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5 Takeaways from My Broken Brain 2 Docu-Series

5 Takeaways from My Broken Brain 2 Docu-Series

Broken Brain 2 was a way for me to share the latest innovations for healing and nourishing our brain-body connections, a process that helped me recover my own health—using these therapies I went from bedridden to vibrant and I’ve seen an overwhelming amount of others experience the same shift.

With the help of our incredible group of experts, I explored the depths of whole-body health and shared how you can incorporate this powerful emerging science into your own life in practical and accessible ways.

And the response has been mindblowing! My team and I have received so much incredible feedback from those that watched, on how this information has already begun to change their lives for the better.

Though there is an immense amount of information in Broken Brain 2 that I never get tired of talking about, I wanted to highlight 5 key topics that resonated most strongly with our audience for those of you that may have missed it.

Here are my top 5 highlights from Broken Brain 2:

Avoiding Mold and Other Toxic Exposures

In episode 2, we dive into the concept of toxicity. Considering that we have approximately 85,000 chemicals on the market, and only a few hundred of those have ever been tested for safety, it’s not surprising that our detoxification systems are overwhelmed. And then there are other types of toxicity, like electromagnetic frequencies and toxic mold exposure—the latter was part of my personal health crisis and often goes undiagnosed. Here is what Broken Brain 2 expert Dr. Ann Shippy had to say about mold toxicity in Episode 2:

“The fascinating thing about mold exposure is that it can affect almost every organ system in the body. There are some things that I really get suspicious about when a patient comes in and says, ‘Oh, I’m having headaches or brain fog,’ or, ‘I’m just feeling really exhausted.’ Or, if there has been an uptick in the amount of pain that they have in their body, either in their muscles or in their joints. If they’ve developed a skin rash, even newly diagnosed psoriasis, or eczema. Those are things that, most of the time, can trigger me to start thinking about mold. Some people actually have a big impact on their gastrointestinal system. They might feel nauseated a lot more easily, have bloating, or gas, or even more serious symptoms, like inflammatory bowel disease, that can come with mold exposure. The number one thing to address with patients is to make sure that they are not continuing to be exposed. Sometimes, we can get people to start to feel better by helping them to detoxify, support their livers, support their mitochondria in the environment. But the best thing is to figure out how to not be in that environment, at least until it can be remediated.”

Healing from Toxic Beliefs

Your thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, traumas, and life experiences directly influence your biology. The mind influences the body, but sadly, most physicians don’t apply this knowledge in their practices. Since negative beliefs and self-sabotaging thoughts can do harm to our quality of life and physical health, we can utilize that process and flip it to our benefit—using our mind to heal the body. But the catch is that we have to be willing to dig into the toxic beliefs in order to grow. My very own coach, Shelly Lefkoe, joined me in Episode 3 to talk about this process:

“Our beliefs are mostly unconscious. We don’t even know that we have them. By beliefs, I mean, ‘I’m not good enough, I’m not important, I’m not lovable, I’m a failure.’ Those are the kinds of limiting beliefs that we have. Beliefs by their definition are limiting, because if something is the truth, then there’s nothing else possible. Generally, when you believe something is true, it limits the possibilities. Beliefs get formed from past experiences. Many beliefs come from our early childhood, particularly self-esteem beliefs. We come into this world and we don’t know anything. We don’t know if we’re good enough or not good enough. We don’t know if we’re important or not important. We don’t know if life is easy or hard. Depending on the environment where we show up, we look at our parents, and how they behave, and what they say, and what they do, and we form these beliefs. Beliefs not only determine our behavior and our emotions, but they determine our reality, what shows up. Again, people who believe life is hard, have hard lives. We did a few research studies with the University of Arizona and we did one on stress. When people got rid of beliefs, their stress was reduced by a minimum of 51% in every case across the board.”

Supporting Heart-Brain Communication

Did you know the heart sends MORE signals to the brain than the other way around? The heart-brain connection provides us with exciting new perspectives on managing issues like anxiety and declining cognition, while also explaining how we can use gratitude to heal from the inside out. A technique called HeartMath allows us to tap into that connection, Rollin McCraty explains how in Episode 4:

