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102: Biohacking the Nervous System to Accelerate Healing with Dr. Aimie Apigian

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When you love a little boy so much that he wants to kill you…

In this episode, we kick things off by diving into the human nervous system, precisely the adaptive response to our nervous system, and adaptive neuroplasticity theory. Dr. Aimie is a leading expert on the subject through her clinical research, medical training, and “hands-on” experiences as a foster parent. She began helping children with trauma-based behavior issues. “Most people don’t realize how much early trauma impacts our nervous system and brain function forms,” says Dr. Aimie.  

Dr. Aimie is a Board Certified Preventive Medicine Physician specializing in Adaptive and Attachment Pain Syndromes and optimizing our nervous system to achieve our best health and self no matter what type of trauma may be in our past. She earned her medical degree at Loma Linda University, has a Masters in Biochemistry, a Masters in Public Health, and trained three years as a general surgeon before her health crashed.

In this podcast, we cover:

  • The remarkable story of transformation between Dr. Aime and her adopted son
  • How to recognize your ‘three states of being”
  • What unconditional love can do for the nervous system
  • Why the trauma of COVID lockdowns makes people more susceptible to illness
  • The science behind why humans do best living in a community or tribe 
  • How biological toxins causing inflammation make people feel insecure through their nervous system

Can your relationships affect your physical health?

The challenges Dr. Aimie faced with her adoptive son is what prompted her to dive into attachment theory. She began to research what attachment is and how an attachment disorder might be “rewired” later in life.

Because according to Dr. Aimie, a person’s attachment style is entirely developed by age one year. At that age, each individual is either securely attached or has an insecure attachment (which brings all the insecurities that come up when we make connections and our ability to be vulnerable with others.)  

Dr. Aimie began to learn how attachment, or what we call the attachment style, gets wired into our nervous system. 

The nervous system is our survival system, and we have three different survival states: fight, flight, or freeze. 

Our physical bodies can only stay in survival mode for so long until we eventually experience overwhelm, and our bodies shut down. 

Dr. Aimie also talks about how our attachment styles affect our immune system. The nervous system and immune system are intertwined, leading to the connection between our attachment abilities (or lack of) and our immunity.

Why is society trending toward higher and higher numbers of people with insecure attachment styles?

According to Dr. Aimie, our early years of life should include dopamine releases with healthy relationships–connections with a caregiver who loves us unconditionally. A healthy childhood includes getting into a flow with our caregiver, who we trust completely. This leads to moments of joy, connection, and a nonverbal dance of understanding between the two of you. 

In today’s society, mothers are finding it challenging to be fully present with their young children. Dr. Aimie points out that moms today are distracted. There are millions of potential distractions around now. But Dr. Aimie doesn’t get into the blame game. She paints the picture of how today, whatever the distractions or reasons may be, mom’s are missing out on moments where they would generally have moments of joy and connection. This leads to dopamine deficiency. 

Dopamine deficiency is why so many people today have lower energy and less motivation. This is also why so many people procrastinate and develop the habit of getting a dopamine rush by pushing the deadline, getting things done at the last minute. Lack of dopamine also leads to substance abuse and behavioral addictions. 

Dr. Aimie Appigian’s message to the world is you can bio hack your nervous system to find healing over severe trauma or minor trauma in less time. Skip years of traditional therapy and feel better quicker through one of her programs.

Read The Episode Transcript:

Speaker 1: Welcome to the BiOptimizers awesome health podcast. And now here's your host, Wade Lightheart.

Wade Lightheart: What is awesome health? It's actually an acronym that stands for air, water, exercise, sunshine, optimizers, mental beliefs, and attitudes and education. These are the pillars of peak health. And my team and I have created a free 12 week course that you can use to transform. Each day, you'll get a written and video lesson delivered to your inbox. Everything is covered from the foundations of digestion to advance alternative therapies, few people know about. And begin, it's 100% free. Just go to That's B I O P T I M I Z E R Good morning. Good afternoon. And good evening. It's Wade T. Lightheart with another episode of the awesome health podcast, brought to you by BiOptimizers. And today, I am so pumped and excited because we are going to talk about things like what the heck is happening with the freeze response. You might not realize this, but the current circumstances of COVID has activate a very damaging mechanism in us all that we need to address. And we have one of the world's best experts, Dr. Aimie Apigian, who is going to talk about this amongst some other things, including optimizing the health and neuroplasticity of the nervous system to maximize results and accelerate the healing journey from adaptive and attachment pain syndromes, to thriving and living our best lives. Now, you ought to see the credentials that Dr. Aimie has. She is a board certified preventative medicine physician who specializes in adaptive and attachment pain syndromes. You might be thinking, what the heck is that? We're going to get into that in a moment. And she's into optimizing our nervous system to achieve our best health and despite whatever might happen in your past, you don't have to be suffering lifetimes because of some past trauma. She earned her medical degree at Loma Linda university, has her masters in biochemistry, a masters in public health, and then trained three years as a general surgeon before her own health crash. The best doctors are the ones that have struggled with their health. And she currently runs a concierge medical practice and a trauma health coaching business, where she brings her experience and collective trainings in body-based trauma therapies. That's another cool thing, functioning medicine and biohacking. Yay, love biohacking

