7 Ways To Optimize Your Immune System with Dr. Tim Jackson

Content By: Ari Whitten & Dr. Tim Jackson

In this episode, I’m speaking with Dr. Tim Jackson, who is a doctor of physical therapy. Dr. Jackson’s clinical expertise spans everything from brain rehabilitation, functional endocrinology, Lyme Disease, and stealth pathogens to integrative gastroenterology, mold toxicity, epigenetics, and mitochondrial dysfunction.

Table of Contents

In this podcast, Dr. Jackson and I discuss: 

  • What does the immune system really do?
  • How mold affects your health (and the best steps to detox it)
  • How optimizing your body temperature boosts your energy levels
  • Addressing stealth infections for optimal immune function
  • The effect of chronic low-level stress and how you can modify the stress response
  • The powerful health benefits of sauna

Listen or download on iTunes

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Ari Whitten:  Hey, everyone. Welcome back to the Energy Blueprint Podcast. I’m your host, Ari Whitten, and with me now is my friend Dr. Tim Jackson, who is a doctor of physical therapy. He received his undergraduate degree in Health Science and Chemistry from Lake Forest University in 2003.

And went on to complete his doctorate in physical therapy from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2009. Realizing that manual therapy and orthopedic care helped only some of his patients, he began studying functional and environmental medicine as well as digestive health in an effort to help as others achieve wellness. 

Dr. Tim is educated in nutritional biochemistry, digestive health and its systemic effects; functional endocrinology, epigenetics, mold, and Lyme Disease, and autoimmune/neuroimmune disorders. Dr. Jackson’s clinical expertise spans everything from brain rehabilitation, functional endocrinology, Lyme Disease, and stealth pathogens to integrative gastroenterology, mold toxicity, epigenetics, and mitochondrial dysfunction. And he can be reached at healyourbody.org.

And in this presentation, he’s going to be talking to us all about a very important topic that interestingly enough in the span of time for when I asked him to do this presentation/interview, and now, when we’re actually recording it – this topic has become even more pertinent because of the rise of the coronavirus pandemic. And so, what was once a talk, and by the way, the title of his Seven – the title of the talk is Seven Ways to Optimize Your Immune System for Superhuman Energy. So, that was the talk, you know, a couple of months ago before the whole coronavirus pandemic broke out. And now, obviously, this information is on the top of the priority list for pretty much everyone to learn. So, I’m very excited to have you deliver this presentation. Welcome, my friend.

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Thank for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m excited about it.

Ari Whitten:  Yeah. So, I’ll hand it off to you and you can get into it.

Why detox is critical for high energy levels

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Yeah. So, as Ari mentioned the title of my presentation is Seven Ways to Optimize Your Immune System for Superhuman Energy. And so, a lot of times people don’t associate the immune system with energy per se, but when you have immune imbalances, it can definitely affect energy levels. Whether it’s mentally, physically, etc. 

So, I just wanted to touch on a few basic points of what the immune system does. We know that it helps us fight off or ward off invading pathogens that we may be exposed to. It also plays a pretty essential role in controlling inflammation. And there’s an axis called the neuroendocrine-immune axis. And so, your nervous system, your hormonal system, and your immune system are very much intertwined. And when you have imbalances in the immune system it can have downstream effects from the other two.

So, tip number one; avoid and detoxify, if you already haven’t been mold/mycotoxins. So, mycotoxins are just the compounds that different species of mold will produce. And mold is true pandemic and has been for some time now. There’s many species of mold, several of which you can’t see or smell. Stachybotrys chartarum which is black mold, obviously you can see that one. But there can be mold behind the walls, you know, in the kitchen counters or places that you don’t inspect readily. And it can be taking a toll on your overall health. But particularly your immune system. So, if you look at the common denominator amongst all of the mycotoxins there immune suppressive. So, some will lower natural killer cells, some might lower T-cells, it just depends. 

But there are several that are also carcinogenic. So, in terms of the mold and testing for it, there are several tests that we have. There are urine laboratory tests that basically give us a picture of your overall body burden of mold and mycotoxins. And so, with that being said, you know, if you want to do one of these tests you most definitely can. But more generally, you want to always use a high-quality air filter in your home and office. And the deal is that mycotoxins are extremely small. 

