Q&A 406: Recovery & Injury Hacks, The Best Way To Combine Sauna & Cold, How To Know If Your Nervous System Is Recovered & Much More!

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Listener Q&A:

Tips for Nervous System Recovery…33:00

Carmen from Germany asks: You've talked a lot recently about recovery, and it seems it's all about physical recovery. I want to know about nervous system recovery. My body recovers pretty well from training volume and intensity, but I want to know how would you measure nervous system recovery aside from overall well being and HRV?

In my response, I recommend:

Fast Ways To Support Achilles Tendonitis…49:15

Dasha from Australia asks: Are there any supplements or peptides I can take that will improve my condition of Achilles tendonitis I've developed because of running?

In my response, I recommend:


The Best Way To Combine Sauna Therapy & Cold Thermogenesis…1:03:00

Matt asks: I hear you talk a lot about cold exposure and sauna use, and how both can be good in the mornings. I was wondering if there is a particular order that works best, or if you should even do them in the same day, and how long you should wait in-between each session. I'm a very active person, I train in Muay Thai jiu-jitsu 5-6 days per week, and am looking for the best possible recovery protocol.

In my response, I recommend:


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40 thoughts on “Q&A 406: Recovery & Injury Hacks, The Best Way To Combine Sauna & Cold, How To Know If Your Nervous System Is Recovered & Much More!

  1. MIchelle says:

    Hi Ben,

    As always thank you for all that you do. You inspire me every day. How can we find out your launch book party in LA. I went to the website, I already ordered your book awhile ago.

  2. Dominique says:

    Hi Ben,
    Thanks for a great podcast, as always! I love that you’re looking for ways to give back. Just thought I would share a suggestion related to that…
    One of my friends created an online system that provides ideas and opportunities for people to give back to the community in various ways. This system is currently based and directed at fulfilling needs in South Africa, but the concepts apply all over the world so it should give you a plethora of ideas.
    Here’s the link to the website… https://browniepoints.africa/
    Have a wonderfully blessed festive season with your family and keep doing that thing you do – you’re informing and inspiring so many of us!
    D

  3. Frank Kowar says:

    Ben,

    Thanks for everything you do. I am in the process of building a house and adding a home gym. Will plan to include a Clearlight sauna and a cold tub. If you had to choose between the Morozko Forge and Rick Rubin’s Chiller System, what would be your preference?

  4. Jesse Jacobo says:

    How about treating the homeless/low income families to a spa day or even a few days? Where you could set up somewhere and provide them with some kion coffee! We could serve breakfast/dinner along with some gospel/positive music in the background. I believe you could refresh their souls and body at the same time. I am a part of a woman’s Christian ministry, so if you need books we got them! We have books that will bring value to their lives and to let them know that they are loved by God and not forgotten. We also carry a devotional for men. Godbless you Ben and team for considering the forgotten.

  5. Mitchell says:

    Ben please could you give some tips on how to heal an annular tear. I have been struggling with recovery for over a year now and would love some tips and advice.

    1. Keith says:

      Ben so I have calves that twitch and it sounds like a peripheral nervous system issue. I’m worried it’s neuro transmitter related as I have a family hx or neuro issues.

      So you recommended amino kion flex post and amino acids pre workout then include ATP and creatine?

      Is that about right? I think you also mentioned arginine. I have trouble relaxing and calming down. I’m always at a 10 and sleep poorly yet live a busy life style and workout hard! Any input is huge! Thanks

  6. Greetings Ben.
    How are you?
    Hmmm… Your comments and connection to the greater whole of us people was beautiful. Thank you for your courage in sharing your feelings.
    I have contemplated over the last few days on suggestions for how we can give back or help out those in need this time of year. I keep going back to one thing that seems to be the crux for me; who is actually in need, and how can i judge (without judgement) who is actually in need. Who is in more need of someones love/enegry, the homeless person without a means of eating a warm meal in winter, or the business person in a suit sitting down to another lonely cup of coffee, or the cashier working a soul crushing job to make ends meet? Or anyone in-between? Who is more important?
    I feel it is everyone and anyone. Perhaps a practice of un-conditional sharing of our smile, buying the stranger behind you the coffee they are about to buy for themselves, thanking the cashier for their time serving you, spending an extra few dollars you don’t ‘really’ have on a Fair Trade product, or thanking yourself for being courageous enough to say hi to the person next to you on that cramped bus. This seems vague, but at the same time it is laser sharp in its immediate effect on people. A great way to start a trickle down effect of positive energy.
    I live in a small mountain town called Pemberton in BC, where it is quite easy to practice this, my challenge comes when i go to a city.
    I am always inspired by a dear friend of mine, who has had many sporting injuries in his life, and when ever he passes someone on the street who is carrying an injury, he always goes out of his way to look them in the eye and say something like, “hey, heal strong” or “all the best with your recovery”. It is like by saying those words he takes weeks off of their recovery by being a stranger who believes in them.
    Ben, I believe in you doing the right thing, at the right time, to the right person.
    Here is to the practice of the un-conditional smile :) so it unlocks the door to our un-conditional love.
    Thank you for your time reading my words Ben.
    Until next time,
    Polek :)

