[00:43] KionU/Four Sigmatic
[05:42] About Porangui
[08:08] Porangui – Where His Journey Began
[15:04] How Porangui Developed His Unique Healing Methods and Indigenous Medicine Practices
[20:45] Why Porangui Starts with the Breath and Why Ben Finds this Style of Breathing Difficult
[41:06] True Niagen/Daily Harvest
[46:16] How Porangui Uses Sound Massage Table to Blast the Body with Sound During the Massage
[50:42] The Science Behind Cymatic Sound Therapy and a Swiss Researcher Named Hans Jenny
[1:04:59] What Porangui Finds So Fascinating with the Didgeridoo
[1:16:30] How Porangui Uses Sonic Healing Tools and Instruments
[1:27:17] End of Podcast
Ben: Hey, what’s up? It’s Ben Greenfield. We are in a roll this week. In the last episode, we talked about what many would consider to be fringe alternative medicine. On today’s episode we’ll get a little more fringe. We’re going to chat with my friend and sound healer who I went down to see in Sedona, Arizona. Porangui. Porangui. You’re going to love him. He’s pretty cool and if you decide to go to Sedona, you may have remembered that I interviewed this other healer named Anahata down there. Go see Anahata and Porangui. That’s what I did. I went to Sedona and saw them both in one fell swoop. And I went to this amazing restaurant that they have down there called Chocolate Tree. So there’s three things for you to do if you decide to go to Sedona. Buy yourself a plane ticket. Go see this cat. Especially after you listen to this interview I think you’re going to want to.
This podcast is brought to you by the brand new university that I have launched it’s called KionU. It is everything that you would need to become the most qualified professional on the face of the planet. If you’re a physical therapist, medical professional, physician, health coach, nutritionist, personal trainer, chiropractic doctor you name it. What I’ve done is I have taken every shred of knowledge up inside my head, everything I’ve gained from 10 years of running this podcast and talking to some of the top experts in the world and I’ve put all the information together into one systematized curriculum that you go through and you learn everything there is to know and then the icing on the cake as I add all your business tips, blogging tips, podcasting tips, content creation. I’m bringing in guest experts from around the world. For example, a B.J. Fogg, a Stanford researcher and world-renowned expert in behavior design. He’s going to be joining us this month to teach you how to affect lasting behavior change. You don’t have a bunch of knowledge rolling inside your head, they can actually get results from your clients or your patients.
I have taken into consideration every last detail in the past two years that I’ve spent designing this curriculum and putting together this university. And so if you’re a health or a fitness professional and you want to get it on this very rare chance to create an amazing career for yourself, essentially do what I do, I mean that’s the idea is I am creating this university that will allow other people to do exactly what I do in terms of educating the world and in terms of really affecting positive change and creating or empowering people to really create for themselves the ultimate human machine. Go to getkion.com/coach, that’s get k-i-o-n getkion.com/coach. We’re only accepting a limited number of students into KionU. The time to sign-up is running out pretty quickly here so sign-up while you still can. You can become a charter member of KionU.
This podcast is also brought to you by Four Sigmatic. I was actually just hanging out with my friend and Finnish mushroom hunter Taro and we were in Arizona together. We were at this resort and I went on a couple of hikes with Taro and I’m just incredibly impressed when I meet up with an entrepreneur or owner of a company who actually is freaking passionate about their product. He filled me in for like a full hour of hiking on all these mushroom alkaloids, mushroom facts and information about shrooms that were blowing my mind. Only that he’s wearing mushroom pajama pants while we were hiking. He’s that into mushrooms and he studies the heck out of them and he makes this amazing dual-extracted extremely potent mushroom blends for sleep, for immune system, for drive, for recovery, for detoxification, you name it. Now there’s a lot on his website but what I would recommend if you just want to get everything in one fell swoop and you’re like me and you just want to shotgun the best of his best, get their 10-Mushroom blend. He calls it the daily dose of super hero, 10-mushroom blend. This is over at Four Sigmatic’s website. You just go to f-o-u-r sigmatic.com/bengreenfield. That’s foursigmatic.com/bengreenfield and you’ll automatically get in on all the goodness that is Four Sigmatic and I recommend you start off with their 10-Mushroom blend, baby.
Alright, let’s go talk to Poragui.
In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:
“I was never quite Brazilian enough to be Brazilian. I was never quite Mexican enough to be Mexican or American enough to be American. So I was like, that’s my role in this world is someone that’s a bridger.”
Ben: Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield here and a couple of months ago I was in Sedona. Sedona, Arizona where I happened upon this gentleman who I was introduced to by a former podcast guest and great guy, Aubrey Marcus and Aubrey told me I had to go see this guy, Porangui who does sound healing there in Sedona. And so I showed up at his place and he proceeded to lay me on this special table and blast my body with everything from like a didgeridoo to a gong to a flute and this was all blended with deep tissue massage work and this really immersive musical and sound healing experience that was unlike anything I’ve ever really undergone. So I had to get Porangui on the show to show this with you, and this guy’s fascinating, he blends indigenous medicine practices from Brazil, Mexico and the Southwestern US. He’s a licensed massage therapist. He studied at Duke University in Integrative Health. He’s also an accomplished musician. He has this amazing soundtrack. Should I mentioned Aubrey a couple of minutes ago and he did the soundtrack for an ayahuasca film that Aubrey helped to produce and has amazing, amazing music. He had this time that we’re recording this I believe he’s down at Southwestern Austin where he’s doing a concert down there but from crystal and metal tuning forks to Tibetan prayer balls and crystal balls, didgeridoos, ton of different therapies. What I experienced with Porangui was pretty amazing, so I had to get him on the show to chat with you guys about how this stuff works. How sound healing works and what exactly he does is so different and unique. So Porangui, welcome to the show, man.
Porangui: Thank you, yeah it’s great to be here.
Ben: Yeah, and I’m so curious about your history and how you learned these things and wove them together. How you have brought together Brazilian and Mexican and Southwestern US therapies and developed this whole healing method. So, can you tell me about where this journey began?
Porangui: Yeah, so it’s been quite a journey. I think it’s still of course, ongoing. [laughs] It never stops. I definitely claim being a masterful student rather than masterful teacher here. Just always learning and it’s kind of goes all the way back to my roots. I was born in Brazil. My father’s from Mexico and my mother’s Brasileira, she’s Brazilian. And they’re both were musical people and artists in their own right and my mother also is a healer of sorts and my grandmother, my father’s mother who’s also was a healer. What they call sobadora which is one who lays on the hands. And so it’s kind of been in my lineage to work with the healing arts and from an early age as much as I knew that music was part of my path, I also knew that healing was part of my path. And I though of course, I was going to be a medical doctor and coming from a relatively poor family if you will, by Western standards but very rich in other ways, I spent a lot of my childhood kind of with that vision, that dream. And so I worked really hard to kind of eventually get the scholarships together and the funding to be able to go to and get into to Duke University, of course and study and I was going for that pre-med track and started that whole line of study…
Ben: Oh, really?
Ben: That’s funny. I did the same thing. I did a pre-med track and I was going to be a doctor but I did my internship at Duke and…
Porangui: Oh, awesome!
Ben: I spent a ton of time at the orthopedic surgical facility shadowing surgeons because I was very [0:09:44.7] ________ in sports medicine so yeah, I worked at Coach K’s Sports Performance Lab there at Duke…
Porangui: Oh, yeah sure.
Ben: And spent the rest of my time in the medical library and with the…
Ben: The orthopedic doc. So I’m very familiar with Doerem.
Porangui: Oh, so you know Doerem, yeah, totally. Oh, now exactly, so a lot of time in the Duke Medical Center, and I also shadowed a lot in the Pediatric Center in the Intensive Care Unit working with a lot of kids that were flown in like burn, you know burn victims?
Porangui: I loved it and I also really quickly realized that it was more about the business than it was about healing, if that makes sense. I kind of got disenchanted to be honest, and I really had to look and do some really deep searching within myself and fortunately at that time, I was hanging out with these other students. They were on the neuroscience. They were all part of the program called Program Two which was something really unique to Duke. I think Princeton was the only university at that time that was doing this where they basically, you could design your own major and course of study if you could basically put it all together and then prove that it was academically rigorous enough and you’d have to write an honor’s thesis of course, and defend it to a board of doctors. And if they gave basically, their stamp of approval, you could basically create your own major essentially and…
Porangui: That’s essentially what I did. The title of my major was Healing through Music and Dance Psychological Culture Perspectives and yeah, I basically blended neuroscience, dance and music department’s culture anthropology, psyche and put it all into this really interesting line of study which is honestly been my life and just continue doing that ever since. [laughs]
Ben: So tell me like if you remember, I realize that sometimes when you’ve gone to college it can be a far off memory but what kind of courses do you take for something like that, like what kind of things did you weave together when it came to the education?