So, there are certain brands of air filters that are promoted by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. And that mold trained physicians use. A few of those are Air Oasis, IQ Air, Austin Air, and they will filter out other things, not just mold and mycotoxins. But the mold and mycotoxins is extremely important. Because indoor air on average is between five and ten times more polluted than outdoor air. And if you’re spending more time indoors these days, then the air filter becomes even more important. 

Another tip is to keep the humidity levels in your home 50 percent or below. And that comes from Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker. That’s what he recommends and have people buy digital humidity meters. And it’s easier to do than you think. So, I know, Ari, you live by the ocean, that – people think that if you live in the desert you automatically will never have mold. And if you live by the water then you’re going to automatically have mold. But actually, the reverse can be true as long as you do the right things. And so — 

Ari Whitten:  People who live in desert areas, I know, I have some family that lives in Phoenix, for example. And they’re indoors like 99 percent of the time. 

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Right.

Ari Whitten:  So, with the air conditioning on.

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Right.

Ari Whitten:  Yeah. It can be counterintuitive in that way. The same is true with sun exposure, right? A lot of people who live in very sunny climates, especially desert climates, actually don’t get enough sun because they’re always avoiding the heat and the hot sun.

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Exactly. Exactly. So, if one of your family members, you know, has any symptoms and those symptoms – if the more systems that are involved and the more bizarre it seems, the more likely you are to be affected by mold. And let’s say there’s four members of the family, mom, dad, Johnny, and Susy. Well, Johnny may have trouble sleeping, and pain in his joints. Mom may have severe brain fog; dad may have what he thinks is chronic cold or viral infection. 

And so, and then some people may not be affected at all. And so, a lot of times I’ll see situations where one spouse is affected, the other’s not. And so, the one who’s not thinks the person who is affected is, you know, crazy. But you can’t find what you don’t look for.

So, that’s where, you know, we talked about testing your body, we can also test your house. And so, there are various types of mold testing companies that will come to your home. And the good legitimate companies will look behind the walls with cameras, very specific cameras that look for areas of increased condensation. And that way they can isolate the problem versus tearing down something that doesn’t need to be torn down.

Ari Whitten:  Do you think – I’ve heard kind of mixed stories of how useful the home testing is. Do you think that the urine mycotoxin test is a more accurate screening tool to really determine if you actually have exposure or not?

Dr. Tim Jackson:  So, when I get someone’s urine mycotoxin test back, and it’s elevated. I can’t say for certain that, you know, that 80 percent came from your home, 10 percent from your office. It may, in fact, not be anything current, it could have been at your high school or your college. And so —

Ari Whitten:  Would that be the mycotoxin stay in your system for years?

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Yeah. They can. 

Ari Whitten:  I mean, what – are they just circulating in your body for years without being cleared or are you saying that like mold is growing in the body as a result of a past exposure?

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Both of those things can actually happen. But what I will say is that you know, depending upon your HLA genotype, it affects your ability to detoxify mold to varying degrees. So, I’m someone that, you know, has a great degree of difficulty detoxifying mold. So, you know, I’m a little bit extra cautious. 

But other people, you know, once you have detoxified the mold and you’ve kind of retrained those limbic loops, those neurocircuit pathways where once you have stressor present it kind of activates a self-perpetuating cascade. Once you calm that down, then, you’ll be better off, and you won’t react so strongly. Because you’re never going to get away from every species of mold. But the deal is that mold behaves very differently indoors than it does outdoors. 

And so, it’s just like in the GI Tract when you have just one or two species in massive quantities, and they grow without any checks and balances versus having a diversity of bugs that keep each other in check.  

Ari Whitten:  Got it. So, as far as detoxifying these mycotoxins, I mean, you’ve said that they can stay in your system for years. What, I mean, apparently the body must not be very good at clearing them, so is it possible to use any substances that can help the body clear that?

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Yeah. So, typically, you know, when Dr. Shoemaker originally came out with Mold Warriors, you know, the trend was to use Cholestyramine, a cholesterol-lowering drug. The problem with that was that it bound up all of your vitamins and minerals, and it had aspartame and it made you constipated.

So, luckily now, we’ve found several new nutraceutical supplements that help bind and escort out through the stool the mycotoxins. And some examples of those, one that I use frequently, is Takesumi supreme. And it’s an extract from the bamboo tree that looks very similar to activated charcoal. But it’s a little bit stronger. There’s also a product called Bioactive Carbon, and that tends to be good at not only binding mycotoxins, but things like histamine and aldehydes as well. And so, that is one way to help support the body. 

