#167 This week, my awesome guest is Dr. Marc Cohen. Marc is one of Australia’s pioneers in integrative and holistic medicine and is also a university professor, an author, and a poet.
During our conversation today, we focus on Marc’s mission of building a culture of wellness that has joy at the top of it. We talk about the benefits of hot and cold hydrotherapy, its effects on our physical and mental wellbeing, and how we can bridge western and eastern medicine to bring more order to our body.
If you enjoyed this podcast, you may also like: Getting Real With Fasting & Cold Exposure | David O’Brien
About Marc: Dr. Marc Cohen is a medical doctor, university professor, author, poet, entrepreneur, wellness trailblazer and perpetual student of life, trying to coax the world towards worldwide wellness. He has spent more than 30 years practicing and researching holistic health and published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and many books and technical texts on wellness and natural medicine.
He is author of the illustrated children’s books “Love & Everything”, “Bing & Bang Begin” and “The Beautiful Mare and the Boy Who Gave Thanks“, Founder of the Extreme Wellness Institute and Co-Founder of the Bathe the World Foundation, and co-owner of Extremely Alive Wellness Tonics and Maruia Hot Springs.
Key points with time stamp:
- Benefits of Hot & Cold Hydrotherapy (00:00)
- Encapsulating western and eastern medicines (00:09)
- Placing joy at the top of wellness (02:33)
- The process of finding the right path (06:04)
- How to bridge scientific research and traditional wisdom (11:04)
- The flow of information from the spiritual to the physical perspective (14:50)
- How to bring more order into the body (21:36)
- Wellness in the media (23:11)
- On hot and cold therapy and its benefits (24:43)
- Cold exposure and the immune system (34:26)
- Hot Hydrotherapy best practices (43:56)
- Marc’s current projects (47:10)
- Changing our focus to the good we can bring to the world (52:56)
Mentioned in this episode:
- Pronoia, a concept opposite to paranoia. The belief that the universe is out to make you happy.
- Amit Goswami, a physicist
- Tom Campbell, a physicist
- Bruce Lipton
- Second Law of Thermodynamics
- Wim Hof
- Bing and Bang Begin, Marc’s new children’s book
Marc, welcome to the podcast.
Great to be with you Guy,
Marc, you know, since last week after meeting you in person, and then doing a little bit of digging and research on you, I wasn’t sure where to start, right? Because you have a lot going on. And you have a lot of qualifications. And there are so many areas to cover today. If you want to encapsulate you what you do and where you’re at right now, how would you How would you do that?
I have fun. And I try and I’m trying to create a culture of wellness, that will intersect the world with good health. So I’m trying to make that a joyous process. And I’m trying to make it regenerative and infectious and a lot of fun. So that’s, um, yeah, trying to create a culture of wellness and might have been, you know, studying and researching for a long, long time. You know, for decades, at university,
I feel like I’m just ready to go out into the world and start offering my gifts to the world. And I’m really aligned with global transformation and the global transformation that’s required, not the one that’s necessarily happening. So I really believe in trying to work really hard towards what i do want rather than fighting anything that I don’t want. And what I want is worldwide wellness. And the way to achieve that isn’t just through some, you know, action or uprising, anything it’s through, creating a culture where we all respect each other, respect ourselves, respect the earth. And I have a vision that we can turn the whole whole world into a health retreat. So I’m trying to implement that vision through as many channels as I can. So I’m writing no academic articles, I’m right, I’m doing active research. I’m writing textbooks, I’m writing children’s books, I’m writing poetry. Speaking on podcasts, I’m writing copy for websites, I’m creating new brands and new products, but really, they’re all in service of a positive global transformation, and make empowering people to do it themselves. So I’m really, I’m really about simple practical solutions that you can do right now in your home, to change your life, and then you can spread that throughout your own community.
Amazing. Well, you certainly are a gift to the world mate. And it’s clearly you’re on a mission seriously, like, it’s, it’s incredible. And what I’ve noticed, from small interactions, and even on your website, that joy is always at the top of wellness. Could you elaborate a little bit on that, please, because it was so important.
It’s so important. You know, if I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revelation. So dancing is really important. Joy is really important part. And since you’re studying Western medicine, and Chinese medicine and learning about the five elements in Chinese medicine, in the five rhythms of transformation, and I break everything down into fives, I’ve got all these little lots of fives and I know once again, it’s just been five that’s complete. And I, I have a system of fives that I use for making any decisions about my life. I call it the five Fs. So for me to do something right now, it has to be fun and fun is like the driving force. It’s the flowing elements, it it gives the momentum for everything else, then it has to bring fortune not necessarily to make me rich, but it has to bring in revenue or some sort of agency that makes me more powerful in the world makes me more fortunate in the world. And that staccato element, you can measure that in terms of you know, accounting, and it’s dollars and cents. And then the chaos element, which might be air element, or metal element in Chinese medicine is fame, is that what people say about you are leaving a good reputation and a legacy of good feeling in the world. And then that the lyrical element, the fire element is fluency. It’s about me being more fluent with my own life and learning and developing myself to be more free flowing in my own in my own personal pathway. And then finally, it’s about friendships and family. So it’s going to bring me fun, fortune, fame, fluency and friendships. I do it if any one of those missing I don’t. But it sounds a bit funny. Certainly the driving momentum behind everything I do. And that’s no, I don’t feel I don’t work. I retired from my formal affiliate professorship two years ago, just over two years ago, and I don’t really know I don’t work anymore. I just I do with passion projects, and if I hadn’t My passion is global transformation. And because all those things I do for fun, I don’t feel like I’m working
Love it. I always think about that. And if we will had more of a clear, it’s almost like if I say hell yes with these five Fs I’m in. And if it doesn’t mean it’s a no one, and life becomes quite simple, I think it.