Porangui: Oh, yeah. Reaching back I mean there was a number of things. Of course, Duke didn’t have anything even close to that specifically, so I had to really get. For me it was finding who are the mentors? Who are the people who do their research and their academic work and what they publish is going to be somewhere in this zone, if you will. At least in this general kind of neurosphere of what I was looking for. And I really tracked down a couple of people who were really key. Louise Meintjes who was one of my main mentors. She was an [0:12:10.9] ______ psychologist at Duke from South Africa and really amazing doctor and incredible writer and researcher with a very musical background. And then I sought out Eva who was an amazing African dance teacher and deep within a lot of the African roots of music and where folklore like ancestral music and was teaching also for a long time at Duke. We pulled her so kind of dance department pulled in another professor who was a philosopher looking at kind of the aesthetics of where our origin comes from and how do we talk about the aesthetics of art and how is art and music, how can we look at that as far as defining that as a unique quality to humanity or not? Which is a really neat question in itself.
We kind of think of ourselves as like, oh we’re so musical and we have dance and we have these arts and that’s so unique. That’s what makes us human and yet really, when we start looking at other beings on the earth, there’s many forms of sound and movement that are intrinsic to how beings manifest and how they relate to each and how they communicate with each other. So it’s a really cool piece so kind of brought that in and then the psych department of course, pulling up kind of these whole pieces of what we would call psychoacoustics looking at what is the perception of sound and how does sound then impact our physiology and our brain chemistry, all of these things and that led me into the neuropsy department which is what I ended up doing a lot of my research in. And I thought when I switched out of pre-med and the medical program, I thought I was going to go and become a neuroscientist and I actually started there and I worked in a lab there. It was actually a Brazilian lab. Miguel Nicoleles, I don’t know if you ever heard of him. His research was some of the early stuff that’s been on 60 Minutes and he was pretty high profile for quite sometime ‘cause he was the first person to develop microelectrode arrays which are basically the implants that would be implanted into the motor cortex of a Rhesus monkeys and essentially to control like robotic prosthesis. And at the time when I was working there the lab was basically would have these monkeys do these operations on the monkeys to the implants and to their brains and then these monkeys would basically, operate these robotic arms, prosthesis that were at MIT across the internet which was super revolutionary for the time…
Porangui: I mean that was the stuff.
Ben: Yeah, this sounds like there’s this guy I talked to on the podcast to discuss exoskeletons and the creation of almost like human robot body suits that could be worn and potentially even controlled with brain waves or neuronal patterns. It was Ken Ford from the Stem Talk podcast and it was very interesting what you can do but this seems like a far cry from what I did when I was with you down there in Sedona, like where did you go…
Ben: Where did you go from there to develop this unique healing practice that you do now like how did this flush itself out for you once you got to the point where you’re actually practicing?
Porangui: Yeah, it’s absolutely an interesting journey because it was in that lab. I was working in the lab and I was working with the lead researcher and a dear friend of mine. His name was actually Siddharta, of all names, he’s another Brazilian and we actually met through Capoeira, which is an Afro-Brazilian Martial Art. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Capoeira, but….
Ben: Yeah, I’ve twisted myself up a few times attempting to learn that movement.
Porangui: Yeah. [laughs] It’s an incredible movement practice and I’ll come back to it because it’s a deep part of what my research ended up focusing on but you know, Siddharta and I were basically in the lab one day and we’re doing this sleep memory study on these rats and literally, part of my job of course, is the grunt, low level was to sacrifice these rats and we had like three minutes from the time you sacrificed and to scoop their brains out, deep freeze it cryogenically and then my job was then to go back with this giant very expensive meat cutters essentially and do these micrometer thing, sagittal cuts of the brain and then we stain it and see what areas were active during the study. Which was a really horrific kind of process actually [laughs], in the end of the day, and especially, ‘cause I was vegetarian and I still am…
Ben: I was going to say, we just lost all our vegan listeners.
Porangui: Yeah, exactly well, don’t worry I mean basically, it converted me essentially ‘cause I thought I was going to be a neuroscientist and I go to him. Siddharta and I working this meat cutter thing and I’m just like, “okay, this is awful, I just want to help people.” I know my calling is to heal and work with human beings not to be basically the giant cyanide holocaust of science in sacrificing all these animals that we kill in the name of the gods of science. And so Siddharta of course, turns to me, he’s like, “you have two options: either you go back to medical school, you suck it up and you go through that.” That’s the only way you’re going to work legally with humans or you go get massage lessons. [laughs] And so I chose the latter, basically I was alright. I definitely know that’s not the path so I went and got my body work license as a massage therapist basic to legally be able to work, interact with humans and lay my hands on them. But then I basically applied everything else that I’ve learned and so much since then of course, with numerous teachers going back studying with my grandmother’s teachers. So that’s where kind of more the traditional ways of healing and what I’ve learned from many different elders and indigenous teachers as well as more conventional from everything from myofascial work kind of what we were doing there.
Neuromuscular work and kind of looking at trigger points and these kind of techniques. And then basically my life has been all about bridging things, it’s kind of if you will, from the time I was a child never really fitting into one place growing up cross-culturally between you know, I was never quite Brazilian enough to be Brazilian. I was never quite Mexican enough to be Mexican or American enough to be American. So it was like I’m clearly just, that’s my role in this world is someone that’s a bridger. I kind of have a foot in multiple worlds and that also applies I think to the energetic and spiritual which has been a big part of my upbringing as well. And so yeah, they had really in forms I think healing working what you experience is essentially the amalgamation of all of these practices and work. And of course, my passion with music. At the same time since Duke, I’ve been pretty much a professional musician. I haven’t stopped cultivating that and gathering sounds and instruments and stories from first people’s from around the world. Indigenous people. I feel that the medicine is really there. Our ancestors had it basically all figured out before we kind of overlayed the domination of science. Science is so beautiful in its truth. In the ways in which it’s able to really measure and one quantify. It’s like a master of measuring the external world, right in observing and measuring and quantifying the observable. However, the unobservable, the unseen world which is actually the majority of the universe and the most interesting I would argue part of the universe really doesn’t know what to do.
And so that’s kind of where again being the cross-cultural bridger that I come to know myself as, it’s really been my mission is like, “okay, how do we connect these dots? How do we reach in to this world that is really hard for a scientist for instance, to go into and make any sense of? And how do we bridge that into a way that people who don’t even know how to start to think about that can really start to access it.” And what I found in truth then is that that really comes out of our direct experience. And so what you experienced on the table and through the session is really it. It’s like it’s the only way ‘cause I mean I could try to explain it for days but until you feel it, you really feel, “oh, I feel a tangible palpable difference in my being.” It’s really, you know what I mean, ‘cause there’s no hard study that we have ‘til today that says quantifiably okay, this is doing this, this is this, right?
Ben: Right. So I think when we first got on the table what you started off with was you were just having me do a special form of breathing. Correct me if I’m wrong. This is a couple of months ago now. Tell me about that. Why you start with breathing and where the breath fits in? ‘Cause you’ve obviously strung together all these strange and fringe practices that you’ve collected….
Ben: From the four corners of the planet, and I want to walk people through like how it actually works and why you choose what you chose. So tell me about the breath and why you start with the breath and how that actually works?
Porangui: Okay. So the breath is a great place to start ‘cause it is in fact the first and last thing we ever do on this human walk, you know. I feel it is the groundwork, if you will? The breath is basically, it’s life that inhales, right? We breath in air, oxygenate the blood help the metabolism and all of these chemical processes that happen within the body to begin. We breathe in that life. And then in the pause in between there’s this moment, the still point, right? The pause between the breath which I’ll go into later. But then the exhale, of course is the depth, right? We’re releasing all those toxins and everything’s been metabolized and it’s literally coming out through the exhale. The release, the surrender and this is so that’s that life and death kind of process and then you have this other pause. And so these two pause points are what I like to call the vacuum. It’s like the tension or the motor, if you will that kind of keeps this life force, this process or cyclical process or rhythmical process of life and death. Constantly flexing. It’s the pump or the prana pump or the chi pump.
