[00:00] Introduction/Organifi Red Juice
[06:29] Ben And Paul's Rock Building Workout
[11:56] Treating Water and Water Charging Stations
[22:42] Why Water Would Taste Different Depending On the Moon Cycle
[27:02] Training the US Military
[30:23] Lifting Rocks vs. Lifting Weights
[32:44] The Vaporizing Compounds Paul Has
[39:51] Quick Commercial Break/Kimera Koffee
[40:50] Continuation/Paul's Morning Meditation Routine
[46:51] The Patents Paul Has On Exercise Tools
[58:39] Best Exercise To Correct Forward Head Posture
[1:02:45] Best Exercise To Correct Hip Rotation or SI Joint Issues
[1:09:01] Mandala Therapy
[1:13:03] How Many Ayahuasca Journeys Paul Has Done
[1:21:19] End of Podcast
Ben: So when I was a fledgling fitness professional, one of the first books I ever read was this book called “How To Eat, Move, And Be Healthy” by Paul Chek. It turned out to be a very surreal experience, therefore, for me to get to travel to San Diego and knock on Paul's front door a few weeks ago and join he and his family, his two wives that he has up there, yes, he has two wives, for a pretty epic week of conversation, and workouts, and nature immersion, and building giant rock towers, and ayahuasca, and all of Paul's crazy daily habits which you're going to discover in today's podcast episode. So who is this dude and why would I travel all the way to the hilly back country of San Diego, California to interview him? Paul, if you haven't heard of him, and if you're in the fitness industry, you must be hiding under a rock if you haven't heard of this guy, he is the go-to guy when it comes to corrective and high performance exercise kinesiology. He's this weird, mash-up Renaissance man of like spiritual optimization and extreme cognitive performance, and he's one of the buffest 50 plus, I think he's 58, year old dudes I've ever met in my life. He is a sought after presenter, works with the Chicago Bulls, and the Raiders, and New Zealand's rugby team, and the US Air Force Academy. Professional athletes travel to his house and pay him like thousands of dollars per hour just to fix their bodies and to work with him both physically and mentally.
And he has his C.H.E.K. Institute, which is probably the most robust resource for health and fitness information I've ever discovered. Everything from meditation, to parasites, to kettle bells. Everything's in there. He invents stuff too. Like posture calibrating, and hydrotherapy, and other fitness equipment inventions, which we talk about on today's show. I could've talk to this cat for like three or four hours. I'm going to actually do another podcast with him, hopefully in the near future, 'cause we only scratched the surface of everything this guy does. In the show notes for today's show, which you can grab over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/chek, that's bengreenfieldfitness.com/chek, I'm going to include plenty of cool photos for you, like Paul's house is chock full of books. Every time you recommended a book to me, I took a photo of it. I'll put all those photos in the shows. I'll put a photo of the water charging stations that we talk about in the show notes, I'll put the information on like the lunar calendars, and the C.H.E.K. Institute, and the way that he scans and fixes the human body's electrical field. Everything, I'll put in there. So check it out, bengreenfieldfitness.com/chek.
This podcast is brought to you by Red Juice. That's right, Red Juice. So what I mean by that is that there is this company that makes the best tasting green juice on the face of the planet, my buddy Drew Canole's company Organifi. Well, he just decided to have red juice. I actually never tasted it 'til I went to his house, and I had some with him before we went and worked out down in San Diego. Blew my mind. Blew my body, specifically. It's like a blend of acai, beet, pomegranate, cranberry, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry. But then it's all blended with these adoptogenic herbs like cordyceps, and Siberian ginseng, and Reishi mushroom, and rhodiola. Amazing, amazing stuff. So fat burning drug companies are clawing for these herbs, but now he's got them all mixed together in this red juice. And you get 20% off, you lucky son of a gun, daughter of a gun, whoever you are. bengreenfieldfitness.com/organifi, that's bengreenfieldfitness.com/organifi with an “I”, and you use discount code Ben to save 20%.
This podcast is also brought to you by Atrantil. You may have heard me talk about Atrantil before. So what they do is they fix the leaky gut by naturally disrupting the methane producing bacteria in your gut. They push it out of the small bowel, stops gas, stops methane, stops bloating. It's great for things like SIBO, for digestive issues, for IBS, any inflammatory things going on in your gut, this stuff is freaking amazing. It even has quebracho in it, which I just love to say. It's a macromolecule, meaning it doesn't get absorbed by your body and cause systemic side effects. It just stays in your small bowel and does its job to stop the bloating. You just take a couple before you eat. It's crazy. You have to try this stuff. I have some, I've been using it, it's amazing. Just use it before any meal. Especially like big meals, but any meal really, or any time you have bloating. You go to lovemytummy.com, lovemytummy.com/ben and use code Ben for 15% off. That's lovemytummy.com/ben and use code Ben for 15% off. Alright. Let's go join Paul Chek at his home in San Diego where we hunched over a couple microphones after an amazing rock building workout and we made sweet podcast love. Listen in.
In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:
“When you're doing zone exercises like I show in my book “How To Eat, Move, And Be Healthy”, you're using a combination of movement and breathing but you're not using intensities that are greater than what you can comfortably breathe with. So the net effect is you actually produce more life force energy than it cost to do the exercise and you end up with a surplus.” “Because the ego does not really know how to defend itself against art, it doesn't know what it's doing. In other words, unless you're trained in art therapy and you spent years studying symbology, you're just painting whatever or drawing whatever wants to come out of you.”
Ben: So Paul, tell me about that amazing workout that we just finished doing before we sat down to our pre-podcast breakfast of eggs, and beans, and sauerkraut.
Paul: Well, I thought it would be fun to take you out into my stone circle, which is a sacred space for me where I do a lot of meditation, tai chi, and stone work, and I think that being out…
Ben: When you say stones, by the way, these are not pebbles, for those of you listening in. These are stones the size of a relatively well-grown child.
Paul: Yeah. Some of them are up to 320 pounds or so.
Paul: And they go all the way down to pebbles all the way up. Being in touch with nature and I teach people, as you just experienced, to go barefoot, barehanded so you are more conscious of what you're doing because there's a lot of living beings and creatures out there, from insects, to snakes, and whatever else you can come across up here in the wild. And the centers of gravity of stones are often not in the center of the mass based on the shape of the object, so it really requires a lot more balance and coordination. And when you're stacking rocks, you have to be very conscious of where the center of gravity of the rock that you're putting on top of the rock below it is, and the higher you go, the more you have to be conscious of multiple centers of gravity.
Ben: That's exactly what I noticed. I mean the first five minutes, I scraped open my toe, and I broke my ring, and then you stopped me, and you told me that I needed to be treating the rocks like a child would treat, or like a mother would treat a child or like you would carry your grandmother.
Paul: Up the stairs if she was an old lady with a cane. And I said that though you can smash rocks with hammers and they'll accept that, that would be a yang approach. But I said remember that water is the one thing that wears stone away effortlessly, and because the stones are being treated with such love, they let go to the water and they dissolve over time. And I've hurt myself many times learning these things, and so my rule is never rush in a rock garden and expose yourself so that you have to accept responsibility for the choices you're making, and learn that when the pain teacher comes, not to get upset, but to take it as an opportunity to slow down, center yourself, breathe through your belly, and get out of the workaday, busy-busy, rush-rush kind of information-heavy world that we're in and bring yourself right down into the earth and to the stones, and be present with them, and let them guide you instead of trying to force something to happen.
Ben: It was like meditation. You set the timer for 45 minutes and I thought, “Oh, gosh. I'm going to be lifting these heavy rocks and it's going to be slog torture second by second.” And it was kind of funny, as you and I both put the finishing touches on our giant rock sculptures, which by the way I'll put a photo of these sculptures for if you want to view them, along with everything Paul and I talk about, over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/chek. That's bengreenfieldfitness.com/CHEK. We put the finishing touches on these rock towers that Paul and I built and the timer goes “Ding”, and it felt like 10 minutes.
Ben: Yeah. And for people listening in, if they wanted to do this for themselves, they wanted to learn how to build their own rock sculptures and this style of rock garden meditation that you do, can you simply just go to a quarry, and get a bunch of rocks, and…
Paul: Yeah, I harvested most, all the ones you see that we were working with came from the surrounding neighborhood, I mean just on the property here.