Wade Lightheart: To not only accelerate the healing journey from adaptive and attachment pain syndromes, but to reach even new levels of physical, mental, and emotional health, we didn't know as possible. So, I could go on and on, but let's just get into this. Dr. Aimie, welcome to the awesome health show.

Aimie Apigian: Thank you, Wade. I'm really excited to be here and talking to you about this. I'm really excited about this kind of stuff.

Wade Lightheart: You know, we were chatting a little bit the other day. It was such a great…

Aimie Apigian: It was, it was fun.

Wade Lightheart: It was so fun. And I love, you know, I'm always excited when I have someone that's so enthusiastic and so positive and so switched on to their field and you're doing some extraordinary research right now. Can you talk a little bit about what got you into this world of understanding the adaptive response of the nervous system and saying, you know, adaptive neuroplastic theory, you know, how the heck did you get there?

Aimie Apigian: It was not a path that I expected Wade, not at all. I was so always intellectual. Like, I was in the books, I loved science, I loved biology and genetics. And so, my parents had kind of already encouraged me to go into medicine and it just seemed like a natural fit. And in fact, not only was I doing medicine, but I was also doing a masters in biochemistry. Like, that's how much geeking out over science I loved. And then what happened is that there was just this space in my life and I'm the type of person that I want my life to be the most meaningful possible. And so, I took that opportunity to be like, 'Hey, why don't I do foster parenting?' So, here I am, in medical school, and finishing up my masters, then I am going through all the process of becoming a foster parent. And…

Wade Lightheart: Which is super tough by the way. For people that don't know that take on that responsibility, I mean, it's a very thorough and long process in order to qualify for that. So,

Aimie Apigian: Yes, yes. There is a very long…

Wade Lightheart: Can you explain that? Like, what gave you that idea?

Aimie Apigian: Well, I mean, I wish that there was more behind that, but here I was like, I had my own place. I had my own home and I had an extra bedroom and I had some space in my schedule and my calendar, that was unusual for me. And so, it was just something like, 'well, why don't I do this for the time being,' because I've got this space. And again, like, I just, I don't like empty spaces in my life. I don't like wasted time. I don't like wasted energy. And so, yes, I went through the very extensive process, the very long checklist of things that they require you to do your house to have everything in place. And then, the call came and it was this four year old boy, and he's blown out of several other homes and we don't know what to do with him. If this is his last chance, if he doesn't make it, you know, with you, he'll be in a group home for the rest of his life, are you willing to take him? And, I mean, I was very open, right? Like, I didn't have any selections at that point. And so, I was just like, sure, I'll take whatever you have and way, like tha, boy has changed my life. And what ended up happening was that I ended up adopting him. So about six months later, I'm standing in the courthouse and adopting him. And he was four at the time when he came into my home and I thought that he was young enough, that whatever had happened to him, that I could undo with my love.

Wade Lightheart: Right. Right.

Aimie Apigian: And I was wrong.

Wade Lightheart: Right. This is part of what people don't realize is early trauma that happens, most of which we might not even be aware of, has a significant impact on how our nervous system and brain function forms. Right.

Aimie Apigian: Right. Yeah. So, what happened is that we had the initial honeymoon period, which anybody who's done foster parenting knows about the honeymoon period. And then it stops. And…

Wade Lightheart: Oh, so what is the honey...? Let's unpack this because I think this is, you must be the only medical doctor that I've ever had on here. And I've had tons that in the middle of school and all the things that you're doing, you decide to take on a foster child and someone who's obviously had some challenges that they're overcome. And then you're like, okay, I want to know what the honeymoon period is. And then, what does that mean exactly?