  7. Deborah says:

    Like another listener I’m looking for that lists of herbs tested with contamination. Will you be posting a link? Thanks!

  8. McLean Smith says:

    I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and one way we serve this time of year is a program called Light the World. Everyday there is a new way to serve your neighbor!

  9. Matthew s says:

    Ben: Not the most scable solution to help society.
    But listening your podcast inspired me to give my the gloves on my hands – to a homeless person who had hopelessness in their eyes and shivering unprotect hands.

    I live in Toronto Canada, winter can a deadly season for the helpless.

  10. Stephanie Johnson says:

    I’m wondering about my oura ring reading for my heart rate variability. Since I’ve gotten it over 6 months ago, my HRV is always in the 50’s even with my readiness score in the 90’s to 100. Could that be my norm or does it mean I’m chronically in a state of stress and not recovering?

  11. Zoë says:

    Ben, dood, you give away SO much of yourself to complete strangers all around the world, it’s hard to imagine you feeling like you’re not doing enough to help others. Maybe it’s because you don’t know us and can’t see all the good you do. Anyway, thanks for everything. I am really excited to get your book :)

    As for piping in to share a way that I like to help others is through my volunteer work. I volunteer at a centre for addictions and mental health with the pet therapy program. Me and my dog go around the inpatient units to bring joy and relief in what can be a really stressful time in a person’s life. Many of these people suffer from a range of mental illnesses and are there to get better but it can be a pretty crappy journey for them. The staff also really enjoy our visits, since their job is extremely stressful and unpredictable. I love seeing the smiles on their faces whenever we come in. But really, it’s mostly my dog doing all the work, I’m just the handler :)

    And my visits certainly remind me to be grateful that any time I get sick or hurt I have access to all of these incredible resources (i.e. earthing mats, sauna, $$$ supplements) that most of these people wouldn’t even know exist.

  12. Hey Ben my name is Greg Martinez I am a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and metabolic technician(just bought my own PNOE metabolic analyzer). You mentioned in the podcast that we should comment her if we had opportunity for you to help someone. Well it was on my heart to do a raffle to raise money for St. Jude with an 8 week online coaching program I designed.The plan was donate $20 and you get your name entered into the raffle.

    Well there is this little girl named Mckenna who has a rare form of brain cancer. This little girl is making bracelets from her hospital bed in the face of death to raise funds for Duke Children’s Hospital. Her larger Plans are to create a non profit to help connect service dogs with other sick kids as someone did for her. We could all learn so much from this girl who despite such grave circumstances still has it in her heart to help others. I couldn’t help but think of my little girl when I saw her. I don’t care if you leave me out of it but please help me get the word out for #MckennasMission. Here is a link to a video my close friend Robin and I made to help promote her amazing cause! It’s one thing to help organizations which is awesome but we can make all the difference in this incredible girls life!!

    https://www.facebook.com/GMart86/posts/2585934114825276

    Thank you!!!

  13. Ryan Baxter says:

    “Just serve” app or justserve.org is where you can find local service opportunities in your community to give back. There are ongoing opportunities or needs and one-time needs.

  14. Will says:

    Ben,
    When I think about giving or ministry I think about changing a life. I donate clothes but it does not change lives it is a band aid. I am still working on how to change lives. There is a story I once heard out of South Africa. A local Black minister woke up to find his one Cow stolen. He asked around the town and found out that it was stolen by a local white man. The minister went to the man’s house and nicely confronted the man. The man apologized and said he was sorry for taking his cow. That he would give him milk and cheese every month, he then closed the door on the man. The minister knocked again and said, “I don’t want the milk and cheese I want my cow.” We need to give people back the cow. Change lives by giving them the power to own their live’s.