Ben: But you choose different varieties for a reason?
Paul: Yeah. I do want to build things like a water charger because there's an electromagnetic energy, so you have to kind of work with the concept of an electrical circuit. So you need stones more toward black, or lava-like black, dark yin to be the feminine, and then you need higher frequency stones that are yang, like crystal. So I saw you pick up that crystal out there that weighs over 200 pounds. That's an actual crystal. If you polished that…
Ben: It was heavy. It was deceptively heavy.
Paul: You could make necklaces and healing stones out of that same stone. That's what it looks like in raw form. So if you're building something where you want to move life force energy, then you need a variety of colors, just like you need a variety of musical notes on a keyboard or a guitar, you have kind of monotonic type experience.
Ben: Choose a variety of different rocks. And you mentioned the water charging station, and when we were talking and having dinner last night I told you about how I take water, and I put it in a glass jar, and I charge it in the sunlight with salt crystals at the bottom to hydrate the body, and you explained to me your system which is far different, and one that I'm going to try and compare the two. But tell me about why it is that you are so careful about the way that you're treating water before you drink it? I mean obviously our audience is aware of fluoride and chlorine, but perhaps go a little bit deeper than that. And then I want to hear about these water charging stations that you make. I found it fascinating.
Paul: Yeah. Well I studied the work of Viktor Shauberger, who is really still today considered one of the foremost experts on water. In fact, Viktor Shauberger was taken prisoner by Adolf Hitler at gunpoint and put into a situation where he was told to build Adolf Hitler a flying saucer, and he gave him a list of all the scientists he had captured and said, “Take any one of these people you need.” And Viktor Shauberger was an Austrian park ranger, and he had been studying hydrodynamics, and he was always interested in how it is that fish like trout can swim upstream and seem to make long journeys against the flow of the water. So he studied the shapes of their bodies and how they responded to water, and he watched water, he studied artesian wells, and he gathered tremendous knowledge on water, and he used that same consciousness and science to build the first flying saucer which ultimately they couldn't control. It flew out the roof of the…
Ben: He built a flying saucer?
Paul: Yeah. During the Second World War, yeah. And they couldn't control it, but it flew right through the roof of the building, blew the roof off, and went about 1500 feet, and then took off and landed somewhere. But they ultimately could not control it, but it was based on the same principles as how fish swim upstream against the water. And one of the ways that Shauberger demonstrated his knowledge of waters, they were having a hard time then with logging, getting logs out of the forest 'cause it was very steep, so they built these log plumes to run the logs down like a water foam, like a water park, and he found that if the water got warmer than about, I think around 44 degrees if I remember right, don't hold me to the exact number, but it's cool water like that that the capacity for the water to carry the logs decrease and the logs started dragging on these wooden plumes that he'd built to carry the logs. So he identified that the water had the most working power, most life force energy and capacity to carry a load at these cooler temperatures. And in his teachings, he said that water, to achieve its optimal life force energy for the human body, needs to be kept in the dark and kept cool. And so it had to do with his observations and also showing that the fish that were swimming up these streams were in cold water, they weren't in warm water. And so without going into a long, exotic explanation of all that, but that's really kind of the essence of it.
Ben: So you want your water to be somewhat cool, but you also want it with these water charging systems that you build, for example, out in your front yard, that combination of a freaking workout and building a water charging station, which I love.
Ben: Killed two birds with one stone. What's the idea behind surrounding the water then with these rocks?
Paul: Well if you think that an atom of any kind, like this glass table, has an atomic structure and it has to maintain that. So for example, if you take a laser pointer, or a flashlight, or any energy source, or sunlight and it hits the table, it's going to energize the atoms. And so they're going to share that energy through electrons sharing, and the energy moves through it, but it has to maintain the crystalline structure. If you put too much energy through it, like fire with enough energy would melt glass. So what happens is when you have stones that each have their own atomic structure, just like a crystal has a unique structure, and different crystals have different structures, so what happens is that sets up a resonant vibration. So when the moonlight, or the sunlight, or the electromagnetic energy, say for example if it's thundering and lightning, or there's changes in the atmospheric pressures, or there's changes in the electrical activity, the stones pick up all that energy and it excites the stones. And so just the way each musical instrument in an orchestra has a specific frequency range in a specific body to the instrument, like a trumpet sounds a lot different than a tuba, or than a flute, or than a string instrument.
So each stone has its own characteristics, and the colors of the stones tell you what type of light is emanating from the stone. So a green stone is emanating green light, which correlates to the fourth chakra. So if it's got a black stone next to it, the black stone acts like a sponge, sucks that green light into it, and yin is a multiplier of power. So the yin stones, for example a black stone's very yin, sucks that in until it overflows like a sponge that's so saturated it just starts to drip everywhere. And that energy, if you connect that to a yang stone, like a crystal, say a brighter color stone or a piece of rose quartz, it receives that energy and broadcasts it out. So where the black lava wants to suck everything in like the sponge, the crystals, or the yang type stones, the higher vibration stones that put out brighter colors when you look at them, they actually act like flashlights or like the Sun itself, and they divide the power. So yin multiplies power, so think of it if you take a piece of dried toast and throw it in a bowl of water, it draws water into itself and it swells. But if you take that same piece of toast and put in a frying pan, you will expel that water and the body of that toast will begin to shrink and eventually it'll turn into ash. So that's yang. The ash of the fire turns into yin, and that's the cycle.
So when you have yin stones and yang stones together, the yin sucks energy in like a woman who's pregnant, she draws everything into herself and swells, multiplying power. But the moment the child takes its first breath, it now enters its yang cycle, which we call life, and when we die we go back into the yin cycle of drawing in again, and we won't go into after that 'cause that's another long story. So the point that I'm making is each stone, because it's got a different construction, a different type, so you've got river stones, versus granite, versus crystals, et cetera, and so I organized the stones so that you have one relatively yin to one relatively yang, or sometimes two yin and two yang depending on what my soul guides me to do and what I want to do with the water, and I spiral them up and make sure I leave a doorway with an arch stone. And water has been shown to have an almost infinite capacity to carry information and it's got an almost infinite degree of sensitivity to vibration of all types.
Ben: And there's plenty of work that's been done on that. Everything from the podcast you and I were talking about last night with Dr. Thomas Cowan about how the water that you drink affects the actual electrical charge of the blood flowing through your body and allows the heart to either need to pump much, much harder or much easier. I structure all the water that goes into my house, so it maintains that normal electrical charge that it'd get when it was passing under the underground springs before it hits the cisterns and the pipes and just sits stagnant and warm in the house. But what you do is you take these giant glass bottles of water, good water, you get like a…
Paul: Yeah. It's from Mt. Palomar. It's a 4,000-foot well…
Ben: Very good, mineral rich…
Paul: And it's actually completely free of any chemicals. They found nothing in it, which is rare. There's hardly any place in the world where you can…
Ben: It's very rare. Even my own well water from deep under the Washington rocks, that's got bacteria-rich iron, and manganese, and things that I still need to filter out of it. But you take these glass bottles full of this water, and then you surround them, for those you listening in, when you go to a quarry or when you begin to collect stones, this is a fantastic idea, you surround these glass bottles with these rocks. And so the glass bottles are seated on the Earth, and as you told me, if you live in a wintery area, you could put them on top of, for example, you recommended a BioMat…
Paul: Yeah, an infrared mat…
Ben: Yeah. Anything that would heat the water, or at least keep the water from freezing.
Paul: That's all you want to do.
Ben: And then you let the water sit out there. And when you decide it's time to drink it, you take it into your home and it just sits on the kitchen counter.
Paul: When I run out, I use five gallon bottles. So when we run out, I go replace it. So sometimes it's about…
Ben: It's such an easy system.
Paul: Yeah. At our house, it's about an average of two days per five gallon bottle, and that gives it about 48 hours of charge. And during that time, the sunlight and the moonlight is energizing the stones. But remember, energy and information are synonymous terms in many respects. So what happens is the sun and the moon are programming the water with the energy of the season of exactly the time that you're in, and this is the basic, shall we say, software that your cells run off of, that your whole biology runs off, just like you have to have an operational system in your mac, you might have OSX, OS Tiger, or something like that, our cells run on these basic information plans that come from the energy of the sun. The sun and the moon regulate your whole hormonal system, and the Earth, you've got your circadian rhythm, you've got your lunar rhythms, and then you've got your annual rhythms, which breaks down into your seasonal rhythms. And those things are all key drivers of the entire hormonal system. And so what happens is inside water, the research shows that water has a structure called the clathrate, which is kind of like a gyroscope where there's elements of the water that can turn inside of it. Imagine a bunch of spears rotating inside of each other.