Another way is to improve lymphatic circulation. Since that’s where your immune cells are going to dump the garbage. And also, one thing that mycotoxins do that I know will really resonate with you, is they block the NRF2 pathway when they go inside the cell. And so, for most of my patients with mold toxicity, I have them use Liposomal DIM. And we’ve all heard of DIM for estrogen metabolism or estrogen dominance. But it also lifts that block on the NRF-2. And that will allow for increased antioxidant production, detoxification, enzyme production, etc.

Ari Whitten:  For those who didn’t catch that it’s DIM, it stands for diindolylmethane, so that’s what he’s referring to as Liposomal formulation of DIM or diindolylmethane.

Dr. Tim Jackson:  So, if you had any water damage to your house you want to remediate it immediately. You know, time is of the essence when you have water damage. And one thing that’s a little bit counterintuitive for people is that they think that if they live in the northeast a colder climate that, you know, there’s a possibility that they could have mold. But actually, there’s an increased probability because you have increased precipitation. So, rain, snow, etc., but you don’t have as much sunlight to help with evaporation. So, that’s one thing to take into account.

The other thing is a lot of people say, “Oh, my house is only two years old, it can’t have mold.” But when houses are built to be energy efficient, that energy efficiency comes at a cost. And so, you know, if we go outside, there’s a lot of different species of mold but they’re balancing each other out. But if we have one or two that become very dominant in the home or office place, then that’s when they become a real nuisance to your health. And then, this is just basic home maintenance, but it’s extremely important for mold prevention. And that’s having your ductwork cleaned. If you’re really sensitive to mold, twice a year, but definitely once a year for sure.

There’s also an MD who created a lot of products to help with things like washing your clothes, washing your dishes, cleaning your nasal passages. And that line of products is called MicroBalance Health Products. And I don’t have any association with them, it’s just a brand that I’ve come to respect and admire.

Optimizing your body temperature for high energy levels

So, number two; is optimize your body temperature. So, I know you talk a ton about, you know, the use of sauna, heat, cold showers, etc. for balancing the autonomic nervous system. Improving vagal tone and resiliency. But there’s two ways – when we talk about proteins, there’s two ways to change the function. Change the temperature or change the PH.

And so, in this case, when we’re changing the temperature meaning, your body temperature’s let’s say at 2:00 p.m. at 98.0 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, that’s going to cause a decrease in all of your biochemical reactions in the body. So, your detoxification reactions, your immune function, your peristalsis, and digestion. So, all of that’s going to be impacted. And so, when people – we’re going to talk about saunas later – but, you know, saunas definitely help with detoxification, but they also increase your core body temperature. And when you do that you are arming the body with more weapons to fight off various pathogens. And so, that, you know, can be very helpful in addition to upregulating things like heat shock proteins, etc.

In terms of your body temperature, it’s going to typically be lower in the morning, and higher in early to mid-afternoon. I recommend taking it, you know, two to three times in the afternoon. And then, you know, keeping a log of that. And so, there are many things that can affect your body temperature and some of those are things like poor thyroid function, SIBO that’s hydrogen dominant. So, just really quick. Hydrogen Sulfide gas puts your body in a state of torpor or hibernation. So, that’s one that a lot of people don’t think about, but it can affect it. And then, poor autonomic nervous system regulation. So, your autonomic nervous is your sympathetic, your parasympathetic, which Ari talks about a lot, and your parasympathetic – that’s where all of your healing takes place. 

So, things you can do to optimize your body temperature, some action steps – when you have your thyroid tested your Free T3, which is your active bioavailable thyroid hormone. I like to see it at 3.5 nanograms per deciliter or higher. And every cell in your body has a receptor for thyroid. So, it’s extremely important for longevity, brain health, and pretty much everything. So, when the thyroid goes offline you can have a set of cascading events that take place. Other things that you need to do anyway, but will also help the thyroid, optimizing your levels of Zinc, Selenium, and Iodine. So, things like Selenium, you know, you can get some Brazil nuts. Zinc, being the second most common mineral deficiency, most people need to supplement with Zinc, I find. And Iodine, same thing. And Iodine has an additional benefit of being antimicrobial. 

