Psychiatry and Neurology Expert Dr. Dan Engle on How to Improve Your Brain Health

Show Notes

Dr. Dan Engle, a man who is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology hops onto the show to share how to improve the health of your brain and the dangers of concussion. He also breaks down his new book, Concussion Repair Manual: A Practical Guide to Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries.

Book – The Concussion Repair Manual

  1. Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes! On today’s show, we are interviewing Dr. Dan Engle, a man who is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology, with a clinical practice that combines functional medicine, integrative psychiatry, neuro-cognitive restoration, and peak performance methods.
  2. Dr. Dan, welcome onto the Thrivetime Show! How are you sir?!
  3. Dan Engle, what inspired you to first write, The Concussion Repair Manual: A Practical Guide to Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries?
    1. It is the culmination of my research after having many concussions in sports.
    2. The doctors I saw after my injuries told me that they didn’t know any way for me to get any better besides rest. They didn’t know how to treat post concussions.
    3. My goal is to get this information out to the world so they can help more people.
  4. What happens to someone’s brain if they get hit in a football game?
    1. The aftermath of the hit can be different.
    2. You have to understand what is happening neurologically but also meta biologically. If they are healthy, they will have a better time recovering. You have to take a whole body perspective and not just a brain perspective.
    3. There is a leaking of the blood brain barrier which complements things.
    4. You do start to bruise the brain.
    5. We use a variety of different regeneratives to help people heal.
    6. Most people miss out on one thing. Time. You have to give it time to heal. You may have to change your lifestyle in order for your body to heal.
  5. What do you feed your brain to become stronger?
    1. Avoid:
      1. Sugar
      2. Alcohol
      3. Another concussion
        1. The first rule of getting a concussion is not getting another one.
    2. Eat:
      1. Natural foods
      2. Foods that won’t cause inflammationDan Engle, so many people are talking about the National Football League and the risk of Traumatic Brain Injury that this puts players at. I would like to get your take on the UFC, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Mixed Martial Arts. What sort of risk does this put these athletes who are not wearing a helmet?
    1. I have a bit of a bias because this was my background.
    2. There is a code of ethics. During the fight, we will give it our all and bring it. After the bell rings, there is a level of respect.
    3. There is also a level of malice. Some athletes feel a willingness to cause actual damage for their own success.
    4. We have to provide the necessary needs for the brain and be able to recover the brain.
    5. We want to start repairing the brain after every fight.
    6. After the fight, everyone should be on an anti-inflammatory.
    7. In soccer, my job was to get hit on my head over and over.
    8. We have technologies to get the brain better but we don’t have the science to back it up.
    9. When the brain 
  6. What is worse, the NFL or the MMA?
    1. I don’t have enough knowledge to say.
    2. There are many groups and organizations who have covered up stats that say that the sport is actually more dangerous.
    3. You have to be fully committed and ready for anything before you start the sport.
    4. The organization has to be fully transparent. Everyone has to think long-term.
  7. Why should everyone buy the book?
    1. I just want people to know that there are options out there.
    2. There are strategies that people can use at home.
    3. Everyone can use this book as a workbook.

Dan Engle Thrivetime Show Slides

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Audio Transcription

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On today’s show, Dr Dan engle, a man who is board certified in psychiatry and neurology. Hopson to the show to share how to improve the health of your brain and the dangers of concussions. He also breaks down his new book, concussion repair manual, a practical guide to recovering from traumatic brain injuries. Three, let’s do it. Two, one intro music. Now,

So you had a kid started from the bottom down. Yes, yes, yes and yes, Dr z on today’s show. Doctor Dan engle, the man with the plan is on,

on the show. I’m excited. I tell you what, any time you can gotta figure out your brain, figure out what’s going on in there. Cause that’s, it can be kind of confusing at times. Dan, welcome sir. How are you?

I’m pretty fabulous. Yes, indeed.

