Hearing Matters Podcast

Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess feat. Dr. Caroline Leaf | Cognitive Neuroscientist

June 09, 2021 Hearing Matters Season 2 Episode 28
Hearing Matters Podcast
Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess feat. Dr. Caroline Leaf | Cognitive Neuroscientist
Transcript
Blaise Delfino:

You're tuned in to the hearing matters podcast with Dr. Gregory Delfino, and Blaise Delfino of Audiology Services and Fader Plugs. The show that discusses hearing technology, best practices, and a growing national epidemic: hearing loss. On this episode, I am so excited to welcome Dr. Caroline Leaf to the show, Dr. Leaf, welcome to the Hearing Matters Podcast.

Dr. Caroline Leaf:

Thank you, I'm so pleased to be on the show with you. I love what you do and I really can relate. We have similar backgrounds, and it's just exciting.

Blaise Delfino:

Dr. Leaf, you recently just released, what I would consider one of the top mental health books to be released. But before we get into your newest release, can you please share a little bit of your background with our

Dr. Caroline Leaf:

Absolutely. Well, thank you for saying that listeners? about the book. And I have such a passion for this having watched what's been happening over the last 38 years that I've been in the field. So I initially trained as a communication pathologist and audiologist, so a similar background to you and your your father. And then I read, I was doing a degree, we also did medicine, and part of it was medicine and neuro psychology and neuroscience. And that was all very neuroscience was all very much in its infancy. And at that stage, and I remember one of my neuroscience lecturers saying, the brain can't change. So once there's been some sort of damage or traumatic brain injury or learning disability or major trauma, that is it, you just have to teach your patients to compensate. And that immediately grabbed my attention. I remember saying to the professor, I don't think that's right, because our mind is always changing, we always experiencing our last straw mind, because back then in the 40s, the mind was seen as separate from the brain, which actually is the in this first 4 to 40 years later, the reductionistic model, biomedical model has reduced the mind into the brain. So it's literally like the mind and the brain are the same thing. And that the brain is the most important thing and to produce the mind, which is is totally wrong as well. So that's created a whole lot of other problems. But back then they believed in the separation of mind and brain but they didn't believe the brain could change neuroplasticity. So challenge said and I did some of my early research. And one of the professors said, well, that's a ridiculous question. And I said, well, let's see how ridiculous it is. I did a TED talk on this. And I started working with traumatic brain injury, which as you may not know is that back in the 80s, there was very little work done on a research on traumatic brain injury because it was considered well damage, what can you do kind of thing. I also had a lot of issues with hearing from the damage. And you know, there was a lot of major implications. So work with that group and initially, one of my first research studies was with a traumatic brain injured patients who had a head to head a car accident, at the age of 16 was with her peer group was in he was supposed to be going into 11th grade, she was in a coma for more than two weeks. At that stage, if you were in a coma for longer than eight months, or eight hours, it was considered irreversible. So she had been pretty much written off by her doctors. Long story short, the parents did not give up she came out of a coma. They contacted me, I worked with her for eight months, it was very new research as a very young new research a new scientist just had opened my private practice. And this person, they were just prepared to try anything to help the daughter and so we dived in and I have been developing a set of mind-directed systems too, that I believed if you deliberately and consciously use your mind in a very specific way in a very organized and ordered way that you could also change your mind you can use your mind to drive your mind and drive neuroplasticity. And I did some of the earliest neuroplasticity research back in the late 80s, early 90s. And this particular subject has to finish her story. She used these systems and not she was on a sort of second grade level when I started working with her because that's how much skill she had lost and how much damage to her brain. And she wanted to finish school with her peer group, which was pretty much an impossible thing to do. But she did it within eight months this young girl finish school was her peer group went on to get a university degree. And I think one of the most exciting things is that she was a very average student prior to the accident, with a lot of emotional issues and she especially math was a huge problem for her. After the accident using these mind-directed systems that I have been developing, she became a math genius. So she finished school had lost eight months of school, finished school as a math genius with incredible grades and went on to get degrees and became an with emotional issues because of all the trauma, but he was managing her emotional issues. So she became this like amazing person even more together than she was before her accident. And you know, that just spurred years of research way I was in apartheid South Africa at that stage, I went through the pre apartheid transition in the post apartheid. So I chose to spend a lot of my time working in those very, very damaged communities from every aspect politically, socially, economically, emotionally educationally. And that taught me so much, I did o much work in so much esearch. So much to find out nd understand what is the mind? hat are thoughts? What are emories? What is the impact of rauma on us? What can we do bout it? Do we have any kind of utonomy, when we have trauma to ur mind and to our brain and to ur body. And I worked in ifferent communities that were n war torn Rwanda, where it was utism, dementias, learning isabilities, the populations of ther populations you work with s well. I also worked with it ort of saw this working so well ith with populations requiring ery strong therapeutic ntervention, that are decided o apply this in my own life. nd working just in general with eople in general, because veryone's got a mind, everyone as a brain, and all of us, our ind never stops working. So I hen applied it in government, ducation, corporate, you name t. And fast forward to today, I till do clinical trials, I've wr tten many books, I do a lot of till do a lot of research, s ill doing research. And my m st recent book that you menti ned, is a kind of compilation of all of this simplified into a very user friendly version of he system that was initia ly a very therapeutic, re-develo ed system, but simplified nd applied clinically and scie tifically and with all different populations, as I've aid, into something that anyone an use at any age, my youngest p tient has been three, I have our adult children, they'v all been trained in the system we reach hundreds of 1000s millions actually around the world now with this system. So I decided to write this book wi h the most updated version, wi h the most simplified versio with some clinical trial , and just putting it into the context of the current mental he lth system that has been so incredibly damaging, and has created so many problems. So tha 's kind of a big story in ew, we can unpack s

Blaise Delfino:

Well, I have to say, your background and what you have accomplished, number one, you have helped millions of individuals on the road to better mental and brain health. And when you were talking and just listening to your newest book titled Cleaning up Your Mental Mess, Five Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress and Toxic Thinking, I kept thinking to myself, there's a quote that I heard when I was in high school, and it said, If you train the mind, the body will follow. It didn't say if you train the brain, the body will follow it said if you train the mind, the body will follow. Now, Dr. Leaf, there is absolutely a difference between the brain and the mind. So for our listeners tuned in right now, what is that difference between the physical brain and what we call the mind?