    I would also like to add something personally. I am a special education teacher, married with 2 kids. I live in California. We choose to have my partner stay home right now with our young kids. We choose to eat organic, we choose have air filters, we choose to have beds that do not off gas, we choose certain clothing. Much of the stuff I/we do for our kids is from listening to your podcast. But life is expensive and although I make a living at the the beginning of the month I place 150$ into an envelope to put towards my health. Much of it is spent on Thorne products. Over the years I have tuned into your podcast and tuned out. I tune out sometimes because it often feels so out of touch with what I am capable of purchasing. You are a 1%er or at least a 7%er. You have worked hard, I am not taking anything away. I cannot afford 90% of what you talk about on the podcast, It can’t be my reality. I saved for a year and built my own infared suana. I try everyday to be and live in a healthy way. I ask that once a month you dedicate a podcast to people that do not have the money to buy the supplements and products you talk about. What can I do with 150$ a month, what would you do if that was all you had? I look forward to listening to what you come up with.

  15. Fred Hartman says:

    Ben, this podcast was full of good and interesting advice. I’ve been told you should only do hot/cold contrast therapy before a weight/resistance workout, but not afterward because it could affect muscle hypertrophy. What’s your practice and what are your thoughts about that? Thanks.

  16. Brendan Lynch says:

    Hey Ben!
    Idea for the holidays: What if we did go-fund-me style fundraisers for sick fans and their friends/families where we raise money to buy health/longevity products that they otherwise would not be able to afford?

    Thanks for everything you do!
    Brendan

  17. Jaclyn says:

    Ben, congrats for reminding us all that we have an obligation to help those less fortunate (being, as you said, we are “privileged”, just by the fact that we have a warm house, a car, family that we love and who loves us, food anytime we want it,etc.) Anything we can do for others matters. About a year or two ago you interviewed Richard Stearns, the former President of World Vision, and recommended the book “Hole in Our Gospel.” It might be worth a quick re-read (I bought it, read it twice, and refer to it if I am feeling uninspired!) That book changed my whole outlook from one of always thinking about “self” to – how can I help others! His updated version has several ways to help in the Appendix, that may be a start!

    Thank you again for putting those good vibes out there!

    1. That's a great idea! What does he say in the Appendix of the new version?

      1. Jaclyn says:

        From Special Edition, Revised and Updated:

        Appendix 2: “What Are You Going to Do About It?”

        You are busy, so just a brief summary! He’s got 11 pages of ways to get started now.

        LEARN: Educate yourself about those that live in extreme poverty (perhaps even right in your community),

        connect with local programs that serve the homeless/refugees/elderly, educate others, especially young people (and you are already famous; you’ve got the platform to launch something “big” already)!

        INTENTIONAL PRAYER: to lead you in the right direction

        ACT: Take a short term mission trip, volunteer in your own neighborhood, compete in your next event in the name of something like Team World Vision…I like this idea; you have the opportunity to raise a ton of money! Or, you could start some sort of local group (and/or with all your followers, too) that undertakes some kind of project.

        GIVE: Reexamine your 2020 giving goal

        SPEAK: Again, you already have so many followers, you would easily get some media attention for whatever you decide to do, bringing awareness and hopefully $$ to your cause

        There’s no easy answer, because our skills, talents, and calling to serve is different for each person. But,

        “…turn a listening ear to that still, small, voice and offer up a willing heart.”

        Jaclyn

  18. Will says:

    Hi Ben,

    What transdermal nitroglycerin cream do you use? You’ve mentioned it in a couple of episodes, but I can’t seem to find what it is

    Thanks!

  19. Sasha says:

    hello, I could use some help, I just moved to boulder from Santa Monica this September, haven’t made any friends out here yet and would love to connect with people interest in kicking ass. I am 23 and love getting after it, I run and cycle a whole bunch. If you’re in boulder my usual run route is up sunshine canyon quite easy to spot for I am the only one wearing shorts and shoes no matter the weather conditions, hit me up if you would like to go for a run. Also ben your show is the most kick-ass ever and I just realized 1week ago I live .3 miles from your kion headquarters will definitely go visit.

    also with your questions, reach out and ask how you can help.