Now you are a, a, I know an author. You’re also a doctor. Um, you’re gonna talk to our listeners about a lot of subjects that um, might seem big and unapproachable, but you’re really good. I’ve heard some of your previous things that you’ve written in, in interviews where you, you seem to be very good at breaking things down. Could you tell us about your new book, the concussion repair manual and why it would have some value to our listeners?

Yeah, the concussion repair manuals, essentially the culmination of my own research and healings, six severe concussions for, from a variety of different sports. My last of which was actually in my medical training and I started having severe posting because of syndrome and all the neurologists around me who were my teaching physicians said, yeah, it’s obvious that you crushed your head. Yes you have post and cause of syndrome. No, we don’t know how to treat it. Go home and get some rest and we hope it gets better. Like, well that’s not sufficient for me. I’m sure there are good therapeutics out there. Just because you don’t know what they are doesn’t mean they don’t exist. So I spent about Oh close to 20 years in about 300 rand just trying to find out all the things that worked for concussion recovery and the general neurologist in, in this, in the summary statement in neurologic recovery right now is still essentially we don’t know how to treat post cutoff syndrome. Wow. And so my desires to get good information out to the people who need it. Usually these are the ones suffering from traumatic brain injury, concussions as well as wanting to get information out to the clinicians who now and at least can be advised of the variety of different technologies that do exist that can be supportive.

I have a few people I’ve known pretty well in my life who are NFL players played professional football and z. When you see an NFL player a couple of days after a game, there’s a lot of limping going on. There’s a lot of physical pain you can see. Sure. But I would like for you a doctor Dan engle, to talk about what’s going on in the head of like from a, uh, from a neurological perspective inside the cranium, inside the brain. When some guy gets tackled, like let’s say a slot receiver Julian Edelman gets just smashed by a linebacker, what’s going on in the head?

Yeah, it’s a great question. And one of the interesting things and fascinating things for me about neurology and just brain science itself is that the severity of the injury will not predict the, uh, extent of the outcome. So you can have somebody who has a relatively slight concussion, have a really hard time clearing the cobwebs and getting back on track. And you could have somebody who just gets crushed, like admin regularly and seems to be pretty okay even if you were ready to do neuro psych testing and talking to the exams. And so I, and I don’t believe that there’s a such thing as a tough brain. It’s not like, oh, that guy’s just built tougher. What we found, because I run a neurologic recovery center in Denver called revive. And what we found is that you have to also understand not only what’s happening neurologically, but what’s not happening metabolically.

And that means what’s happening with the immune system, with the hormones and with the gut. Because you’d be having somebody with just a horrible amount of chronic inflammation if one or all three of those systems is already out of balance and they’re gonna have a hard time recovering neurologically and won’t necessarily get into like all the, just the weeds of that part of the conversation. But just the fight that to say you have to take a whole body perspective, not just a brain perspective of what’s happening to that brain when it gets hit and when it’s trying to recover. So to answer your question more specifically, when he, when you, when you take a hit, especially a severe hits, Yup. There is inflammatory cascade that happens. Oftentimes there’s a opening of or leaking of the blood brain barrier. So you get systemic inflammatory markers into the central nervous system and then that makes everything else a little bit more complicated.

You get these shearing forces at the Exxon, which means you do start to bruise the brain and there are necessary repairative mechanisms that are already are, are, are readily available if you give the right nutrients and the right environment for the brain to heal. Sometimes in order to accelerate that, you know, so I work at a lot of pro athletes as well. And oftentimes their question to me is, not if you can get me better, but how quick can you get? How quickly can you get me better and back on the field? So we might use a variety of regenerative technologies to help support that. But ultimately, at the end of the day, we’re built for survival. We’re, we’re built to heal. But the first order of business, the most people don’t allow is the necessary time and the, the consideration to needing to change our usual day to day lifestyle in order to now let the nervous system heal to the degree it needs.

So doctor Dan, you talked about feeding the body the right food for the brain to heal. Give us a few of those little, a brain, brain food, because I’m a guy I could sure use a little brain food, if you know what I mean. Yeah, I mean, yeah.