If you want to talk about Chinese medicine or vedic medicine really looking at how this polarity moves our body and in essence you could call that the rebirth. So you really have this life-death-rebirth process happening in this micro level with each breath and then of course, you string those out across the span of a lifetime and you essentially have this journey that is our life. So what I like to tell people, my clients and I feel it’s been a mantra for myself is it’s the first and last thing we’re ever going to do is breath. So why not master it? And I think it really sums it up. So there’s so many practices and ways that the breath has been studied and mastered, if you will by multiple cultures across the world. They’re anywhere from chi gong all the way to what’s the brother… the Wim Hof who does the whole cold…
Ben: Uhuh, Iceman.
Porangui: Yeah, Iceman. So you have such a variety, of course but we all have it. It’s this common free medicine that everyone has access to, right? We all breathe even when we’re not thinking and most of us don’t think about it. And so the breath is really essentially, oh go ahead.
Ben: Well, what I was going to say was I think what happened was you laid me down on the massage table and then you coached me through a specific breathing pattern and told me to continue that pattern the whole time that you were doing the work. Can you tell me a little bit about the pattern that you were coaching me on?
Porangui: Yes, so that’s perfect. So basically, the breath work that I’ve kind of found between all these various techniques and there are many and they each have the applications. What I found is one of the most powerful therapeutic breaths, and that’s what I like to call it. Is very simple and essentially it involves breathing in through the nose and exhaling out the mouth and specifically targeting the diaphragm and breathing all the way down into the pit of our stomach and really, it’s something that’s actually really challenging for most adult humans.
Ben: Well, see I don’t think it’s challenging to do like one or two times. It’s challenging to do when you’re laying there on the table for like an hour or an hour, I think I was there like an hour and a half. Like I almost got into this trance-like state trying to continue breathing into my diaphragm the whole time. You don’t realize how difficult a move that is to do for a long period of time ‘cause you’re so used to shallow chest breathing.
Porangui: Right. Exactly. And that’s just it. The shallow chest breathing. And actually, on the table is much easier than standing, in fact. So oftentimes you know, well I’ll explain the process, we’ll do some kind of explanations and coaching standing and then that’s apply it laying down which oftentimes is a little easier just because the pressure and the weight is a little easier when we’re laid down. In fact, when we sleep we breathe this way. When we go into REM sleep when we go into our deeper sleep and our active mind shuts off, it’s actually the body’s parasympathetic takes over nervous system and we breathe from our diaphragm not from our chest. And this chest breath I really liken it to this, my theory is, my hypothesis is that, human beings when you look at a baby breathe, watch a young baby, they’re breathing from their belly. Their belly goes up and down. Their chest is barely moving at all, in fact. You look at a dog, you look at a cat, you look at any animals that you have any contact with, animals breathe from their belly. They’re breathing from their diaphragm constantly. You look at an adult human and then most 9 out of 10 adult humans and I’ll tell you this out of working with thousands of people over my years as a therapist, everywhere from the 80+ years old down to teenager adolescent basically, this is about the time I think this really gets ingrained in pattern, we start breathing from this shallow breath and what I believe it comes from and this is my hypothesis is that we’re on the playground as a little kid and maybe we start crying. We fall down or whatever and somebody else says, suck it up, cry baby. Or you’re fat, suck it in.
Porangui: You’re such a fatso, fatty kid. Whatever that is, some little thing happens, I’m sure. At some point where we told ourselves [inhales], suck it in and hold that breath and it’s not okay to be breathing from this connected place. Which is actually our authority. This is breathing down to our diaphragm gives us this power and strength. That’s why when we get hit in the stomach and we’re not breathing from our chest we get the wind knocked out of us. We literally don’t have. We’re not plugged in to this. This core breath. Which is actually 40% more capacity of our lungs. So we’re actually asphyxiating ourselves in essence…
Ben: Yes, and for me by the way, what happened with me was I was a bodybuilder and so I got so used to sucking my abs in while onstage and breathing from the chest that I developed this really, really nice like V taper in my abs and still honestly like I have a really great midsection. Really great looking midsection but I also struggle with psoas issues and diaphragm issues and breathing issues because I trained myself to suck my stomach in not just for the body building stage but because as almost as a young Westernized male I was raised with this idea that you’ve got to suck in your abs and stick your chest out and flair look great for the girls. And that relaxed posture in which your belly’s kind of sticking out as you might see in photos. You look through National Geographic for example, you see photos of all these hunter-gatherer tribes in more indigenous or ancestral populations and they kind of stand without this lordotic curve in the back and without the abs sucked in and rather everything is just kind of in this relaxed posture where the abs just kind of allowed to be pushed forward slightly and they’re not going to win any body building trophies for sure…
Ben: But I guarantee they’re deep belly breathing a lot more efficiently.
Porangui: A lot more and I argue that they have more oxygen in their blood as a result and they’re a little more activated. They’re literally more in tuned with their body awareness.
Porangui: Right? So in the commerce is also true, you mentioned that the looks and kind of like to track the women but the commerce is true for women. So many women, right, are sucking it in and pushing out their butt and pushing out their breasts ‘cause that’s what society wants. That’s the image that we’ve been programmed to believe is beautiful, right? So it’s a really deep social level of patterning that we basically all ascribe to as adults and it’s really hard to deprogram from it. But it’s one of the things that I found without a doubt in my healing work helps so many people. The moment they start getting more aware of this kind of breathing and connecting to the diaphragm, so much in a person’s life changes. I have literally seen people’s metabolism totally shift. I’ve seen under active thyroid become normalized. Numerous things. Not just more energy over all. And this is the whole piece that it’s kind of harder to quantify but is the emotional states. So much of our emotional state comes in the belly. It’s held down in our stomachs, right? And it’s like when we’re disconnected from our stomach, disconnected from, in Chinese medicine there’s a point in our body called dantian which is the seed of where the chi kind of emanates that point. Just two fingers below the…
Ben: Yeah, the lower dantian. There’s this the lower, the middle and the upper, right?
Porangui: Right, totally. So the lower dantian specifically in this example, but connecting and breathing into that point or activating that chi and connecting to basically the energy field around us, right? It’s like being able to move beyond our self. There’s kind of this notion that in our society, we’re always running around and there’s always more to do. We’re all on our iPhones or whatever and constantly in this stressed state this fight or flight state, and were not breathing while we do all these. And so it’s like this idea that we’re burning up all of our gene, our life essence which is stored in the adrenals and the kidneys. And this notion that if we could open up and start to gain more awareness about our dantian literally our breathing and our awareness in our breath in every waking moment, there’s going to be this whole ability to tap into the energy force around us. Essentially, not running on the battery pack in our kidneys, you know in this gene, and like exhausting our gene’s life essence. But rather connecting to the infinite energy all around us which is literally through the breath.
Porangui: It is our chi pump or prana pump, right?
Ben: Yeah, exactly. The simplest tactic I ever learned, this was after I met with you, as I was up at Paul Chek’s house and he just showed me this simple kite string technique where you tie a kite string right around the belly button and it’s like this cue, right? It’s a very simple cue in which you think consciously about expanding that kite string when you breathe. And there are now special and folks, if you’re listening in by the way, pipe in the comments section if you know because I don’t recall but there’s a few new devices out that are like Bluetooth generating devices that tie to your phone that let you know, you wear them around your waist. They let you know when you stopped belly breathing. And cue you to breath properly and track your breathwork and so by the way, I mentioned leaving a comment. If you guys are listening in, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/soundhealing, that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/soundhealing and that’s where the show notes are for Porangui and I’m going to put some of his music in there as well, so you can kind of see some of the tunes that he creates.
I want to move forward to going past the breath and delve into some of the other things that you did. So you taught me how to breathe. You told me to breathe that way at that time. This deep diaphragmatic breathing in to the nose out through the mouth then you laid me on the table and what comes next? I know that you call this The Style. What do you call it myorhythmic technique?
Porangui: Yeah, in myorhythmic release, myorhythmic technique… it’s a terminology that I’ve been playing with just in so much as eventually my goal one day, you know, I have this dream that I’m going to eventually have time to stop what I’m doing and I’ve been focusing a lot on my music right now. In a large part because through my healing practice I can reach one on one but it’s really hard to reach many people with the same amount of time and just given the amount of time in our lives. I’ve been feeling called, I can reach a lot of people through my music at once through performing and through recording and so that’s kind of been my focus currently. But I know that one day I’m going to go back and basically write a book and teach what I do. And so in that vein I started kind of coining like what’s the terminology, what would I call this? So that’s where the myorhythmic release came from.