And I really think thinking is overrated. This is coming from an academic, my whole career is about thinking. I spent 38 years at university. But I think once you’ve sorted things out, I mean, thinking is only ever in the past and the future, you’ve never in the present. And life only happens in the present. So I think it’s good to drink a strategy, you know, work out the five years work out, you’re on the right path. But once you know your path, you can just be in the path and you don’t have to think about it. And I’m amazed at the synchronicities that happen, especially when I’m up here in Northern Rivers, I turn up and whoever I need to meet, it just appears in my path, and I look around and, you know, whatever I need is available. I don’t have to plan it. I don’t have to strategize it. It’s just it just happens naturally in the flow. And I take that as an affirmation that I’m in the flow, and I feel really supported by life.
Wow, do you think you had to lead yourself to this point, live a certain life for so long before you could drop into the flow, because I think a lot of us fantasize about it love the idea of it.
It’s been a long path. And it’s actually been like, I’ve had to educate and train myself. And it was about 25 years ago, maybe a bit more, I came up with this concept of Pronoia. And it’s the opposite of paranoia. It’s a belief that the whole universe is plotting to make you happy, and that there’s nothing you can do about it. And in our case, it’s actually a book being written on extreme fear that I came up with this idea with. You know, I realized that both pronoia and paranoia are delusional. Because the universe isn’t there to hurt you. And the universe isn’t there to help you, the universe just is. But then if you’re going to think and be diluted, you can consciously choose your delusion. And if you choose to think that the whole world is prodding to make you happy, it can become a self fulfilling prophecy. And it’s a lot more fun, a lot more fun to think that events are out there to help you rather than to hurt you. And even events that seemingly, you know, disasters and negative can often have this incredible gift if you’re open to that gift. And if you’re in action, and I wrote a children’s book about this, and it’s actually a very famous story out of China, it’s often told in yoga communities, there’s a couple of TED talks about it, it’s, it’s about a man who lost his horse. And when the story didn’t end is a man with a with a horse and the villager say, that’s good, you’ve got a horse to say that I don’t know if it’s good or bad, I just know we’ve got a horse, and the horse runs away. And they say that’s bad and he says, I don’t know if it’s good or bad. And then the horse comes back with some stallions. Or he, they say, that’s good. He says, I don’t know if it’s good. And then his son rides the horse and breaks his leg. And I say, Oh, that’s bad, because I don’t know. And then his son gets saved from being taken away by the soldiers to go fight, all because he’s got a broken leg, and they say, Oh, that’s good. And he says, I don’t know. And that story really made an impact on me when I first read it 30 years ago. And then when my children were growing up, I transformed that story to have two lots of villages to realize, in any situation, you could say it’s good. If you’re a kind, village, you got a horse, Oh, that’s good, you’re rich, the poor are selfish, still, he can feel bad, you’ve got a horse because you’re richer than me. And then the man can fight, I don’t know if it’s good or bad. And then the boy you can be open into discovery in action, and he’ll ride the horse. And he realizes he loves the horse more than anything else in the world. And he doesn’t have time to study with your father or play with the other the rich Boys and girls, and he gives thanks to the horse. And then if the horse when the horse runs away, for the boys lost the thing he loves more than anything else in the world. And that’s not the kind that we just need to bear. And selfishly, we just say, that’s good, because you’re just as poor as us. And the man says, I don’t know. And the boy says, I’ll play with the other boys now. And he realizes, you know, he’s got friends, he loves playing with his friends. And he realizes he loves playing with his friends more than anything else in the world, especially gives thanks that he that he lost this horse. And then when the horse comes back, and he loves a pair of riding the stallion, and he breaks his leg, in rather than, you know, poor me, he says, I’m going to go study with my father now, and, you know, sits with his leg up and studies with his father realize he loves learning. So he gives thanks that he broke his leg and, and I think any situation can be like that there’s always a gift, an interpretation of any situation, that makes it the best possible thing, and you can be grateful for it. But you have to find it, you have to create that. And I’m not saying bad things don’t happen and you know, get upset about it. But I think that the suffering is a choice. And in any situation, you can create a narrative that is terrible and you’re suffering and Oh, poor me. But for every negative thought, or if you have different, equally valid and equally powerful, positive interpretation. And it’s just for you to get in depth there’s an infinite number of things. equally valid and equally powerful positive interpretations because thought is not limited. And if you can find that positive interpretation, and you hold both of them in your in your mind and you can feel balanced, then you can be at peace with whatever happens. So I’ve been cultivating that for a long time. So even when seemingly negative things happen, I say, okay, what’s, where’s the positive interpretation? What action can I do that makes this the best possible thing. And, you know, you can manifest it. So it is a it’s a personal practice of, you know, just not catastrophizing, and realizing, oh, you know, global lockdown, and, you know, sharing all this stuff that’s going on right now, it seems pretty bad. No, what’s the interpretation that makes us the best possible thing, and there’s lots of them. So yeah, so I have been cultivating that for a long, long time. But it’s um, it’s actually quite liberating when you realize that you have the power of your own over your own suffering, or over your own joy. And that’s where thinking can be useful, because you can actually create a scenario that actually brings joy from whatever event.
Amazing. Yeah, and you’re living proof of it, which is brilliant. It truly is. I was fascinated as well, my cuz I read on your website, right, that you have more than 100 peer reviewed scientific papers on wellness and natural medicine was blows my mind. Right, that blows my mind.
Believe it or not, that’s, you know, for an academic career, that’s okay. But there, you know, there are professors and other people 300 you know, that that’s their career? So, no, I’ve had a long academic career for 100 peer reviewed papers is? No, it’s I mean, that I think that the thing that’s unique about my papers is they’re very diverse.