So, a few other points about optimizing your body temperature, testosterone plays a role in body temperature. So, I believe it’s the first two steps in the Krebs Cycle, that it impacts. But if your testosterone’s low, or less than optimal then that can negatively impact your body temperature. And the last thing is making sure you optimize your mitochondria.

Ari Whitten:  Oh, there’s a huge topic. 

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Yeah. And I know this course called The Energy Blueprint goes into great detail – I don’t know if you’ve heard of it or not. But it goes into great detail on how to optimize the mitochondria versus, you know, tinkering with the adrenals. Which, I mean, there’s a role, we won’t go off-topic, but the mitochondria, you know, there’s so many different ways to optimize them. And Ari talks about in greater detail than I ever could in The Energy Blueprint 

Ari Whitten:  Bonus points for you for the shout out. Nice. I got someone’s who I’m interviewing doing a shameless plug for my program, I dig it.

Dr. Tim Jackson:  There’s no shame in my game. 

Ari Whitten:  Nice. 

Dr. Tim Jackson:  So, some other action steps that you, I mean, I know you talk about, but people don’t typically think about is optimizing your circadian rhythm. And, you know, that affects, I think, over 300 different genes being expressed. It affects your NAD levels. Which is a molecule in the mitochondria that’s helpful for energy. And so, also keeping psychological, and mental, and emotional stress low. Because, I know you’ve interviewed someone on this topic, but, you know, chronic – even low-level psychological stress activates the cell danger response. And so, you know, that’s not something you want to really do.

Ari Whitten:  Yeah. Measurable effects on mitochondrial functions within minutes of psychological stress. So, yeah. It’s a link that the mind, mitochondria link is a link that most people are not very aware of. So, I like that you’re mentioning that. 

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Yeah, absolutely. Well, I’ve learned it from The Energy Blueprint

 Ari Whitten:  Nice.

Gut health for superhuman energy

Dr. Tim Jackson:  So, tip number three – so, tip number one was to avoid, detoxify mold mycotoxins. Tip number two is optimize your body temperature. Tip number three is optimize your microbiome. So, your microbiome, you’ve probably heard that term by now. Most people think of the gut or large intestines when they hear it. But you also have a microbiome in your mouth, on your skin, in your respiratory tract, in your urinary tract. And so, when you have imbalances in your microbiome, meaning not enough of the good bugs, too many of the bad bugs, then that’s going to negatively affect nutrient absorption and assimilation. 

And it can also negatively affect thyroid function. So, for example, 20 percent of your T4, which is inactive thyroid hormone gets converted to T3, active thyroid hormone in the gut. So, when we have a gut issue affecting body temperature and hormonal health, 70-80 percent of your immune system is located in large intestines. And so, that’s where it becomes really important when we talk about mother’s giving birth, for breastfeeding, and that skin-toskin contact, and development of the palate. And also, for getting the immunoglobulins from mother’s milk.

And so, a couple of recommendations for optimizing the microbiome, you know, you can certainly have a gut test, or a stool test done. Some are more accurate than others. None are perfect by any means. But some pathogens will require a little more specific antimicrobials than others. So that’s the weeding part. So, we talk about weeding and seeding. So, the weeding part is killing off the bad bugs with as little collateral damage as possible to the good bugs. And also, replenishing or seeding the good bacteria. And so, the probiotics that I like are D-Lactate-Free and Histamine-Free. Grace Lou has good with [inaudible] that I like. And that —

Ari Whitten:  We actually just interviewed her and picked up some of the Bifido Maximus.

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Oh, nice.

Ari Whitten:  And some other goodies I just ordered yesterday, so. 

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Oh, nice. 

Ari Whitten:  She mentioned she’s sending me some bonus gifts along with my package of Bifido Maximus. 

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Sweet. Yeah. She knows her stuff when it comes to the gut.

 Ari Whitten:  Yeah. For sure.  

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Now, when we talk about healing the gut lining, because if you’re taking probiotics, they won’t have much of an effect if the gut lining is really inflamed. So, healing the gut lining will also result in systemic inflammation. So, to calm that down, we can use things like Zinc Carnosine, Aloe, Glutamine, Marshmallow Root. There is really an endless number of colostrum of products and nutraceuticals that we can use to heal the gut. And, you know, the first step to developing an autoimmune issue is the leaky gut or intestinal hyperpermeability. So, I know if you go to PubMed and you type up in leaky gut, you get maybe two results. If you type in intestinal hyperpermeability, hundreds. So, just an FYI.