And essentially, it’s kind of like the myofascial work, the myofascial release and there’s a lot of different terminologies for that. I kind of hate terms like that. They kind of get convoluted and it’s just a branding thing but at the core of what we’re talking about is exactly the rhythmic for me or rhythm has to do with of course, time. And the mastery of time and also cycles and the way cycles work on various levels within a micro cycles to the macro and essentially breathing is one of those cycles that were dealing in this work. It’s very fundamental. So that’s why we start there. That’s the groundwork. And then of course, the other cycles being also your circulatory cycle, the lymphatic cycle also the cycle of the cerebral spinal fluid is also moving through you. And then also the energy in the meridians and tuning in to what the chi or the prana and how that’s moving through your body. So all of these are different levels of cycles that I’m tuning in to rhythms.
And then there’s of course, the vibration which I’ll get into I’m sure we’ll talk further about that but what I want us to talk about next essentially in the session is that I tune in to you and I start doing a technique of, some people would call it rocking. Trager is a formalized technique by Trager who basically developed a whole school around just rocking and moving bodies and shaking the body. But essentially, it’s a very ancient art, right? Rocking, shaking. You look at a dog when you pet them and they try to shake up whatever that energy is you can see they’re very aware of it. Or a bird hits a window and falls, you think it’s dead. I’ve watched this bird just top up but suddenly shake off whatever the trauma was and then fly again. And so it’s really an interesting phenomenon this rocking, shaking. So what I do is then use that essentially to rock your body and to start to essentially recalibrate your nervous system by engaging all your proprioception and your muscle spindles in your body as they start to feel this rocking motion. There’s kind of the muscles kind of going back and forth expanding, contracting and there’s this certain level of tension, baseline tension that’s in your body and what I can do is by doing this it’s almost like sonar. I’m pinging the vibration from your feet up to your head and I’m watching where there’s any places where I don’t see vibration, like where I don’t see movement. So where there’s a holding where there might be some kind of trauma, some kind of scarring and literally it’s a way that I can quickly do a diagnosis of the whole body….
Ben: Wait, back it up just a second. How are you getting the body to shake? I forget this part.
Porangui: Yes, so there’s different ways of doing it. I might start in any part of the body but one of my favorites is just to start at the feet ‘cause it’s usually often a not so guarded place especially if someone’s very traumatized. So I’ll go to the feet. I don’t know if you remember this but I’ll essentially go to the feet. I’ll lift your leg. I’ll just create a little traction and then I’ll slowly start to rock from left to right.
Ben: That’s right. Yeah.
Porangui: Yeah. And so this rocking literally, your body at first you’re kind of like it’s rigid. It’s kind of almost resists. It’s like no, no, no. And then all of a sudden the body starts to let go and realize oh no, this is safe. It’s okay. And little by little everything starts moving. Everything. And I find essentially what the frequency is of your body. And your body is unique, right? Each body is. And so there’s a certain level of a really attunement and tuning into what that is. It’s kind of one of those things were to touch. I don’t know that I could explain. It’s one of those things that you have to experience it and then practice. But I essentially, what I do as I send the wave from your feet just think of it as an oscillator. Your body is essentially like a band or think of a battle rope if you will, tied off at the top, right?
Porangui: And I’m whipping the battle rope from the bottom and I’m trying to see at what frequency of the battle rope do I get the whole thing to send a wave. All the way up to the top of your head and all the way back down to the feet.
Porangui: Right? And so and essentially then I can diagnose where [0:37:09.5] ______ and also from mid your left to your right where you’re holding and where things are stuck or where things are moving maybe too much. So whatever that is that’s how I do an assessment that way. And it also at the same time, and I love this for me it’s like I’m trying to do so many levels of things in such a short amount of time in a session. So I’m also as I’m sending this wave up and down making my assessment, I’m also actually helping your nervous system calm down. Helping you drop in a little deeper ‘cause I want to get you as quickly as possible out of your sympathetic and into your parasympathetic nervous system and really just get you to basically drop in and surrender all the armor. ‘Cause the quicker I can get you to let go of your armor or whatever defenses are there whether they’d be conscious or subconscious, the deeper the work the further we can get.
Ben: Right. Okay. So basically, you’re shaking the body and you’re just kind of feeling the. What exactly you’re feeling for when you shake?
Porangui: Yeah, so essentially the shaking is vibration, right? And that’s why I go back to the vibrational medicine of what this is. And so we’re vibrating you, I’m shaking you, I’m rocking you. And I’m looking for where there is a lack of movement. In other words, where is the body not shaking back? Because the idea is and we’ll talk about this later. I’m sure of it like a tuning fork, okay?
Porangui: When you strike the tuning fork, the tuning fork will resonate. It will vibrate, right? Vibrates at whatever the metal, whatever its shape is it will vibrate in that way. And by the same nature you’ve got an identical tuning fork. The exact same created tuning fork with the same mass and the same shape and you strike it and it will also vibrate pretty much identically. And you hit them one and you place it near the other and it will vibrate sympathetically, right? Which is this really interesting phenomenon known as sympathetic resonance. And so just to speak to that, so if I were to put something let’s say a mass like the poster tacky stuff you put on the wall there you know, like that gummy stuff or a piece of gum, I stick a piece of gum on that tuning fork, let’s say on the left side of it and I strike it.
Now it’s not going to resonate the same way literally. That side will have more mass, more inertia, more density. And that density is going to throw off how the tuning fork resonates as a symmetrical object and conversely the sympathetic resonance of that other tuning fork, they’re now on a different resonance. They’re not going to actually vibrate each other like they would before. And I’ll get to that later. I’ll come back to that. But the point here being as I’m oscillating your body and we’re seeing where things get stuck, where things are not moving, where’s the tissue not responding? And basically, that tells me, okay we have something going on there. That’s going to be one of my first places I want to look. And so that’s the assessment part. And then again, I’m tracking your breath, too. So are you struggling with the diaphragm breathing? Or is it getting easier for you? I’m watching your nostrils. The moment I see your left nostril get a little bit more dilated, that’s telling me actually, you’re going to parasympathetic nervous. You’re dropping in a little bit…
Ben: When it gets more dilated, when the nostrils gets larger and you could tell nasal breathing is being enhanced that’s when you know someone’s going in a parasympathetic breathing pattern?
Porangui: Exactly. So I’m watching for that ‘cause in the beginning you’re thinking about it like you said you’re really like, okay I’m trying to do what you told me. And so it’s this idea and I try to encourage also just relaxing into it. Let it become more automatic as much as possible. And I always say this, I don’t know if you remember, if you forget it’s okay I’ll remind you if we get to something where I need you to take a breath. And that’s really important because inevitably my goal isn’t for you to think about the breathing the whole session. It’s just to get into the understanding that that’s where we’re at. That’s what we’re working on and let go of that now like kind of empty your mind as much as you can.
Ben: Hey, I want to interrupt today’s show to talk to you about nicotinamide riboside NR. NR is one of the most potent ways to enhance your mitochondrial health and I’ve been using it as kind of a fringe longevity tactic for a while now. You may have heard of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, that’s another big multi-syllabic word for you. And I even have done an entire podcast on this anti-aging molecule that’s kind of like the new darling of the mitochondrial health and anti-aging community because as you age you lose up to about 50% of your NAD levels and as soon as that drops, your cells can’t produce the energy that they need to maintain your health or to fight inflammation or to maximize your day to be productive or to rely to keep working out at the level that you want to or to fight jetlag which is incredibly important for.
Well, there’s one supplement that’s been clinically proven to raise NAD levels. It’s called nicotinamide riboside, NR, it’s also known as. So much easier to spit out. And it’s the key ingredient in True Niagen. True Niagen. So True Niagen is something that you just take a few capsules of each morning to restore your body’s natural balance of NAD every time you take it. They recently had a study published in UC Boulder in which they talked about its potential to improve blood pressure and to improve cardiovascular health and if you chronically supplement with it it keeps your NAD levels raised all year long. So it’s a pretty beautiful and handy little supplement called True Niagen NR it’s nicotinamide riboside. You find it in this true Niagen stuff and you can find out more and you just go to truniagen.com, that’s t-r-u-n-i-a-g-e-n truniagen.com.