That’s the question I wanted to ask you, because you speak about bridging scientific research, and then traditional wisdom. And I’m fascinated to see the interest in how the blend come together from you. Was it from your own personal journey or experiences? Or was it just curiosity
very much, or very much my own curiosity has led me I mean, led me to do Chinese medicine, or take years off my medical degree to study Chinese medicine, and then stop being a doctor for a while and study electrical computer systems engineering to understand interaction of it, how information flows through the body, and the effect of magnetic fields. And the research I’ve done, funnily enough, it’s always been in areas that have no money behind them. So I’ve researched over natural therapies, and I think yoga, meditation, organic food, hot springs, you know, saunas, health retreats, herbal medicine, nutrition, herbal teas, you know, lots of you wants to yoga research from different aspects of yoga and breathing practices. So these are all the things that you can sort of do at home without it’s not a product. And it’s not there’s not people lining up to fund these studies. And I’ve been quite successful. I mean, I’ve done the biggest research on acupuncture we did when I was coordinated. You know, I’ve government funded study at the largest ever government funded study on acupuncture and emergency departments. But that was because I was really curious about how, how Eastern medicine works with Western medicine, how does this acupuncture system work? And, and can it is it as effective and try to demonstrate that so I’ve never been very much curiosity LED. But I think all the all the research I’ve done, I’ve been sort of building a portfolio to educate myself more than anything, because I want to learn about all those things myself. And the best, one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it. So I ended up writing this massive herbs and supplements textbook, because I wanted to study and learn about nutrition and herbs and supplements and, and I was invited by my first ever PhD student literally brought and she was a naturopath and a pharmacist. And she wanted to write a textbook on herbal medicine. And I was sort of the integrative doctor, just but just as I got my professorship in 2002. And she invited me to write this textbook and I said, I’ll write this textbook, if you do a PhD, I’ll supervise your PhD. So I supervised her doing a PhD, she helped me write the textbook with her. And, of course, four years later, she had finished a PhD and I wanted a second edition of the textbook. And the First edition was 400 pages. The second edition was 800, the third edition came out it was 1200 pages. And now we’ve just done the fourth edition and 1600 pages of herbs and natural supplements. That’s been an amazing education for me. And it’s also given me know it was fun to do and you know, it brought some money and it created fame I’ve got a good reputation now and made me fluent and it’s brought a whole lot of friendships and family into credit and community for me so it’s been a really great thing. Um, you don’t make any money writing textbooks Don’t get me wrong. It’s not it’s not liquid is but but in terms of the knowledge and the networks and experience has given me it’s been it’s been wonderful. And that’s I’m now using all that knowledge from all these research programs I’ve done to now take that into industry and take it to entrepreneurship and take it to the other businesses.
Amazing. You know, you triggered a thought the scoring left field for a minute, but I got to ask you anyway to try and tap into that brainy ones because you know, I’ve had some incredible scientists on my show as well, and different physicists and quantum physicists are in other mid Goswami on air about a NASA physicist on Tom Campbell. Bruce Lipton has been on you know, there’s different interesting people that fast me and you spoke about the flow of information through the body. And and I know you’ve touched on it was quantum physics even going into the realm? What what’s your thought on the flow of information, who we are, at our essence, in terms of from a spiritual perspective, to a physical perspective, and everything with everything that you’ve researched? what conclusions Have you come to?
Okay, well, for that we are a divine manifestation of water, okay, that that defy defies entropy. So we have the second law of thermodynamics is or actually the first law says, you know, measuring energy cannot be created or destroyed, just transform from one to the other. And essentially, that says the universe is one and
break breaking down,
or entropy is disorder. So if you isolate, if you have an isolated system, you have disorder. And this big question is the whole universe itself an isolated system or not, but in terms of us to be alive, you have to be an open system, you have to eat and excrete, you have to breathe in and inspire and expire. So we’re an open system. And we defy entropy, because we build up order, we evolve and grow and learn and, and, and then it’s actually a property of water that we’re just beginning to understand, then I’m a big fan of the science around water, because water itself can take low grade background infrared radiation, and use that to become ordered. And you know, we are structured water and 99% of the molecules in our body are water molecules, I think sprinkle we say, life is water dancing to the tune of solids. And, and when you think about just the language of water, I mean, when you find water, you divide it dividing is the process of water, and water is literally a spirit. So I and we actually there is literally a well in our being we produce our own pure biological water through respiration. Every every glucose molecule you metabolize, you create six molecules of water, or sorry, two molecules of water. That’s, that’s the basic equation of respiration. You get glucose and an oxygen, you burn that you get water and carbon dioxide and energy. So we make our own water about three to 400 mils every day of our own biological water. But we are the process of water, becoming conscious, and it’s the infrastructure of our consciousness. And water is the great connector. So if you think about entropy is about isolated systems. Water is the thing that connects all of us, it connects within our body, it channels energy and information, but it connects all living things on Earth. Water is the common element across all living things. And, you know, studying wellness for all these years, sort of a truism that the currency of wellness is connection, the more you can be connected to yourself to others and to nature, the more you will be well, and even the word Well, you know, what is the well thought of water to be? Well, we’ve to have this pure source of water, you know, expressing itself and then connecting with all the other water that’s out there. So you know that in terms of interpretation of sort of physics, physical principles, you know, that the information that flows through our body needs to be an open system. And that’s essentially a very crude summary of Chinese medicine where you have the flow of ci through the body, and if the flow of ci is blocked, you have disorder, you have disease, and I think it’s true treatments like acupuncture, a lot of body work, trying to remove those blockages to have that free flow of ci once the CI is free flowing, well, then you have health. And, you know, when I was, you know, studying medicine and I went to did a PhD in Chinese medicine, I came across all these terms like ci and union Yang and out and realize that there’s a whole system of Chinese medicine that makes a lot of sense, I mean, half nearly a third of the world with using Chinese medicine and it has a long history and it’s effective, but it was in Chinese these these concepts aren’t necessarily translated into Western scientific terms. So actually devoted no time and did a PhD tries to be a bridge between these two systems. And that was the language of information and information theory that was actually able to be that bridge. So you can see is ci is a type of information and information flow through our bodies, not just were moves through the physical structure, the tensile forces in our body and the fasciae and the lymphatics and the hormones and the and the water that’s flowing through us both in our blood and limbs and spinal fluid and silos, your fluid etc. So if it’s incredibly are we’re an incredible information network communication network. And that’s why I ended up doing a PhD in electrical computer systems engineering is because the people who study communication networks or computer systems engineers, not doctors. And it’s sort of bizarre that in medicine, we don’t really use the, the concept of entropy medicine, where’s entropy really defines disease and disorder, and it defines how that happens and, and how you can overcome it. But it’s, um, you know, it’s one of the first principles that we sort of neglect that, and then, you know, sort of treat the symptoms and very rarely go down to where is the energy being blocked. And we sort of know that, you know, if you block a coronary artery, or you block it and test it, or you plug it in a blood vessel, you know, you have disease. So you know, that’s a source of disease, or you block an enzyme pathway. You have no metabolic diseases, or if you block emotional expression, if your if your ability to express yourself is inhibited, you become disordered, your expression can become disordered. If your thought processes become contained. No, but you become fanatical and know your thought processes become disordered. So that the language of disorder and blockages actually translate across multiple levels of thing that the macrocosm and the microcosm and across all these different disciplines. And I think we could we could do get a lot more understanding across disciplines if we use some of these first principles to actually bridge these disciplines. So that’s, you know, what I’ve attempted to do throughout my career.