Aimie Apigian: I'm going to relate it to when you enter a new relationship, right? You first meet somebody and you meet them for coffee, say, and what do you do? Like, you're on your best behavior. You're trying to impress them because you want them to like you, you want them to accept you. You're not ready for the rejection. Right? You're in the honeymoon phase of a relationship. And that's the exact same thing exaggerated 100 times with a foster child, because they've already experienced rejection. They already feel different, broken, unwanted. They feel like they were too much for their biological family or their biological family would have kept them. So, they must be too much for someone to handle. And so, those are all the unconscious, maybe some conscious belief systems going on that come into play to create this honeymoon period where they are wanting you to accept them.

Aimie Apigian: They are wanting, needing that approval from you. And so, they do everything in order to make sure that they are not too much for you, that they do just what you are asking them to do. They're keeping it together. Right? Like, and that's really what we're going to be talking about today, Wade, because each of us can have those tendencies to keep things together, but we're doing it out of force. Like, it's something that we're consciously trying to do, like, keep yourself together. Don't let this control you, don't fall apart. And then we ended up falling apart later because in the meantime, we've just been holding it together. And so this is all part of like the nervous system and the survival responses that I had to learn in order to help my son.

Wade Lightheart: Wow! You know, there are heroes in the world and then there's the heroes that we see on TV, but they're the people that really go the extra mile. And you're obviously one of those people, which is truly incredible. So, what were some of the things that started to come up and then how were you able to address them? Because obviously, when you're dealing with someone who was at that age it's not someone that you can have a, the same type of conversation that you would have with an adult [cross talk] and all these sorts of things is, you're dealing with the utmost levels of unreasonability.

Aimie Apigian: Yes. And reactivity.

Wade Lightheart: Right. So what was happening and what were you able to do around it?

Aimie Apigian: Yeah. So, four weeks into it, and definitely six weeks into it, we hit a point where there was just so much reactivity. And by that I mean, with the smallest simplest things, there were these explosions of emotion. And for him, being a boy, a lot of that was anger and aggression. And a lot of times though, like it was tears, it was crying. And here's what I thought, right? Like, this was how naive I am and kind of stupid I was at the time, Wade. I thought that, 'Hey, he's having big emotions. Let me go and comfort him because that's what he wants.' And that's not what he wanted. He did not want me close. He did not want to receive comfort from me because that was exactly what was scary to him, was that he would open himself up to me, be vulnerable with me, let me comfort him,, and then he would be rejected. And so, any vulnerability, any softening and that's kind of what it was, was softening of his heart, softening towards me was not allowed in his mind. And so, anytime that that would happen, Wade, anytime that we would even laugh together and just have one of those spontaneous fun moments where, you know whatever happens, something silly happens and we both look at each other and laugh. Right after that, he would do something in order to hurt me, in order to push me back away. And so, it became this constant, we're talking constant 24 hour dynamic, where he was constantly trying to push me away if he felt any sense of kindness connection. Because that is what was scary for him. So, there was just this really hard shell. And no matter what I did, the more I tried to break through that shell, the more he would try to hurt me.

Aimie Apigian: And I mean, he got to the point where he tried to kill me and he would tell me how he was going to kill me. There's this one moment that just sticks in my mind where, I mean, he's five at the time, and I'm holding him in my arms. We're kind of rocking because I had already started to do some little of the attachment work that I had started to piece together. So, we were having these moments every day where I was just connecting with him, even though he would push me away. And so I'm kind of rocking him, you know, like holding him in my arms and rocking him. And at the same time, he is peeing on me, he is farting, he is burping; everything that he can do to just gross me out, to push him away. And then he calmly, like calmly looks in my eyes and says, 'Mommy, tomorrow, I'm going to kill you. Not today, tomorrow. And I'm going to take a stick and I'm going to poke your eyes out. And that's how I'll start to kill you.' And it's just like this, no emotion to it. It's just matter of fact. And I'm sitting there, looking into his eyes and being like, I have no idea how to reach you.

Wade Lightheart: Wow! What a deep plot. That's an intense place.

Aimie Apigian: Very intense place. And so I feel like I got blessed with one of the worst of the worst scenarios, because I then had to figure out how do I work with a nervous system that is this stuck in survival mode, where a five-year-old boy is talking about how to kill me because I'm too close, because I love him. Right? It's not because I'm beating him. It's not because I'm hurting him. It's because I'm loving him. And that's why he wants to kill me. Wow! Just, wow!

Wade Lightheart: So, What happened?

