Dave Asprey: Exactly.
JJ Virgin: I think stem cells are some of the most exciting things we’ve got happening now.
Dave Asprey: Stem cells are absolutely profound. I am going to be getting stem cells every six months until I run out of the supply.
JJ Virgin: I’m going to tell you, we are all commenting on it, all your close buddies are like, “Gosh, you look so much younger.” That’s why I’m doing them because I have to look younger than you. It’s only a competitive thing. It’s only a competitive thing.
Dave Asprey: You do look younger than me, JJ. Don’t even worry about that.
JJ Virgin: Lana looks awesome. His hottie wife, hottie smart wife. Nothing better than someone who is super smart, and hot, and awesome.
Dave Asprey: Let’s talk about stem cells for a second here because if you’re listening to this you’re going, “Yeah, okay. Dave and JJ, they’re authors. They’re successful. They’re probably spending a million dollars on stem cells.” No. It’s like 3,500 bucks. It’s cheaper than knee surgery.
JJ Virgin: Here’s a thing too and the biggest place they’re doing them now is in the knees. I’m going to have my knee and hip done. When you really play out the expenses and all this stuff, it is way less money. When you look at a brain injury, the average cost of a brain injury … Over five million are disabled right now with brain injury. I think it’s much higher, but people don’t realize it. The average cost …
Dave Asprey: I think it’s everyone. If you were 18 months old and you feel down, have a brain injury.
JJ Virgin: Yeah, that’s right. You hurt your brain. If you average cost is anywhere between $80,000 and a million dollars, so I’m sorry, stem cells are a deal. They’re just a deal and most of that stuff is going to be out-of-pocket stuff or copays.
Dave Asprey: Here’s the thing, the painful part is getting the fat pulled out.
JJ Virgin: It’s awful. It’s awful.
Dave Asprey: I didn’t think it was that bad.
JJ Virgin: Well, because you have more fat than me.
Dave Asprey: In some places. Anyhow, what I did is I had them pulled the fat out, same as JJ. That hurts a little bit. What hurts more for those who [inaudible 00:45:58]? After that …
JJ Virgin: It hurt after the fact and I was very bruised.
Dave Asprey: I think this might be a female thing. Lana had a lot more pain than I did.
JJ Virgin: Yeah. I had a lot more bruising.
Dave Asprey: You’re going to be sore for a week. Then they’d take the fat, they spin it, they get the stem cells out, they can put a few in, and then they grew them. What I had done, and what I think you’re in the process of having done, is I’m like, “Look, if you’re going to stick needles and going to my bones and all that stuff, you don’t have to get it from your bone.” I get from my bones as well. I was like, “Put it in my knee where I’ve had three surgeries. Put it in my shoulders where I’ve had pain. Put it in my neck. Put in my spine. Put it anywhere that’s ever hurt on my body and then, since we have some extra stuff, put it here in my face. Put it in my hair. Put it in my blood.” Then in another procedure after that, I had an injection to my cerebral spinal fluid, the intrathecal thing. That was about, this was before the conference so I don’t know, middle of the year sometime.
JJ Virgin: That was perfect timing too to have it.
Dave Asprey: Yeah.
JJ Virgin: I’m having it done in my knee and hip, but I’m also doing a Fraxel laser. What it’s going to do is it’s going to go where there’s an injury. In fact, my doc told me that all of them just keep their stem cells banked and at least once a year they do it just preventively because wherever you’re hurt, wherever you have inflammation, it’s going to go there. I’m actually creating inflammation so I’m going to create a bunch of inflammation deep and then hit it with IVs and I’m also going to hit the spray gun.
Dave Asprey: The spray gun?
JJ Virgin: Have you seen this thing?
Dave Asprey: Stem cells spray gun?
JJ Virgin: There’s a stem cells spray gun.
Dave Asprey: What did they do with it?
JJ Virgin: How do you not know this thing?
Dave Asprey: I don’t know.
JJ Virgin: They’re using it for burn victims. They’re crazy.
Dave Asprey: Oh, the spray paint one. I didn’t know it was stem cells. I thought it was therapy.
JJ Virgin: No. That was done. They showed a picture of someone like this massive …
Dave Asprey: The fireman with no skin on his shoulder at all, right?
JJ Virgin: Yeah, yeah. Crazy stuff. It’s this spray gun.