Dr. Caroline Leaf:

I'm so glad you asked that question. And it's probably one of the most important questions and something that's kind of hard to process because the narrative today, as you already mentioned, is that brain and mind are the same thing. And that's how people will tell, my mind my brain, but they're not. They're so totally different. So for those of you, you've got viewers and listeners, so I assume so I'm going to show some props, and I'll describe them for I'll describe them for the listener. So I'm holding two props here, the one is a brain and a skull, it's not a real one, it's just a model, and then I'm holding up a model of the body. So for those of you that can see if those that can't see, it's just you can even look at your own body. So to understand them, the brain. And the mind difference is you can see yourself physically, there is your body and you know your brains in your skull. And we know we can look at the brain, we know we can crack open the skull, we can look at the brain. And we can look at it with other technology without being so violent. So we know it exists. But this is only about 1 to 10% of who you are as a person. Because the difference between you and I having this conversation and the listeners and viewers watching and listening is our aliveness, a dead person could not participate in this conversation. So the difference between us and a dead person is our mind, which is our alivrness. So mind is everything except the brain and the body. It's everything. It's all of us. It's it's the uniqueness of who you are the fact that you can think and feel and choose in response to life, the fact that you can experience life and process life and respond to life. That is mind, mind is much bigger than what we actually even have began to, to talk about. And funnily enough, the ancients, we spoke about it back there. So and the last 150 years of scientific research, as we've developed in the scientific method, there have been two schools of thought. But there's a very strong body of very solid scientific evidence for the mind brain separation and mind brain integration, in fact that the research is more, less biased and more accurate than the current research that's there talks about the brain producing your mind, because a lot of the current studies will get people to do things, then they'll look at using FMRI or QEEG normally FMRI's to see the response to see what the brain is doing. Now they get the person to do something hear the logic and in the brain response, but they don't see it like that. They say the brain is producing what the person is doing. So they sing it from the wrong angle. Because if you take your brain con to anything, the fact that your brain is responding ar an FMRI or to QEEG the fact that your heart responds to an EKG, the fact that if you do that audiological testing that there is a response that is mind because if you did, you can stick all the audio equipment on a person and test forever, nothing's going to happen. So the fact that something's happening, yes, sure, this damage to certain parts of the brain and the certain parts, auditory system and so on. But it's the still a mind component that is driving. It's the lifeforce. And so I'd like to explain mine as that as this lifeforce may be recorded on two aspects, I'm holding up the model, again, we mentioned that the mind is like a cloud of gravitational fields around you. So just imagine that there's a cloud around you. It's not that complicated to understand, if you think of the fact that none of us are floating we sitting because of gravity, and we understand that we will have gravitational fields, or what Nobel Prize winning scientists have discovered is that not only do we live in gravitational fields, but we have gravitational fields all around our body, unique to each of us. And they're not just around our body, they're in our body, and they these electromagnetic gravitational fields, and there's a unique sort of component of these around and through the body. And that's what's not there in someone who stayed. And that's what we are picking up and working on, when we are talking about mind. So if you just fast forward to your field, where you try to help someone who has a hearing impairment from whatever it may be, whether it's genetic, whether it's an accident, whether it's some kind of noise, and whatever the cause is, that that use the equipment is not working like it should, but the still the mind factor that you've got to work on to even get the hearing aid to work to to train a person to use hearing aids is to train. You know, I remember when I was trained, I mean, I haven't practiced audio as an audiologist and my training was so many years ago. But I do remember, the mind was completely involved in the whole process. So that's mind is that mind is this electromagnetic force. Another way of thinking of mind is on a psychological level. And that's the ability to think, and feel and choose. So you can see I've got three fingers that I'm holding up as you think you feel as you think and feel you choose. So mind is these three things they never separated. Mind is thinking, when you think you'll feel when you think and feel, you'll choose for thinking feeling and choosing right now at around about 400 billion actions per second way even faster. Everyone that's listening and watching are receiving my words and your words as electromagnetic lightfield, sight, auditory sound waves, et cetera. And they are set on a psychological level, they are thinking feeling and choosing at 400 billion actions per second. So this, this whole big thing going on here, on a physics level, there's a lot of action inside the gravitational fields, because there's all these new impulses coming in these photons and auditory sound waves. And they've been processed and directed through the brain, and the body, and the brain and the body are responding. Brain first and body pretty fast after that, because then how does the brain respond with all of your listeners in yourself had enough training to know that the brain will then respond on an electromagnetic, electromagnetic, electro chemical, and genetic level, so that the energy wave going through creates a response, all the systems and the different parts of the brain respond these the genetic response, and amino acids are made proteins, they're grouped into proteins, and tree like structures grow on the neurons. So basically, what we're doing is we're growing a thought. So thoughts look like trees, and we know the neurons of the trees in the brain. And as a network of thought is, so mind has a product, and that product has weight, physical weight, and that product is a thought, and thoughts look like trees, so I always like to use the analogy of trees. So for the listeners, I'm holding up a little tree in a pot, which obviously has roots embedded in the pot, and it's a little green tree, and it's a green tree made of branches. So just like a tree is made of roots, branches, and thought branch, branches above the ground, a thought is also made of branches, root memories, reroute memory branches, and then the the the interpretation branches. So thought is made of