Host: Welcome to the Lifelong Wellness podcast where we talk to wellness professionals from different walks of life from around the world and get their insight into living healthier. I’m your host, Wes Malik. When it comes to living healthy and well, there's one piece of advice you've probably heard from many people and that's to think positive. It’s much easier said than done. And then, of course, there are people who think that thinking positively might not bring a change that we are looking forward to. Now, our guest today is someone who has spent a lot of time into researching how our mind works and how positive thinking works. And has, in fact, edited and authored a number of books in the fields of health. psychology and spirituality. Dr. Dawson Church earned his Doctorate in Integrative Healthcare at under the mentorship of neurosurgeon Norman Shealy, founder of the American Holistic Medical Association. He also has a postgraduate Ph.D. in Natural Medicine as well as clinical certification in Energy Psychology. And Dr.Church and. Dr. Shealy co-authored the book Soul Medicine which surveys the role of consciousness in medicine from the earliest times to modern days. Dr. Church also founded the National Institute for Integrative Healthcare, it’s a non-profit institution dedicated to education and research on evidence-based healing modalities. There is no better person to talk about how the mind works and we are very excited to have him on the podcast today. Dr. Church, welcome to the podcast.
Dawson: Pleasure to be here, Wes. Thank you.
Host: Now, we ask this of every single one of our guests and before we continue and get into a very detailed conversation about your expertise. What is wellness, in general, mean to you personally?
Dawson: I think there are many to mention about wellness and to really have a good life, you need to be well and all of them. And you need to really focus on the ones that you find easy, you excel at, that you can attain mastery on. And also all of us being human (laughing) have those areas beyond so well in life exactly might have trouble getting yourself to the gym, you might have trouble motivating yourself, you might have trouble eating appropriately, stay away from tempting foods. You might also have emotions that can get in the way. So, wellness is a combination of all of those things and is important to pay attention to them. Just, for example, we just did a clinical trial of people in a situation where they were faced with tempting foods and we have them in an MRI and we found that the parts of their brain that respond to emotion were highly affected by images of things like pasta and pizza and chips and chocolate and cake and other things. So, to them, these were just foods. They were highly emotional triggers as you have to work with your emotions, you have to work with your stress, you have to work with your psychology as well as the obvious things like clean food, high-quality water, exercise and those other physical dimensions of wellness. So, if you can all those right both the psychospiritual ones and the physical ones, you have already a high level of function and then, of course, your life is much easier and much better.
Host: And that's everyone's endeavor, having an easier much better life but it's easier said than done. Getting all of these things correct, right?
Dawson: No kidding. (laughing)
Host: And I think you can help us and all our listeners. You’re best known for your research into epigenetics and you've done research all your life. You've written several books and so tell us. Let's begin with epigenetics. Tell us why it's important?
Dawson: Epigenetics is incredibly important. And the earlier studies that looked at the effect of external inferences on genes because “Epi” means above level or beyond the level of the gene. So, these are things that turn genes off or turn genes on from outside the DNA, maybe outside the cell, maybe outside the body. And epigenetics is incredibly important because it’s not what you have a gene, it’s whether you that gene turned on or off. I’ll give you an example, I spent time in this past week with a wonderful friend of mine called Beth and Beth is in just incredibly in good health. But two years ago, Beth had a diagnosis of metastasized breast cancer.
Dawson: And she phoned me and panicked one day because she not only had a diagnosis but also she had a gene test and she said that, “I have eight defective genes. Some which predispose me to breast cancer.” So, to her, her DNA was the root of a problem that couldn’t be solved because you have those genes active or expressed or suppressed and it was just a genetic fact. What I said to her, I really tried to calm her, I said, “Beth, you know, it’s not those eight genes. It’s all of your genes and your gene expression is whether genes are expressed or not. Other genes turned on or turned off.” And so the doctor has discovered a pretty large solid tumor in her right breast. It was about 5 cm above 2 inches across and also all the lymph nodes on her right armpit were swollen and full of cancer cells and they also found two sponsor information on her right lung. So, it looks as though cancer spreading rapidly throughout her body it’s a very serious diagnosis. And she said to herself after talking to me, talking to many other friends and medic profession and other people in energy healing, she said, “I want to do everything I can to heal myself, change my energy before I go for conventional medical treatment.” And so she did, within just literally hours of getting the diagnosis. She began to do things like quit work, fill her mind with positive thoughts, her environment with positive music, she began to focus on really nurturing herself on her energy level. She did things externally like hyperbaric oxygen, a later course of treatment. She shifted her energy using EFT tapping, using Qi Gong, using energy healing and she just shifted her psychology dramatically, getting rid of all the stress in her life just right off to the diagnosis, have a clean diet and again, really supported herself emotionally as well as physically in recovering. So, she got a diagnosis in March of 2017 and part of it was genetically I said to her, “Beth, you know, you have these eight defective genes in that gene test. But your body has about 24,000 genes, which means you have 23,992 but it is fine. Let's just focus on raising your level of wellness to the max.” She did that, she changed her life dramatically and despite that gene test within two months, all the lymph nodes under her right armpit were clear of cancer cells. And the tumor had shrunk from 5 cm to 1.4 cm. It later disappeared completely and then blood test showed she had zero cancer markers in her body, so epigenetics shifting our genes. Our genes are highly susceptible to epigenetic influences, especially from our emotions, by our spiritual experiences, by the environment and it can make a difference. It’s as if you have a gene or not, it’s how it's expressing is what you're doing with those genes that counts.