This podcast is also brought to you by Daily Harvest. Now I have a little freezer full with this stuff from Daily Harvest upstairs. I’m at my home office right now. And what they do is they take these perfectly portioned cups of frozen organic super foods and fresh fruits and organic vegetables and they put that all into this little cup and they send it straight to your door. And we’re talking like matcha latte’s with mints and banana cacao smoothies. And you just dump it all into a blender or if you’re doing one of their savory meals, you just put it into a skillet and you can have an easy, delicious, plant-based food meal ready in as little as 30 seconds. My kids have been using this before they go to school in the morning and they simply dump it out into the blender or into the cast iron skillet. And just ready to go. They’ve got smoothies. They’ve got Savory Harvest bowls. They’ve got soups. They’ve got superfoods latte’s. They’ve got overnight oats, everything. And you get your three cups of Daily Harvest free when you get that first box of Daily Harvest. To do so, you go to daily-harvest.com, it’s daily-harvest.com and you enter promo code Ben. That gives you your first three cups free in your first box of Daily Harvest. So daily-harvest.com and use promo code Ben.
The one thing that this brings to mind is it’s, I don’t know if you’ve heard of mouth-taping before but it’s something that folks will do now to enhance parasympathetic nervous system activation while they sleep. And this sounds like a lot of stuff to put on your face before you go to bed but I’ve tried this before. You tape your mouth, there are companies like 3M that make like a tape you can put over your mouth. Then you can put one of these nasal breathing strips that kind of open up the nasal passages. I can see football players wearing or cyclists wearing in races that open up the nasal passages and you can sleep like this to enhance parasympathetic nervous system activation while you sleep. I’ve had a few people try it. I’ve done it myself with this ring on that I wear to track sleep and it actually does enhance deep sleep a little bit, increases your deep sleep percentage but I don’t like to do it that much because with the mouth tape on, my wife and I like to chat before we fall asleep at night, right?
Ben: And so, I’ve tried this before, well sometimes we’ll just fall asleep as we’re talking, right? and then we’ll just kind of fade off and go to sleep and I can’t do that with the mouth tape on so it’s not a technique that works too well for me. Suppose if you’re single and you don’t like to chat before you go to bed at night, it could be something you’ll look into.
Porangui: The mouth tape is working. [laughs]
Ben: Yeah, exactly. The mouth tape trick works sometimes but it could also destroy your marriage. So this whole kind of like pre-work pattern that you’re doing, you’re shaking, you’re filling up the body, teaching the breathing, activating the parasympathetic nervous system and after that, is that when you get into the sound stuff?
Porangui: Yeah, kind of the sound stuff is woven throughout. And I don’t know if you noticed but I also work with different music. My table’s a sound table. Which you know all of this, everything that I do can be done without the sound table. The sound table’s like it’s just…
Ben: Yeah you’ve got to describe this spiel by the way, this sound table.
Porangui: Yeah, the sound table is really a remarkable device essentially, this one’s made by a guy in Colorado. It’s custom-made. It’s made with multiple different transducers which put simply. It’s like taking the magnet out of the speaker instead of having the cone of the speaker it’s just the magnet which vibrates the cone and that’s what moves the air that we hear, the sound. In this case we’re essentially taking those transducers and these are special ones not just any speaker transducer but they’re made to recreate frequencies from 80 hertz and below and there’s multiple ones of this style and then there’s a full-range transducer which is made to create everything up to 20,000 hertz down to 20 hertz. And so that’s the full-range most humans can perceive although not very few people can actually perceive that full-range.
Essentially, it’s been mounted into this table in a way in a golden mean ratio and the guy who built it is really into sacred geometry and really feels that that helps enhance this and I don’t know one way or the other, I just know it does work phenomenally well so I trust that. But he essentially mounts that and what it does in effect is turn the entire table into a vibrating platform or a speaker, if you will. And then it’s really more felt than heard. So when your body is coupled with it, the weight of your body pressing down into the table, then you basically become part of that resonator. And so you are essentially the speaker as well. So your body is also resonating and so essentially it’s a way of getting frequencies into the body directly and kind of bypassing the auditory you’re cheering your ears. And so you could actually hear it and more feel it rather than hear it…
Ben: Yeah, you feel like kind of go through your whole body. I have this pillow it’s made by I think it’s the company… it’s called Humu or something like that. I’ve had it in Finland and it’s similar to that. It’s like a pillow you lay your head on and it transmits sound through the pillow and you can just kind of feel the sound going through your whole body almost like these underwater MP3 players that conduct sound through the bones in your skull, but basically your entire bed does that through the whole body?
Porangui: Yeah. Exactly. The table does that. And so it’s really a phenomenal tool. Another great example for people or for listeners out there, if you have a guitar let’s say, at your house or something like that. It’s kind of a weird thing to do but bite the end of the guitar like the neck of the guitar at the very top of it. Just put your teeth gently on it and so you’ll basically create this point of contact between your cranial bone, your maxilla and your mandible and essentially then strum the guitar and literally it will sound like someone put a speaker, put the guitar in your head. And it’s a pretty neat way to just kind of feel what we’re talking about. But that’s….
Ben: I’m going to have to try this and get strange looks from my family as I totally eat my guitar. I might start with my ukulele…
Ben: It might fit in my mouth a little better.
Porangui: Totally, yeah. And have someone play it or you could play it just kind of strum it or hold the chord and just kind of play it and it’s really amazing experience. And what that is, that conductivity of that direct contact and so you’re essentially getting the sound directly into your being and bypassing everything that your eardrums have to go through.
Porangui: So essentially, we’re doing that with the table and then what that’s hooked up to is to various instruments that I work with which you were mentioning earlier everything from the didgeridoo which to Tibetan are prayer balls. And I worked with these tools primarily because they’re very ancient, they’re very primordial. And you know, I have a newer crystal ball, if you will but honestly, I love it for certain things but I really feel and we can talk about this later but I really feel working with the more ancient indigenous instruments, there’s just more juju there. [laughs]
Ben: Feels less synthetic, honestly. I mean, the balls are cool but they’re like the didgeridoo is pretty epic. I want to get into that in a second. Some of these, I think you call them, what do you call them? Cymatic sound therapy?
Porangui: Well, Cymatic Sound Therapy is kind of a way to describe the whole thing.
Porangui: So Cymatics, right, is basically a coined that was termed by Jan Hensing who’s a scientist researcher from I believe Switzerland or Sweden and Switzerland maybe Swiss and essentially, he came up in the 60’s and with this whole technique. He started this area of study which was then termed the whole field Cymatics c-y-m-a-t-i-c-s. Which was basically looking at the way that sound would basically create structure in the physical realm. And actually, he created some really neat experiments and they’re documented pretty well. So you can YouTube cymatics and just look at some of the videos online and there’s some old black and white videos that were from his scientific experiments that he basically come up with and it’s fascinating, like he tried different mediums like everything from liquids like water. And what happens if you basically send a vibration into the water. Everything to like kind of different types of more viscous liquids and activating those and basically resonating them like I was talking about the tuning fork. Essentially, the tuning fork… you’re striking the fork, the fork is then you’re putting energy into this object, this physical medium and then that begins to vibrate, resonate and essentially if you could slow that down or somehow see that or capture that, this is the phenomena of cymatics that we see and what he showed which is really neat and I really recommend it. And I actually have done this experiment at home. You can recreate it yourself.
A simple way to do it is take a speaker and this is super do-it-yourself home style but take your speaker, whatever it is, take the front off of it like the whatever, the nylon that’s on the front of it. Just get the cone if you can then put a plate. And I actually just took it ‘cause I’m a drummer too, I have lots of drums in my house. I just put a big drum on top of it like a kickdrum and with the black head on it, nylon head. But you can do this just taking like a thin plate of metal or something like that like a sheet maybe could be plexi glass and then put salt. A bunch of just white salt. And for me it works really nice if you have a black surface with the white salt on it ‘cause you can see the patterns really well.
And then essentially, I just hooked up the speaker to a sign wave generator and you can just get those on the App store whatever on your phone. And start to do basically what would be a sweep of frequencies. So you can start down from 20 hertz which you can’t really hear. Most speakers can’t reproduce 20 but as you start to go up from 20 up into like say 40, 50 to 100 hertz, you will start really being able to hear that. 100 hertz to say were like a kickdrum likes to hang out. So most music we all hear the kickdrum pretty well, but usually feel the kickdrum more than you hear it.