A couple of things that lead to gut dysfunction or microbiome dysfunction,

Glyphosate from RoundUp is a huge problem. And so, even if you’re eating GMO-free you’ve likely been exposed to Glyphosate. And you can do a test for it. There’s a specific test for it, but I would just tell most people to assume they have it and work just general sustainable detoxification strategies.

Ari Whitten:  Are you aware of any specific compound that helps detoxify Glyphosate? 

Dr. Tim Jackson:  I know of a compound that prevents the uptake of it. I don’t know of many compounds that are specific to detoxifying Glyphosate. 

Ari Whitten:  Got it. Is that fulvic acid? 

Dr. Tim Jackson:  That is a Restore. Or Ion. 

Ari Whitten:  It’s a varying end of humic acid?

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Yeah. Correct. Vagal tone, which we talked about before or balancing your autonomic nervous system, that’s very important when it comes to gut health. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re taking probiotics, aloe, or any of that, if you’re chronically stressed in a state of sympathetic dominance, fight or flight, then that’s going to disrupt your microbiome and lead to leaky gut. And so, there’s exercises, there’s a list of them. Joe Cohen of SelfHacked has a list of 27 different exercises you can do for vagal tone. But chewing gum, singing, gargling, things like that will help stimulate the vagus nerve. 

And we talked about using different antimicrobials to help weed out the bad bugs. So, typically those are things like oil of oregano, Biocidin you may have heard of.  Biocidin, [inaudible], Interface Plus, which is a biofilm buster. So, bacteria in the mouth and in the gut produce biofilm and systemically. Biofilm is just a protective coating, but when you take the biofilm buster and break it open, that allows the antimicrobials to become much more effective. So, that’s tip number three. Optimize your microbiome.

Treat stealth infections to boost your energy levels

Tip number four, and this is a timely one. Address stealth pathogens. So, what is a stealth pathogen? Why is it called stealth? So, it’s not – if you don’t know what to look for then you really, you know, might tell the person, “Hey, you’re depressed, here’s some Prozac,” or something. Or, “You’re stressed out. Take a week off from work,” or something. But there are many pathogens out like Mycoplasma, HHV-6, etc., that there are many types of them. And they may not be shown as active on a test, because your immune cells may be exhausted just from trying to keep them suppressed. So, that’s one reason. 

Another thing to point out is both Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, who From Fatigue to Fantastic and Dr. Alex Vasquez, who has a course on the mitochondria and inflammation as well; say that if the IgG to a certain pathogen if it’s around four times the normal top-end of the range – you need to suspect that that is currently active. And, you know, what I’ve seen in patients and clients is that when we address the pathogens, you know, of course, it takes time, but you start to see improvements. I have one client, just by addressing his viral load his deep sleep went from 20 percent to 40 percent. And I would never have expected that. But it was a surprise to me. 

So, what are some other stealth pathogens? We mentioned Mycoplasma, but it can be Lyme, Bartonella, Abasi, Yeast or Candida, and then, other viruses like Epstein–Barr, HHV-6, Parvo Virus, etc.

Ari Whitten:  I also want to mention just to link this with one of the other presentations from one of the other speakers. Dr. Evan Hirsch specifically spoke about the cell pathogens issue and kind of went through a list of specific symptoms that are kind of associated with each particular virus of the most common stealth infections. So, really nice to pair that talk, which goes in depth on this specific point that Dr. Jackson is getting into now. So, I just wanted to mention for everybody listening good to pair that episode with this one.

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Yeah. And I know Dr. Hirsch and I, we’ve talked back and forth about neurotropic viruses. Which simply means a virus that likes to live in the nervous system tissue. And so, that’s another reason why it might not show up as positive on the blood. But I had a patient, just a quick antidote, that came to me a few years ago. He had gone to the clinics and, you know, they gave him some supplements for neurotransmitters and things like that. And his psychiatrist said, “Well, there’s no way that a virus is leading to your depression.” And so, we did his viral panel, and he had, I think, four pathogens that were active. 

Ari Whitten:  Wow.