memories. So people will see us thoughts and memories, interchangably so it's the same thing, but it's not we think, feel and choose to build a product which is a thought and the thought houses what the experience was, what it would what were we thinking feeling and choosing about at the moment we are discussing brain health, mental health, as it relates to just life and hearing and variety of people general. So that this tree could be called mental health. And everything that I'm saying and everything you ask me in our discussion back and forth, it would be the roots because that's the source of this discussion. In the branch memories would be the interpretation that each person who's listening and watching is making about the other thoughts, feelings and choices of what they are hearing. Now that's what we doing all day long. As soon as we wake up we are converting every experience we have into products made of amino acids, then which group to produce for proteins the proteins vibrate and they have weights or sorts of physical substance that actually have weight. So if someone's a date, the weight goes this particular level of weight will change because the thoughts that energy source of vibrations in the in the protein branches are no longer there, keeping this alive. So that this these are very real they have real substance. When we look at a sword like that, it's very different to just thinking at some, you know, using words interchangeably and throwing out the words thoughts and emotions and, and depression, it all becomes a big mix in the pot, you know, if you define it and simplify to okay, I'm a human, I'm in life, I wake up in the morning, I extend from the time I wake up till the time I sleep, I will be experiencing life through my mind, and my mind is working all around and through my brain and my body. So everything from reading the text, the emails, the discussions, the conversations, the exercise, the eating, all of that is being processed into the brain as these thought trees. And at nighttime, your mind is sorting out what you bought during the day. So your mind is always active, it's active, 24/7, you can go three weeks without food, you can go three minutes without oxygen, you can go three and three days without water, three minutes without oxygen, but you don't even go three seconds without thinking. So your mind is always in action. And it's always making products. And sometimes the products are toxic. So here's my famous toxic tree. So here's another tree, I'm holding up a wirey toxic looking tree for the listeners, which also has a root system and branches. So the root would be the source once again, like the healthy tree, the source of this discussion, it's a healthy discussion. So there's the roots and the source of this health information. This is a toxic tree, so the source of the root to be toxic. So this could be an abuse or some sort of trauma with experience of the pandemic or whatever. And that then is the source and then the branches are your interpretation, your thoughts, feelings, and choices are the facts. And it's the whole, the whole structure of memory of how you see that. So this could be sexual abuse, shame, can form relationships, not able to be stable, whatever. And then that then produces a signal a warning signal, because this is toxic to the brain and the body of things like depression, anxiety, etc. So when you look at it like that, the mind brain separation like that, and thoughts and memories, what you now see is that you have a whole different narrative for mental health, when someone is depressed, it's not a disease of the brain, you're not a broken brain. It's not a neuro psychiatric brain disease is not a chemical imbalance, which is imbalanced, which is a complete myth, not even a scientific fact, not even something people should be speaking about. No scientists with a grain of salt will speak about it. It's a great marketing tool. But it's not the facts. What we see when someone has depression is we see cues or clues or warning signals or symptoms, or the same kind of thing telling you that something's wrong. And just to kind of bring this point together, if we think of the COVID virus, we all understand it's a protein structure that has substance and weight, and it gets into our body and affects us and our immune system responds to fight it. That's a logical thing we all know about that very well. Having gone through this pandemic, we're going through this pandemic, but no one realizes that thoughts are exactly the same toxic thoughts are like a virus toxic thoughts are made of protein, the COVID virus is made of protein, toxic thoughts, toxic sorts of proteins that are mis folded misfolded proteins create an imbalance of chemicals and inflammation. So the immune system sees this as much of a threat as it does a COVID virus. So and you know, the big traumas that we suppress this, put your brain and body's immune system into a constant state of fight and and trying to fight this. So that's why we get inflammation and the more inflammation the more vulnerability to disease in our in the environment of our brain and our body. So the whole narrative of mental health needs to not be one of these a pandemic of mental health, and it's an illness that's completely wrong. Humans have always battled with their mind, if you human, you have a mental mess, you cannot get away from it because life is messy. And our messy mind is experimenting on the front line kind of just get through life. So we make mistakes, and we explore and we change and we fix and we repair and we grow. So we have a messy mind and a wise mind. And when we work with messy mind and wise mind together, we can then be more successfully navigating life. But if we just function in a messy mind, battle, get the depression and then instead of processing get told it's clinical depression, that the mental has been subsumed into the physical, the mental is 99%. It's been subsumed into the 1%. That model doesn't work for the mental. So we're using a model that works for the biology of the the neurobiology and the biology of the body. But it doesn't work for the mental. It doesn't also work at work on the integration between the two. So that has created a massive problem. And I talked about that in the book as well. But that's a long answer. And if you'd like to unpack anything there more detail, or before I dive into another hole, I can just keep talking as you can see.

Blaise Delfino:

Dr. Leaf, you and me both. Well, I just want to bring it up. So what's really interesting is that we know that cognitive decline, or dementia of the Alzheimer's type is a comorbidity linked to untreated hearing loss. In fact, individuals with severe hearing loss are five times more likely to experience cognitive decline. And Johns Hopkins, they conducted a wonderful study to display that this actually does can happen. Now what's interesting is in the material and in the journal itself, they have a, a beautiful plant that's green. And then like you were showing a weathering

Dr. Caroline Leaf:

Oh my gosh!

Blaise Delfino:

The exact and I'll send you the article, Dr. Leaf, but they use imagery, they use industry imagery.