“The simplest of the HeartMath techniques is called quick coherence, and this is a technique that’s really meant to be used in the moment, on the go, eyes open, in the flow of life. Nobody needs to know you’re doing it, right? The first step is heart-focused breathing, and you can put your focus of attention right in the center of the chest. Breathe in a little slower and with deeper rhythm. Find the rhythm that’s most comfortable, typically four or five seconds on the in-breath, four or five seconds on the out-breath, but it’s not about counting. It’s really finding that comfortable rhythm, which starts the process of shifting the rhythm, and just a little note there. We know that where we focus attention in the body, we can cause specific changes. The whole industry is based on this, called the biofeedback industry, right? Where we focus attention, we can learn to cause specific, measurable changes. In this case, we’re shifting the rhythm of the heart, so that focus on the heart is important. Then, breathing at that slower, casual rhythm. Step two is to activate a regenerative feeling, so it’s just care or appreciation for someone or something in your life. That’s really the step, but the key here is to actually have a heartfelt feeling. It’s not a visualization technique, necessarily. For some people, in the beginning, that might be foreign and uncomfortable. A helpful hint, for when you’re first getting started, is to recall a time when you really felt good, you really felt that appreciation. This might be the feeling you have for a pet. You come home and your pet jumps in your lap or greets you. Even if you yelled at them in the morning, they still love you and greet you. Be with that feeling you have. Or, it could be a special place in nature, but to recall and actually feel that feeling. You can actually kind of breathe in and breathe out that feeling. That’s the second step. That actually really shifts the physiology into a more coherent state, so now you’re sending a very different signal to the brain. The brain’s getting, ‘Oh, everything’s okay,’ right? And if we do that enough, that builds as our new baseline, so that becomes the familiar. The brain is going to want to keep doing everything in its power to maintain that as our normal state.”

Detox Your Brain

For years, the brain was thought to be separate from the lymphatic system. But now we know that’s not true, and that the brain has an incredible connection to the immune system, called the glymphatic system, that helps the brain detoxify and receive valuable nutrients. This brain-immune connection creates a new framework for treating brain disease and immune system dysfunctions like autoimmunity. In Episode 5, Dr. Robin Berzin explains more:

“When we talk about neuroinflammation, what we mean is the chronic immune activation in the brain that’s actually affecting brain cells, creating free radicals, creating oxidative stress and damage in the brain. Over time, this can lead to a number of conditions. It can lead to cognitive decline. It can lead to something called brain fog, and we can talk about that. It can even lead to Alzheimer’s disease. We’re understanding more and more about the role of the immune system of the brain, which are mainly cells called the glial cells. The microglia are our immune cells of the brain. We have others, as well. When these immune cells are, again, chronically activated, they’re perceiving that there’s a toxin. They’re perceiving that there’s too much sugar. They’re bombarded with heavy metals, or they are responding to inflammation in the rest of the body. We know that when there’s inflammation throughout the body, it actually creates something called blood-brain barrier permeability. Blood-brain barrier permeability is like leaky brain. You might have heard of leaky gut. We can also have something called leaky brain. When we have leaky brain, the lining that protects the brain becomes porous, and inflammation from the body, that’s systemic or chronic in the body, can begin to affect the brain, as well, and can trigger this glia or this microglia, these immune cells in our brain, to chronically turn on. That might be okay in an acute way, meaning in a short term way. When it’s happening all the time, that’s when you start to get symptoms.”

A Truly Personalized Diet

Advances in the field of genetics can tell us more about our individual health than ever before. The field of nutrigenomics utilizes this information to understand how different foods and nutrients impact our genetic expression and vice versa. That means we have the power to truly hone in on a diet that is specific to our needs on the deepest level. Dr. Jeffery Bland elaborates on this fascinating topic in Episode 7:

“When you have your genes analyzed, what the laboratory is trying to do is to determine how many of these one letter changes or these so-called SNPs you have, and have they been found through scientific studies to actually be meaningful in how you might respond differently? You might have gluten sensitivity, or you might have sulfite sensitivity, or you might need more vitamin B, or you might need more essential fatty acids or maybe vitamin D because the vitamin D receptor is changed. Or maybe the way we detoxify specific foreign chemicals, what are called xenobiotics, will differ for you because you’re detoxifying enzymes that are encoded within your genes are slightly different than someone else. All of these questions can be integrated now with the genetic testing and then the kind of new analytical procedures that occur through large database assemblies and comparison of our genes to somebody else.”

From cognitive decline to autoimmunity, anxiety, toxicity, mindset, and much more, so many conditions can benefit from this information.

There IS HOPE for those struggling will their health, Broken Brain 2 shares the secrets of regaining hope, happiness, and vitality at any age.

This is just a small portion of the many highlights Broken Brain 2 has to offer. I was thrilled to create this comprehensive series with my team and the generous experts that joined us so we could provide you with the latest tools in supporting the powerful links between mind and body.

Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman MD is the Head of Strategy and Innovation, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.