Porangui: So same idea. And then you’re going to go basically sweep it up and you’ll take your little app or whatever and filter all the way up to 20,000 hertz. Just kind of go to the full spectrum. And if you do this slowly enough you’ll literally watch the salt begin to vibrate and it’ll look like chaos at first. It’ll just be like dancing around all over the place. A lot of salt on the floor so put a blanket down or whatever. But as you get going you’re going to find certain frequencies that all of a sudden will literally crystalize into a geometry until it looks like someone drew a mandala on this surface. It with the salt and it’s like a standing wave. Like the salt will start to organize itself into this concentric circles in different kind of fractally looking geometry. Then it’s really amazing. Then as you go higher with the frequency, the more complex of the shape will take and literally as you get high enough and you can do this with actual notes with pitches like playing a keyboard, if you will, it will form these different geometries. And some of them, some frequencies will be a little bit more chaotic, it’ll go chaos for instance all of a sudden. You keep sliding up and next thing you know, it’ll start to form into another geometry shape. More complex than the previous. And then you’ll kind of find a certain frequency or a range of frequencies words like the sweet spot where it really holds that shape…
Ben: This sounds kind of like Masaru Emoto’s studies on how when you subject water. And I realize there’s some controversy behind whether or not these studies were conducted with rigorous science but you subject water to emotions or prayers or even specific frequencies and depending on the quality of that frequency or the positivity of that emotion they generate a specific 3D geometric shape.
Porangui: Absolutely, and that’s why it’s such a great medium and so Hans Jenny, I think he has a book. There’s a book out. I think either he publisher or someone published his work that has a lot of imagery like photos, stills of this geometry ‘cause this is really beautiful. It’s just breathtaking to look at.
Ben: What’s his name?
Porangui: Jan Henny, let’s see if I can just… I don’t want to miss sacrifice…
Ben: Okay. Cool. While you’re looking that up what I want to hear about before we delve in to how you use the didgeridoo and some of these singing balls and these other devices, I’d love to hear your take on what’s going on to human organs or human cells like how much of a corollary we can draw there? Any science or any research you’ve seen or what you hypothesize to be going on physiologically when the body gets exposed to these frequencies?
Porangui: Yeah. Gosh, that’s kind of one of those areas where there’s a lot of research I think just really it’s a juicy area, I feel in my bumble opinion for more study. I don’t think there’s been nearly enough work in that area but there has been work. And so it’s really fascinating.
So Hans Jenny, real quick. It is H-a-n-s, Jenny J-e-n-n-y. And he was [0:56:25.9] ______.
Porangui: So yeah. Swiss medical doctor and kind of got into this whole area. He has passed. He died in 1972 but if people just look it up, look it up there’s a lot of stuff online and it’s really beautiful stuff. It is very much like Dr. Emoto’s work, it’s cool that you brought it up. I know that he got a lot of slack and there’s a lot of questions around them. How rigorous his research was. However, I do think that there’s a lot of direct experience that people can have just doing their own experiments with water in working with water. There’s the whole course, the field of homeopathy which has been around for quite some time and obviously, I think more than a statistical amount of evidence that shows that there’s benefit to it. So many people have seen benefit from homeopathy. It’s been around for a long time and I know that there’s a lot of controversy of course, around it but I myself have seen a homeopath.
I used to teach actually on a medical board. It was called Global Medicine Foundation. It’s a foundation right after I left Duke that I worked with and they were based in North Carolina there. And basically, our job was to take leading experts in all these fields of holistic medicine. Essentially, from ayurvedic medicine, to homeopathy to body work and somatic work. They had internal medical doctors. They had people working with all these mediums. And essentially our job was to take fourth-year medical school grads and give them a two-month program that would dose them with, “okay, you’ve studied all these western medicine now here’s how the rest of the world heals human bodies.” [laughs] And give them like a download. And so in this program I met this amazing homeopath named Malcolm Smith and he’s up in Portland. Incredible homeopath and he treated me and it really shifted my whole life back when I was about 28 years old. So yeah, I can’t say it enough about 10 years ago.
I really recommend people connect to water because essentially, we are water, right? We’re water bags. And so it’s like when you think about Emoto’s work and we think about ourselves and we are bodies of water, what we put into our body of water including obviously physically, nutritionally but also energetically, right, with the thoughts that we think. You know, when we ID in certain ways and we go down into self-destructive patterns or we rise up into incredible manifestation patterns, right? Will we create beauty around us or we create destruction? And so I think there’s so much corollary on so many levels of course, with his work that yeah, is it totally quantifiable? Again, kind of what I said in the beginning, it gets into that unseen world. I feel like don’t throw out the bathwater in this case with the baby. [laughs] You know, the bathwater has knowledge on it. [laughs]
Ben: Uhm. Yeah. It’s very interesting, when you look at inter-cellular communication and a previous podcast guest very smart, a triple board-certified physician, Dr. Zach Bush. We get into this a little bit in the show. You can go check that one out. I’ll link to it in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/soundhealing but inter-cellular communication based on photobiomodulation or the conductance of light is highly dependent on the hydration status of the human body. So in a way, the way that ourselves communicate, it’s dependent on our electrochemical gradient across the cell membranes? Our hydration status and specifically the quality of that hydration status from a mineral and electrical standpoint meaning, the type of water and the quality of the water that you actually drink and also your exposure to things like infrared. Things like sunlight etcetera. It’s very interesting, right? Like sunlight, breath work, really good water. Those are keys to inter-cellular communication. We’re often led to believe that it’s all just nerves, right? and that’s the way that the body communicates. But it goes far above and beyond that. I know we’re kind of rabbit-holing here but I’ll link to that interview with Zach Bush.
Porangui: I think you hit it on the head and actually it’s a really nice segue into the myofascial and the connective tissue of the body which is the big part of the work that I do. As you said, it’s like we’re working with vibration on all these levels, right? So there’s many levels to it and so again when we talk about the body itself and the connective tissue of the body or the myofascia of the body, so myofascia is an amazing whole new kind of field, if you will. So ancient, of course but western science is just very recently starting to get turned on to it. It was actually, I’m going to have to look it up and I’ll send it to you but there’s a doctor very recently who’s starting to do some research with another body worker by the name of Tom Myers who’s also an author. He wrote a book by the name “Anatomy Trains”. And he was a student of Aida Rolf who started the whole movement Rolfing and that whole technique of structural integration, but I think there’s so much wisdom and in really potential to understand that we haven’t even tapped into with myofascial.
And this French doctor anyways, recently he’s been doing these basically this dissection of live cadavers who are very recent and being able to work on live specimens. And to show because most cadavers of course, by the time they dissect it, the fascia’s already lost all the hydration. It’s already totally broken down like you can’t really appreciate the elasticity and the way that fascia would actually operates and functions and responds to stimuli. And so what they’re showing in this recent research is that the myofascial system is essentially the inner web of the body. It is the internet, literally. And it’s constantly communicating and like you’re talking about unit of cells and how those cells are being able to communicate between each other. The same thing goes with the fascia and what’s that doing very much so and it correlates with what is our hydration level and what is the quality of it. Just like you said.
So it’s really I think a great segue. When we work the body, when I’m working on the table, part of getting us into parasympathetic nervous system, taking kind of these measurements, seeing where’s the restriction, where’s the contraction in the body and also oftentimes that correlates to the emotional state. Where is there an emotional trauma? Where is there a psychological trauma in the body? In the psyche. Which again is getting into that realm that’s hard to quantify because it’s in the unseen realm but it’s very much felt literally, right? It is the feeling realm. And it is oftentimes more than not and there’s different studies that were shown this correlation between of course, the physical and the emotional state, right of our beings. So the way we feel bad, we have a certain traumatic thing or we think about. We have a certain tendency to be very prone to injury or constantly dwelling on death for instance or we’re constantly worrying about getting cancer. And then we manifest cancer. In essence, placebo effect is essentially this, right? Which is statistically significant which I always think it’s so funny, right? Placebo actually is medicine. [laughs]
Ben: Uhm. Yeah. It’s crazy. It really is interesting. I think there’s definitely more going on when I’m on that table beyond placebo…
Porangui: [Laughs] Right.
Ben: And that’s the other thing I want to make sure that we get a chance to get this part in during our interview. The didgeridoo and all these musical instruments…
Ben: That you then blasted my body with. At this point, by the time you got ‘cause you did like a lot of deep tissue work while I was there on the table as you were blasting my body via the table with the music that you produced. And by the way, please remind yourself if possible, what I’d like you to do if you can is send me like a track that I can imbed in the podcast show notes so people can hear the type of music you’d play during the massage and I’ll put that in the show notes. So we could even at the end of this podcast ‘cause I’ve got an audio ninja who can pull this off. If I have your permission we could even like play one of your songs at the very end of the podcast so people could see what it sounds like…
Porangui: Yeah, absolutely.