Dr. Tim Jackson:  And so, you know, it was interfering with his sleep, his cognition, a number of different things. And so, you know, I know now with the current pandemic people are using the phrase cytokine storm more and more often. And so, when we feel the effects of a pathogen it’s typically due to the immune system releasing these proinflammatory molecules. Now, there are also anti-inflammatory cytokines, but the ones that are causing the symptoms of the proinflammatory cytokines.

So, different labs that you can do, lab tests, LabCorp. There’s a lab called Medical Diagnostics Laboratory, as well as Cyrex Labs can test for these pathogens.

We talked about biofilm busters for the gut. There’s also biofilm busters for treating systemic infections. And so, those are systemic enzymes, a little bit different than digestive enzymes. So, some examples are products like Limbrokinase, Serrapeptase, Wobenzyme, a product out of Germany. And they’re typically taken on an empty stomach. And then, you know, followed up 30 minutes later with an antimicrobial. 

Ari Whitten:  Interesting side note. Something I just learn, you know, I’ve known about systemic enzyme for two decades. But I just learned a unique aspect of them that I didn’t know about, specifically related to immune health, even beyond the one that you’re mentioning here. Which is very important. But less for treating an active infection and more for maintaining good immune health. Some of the enzymes like Serrapeptase, in particular, has been tested on maintaining good mucus function of the mucus membranes. And so, it helps basically to clear mucus and, you know, keep fresh mucus generating to allow those mucus membranes to clear viruses and pathogens better. And I started reading up on some research after I heard that and I was very impressed with what’s out there, and just a cool side note of something I just learned two weeks ago.

Dr. Tim Jackson:  That is very cool. And in addition, you know, the last thing I’ll mention is that they’re very good at dissolving or breaking up what’s called circulating immune complexes. So, you have a pathogen, and then you have the antibody that comes or several antibodies that come and surround it. And those can clog up the lymphatic system, it can create systemic inflammation. So, that’s one way that systemic enzymes can also benefit you.

The last thing I’ll say about addressing stealth pathogens is you want to optimize your methylation cycle. So, the methylation cycle involves all of the B Vitamins plus Magnesium and Zinc. Typically, most people think of B12, Methylfolate, and B6. And those are important. But the rest of the B Vitamin are also important. And the reason this plays a role is because it impacts your CD4 to CD8 natural killer cell or T-helper cell to T-suppressor cell ratio. And those are important in terms of optimized immune function. 

Ari Whitten:  To your point of other B Vitamins being important. As you said, most of the focus, as you said, methylation, for example, the MTHFR gene, you know, poor variance of it that are associated with low methylation. You only see B12, B6 emphasized. But there as new study that just came out in the last six months, I believe, on specifically [Ribose Laven] showing that [Ribose Laven] alone, was able to normalize methylation status in people with these nonoptimal variance of MTHFR. So, yeah. 

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Yeah. I saw that, what you’re referring to, the paper. I didn’t – I’ve read the abstract, I haven’t read the whole paper yet. Yeah, B2 is very important. It also helps thyroid health and energy production. 

Eliminate your stress for superhuman energy

So, tip number five; modify the stress response. So, eradicate unnecessary stress. But there’s this guy named Ari Whitten that talks about hormetic stressors. And so, basically that’s kind of priming the pump. You know, preparing your system so you press on the gas pedal, then you back off. But unnecessary stress that, you know, they stack on top of each other. So, if you get stuck in traffic, you have a few chronic infections, heavy metals, you don’t sleep well, those are all stressors to your body. 

And so, the second thing you can do is restructure how you perceive certain stressors or the value that you assign to those. So, you know, we’re constantly bombarded by stimuli, and we label it salient or not salient. But cognitive restructuring is basically taking the picture off of the wall, taking the frame off and putting a new frame on it. And so, you know, that might seem trivial, but it can have a huge impact on your physiology and, you know, if the brain doesn’t perceive it as a stressor, then the negative physiological reactions won’t occur.

Ari Whitten:  Quick side note. Since you mentioned the word medic stress, I will have, for people listening, I will have another presentation that I’m going to be doing in this summit of hormetic stress. So, definitely check that out.

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Awesome. Another thing and I know people have talked about this, but learn to meditate. You know, again, you don’t have to sit in the corner with your legs crossed saying, “Ahmm” to meditate. You know, it might just be doing nothing for five minutes. Just turning off all electronics. You know, you’d be surprised at how the little things add up. And another thing is in your relationships with people, you know, make sure that you’re being respected as well as respectful of other people and that your voice is being heard. Because, you know, there’s a good book called Feelings Buried Alive Never Die. And so, if you’re constantly suppressing stuff and not advocating for yourself that builds up over time. 