Yeah. Wow. Wow. So how do we bring then more order into the body of like, what have you learned? How do you just distill it down into everyday life for for wellness? health? vitality?
Yeah, great question. And I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. And funnily enough, because, you know, I’ve studied Chinese medicine and Western medicine, and I’ve been trying to still be snobbish down to make it accessible. And I’ve been, I’ve written lots of papers, scientific papers, and textbooks, but lately I’ve been writing about and then coming out as poetry. So when you ask me about wellness, I’ve written this poem. It’s called the recipe for wellness. And it’s super simple. So the recipe for wellness is bathed in beautiful water, prepared delicious food. Make the most of every breath, dance through every mood. Tend the soil beneath your feet, embrace sunshine from above, share your gifts with all the world and fill your life with love. It’s simple, you know what to be? Well, it’s simple. It’s that connection. So you connect with water, with your breath, with food with other people, and with your own gifts and expressing yourself. So being open, opening up yourself, to express yourself to the world is part of Being Well. And I’m really challenged at the moment where a lot of government policies are about shutting down. They’re about isolation and quarantining and masking, and you’re disconnecting social disconnection. And that’s, that’s the antithesis of wellness.
I was gonna say everything that you spoke of in your poem, I’m not hearing via the government or the media right now. Yeah, well, that’s
Well, I mean, it’s probably in the government’s interest to have happy, healthy people, unfortunately. And, yeah, so we’re living in really troubling times. And I’ve spent my whole career walking that tightrope between alternative and conventional medicine. And there is a lot of opposition to alternative medicine. You know, there’s a whole industry that wants to suppress our innate ability to be healthy because they want to sell us health in a pill. And, you know, it’s it’s Yeah, there are forces there that don’t want us to actually embrace their own inner well being that I’m someone once said to me that a kite flies highest when they when it has a strong wind against it. So if these forces against us that actually help can help lift us higher, and that sort of that interpretation, you know, someone’s pushing against you. Well, the the, the Paranoid version was our poor me in a defining media more powerful than me, you know, I have to collapse and die. Or the paranoia version would be Oh, wow, this is this is for my benefit. They’re fighting me and they’re opposing me to lift me higher and make me stronger and, and get my allies together and make me more conscious and help other people wake up around me. So no, you can interpret it either way. And that’s when you know, you have the choice to interpret a situation like this. It actually is really empowering.
Yeah. Yeah. Love it. perfect answer. Absolutely. I’m fascinated. This is for my own selfish interest. Now, this next question, but hey, it’s podcast. And so everyone listening I apologize, but hopefully, it’ll be interesting to you. This is you’ve done a lot of work and research on Hot and cold therapy, especially when alternating? Can you speak to a little bit about that? And in terms of application and what you find the good results? And how it actually we benefit from it as well? Sure, well, well,
well, if you think about water, I mean, the only reason why we’re alive on earth is the earth is in the Goldilocks zone in between nowhere, it’s not too hot and not too cold and warm water can exist in a liquid state and all life exists in a very narrow temperature window. So all life has to cope with the extremes of temperature, both hot and cold. And, in fact, there’s another story, but you know, the water on earth actually was the mixture of the hottest water and the coldest water in the solar system. And then life appeared on Earth, with the hottest water on on Earth, MIT, the coldest water on Earth, which is at the very bottom of the oceans, where the densest coldest water sinks to the bottom of the oceans. And that means hot water coming out of hydrothermal vents, it’s been heated up inside the earth, even before the end, we have this incredible mixture of pressure and temperature and soil use. And that’s where life originated the interface of hot and cold. And for ourselves, when you are exposed to it to extremes of hot and cold, you can very easily put yourself in a life and death situation. Because you know, either hot and cold or a life threatening, but you can do it in a very controlled way. And you can do it to explore the edge of your comfort zone. And I’ve come up with a whole methodology and theory around what I call extreme wellness. And that involves you expanding your dynamic range and just visiting the edge of your comfort zone. So it’s not pushing it, it’s not trying to force it to expand. But if you just visit the edge of your comfort zone, and you can do it not just in terms of heat, you can do it in terms of water and glucose and oxygen and temperature and carbon dioxide. And how you filter and flush your bladder and faced and fast your bow and pants and hold your breath and do hot and cold with your body and do everything in flow and then don’t do anything at all with your brain. But But when we’re talking about temperature, temperature has it’s been one of them. The most basic defense for immunity. So actually, at the start of the pandemic, I was writing about this, saying how you can actually improve your immunity by just having a hot bath or a sauna, or hot shower and raising your body temperature. And when you raise your body temperature, your immune system becomes more active, your immune cells become more fluid, the antigens get presented better. There’s a whole Heat Shock proteins get released. There’s all these biochemical and mitochondrial responses, and immune and physiological responses that actually boost your immunity. And if you look at evolutionary history, for the last 600 million years, every fish, insect, bird, reptile and mammal has raised their body temperature when they have a viral infection. That’s the basic response. And it’s almost like As humans, we live in his temperature window between viruses and mold. When it’s cold and dry, were susceptible to viruses when it’s hot and humid and moist to be susceptible to mold. And we live in this sort of temperature window in between those trees. And that’s why we get viruses, you know, in the in the flu season when it’s cold and dry and the air is cold and dry in it. And those chills out and viruses can interact. But ever since humans winter, the first hot spring and you know develop stiff sweat lodges and swallows and steam rooms. And they’ve outsourced the the ability to raise the body temperature to the environment. I mean, you do it when you have a fever, you know, mammals and humans have when we have a fever that raises their body temperature, but it’s exhausting. I mean, to use your own metabolic energy to raise your temperature, it’s really tiring. But if you can outsource that to your hot water system, or the solar heater or heater, you can actually do it and be quite relaxed when you when you do that. And I’ve done a lot of research. One of my PhD students is just finishing her her five year research on soldering. And what we found was that across the board when people use orders especially, they sleep better, it makes you tired and you actually sleep better. And when you sleep better when you get the basic things right. Everything else becomes right by itself.