Aimie Apigian: So, I threw myself into figuring out what was going on in that little brain of his, and that's where I started learning all about attachment and attachment theory. And then, what is attachment and how do I rewire that at a later age? Because for those who may not know this, your attachment style is developed by age one year of life. So at one year... Yeah, I know, right? So, at one year, you are either securely attached or have an insecure attachment, which comes with all of the insecurities of being vulnerable in relationships and connection.

Wade Lightheart: Wow!

Aimie Apigian: I know, I know. And the crazy thing, Wade, is that the followup studies to that showed that whatever attachment style you have at one year of life, when you grow up and have children, they have your exact same attachment style at one year of life.

Wade Lightheart: Wow!

Aimie Apigian: Right? Because this is how the nervous system develops. And that's what I started to learn was that attachment, this thing that we call attachment style is all of the nervous system. And it's actually what gets wired into our nervous system, which is our survival system. And we have three different survival states that we need to talk about, because people need to understand that. But it actually wires a default response and way of living life and reacting to people, the world, and even how we treat ourselves and see ourselves. And so, this thing called attachment is actually, we're talking about our nervous system.

Aimie Apigian: And this is where we're going to start talking about the freeze response because many people mistakenly, lump the survival response into fight, flight or freeze. And that's wrong Wade, that is so wrong. There are three different states of our nervous system. There's the parasympathetic, where we want to be. Then there's the sympathetic, which is fight or flight. It's a very high action, very high energy. The metabolism of the body is at its max. The mitochondria are revving its engines at full speed in order to survive. But then what happens Wade, is that there's this line that gets crossed. That line, we can call overwhelm, and we can talk about all the different ways in which the body can be overwhelmed and reach that line. But at the end of the day, the biological system, that we call the nervous system, is overwhelmed and it shuts down.

Aimie Apigian: Same thing, you know, in the animal kingdom, when someone, you know, a deer is getting chased by a Cougar and it has that moment where it realizes that it cannot survive by running away. And it goes into the freeze response.

Wade Lightheart: Wow.

Aimie Apigian: It goes into the freeze response before, whoever's chasing it actually ever touches it, which is the crazy thing, because we think that once the pounce already happens, that's when they go into the freeze. No, they go into the freeze before the pounce happens. When they realize they cannot outrun their chaser. The threat…

Wade Lightheart: That's a very clear distinction for people.

Aimie Apigian: Yes, yes. And so here they have this threat, this danger that they're not able to face actively. And so, their best survival plan is to play dead, is to actually numb out, to not feel the pain and conserve their energy so that if they have an opportunity to run away, they're going to have the energy to actually do that.

Aimie Apigian: Same thing happens in our nervous system, where, when we have what we perceive, whether it's real or not, right? That's a whole another topic, Wade. Right? Whether it's real or not, when we have these dangers and threats in our life that we are actively trying to manage, our body gets to a point where it's overwhelmed with that. And it's been too much for too long. We're having to keep things together and burning the candle at both ends for too long, or things have happened too much, too fast. Those are the two reasons for overwhelm, and our body shuts down. And once it shuts down, once it crosses that line, there's nothing that we can do at that point to pull it back in that moment. It takes time, it's on a biological clock and that is our freeze response. And many people live their entire life going back and forth between the freeze response and fear, overwhelm and shut down and fear and anxiety. And so this is like the classic example of someone who, you know, is a high-performer maybe, looking to live their best. And they find that they get their energy from deadlines, and they'll be in this low motivation state, not able to do much and tell they are right up against the deadline. And then all of a sudden it's like this, 'Woof!' Like here's all this energy. And after they meet the deadline, what happens? They crash again.

Wade Lightheart: Right.

Aimie Apigian: Right? There's not…

Wade Lightheart: I know a lot of people like this.

Aimie Apigian: Well, that is the freeze response. And so, this is where we're seeing more and more people in our society, having an insecure attachment style that leads them to have this freeze response, being a pretty strong default pattern in their nervous system. And so they're going to find themselves fighting overwhelm more often than other people who don't have those patterns in their nervous system.

Wade Lightheart: Okay. So let's just back that up for just a little bit.

Aimie Apigian: I know, that was a lot. That was a lot.

Wade Lightheart: That was a lot new thing. It's so profound because there's like 50 million questions that go off in my brain when you're saying that, because I think there's a lot of people.

Aimie Apigian: Yes.