Dr. Caroline Leaf:

Fantastic.

Blaise Delfino:

Absolutely. And there was so many, so many questions I had, but I want to bring it to, you know, the quantum physics aspect of all of this. Now, I am not a quantum physicist, however, I started studying personal development and how the mind works when I was about 20 to 23 years young, and reading, Think and Grow Rich and listening to Earl Nightingale and talking about how we can train our mind. Now there is that magnetic field around us. And we're so excited to have you on the show today, because a lot of our listeners are private practice clinicians, audiologists, healthcare professionals, students, future and current hearing aid users. And we know that we are currently going through a very rough time now following a global pandemic. So between your over 40 years of experience in this space, talking about the mind, and talking about how we can work out our anxieties and that depression, and you have this this term called neuro cycling. So with that quantum physics, we have that magnetic field around us and what we think about and bring about will come about, right? And can you kind of just expand on the quantum physics aspect of the mind, you know, we become what we think about most and in your book, Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess, you quoted Earl Nightingale who said, "don't think about what it is you worry about, because worry brings fear, and fear is crippling".

Dr. Caroline Leaf:

You raise so many incredible points and you and I could talk about for 20 hours, I think about this, because when I find someone who's interested in these things, it's it's phenomenal. It's an area we would be talking about now is an area that's only even new science, this is such, this is such ancient science. And I know I've mentioned with ancient before, but honestly this understanding the pre understanding a lot of the concepts of mind and the impact of mind have not this is not something new to be spoken about, then have you track back 150 years, I keep talking about the 150 years of research, the some phenomenal research on mind and brain showing this impact in the current language of science. These are in the one sort of branch of philosophy of science, there is this concept that consciousness is the hard question of science. And you may have heard of that. And people talk what stream of consciousness and and they talk about it as though this is something that's it's so difficult to understand, we'll never understand. That's the impression that that is given. But it's not like that annex has kept people in the dark when it comes to the truth about mind and brain. And that's why quantum physics is so phenomenally powerful, because it's considered the most fundamental and accurate of sciences, it's the foundation of every single science that we have our the foundation of of Audiology, it's the foundation of every single science, we have our theory. So you get quantum physics and you get classical physics and the two parts make up the whole. And we have an overemphasis on classical physics in the current era. And it's been for about 40 to 50 to 60 years, and we have an under emphasis on quantum physics tends to be kind of pushed off to the woowoo side. But if you actually look and can't pay, at the end, look at the scientific documents and data, you will see if quantum physics data is actually more accurate than a lot of the pure physics and they draw on principles and the really good scientists that are absolutely out there. At the head of the field. Always consider quantum physics to be a very important factor because you we do know there's a subatomic level. So it's not you cannot do what you see, touch feel and hear is not what it's all about. So coming back to what this means in terms of mind, mind is not the hard question. I've always challenge that it's not the hard question. It's the most important question of science, because it drives everything, as I say quite clearly, the difference between brain and mind is aliveness of mind is aliveness. So is the fact that you're alive, you're experiencing mind. So it's not a hard question, what are you experiencing? You know, if we looked at it from that angle, be asking the wrong questions. If we asked the right questions, if I can actually sit there and say, I have no free will, I've used my mind to make a choice so I have no free will. And then if contradicts what I'm saying, but I've just used my mind to do that. The fact that you and I are having this discussion, we using our mind, the listeners are using their mind to process that we are having a deep discussion that could go down an incredibly deep root. And our wise minds are operating at the moment which every human has. We have at the core of our survival and quantum physics has shown us so clearly, that is the core of humanity is this very strong, survival instinct, which is not just what we're talking about that amygdala frightened flag that very basic, that's just one level of it. I'm talking about the coordinate of humanity for experiencing survival and love. And I mean, I like to talk about it as wise mind and we are operating in that now. Another example of that would be the desire to help someone and give someone advice and someone comes to you for advice and you and you reach out and help them. But that's coming from the wise mind, that ability that what you tried to do you tried to help others that's wise mind, there's this natural instinct to reach out and, and be part of community, Christopher Fox is one of the sort of he's kind of, I think, I call him sort of the godfather of theoretical quantum physics. And he talks about the fact that it's not about you, it's about you in the world, you'll see I quoted quite a bit in my work. And he talks about as well that quantum physics is the theory of thought. But is it explained thought and we know people, there's some incredible quantum physicists that I quote in the book as well. And we won't go into too much detail because I could talk about this for 100 hours, but basically, that that humans are the pinnacle of quantum physics because humans with the our ability to think and feel and choose actually created changes in physical matter. And we change that, as we think, feel and choose with this quantum force, we are changing the structure of the brain. And the brain is always changing, because the minds are always changing. And then with these thoughts that we build, we create what are we create everything around you, the zoom technology was created by mind, some brilliant minds, thought about this thought felt, and chose both the thought and develop the technology, everything around you cars, both things, architecture, paintings, art, everything that we have around, you just look around you where you are, at the moment, this is all a product of thoughts, and humans mind human minds with brilliant in quantum physics, is explaining how we use our mind to collapse ideas into these physical structures and the mysteries in that that electromagnetic quantum field, connecting with the physical brain using the beautiful structure of the brain to create a format or structure that you're able to then drive the body and then express ourselves as humans. And that's what I've been studying all these years. And that's what I'm trying to make very accessible to humans to understand, hey, listen, this is your mind, this is the power it has. Now, I'm not talking about things like the secret that says you can attract whatever you think but you can just attract it to you. That's not what we're talking about that is and that's almost, I would say an insult to quantum physics and to the human mind. Because it's not, it's not dealing with the solid core of who we are. Whatever you think about the most will grow. But you're not going to just think I want that car and it's going to come to you doesn't work like that.