And they've shown that even one molecule of water can remember the information from every surface and every energy it's ever interacted with in the entire history of that molecule. So what they show is that these clathrates are kind of like a circle of bells spinning inside of each other, and they code the vibration of whatever comes into contact with them into the water. And so when you use the stones and the Earth, it's programming your whole biological system with the reference information of the environment. And this is nice clean signals, it's the signals that our whole biology is built from, the sun, the Earth, and the moon, and that's what structures the water and it energizes the water. And as I was saying, you can track the moon cycle and it radically changes…
Ben: That's exactly what I wanted to ask you about because I went online last night and I ordered it myself, a lunar calendar.
Paul: Yes, good.
Ben: Because you said based on the moon phases, you can actually taste the difference in the way that the water tastes. Why is that?
Paul: As you know, when you have full moon, you have maximum yang energy. So you're getting the most sunlight at night. So you have full yang, and yang's highly energizing. Throwing your piece of wet toast in a frying pan will blast that water right out of there and dry it out. So at full moon, you're having the most amount of sunlight energy, and so that energizes the atoms in the minerals in the soil, and that causes them to sing or to vibrate like a tuning fork, and that energy right from the soil goes right through the glass and makes the water molecules vibrate. Now we have the whole concept of energy medicine where they can take, for example, a herb, record its vibration, and then take nothing but the vibration from the recording and inject it into water, and it carries the same medicinal properties as the herb. So what…
Ben: Yeah. And that's very similar to homeopathy, right?
Paul: Well it's an energetic homeopathy, yeah. Homeopathy uses a substance to begin with, but then you end up with none of the substance if you go into an x-factor of 10 or more. But what I'm saying here is that the substance is the Earth and it moves right through the glass bottle in vibration, and as I was sharing, sometimes that water will taste like granite. One time it tasted very much like nickel, and so I realized it must be the moon doing this. So I bought a moon calendar, this is probably six years ago, and I…
Ben: That's just basically a lunar calendar, right?
Paul: A lunar calendar, yup. And so what I begin doing is taking careful note of the density of the water. You'll notice when it's a new moon, so there's no light coming from the moon, the water feels so wet that it feels like it goes right through your tongue. It literally feels like it's so wet, it feels as though it's falling through your tongue like a solvent. But when it's at full moon, sometimes the water has so much energy in it, my friends think I've carbonated the water. It literally bubbles in your mouth and what I found is that different year, every year, it's different, and every moon cycle is different. So sometimes the water will taste like dirt, sometimes it'll taste like a metal, sometimes it'll taste like granite, sometimes it'll taste like, almost like compost smells. And because I'm very sensitive to these subtle vibrations, like I said, I concluded that the most likely source of that energy would be the moon, so I started tracking it on the moon calendar. And sure enough, whenever it was full moon, you got the greatest influence on the taste of the water. You can tell that it was the moon vibrating everything so strongly.
Ben: It's really interesting. I actually have been using, since I interviewed this gal named Dr. Wendy Myers on my show, and you saw this little device that was sitting over next to my computer a little bit ago, it's called a NES scanner. It allows you to do basically like acupuncture, but with a little device that scans you, identifies the areas where you might have blockages in energy flow, and then you use that very similarly to acupuncture needles. But along with that system as it identifies areas where there are blockages in energy flow, you also are given a set of different what they call infoceuticals, and for those of you listening in, I'll link to my podcast with Wendy in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/chek, these infoceuticals are actually little bottles of water that have had certain frequencies basically bombarded on them. That's why you want to keep them away from like a WiFi router or any other signals, sources of electricity after you get them. But it's a very similar concept, how water can actually store energy and store memory. And for those of you who are listening right now who think that this is woo-woo, and Paul's some skinny Yogi sitting here drinking water and pushing a giant shopping cart full of kale through Whole Foods, he's actually pretty bad ass. You were telling me, Paul, some of your story last night about why the airborne forces, in joining up with the airborne forces when you're training in the US military, was easy for you.
Paul: Well when I came into the army, I wanted to be with the bad asses. So I signed up from the beginning to be a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, which is volunteer. It's an intense training. It's the first level of elite forces. Above that is the Rangers, and then the Green Berets, but it's a lot of intensive training. And when I went to basic training, I was a competitive boxer before I joined the military and I ran a 4:38 mile right before I came in the military and part of my boxing training. I could do hardcore calisthenics for two hours nonstop.
Ben: But you grew up a hard life. You grew up as a farm boy.
Paul: Well, yeah. I was getting to that. And I grew up on 140 acre sheep farm and my father's a very do-not-ask-questions-get-the-job-done-or-you-might-lose-your-teeth kind of guy, and what I was sharing with you is that I gained eight pounds in basic training because there wasn't enough physical conditioning to keep me fit. And I was getting frustrated, but guys were dying of exhaustion all around me because they were just so unready for the rigors of basic training. And then when I got in the 82nd Airborne Division, and there their initial training is more intensive, but to piss off the black hats and the drill sergeants, I would be doing one-arm push-ups with a rucksack on and my steel pot on my head, and I just go 'til that arm was tired and…
Ben: You had to make it harder.
Paul: Yeah. Well they were messing with me, so I thought I'd mess with them, and this battle went on. So I just got more and more fitness, but I actually lost conditioning and gained weight because I was in such good shape from working on the farm, and my martial arts and boxing training, and I was a competitive motocross racer and I trained very hard for that. And I just felt sorry for the guys in there 'cause they were just so unprepared for the rigors of it. But for me it was, compared to working on the farm with my dad, who is one of the strongest, fittest men I ever met my life, I was telling you yesterday we would have like 3,000 bales of hay in a field, and he could take 100 to 120 pound bale of hay in one arm and throw it on top of a trailer stacked 10 feet in the air. I mean he could throw a full-sized bale…
Ben: Baling hey is hard work. I mean my wife, that's all she does is she gardens, and she holds these bales of hay around for the goats, and moves rocks like we're doing this morning, and walks around the forest, and she's an amazing, she'll go to Spartan races and be right up there with the female pros doing a Spartan race just from literally working out in the yard on 10 acres of farming. But in a similar way, I when I compete in these training competitions, these bow hunting competitions, I'm pretty fit.
Paul: Yeah, you are.
Ben: And I show up at these bow hunting competitions, and there's one guy there that completely waxes my ass and destroys me, and he's just like a farm-strong guy from Oregon who bales hay and shoots his bow. It's amazing. It's very similar to the rocks we were lifting this morning. You told me, tell me why you said this, you told me that when you go in, I believe you said that when you're deadlifting and moving around the weights in the gym, they feel like smooth butter compared to what we were just doing.
Paul: Yeah. Once you've been out in the stones for a day or two and you go back into the gym, whatever you are training, so let's say I was doing sets of four in the deadlift with 4 or 5 off the box. After a couple of days of lifting stones and I go back to the same workout, I can probably get eight reps with the same effort because the body is working so much more efficiently and it's so much more well-integrated because you never do the same movement twice out there and your brain has to be very, very high alert to integrate the prime movers and the stabilizers 'cause there's so many environmental factors from the sharp thorns that might be under your feet. I've had arrowhead stones go right through my foot while I was carrying a heavy stone…
Ben: Yeah. I got bit by a fire ant. And almost put my hand on a big black widow living underneath my rock.
Paul: Yeah. So you see your nervous system's really working in the stones as you can feel. The center of gravity is not in the center of the object. So you pick it up…
Ben: No. They're very unwieldy.
Paul: You can have like twice as much load on your right arm as your brain would expect looking at the object, and then you've got to pick these things up, put them over head, balance them, I have to stand on top of stones and balance sometimes reaching, and it's kind of like Olympic lifting in the middle of an unstable environment that bites.