Ben: Just send me the track you want to play and I’ll get it in. So if you’re listening in right now, we’ll play some music at the end of the show. But then you break out all these instruments. Talk to me about what it is that you’re then proceeding to blast the body with and why you choose these particular instruments to use?
Porangui: Sure. Yeah, blast is a great term. [laughs] So yeah, the idea is for me is again vibration. So with the body it’s like, what we’re doing is essentially a very gross form of vibration and gross in a sense of a general or on a larger scale. And my goal is essentially get the vibration and bring vibration into the body on more and more nuanced ways. So how do we get to the most subtle vibrations? So coming from the most not so subtle to the most subtle. And so it rule out the session essentially that’s what we’re working with. So getting you into that parasympathetic state, getting you to basically entrain. There’s also a level of entrainment going on which is also a really fascinating thing about nature is this notion of entrainment and how certain things when there’s a stronger pulse or a stronger rhythm again connecting to that notion of rhythm or cyclical pattern happening, other things around it will tend to gravitate towards that. And you see that everywhere from when multiple women are in the same proximate space with each other their moon cycles will sync up. Their menstrual period will sync together. Which is a really fascinating way.
Same thing goes when you go into a club and it’s pounding this bass 120 bpm music, your heart rate’s going to start to accelerate up. It’s really an interesting thing. And conversely, if you hear a slower pulse in music you’ll start to entrain into that frequencies. And we see this also with different brain wave states with like alpha versus beta. And there’s a whole area that we haven’t even tapped into which we could talk about too as binaural beats, and kind of looking at that which is one segment of sound healing that a lot of people talk about. I tend to not use it as much in the sessions because to do binaural beats really with the human body you need headphones. And I’m working too much on the body itself.
So anyhow back to blasting with the didge. So essentially we get the body into this state where it’s really dropped in and it’s wide open. And that’s our goal. Really releasing everything. And so the myofascial work essentially is we’re opening that space in your connective tissue. Unlocking that space using your breath essentially as a gateway, essentially as the vehicle, if you will for taking whatever has been stuck, whatever we saw the density in the body and helping to make that density less and less. We want to basically reduce the density in the body, allow it to be as open activating all your channels, your meridians, your energy centers of your body as well as the physical. And then once we get you into that state where you’re wide open, then essentially, it’s time to have fun. It’s time to really then see, how can we now bring these subtle vibrations? So that’s where it comes into the tuning forks which we were talking about a little bit and the didgeridoo is an instrument that I feel is one of the most powerful instruments that I’ve ever been able to come into contact with out of everything I’ve ever studied or travelled and experienced. And the reason being is, I feel there’s something to it being such a primordial sound.
The didge is an instrument that is arguably the second oldest instrument after the human voice. As far as a physical instrument into the aboriginal people of Australia with our coin is having the original didgeridoo is being the first people to know the didge and they had the oldest living beans on earth that we know of, and constant cultures still exists into this date. And didge has been used by them to enter into what they call the green state. To go in, to connect with source. To connect with creator with mystery, with the void. And essentially the didge does this in a very powerful way and that is by tapping into the breath once again. The breath that we’ve been working with throughout. It’s the diaphragm breathing. You cannot play the didgeridoo without tapping to that diaphragm breathing. So as much as it’s powerful medicine to receive, it’s also medicine to play it. So I always encourage listeners really if you can, it’s very easy just get yourself a didge and make yourself one out of PVC. There’s even one I think you can YouTube Hoovery Doo and watch a really funny video of someone doing it on a Hoover vacuum cleaner. [laughs] With just like the end of a vacuum cleaner ‘cause you just need basically a pipe…
Ben: I’m out [1:09:33.9] ________ anywhere near our vacuum cleaner.
Ben: I tell you that right now.
Porangui: [Laughs] I don’t recommend that. I don’t recommend that actually. But you know, a PVC pipe for instance which you can get at any hardware store about an inch and half diameter and about the length of say 50 centimeters or so will get you into approximate like key of C or so, and you can get the different keys by the length of it which is [1:09:49.8] ______ at this point. This is what you want and just get some bees wax, you melt that, you dip it into the beeswax and you’ve got yourself a didge. You make your mouthpiece with that. And then essentially, making the sound itself even if you don’t get the actual technique of circular breathing or spiral breathing as what I like to call it, you’re already going to start to activate the fascia in your throat and strengthen the epiglottis. You just start to actually strengthen your diaphragm and start to cultivate that breathing from the core which is undoing this patterning that Ben and I are talking about here. So I really tell people like get yourself a didge and even if you don’t think you’re musical or whatever the story may be, start to practice because by doing so and there’s actually been clinical study on this. Actually, the study came out of the UK, I think it was in 2012 and I can send you the link afterwards but it actually showed that people suffering from sleep apnea were able to actually reduce and reverse, some people even reverse sleep apnea, using and practicing, training essentially with the didgeridoo…
Ben: They do. Out of the circular breath.
Ben: And do this deep diaphragmatic breathing. The other thing by the way, somebody showed me this. I haven’t bought it yet ‘cause I’m still… I figure until I get to the point where I can regularly use my harmonica when I travel, which is what I’m working on because it’s far easy to carry through the airports than my ukulele. And then once I get that down I’ll switch to this but they make like a compact travel didgeridoo. You just get off of Amazon. It’s like this cool mahogany wood travel didgeridoo that does the same thing. You use for meditation or deep circular breathing or anything like that. I was thinking about getting a couple for my kids to play around with.
Porangui: Absolutely. They’re like a little box and they fit like in your backpack or your carry-on. I really recommend it and literally, so coming back to as you play it it’s doing all kinds of stuff within ourselves which I can speak to more in a second but as far as for the person listening, right for you for instance, as I’m working on the table, the didge that I work with is tuned to a frequency that some people call the own frequency, or the earth frequency. It’s in the C but it’s out of C. So it’s in a relationship to what’s called 432A. So essentially A, the pitch that we know is like concert A, if you will which is a convention that pitch being the 440 hertz which is how many cycles that it’s at. That’s oscillating at. That’s basically a convention that was created because of classical music. And it was adapted early on in the west. There’s many other pitch kind of ways to pitch instruments. Now 432 is the very interesting one. So essentially, instead of tuning you’re A to 440 essentially what that means on an instrument, you tune it down to 432 and then you base all your other notes off of that 432A. So minus a C using 432 if that makes sense.
Ben: It does. I did a whole podcast by the way, with a guy Michael Tyrrell. A composer Michael Tyrrell about this and we even went in to how to get a digital tune or if you happen to be an instrumentician or musician, and I made up that word, just by the way. Instrumentician…
Ben: And how to actually tune your instruments to the proper frequencies. So yeah, I’ve addressed that on podcast before. It’s fascinating.
Porangui: Awesome. It’s a fascinating whole area of study and people really get deep into it so I’ll let people listen to that podcast but essentially, I use the didge with this tuning and I also have my ball. One of the balls that I work with is also on this tuning. And so between the two, essentially the whole table as you felt resonates with this primordial instrument. And essentially, what really powerful with the didge when you’re receiving it, when you’re the listener, is it starts to basically clear energetic blocks. And I know that’s a big claim to make and without having a way to really quantify that of course, especially for talking from a scientific perspective but I’m literally in numerous occasions have seen it just clear stuff out of the way. And for lack of a better way to express it, kind of just removing the obstacles, if you will and helping the client or patient or whoever it is in space just feel more dropped in and more relaxed and in that way and it creates this almost like the ohm we feel when you kind of like owned yourself. It creates this primordial sound.
This sound is so ancient and speaks to something I feel that is on a cellular like memory level. Like an ancestral sound that I feel has been up throughout all of us across the ages. It’s kind of like I said, it gets a little I know fringe to talk about it that way but it’s kind of like I don’t want to shy away from it ‘cause there’s really some medicine there and all I can say is for all of you die hard scientists out there, play something. Play it. And if nothing else, enjoy the peculiarity you might feel from it and notice what happens for you when you listen to it and when you put it on through headphones and lay when you can be in the sound especially on the sound table that we’re working with ‘cause it really does change things. And so that’s a tool that I feel is indispensable for my work. And it’s also a tool that I use in my performances when I play on a big stage. I tell you what, I’ve been in a club or a bar where people are drinking and the vibe is super low and heavy and when I pull out a didgeridoo and play it through a subsystem through a whole PA system like a freaking powerful system. Man, nobody knows what hit them like the whole place will shift. The energy in the room literally just like it goes up an octave.