Blaise Delfino:

You have to put in the work,

Dr. Caroline Leaf:

You have to put in the work. And it's like, it's like positive affirmations, you can say 20, positive affirmations. But if you haven't dealt with the issue, those are just band aids on on a bullet wound is one of my good friends says people who are not thinking what are they thinking thinking is a process. So what they what they're actually doing is they're actually sitting, thinking of they're taking an affirmation, I want that call, or I want that life. But there's no it's like, it's a one singular, little thought tree that's got luck with certain connotations. So they've put it as an external goal. And they're thinking, well, if I just say that over and over, it's going to actually then create this magnetic effect and draw to me, which is completely and utterly wrong, what you're doing this, you're going to create tremendous frustration and cognitive dissonance in your brain, because you can't bring an external to the internal because it's internal art, everything is from the internal art and in our current modern era and wellness movement, and so much good. But there's also so much of this. Well, that's what you have to do. That's the external goal, and it's taken away the depth of of humanity, we have to be thought detectives, we have to decide if that is what we desire. Why? What is that for you? Is that going to be for the betterment of you for the betterment of humanity, you know, is that just a selfish goal because that goes against to wired for love nature, just as much as the COVID virus will threaten you having this goal of I've got to have that money, I've got to have that richness or rich, that kind of wealth equate success is toxic, because that's not a reality. You know, that is if you happen to get to the point of anti wealth or anything, but if you are getting the with that saw laugh goal, it will become toxic. But if you get this reading what you do, that's a whole different story. So we need to become thought detectives a lot deeper, and look at the impact that our thoughts have. Because that kind of toxic thinking is a distortion and will create a toxic tree in the brain, which will increase inflammation in the brain will increase frustration. And that's why it doesn't really work very well. And it goes down the road of people. You know, the criticism of things like the secret is, well, people in the genocide that they track that you know, you can't you can't even go it's just so distorted. So what we have to look at is humanity, life. It's tough things happen every from the beginning of mankind whenever that was to where we at now, man has battled with life. Every generation has got some issue. We've got the pandemic there's been world war two World War One the Spanish flu, every generation every year, there's something more weak, it just being a human alive. We have to deal with what we're dealing with in each stage of our life. So every human 100% of people battle with depression 100% of people battle with anxiety, panic attacks. Even sometimes this association of hallucinations, obviously was fearing degrees. And that may sound very extreme. But because of the today's narrative we be made to think those are brain illnesses. What I'm saying is throw that note of completely out the door and see yourself as a human in life with your experiences, and your experiences, somewhat adverse and adverse, create this, and this is a threat to your survival. Therefore, you need to be a thought to take to the network, the neuro cycle comes in and read the clues the cues, and then embrace process and reconceptualize it into this kind of into this kind of pattern. So that you can actually manage the process of how you're going to live in the future with this concept. So you don't want to keep this you don't want to suppress this, because this is alive and volcanic. And I'm talking about the toxic tree, whether it's the abuse, whether it's the bullying, whether it's the politics that you've absorbed, and become completely consumed with whatever it is the grief, the loss, the financial, the difficult family member, whatever it is, you have to embrace process and reconceptualize and ponder that reconceptualizing, that you may you can't change other people, and you can't control events and circumstances, the only thing you can do is train yourself to become less reactive, and more responsive, and responsive means that I can take this reconceptualize it into this tree. And if you look into the healthy tree, and for those of you that are listening, I'm holding up the green tree again, and part of it's dark, and the ends are lighter than if you can see that this was done on purpose, the light part would represent the toxic issue that you are changing that whatever has happened, has happened, but you can change how it plays out into future. So that the light this is in the green tree, now it's no longer in a toxic state, because it no longer controls you. You've accepted that and now you're making it work for you in a way that that okay I had that abuse, I understand where it comes from was absolutely terrible. I released myself from that perpetrator, I do want to have decent relationships, I don't want to see myself as shame, and so on. And so the dark green trees are all this discussion I'm having now it's how you going to start slowly rebuilding the pieces of your life. And that process of of going from the signals and embracing processing and reconceptualizing to this is a process of that takes our cause of 63 days, you know, you know what the work you do, it doesn't things don't it doesn't take a patient 24 hours to get used to hearing aids. And in fact, I bet if you if you tracked it, it would take them a full nine weeks before, these are decent mind brain. So the auditory and the mind balance between in terms of being able to use it effectively, because at first it's just a lot of, you know, amplified noise and it's confusing. So the the cycles of the 63 days.

Blaise Delfino:

And to dovetail off what you're saying, Dr. Leaf with regard to training the mind and this concept, and this proven system that you implement with your patients called neuro cycling, especially in today's day and age, a lot of us and many of us if not all of us are essentially a bundle of nerves. 2020 was a year I think we will never forget, I know that I know a lot of us wants to is a very difficult year for many of us. And when we talk about mental health, there needs to be more of an awareness of mental health and your work what you are doing because you're going down to the root cause and the work that we're doing on a daily basis with our patients is individuals who do present with untreated hearing loss are at an increased risk of cognitive decline, anxiety, depression, cardiovascular disease, but individuals who don't present with hearing loss who have normal hearing are also add an increased risk of anxiety, depression, cardiovascular disease, just reading your newest book, Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess, you were stating that toxic stress is the cause of 90% of illness and for our clinicians listening right now understanding this and understanding the work and research you've conducted when a patient comes to you to work with you. I think having a deeper understanding of you know, you can't see the picture when you're in the frame. And I don't know what this patient has been through if they do present with untreated hearing loss, they may be experiencing increased anxiety, depression, potential cardiovascula,r social withdraw, but also understanding that there might be something deeper. So and what we found Dr. Leaf is that following a successful hearing aid fitting with proper best practices and best practices being implemented, patients have increased expressive and receptive language. They've reported decreased anxiety and depression. There's been a decrease in listening effort. So again, this show is really for everybody who may be battling with anxiety and depression. And especially for business owners and our current patients, what are some strategies with this neuro cycling again, I'd encourage everyone to purchase your book Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess to implement neuro cycling. But I wanted to bring that that together in terms of that untreated hearing loss, but even individuals with normal hearing are experiencing these things.