Ben: Right. It's when I work out with my kids, sometimes I'll drag them up and down the driveway and haul 'em like sandbags, and a human body is a very unwieldy object compared to barbell, or a dumbbell, or a kettlebell. There's a lot of records that are going to go out of business once people listen into this podcast and start buying all these rocks for their yard. If you come and visit me at any time in the next year, you're probably going to see these stacks of rocks and a giant rock water charger beginning to form at the base of my driveway because I'm going to go home with my kids and we're going to start making these. You have a lot of other very interesting habits and interesting set-ups. For example, in your home and up here at your office, you have these giant tables full of like a vaporizer I've only ever seen use for weed, this thing called a Volcano. But then you have a bunch of different bags of different herbs and spices that we've been smoking, we aren't smoking necessarily, yeah, vaporizing. But what is it? What's this idea behind all these different smokes or these vaporizing compounds you have around?
Paul: Just like when you use a herb medicinally, for example if you use ginger, it's very, very yang, it's a great anti-parasitic, and it's stimulating to the sympathetic nervous system. Then if you use chamomile, it's quite yin and it's more stimulating to the parasympathetic nervous system. Chamomile's quite feminine, ginseng is very, very masculine, hot and fiery versus yin, and cooling, and feminine. So you can do the same thing with any herb through vaporizing it, except it just comes through the lung channel. So it comes in on the air element, which is a higher vibration. And when you bring that in, it couples with your own prana, or your own life force. For me I like to experiment with everything and learn how nature works. And because you're using a vaporizer, there's no fire. So there is no smoke. And these things were originally invented for cancer patients so they could use them to deliver medical marijuana without creating increased carcinogenic load on the body. So you're actually evaporating the water out of the plant which carries the information and the energy, or the spirit of the plant. So when you vaporize any one plant or herb, you actually bring the life force energy information and the consciousness of that plant in. And through using different plants, you can learn that different ones affect you in unique ways. So for example if I want to cool myself 'cause it's very hot up here, we're out in the desert here, then peppermint or spearmint has a very cooling effect but also has kind of a relaxing effect and an opening effect on the mind.
Ben: And the peppermint or the spearmint, this would be the form of tobacco that you use, the form of tea that you use, or the form, 'cause you put a little drop of essential oil on there as well.
Paul: Yeah. Well I mix different things. So I use some natural tobaccos that haven't been spoiled with herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, and rodenticides. So you can find native tobaccos, and things that sharman use, and clean tobaccos. But I like the tobacco because when you use it through a vaporizer, you're only getting a tiny amount of the nicotine that you'd get if you lit on fire. A cherry on a cigarette burns at 800 degrees Fahrenheit and it incinerates the tobacco and releases the nicotine into the body which is quite addictive. And it has some beneficial effects, but it's better to go with a vaporizer. I figured you're only getting about one-third of the nicotine load, but you're getting a lot of the other healing properties of the plant without the complication of the nicotine. And you do get a low dose of nicotine, which has some interesting effects. It's one of the only drugs ever in the world that stimulates the sympathetic and parasympathetic…
Ben: Great nootropic. I'll chew nicotine gum, like a 2.5 to 5, I believe it's a milligram dose of nicotine in the gum. But vaporizing it the way that you were doing it, and then taking, you take a little bit of the…
Paul: Yeah, a little bit of tobacco, and then I choose the herbs I want, and I put a drop of flower essence that carries the energy. So for example if I'm rushed and I've got a lot going on, I will use, I like the Australian bush flower essences, one of my favorites, so I use Calm and Clear. So I can take in the herbs and then either drops of my charged water or any of the flower essences puts enough moisture in there that when you vaporize it, it's not like you're breathing in hot dry air that can be stressful for the lung and too yang for the lung. The lung's a feminine organ and it's got a mucous membrane. So by vaporizing it with a drop or two of flower essence or some high quality water, it moisturizer it, and now you're getting a really nourishing, energizing, rapid delivery and it's a very pleasurable experience. I really love the experience of breathing and blowing smoke. I think maybe it could be from past life experiences as a native or something, but I love that experience and I love sharing it.
Ben: It's very zen.
Paul: It is!
Ben: It's like sipping on tea. When I've gone, I just got back from New York City and was sipping tea with Qigong Master Robert Peng, and he was sipping this vaporizer. With you, it's very, very similar. I actually want to try this when I get home. I have this little thing that I'll use to vaporize, usually something like marijuana sometimes, it's called a Magic Flight Box that uses infrared. It's very small and portable, but I'd love to get a little bit of this organic tobacco that you use because tobacco is very prone to have herbicides and pesticides on it, so you need to careful. Little bit of tobacco and a little bit of essential oil, and a little bit of some kind of a tea, like just a basic loose leaf tea that you would drink, and you put all this into the vaporizer, and it's an amazing experience.
Paul: Yeah. One of the most readily available organic tobaccos, one of the only ones on the actual open market is American Spirit. And so if you look for…
Ben: Oh, yeah. I'm familiar with that one.
Paul: That's a very yang tobacco. It stimulates the sympathetic system, so it's a very hot fiery tobacco. If you woke up in the morning and had a hangover, that would straighten your head right out. But I can share with you where to get some of these other ones, but they're…
Ben: But what's your favorite brand? What's your favorite brand of like a good organic tobacco?
Paul: My favorite one is called Northern Shag. So there's a variety of shag. There's Northern Shag, there's London Shag, there's Dutch Shag, Norwegian Shag. Those are the main shags which are cigarette cut tobaccos, but the Stokkebye Corporation is the one that makes the ones that aren't toxic.
Ben: Stokkebye .
Paul: I think they're European company. I did this research years ago, so it's hard for me to remember the…
Ben: Oh, yeah. Stokkebye. S-T-O-K-K-E…
Paul: Yes. And so they really pride their quality of product. There's a tobacco shop in San Diego here that's very high-end called Racine and Laramie, and so I was investigating this and I said, “Who do I get these clean tobaccos from?” And so they told me about the Stokkebye and how kind of really high-end their stuff was. And I'm very sensitive from years and years of taichi, qigong, and meditation, and working with the Earth, and when I vaporize a tobacco that's not clean, I can feel it affecting my energy field, and my body, and my mind very, very quickly. And I noticed that the Northern Shag was very, very clean and did not give me any of those kind of negative effects. And you can feel that with the American Spirit. It's clean, it's just very powerful.
Ben: Hey. I want to interrupt today's show to tell you about coffee that's been mixed with, you guessed it, brain vitamins. So this company, Kimera Koffee, they've taken regular old, well it's not regular old, it's actually a really fantastic tasting, single estate artisan coffee from the Dominican Republic grown on a coffee plantation at an altitude of 5,000 feet and run by the same family for over 40 years. How do you like that? But then they add alpha-GPC, and taurine, and l-theanine, and DMAE, and make this like a brain soup, but it's coffee beans and they taste amazing. Amazing. You got to try this stuff to experience it. So you go to kimerakoffee.com, that's with a “K”, KIMERAKOFFEE.com and use code Ben to get 10% off the amazing brain enhancing coffee that they have.
Ben: Now you talked about meditation, and this morning when we arrived at your home, I went out to your garage and was just kind of warming up a little bit, but you were out on the porch and you were doing what you do, I believe, every morning for your meditation. Tell me about your morning meditation. What do you do?
Paul: They change as, I'm led by my soul into different types of meditation. In order to guide my students, I've made it my practice to explore many different forms of taichi, qigong, or what I call work-in technologies. Working in means that you are doing an activity that leaves you with more energy than it cost you to do the activity. So you'll look in my book, “How To Eat, Move, And Be Healthy”, they're called zone exercise. Those are exercises designed to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, the anabolic growth and repair system of the body. And because you're drawing more energy in through the dynamics of the exercise, the deformation of fascia, fascia is an electret, so it means when it's deformed, it produces electrical energy that the body, bioelectrical energy the body can use. So just like I'm sure you've noticed if you stretch real well, you get up and you feel more energized because you've actually released energy by stretching the fascia. So when you're doing zone exercises like I show in my book, “How To Eat, Move, And Be Healthy”, you're using a combination of movement and breathing, but you're not using intensities that are greater than what you can comfortably breathe with.