And a psychologist friend of mine told me, she’s not worried about people who have a death in the family, or lose their job, because normally their support system surrounds them. She’s more concerned about the people who have these chronic low-level stressors day-in and day-out. And so, nutrients that you can use to help modify those stress response, Magnesium, L-Theanine, GABA. Magnesium you need for a zillion different reasons. So, it’s not like you’re taking an extra supplement. And so, I always tell people to start with that one because you need it for blood pressure, and ATP production, etc. And then, optimizing your circadian rhythm. I know if my circadian rhythm gets off by 45 minutes or an hour, that my stress response is very much heightened the next few days.

Ari Whitten:  I’m with you.

Dr. Tim Jackson:  And so, you know, sleep, obviously. When you don’t sleep, if your sleep quality is poor – you know, I can move this pen, and, you know, someone might get upset or yell at me. And everything is magnified. So, again, deep breathing, circadian rhythm, and the vagus nerve exercises. 

Using exercise for high-level energy

So, tip six; is mild to moderate exercise. Which I know you talk about a lot. Excessive exercise, like marathon runners, they’ve been shown to be immunecompromised, especially right after their race. But mild to moderate exercise, you know, start where you are and gradually build. But mild to moderate exercise will improve resilience and stress tolerance. And for me, I know it improves sleep. And so, I know Ari talks about improving your sleep quality and your circadian rhythm. That goes hand in hand. 

And in terms of mild to moderate exercise, it doesn’t have to be a very rigid exercise plan that you go to the gym and you have to wait 45 seconds before you do this, and lift this many pounds. It can literally be going to the playground with your kid playing on the monkey bars on the jungle gym. And that play, you know, you may not realize at the time, because you’re just interacting with your kid but it’s beneficial for your nervous system. And releases a ton of beneficial compounds. So, another way to increase exercise, physical activity is called NEPA or non-exercise physical activity. And all that means is if you park right by the grocery store start parking at the end of the aisle. Things like that. Instead of driving a mile down the road or half a mile down the road, walk.  

Ari Whitten:  Actually, in our pre-coronavirus days when we used to go to the grocery store. 

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Right. Yeah. I took my hazmat suit off for this presentation. So, resistant training and aerobic training can be combined in the form of circuit training. Like I said earlier, stress is accumulative, so when the other areas of your life are very stressful you don’t want to go to the gym and make yourself throw-up. You know, that’s counterproductive. You should feel better after a workout, not like you’re bedridden. You know, that’s not doing anyone any good. One way that you can track, you know, how far you should train or if you should train that day is heart rate variability. Which I believe you go into a lot of detail about, right?

Ari Whitten:  Yeah. I was going to interject. I was for many years kind of addicted to exercise. I was in a chronic state of over-exercising. You know, two intense hour-long sessions every day, seven days a week. And —

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Oh wow.

Ari Whitten:  You know, with taking a lot of stuff to a very high intensity to failure to exhaustion. And tracking heart rate variability as well as just getting a little older and wiser and realizing that I was running down my immune system in particular. And actually, experiencing lower energy levels as a result of chronically over-exercising. Having that heart rate variability as a biofeedback tool to have this objective marker to say, “Eh, maybe you rest today, or do a lighter workout,” to back off a little bit. That was critical for me. 

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Yeah. Absolutely. I wasn’t that hardcore, two sessions a day, seven days a week. But I did lift, you know, hard six to seven days a week. And, you know, you can’t out-exercise stressors in other aspects of your life that you are not addressing. 

 Ari Whitten:  Yeah.

Dr. Tim Jackson:  That’s something I learned the hard way. 

Ari Whitten:  Very true. And yeah, I have a different exercise tolerance now, you know, in my mid-30s, running a business that is extremely demanding and having two kids, then I was in my mid-20s when I was single and had really nothing to do other than do personal training part-time and workout, you know.

Sauna for superhuman energy

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Right. Right. So, tip number seven, I know you’re going to love this one. Get hot with a sauna. So, we talked about having a low body temperature earlier, how we need to optimize that. Well, the benefits of a sauna, I mean, we can literally do four days’ worth of presentations on. But heating, again, the principle is heating the body up, increasing your core body temperature. Now, if it’s a far-infrared like you talk about in The Energy Blueprint, those waves are going to penetrate into the body and improve circulation, help with detoxification. And it’s really, you know, at the higher temperatures that you see the most benefit.