  20. Amy Salvato says:

    Hey Ben…

    I’m responding to your shout out for CARING…

    I have many solutions for High Bar Quality Relationships, and have been implementing them for 30 years now.

    I AM working with three (3) different organizations in the Bay area to help people in seconds to blast through emotional and relational pain, permanently.

    Being able to efficiently and economically help people that are lost within themselves and in their personal, social, and business relationships is doable so they can be up and productive, without drugs, without years of therapy, and without controlling/manipulative baloney from those who want to keep people in emotional and relational pain for profit.

    There is a Better Way to Live Relationally.

    I’m accomplishing things that I see no one else doing that is exhilarating and extremely frustrating.

    However, I seriously care about Building a Better World, so I very much am “IN” and, like I shared, have been doing High Bar Quality Relationships for 30 years.

    Genuinely,

    Amy Salvato.

  21. Sarah Hudson says:

    Hey Ben,
    I love the show! I’ma college student going to the University of Oklahoma, and I volunteer at a non-profit coffee shop. We often have several homeless people come in and I’ve really felt the desire to help them, and just give them something meaningful. I’m making them all personalized baskets. I think too often they get cheap “pity gifts” but I wonder when was the last time someone gave them a very nice gift? It’s for about 10 people. I know this probably sounds pretty basic, but I thought it was worth putting on here. If you wanted to, you could send some health products or samples to add the baskets? Just thought I would share. If you don’t want to, that’s totally fine, but it’s super cool to hear your heart for other people!

    Keep sharing your wealth of knowledge!

  22. Harrison Cain says:

    Hey. Great stuff. I’ve been taking a lot of Ayurvedic herbs and a variety of supplements for about a year. I buy almost all of them from my functional medicine doc but you mentioned there was a list of brands that tested for contaminant. Where could I find this? Is it in the study or is there a separate link? Thanks for all you do

  23. Robert Armbrester says:

    Hi Ben,

    I listened to this Podcast on Recovery and heard during the intro that you and your family are trying to be more intentional about giving back & helping others.

    I started down my path of fitness and health, in that we can’t help others unless we ourselves are healthy, joyful, and grateful. It’s this abundant life that should inspire us to pour into each other.

    Although I can’t help you to identify the exact avenue by which you & your family might give back to the community around you, I can say that you are inspiring thousands just by sharing the information here on your fitness, longevity, & health podcast. Just read all of the comments that you see on each podcast page.

    You might not have the time to respond to each & every question, but we all value your insight, backed by your rigorous research and self-validation. You’re doing so much for your listeners already, but of course it’s human nature that we’re never satisfied.

    Grateful for your kind heart in taking a deeper dive into this “void”.

    -Bob A.

  24. Jessie Lair says:

    Hi Ben, I’ve used Kion Flex in the past and have liked it quite a bit. I’m wondering, however, if it really helps repair injuries or if it just masks pain. I’m a marathon runner recovering from a torn posterior tibial tendon and I would like to speed up healing without simply masking pain. Thank you!

    P.s. We have the exact same birthday, Dec. 20 1981 😁!

    Jessie

    1. Connor says:

      It definitely helps recovery in more ways that one with his “shotgun” formulas. Any one of those ingredients help recovery and also so would omega 3 and aminos (recovery bundle). Right Ben?

  25. Nazman Rosman says:

    This is so inspiring. I’m currently on a weight loss journey myself and http://bit.ly/WeightLossFORstarters has helped me a lot.

  26. Kyle says:

    I’m curious if there is anyone out there that has made any sort of breakthrough in clearing up Keratosis Pilaris? Those little reddish bumps that form at the base of hairs in certain locations on the body. Like with other skin conditions, I’m sure, it’s always something that weighs on the back of my mind telling me to “cover up, hide, and avoid getting close”. It’s very prevalent among people, but the only treatments and explanations have been “it’s genetic and smear yourself with lotion every day”. I’ve been unable to accept that and am always on the lookout for any info on whether it could be diet related or some sort of abundance of deficiency. No luck so far with restrictive diets like keto and carnivore, so I just thought I’d toss it out into the Ben Greenfield Community to see what comes back. Thank you.