Dave Asprey: Yeah. It’s like a little can of your own blood products and that they spray paint on your skin. There’s a video out there, this firefighter was really charred and he was completely unscarred, fresh skin. This is something I’ve never seen before. You’re going to do that
JJ Virgin: Heck yeah.
Dave Asprey: How do I get that?
JJ Virgin: I don’t know. I just sent it to my doctor, I’m like, “Get this toy.”
Dave Asprey: You don’t have burns.
JJ Virgin: They laser you so you’re a little burned, but the damage is really deep.
Dave Asprey: I’m so going to get this done.
JJ Virgin: I know. This is all this thing. They look younger than you.
Dave Asprey: This is what biohackers do. We’re like, “Oh, how can I burn myself and heal better?” The whole point of this episode is that what happened with Grant is both a huge emotional thing for JJ. As a care provider, a caregiver, there’s …
JJ Virgin: As a mom, you know? The number one thing I always said is I can handle all the business stress, all the crazy stuff as long as my kids are okay. You never want to outlive your kids. That is just not the way things are going to be, so this was that experience.
Dave Asprey: I don’t know, JJ. I told my kids I’m like, “Look, I’m planning to live 180 plus,” and I said, “if you guys do stupid stuff that kills you, I’m going to live longer than you. You want to beat me?” Of course, all kids want to beat their parents. “If you want to beat me, do the right thing.”
JJ Virgin: That’s a good one.
Dave Asprey: Let’s go exercise. I have no problem with wanting to eat stuff. I told them, “Let’s get McDonald’s,” and I just wanted them to feel crappy for me it because they’ve never had McDonald’s and they’re like, “We don’t want to go.” I’m like, “No really, you should try the McNugget.” They’re like, “No, we don’t want to.” I’m like, “Okay.”
JJ Virgin: Eat that Mac.
Dave Asprey: Brainwashing successful.
JJ Virgin: Do you know what I did with my kids one Halloween? They go out in trick or treat and I go, “Go ahead, eat whatever you want. Get sick, throw up.” They’re like done.
Dave Asprey: They misbehave for so long.
JJ Virgin: Oh gosh, I know.
Dave Asprey: Here’s what I do in Halloween. This is totally unrelated to the brain injury stuff other than sugar causes brain injuries when you get too much of it. I just buy the candy from my kids. I’ll pay you in Bulletproof dark chocolate bars with no sugar and they love those like, “Can I have the ones with salt?” I’m like, “Yes,” or I give them money.
JJ Virgin: Yeah. We always buy out their candy, but you know the other cool thing is if you put it away, they forget about it. We put it away, but we just would buy it back.
Dave Asprey: What do you do with candy you buy from people like that?
JJ Virgin: You give to people you don’t like.
Dave Asprey: See, that’s the problem.
JJ Virgin: I like everybody.
Dave Asprey: Me too.
JJ Virgin: I just threw it away.
Dave Asprey: I feel bad.
JJ Virgin: I mean, I honestly threw it away.
Dave Asprey: We grew genetically modified corn to make this crappy stuff and I don’t want to give it to people because even if I don’t like them, I don’t want to harm them.
JJ Virgin: Yeah, it’s just mean. It’s just mean. There is one last thing I do want to point out about all this because everybody keeps asking now like, “Okay, what was it? Was it the fish oil? Was it the stem cells?” We had every religion covered praying. I was like, “Great. Let’s get them all. All of them.” We had scrolls hanging and holy water, all sorts of stuff.
Dave Asprey: I would have done all the same thing. Just so you guys know, I’m a pretty logical biohacker, so is JJ. She’s a science person. None of this stuff can harm, and there’s some evidence that it might work, and sometimes you can feel weird stuff happen.
JJ Virgin: I had that energy. Stephen Sinatra sent me his energy healer by phone.
Dave Asprey: He’s a cardiologist guy.
JJ Virgin: Yes. He’s a cardiologist.
Dave Asprey: One of the guys behind earthing, by the way.
JJ Virgin: Yeah. He sends me this guy on the phone. He goes, “He’s an energy healer. He’s going to help.” I’m like, “All right, fine.” I’m like, “Yeah, right.” I’m driving to the hospital every morning, he would give me the status report of Grant because I’d leave at 9 p.m. and get back around 5:30 so I’d hit Grant rounds. He tell me what’s going on with Grant. I’d walk in, they’d tell me the same thing, and he’d say, “Okay, now hold the phone up.” I’d hold the phone up and he’s do this [woosh 00:51:22] stuff and his blood pressure would come down. I’m like, “All right.”