Host: Incredible! It's very hard to understand and very difficult to fathom that positive thinking can cure an illness that the body creates or illness of the body is going through. And you really have to dumb it down for me and explain epigenetics and all the things that you are an expert in, in a very layman's terms so I can keep up with you and keep along with you. You also mentioned EFT tapping. That’s something I wanted to talk about as well because you have a website dedicated to that. So, about those genes which were expressed, turned on or off, those eight genes in your friend Beth, did the power of the mind change those genes? Is that what happened?
Dawson: The power of your mind is changing genes in your body second by second. In another EFT study, a researcher looked at gene expression before and after an hour-long EFT therapy session and she found that 72 genes were dialed up, operated just one hour the EFT compare to a control group, including genes that control soft Geo cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, rectal cancer. Also, genes that code for cell metabolism. In other words, your cells have much better metabolism if these genes are operated, that code for cell repair, that code for neural repair, the code for DNA repair. All kinds of good genes were turned up, 72 of them of just one hour of the EFT. But even as you think of positive thoughts, for example, if you're less stressed by thinking positively if you’re altruistic, you’re kind, if you're compassionate that's changing the DNA expression. A Harvard study found in, I think, 2012 or 2014, that deep meditation produce changes in gene expression. So, literally with every thought, you think, whether you’re a positive or negative person, you’re producing these meniscal changes. Now, even tiny changes in the here and now. So, today I'm choosing to think a positive thought rather than a negative thought. While I’m having a negative thought, I’m tapping another way with EFT acupressure or I’m meditating. I'm doing something to change my psychological, spiritual reality. That inches my gene expression, maybe just for genes, maybe 25 genes, maybe 39 genes. But all of these emotional and spiritual experiences are producing an epigenetic effect on your cells. And again, they’re tiny effects moment by moment. But I tell you what when they show up dramatically is in time they shop in the form of longevity. And so research shows in large-scale like 30-year studies, that people who do this by moment by moment, day by day, they have much longer lives and we qualify that and the number is about 10 years. Research shows that people who practice these things actually lived about 10 years longer and those are also healthier 10 years. So, that’s the key role to the effect of these gene expression changes that we do them moment by moment. So, you may have thought that positive thought is that powerful but, Wes, if you multiply that by this moment and the next moment, the next hour, the next day, the next year, suddenly you are really moving the needle in a huge way and you get those 10 extra years of health and longevity.
Host: Dr. Church, would you be kind enough to explain to me what EFT is? What is EFT tapping is?
Dawson: In my book Mind to Matter, I list about 30 practices which science shows produce epigenetic changes in the body. And the two of them that I am becoming most strongly is, one is meditation and the other is EFT. And meditation I could good baseline, if you meditate in the morning effectively then you produce well-being that extends throughout your day. EFT tapping is the best method I found so far to use when things happen during the day to upset your serenity. If you need back that feeling you better need peace later on in the day, then use EFT. Simply using the ancient Chinese science of acupuncture, there are 12 meridians energy flows in the body. Science can measure them very easily using things called the galvanometric so we can measure these acupuncture points energy flows in the body. And what acupuncturists find is that in disease, in either a psychological disturbance or physical disturbance, that some of these energy channels are blocked or unflowing easily. And so, if you’re an acupuncturist, you have an acupuncture needle put it on those points and you start to feel better. So, acupuncture is really an effective way of changing these energy flows in a healthy way. EFT simply recruits this meridian system, this energy system by tapping on the points rather than using needles. And so, you say affirmations like, “Even though I’m afraid of my diagnosis, I deeply and completely accept myself”, how these words of affirmation and self-acceptance. And while you say those things, you tap on these 12 acupuncture points. And it's amazing. We’ve now done over 100 clinical trials of EFT over the last 20 years. And it showed to be incredibly effective for PTSD, for phobias, for anxiety, for depression, far more effective than pharmacological drug treatments, far more effective than control therapy. Again as you see, energy flows to the body. And for example in a study of women who were exposed to those triggers for emotional eating, seen those images of cakes and candy and chocolate and all these things. When they were exposed to those in an MRI, we found that their emotional brain, the midbrain, the limbic system, is highly responsive to those images. So, they saw the images of the chocolate cake, whatever it is that they like, and their whole emotional brain was lit up. After tapping, a couple of weeks later, no response whatsoever. The food was only a food, it had no emotional content. So that's the speed and power at which these energy therapies can radically change our behavior.