So heat is such a primeval force that we can use it to manipulate our body and our emotions and our mind. So when you go when you’re in a very hot environment in a hot bath or a sauna, you vaser delight you open up. There’s 100,000 kilometers of blood vessels all lined by smooth muscles that are normally not under your voluntary control. But when you’re when you’re in a hot bath or sauna, those blood vessels will open up and you’ll circulate blood through your periphery, which normally, you would circulate when you’re exercising. But when you’re exercising, you’re making metabolic waste products. Whereas in your hot bath and the sauna that you’re getting the blood flowing through your muscles and your skin without making metabolic waste products, so it’s picking up those metabolic waste products, and it’s opening your blood vessels. And then when you alternate that with the cold, then your blood this will shut down, it’s like a bicep curl for your vascular system. Every time you do that, you know your vascular system is tightening up. And what that does, it brings that, that blood that warm blood into your internal organs into your core, and a push to look for your liver and your kidneys, which then filters out all those metabolic waste products. And provided you’re not dehydrated, and you’re drinking good water. And you allows you to flush out a lot of these toxic metabolites and you actually detoxify through that process of going from hot to cold. But it’s also there’s a lot of other things that go on. So when you when you’re in the heat, you know, it’s very relaxing, it’s often very social, you know, soaring or bathing, if you’re in the hot tub with other people. And then when you go in the cold, especially if you go into extreme cold, like an ice bath, it’s very confronting. And it’s it actually reproduces the body chemistry and the breathing pattern of trauma or anxiety. If you go into an ice bath, you start to hyperventilate, and and if you’re having a panic attack, and some people who may have had PTSD or some past trauma, if they go into an ice bath, they can actually reproduce and re ignite that, that past trauma. And it can be quite mildly traumatic for them, you’ve got to be a bit careful. But what it does do is it allows them to relive that past trauma in a very controlled way. So because you know, they can get out anytime they want. And if there’s a source of heat, they can just warm up so they’re not in a life threatening situation. But if they’re hyperventilating, and it gives them an opportunity to then consciously control their breath. And when you consciously control your breath, it allows you to become relaxed in an otherwise uncomfortable situation. And then that gives you power over that uncomfortable situation. So that’s a really valuable technique for people to learn. And I’ve got another poem I can share, which I came up with when I was coaching people through ice bathing. And, and I was trying to work out all the things that would turn on the parasympathetic response. Because when you go into an ice ice bath, you turn on the sympathetic nervous system response, which is fight and flight. The fight and flight means all your attentions outwards, like you’re trying to fight you know, fight in a battle or run for your life from a tiger or something. So all your muscles get pumped up, your fists are clenched, your eyes are open to breathing hard, you got pursed lips. So the things you do when you’re relaxing parasympathetic responses, the things you do when you’re safe in your cave. Things like eating using foreign finger movements in writing, drawing, sewing, flirting, sleeping. So they’re the things you do with the parasympathetic nervous system response. And there are 10 physical actions you can do to stimulate, stimulate those responses. I call them the 10 the hex to relax. And they are touch your your fingers. wiggle your toes, soften your stomach, breathe through your nose, side, smile, swallow thing, flatter your eyelids, and focus within. So those activities stimulate parasympathetic response. If you do that in a nice bath, you’ll it’ll tell you that you’re calm and relaxed, you’ll convince your body you’re calm and relaxed, but it actually works. Anytime you’re scared, upset, in pain, or anxious. If you do those activities, it’ll calm your body down. And I really like activities that get to your mind through your body. It’s hard, it’s often hard, you know, I’m panicking. I know I’m panicking. But how do I think my way out of a panic, that’s hard. But if you know, okay, I can just do these physical activities, wiggle my toes and touch my fingers. And, and a lot of those activities, you’ll notice a controlling the breath, you know, softening your stomach breathing for the nose, sighing, singing, smiling, they’re all really controlling the breath. So the breath is really the portal to link the mind and the body. And if you can take control of your breath, if you’ve won the battle over anxiety.
Yeah, it’s massive… Do… Do you know have you done any study on cold exposure and the immune system? So if you were to just ice bath for two minutes and come out and push the sympathetic parasympathetic system afterwards as well, would you does that affect the immune system as well like the hot therapy?