Dave Asprey: This is something I talk about that much, but I read about this in Head Strong, my new book that comes out a couple of months after your book is out. There’s a guy, Barry Morguelan, who does energy work for Tony Robins to support Tony when Tony has events. This guy is a UCLA surgeon, like a real Western doctor. He was one of 12 living grandmasters of a Chinese energetic medicine tradition that’s out there. Those actually created to protect the emperor of China. This guy just has mad powers. You can feel what he does and I don’t think that anyone who sense they’re experiencing that can actually filter that out. You know, these people are really strong. He actually wrote the meditation for mitochondria that’s in my book, but that kind of thing, if I had major traumatic brain injury or someone from my family did, you bet your ass I’d be calling Barry and a few other people like Alberto Villoldo, the shaman who’s been on the show. You’re not going to do any harm and something happens when you …
JJ Virgin: When you put that much, what you focus on expands and that’s why when people go, “What was it,” here’s the deal: what you focus on expands and I believe you get what expect. I just went, “I’m going to expect 110%,” because even if I fall a little short, that’s better than going, “As long as he’s alive.” What if I said, “He’ll be 50%,” and I hit that? I decided I’m going to go for 110% because when you ask the right questions, those are the answers you seek. That’s all I’ve focused on and that’s all I’ve been focusing on. Honestly, last couple of weeks, all of a sudden I went, “Oh my gosh, he’s better than before the accident.” We’ve done it. Now, I’m going, “Why did I limit myself to 110%?”
Now, the next big thing for us is now that I know what works here and again it starts first with you’ve got to make that decision. Most people would have let him die at the first hospital, so it has to come from that decision of question authority and break the rules. Be disruptive. Take responsibility. It would have been so easy to hand responsibility over. Take responsibility and then set that big, crazy, stretch goal and just keep it front and center. I look at the things I’ve accomplished in my life and all of them along the way I was going, “That’s a little ridiculous.”
Dave Asprey: There’s a Western reductionist thing, which is a little scary, when people ask you what’s the one thing that worked. Like okay, let’s make some bread, which neither of us actually does anymore. You think about this, what’s the one thing that worked? I baked the water and didn’t work, so I baked the yeast, it didn’t work. I baked the flour, it didn’t work very well. Therefore, there is no bread. That’s a really unhealthy way of looking at it and it’s the same thing. What did I do to lose 100 pounds? Well, okay, there’s a whole list of things, but it wasn’t one thing.
JJ Virgin: There’s one thing on the top. There’s one thing on the top and I’m going to keep going back. Why did that happen?
Dave Asprey: I decided to?
JJ Virgin: These things they all talk about aren’t working. You questioned conventional wisdom. You knew where you want to be. You could see it possible. You were open to possibilities. Then you went and figured out how the heck to make it happen. It’s there.
Dave Asprey: That’s exactly right. The idea of just one thing, if I cut myself with a knife, that was just one thing. You’re pretty sure that you cut yourself with a knife. The vast majority of things happening in our lives, in our biology have tens of thousands of things and even that cutting yourself with a knife, there is substantial data that says that we are slightly less neurologically responsive when there are more [sun 00:55:07] spots. In fact, I just had another podcast about that looking at space weather does affect human psychology. If you don’t believe me, look at full moon emergency room reports. Was it just one thing when you cut yourself with a knife or were there contributing factors that you weren’t paying any attention to that you didn’t know mattered? When people ask for just one thing or to say I controlled all the variables, no you didn’t. You don’t even look at 99.9% of the variables.
JJ Virgin: You don’t even know what the variables are to control.
Dave Asprey: Right. What you do when you want to do what JJ did, you want to do everything that’s likely to work and not right things. It’s that recipe, that combination of things. If it was just the fish oil, probably not.
JJ Virgin: No.
Dave Asprey: Is it possible that something you did didn’t help?
JJ Virgin: Sure.
Dave Asprey: Exactly. Who cares, right?