So the net effect is you actually produce more life force energy than it cost to do the exercise and you end up with a surplus of energy. So it enhances things like sexual performance because it strengthens your second chakra and your kidney system 'cause you end up with more vitality, it gives you mental clarity, and it also opens the voyances for people. Many of my students, after 100-day Gong, which is 100-day commitment to the practice have all of a sudden become clairvoyants, or clairaudients, or clairsentients, and having premonitions of things that do happen in the future. And it quite scares them sometimes, but it's because we're actually calming and balancing to the point that we are no longer divided from the root basic energies of the universe. And just like you can read a book or watch television, as you practice and calm yourself, you realize that the energy of the universe and the Earth is constantly moving through you, but now you become aware of the things like the influences of the moon on water, or the influences of two different stones coupled together, or you become aware of why it is that healers know which tones to use to heal certain people because you can literally feel those energies and pick up energy, and oftentimes they trigger information such as visions. And when I'm working with patients, that same skill helps me read their energy field and get behind the ego so I can see what things are concealed within them that are actually the root of their problem so they're not just chasing symptoms all the time.
Ben: You know, I hear this repeatedly, especially from what I would consider to be wise older mentors in the fitness community that you should finish a workout feeling charged. You should finish a workout, or in this case a meditation session, but any type of movement that you do feeling as though you've gained energy and not lost energy or depleted your system. And it's something that I've been focusing on more and more, this idea of blending some of that, 'cause I've been learning qigong, I'm using these Master Key CDs and DVDs from Robert Peng, that same guy who I when interviewed in New York, and I've been trying to incorporate some of those concepts in my workout, deep breathing, a more meditative approach rather than huffing and puffing through the mouth and using shallow chest breathing, but instead breathing through the nose, engaging the spirit and the mind simultaneous to the body.
Paul: And using the diaphragm properly.
Ben: It's a much different experience.
Paul: In general, what you just said is true. But there is a time to leave it fully in the gym, but this requires a well-periodized exercise program, and I have entire programs on that.
Ben: Yeah. It's a good point. If I'm trying to dig myself into a hole for, there are those workouts that are just soul crushing workouts, but a lot of people are doing those every day. And I've what found is tapping into those on like a Saturday, when I'm going deep into the hole just a couple of times a week, it's a far different feeling than just like crushing it every day.
Paul: Yeah. Think of it as spending money. When you're doing a real, as you call it, soul crusher, you're going into your reserves, so it's like using a credit card. You got the money to make the purchase, but you're in debt. So if you don't have effective work-in practices with breathing, taichi, qigong, zone exercises, meditation and the use of things like charged water, cold showers, effective sleep patterns, and using things like a grounding mat to take the electromagnetic pollution out of you, which you can put right under your bed, I'm sure you're totally hip to all that. All of those things actually are what do the repair so that you can have an effective anabolic rebound. Otherwise, you just stay catabolic on catabolic and you just work yourself right into a doctor's office, and they're not usually skilled enough to look at your exercise program and see how you got there, or your diet, or your lifestyle. They'll just keep giving you pills 'til you're broke.
Ben: And this is why professional athletes, I know, come to you. They come here to your home here, and you have so many different exercise tools here that you were showing me. I find your patents though, you hold patents on certain exercise tools. Tell me about the patents that you hold on some of the exercise tools that you've developed.
Paul: Well, one of the patents I have is for a hydrotherapy device I developed. When I got out of the army and moved to San Diego, I focused on the rehabilitation of elite athletes, and triathletes, and biathletes, and distance runners. And I had quite a large following of athletes, and many of which had had serious injuries to their hamstrings, and I identified that was due to a common muscle imbalance syndrome, the knee extensors and the hip flexors of runners tend to get over developed relative to the hamstrings and the glutes, and that tips the pelvis forward and overloads the lumbosacral junction, traumatizes the facet joints. And then if you've got someone that's…
Ben: And by the way, this is near and dear to my heart because I've been told many times, from exercise professional who've seen me run, that I overuse my hip flexors and don't use my glutes enough.
Paul: Yeah. You actually have quite a lot of tension in your hamstrings to compensate, so it's pulling your tail under and it gives you that kind of hip forward.
Ben: And you know, we haven't talked about this. That's just from looking at me.
Paul: Yeah. It's easy to see when you've seen thousands of bodies like I have and have spent your life, I mean I've been doing this for 32 years, so I've seen a lot of stuff, and I've studied a lot, and practiced a lot. So when I look at somebody, there's a lot of depth to my vision. So what happens is most runners get too much anterior pelvic tilt, and that leads to a forward movement of the pelvis, which then causes the trunk to have to go backwards, but then the head has to come forward to counterbalance it so that it can stay up in the field of gravity. So it leads to a lot of structural problems, but it changes the length-force relationship. Whenever you put tension on a muscle for 24 hours or longer, the muscle begins to add sarcomeres, which of the functional contract unit. Right? The actin and myosin filament goes from z-line to z-line…
Ben: Just like a bone we’ll build in response to repetitive loading.
Paul: So that's a sarcomere. So just for example, if a woman did not add sarcomeres to her abdominal muscles as she grew in pregnancy, she'd have to have a manhole with bolts on it to keep that kid in there. The pressure would be so high it would just blow out of her crotch in one explosive move.
Ben: It'd be exciting.
Paul: It might, but the kid might die when it hit the wall kind of thing. So what nature does is it adapts. And as the fetus grows, the abdominal wall is under more tension, so it adds sarcomere so the muscles are functionally lengthened. Now when you have a muscle imbalance, such like I've described where runners often get anterior pelvic tilt from too much tension in the hip flexors. the psoas, rectus femoris in particular because that attaches to the pelvis, the anterior pelvic tilt causes the hamstrings to be pulled longer, and that lengthens the muscle as the rectus femoris, anterior pelvic tilt, it touches to the pelvis, and the tibia is getting shorter. And then as the pelvis goes forward, the lumbar curve increases so the deep stabilizers the back, particularly the multifidus get shorter but the abdominals are getting longer.
So you have short tight back muscles and you have shortened hip flexors. And then on the other side, you've got lengthened hamstring then lengthened abs. So what happens is now as the muscle gets longer, its length-force curvature, where it develops peak strength, changes. So you've got now abdominal muscles that are long and back muscles that are short. So when those two need to co-contract, for example, if you pick up a suitcase and stand up straight, you have to have a contraction of the muscles all the way around the spine in what's called co-contraction to stiffen the spine. But if you've got muscles that are firing too late because they're longer and muscles that are firing too soon because they're shorter, it creates compression, torsion, and shear, and joints begin to slip and slide, which leads to disc injuries, ligamentous stress, and spinal instabilities. And so you get athletes over time with a certain sections of their spine that are sloppy and broken down above that. And below that, you get areas of rigidity or hypomobility.
Ben: And you see this. This is a very common pattern among especially modern athletes who sit, who have a lot of hip flexor stress and shortening.
Paul: And who don't know how to do corrective exercise to stabilize, which my books and courses teach you how to identify.
Ben: Yeah. Now where does this hydrotherapy device that you've patented come in?
Paul: Well what I did was, being a triathlete and spending a lot of hours with hand paddles on my hands swimming, I could feel how much load that put on the system. So what I did was I begin meditating about it and I thought if I could make a hand paddle for the leg that on a gated system that only worked when the hip was going into extension that it would actually turn the hamstrings and glutes into the prime movers while maintaining the same motor pattern called gait.
Paul: Right? So what happened was is I built this foot sandal made out of Plexiglas with a hinge device, and then I had different sized paddles, so when you're running in the swimming pool with a flotation vest, like an aqua jogger vest, as you begin the extension phase, the water catches the paddle, opens it and it creates a huge amount of resistance. But when your leg goes forward into hip flexion and extension, the paddle shuts so there's no more resistance.
Ben: That's brilliant. You would use this in like deep water running, or take it to a lake or a river if you want to.
Paul: A deeper swimming pool.
Ben: Yeah. Has this actually been developed? Like did it ever go to market or anything? It's a brilliant idea.
Paul: No, I didn't because, one, I tap myself out. Patents are expensive and a long process. But what I didn't realize is because this was going to be used in public areas, I had to have insurance against people suing me. And I got an order for 4,000 of these units from a company that was willing to buy it, and I had a manufacturer for it, and they said, “But we need proof of insurance, liability insurance.” So I said, “Oh, I don't have that.” They said, “Well, you got to get it or we can't buy them from you because there's liabilities if people get hurt with these things.” And I'd only been doing this in rehab and custom designing these types of special tools for patients as they needed them, and building these for people to use in controlled environments with me there as their therapist, and I found out that the insurance, the best price I could get was $40,000 a year and I didn't have the money. So basically I've been sitting on the patent for since probably the late '80s.