I think they’re linked and in the literature, they’re not linked very well. And I think this is a big critique of the scientific literature at the moment. So for example, there’s a lot of sauna research that comes out of Finland and they described how when you have You know, they’ve studied, you know, big cohorts of men over, you know, over multiple 20 year periods, and found that, you know, regular sauna bathing reduces all cause mortality, less chance of dying overall, which is heart attack and stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease and respiratory infections and pneumonia, and all these things that helped. And they talk about it in the literature. And if you think about sauna sauna, it’s the only Finnish word in English language that’s that become part of the English language. And the sauna is now part of every five star hotel, every gym has a sauna, but very few of them have an equivalent cold experience. And in the literature, they talk about soloing, especially in Finland. It’s taken for granted in Finland, that when you have a solo, you go outside, and you have a cold cold exposure, because it’s so cold outside. But they actually don’t talk about that in the literature. I mean, it’s taken for granted so much, they don’t even mention it. So when we often think about soldering, we don’t take the whole cultural practice, as a stone in Scandinavia, where you go outside and jump in the lake or roll in the slow, and then go in and out and have a few rounds. We just think about the heat. But I think the hot, the hot and the cold go really well together. And it’s really good to bring them together. But then it’s also just as important to have a period of really equilibration and integration, where you’re where you’re just resting and then going to homeostasis. So you go to the heart, you go to the cold, and then you let your body find the balance and at that balance point. And that middle point is that bliss of pure homeostasis, where you’re not too hard and you’re not too cold. You’re just right, just like the whole planet. You know, he’s not too hot, not too cold, just right for water. Well, you can make that temperature just right for you. And so I think whenever you’re doing hot and cold, it’s really important to have at least equal period, just resting.
Yeah, right. It’s a good metaphor to reap the rewards of the hard work you’ve just done from sitting in the sauna. Yeah.
Although it shouldn’t be hard work. I talk about trying to go to the point of forced mindfulness, or being comfortably uncomfortable. So you’re not uncomfortabley uncomfortable, you’re comfortabley uncomfortable. And there’s a point where you’ll be in the sauna. And you know, you might be chatting or reading a book. But there’s a point where you get really hot and you started thinking, Oh, I have to get out of here. Like, your body starts talking to your mind or getting your mind attention, saying, Hey, we’re actually getting hot, it’s a life threatening situation here. And I talked about the point where your mitochondria and your mind are all on the same page. And that’s the point of forced mindfulness, coming to mindfulness through your body. And all you have to do then is just a few breaths and just breathe and be there. And then you can change. And it’s similar to doing a yoga stretch to the point where you’re stretching and yoga, you’ll get to the edge of your stretch, there’s a point where if you just breathe and be there, you’re going to be okay. And you can be relaxed, but if you push yourself further, you’re gonna hurt yourself. And then you pull a muscle. So you don’t want to pull a metabolic muscle in the sauna by forcing yourself to go too long. You want to just visit the edge of your comfort zone, acknowledge it, breathe, and then go and change and cool down and relax, and maybe do a couple of rounds. But what naturally happens when you visit the edge of your comfort zone, it naturally expands. So know the next day, then the day after, you can actually take it further without actually any sort of forcing. And that’s especially true with the cold. Or construe with the hot as well you do you build up tolerance. But with the cold, you build it up really quickly. And if you think about our European ancestors, when winter was coming on every day would be a little bit colder than the next, and the bodies would adapt. So you get it adjusted the cold very quickly and done. I’ve been encouraging people to take cold showers and very often people Oh, no, I can’t you know, I’m not a cold water person, I can’t do cold showers. And I’ve developed a little song and dance routines that can help them. And I call that the cold water hokey pokey. And it makes it really easy because because basically you start with a really hot shower. So if you don’t like the cold, just get really hot. And then the end of the hot shower, turn the heat up a bit. So you’re particularly hot and you’re really flushed in your favor delayed and all all your blood vessels are open. And then you stand back and the hardest part of the whole thing is mental it’s the decision to do it. But then you just turn the hot water off and the cold water on but you just wait your left foot and you know that’s okay, you really hot you wait your left foot are, that’s okay, you’re not panicking with that, and then wait your leg and you can do your right foot in your leg. And you can do your left hand and your arm and your other hand in your arm. And what that’s done is that it basically constricts your periphery that the blood vessels in the arms and legs and it pushes all that warm blood into your core. So you’re still feeling warm. And then the most important part is to keep breathing calmly and smile to yourself because that’s what it’s all about. And then you can put your left side but before you put your left side in Especially when the water hits the blood vessels around your neck, which are close to the surface. Normally, when the cold water hits Do you take it, ah, you’d gasp. But before you do that, you take a big breath. And as you’re putting your left side in, you sigh to her as the cold water hitting your neck, and it changes the experience completely. Because as you’re starting out, you’re relaxed. And then you just thought you notice the sensation of cold but there’s no emotional baggage with that. And you put your left side in, then your right side in the front side, and you turn yourself around. He breathing calmly and smile to yourself, because that’s what it’s all about. And then you can put your whole head in. And again, normally, when put your head in your head has a lot of blood vessels near the surface that would cause you to gasp but you decide as you do that, move your head around and you stand still get drenched in the side, turn yourself around, continue breathing, calm and smile to yourself. But that’s what it’s all about. And then you can direct the cold water on your kidneys, your groin, and your armpits, all the places with blood vessels are close to the surface. And you’ll find it find that just by doing that, you’ll be comfortable in in really cold water. And it may take a few days to build up to that if the water is really cold, you’re starting this winter and in the shower or temperature, the 810 degrees, there might take a few days to build up to that. But if you build it up slowly, there’s no stress about it, there’s no forcing. And you’ll find you can naturally stand on a very cold water and realize I’m okay and that that whole song and dance takes about a minute or less. You do it in the comfort of your own shower requires no extra money you’re saving a bit of hot water. No, not really no really extra time. And you can start your day singing and dancing. And when you get out after the Cold Shower you feel really invigorated you actually feel alive and and you’ve also practiced dissolve dissolving your procrastination muscle. So you overcoming procrastination. So if you can do that in the morning, any other thing you have to do during the day, when there’s that difficult conversation you have to have or the job you’d really didn’t want to do. you’ve practiced saying, Okay, I’m just going to do it and I’m going to be okay. So it actually translates gives you power over the rest of your life, just the simple act of having a cold shower. So you’re playing with temperature, it’s a really powerful way to exercise your ability, your your willpower exercise, your vascular system, exercise your mitochondria and your metabolism and do it, you know, very, very simply and cheaply and to boost your immune system. And it’s really effective as an immune system enhancer. And just as a favor is so now you can have the power over your immune system just in a hot water. Yeah,
no, it’s totally It’s incredible. I mean, you I’m the converted you I know you know Wim but I spent a week with Wim Hof back in 2016 I think something like that and I’m ever since I’ve been kind of keeping up with a hot and cold Shower daily and finishing on the cold for not to get that cold environment is not too bad. But it’s it’s a great habit honestly, like it’s night and day from our felt before.