Host: Is this something that a licensed professional or a Medicare professional or is this something that I can do myself?
Dawson: Yeah, that’s a really good question, Wes, and the answer is both hands. We recommend you use the EFT for situational stress, you're stuck in traffic, you got a bad performance review from your boss, you have pain. Like I tapped with a few people at conferences this weekend for pain, it’s about this weekend. And their pain went down by an average of 2/3 and it’s just a few minutes. This one guy I tapped and he’d been bitten by mosquitoes in a tropical resort and he was so highly allergic to mosquito bites. I asked him what’s his pain level was and he says 9 out of 10. As we tapped on that for about 10 minutes, after which his pain was a 3 out of 10. So, the 3 out of 10 was a real pain, the actual pain. The other six points were emotional or psychological and those just went away. It’s useful kinds of things like that and it's really effective when you tap for either a psychological issue or a physical one.
Host: How do you convince naysayers that the mind can heal the body this way? I mean, what if people don't believe that this is possible? Will it work on those people? (laughing) Or how do you go about telling people that, you know, these actually work? Because I understand you’ve written books and you do proper research and you quantify data and you calculate everything and that's the research that you do on a daily basis for many, many years that you've done. But again, naysayers, what do you say to them?
Dawson: Oh, I’ll give you an example but the funniest one is if you go to Wikipedia, entry for acupuncture…
Dawson: You’ll read that it’s pseudoscience, ineffective and with no basis in modern research. And of course, there are over a thousand clinical trials of acupuncture that tell you the exact opposite, of this spray role research that is approved by the World Health Organization, many organizations, reimbursable by most medical systems. And so there’s a kind of odd aversion in our culture to believe in energy. Even we use electricity all the time and magnetism and we have our whole culture civilization’s based on energy, use of energy, our cell phones, smartphones, to our energy grids. For whatever reason, we trust things we can see more. So, if I got a pill, I believe in it, even if I believe in placebo, it still works. So, that physical thing is what people tend to think is effective and they perceive energy as being ephemeral, less effective. That’s why I wrote Mind to Matter. I want to show that energy is producing dramatic effects both in your body and all around you. So, we still go to the doctor and we expect a pill. We don’t go to the doctor and say, “Okay, how do I reboot my energy system? How do I change my energy?” But what research shows is that like Beth, if you use these energy techniques they’re extremely effective. I mean, just think about what would happen to her if she got into a medical system and probably got surgery and chemotherapy and radiation and her quality of life would have plummeted. Maybe cancer would have reappeared. It’s really hard. The treatment was the lymph system. I’m really encouraging people in Mind to Matter to rethink that materialist perspective that is going to be material. There are skeptics and naysayers and they’re able to maintain their position despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. And so it's more like a religious belief at that point. You have the fundamentalist belief that the material world is the cause of the agent. Another example is the belief that our consciousness, that consciousness itself springs from our brains. There’s not one study to show that, to prove that or to suggest that. It’s completely contradicted by heaps of evidence and any people keep on thinking that consciousness is just a phenomenon that is just generated by cultivated brain. So, there are skeptics as Max Planks said that science advances one fuel at a time. I think that as older belief systems die out, it’s pretty much obvious to people nowadays that consciousness produces observable effects in the material world and that it brings energy as well as matter
Host: Now, I want to digress from the questions in the list that we have here, which we are supposed to follow into place and we've gone through several, but I want to digress for just a second. If we can have a positive impact through positive thinking can we have a negative impact on our body through negative thinking? Is this possible?
