#244: Depression & Anxiety Helped w/ Flow by Jan Venter, MD

by Mike Mutzel

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About Jan Venter

Dr. Jan Venter is a board-certified Family Physician at our False Creek Health Centre. His past positions have included Physician at Shaughnessy Health, and Medical Director at Fusium Medical and Grandeur of the Seas. Dr. Venter obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of the Orange Free State, South Africa, later to receive his Masters in Family Medicine. He is certified by the Canadian Family Practice, Medical Council of Canada and the Institute for Functional Medicine. He is the founder of Fusium Medical and Brain Vault Health Systems. Fluent in both German and Afrikaans, Dr. Venter believes personalized medicine is the future of medicine and that patient-centred care is key.

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Books and Products Discussed

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work

The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance

The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype–and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More



Related Podcast: Episode #158 Jan Venter, MD – How Ketogenic Diets Improves Memory & Brain Health

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04:06 With neurofeedback, brainwaves are quantified by a computer. This will show whether you are healthy, depressed, and lean toward schizophrenia, toward autism and even dementia. If your brain cells are not healthy, you will not receive the full benefits of neurofeedback.

04:53 Neuromodulation, instead of reading signals and playing feedback to the brain, a signal is sent to the brain to help reset it. It can be a magnetic stimulus like TMF, electrical stimulus, or sending an electrical signal through your tongue to reset your pons and your brain stem.

05:21 Low B12 levels, poor nutrition, poor quality sleep, and lack of exercise directly impact the efficacy of treatment.

06:04 Flow state, also called non-ordinary states of consciousness, can be achieved through tribal dancing, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, prayer, meditation, or drumming. Flow state was discovered thousands of years ago.

06:36 Flow state can help to heal your brain. Dr. Venter is researching how to help people achieve flow state with exercise, sleep or neurofeedback. He is building flow dojos with swings, gyroscope, holotropic breathing (fast breathing for 20 or 30 minutes) and deep sounds. Through tracking brain waves, it can be determined which activities in what order can bring you into flow state.

10:42 If you don’t get a good 8 to 8 ¼ hours of sleep at night, with 5 restorative REM cycles, you don’t clear your brain of debris, increasing risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. You also don’t go into a flow state. It is not necessary to use drugs or alcohol to get into flow state.

13:29 Risk and Flow: Action sports/risk facilitate flow. 4% increased risk from what you are used to facilitates flow. Zero gravity, max gravity or a 360 rotational force seems to help.

15:08 The Brain Benefits of Flow: In flow state you have access to more information streams. You can see things faster and process faster. This allows the brain to be more perceptive in its needs. In TBI and stroke, there is an increase in signal to noise ratio. Flow reduces noise. It switches off the pre-frontal cortex. It means that you are no longer relegated to using the damaged part of the brain, in stroke or TBI.

18:23 The Flow Cycle: You must struggle, setting off your cortisol and adrenaline. There must be a release of nitric oxide. Have some beet juice or nitric oxide on board. In flow cycle you get dopamine, anandamide, endorphins and serotonin flowing. There is a restoration phase. You need to get 8 quality hours sleep. Dr. Venter gets his patients to utilize heartrate variability.  Take magnesium.

18:56 Float Tanks: Sensory deprivation effects the brain and accelerates learning. The water in float tanks are body temperature. Your brain has nothing else to worry about it. The best way to do it is to have waterproof headphones. HRV is done before. During would be best, if it was possible. Holotropic breathing before and during float tank therapy puts you into a higher state of consciousness.

21:57 Flow Genome Project Video: On this website find The Art of Flow. The video’s binaural beats with surfing waves puts you into a state of flow within 5 minutes. There are flow camps that you can attend. Dr. Venter has done all of the courses.

25:08 Therapeutic Benefits of Flow: Flow can be helpful with the neurological impairments of Lyme disease, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Ten minutes of flow has a lag of 6 hours to 2 to 3 days.

28:46 Nutrients that increase the amplitude in neurofeedback. Delta waves of your brain appear when you sleep. Making delta waves while you are awake is a sign of brain dysfunction. Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), coenzyme Q10 or ubiquinol stimulate mitochondria, as does ketosis. Hydroxocobalamin and methylcobalamin also help with amplitude. Magnesium is powerful as well. Dr. Venter has been experimenting with magnesium threonate, for its ease at crossing the blood brain barrier. Magnesium glycinate helps with anxiety and high beta waves. Zinc is important for the integrity of the blood brain barrier.

30:33 Brain/Gut Permeability Secondary to Concussion: TBI/concussion causes gut permeability. Gut permeability leads to brain dysfunction. Vagal stimulation helps gut permeability and brain permeability. Technology is becoming available to stimulate the vagus directly or the pons, using the tongue. This will be used in a clinic setting.

32:09 Omega 3 Fatty Acids: All of Dr. Venter’s patients take this. He has been experimenting with the monoglyceride (predigested) form from Xymogen.

33:05 Home Devices:  Dr. Venter is the chief medical officer for HealthTech Connex. They developed an app called Brain Power that works with the Muse headband. You can download it for free on I-Tunes. It scores you on 1,000 using evoked potentials using a mathematical equation reading your brain waves. They also have Brain Vital Sign, which is clinician based. Helpful devices/software are HeartMath heartrate variability training and the app Muse.

36:21 Brain Testing: Do an initial brain function assessment at age 45 and do it every 1 to 5 years thereafter depending upon your risk. This will help to determine your risk. Dr. Venter recommends the assessment protocol of Dr. Dale Bredesen. Poor memory is a sign that something is going on.

38:21 Vitamin B12 as a Nootropic:  Dr. Venter and his patients use vitamin B12 injections as a nootropic and it has more impact when they are in ketosis because mitochondria are in a more receptive state. He uses a tuning fork to check his patient’s vibration. It should be about 30 seconds that you would feel peripheral vibration. If you do not, you have a peripheral neuropathy. Do not use cyanocobalamin. It has a cyanide molecule.

42:18 TMS therapy for Depression:. It depends upon the cause of depression. It may be from low vitamin D. Treat the source. If nutritional deficiencies are addressed, ketosis can be helpful. Brain mapping would be helpful to see where to address the TMS. Lithium orotate (30 mg) is good for irritability, bipolar, suicidal thoughts and aggression.

45:34 Getting Sleep: Magnesium may be needed to ensure sleep. Float tanks have 900 lbs of magnesium. Epsom salts baths are highly beneficial. Liquid magnesium can be given to children, especially if they are constipated.

46:16 Sleep Requirements: Your brain needs to go through the 5 cycles to purge itself. It is like flushing the toilet. If you are chronically sleep deprived, you may not notice it right away, but it will become apparent.

50:14 Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia and Sleep: If you don’t have energy, you do not sleep well. They are wired and tired. In order to sleep, you need mitochondrial energy. Ketosis purges mitochondria and gets them on line.





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