The other thing people will notice your skin will feel better and your hair feels better. Because cold water closes up your pores and closes up the cuticles and your hair so your hair can actually feel better and more manageable. It does it does make a difference. So having good water you know and you know, if especially if you’re bathing in hot water that’s chlorinated, that can be problematic because chlorine releases disinfection by products that are volatile, and you breed the meal and they absorbed through your skin. So yeah, so bathing. I heard
you mentioned as well with the bathing in the hot water to leave the bath sit for half hour but like make it harder than you would normally do to get in and
if you don’t want to if you have only access to town water that’s chlorinated and you don’t want to bathe in chlorine water in and I do this often when I’m traveling in hotels, often it’s just chlorinated water in the in the bath I love having baths. So what you do is you turn the the hot bath on and make it really hot and make sure there’s a fan on and you just wait for half an hour. And in that half an hour a lot of the chlorine and the disinfection byproducts will become volatile though out gas a fan or suck them away. And after half an hour or so the water will cool down to a temperature you can handle and you can have a relatively chlorine free bath set of good little Heck
yeah, certainly. How do you add anything? Do you add anything yourself to the bath and to help it
up? Normally I’d put in Epsom salts or put in essential oils and and maybe a friend you know
you’re good to go.
Yeah, I mean bathing is such a basic, you know, thing for hygiene and health, but it’s also very essential. I mean, it gets you in touch with your body and temperature. And yeah, I think that’s one of the most important things we can do. And, you know, the recipe for wealth for wellness starts with bathing, beautiful water. And it’s not just, you know, bathing it, you know, drinking the beautiful water. And for me beautiful water is water that’s been filtered, structured, balanced in terms of pH and minerals, blessed cope with conscious intention. And that’s free. That’s not a commodity, that’s it’s actually about freely available. And, yeah, you know, I think that we could, we could definitely change your world, if we don’t stop providing, you know, water to people, roughly about a third of the world don’t have access to that at the moment. And that’s, I think, a travesty. So I’m really dedicated to try and bring consciousness to water, bring consciousness to the power of temperature. And, you know, Tim, whenever you’re dealing with temperatures, extremes, you’re always dealing with water, because if humidity is a big factor, because water will transmit transmit, heat 25 times better than air. So you can you can tolerate a hot bath, maybe the 42, Japanese got a 47. But they’re crazy. No steamroom, maybe at 4748 degrees of tolerable, but a dry sauna, which is still have some level of humidity, you know, 100 degrees, 110 degrees centigrade is still possible when it’s dry. So so there’s not not one prescription. This is how long you know, this temperature, and this length of period depends on the humidity depends on the temperature. And it depends on your personal tolerance, what you know. And that will that will change depending on your own mental state, your own anxiety, with you know, you’ve got stress in your life, we’ve been eating junk food, or not all these will change your tolerance to temperature. So it’s know what brings you to that point of forced mindfulness of being comfortably uncomfortable. And that is a very personal experience. I can’t get a doctor, I can’t prescribe a particular temperature and time. Yeah. So you have to then have a relationship with your body. And you have to tune in to your to your own body. And that’s also a really powerful process.
Yes, massive, massive. Well, wait, before we wrap up the podcast, can you touch on the projects that you’ve got going at the moment because I know you alluded to the water, but show me like, cuz you got quite a few things, how I do those.
I’ve just launched four different companies, businesses that I call them adventures, so the different ventures but adventures and one one has been going for 35 years that is a children’s book that I’ve just released. It’s called Bing and Bang Begin.And everything if the short is the shorter version for the compressed version, but it’s a creation story that brings in all the concepts of Chinese medicine of the Tao and union Yang and the five elements into a playful Dr. Seuss type rhyme that then talks and then that the longer book goes into concepts such as thermodynamics and evolution and mindfulness and brings it into a very fun way of thinking about these concepts. So that’s pronoia presses is my publishing arm. And there’s about three boilers, the beautiful mayor and the boy who gave them a story I described about the man who lost his horse, and then loving everything and being a beginner, the creation and the beautiful mate are truly like the illustrations, the writing, everything would be a couple of things. Here medic spent two years illustrating these, each of those books and they really are stunning. So I’ve got I’ve got children’s books that I’m writing. I’ve just launched a water company called beautiful water. And the website is just beautiful water.co and that has systems that are filtered, structured, balanced waste and free terms of the water. I’ve created a company that was extremely alive, wellness tonics, and these are tonics made from kombucha vinegar. So they’re literally a starter culture. So it’s a conventional, meaning that it’s fermented all the way through, so there’s no sugar or alcohol left in them, but they’re still alive. There’s still bacteria and yeast there. And then we soak Herbes and we use 10 different herbs for each blend, and it’s five blends based on the five elements of Chinese medicine. And in the blends, we use a combination of leaves, roots, flowers, fruits, and funghi. So they’ve all got that in there, that earthy element and the air element and water elements, and we blend them into these tonics that you can take straight over just as a shorter like a 20 mil vinegar shot, like you would with apple cider vinegar, but they’re highly potent, no organic curves that we use. Then there’s one we call the flu shot, which or the Herbes in the flu shot have proven scientific efficacy against the flu virus. So I use all the all the experience I had writing that hopes and supplements book, I’ve actually put to use to Helping us come alive. And that’s extremely alive.com.au. So those tonics have just, we’ve just done our production run and just had a launch with the tonics. The filter throughout the book throughout and in the extreme waters Academy is an online education portal, where I have a course on water, actually two courses on water. And I’ve part of this incredible woman Isabel friend who has her own website, Water is life dot love. And she’s just a water geek. And together, we’ve created these courses. One’s called the wonders of water, which goes through all the pros and cons and the differences between spring water, tap water, reverse osmosis water, distilled water, alkaline water, etc. And then it goes through the processes of filtering, structuring, balancing blessing in water advocacy and water freedom. And I’d explained how you can do all those things yourself, how to find a spring, and there’s a great website, find a spring.com, where you can find your local spring. And there are ways you can filter instruction water yourself at home. And then I have beautiful water systems that do that as well. So yeah, online education. And then I’m trying to bring all these together in what I call the wellness circus, which is like a traveling wellness roadshow. Yeah, so we can have, you know, saunas and ice bars and hot tubs and set them up in public places or festivals, and then use that as the Education Center and have to use and can brooches and tonics and really give an experience to people of wellness, and then tell them how to take it home. So I love giving away Tulsi cuttings of Tulsi is holy basil, I’ve written a lot and I’ve had PhD students study Tulsi for five years. But it’s a very easy to grow plant, you can take a cutting, it’ll grow roots, you can give it away, then people can grow it themselves and use it for tea and pesto. The same with a kombucha scoby. Or our tonics. If I give them away people, if you add sugar and tea to our tonics, you can keep growing your own computer from them. These are what are called generative wellness practices. And the aim is to create this culture where people can go and do this and literally infect the world with good health. Because I really believe in a wellness can be more contagious than illness. But we have to do that through our culture. And it has to be so appealing to you that you want to do it yourself. And then you want to share it with your friends. Yeah. And then that comes back to fun, because you make it fun, and then you want to share it with your friends.