Dawson: The opposite of that optimist study, of course, is how the pessimistic outlook in life. So, these are the people who see the glass as half empty rather than half full. And so the optimist, we discover through the years of study, live an average of 10 years longer. Another way of seeing this is that the pessimist, by seeing the glass as half empty, live 10 years shorter lives. All of these kinds of negative emotions dramatically affect your life and healthspan. Depression affects your life and healthspan. One shocking study published in the British medical journal of 68,000 adults in the UK, found out that over the 8 years of the study that anxiety produced a large increase in death from all causes. Yeah, yeah. And everyone knows that people who are depressed or anxious affect their life span, affect their healthspan. But in that giant British study, what was shocking about that was this was low-level anxiety. What’d been take huge buzz anxiety to result in a shorter life span? It took only mild anxiety, mild stress to affect your life span. So, yeah all this explains do in a fact and both positive emotions improve your chances and negative emotions shorten your life and impede your health.
Host: Well, don't say that I was anxious before talking to you. (laughing) I was dreading, I was trying to prepare because we went through your.. And it’s not you, it’s pretty much every guest here. So, my point is we’re anxious when we go to work, we’re anxious when we go on a date when we meet somebody. There's a lot of anxiety and stress in life. Does your research tell us how to cope with it or how to decrease our anxiety or stress?
Dawson: Well, just one common thing here is that a little bit of anxiety won’t probably have any effect because there is this very well-known phenomenon, it’s been shown in research in all kinds of fields for over a century called the Earth’s Dots and Curve. And so for example, I have rising cortisol and rising adrenaline before an interview. In a moderate amount, these are performance-enhancing neurochemicals.
Dawson: And so, you want to have a little bit of stress, this positive stress. So, positive stress correlates with the prostate. You need a little bit of adrenaline, a little bit of cortisol, a little bit of norepinephrine to get you into a flow state. That’s fine too, you know, when I stand up to either give a talk, give a lecture, you know, speech, teach in a live workshop. I’m really, highly alert and part of that is mediated by this stress biochemicals.
Host: I see.
Dawson: What you don’t have is too much of them or have them for too long.
Host: I see.
Dawson: So, chronic stress, chronic anxiety, being anxious all the time and having high levels of that, that really degrades your performance in the short term and also produce all kinds of ill effects in a long term like reduce bone density, reduce muscle mass, reduce skin elasticity, reduce neural learning and the learning sensors in the brain. So it’s chronically high levels of these stress chemicals that degrade you not a situational burst of them. Those, in fact, can improve your ability to function.
Host: Let’s get back to some technical questions in Mind to Matter, your book. You talk a lot about how energy fields shape matter. How can you verbally tell me about that? How can you explain that to me?
Dawson: Well, we’re all familiar with an elementary experiment like putting two bar magnets under a piece of paper, a piece of plastic and then sprinkling iron filings around them. And as you move the magnets around, the iron filings move around as well. So if here you’re using the electromagnetic energy of those two bar magnets and as you move them around, as you alter the magnetic field, then all of the iron filings change as well. And that same phenomenon is found in our bodies and in nature, all over the place for finding energy fields. Fish have them, plants have them. There’s a beautiful study published in the journal Nature about four years ago showing how bumblebees identify if the bumblebees they’re flying to a bush and there are hundreds of flowers on the bush. How did they identify which flowers already have nectar sucked out of them by other bumblebees and which ones are full of nectar? And it shows that they use this electromagnetic sense to determine that. So bumblebees have them. Dolphins locate their prey using these electromagnetic sensors around their mouths. And we have them, human beings have them. The strongest one’s the field of the human heart. Our heart’s field extends about 15 feet or 3 meters away from us. And when you're 30 feet from somebody else, your heart’s field’s already interacting. Our brains have fields. You know what, our individual cells have fields. We can’t see them, smell them, taste them or touch them. They’re very real and they’re interacting with everything around us. So, we are these bees of energy and what we don't realize is that every thought, every feeling, every emotion we have or this spiritual experience you have, you feel elevated emotion. Like when I meditate in the morning, I meditate and I feel wonderful after that. I’m writing a book now called Bliss Brain and in this new book, I talk about this whole phenomenon of these elevated emotional states and they produce radical shifts. First of all fields than in our cells and in our bodies. So the fields are invisible, but we’re swimming in them all the time. In the planet’s field, it’s changing. Solar activity produces changes in the field of the earth, the very field we move using a compass, the very field that produces all kinds of weather phenomena in the world. All of these fields are shifting and our healing bodies are dancing with them. We measure our brain’s brain waves by the highest rate of GABAA, twice the slowest frequency wave of Delta. There’s a lot in Mind to Matter about brain waves. It turns out toward the end of the book, I review research showing that our brain waves actually correlate with the primary frequencies of the planet. So, the earth has the same level of frequencies from GABAA to Delta that our brains have, unsurprising because we have evolved as human beings over the course of hundreds of millions of years in the earth’s field. So, we literally use that field and we attune to that field. In fact, healers, faith healers, shamans, kabbalistic healers, Qi Gong healers, all these healers are found in research when they’re in that healing space when they’re actually doing healing they harmonize with the same frequency, that’s the primary frequency of the planet, it’s about 8 cycles per second. And so these healers, when they’re in that healing space, when they’re doing healing touch, when they’re doing whatever they are doing, their brains then attune to that same 8 cycles per second rhythm, that’s the primary frequency of mother earth. So, all these amazing energies correspond to what we see between our individual function, our cell function, hemasavatovic function and these huge cycles like planet and the earth. Toward the end of Mind to Matter, I talked about some of these huge geomagnetic phenomena and how they relate to human affairs. It’s a remarkable thing but energy surrounds us all the time and it’s influencing us and we’re influencing it.