Dr. Caroline Leaf:

I love how you explained that. And if I could just also bounce off what you said the if you human, you battle with mental health. So the one in four statistic of depression increasing and one in five, clinical anxiety are wrong statistics. They just make people scared and they actually completely wrong. It's 100% of people are betting with depression. 100% of people are battling with anxiety. And I said this earlier on. In other words, whether you're a clinician, the audiologist, the clinicians, therapists, whether you are the patient, whether you just the mom, the dad, you are human, you battle. And that's what we have to be first of all, it's all of us are battleing, it doesn't matter what your or what your profession is, we backing that's the first thing, we we can obviously look at the additional parameters of variables of the fact that someone with a hearing loss, it's incredibly distressing not to be able to understand or hear or follow. I mean, we we know that I mean that anxiety because it's 99% of your mind can increase inflammation and increase hearing loss and increase, increase the time it takes for them to adapt. So if there was already anxiety, just normal life anxiety, which has just adverse circumstances, and then you have a hearing loss on top of it, it's a it's double trouble. So it's vital. I'm so glad that you're you approach this, and your with your help your patients with anxiety and stuff as well. It's vital. So there's so

Blaise Delfino:

Thank you so much Dr. Leaf.

Dr. Caroline Leaf:

It's a battle, it's just a component you cannot exclude from the from the equation. So neuroscience for everyone, you're a second The reason I am worth this book. The reason I've done this research, the reason I moved out to 25 years of my career, in my practice for 25 years of leading research affiliate, almost 20 years ago, as I did in the fields, r&d lab research, I go into the field and I gain experience. And then I bring that back to the table and do real life research. And I do that because I think it's more valid, when you talk about mind, we have to be able to look at humanity, we have to look at what humanity is doing, as I said earlier, so essentially the neuro cycle was birthed 38 years ago, with people with traumatic brain injuries, dementia, Alzheimer's, hearing loss, the effect of one chapter in here called brain building, I used to use with my patients with hearing loss because a lot of my dementia patients, Alzheimer's patients, Parkinson's patients, even some of my patients with cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, had hearing losses. So I was working with a lot of patients who also had hearing aids. And I mean, we're talking 30 years ago, so the advances now are unbelievable. So that you know, so these and so then you can imagine would have been much more difficult. I have never excluded mental health work from intellectual work from basic, helping someone hear work to basic. So we've got to blend it all together and see it as components. But see it as a whole system. We are a network quantum theory comes in, because it's a systems approach to everything. It's not looking neuroscience on its own looks at the amygdala, the prefrontal cortex, that's a terrible way of looking at things because they can't do anything, they waiting for the mind to actually activate them as a whole system. And so that's what people want to look at the whole process of how humans function. So the neuroscience of taking all this whole systems approach into consideration was birthed 38 years ago as a deep therapeutic tool. I first developed a theory called the Jodi's information processing theory or journal, peer reviewed journal articles on it, people go to my web page, we update and at the moment, and from there, I developed as I said, I adapted it to the everyday because I work with, hey, this is something I can use, just to help my own mental health. So parallel to the therapeutic application I was developing. So I'm just saying that to say that even though the steps are simple, you don't skip a step. You don't jump through a step. And you also recommend that people just understand these steps are really scientific. So I've tried to work out, like the science of thought my objective has been what is mind? What is brain? What's the relationship? How do we get the mind to work with the brain? What control do we have over that? What is the thought as a product of mind? What are the memories which are inside the thoughts? What are the emotions which are part of these memories? And you know, what are what are the different types of memories and what are the different types of emotions that I've been feeling? That's what I've been trying to put together into the neuro cycle. So the principles of the neuro psycho and you're being brain cycle, you're moving through, you're driving, you're directing neuroplasticity. So it's a mind directed technique that is directing the neuroplasticity of your brain. But every experience you had, as I mentioned, already, that from the time you open your eyes till the time you go to sleep, everything you experience is converted by your mind into physical substance in your brain, neuroplasticity, these thought trees with their memories, and this has been happening since a certain point in the womb. So in our non conscious mind, which is the biggest part of our mind, which operates 24 seven with quantum principles, is we all we've got all these wavy forests of trillions upon trillions of thoughts. So in the mind area and the gravitational fields of the mind, we have all these trillions of thoughts in the brain, which is the second place, or thoughts and memories with with the memories are represented or physical trees in the brain. So in the brain or thoughts look like trees in mind, they look like gravitational fields that are like the groups of gravitational fields that give you a good EEG, for example, you can see little clusters of energy, think of it kind of like that just to give people a visual. So you've got these little clusters of energy, which are little memories, and then also the DNA of our body. So it's a holistic experience for someone who has PTSD, for example, which is some, which like someone who has maybe a war trauma, they've got a noise induced hearing loss. So they've got a combination of comorbidity of the tumor, which has had an end in the hearing the physical effects of hearing loss, and potential other issues too. You put that package together, you've got a very traumatized person, because the entire body has experienced it. So when they recall, or triggered, it's the whole the mind, it activates first. So the whole experience is in full three days experience. And then it comes in the thoughts through your brain of coming into consciousness or details, thoughts coming up, and then the physical sensations in the body start coming up. So it's a whole. So when you work with someone, you have to consider all those aspects of a person. So the neuro cycle doesn't replace therapy, I encourage people to still go to therapy. What it does is it enhances the therapeutic process, but you're going to therapy once or twice a week, you living with yourself 24 seven, so I my my objective was okay, I can help a patient once a week, but what do they do when they're not with me? How do I create a sustainability here that a person can can, to a large extent able to is able to manage themselves? Because you're living with yourself. So when you sitting there at night, and you can't sleep? And then you've got your minds ruminating, and you are freaking out and having a panic attack? What do you do? Are you in a business meeting and someone really say something incredibly underhand and it just throws you? How do you get yourself together that you can keep the wisdom going in that meeting, or you have a major family crisis? And you still got to function? What do you do? Or you now are triggered by a trauma from childhood that you never dealt with? How do you manage