JJ Virgin: I’m guessing it didn’t hurt. There were things and here is the thing. I kept doing things, the doctor’s is like, “He needs to be in the hospital for another two months.” I go, “He keeps wanting to go home and I think he’d be better with familiarity.” Maybe that wasn’t the right choice. Maybe he should have been another two months. Maybe I did … I would sneak him into the physical therapy room at Children’s Hospital and make him do pushups and stuff. They’re like, “What are you doing?” He wants to workout hard. They’re like, “Back off, mom.” We took him into the pool. They’re like, “Don’t let him swim.” Swimming perfect strokes. I’m like, “He can do it.” Maybe I pushed him too much too fast.
Dave Asprey: In fact, swimming for people with TBI is really helpful because when you’re in the womb, you make swimming motions, it reconnects the nervous system.
JJ Virgin: They didn’t want to put him in there because they were afraid he was going to have one of those episodes in there and how the heck were they going to get him out. We actually had to take him … [inaudible 00:56:39]. It would have been, yeah. We got to take him on a little [hiatus 00:56:44] out for four hours. We took him out, we took him to a big pool. We put him in the pool. We videotaped it and brought it back to them and said, “See?”
Dave Asprey: Nice. JJ, kudos to you for standing up to the hospital. When my dad had a heart attack many years ago, I knew enough to be dangerous. I actually called Julian Whitaker, who’s one of the top cardiologist doctors, saying, “Don’t do bypasses,” and all that stuff. There was a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in the hospital and they wouldn’t put him in it. I was like threatening lawsuits and threatening to choke people. No, I didn’t, but I think I might have thought of it. Basically, the hospital’s hands were tied. They’re like, “It’s not legal. If it’s IRB, if it’s not one of these nine conditions, we can’t put him in there.” I’m like, “But there’s 10,000 studies.” Okay, there weren’t but there were a lot of studies about this. Getting a hospital to do things, the level of regulatory stuff, it’s ridiculous. Sometimes, what you want to do.
JJ Virgin: You just must take it into your own hands.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, same thing with my dad.
JJ Virgin: Ask for forgiveness is generally the way I live life.
Dave Asprey: Yeah, for forgiveness. I might have snuck some food and supplements that weren’t on the list, but you have to watch out. There’s a role, something called a patient advocate. If you’re going in for a surgery, or a procedure, especially pregnancy and birth at a hospital, you really want to have an advocate there who knows what you want, knows what you don’t want, and is willing to stand there and go, “What’s in that needle? Why are you doing that? What’s that?”
JJ Virgin: You must do this. The number three leading cause of death is death by doctor and all of our buddies are doctors.
Dave Asprey: Yeah. We’re at a medical conference recording this.
JJ Virgin: We’re at a medical conference. These are our best friends, but when you’re in a hospital, especially teaching hospital, and Grant’s chart was two things of this, and stuff happens. It’s like you have to be there. You have to be there. You have to have someone there all the time. Wrong prescriptions. I had a client who started an electronic records company because after I started working with him, I gave him some supplements to take and he calls me three days later he goes, “I feel awful from what you gave me.” That’s my pet peeve. I took the supplements and now I feel terrible. I’m like, “It wasn’t the supplements.”
It turns out that his doctor put him on Quinine and he was on Nexium. Quinine and Nexium together will kill you in a couple of weeks. Of course, he was blaming it on the vitamin D. I’m like, “It’s not the vitamin D. It’s not the vitamin D, dude.” I caught, but this happens all the time. All the time. It’s really about understanding that the responsibility lies within us and that’s really empowering too, right?
Dave Asprey: It is indeed.
JJ Virgin: Ultimately, that means that you can really control this and shape this destiny.
Dave Asprey: JJ, I’m always happy to get a chance to hang with you just because we’re friends, but to be able to talk about this and share your story with … This time we did a Facebook Live at the same time recorded the podcast, so you probably are hearing this on the podcast because a lot more people see that than on Facebook, but if you’re following me on Facebook, just Dave Asprey, the one with the orange photo. Then occasionally, I do a live broadcast and you might have seen this live, but you get it either way. Your new book is …
JJ Virgin: They can do a little subscribe so that they’ll find out whenever you’re doing this. He’s so random. If you want to randomly discover when you’re doing this, all they have to do is there’s a little subscribe thing so they can subscribe to your Facebook live then they know when you’re going live because it’ll alert you.
Dave Asprey: You can subscribe to the lives?