Host: Eight cycles per second. How do you tune yourself to that?
Dawson: Yes, that’s a good question. So, that’s Theta. The slowest rate is Delta, 0 to 4 cycles per second and Theta is 4 to 8 cycles per second. And you tune yourself to it by decreasing worry and stress. And worry and stress produce Beta waves and those waves are from like 15 to 25 cycles per second. In the end, a normal amount of Beta is fine, but if you have high amplitude Beta, lots of Beta waves in your brain, you see what we see in EEG is that those slow waves of Delta and Theta shut down. Alpha waves disappear if there’s too much Beta. And so, you want to expand those Theta waves. In the book, I have several photographs of people being treated, hooked up to an EEG. So, they’re getting EFT, they’re getting energy therapies while they’re hooked up to an EEG. And you see that initially, they’re talking about childhood abuse, talking about job stress and they have huge amounts of Beta and their Alpha (Theta, Delta) shrinks away to almost nothing. Other treatment, their Beta shrinks back to normal, their Alpha waves expand, they have lots and lots of Theta. Now, Theta is a signal, it’s a signature, energy signature that is heard and understood by yourselves. It produces stem cell growth. So, you have more healing stem cells in your body that are triggered by that large amount of Theta. It produces skin repair, produces neuron repair, produces bone repair, all kinds of positive things happen in the body and you trigger it with meditation. Deep meditation produces an increase in Alpha and then large increases in Theta and Delta and all these positive physiological benefits like stem cell proliferation, like telomere length growth, all kinds of a good examine happen in your body when you’re on those slow waves states. So, the answer is tapping in meditation. Other things do it, too. Time and nature do it, grounding does it, time spent in the company of people that you love, what close social bonds does it, but even trigger these states yourself by meditation and by tapping.
Host: Now, I wanted to ask you, does it take a long time to learn meditation and other techniques that calm the brain waves?
Dawson: The answer is a very clear yes and no, Wes. And the answer is that these brain waves are produced by effective meditation. But most meditation is ineffective because what happens when people close their eyes and try to meditate is that upon the brain called the default mode network cranks up. And the default mode network is the part of the brain, is one piece of tissue in front of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex and other at the back of the brain called precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex. And this two-axis in the brain, when people close their eyes and try to meditate, usually become highly active. And these parts that the brain defaults to and it’s not doing a task actually have two jobs. One of them is to remember bad stuff that happened to us in the past and project that forward to picture bad things that might happen in the future. So, the brain defaults to this duel state. Imagine the bad things in the past and projects them into a potentially threatening future. And so the brain defaults to this state for a very good reason which is that it’s how our ancestors survived. They needed to remember the tiger that almost ate them yesterday and the tiger that might eat them tomorrow. That’s why the brain uses all its spare capacity when you close your eyes, reflect how downtime uses all spare capacity to picture the threats of the past and the potential threats in the future. The trouble is we don’t have tigers anymore to worry about in our daily lives so you close your eyes to meditate and now you think about the performance review you might get tomorrow from your boss and the last performance review that wasn’t too good in the past. And so, for most people meditation is like that. They find it hard or boring or they fall asleep or they’re flooded by negative memories. And so, it’s hard to learn to meditate effectively. So, in my upcoming book, Bliss Brain as well as my current book Mind to Matter, I give people science-based ways to meditate, very little it’ll do with spirituality. Spirituality is very useful. It can enhance meditation but you don’t have to be spiritual to meditate. We need to do certain things physically to an effective experience like breathing. There are certain breathing rhythms that automatically trigger a very deep, relaxed state. There are certain visualizations you can use. And so I taught people exactly what those are. And those print the whole book on this, what is effective, what is sciential really moves you into those elevated emotional states. So, the answer is, yes, if you are using effective meditation. If you’re closing your eyes and hoping for the best, probably not.