that? So the neuro cycle is the tool for doing that. So it's not a technique, it doesn't replace therapy, it's not a new system, you can still use CBT and psychoanalysis principles. I mean, you can use these wellness techniques, there's a million techniques out there, I'm not saying throw those out the door, I'm just saying use them properly. Because if you use them randomly, and in a very, like a bit of meditation, a bit of this, a bit of meditation, lots of research has been showing for a long time, it's now becoming very evident. It's dangerous, used in a very reductionistic way, which is how it's often used. Just be mindful is not enough. It's dangerous. You can be mindful, bring up stuff. And what do you do as a trauma, you can collapse, you can fall apart, you have to have a system in place. So this is beyond mindfulness. This incorporates mindfulness because you got to be away before you can do anything. Neuroscience shows us that, as soon as you're aware of something, I'm now bringing the toxic tree in, and I'll bring it up into the into the camera view. So it's come from being hidden to now I'm aware of it. We know from neuroscience, as soon as you're aware of something, there's a shift in the gravitational field, which we see as a shift in the QEEG which is the looking at the energy frequencies across the brain, which is then showing a shift in the neuronal structure, and is a weakening of the protein bonds. Now, that means that this is malleable, and will respond to change. So you can change this to better you can be the thought detective going from the, from the symptom or the clue, right down to the cause and redesign that, if you don't, this stays toxic, and your immune system will stay in a high state of inflammation. I've developed a scale which I briefly mentioned in the book and we republishing good publication coming up very soon. But it's a scale that when you some of the questions that should talk about anxiety, at baseline will are significantly correlated with increases in homocysteine. And the VHA cortisol ratio dropping, which is an indication of high inflammation, and how that actually changes at once a person feels empowered and they start using the neuro cycle that changes. So I've got a skill now that actually can correlate to the QEEG and blood measures that you can literally ask a patient. So you could do that, like in your practice, you could literally ask a patient that question, and if it gets in whatever the score, you can be pretty sure without doing blood work, that is an inflammation inflammatory response in the brain in the body. So without going to the expense of doing a QEEG, which is an expensive thing to do. You know, I've got the I've got that data to show that this is the general pattern that will occur. So if you do this, you can change that. So you can you can track a change with a patient using the scale that I've developed called the LMN the leaf I mentioned scale, but then I talk with you talk about how use that in in my clinical trial, but essentially what's happening here was it was in a big picture by summarize this whole thing now what you essentially doing is you prepare the brain and the body, because the brain and body need to get ready for stuff. And that's with things like meditation and breathing, tapping, havening, whatever you want to do. And I give a lot of examples in the book, I also have an app called the neuro cycle app where I walk you through a sort of three minute brain preparation exercise, before you dive in, in idea is to do the neuro cycle for 15 to 45 minutes each day, for 21 days, after 21 days, you would have embraced processed and reconceptualize, deconstructed, take an energy away from this, and put it into this energy is never lost, transferred, as you would know, okay, and as the conditions that are listening will know as well. So you've now this is now gone, you've got this, but this is weak, it's small. And this is the key point we sub patients, and people humans get stuck. Because we work to a point we know what we should be doing to change our life. But we can't apply it that people say this, I know what to do. But I'm not doing it. But that's because you've got to go for that extra 42 days. So what I've shared is that maybe the memories or peaks memory of neuroplasticity to change neuroplastic changes are happening all the time. But a solid change happens in around about 21 days. But you stabilize that into a habits. And we behavior change occurs takes another two cycles at least of 20 or 42 days. So it's about 63 days that we see for behavior change to be implemented. And so you what you would do is you'd use the neuro cycle for each day between all five steps for 21 days, and then you would do just the first step for about a minute to seven minutes for the next 42 days. And that's where you'll see massive behavior change. So I would see patients, for example, in a clinical trial, I suppose in my practice, too, so I'm just talking it across the board is at the beginning of treatment in therapy, or at starting the neuro cycle, without me giving you therapy, you're doing it alone, what we stick with what that's harder is in the clinical trial, that you don't have to be reliant on this therapist. You can do this on your own and with a therapist, but you can live with yourself with this. We had subjects in the clinical trial, and I put two case studies in the book of them saying they are depressed. So the identity was I am depression. And we see a lot of flatline energy in the brain, low blood, oxygen, very poor connection between the different structures of the brain, very low Systems Integration happening. And then that person to the neuro cycle starts saying, hey, there's the saying, hey, this depression has a reason and they start gathering awareness, which is the first step, they start reflecting, they start doing the writing to writing steps. And then they do the active reach. So the five steps or gather, awareness, reflect, write, recheck and act to reach each one of you have a whole table input to expand, you have lots of examples and lots of applications and and then you're walk us through the exams, but essentially, there is training the mind the messy mind, which is the frontline, the army of the frontline of the army, to listen to the wise mind in a very non judgmental way. So it's literally like you are flying a plane across this huge forest of your mind. And you the pilot, which is the messy mind and you the copilot, which is the wise mind and you flying across the forest of your mind and you see the smoke signal of depression and you keep wanting to fly over you happy flying over but you realize now you can't fly over anymore, you just have to do something about it because it's consuming you. So you land your plane, but it's you and your co pilots are too non threatening it's we're going into what I call a multiple perspective advantage state we have this powerful ability of humans to disconnect from our souls but connect so it stand back and observe ourselves. So you literally visualize yourself learning to play an actor or helicopter in the forest by that that toxic tree and you literally are now getting out and it's you you use your language you don't use I you you use you language. What would you like to what Apple would you like to pick off the tree? In other words, what would you love to gather awareness? Or what can you handle today? And there's no judgment anything like guilt, condemnation, shame all of those are seen as signals you can say okay, there's a signal of guilt is a signal of condemnation is a signal of shame. And you pick those these nerves. Can you see these a sense of these are helpful messengers. Currently, we see in the current narrative, as soon as you have any of those they toxic, they bad the evil in Mississippi suppress the symptoms of a disease. That's a terrible, unscientific and damaging narrative. It's made to people dying 18 to 25 years younger, I talk about that in the book too, that narrative,