Wade Lightheart: What's interesting is, I find this a lot with high IQ people. I was actually just in a discussion with that, with a friend of mine, who's high IQ. I like to surround myself with people who are smarter than me. And one of the patterns I have seen with a lot of that type of person with capabilities is, they need an incredible amount of pressure to get the most out of themselves. Otherwise, it's not at a... Would that be related to that? Or is that something unusual?

Aimie Apigian: Yes.

Wade Lightheart: So, can you explain that to me? Like, how someone would develop that at an early stage and why they would develop that?

Aimie Apigian: Yeah. So there's a couple of different things that are happening. There's the nervous system wiring and then there's neuro-transmitters and they all kind of go together. But one of the things, how I'll answer that question is that in our early years, when our nervous system is developing, we are naturally intended to have a dopamine release with healthy relationships, with connection with someone else who loves us unconditionally. And there's those moments of just being in the flow with someone else, right? And especially as a young child, when that someone else is your caregiver, who you have implicit trust in them because they have consistently provided for not only your physical needs, but for your emotional needs. And you have these moments of just joy and connection and this non-verbal dance and understanding that you have between the two of you; that is where we are intended to have the healthy dopamine release.

Aimie Apigian: What has been happening is that more and more in our society, where especially a mother does not have the amount of presence to be fully present with her young child, she's distracted, right? There's million different reasons why she's distracted, we don't need to point fingers and start blaming and whatever, but there are more pressures on moms. There is more, usually more tasks and responsibilities. They may be working. They may be doing a bunch of other things. So they miss out on all of these moments where they would normally have these moments of joy and connection and dopamine for their young child. And so what happens is that it creates this dopamine deficiency, where then it leads to this tendency to have lower energy, lower motivation. And until we feel that we need a dopamine rush, and then that's what we get when there's a deadline or that's what we get when we go out and have a hard exercise and we get all that dopamine. This is also where some people tend to go to substances or behavioral addictions, because that is another source of a big dose of dopamine in the moment that can offset their baseline dopamine deficiency. So the dopamine is very much a part of all of this.

Wade Lightheart: That makes so much sense. So that could be correlative with the addictive personality types as well, because that's also something that you see a lot of really high IQ people, who oftentimes also are usually addicted to a variety of substances. And I've watched this so often and it's kind of like we know the super CEO alcoholic or, you know, the super entertainer. That's amazing. That's all kinds of substance because they're continually seeking this dopamine connection is what you're trying to say, because they didn't get it when they were young. So, whatever that external response mechanism is, they're just going to seek it out. And the behavior is irrelevant. If the behavior is only to give you the neurochemical feedback. Wow! that's huge.

Aimie Apigian: Yeah. And the specific behavior or substance that a person uses is only because you had access to that and your brain latched onto that as the solution for feeling better.
Wade Lightheart: Wow. That's huge. Well, that just explains like 80% of the world's behavior.

Aimie Apigian: Pretty much.

Wade Lightheart: That was pretty good in 30 minutes as well. What else can we learn? So continue on please.

Aimie Apigian: Well, and that's just it, right? Like, we're seeing these trends in society and in the world where more and more people have an insecure attachment style. And there are patterns, there are very predictable patterns that come with an insecure attachment style.

Wade Lightheart: Can you list them? What is "an insecure attachment patterns"?

Aimie Apigian: Yeah.

Wade Lightheart: I think that laid those out because people are going to go, I want to know these, tell me, I think my partner has them.

Aimie Apigian: I'm quite sure your partner does, and you probably have the other side of it.

Wade Lightheart: Exactly. That's how it works. Everybody's sick of that, right?

Aimie Apigian: Yeah. So there are actually three different categories of insecure attachment styles that they have identified. And I don't find them as useful because at the end of the day, it's the same type of nervous system. And so the same type of things that we need to do to rewire that for a secure attachment. And so we call that an earned secure attachment when later on in life, whether you're still in your childhood or you're an adult, and you're working on yourself, you've been able to, you know, bio-hack your survival system, your attachment style, and develop an earned secure attachment where you can feel safe and in healthy relationships. And so this would be one pattern that I'll mention, first of all with the insecure attachments, is looking at their relationship patterns, who are the type of people that they bring into their life? Who are the type of people that they enter into romantic relationships with?