Host: Now, if I'd like to learn more about all these things that you're talking about. Where would be a good place to start?
Dawson: By far this place is the website for Mind to Matter because, at mindtomatter.com, I give you links to 7 meditations that are associated with each chapter of the book. Seven chapters of Mind to Matter and then mindtomatter.com there’s a meditation for each chapter. That gets you into these states. I was doing with the whole group of people who live this last weekend and it was amazing. People came to me and said, “Oh, my goodness! For the first time in my life, I actually got to do a deep state in meditation.” Other people said, “You know, I’ve always wondered what the experience of the mystic is like when you describe unity with the universe, one’s with the universe and I was there”
Host: Nirvana, yeah.
Dawson: So, it’s not saying you each meditate this way because some guru tells you or it’s part of a spiritual tradition. It’s saying that science has measured this. If you breathe in this rhythm, you will trigger a deep state in the likelihood. So these evidence space practices at mindtomatter.com. They can get you both to that stress reduction, that tapping offers and also those meditative states that for the very first time show you even quickly, easily get to those kinds of unity experiences and then experience in health effects that go along with them.
Host: Why did you decide to study this subject or this field?
Dawson: Because I was a miserable, suffering human being, (laughing) whereas I was soon as a black nose. Blissfully, I told a story of how 15 years old childhood trauma. Being a teenager, I was at the hotel one day, walking past a full-length mirror and I stopped and looked at myself. And I was standing there with my, you know, Pippi hair and bag of books on my shoulder, my bell-bottom trousers and I looked to my own eyes and I thought, “Wow! That is the saddest face I’ve ever seen.” I was so depressed, so anxious, all the effects of psychological trauma that people could stand in around me. It’s just known to be at deeply unhappy, discouraged human being. And so, I try to fix myself. I joined this spiritual community, I got into psychology. I made some progress over the next 40 years but it was slow progress.
Dawson: Then, I learned energy therapies around 2002 to meditate daily and suddenly everything changed. So, for me, it was an attempt to rescue myself and now I notice one of the happiest people there is and people loving with me and enjoy doing workshops with them and whatever I do, writing books, but it was really born of an attempt to heal myself.
Host: Thank you for answering a very personal question that I asked you. Getting back to the technicalities and the technical questions. Now, about thought and about the material world outside our bodies, can our thoughts affect other people or things around us?
Dawson: Well, what I will be outright Mind to Matter I knew it was pretty intuitive to believe and explain how our thoughts affect molecules inside our bodies. One of the…The final gene in the synthesis of cortisol or the stress hormones is called CYP11B1. And so, when I think of a negative thought, I can turn on that gene, I can make cortisol. That’s not hard to prove. But when I look at the science behind make molecules or changing molecules outside our bodies, that was a real surprise to me. And, Wes, I found that there never been intriguing studies showing that people can affect, for example, water molecules. Water is a molecule that, of course, has a very simple structure, 3 atoms, a big extra atom, 2 hydrogens, so it’s H2O. And there are several studies now showing that when healers put healing intention into the water and when they hold their hands on to water, bless that water and visualize healing that the structure of the molecules of water actually changes. I mean, you take that water and use that blessed water to water plants, the plants that are watered with blessed water grow usually much stronger, much bigger, much faster than those with water that hasn’t been treated that way. So, yeah, there’s interesting evidence that we can affect all 4 of the primary 4 forces of physics purely with conscious. We can effect like magnetism, we can affect the strong molecular force, the weakening of your force and gravity. There’s evidence showing that human intention literally affects the 4 fundamental forces of physics. So, I outline all of that evidence in the second half of Mind to Matter.
Host: Incredible. Incredible! It sounds like the force from Star Wars in using Jedi mind tricks but on a different level. (laughing)
Dawson: And Star Wars was a glimpse of the future.
Host: Yeah, I honestly believe in what you're talking about. I find it hard to justify it to myself when I talk about it amongst my family or my friends. They think I'm a little lucky but I completely follow what you're talking about. Mind to Matter, your book is available on mindtomatter.com, is available on Amazon or other places as well?
Dawson: It’s available on Amazon and what I like to ask, too, if you go to Amazon, it’s really helpful to me if you leave me a review. Because Bliss Brain comes out in a year and once I have 1000 five-star reviews on Amazon then Amazon will give Bliss Brain a big push when it comes out.
Host: Oh, okay.
Dawson: So, I really ask people for reviews as well as to download the FaceApp in mindtomatter.com and if you’ve been helped by the book as thousands of people have now, please do leave me a review as well.
Host: So, that’s Mind to Matter by Dawson Church. Now, you also described in the book the state of flow that elite athletes and high performers are able to enter. What exactly is that? What exactly is flow?