Porangui: And it’s really energetically. And I can’t say it enough. I think it’s a really powerful tool that we’re so blessed that the aboriginal people allow us to use ‘cause traditionally it was used only by men in ceremony out of the public eye. In more recent phenomenon it’s been now spreading across the world. Say that the didge isn’t unique to the aboriginal people. There is a lot of evidence actually that the Mayans had a form of didgeridoo. It was made out of other materials like bamboo and also using gourds. The Aztecas also had this. So there’s a lot of pre-Colombian instruments that have a similar nature. And of course, you have the giant horns that the Tibetans play. There’s other places where we see this use of circular breathing with the use of a horn kind of instrument…
Ben: Yeah. It’s fascinating. I know we’re running up against time. There’s just like so much we could talk. We got like halfway through the massage session that I did with you.
Porangui: Oh, sorry. [laughs]
Ben: I know. We may have to do a part two here. But we did the gong and did the healing balls and honestly by the time we got done and then I wanted to integrate, I wanted to just lay there for like two hours, but I had to drive back. I think I was flying out of the Phoenix airport like a couple of hours later, so I literally just swung in…
Porangui: I’m so sorry…
Ben: I swung into Chocolate Tree in Sedona and just took off. But what I did want to tell people is, I’m going to play some of your music at the end of this show so folks can learn a little bit more about what it is and I mean if you’re freaking anywhere ever near Sedona, the trails, the majestic Red Rock views and the crystals. Everything. Sedona’s just a magical place. You’ve got to go to that Chocolate Tree restaurant as well. That place is pretty good too…
Porangui: Yeah, they’re amazing.
Ben: Yeah, anyways though. You need to drop in and try one of these mild rhythmic releases with Porangui. I mean, it’s amazing. It really is. Tell me about the… I want to make sure I mention this too. You do like retreats, as well. Is that correct?
Porangui: That’s correct, yeah. We do intensive experiences with people from all over the world basically come with us. And the retreats are also in different parts of the world, oftentimes, in Sedona. I know you’ve also had session with Anahata.
Porangui: She and I are doing a retreat. Yeah, we’re doing one coming up here in April, actually. It’s already booked-up but there’s going to be another one coming up soon so people just reach out to us. We’ll let them know. We do a lot with ecstatic dance retreats where we do a lot of movement and tensional kind of like teaching us how to be able to move our bodies and how to actually move emotional states through and…
Ben: I was doing that. I dance now sometimes in the mornings with my kids. We’ll put on either electronic dance or Disney tunes or whatever, and dance is amazing. What I think we should do because by the time this podcast gets released I will also have released a podcast that I did with Anahata. And you know, I mentioned Aubrey earlier I think we should get together like a Ben Greenfield crowd and come down there and just put together a retreat for all of our listeners who want to join in and do ecstatic dance and give people the opportunity to see what you do and maybe go see Anahata. I should talk to Aubrey about maybe doing something out there at the Spirit Ranch…
Ben: If you guys are listening in. Tell you what, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/soundhealing, if you’re interested in me putting together some kind of a retreat with Porangui and Anahata and Aubrey and I’ll bring a group down to Sedona and we’ll put something on this year. Just pipe in there on the comments and we’ll make something happen.
Ben: So Porangui, like I mentioned I feel like we delved in to like about half of what you do and what I experienced we’re literally opening the kimono. I’m already a couple of minutes late for another call that I have to get on…
Ben: Anyways, you bastard. You bastard…
Ben: For too long. So what I’d like to do folks, if you have questions or comments for Porangui or you want to visit the website or see a little bit more of what he does or listen to previous podcast episodes I’ve done on sound healing, just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/soundhealing, and I’ll link to his website where you can read more about how he combines a lot of these indigenous medicine practices with sound healing tools and again if you get a chance just fly into Phoenix and drive out there to Sedona. Well worth it. You just spend a couple of days out there visit Anahata and visit Porangui and try out this interesting corner of the world.
And Porangui, I’m going to be in touch with you. You’ve got to send me the music that I can play at the end of this episode and I’ll play you guys one of Porangui’s tunes and then stay tuned for more if you’re listening in because I really think that it would be a lot fun to put together a little retreat for all the listeners down there to delve into some of the things that I’ve experienced in Sedona. So in the meantime, go ahead…
Porangui: Yeah, I was going to say of anyone would like to experience any of the work that we’re doing whether it’s the retreats or performance. I’ve been touring all over the country. I’m actually going to be in Europe this summer doing several festivals. So we’re always going. We just got back from Hawaii. We’re in Austin now. So please jump on our email list too, over on my website at porangui.com and you can just sign up there. We’ll let you know. We also send some music out that way. New albums also on the horizon right now, I’m working on as literally in between all these trips. Fishing up so I’m really excited to share that with the world shortly and we’re going to be creating, Ben, a patreon platform as well. So many people had been asking for more content and other ways to learn more from what we’re doing. So people interested in that, please let us know that too and I’ll be posting that as well.
Ben: Awesome. That sounds great.
Porangui: Thank you.
Ben: Alright folks well, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/soundhealing. I’ll put links to everything. Again, leave your comments if you’re interested in me putting together a retreat. And in the meantime, Porangui thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing all these stuff with us, man.
Porangui: Yeah, you got it, Ben. Thank you so much for having me, brother.
Ben: Awesome, folks. Until next time. I’m Ben Greenfield along with Porangui from Sedona, Arizona signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com. Have an amazing week.
A couple months ago, in Sedona, Arizona, I laid on a “sound-healing table”, where a guy named Poranguí proceeded to blast my body with everything from a didgeridoo to a gong to a flute, all blended with deep tissue massage work and an immersive musical and sound healing experience unlike any I’ve ever experienced.
So who is this guy?
Coming from a lineage of traditional healers in his family, Poranguí’s cross-cultural background and study in both indigenous and occidental settings around the world inform his rich therapeutic bodywork practice. His technique – called “Myorhythmic Release” – combines the healing properties of sound, movement and breath as integral parts of our physical, emotional and energetic well-being.
Experienced in a wide variety of therapeutic modalities as a Licensed Massage Therapist, his education includes over 15 years of study and practice with an interdisciplinary degree from Duke University in Integrative Health. Also an accomplished musician, Poranguí has performed, recorded and toured internationally. He combines his intimate understanding of bodywork and sound to engage the physical and energetic bodies and promote transformative healing.
Poranguí intuits where you need release and healing by drawing on ancient and modern wisdom including:
-Sonic Healing Tools
-Indigenous medicine practices from Brasil, Mexico and the Southwestern US
-Traditional Chinese Medicine
-Vedic Energy Centers
-Cymatic Sound Therapy
In addition to his hands, Poranguí may use several sonic tools as needed to facilitate the healing process during the session: crystal & metal tuning forks, Tibetan prayer bowls, crystal bowls, didgeridoo, voice and a variety of other indigenous percussion.
During our discussion, you’ll discover:
-How Poranguí developed his unique healing methods and indigenous medicine practices he learned from Brazil, Mexico and the Southwestern USA…15:00
-Why Poranguí begins with the breath, and why Ben found the style of breathing that Poranguí taught him to be so difficult…20:15
-How Poranguí uses a giant sound massage table to blast the body with sound during the massage…46:00
-The science behind a Swiss researcher named Hans Jenny and cymatic sound therapy…50:45
–What Poranguí finds so fascinating with the didgeridoo…58:00
-How Poranguí uses sonic healing tools and instruments, including crystal & metal tuning forks, Tibetan prayer bowls, crystal bowls, didgeridoo, voice and a variety of other indigenous percussion…1:16:30
-And much more…
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Resources from this episode:
The music featured at the end of the episode is titled Arcoiris. It is from Porangui’s latest album titled, “Ayahuasca.”
From the liner notes:
Arcoíris – translation “Rainbow” from both Spanish & Portuguese – “Arco” meaning bow and “Iris” from the the goddess known as the messenger of the gods and bridge to humanity.
Like the rainbow, this song carries the message of the film and the medicine. It tells the story of the human heart – gathering all it’s courage to face the mystery of the unknown – to surrender the familiar and step onto the path of becoming fit for service – known as the “beauty way” – “para el bien de todos.”
Charango Zampoña (Pan Pipes)
Chakapa Shapibo rattles
Rebolo Drum (Brasil)
Check out more of Porangui’s music here!