Ben: There's a lot of people who listen into the show who might be interested in funding that effort because I think there'd be a huge need for it. That's interesting. Leave a comment or question if you want to connect with Paul on that in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/chek. You had another device you created that I found intriguing. It was like a measurement tool?
Paul: Yeah, I've created two of them. One is a special caliper for measuring forward head carriage because that's very critical to balancing an athlete or an individual. For each inch that your head moves forward in the sagittal plane or front to back, it adds the weight of your head again to your neck extensors, and the average human being's head weighs 8% of their body weight. So if a 100 pound woman has an eight pound head, when her head's two inches forward, even for each inch it goes forward, if you're in good posture, you shouldn't even feel the way to your head. Your body's balanced, so your head just kind of balances up, there's minimal activity from the neck. So if you have a one inch head carriage, which is about two centimeters forward head. If you take a necklace or a plumb line and hang it from your cheek bone, it should bisect your collarbone. So if you go forward one inch and your necklace is hanging one inch forward from your collarbone, if the necklace is hanging off your cheek bone, that means you now constantly got eight pounds of pressure if you're a 100 pound person, eight pounds of load on your neck at two inches at 16 pounds. So that doesn't sound like much, but remember it only takes one half of a gram of sustained pressure to move a tooth.
Ben: Yeah. Well good way to do this if you own an exercise mace, or even if, I know this sounds silly, but like take a freaking broomstick and poke at through a pumpkin or any large circular object, hold it straight up, straight up and down like a plumb bob with your fist and that stick up in the air, and you let it tilt forward just slightly, and all of a sudden you feel massive increases in poundage with that slight forward tilt.
Paul: Well, one of the nastiest things they used to do to us in soldier training is make us hold our M16 with our arms out straight, and they would leave you there for 15 minutes, and your whole body would be vibrating in pain because if that thing came down, the pain was going to be worse than the pain you were going through. So if you just take a small weight like a can of beans and hold it straight out in front of you, most people be lucky if they can hold that thing out there longer than about a minute and a half before their muscles are in so much pain.
So when we tested this, we found that the average person, at Los Angeles Chiropractic College they tested my device, and they did over 3,000 measurements of head carriage on chiropractic students and their patients, and they found the average chiropractic student's forward head was 6.6 centimeters, which is about three inches. So if you figure at 100 pounds of body weight, that's 24 pounds of load on the neck extensors, that cuts blood supply off to the brain quite drastically, overloads the facet joints, leads to all sorts of trigger points and soft tissue dysfunction, and causes a runaway imbalance syndrome because the more of the head goes forward, the more the cranium goes into posterior tilt to keep the eyes, ears, and teeth level with the horizon, so then you get shortened muscles behind the neck, lengthened muscles in front of the neck, and that run away thing starts getting worse, and then you see increased kyphosis coupled by altered patterns down in the lumbar spine, either exaggerated or flattened.
Ben: I think it's almost like smartphone head. ‘Cause you see a lot of people on their smartphones, they have their head tilted forward, looking at it, drawing that head forward. I've noticed it even with myself a lot more since I started doing a little more computer work because I shifted from all stand up personal training like eight years ago to doing podcasting, and blogging, and forward-head type of motions. There's that forward head carriage. So this measurement tool actually allows you to see how much that's actually occurred.
Paul: Exactly. And that way, I can design corrective exercises and stretching programs and monitor whether or not the program is benefiting the patient coupled with several other instruments and methods I developed using standard orthopedic protocols to measure key indicators such as pelvic tilt, spinal curvatures, head carriage, and the range of motion of the joints throughout the body. We can isolate, and all CHEK professionals are trained to do this, so their exercise programs are scientifically designed and you never get too far off the track because you're reevaluating someone at least every four weeks or even more frequently in a clinical environment, where a lot of trainers will not change their program at all, sometimes for months and months on end and it works people right into orthopedic disasters is what happens. And so this technology I developed allows you to get real time feedback as to what's happening. For example, I could literally measure someone's forward head carriage, let's call it five centimeters, have them go do three sets of abdominal crunches, and come back, and their head would have moved forward one half of a centimeter or more forward.
Ben: Which you wouldn't want.
Paul: No, because it makes the whole thing worse.
Ben: What's the best corrective exercise for someone who just wants to jump in and begin to correct that forward head posture?
Paul: Probably the best thing you can do is just lay flat on a floor, on a wooden floor or a stone floor, and just give yourself 15 minutes a day to let the body slowly adapt so that the muscles that are short and tight start slowly lengthening under the force of gravity. Without specific skill, I don't give any exercises 'cause there's too many variations in the structure…
Ben: I was just curious if there was some type of like an isometric reverse head contraction type of thing where you'd place a towel against a wall, something like that.
Paul: Yeah. One you can use called the prone cobra that is in a lot of my programs. You lay on the floor, you start by squeezing your butt cheeks together, because if you have forward head carriage and too much thoracic curvature, the brain tends to over recruit the low back muscles instead of the correct muscles. So you squeeze your butt cheeks together, and then you pick yourself up so your chest and head come off the floor but you keep your head in neutral alignment, you don't let sit back or hang down, and you turn your palms over, so into supination. So if you can hold a cup of soup in your hand, then you're in supination. If you pour the soup out, you're in pronation.
So when you're laying on the floor and you squeeze your butt cheeks together, that stabilizes the pelvic girdle, then you pick your chest up and keep your head in line with your spine as you come up so you're not craning your neck, and you turn your hands over like you're holding a cup of soup, that fires the rhomboids, and the middle trapezius, and the scapular adductors, which are the scapular adductors in the lower traps, and that helps put tension behind the thoracic curve, and then by keeping your chin tucked slightly so your head's in neutral, not craned into extension, it fires the cervical flexors and you need to have your tongue on the roof of the mouth or it won't work properly 'cause those are stabilizers of the anterior neck.
Ben: A lot of people don't realize that for postural base exercises, tongue at the roof of the mouth is super important.
Paul: Yeah. It's important for many reasons energetically as well. But if you do that and hold that isometrically for as long as you can but use a stopwatch and then you rest for 50% of the work time, so if you hold one minute, you rest 30 seconds, if you hold two minutes, you rest one minute, build yourself up 'til you can hold that prone cobra position for three and a half minutes, then you've reached the benefit of the exercise and you don't need to do it anymore. You can move on to more comprehensive exercise.
Ben: I love it. What was the third patent that you developed?
Paul: Well, there's three. The head carriage caliper is one, the forward head carriage caliper. The second one's an inclinometer that measures the inclination of the first rib which tells me a lot about the overall position of the rib cage and the effects that that has on what's called the thoracic outlet, which is the nerves, and the arteries, and veins, and lymph vessels that come out of your cervical vertebra to feed the arm and chest area. And so, knowing the position of the first rib tells me how the whole rib cage is responding to the person's posture, and emotional holding patterns, and tension syndromes in the body. And it also measures the tilt of the pelvis. So I can measure each ilium, or hemi-pelvis. There's a normal range of anterior pelvic tilt, which should never be more than about, three degrees is ideal for a male, between three and about five degrees. And then for a woman, it should never be more than seven to 10 degrees, where it puts excessive stress on the lumbar spine and leads to orthopedic injuries, mostly disk injuries and facet joint trauma. If it's asymmetrical, it tells me that there's a twist in the pelvis, which causes a scoliosis in the spine and sets you up for a…
Ben: Which again a lot of people have who have poor hip mobility or SI joint issues. Similar question about the head. Is there a corrective exercise you've found to be applicable to the general population for all those people who have hip rotation issues or SI joint issues? We have a lot of chronic repetitive motion, people who run, or bike, or swim, or do obstacle course racing, or anything like this. And as you know, just the general population's gait suffers quite a bit.