Dawson: Flow is this state in which you’re in sync here and tuned and what you’re doing seems to flow effortlessly. And it’s been observed by, for example, high performing artists, musicians, painters. They get into this flow state and they lose all track of time, they’re in this episphenia of riches of their experience. The experience is effortless in that flow state. They’re a commonality to it. And it interflows in one of two ways, either through performance or through meditation. So, meditators get into this timeless sense space of flow. But people who are great athletes or actors or artists or executives, also scientists, also get into this flow state. And in fact, that’s what they intend to make the discovery is we think that science is very reductive, that people plod along, step by step and making discoveries. Actually, they’re often made in states of inspiration. Albert Einstein wrestled with these mathematical problems for years. He was really frustrated and then one night in a dream, suddenly he had this picture of a theory of relativity. He then spends 4 years working of mathematics but he observed that those experiences, getting an image in a dream, having an elevated experience of flow, that’s when real creativity happens. And the research I’m outlining in this frame shows that you don’t just feel better when your inner flow state when you’re in meditation, you feel better when your positive flow state in daily life. In one amazing study, DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, studied people inflow. They found that they were 419% better at solving complicated problems than before. Another huge landmark that they found that executives, high performing executives, were 5 times as productive as they were when they were inflow. So, flow produces dividends in your daily life as well. You can get it either through high performance or through meditation.
Host: Many of our guests have talked about positive thoughts and the positive outcomes of being positive in your life. Many of our guests have talked about what you have mentioned, but you're the only one who has actually co-related science and facts and data to all these things. Now, I have a question. It's a little bit abstract when it comes to the power of positive thinking and, for example, achieving success and successful people. Let's use a case example, a case an example of, for example, the Kardashians. Kim Kardashian or Kylie Jenner was highly successful in what they do. You know, without having a particular skill set were, they’re just generally very successful people, just having success, successful in having success. Do you think it's a question of her mind over matter that they can visualize success and they can visualize some astronomical achievements and then get there? Is that why you think people achieve success in their life?
Dawson: High performers are really interesting. And there’s quite a bit of case history evidence and also some experimental evidence of what they do, but I love talking to them, I love mingling with them, I love getting into their heads. Like I spent time recently with a group called the Transformational Leadership Council and it’s not a 150 or so, mostly bestselling authors put together by Jack Canfield who was the co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Souls series.
Dawson: So, being with these high performers, it’s just getting a glimpse into how they see the world, how do they think. It’s very powerful and I can tell you they have mental discipline. They don’t let themselves wander off into negative thinking usually. They’re very careful to stay positive. For example, one of the practices that Jack recommends, which I use myself is he says, “Each day have a positive affirmation, write it down, put it in your wallet and then use it whenever you discover yourself drifting off into negative thinking.” So, you use it to counterweight any negative thoughts you have. So, they’re proactive about those. He uses index cards while I use an app, but he visualizes positive things he’d like to see his outcome in his life every day, daily, every morning using his index cards. So, these people tend to be, successful people tend to be oriented towards certain mindsets and certain ways to see the world. And they do tend to be the ones to see the glass half full. Now, they do see the problems, actually often more clearly than others. They realize in a planet with global warming and climate change, they realize that AI can become dangerous, they realize that there are trends in our society that aren’t healthy. So they don’t like closing their eyes and be polyata when you see the realities of the world. But you also are adapting a mindset toward any with them that is positive constructive. And so, you wanted deliberately to cultivate those characteristics, observe the positive people in your life. And let me just say something a little bit controversial and may sound unkind out here, but you want to let go of the negative people in your life if they’re people that bring you down if they’re people who you notice that consistently…Like here’s a guy in my men’s group who has friends with a few years back. We used to spend time together and go to social events together and he was with a group of maybe a dozen or so men that I was friends with. And I realized, though, that each time I try to talk to this guy, I would feel depressed. He was just a downward of an era. His energy was one of those some college friends of mine calls energy vampire, energy sucks. He just wasn’t a high energy person. And I said to myself, “You know, I’m just not going to hang out with him anymore. He does not enrich my life.” And it was pretty painful, I think for both of us, but I couldn’t invite him to my events, my social events. I quit spending time with him. If he was at an event or a party where I have to see him, I’d say Hi and be cordial, but I won’t see how to contact him. And then gradually as I shifted my priorities, I then attract new people into my life like Jack Canfield who is uncompromisingly happy and positive. So, it’s worth both cultivating the company of people who bring you up and letting go of the people who bring you down. You can’t always get rid of them completely. I mean, maybe they’re your boss or your dad or…(laughing)
Host: Yes, your relatives possibly, yeah. (laughing)
Dawson: You can’t avoid your brother.