  27. Connor says:

    Ben,

    To say I am a huge fan seems like a dramatic understatement. When I first heard you two summers ago you were the only person I’ve ever heard doing cyclic keto with daily refeeds. Since then I’ve listened to every one of your podcasts. I want you to know how much you’ve changed my life and helped me find meaning and also better health physically/mentally/spiritually. I am just one case and I’m sure there are plenty of others like me, but you have no idea how much I am really drinking the kool-aid! (Or actually avoiding it in this case due to the weird ingredients and sugar).. you would even probably be amazed at my collection of health foods. From all of the ingredients as thianChi to 14mushrooms in my coffee to the all of ingredients As the organifi products.. “some people like to invest their money in cars, I like to use mine on things that make me healthy” is how you’ve said it once.. So the reason I’m really posting is because I’m really religious Christian and I also feel the same calling (by GOD) To help people and I really want you to know that you do already. And this is something I’ve been meditating on because I’ve been wanting to contact you for some time because I’ve wanted to be a part of your “army”. Let me use that metaphor, you are helping soooo many people who are listening to your podcast, but as long as you are telling the people who are the only ones getting help it’s like you’re a commander for a bunch of soldiers, and I know that you already train a lot of doctors and personal trainers, but I think the best way to help the world is first spiritually, that is what makes people see the big pictures and then relationships and love because that is the glue that holds everything together ncouraging them to also help others because no matter how far bgf can reach it will unfortunately not likely reach everyone just because not everyone even has time to listen to podcasts like I do. So with your following you can encourage people to not only help people but to recruit other people to also help!! This was Jesus message about being fishers of men. And I am very proud of you for all of your work and I love you as a brother and I hope you take this to heart and I hope to meet you one day maybe with Paul Chek and mindpump guys.. you all seem like family to me and I think that your work has more potential even now that this is on your front mind. I am from Visalia, ca and I wish I could make half of the amount of difference that you make.. GOD Bless you. I hope to see a reply from you

    1. i love this man… Thank you so much for giving me this message…

    2. Dr. Jay Wiles says:

      BOOM! This is good stuff.

  28. Eric says:

    I don’t have access to a sauna or ice bath (yet), but I can attest that just switching between hot & cold in the shower seems to help!

    Ben, thanks for the encouraging word regarding helping others! All the biohacking and self-improvement doesn’t mean as much if you aren’t giving some of yourself back to the world around you. If anyone has ever wanted to help out or get involved with Africa, you should check out 2535 Water (www.2535water.org). My wife and I began the organization to drill water wells in Uganda, Africa. Kids are going to school for the first time rather than carrying water all day. Young girls aren’t risking themselves to go out in search of water. Thousands of lives are changing every day! We don’t make a penny off of it, and 100% of donations go to Uganda (no one makes a salary and a few great people specifically cover all overhead costs). Great way to get a tax-deductible donation in before the end of the year, too!

    Sorry (not really sorry) for the plug. Regardless of where its directed, go help out the community and world around you! It makes life so much more fun and meaningful.

  29. Steve says:

    As usual, lots of good stuff. Not only healing yourself physically, but also spiritually. Have you read “Doing Good Better” by William MacAskill? It’s an interesting look at maximizing the effects of your philanthropic pursuits. Ever since reading it, I go out of my way to make sure my volunteer work and donations are actually making a difference instead of just making me feel like I’m making a difference.

    I’m looking forward to hearing about your experience with your fancy new cold pool.

  30. Doug Keegan says:

    Hot/Cold Technique. I can verify what Ben says – don’t get all geeked out over length or method – just do it. I use the Oura ring and my sleep/nervous system improves greatly on days I use the hot/cold technique – and I don’t do anything fancy. For example, my gym has a hot tub, sauna and steam room with a stand up shower nearby. After a workout, I will jump in the hot tub, get my core body temp up, then go over to the shower and try to get it as cold as possible (works great in fall/winter), then alternate. I even mix it up with the sauna and hot tub. Point is just do it – and here’s a tip – if using a shower – make sure to get the cold water on your face – for some reason it triggers a nice response – particularly with the nervous system. Hope this helps.

    1. Keith says:

      Agree man! Love ice for recovery. Use both and they both help….still feel my calves twitching from hard workouts or something else? Going to try bens recommendations for recovering the peripheral nervous system.

  31. Rob says:

    Could you share the kefir & microbes’ peptides link, thank you.

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