Paul: In my book “How To Eat, Move, And Be Healthy”, there's a series of tests you can do on your core to identify which muscles are working or not working, and then you can use those tests to determine which exact muscles to do. But the king of all stabilization exercises, just like the deadlift is the king of free weight exercises, the king of all stabilization exercises that I know of from a lifetime of working on this is one that I developed called the supine lateral ball roll on a Swiss ball where you get on the ball on your back, and you take a wooden dowel rod like a closet rod, you put one across your pelvis, and just put a little divers weight or something to keep it in place, or a small sandbag, and you hold the other one in your arm so it's like you're doing a cross, almost like an iron cross in gymnastics but you're laying on your back.
Ben: You're laying on a stability ball.
Paul: Right. And you just roll slightly sideways and hold yourself in perfect alignment. So you let your feet kind of go with you and you just need to go just a little bit laterally and you hold that for 10 seconds. And then you move laterally to the other side, and then you hold that iron cross tight position for 10 seconds, and your goal is to build up to 10 reps on each side consecutively. So you have 100 seconds a loading, and that loads the extensor muscles that hold the body in proper alignment. And you have to have your tongue on the roof of the mouth, and keep your head in neutral alignment, which then loads the deep cervical flexors to counterbalance the extensor muscles of the neck, and that puts a rotational torque, it puts a frontal plane or a lateral torque, and it puts a sagittal plane or a front to back load on your body. And if you do it as I teach it in the book or in my videos, I have several videos on Swiss ball training that go through the technique exactly, that one exercise is probably the most potent in correcting muscle imbalances and postural dysfunction.
Ben: In your book “How To Eat, Move, And Be Healthy” which I have two copies of. I'm bringing that home to my boys.
Ben: I like to give my boys books to read every now and again, and your book in terms of laying a foundation for everything that you do is one of the better ones that I've read. I know my kids are only nine years old, but these are the type of things that we need to be opening up the younger generation to the things you talk about in that book because it's mind, it's body, and it's spirit optimization. That's what I respect about you is because you could kill a grizzly with your bare hands, the way that you move these rocks around, the way that you're built. If any of you have never seen a photo of Paul, go to the show notes. I'll put a photo of him there. How old are you?
Paul: I'll be 56 this month.
Ben: Amazing specimen. He's smart as you can hear, he's a voracious learner. We are surrounded by books here in Paul's home, thousands, and thousands, and thousands of books on everything from spiritual training, to Zen lifestyle, to yoga, to lifting, to astrology, to the lunar calendar, everything we talk about. The list goes on and on. He's a voracious consumer of knowledge. And you would learn well to do as he does and have your face in a book a lot because he also studies. But then spiritual optimization is also important. And one of the things that you were talking to me about last night, Paul, that absolutely intrigues me is this idea of, I think you called it mandala.
Ben: Tell me about mandala and spiritual journeys.
Paul: Yeah. Well I'll just quickly finish that last comment so I don't get lost here. So the second in instrument that I invented is the inclinometer. The third was a rack mounting system so you can do a variety of corrective and high performance exercises on a Swiss ball. So that's the third.
Ben: Oh, that's right. I took a photograph of that on your wall. Do you mind if I put that in the show notes, or is that's going to like violate a bunch of patent?
Paul: It's fine to share it. It's a very simple but very powerful system. I developed the whole concept of using the Swiss ball for actually anything other than pure rehab and aerobic exercise. I introduced the whole concept of the Swiss ball in the gym. That was me that really pioneered that whole thing.
Ben: You were the pioneer of a lot. You also were the pioneer of putting butter in coffee…
Paul: Yeah. I developed that technology as well many, many years ago, probably…
Ben: Before anybody else was doing it, you were putting butter in your coffee.
Paul: The only people that were doing it before me that I found about later is people from Siberia putting yak butter in their tea. And when I found out about that, I had already figured this out, but I was doing this with athletes to help them slow the rate at which caffeine entered their body. Because if you tie it up in fat, you get more of a slow drip and it doesn't shoot blood sugar up so high, and it's not so stressful on your hormonal system. And the other thing about my book, “How To Eat, Move, And Be Healthy”, as you probably noticed, you begin the book with a series of questionnaires. And the book's designed to guide you to creating a unique program specifically to balance your challenges. So the book can have a thousand different applications for a thousand people. So it's the only book I've ever seen in the world that customizes the information specifically to your individual needs. And when you fill out the score graphs and you score them, it's set up so that you always start with the highest score on the left. So if you have all your scores are high, high stress, you start with the column furthest to the left 'cause whatever you do there has a knock on effect moving to the right. And so if you, for example, address the first column and you retest yourself, you may find that your scores have significantly drop down in all the other columns because the effect on the first system knocks on to the second, third, and fourth, and fifth systems.
So I actually designed it so that people could get rapid results with minimum time and energy. And each chapter has a mind map, so if you're in too much of a hurry to read, you could actually read the whole book in about an hour just by studying the mind maps, which gives you an overview. For example, you read the mind map on sleep, and half the mind map is what you shouldn't do and the other half is what you should do to optimize sleep. And because I hate books with nothing but text, I had a professional artist illustrate. So the book's heavily diagrammed and illustrated so that visual learners who like to just look at pictures can get most of the message just from the mind maps and the images.
Ben: Tell me about the art therapy.
Paul: Okay. So the mandala therapy is an ancient therapy. It's been used in Buddhism. You've probably…
Ben: Mandala, M-A-N-D-A-L-A.
Paul: Mandala means “wheel” or “vortex”. A chakra is a mandala in essence, it's a living vortex. And a mandala is a piece of art done inside of a circle. Carl Jung was the psychiatrist and psychologist who pioneered the use of mandala therapy in healing. He was actually probably really the father of art therapy as we know it today. And he would have people, for example if they were going through a life trauma like a divorce, he would ask them to draw a circle and then just draw whatever came to them. And then by understanding the different phases, the mandala can be broken into quadrants and the phases correlate with not only the rising and the setting of the sun, but the rising of the sun would be your birth and the setting of the sun would be your death. So by using a quadrant system, we were able to, he was able to, and now people like me who study this are able to look at a mandala. And so if I say to someone who's in a lot of pain, “Draw a mandala,” I can look at the symbols, but I can also look at what quadrant the symbol's in, and I can interpret the symbol by having direct conversation with them. For example if someone puts a lot of water with a boat in it, the water is a common symbol for the unconscious and the boat is a symbol for the ego. So depending on what the boat's doing, maybe the boat's up against rocks and it's in water, it tells me that the person is acting habitually out of their unconscious, their programmed mind, and their repeated behaviors that are not serving them are bringing them up against the rocks.
So by looking at the symbols and having an open dialogue with the person, I can say to them, for example, “What does a boat mean to you in your life?” And whatever they say about the boat is how that symbol correlates to them. They might say, “Well I really hate boats because my dad was a fisherman, and I hate the smell of fish and he always made me work on a fishing boat.” So right away I learned there's a connection between their father and boats, and so I start, what do I find, I found there's painful unresolved relationships with dad. Dad made them work all the time. And so now they have a lot of unconscious behaviors that were passed on by dad that led them to the resent of working all the time, and I find out that they're not actually doing what they love to do, they're doing what they think they had to do to make money, and dad made him work on a fishing boat when they didn't like doing it. So they were as a child conditioned to do things you don't like to do to make money because dad said that's what you got to do to make it in life. So in a few minutes, I can read the archetypal symbology, and I know what these things mean in the collective, but then I'm interested in what they mean to them. And because the ego does not really know how to defend itself against art, it doesn't know what it's doing. In other words, unless you're trained in art therapy and you spent years studying symbology, you're just painting whatever or drawing whatever wants to come out of you. So the ego has an almost impossible task of trying to conceal its pain or its judgments, and the art allows the unconscious to rise up and be expressed on paper in a way that a skilled therapist can read, interpret, and then engage you. And I find I can get deeper into a person's real core challenges at a psychic level, and remember as a…
Ben: And you're combining this, in many cases, with plant, but you're a certified medicine man. So you're combining this with extremely high quality, I mean I had a taste of your ayahuasca this morning, this extremely fine ayahuasca that you make yourself, and you use just about every plant-based medicine known to man. How many journeys have you been on?