JJ Virgin: Yes.
Dave Asprey: That’s a new thing.
JJ Virgin: You can find out. It’s a notify me. There’s something in there that says do you want to be notified when he’s going live? Yes, you do. You want to be notified when Brother Dave is live, so say you do. There you go.
Dave Asprey: I had no clue that Facebook had that. There we go.
JJ Virgin: The other part of that is as you’re listening to this, this is really important information. This is going to be my life’s work to get this out there, so if you’ve heard this and almost everyday now we get someone coming to us going, “We have a brain injury. What do we do?” I want people to understand what’s possible, that there is hope, that you need to do stuff. If you know anybody who’s hit their head, which is everybody, share this on your page too. Share this. This information needs to get out there.
Dave Asprey: Well said, JJ.
JJ Virgin: Thank you.
Dave Asprey: I’m tired of seeing this in everyone who comes through for [inaudible 01:00:59] and it’s something that’s relatively hackable now, even if it’s a very old thing. The brain will fix itself if it knows.
JJ Virgin: It is hackable and honestly, I completely believe now that we can totally … I’m never supposed to say this. We can cure it. That’s what I’m going out with.
Dave Asprey: The C word.
JJ Virgin: I know. I said the C word. I did.
Dave Asprey: The good thing is neither of us is a doctor, so we’re allowed to say we cure things.
JJ Virgin: Nope, so we can say that.
Dave Asprey: We’re joking because we’re at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine right now, which is the preeminent anti-aging physician thing. JJ, you’ve spoken here?
JJ Virgin: I have, a couple of years in a row.
Dave Asprey: JJ has spoken a couple of years in a row.
JJ Virgin: He’s speaking tomorrow.
Dave Asprey: Yeah. I’m giving one of the keynotes. There’s four guys named David giving keynotes out of five, but I’m the only non-doctor.
JJ Virgin: That’s so hilarious. That’s why I’m not giving a keynote because I don’t have the name David.
Dave Asprey: Right. Here, the doctors were lamenting at dinner last night. I shared with Dr. [inaudible 01:01:47], who’s also been on Bulletproof Radio, and Dr. Ludwig, that there’s thing where doctors who are doing the kind of stuff that JJ just talked about, they put their license at risk every time they say, “This will save a life. I’m going to do the right thing,” but it’s not approved by a board of peers who are probably all funded by Monsanto.
JJ Virgin: Who are very catty, those other ones. They’re kind of mean. It really is I view us as we need to be the people, the revolutionaries getting it out there so that we can support them. It’s what Suzanne Somers has done really well.
Dave Asprey: Really well, yeah.
JJ Virgin: She opened the door for so many doctors because she was willing to take the hits. I am totally willing for them to just hit me with this, but I am going to get out there and save a bunch of people’s brains.
Dave Asprey: JJ, we’re unlicensed biohackers. You can’t take our license, but we’re going to talk about what works, which is really cool. If you like what JJ had to say and you should because JJ is awesome, this is her new book, The Miracle Mindset. You can order it today on Amazon.
JJ Virgin: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: Is that what they should do?
JJ Virgin: It’s up there for pre-order on Amazon.
Dave Asprey: Barnes & Noble or one of the other places where books are sold online in pre-order format and this will be hitting shelves in February, right?
JJ Virgin: Yes.
Dave Asprey: Order now, though. JJ will appreciate it and so do I because it’s cool. She’s also got a documentary coming out. If you want to know the very depths of what biohacking can do, and just taking control, and doing everything that might work all at once, and just not taking no for an answer and being unstoppable, this is a really powerful book and it incorporates some of those spiritual energetic stuff that fit the intent and how intent matters, and it also incorporates some of the hard lessons of okay, this is trauma and this is how you deal with hospitals. It’s a great book and one I would really recommend you check out. JJ, thanks for being on Bulletproof Radio.
JJ Virgin: Thank you [crosstalk 01:03:24]. That was a big hug if you’re listening.
Dave Asprey: Yeah. It sounded like static on the mic, but if you’re on video, you saw I just gave JJ a hug. Thank you all on Facebook and for all of you listening on the iTunes channel. If you enjoyed this, you can do something that would really matter for me. If you go there and just leave a five-star rating on iTunes so other people can find the show, I’d really appreciate it. Thank you.