There’s also full-spectrum saunas where you have far-infrared, but you also have mid and near-infrared. And, you know, if you have access to one of those that’s great. But if not, you know, far infrared sauna definitely will do the trick. And that’s what they used in the September 11 or 9/11 rescue workers, the firefighters, first responders, etc. to help them detoxify. And when we talk about the higher temperatures, you know, 150 to 170 degrees. And when it comes to sauna use, frequency is more important than duration. So, if you can only do 15 to 20 minutes, say five days a week. That’s better than doing an hour and a half twice a week. So, how does the sauna benefit you? Specifically, how does a far infrared sauna benefit you? Well, one is it’s going to increase levels of certain types of white blood cells. And that’s just the biproduct of increasing your core temperature, okay? 

And you’re also getting better nutrient delivery. You get an upregulation of heat shock proteins, which I know you talk about a lot, which Dr. Ronda [Patrick] she also talks about that. And one thing that, you know, that’s just icing on the cake for me is the far infrared sauna puts you in a more parasympathetic tone. And then, we just mentioned exercise, it’s also a passive cardiovascular memetic. So, you know, you see on the movies these kinds of overweight or obese guys in Italy, or Rome, or wherever, and, you know, you’re wondering, “How are they alive?” But, you know, you’re working on improving your fitness, even though you’re not on an elliptical or lifting heavy weights.

Ari Whitten:  No, just to that point. There’s some research out of Finland, I’m sure you’ve seen it. The guy’s name, the researcher’s name is something Finnish. It’s like [inaudible] something. He’s published a number of really amazing studies. Epidemiological studies looking at sauna use in relationship to various diseases. Cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and even all-cause mortalities just showing massive reductions in all of those. Cardiovascular disease in particular. Dramatic reduction. So, you know, there’s a sizable body of research to your point, basically, showing that this cardiovascular memetic, it’s sort of mimicking the effects of exercise. And it absolutely is translating into a reduced risk of Cardiovascular Disease.  

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Yeah. Absolutely. The only thing I tell people to be cognizant of is when you’re going to the really high temperatures, you know, you probably want to supplement with an electrolyte supplement.

Ari Whitten:  I actually just got out of the sauna right before this, so —

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Oh, really.

Ari Whitten:  Sipping water, rehydrating, yeah.

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Yeah. So, you know, the sauna, if I can go back to when I got into functional medicine and make one investment it would be a full spectrum sauna.

Ari Whitten:  Yeah.

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Because, I mean, the benefits just go on and on and on. And, you know, supplements are great, but you have to buy a new bottle every month. But once you make that investment, you know, it’s there forever pretty much. 

Ari Whitten:  Dr. Tim, this has been awesome. Thank you for going into such great immune tips beyond, you know, the typical sort of, “Hey, here’s some immune-boosting herbs and supplements.” I think this system, novel atypical stuff when it comes to, you know, how people think about boosting their immune function in this very important time to boost their immune function. So, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. I really appreciate it.

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Thank you for having me. And thank you for The Energy Blueprint

Ari Whitten:  Yeah. So, if somebody’s interested in following you or working with you where’s the best place to reach out to you?

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Yeah, healingyourbody.org. They can contact me through the form there. And I will get the email. 

Ari Whitten:  And you work with people one on one, correct?

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Yes, I do.

Ari Whitten:  Okay. In, and basically a functional medicine practice?

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Yeah. 

Ari Whitten:  Wonderful. Dr. Tim, thank you so much, my friend. Great connecting with you as always, and I look forward to the next time very much.

Dr. Tim Jackson:  Yes, me too. Thank you so much.

Ari Whitten:  To everyone listening, hope you enjoyed this episode, I’m sure you did, and I will see you in the next one.

Show Notes

Why detox is critical for high energy levels (0:32)
Optimizing your body temperature for high energy levels (13:30)
Gut health for superhuman energy (19:50)
Treat stealth infections to boost your energy levels (26:11)
Eliminate your stress for superhuman energy (33:56)
Using exercise for high-level energy (37:34)
Sauna for superhuman energy (41:30)


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