Paul: I've done over 400 shamanic journeys and probably 100 or more of them have been with groups or in specific healing ceremonies, many of them are my own deep research into my own psyche, and for my own healing, and just exploration of what's possible in consciousness, using the gates created by the various plant helpers. The plants have a very unique consciousness. So I mix my therapy, my whole CHEK training approach is a mixture of the science of exercise, the science of orthopedic rehabilitation, the science of diet, the science of soil and farming, and the science of how the soil works, and the importance of organic food and farming, and the science of mind, how the mind works, and how the psyche works. So I've spent my whole life developing what I call a bottom up, take care of the body, because the body and the mind mirror each other. So if you have an unhealthy body, you can't have nearly the potential for your mind because your mind's working through your body and your body works through your mind, but also look at the belief systems. So behind every behavior is a belief, and most of those beliefs are rooted in religious ideology or some kind of a dogma that leads people to living lives that they don't really want to live, but they have been programmed often from childhood to believe they have to live this or they're going to burn in hell or some kind of negative karma is going to happen to them.
So I look to identify the belief system and see if we can upgrade the belief system to one that's more in line with what I call “the person's dream”. And having studied world religion, and metaphysics, and philosophy, I have developed the ability to help guide a person to increasing their freedom by choosing an ideology that is more in line with who they're ready to be now as opposed to who they think they have to be because of what someone else told them. And oftentimes when you get the mind right and you help a person develop their own myth for life, their own philosophy and their own life story, the body heals instantaneously. Because once you realize that you're not going to burn in hell, and that God is unconditional love, and the answer to every prayer is “Yes”, if you want to be an asshole, the answer's yes, but we all have to take responsibility for what we create. I say to my students and patients, “Remember, love is a boomerang.” So whatever you put out comes back, and since God is unconditional love the answer to every request, conscious or unconscious, is yes. So if you don't like what's happening in your life, I say as Arnold Patent says, “Look carefully at what you're choosing unconsciously.” So by upgrading a person's philosophy and becoming more grounded and more aware of what they're creating, both at the level of body and a level of mind, I see a lot of rapid healing of things that people have been going to doctors for 10, 15, 20 years for.
Ben: For those of you listening in, Paul and I are just beginning our relationship and I'm going to be releasing a lot more interesting information about what you've just heard, and Paul and I may even wind up doing one of these journeys that he's just described together. And I'll certainly keep you posted on all of that. Paul, one of the things that amazes me about you is how you've taken all this knowledge, having been with you, I realize now the value of the computer up inside your head having assimilated the information from all these thousands and thousands of books that are around us and your 50 plus years of living and breathing this stuff. You've distilled it all down into an actual system of learning that I'm just now beginning to dive into myself. For those of you listening in, Paul has an Institute where he teaches this stuff. He of course has that book “Eat, Move, And Be Healthy”, which I think is going to be a great introduction for you. But also go over to the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/chek. Because over there, Paul and I are going to give you some goodies when it comes to kind of hooking you up as a listener with his Institute and some great deals for you on getting into that, and tapping more into the extremely comprehensive body of knowledge that Paul has collected whether you're physical therapist, Paul, I know you were speaking with me, you have physicians, you have chiropractors, you have…
Paul: Yeah. My system's multi-disciplinary. So we have nurses…
Ben: And people who just want to live a better life.
Paul: Surgeons, osteopaths, chiropractors, physiotherapists, athletic trainers, dance and movement educators, massage therapists. People come into my system from all walks of life. We have truck drivers, we have housewives, people that healed themselves. I mean thousands of people have healed themselves and got off medical drugs using nothing but my book “How To Eat, Move, And Be Healthy”. And when they come in, they get so much joy out of the fact that they can pass this on to others. They come in, and because I have enough knowledge, and I've lectured in medical schools, physical therapy schools, chiropractic schools, osteopath schools, I draw people from all these professions. But in my training programs, I lecture and teach, and my instructors teach at a level that may be appropriate for a medical doctor, but I want everyone else to learn what a medical doctor should be doing and can do 'cause they're licensed to do, but then I'm also showing the massage therapist what they can do because they're licensed to do. So everyone gets cross educated. So even if they don't have the license to do these things, they learned how to refer to people and they know what the client needs.
Ben: Yeah. So that's all going to be over bengreenfieldfitness.com/chek if you want to learn more about that. And Paul, I think a perfect place to wrap this up would be the fact that I sent a photograph of you making me a little butter espresso in your ancient, super fancy, Italian espresso machine over there on your counter, you and me sipping that espresso over to a few of our friends, and the response back was, I believe, “Two of my favorite weirdos have officially met.” So from one weirdo to another, thanks for coming on the show, man. And I'm looking forward to the people listening to my show, learning a lot more about you and what you do.
Paul: My pleasure. And I'm very excited to share you with my tribe. And I just want you to know I'm proud of everything you're doing and I think that you are a real inspiration. And as I said to you, when I first listened to one of your podcasts, I had this experience of saying out loud in my gym as though you were there, “Finally! Someone who's got a brain and is grounded in the Earth! It's about time! I got to meet this guy!” So I sent you my book, and here we are.
Ben: I'm honored, dude. I'm honored. And for those of you listening in, prepare for a wild ride as you get more from Paul Chek going forward. Alright, Paul. Thanks for coming on the show. For everybody listening in, head over to bengreenfieldfitness.com/chek, C-H-E-K, to learn more. And have a healthy week.
When I was a fledgling fitness professional, one of the first books I ever read was “How To Eat, Move & Be Healthy“, by Paul Chek.
So it was a bit of a surreal experience to get to knock on Paul's front door a few weeks ago and join he and his family for an epic weekend of conversation, workouts, nature immersion, Paul's crazy daily habits (which you'll discover in this podcast episode).
Who is Paul Chek, and I why would I travel all the way to the hilly backcountry of San Diego, California to interview him?
Paul is an internationally-renowned expert in the fields of corrective and high-performance exercise kinesiology. For over twenty-five years, his unique, holistic approach to treatment and education has changed the lives of countless people worldwide – many of his clients, his students and their clients. By treating the body as a whole system and finding the root cause of a problem, Paul has been successful where traditional approaches have consistently failed. Paul is the founder of the C.H.E.K (Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology) Institute, based in California, USA and the P~P~S Success Mastery Coaching Program.
He is a sought-after presenter and has consulted for organizations such as the Chicago Bulls, Australia’s Canberra Raiders, New Zealand’s Auckland Blues, the US Air Force Academy and other elite organizations. He has produced over 60 DVDs and 17 advanced-level home study courses designed for the fitness and clinical professional. He is a strong believer in the essential role provided by practical training and has developed four Advanced Level Training programs to provide hands-on instruction for the exercise and health industries.
Paul's CHEK Exercise Coach program introduces fitness and exercise professionals to an integrated approach to conditioning; the C.H.E.K Practitioner Program is a two to four year advanced level program teaching corrective exercise and high-performance conditioning; the Golf Performance Series focuses on functional conditioning for golfers; the Optimal Health and Fitness Through Practical Nutrition and Holistic Lifestyle Coaching Program contains three levels and shows how to reach optimal health from the inside out. Thousands of people worldwide have been trained in one or more of these challenging and elite level certification programs.
Paul has also accrued three US patents for posture calibrating, hydrotherapy and equipment inventions, and has also designed several pieces of functional exercise equipment.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-How Paul uses rocks and a stone circle for his morning workouts and meditations…[6:30]
-Paul's water charging tower and exactly how he built it so that the water is charges from the rocks…[11:40 & 14:50]
-The intriguing reason why you need to buy a lunar calendar…[22:30]
-Why Paul found the 82nd Airborne Division to be easy…[26:40]
-How you can use a smokeless vaporizer to vaporize mixes of teas, tobaccos and essential oils…[32:40]
-Paul's morning meditation routine…[40:50]
-The three extremely unique exercise patents that Paul holds…[46:45]
-What Paul calls “the King of all stabilization exercises”, and where you can find it…[62:40]
-How Paul was the first person to begin the now popular practice of putting butter into coffee…[66:45]
-Paul's unique combination of art therapy and plant based medicine…[72:45]
-And much more!
Resources from this episode:
-Kimera Koffee – Go to KimeraKoffee.com and use code ‘BEN' to get 10% off!
-Organifi – Go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/organifi Discount code BEN for 20% off your order!
-Antrantil – For all of your Bloating, SIBO, IBS, Leaky Gut issues, go to LoveMyTummy.com/Ben. Use code “BEN” at the checkout to get 15% off your order.