Blaise Delfino:

Which is frightening. Which is really frightening. Yeah. You had mentioned you had mentioned in the book that individual's internal organs can actually be older than your chronological age. That is really, really scary. Dr. Leaf, to dovetail and really in summation. We know that through neuroplasticity, the physical brain can be changed. You have extensive work with individuals with traumatic brain injury, cognitive decline. And what we've also found in our field, hearing healthcare is this term called cross modal recruitment. And Dr. Anu Sharma and Dr. Douglas Beck actually have a q&a on the hearing review, which I'm going to send to you and have to see if they're being fit, it's a phenomenal article, and after six months of consistent use of hearing instruments, there's actually been this cross modal recruitment.

Dr. Caroline Leaf:

Yeah, the neuroplasticity.

Blaise Delfino:

It is incredibly an incredible article, I want to send it to you wonderful, but for our listeners tuned in right now, we had Dr. Caroline Leaf. She is a Cognitive Neuroscientist, and I'd encourage you please if you're on Audible, purchase her book, it is called Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess, Five Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking. And Dr. Caroline Leaf, having you on the Hearing Matters Podcast. We are incredibly grateful for your time today, and I just want to make sure that if you have any last words to our listeners, to conclude today's podcast episode, the floor is all yours.

Dr. Caroline Leaf:

Thank you so much. It's been so great talking to you. And I can see we could have gone down many different angles of talk so deeply. And I think the biggest thing i'd love people to know is that you can change your mind, your mind is always with you. It's so it's the first cause it's your mind drives how you eat, for example, if you are worrying about something and you eating a great healthy clean meal, you can lose up to 80% of that nutrition. Just because your mind is affecting the ability of your digestive system to function properly, you go into a workout, if you're going to do the workout and you worked or worked up, you're going to lose a large portion even up to you. So once again, around about 80% of the benefit of that workout. So you know your mind is at the benefit of of a hearing aid. If your minds not in it, you're going to not get the same kind of level of benefit. So my management is absolutely keen, your mind is always working. So my premise my argument, my my suggestion, my encouragement is to everyone is that your mind is always working, you can either you can either stay a mess, or you can clean it up. So just remember that we've got two sort of parts of our mind. And that is the messy mind, which is awake when you're awake. And it's the one that's at the front line, and it's experimenting, and it's great, the messy mind, we need it because within the messiness, we are experimenting and repairing and growing. So the objective of the messy mind is to learn it's to, to step out there to learn something and then just get better work and come back and very experimental. And the objective the way we designed the way that our optimism bias works is that we are drawn to the negative not because we make it up or to fix it with this experimental mind. But the messy experimental mind needs the wisdom of the wise mind. And that's what you are using right now as you're listening. It's this ability to really analyze things to really get in touch with what you know to be the right thing. And we can develop that skill. It's like you can learn to play violin, it takes years to become skilled. Managing your mind is something we should teach our kids as early as we can I have 4 children, I learned this related to my youngest patients with to train teachers in schools and worked in schools with kids from from the age of two all the way through of my oldest patient with an 85 year old. So mind is something that is always working, we can train the messy mind to work with the most wise mind all the time. So if you don't train your mind, the messy mind will dominate. And the wise mind will not be very you won't be very connected. And that leads to tremendous levels of warning signals telling you hey, you're in this something going on and warning signals or the depression, the anxiety, the frustration that irritation, the body signals of your gut ache and and adrenaline rushes and even physical things, heart pain, et cetera, because the more messy your mind is, the more vulnerable the environment of our brain and our body becomes to disease. In fact, unmanaged minds can increase vulnerability to disease by 35 to 90%. So we can't just forgive and forget, we can't just supress, we have to manage your mind. So that would be my closing statement here. If you if you recognize that your mind is working, you think well I don't have the time to manage my mind. Well, it's working anyway. So either you manage it or you have an unmanaged and management leads to mess. So these are kind of no you know, these these choices, always a choice, but the choice is a mess or not a mess , it's a no brainer. Use use the mess as a powerful thing, because messiness becomes great when paired with wise mind because then you're upping your growth so there you go.

Blaise Delfino:

You're tuned into the Hearing Matters Podcast with Dr. Gregory Delfino, and Blaise Delfino of Audiology Services and Fader Plugs. Today we had Cognitive Neuroscientist, author and speaker Dr. Caroline Leaf, please go check out her newest book, Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess. Until next time, hear life's story.