Yeah. So in, in that part of the conversation I could, I’d typically start with what to avoid. You guys, you’re eating all the right things, but you’re also doing all the wrong things and the right things. I’m going to be too helpful. So the retina, the things to avoid sugar, alcohol, um,

you lost me, the two tomb,

the biggest inflammatory markers, right? And a lot of people will have a relationship with alcohol and it’s hard for them to just like immediately stop. And so the things that we need to do are to not do any more damage. I’d say the first rule after getting after you get a concussion is don’t get another one immediately because if you get another one immediately, then you stack the negative effects and then you, and then one plus one is like 11 now. And so same thing with food is you have to make sure that you’re keeping all of the inflammatory foods out of the Diet and giving just the body what it needs. So usually it’s foods that are closest to nature, organic, ideally in season and in a anti inflammatory diet. Some people have massive inflammation in their gut, which is why the anti inflammatory Paleo or AIP or fodmaps diet are there a variety of different approaches that are essentially good foods that have the least likelihood for inflammation in the system.

Dan engle, I have to ask you this then. The worst combination I’m, I’m hearing, cause even if you’re an overweight offensive lineman who is addicted to sugar and you’re also an alcoholic as your post-game recovery, that’s the absolute worst, right? That’s like a six pack at Dunkin donuts, right? So that’s the worst. Okay. Let me ask you this. Um, if you were in charge of the national football league, okay, let’s just say that you got put in charge of the national football league for, um, a week and then the next week you got been put in charge of MMA or UFC, you know, some sort of mixed martial arts. Let’s say week one, you’re the commissioner of the NFL Z. And then week number two, you’re the commissioner of the UFC. Would you ban those sports? And if so, why? And if not, why? Just want to get your take on this because, uh, I don’t know enough to, to know what, I’d love to get your opinion on this.

Yeah, it’s a great question. And I come from combat background. Um, that’s what led to all the concussions that I had. So I, I have a bit of a bias. I love sports. I love that level of competition and it’s a degree and it’s one of the things I appreciate about a lot of the fighters that I work with is just this device, this code of ethics, so to speak. Yes, I’m going to try and bash your head in while we’re between bells. But afterwards, there’s usually a level of respect and a level of engagement and appreciation for how we both done our best to show up, um, perfect our skill and bring that to the octagon or bring that to the field. But there’s a level too of um, malice in sports where, because they’re so stastrom driven because the level of pressure that athletes feel to succeed, that there’s the willingness to go out of the way to actually do damage to somebody to promote their own success.

And yes, in the May is a violent sport and yes, I use one of the outcomes in that arena is to instill a concussion in the other person. I’m not a huge fan of that outcome, which is why I tend to orient more towards wrestling or Jujitsu or something that’s not just completely unabashedly violent. But I can appreciate the fact that that’s some people’s engagement and that’s their choice. And at minimum, can we provide the fighters, let’s just keep it to MMA because that’s the, the like the culmination of, of competition in violence that leads to head injuries. Let’s make sure that we can provide the necessary science, the necessary nutrition, the necessary supplementation, the necessary technologies to help support that brain being as healthy as it can be going into the fight and then recover its, um, best repairative mechanisms to be in place immediately afterwards.

And not just wait until there’s a severe concussion. You have to have somebody sit out for three to six weeks. But afterwards, everybody should be on an antiinflammatory supplementation protocol and anti-inflammatory nutritional protocol and an anti anti inflammatory neuro regenerative technology protocol. Everybody should be anybody in MMA from youth to pro. And I would say the same thing in any, um, head combat sport. My sport of choice was soccer and there was no conversation about head injuries and soccer unless you just obviously got laid out and you were obviously concussed, which means you lost consciousness, by the way. It doesn’t require a loss of consciousness to have a concussion. That’s the biggest misnomer. But in soccer particularly, you take a full volley off of somebody that’s half, you know, cut six to 10 feet away, or you take, um, a sky bald punt from 80 yards away.