Totally. Mark, to me is a good job flow. I can tell you with all those projects happening, it’s incredible. I got nothing but admiration for you know, thank
you guy doesn’t feel like I mean, people say, Well, how do you do so much? Well, I don’t watch TV. I don’t get involved in politics. I don’t get involved with sport. I don’t do mainstream media. I don’t read the news. So I’m really protective of what goes into my consciousness. Yeah. And I’ve been doing this a long time, you know, so I’ve been on the same path for a long time. So it doesn’t feel like work for me.
And you said something so important at the beginning, and I just want to, I can’t remember how you phrased it, but the fact that you you, you focus on what you can bring to the world not push against what’s wrong with the world. But you’re over here actually, I
think that’s important. Yeah, I really want to, I want to do the things that I actually couldn’t finish for the love the poem. This is the antidote to fear. Because fear is one of the best. I’ve got two more poems I can share just clearly. So the antidote to fear is foster love of poetry. express yourself through debts. fill your life with fun, enjoy friendship and romance. focus on the things you want, Be the change you want to see. Spread goodwill to all you meet, and Live Fearless and free. Again, it’s very simple, but it’s about you know, focusing on things if you want them spreading goodwill. That’s how you overcome fear. And the last poem is a poem I came up with at the start of the pandemic, when I was thinking about how you overcome fear and anxiety and boost your immune system at home and during lockdown. And I’ve been studying holistic health for, you know, 3040 years. So I had a lot of different things I wanted to talk about. And I started putting them all together, and they came out as a poem. So this poem has 50 activities. And on my website, I’ve actually got a link from each activity to the scientific research behind it. Oh, wow. So this is this poem is a mini literature review. And these are 50 activities you can do at home with no very little money, equipment or training that will boost your immunity and reduce fear and anxiety. And I call this the World of Wellness. So the World of Wellness. Hold someone’s hand, gaze into their eyes. go barefoot in nature, bask in sunrise. Choose a dance partner. Go find your groove. Do Tai Chi or yoga, mindfully move share a massage, receive healing touch, focus. On one thing and don’t think too much. Make time for a hobby. play chess, fly a kite. Make use of your hands, draw paint. So alright. help someone in need. Donate to a cause. Play Games, meditate. Read stuff from bookstores. Turn off your screens, get a good slate. declutter spark joy. And love what you keep. dig around in the garden. Pick up a guitar, slipped into a bathtub sauna or spa. Care for a pet, take up a sport. go on vacation and make your home a resort. Lie in a hammock and relieve pent up stress. Relax and do nothing. In do even less. Laugh out loud, share a joke. give someone a kiss, say a prayer, chant a mantra and follow your bliss. So that’s how I tried to live my life still I try 50 things in every day if I can.
Amazing. And do you have a book of poems coming up any chance?
I’d like to I’d like to do a little performance like a show, you know, cabaret doing poetry. And most of the poems on my website I’m talking about drmarc.co I mean, my children’s books, you know, me being in bang beginners is poetry. I have another poem coming out, which I’m still working on, on treatment, which adaptations the story of water tells this four and a half billion year old story of how water turned into life. And it’s like a biology textbook in poetry. But most of those poems I shared today are on my website, Dr. mark.co. And I’m yes academic articles and his books, but they’ve podcasts and videos. But there’s poetry is one of the tags. And most of those poems can be found there.
And and everything you mentioned as well, your projects, will they all be linked on your main website? Now? Yeah, that there should be Yeah.
And there’s quite a few that we haven’t mentioned that it also there. So you know, the hot springs in New Zealand are fading and fade the world foundation and they’ve got lots of other activities, but would be the whole nother episode to talk about that.
So I’m sure I’m sure it’ll be back on at some stage marc. That was incredible. Look, people listening to this, if they pause, there’ll be max link just below whether you there’s non audio or YouTube or whatever the link will be there. So please go and support marc, check it out. And Marc like, I just want to thank you for coming on the show today. Showing you I wasn’t sure where we were gonna go with it. But that was amazing. And
yeah, I will fun for me. And I feel so blessed to be able to just come on your podcast because I just come and chat and you do all the work and you set it all up and then you promote promote what I’m doing and I just feel really grateful and really blessed to be in this position. So thank you. You’re welcome.
Cheers mark. Appreciate it.