Host: Yeah. (laughing)
Dawson: But you can minimize your contact with them.
Host: Right. Every one of us has someone like that or have come into contact with someone like that. You know the naysayers, the downers, the pessimistic people. And it is a little harsh to cut contact with them but, you know, I've learned so much just talking to you for the last hour or so. Please correct me if I'm wrong, you've got a book on the way and that you've got two books out already?
Dawson: Yeah, my really big breakthrough book was called The Genie in Your Genes. And those published in 2005 and it’s been revised a couple of times since then. Well, that’s really the core book on epigenetics and how your thoughts affect the expression of your genes. And then Mind to Matter is the book I wrote really looking at the science behind manifestation and associated with one of your people a guide to what’s reasonable to manifest. Like, you know, it’s reasonable to think about manifesting money, it’s reasonable to think about manifesting health or a better spiritual practice or love in your life. I mean, those are reasonable things to manifest. So, I want to give people a scientific guide to how far you can tame manifestation but also its limits because, for example, I’m sitting in a room here with beige balls. I can’t think one thought and make the balls brown. That’s not going to happen. So, what is impossible and what is very easy and how far can you take manifestation. And yes, it turns out to be, Wes, you can take manifestation a long way. You can just think things like “What’s in it for me?” One example is by the year ago, I’ve been thinking about how nice would be to be invited to speak to an event with Tony Robbins and meet Tony Robbins. I know Tony Robbins, I knew who he was, I read his books but I thought, “It would be great to meet Tony Robbins.” Because I have this thought in my mind occasionally for a few years and then an email arrived in my inbox saying, “Would you like to speak in a Tony Robbins event?”
Dawson: And I was like, wow! I never contacted these people. I made no effort, whatsoever, to make that dream come true. I just have that thought and suddenly I found myself a few weeks later flying to this little country called Abu Dhabi in the Middle East to speak alongside Tony Robbins in one of his events. So, it’s interesting how when you start to be in collaboration with the universe. Research shows that meditators have a lot more clairvoyance in their lives, a lot more synchronicity, a lot more telepathy, a lot more kinds of all the distant healing. All these kinds of phenomena are much more frequent in the lives of the meditators. So, when we cultivate our non-material side and in Mind to Matter I call this, Non-Local Mind. When you quit thinking you’re this little struggling local ego in this quarter of the universe trying to doodle yourself, try to watch your life and in meditation you surrender and become one with the non-local mind, non-local consciousness. Then suddenly you’re hooked up to all wisdom, to all brilliance, power, creativity of the universe and then you’re in sync with all of those universal cycles and things start to happen in your life that is a lot easier, a lot more intuitive, less friction when you’re living in that way. That’s really what I’m encouraging people to do in Mind to Matter is living in this frictionless way and see what manifest in your life and it’ll turn out to be usually far greater than you could’ve imagined at the level of local reality.
Host: Most excellent. It was brilliant speaking to you today Dr. Dawson Church. You’ve enlightened so many of us, including myself, and really I think we should all pick up a copy of your two books and I can't wait to read your upcoming book as well. Can people reach out to you and get in touch with you?
Dawson: Yeah, I do many live events a year. I’m doing workshops on the force of things, I’m doing a workshop, I’m doing EFT training. I’m also doing virtual training now where people can join me for a 1 or 2-day virtual workshop. And all of those are available through mindtomatter.com just click on the Live Events tab and you’ll see a list of live events there. I’ll be in Omega Institute soon, I’ll be at the New York Open Center, I’ll be at 1440 Multiversity. And we also have certified trainers who are teaching my courses all over the world. We love to see people taking advantage of this because there’s nothing like actually be a live workshop, meaning being hanging out with me, doing, practicing these techniques yourself and then seeing how you change. Like one 5-day workshop with Esalen Institute, we measured people’s levels of stress hormones like cortisol and also beneficial substances like their immune system function. And we found that their cortisol in that week at Esalen dropped by an average of 37% as documented data together. So, there’s a big drop in stress biochemistry. Their immunoglobulins, their immune system markers, went up by 113%.
Dawson: So, radical shifts in biology as you do these practices and see what kind of experiences, take it home and apply that these methods in your life.
Host: Wonderful. Thank you so much for taking out the time and explaining all these things in very easy to understand terms that I can follow along with. And I thank you very much for your time to give us a wonderful understanding of all the things that you've written about in the last hour or so. Thank you so much.
Dawson: It’s been a genuine pleasure, Wes. Thank you.