And the amount of force to the brain is about 80 pounds per square inch versus if he gets slugged in the octagon, it’s only about 30 pounds per square inch. Wow. So when, yeah, so when you think of soccer, particularly in the, in the position that I was playing, which is like Senator Defenseman, our job is to make sure that we’re getting the ball out of our defensive third into the attacking third. So my job is ahead as many balls back into the offensive position as I could. So I was taking 12 to 20 of those again. And so when I got my brain scanned three years ago, the guy who was running this, uh, Amen Clinic, he said, you know, I’ve seen 15,000 scans and I’ve never seen a scan look as bad as yours with a brain that functions as good as yours. So what are you doing? And I said, well, I’m, I think that’s a compliment,


Cause my brain on scan still really looks pretty lousy. But it’s because I’ve done a lot of practices that build in kind of like ancillary support, neural networks. And so I just laid out everything I’d put in the concussion repair manual and they weren’t doing a good number of that. And so that’s like hyperbaric oxygen, transgender magnetic stimulation up to pet neuropeptides and stem cells, you know, so we have technologies to get the brain better. We just don’t have the science scaled out to all the players that need them because it’s a cash cow and the players suffer the worst. Yes, there’s these great multimillion dollar contracts and you have more and more pro athletes opting out of those because of having their last injury and because not wanting to end up like a vegetable, which is good because you see now that we see the longterm ramifications and what is the CTE or Trump chronic traumatic encephalopathy, early onset dementia with, with guys as early as in their 30s or even you.

What, what happened with journey with junior sale? I understand he had one of the most severe cases of this. What happens with the, I again, I’m just going off of what I had read, but the ringing in the ears and the forgetfulness and how much of that is attributed to these concussions?

100% sure as I’m concerned. You know, like somebody in retrospect, if they’ve got me on the witness stand, they would probably poke holes in that logic. But I would say, okay, well let’s look at his scan. Yes, there was evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Yes, there’s evidence of early degenerative condition. And what happens downstream from that, when the brain turns off, it can’t tell the rest of the body how to function. So you get this pan pituitary ism or you get this downstream effect of really low hormones so you don’t have as much testosterone, you don’t have as much in neuro chemistry. You don’t have as many mm, uh, of the same kind of like neurotransmitter load that builds our motivation, that builds our mood, um, that we had before. So you have people with chronic depression, chronic insomnia, um, a motivational needing to require more and more pharmaceuticals to try and feel good again. And those have downstream negative effects over time.

What’s worse?

Kind of like feedback loop. And then there’s this sense of hopelessness and you go to see the doctor and he just tries to put you on more pharmaceuticals and you’re like, this isn’t a sustainable process and it feels hopeless for many people in that position.

What, what’s worse is, is the NFL worse or MMA

for the brain? Um, you know, as an organization, it’s really hard for me to say, cause I don’t know those organizations intimately. Um, from the inside out. What I do know, and you know, I might have to be a little judicious with how I say this, um, but I understand the film that can cause a concussion with will Smith, uh, that was built on the, are based out of the book. My understanding is that the NFL required them to take out a, like a third of the data that they were going to represent in that movie where they were gonna tie him up and legal court for years. Right. So there’s, there’s, and it’s Kinda odd, I get the sense that it’s just like RJ Reynolds and the entire smoking industry. Right. And then there was this multibillion dollar lawsuit after it was clear that the tobacco industry was manipulating the data and knew that cigarette smoking was dangerous and that the NFL commission manipulated the data, knew that head injuries were, would screen people up longterm, but to come out and say, that is a big financial blow to the industry.

Well, I think in the end, the best expression of what that industry could be is to be able to say, yes, this is a, this is a violent sport. We know that, yes, we’re going to do all the safety precautions and managerial techniques and administrative oversight that we can in order to protect players, but we’re going to come out and we’re going to say you, you have to know with full license, with full responsibility that you’re opting in to a violent sport and you have to, as a, as a player, take a hundred percent responsibility to that. When you get on the sideline, if you know you just got crushed, then you’re going to have, then we want you to actually come out and say that because we want you to play longterm. We want you to be here for the long term. We want you to be an advocate for the sport.

Once you retire, we don’t want you to just hang it up and put you out to pasture. So we want to have a transparent conversation with the players. How can we make this the best expression of the game possible? And we want to be transparent with our, our audience that we’re trying to do this to. So if our, if our quarterback and the game’s on the line gets crushed, then we’re going to have to put them on the sideline and we want to know that that’s going to be the expectation that is accepted by the players excepted by the audience. And a revolution in how we as a gladiator culture craze, that degree of violence. Because we do, it’s like, it’s like driving by a, a fatal car wreck. And you know, you just had this kind of like Erie desire to, to see the carnage and we have to own that.

We have to own that as a culture, own that as a society and really desired to decide if that’s the way that we want to continue to see athletes as commodities and not to and what what are the longterm personal impacts to themselves, to their lives, to their families long term. So I think we have to have more transparency and then once there’s more transparency than we can come to, and I don’t by any means say that I have all the answers at all, but I do believe that a full transparent conversation with all the interested parties could lead to better implementation of Stacey safety strategies.

No, I know that you have to go to a very important meeting in just a moment, but I would like to ask you this. If I do go to Amazon right now and I buy a, if I’m a Z, if I’m listening and I’m thinking about buying the book, I think about, I think you’re going to, I’m thinking about buying the concussion repair manual, right? A practical guide to recovering from traumatic brain injury. I’m on the verge of a buying it. Why should I buy it there? Dr Dan engle what? What, why should everybody out there own this book, whether they’re a football player, an MMA person, or an entrepreneur? Why should everybody buy this book?

Well, I suppose I would answer it. Even if you don’t buy the book, I just want you to know that there are treatments that are available and then if people want to research it further than great. I do believe that it’s one of the best books out there that puts together in, in my experience and in my investigation, all of the therapeutic tools in one manual that I found to be helpful. And there may be other books that do the same thing, but I haven’t seen them. And the summary statements still from many people in the medical industry and in the sports arena is that once you crush your head, whether you ever had a stroke, traumatic brain injury or concussion, and it’s been that way for a long time, that it’s irreversible. And that’s not true. We see clients come in all the time that have had put some cuts of syndrome for years or strokes for years. And they get significantly better. Your brain is consistently neuroplastic. Everything has is healable and I do think that there are some effective strategies that people can just do at home and that was another reason I wrote it the way I did cause I want to be able to have the, and most of it can be done at home, is to be able to start putting some things into place and to track your symptoms over time via detective. Use it as a workbook and see if it gets better.

Z, I, it seemed like a very thoughtful, measured answer, but I’ll put behind that. I heard the inner dialogue of you got to buy this book, buy this. So I’m buying the book right now. I put the pressure go. I’m buying the book right now. I’ll tell you that Dr Dan engle, thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to be here with us today. We really, really do appreciate you.

Yeah, absolutely. Guys, great to talk to you today. Hey, have a great meeting. Okay. You too. Take care

by Andrew for a historical record here. At the time of this recording. It is a what? What Day is it right now? Do we know what date? It’s a, let me see it. It’s a May 29th. And, uh, if you, if, if everybody out there googles a May 29th Tulsa floods, you can see the devastating floods that have ravaged the region. And a therefore a flooded Maya Camp Clark and chicken palace home studios in displaced, a great mini, a Tulsa employees and people. And therefore the show must continue to go on. And we must, we must release nine shows a week. We must work nine days a week and be, we can’t, we can’t stop the streak. That’s true. And so a, what is the official time of the, the time of the production of today’s show? It is 3:27 AM all right. Without any further ado, it’s, and with the three to seven already, alright, we go, here we go. Three, two, seven, boom.


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