Aimie Apigian: Are they the type of people who tend to be more standoffish? And so you're in this dynamic where you're constantly trying to, you know, seek their approval because they're kind of more aloof and don't care as much, not as invested. Well, that's, I mean, that's a clear sign that not only do you have an insecure attachment style, but they do as well, right? Or sometimes it's the opposite, where you're attracting people who are needy, who are clingy and you're the savior. You're the one who gets to jump in and save the day and be the one who wants to make them happy because they're not happy by themselves. So there's all these different types of relationship patterns that will present with an insecure attachment, always, always right? And that's one of the easiest ways to identify whether someone has an insecure attachment style.

Aimie Apigian: The interesting thing though, Wade, is that while most of the world is focused on the mindset that the internal beliefs and the relationship patterns, what we have found is that this is affecting our health as well. And so there are different health patterns that a person with an insecure attachment will have. And a lot of it, because of the nervous system is so closely integrated with the immune system, they tend to have a lot more immune problems. The nervous system also, is the main controller for the digestive system. And so, people with insecure attachment almost always have some degree of digestive issues that get worse with time. And these can include anything from food sensitivities; they have a higher amount of food sensitivities than normal. And that makes sense, because we know that in times of stress, our gut is more permeable, so we have more sensitivities than when we're not stressed. The problem with a person with an insecure attachment style weight is that they're always stressed, right?

Wade Lightheart: Right. A hundred percent. This is exactly…

Aimie Apigian: This is their whole life.

Aimie Apigian: They may have moments in time where they feel happy, secure. And I think that's the key word, right? Like they feel secure, but those are only moments in time and that's not enough time to offset all of the time that they spend in anxiety or overwhelm. And so what happens is that with time, you start to see all of the diseases that are actually associated with the adverse childhood experiences study. And that was a study that was done out of Kaiser actually in the preventive medicine department, where they were looking and starting to see patterns of people who were obese and all of the early life events that they had had, and started to see strong associations between early childhood stress, different life events that created stress and the development of obesity. So that was the initial study.

Aimie Apigian: But since then, there's been many more studies correlating several different chronic diseases in adulthood to early life stress. And I mean, I hate to tell people this, right, but this is what I discovered after helping my son was that, yeah, my son had had an awful life before he got to me. Right? And yet his stress did not stop when he came into my home, even though he was finally now in a secure place. But even though his case was exaggerated, the majority of us have elements of that. And so, we can start to see ourselves in those types of insecurities and start to have those health problems. And that was really where it hit home for me was that I had my own health crash and I started to have, what looked to be like auto-immune problems. I was being told that there were some things that were going on with my vision and my eyes that they said, this is classic for multiple sclerosis.

Aimie Apigian: I had my auto-immune markers really high. I was just starting to struggle with chronic fatigue and some joints swelling. And, so they said, well, you are probably headed down the path of auto-immune. And you know, when you get the butterfly rash on your cheeks, then come in and we'll actually give you the diagnosis. And I'm looking at this and I knew from my studies, this is all stuff that's related to the adverse childhood experiences study. Why do I have this? I mean, this is my son. Yeah. I get that. So, why me? And that was where I really had a big epiphany that this isn't just my son, this isn't just the people who had that degree of trauma that they can look back in their childhood and clearly say, yeah, I had severe neglect. My parents were drug addicts. I was in the foster care system, right?

Aimie Apigian: Like those are big traumatise, but the rest of us have small traumatise. And we didn't get the amount of physical touch, we didn't get the amount of emotional connection that we needed when we were really young. And so, it caused these same patterns in our nervous system that then lead to the same health problems. So that would be another pattern that I would say to people, look to see, not only in your relationship patterns, right? Your communication style, your relationship patterns, but then also your health and what type of symptoms do you have. Even if you don't have a diagnosis, right? Forget diagnoses, we're going off of symptoms. Do you struggle with digestive issues? Do you struggle with immune problems? Do you struggle with energy and focus? Those were all things that are related to the nervous system. And when the nervous system has these chronic imbalances from the stress or traumas, even if they're small T traumas, those are the types of symptoms that we can look for, for the patterns to know this, 'Hey, you got it too. Right? You got it too.'

Wade Lightheart: So beautifully said. And I think, it's, one of the things that I've been very passionate about is studying things on the extremes and, you know, bodybuilding as an extreme sport, which was the precursor to biohacking. We look at Indy car racing and the technology that gets adapted. If we look at fighter jet technology and how that gets translated into, you know, transport planes and things like that. And I think that's really beautiful, but in your case, you're in an extreme personal situation that led you to the 'Aha!'.

Aimie Apigian: Yep.

Wade Lightheart: So, Before we go a little bit further, I would like to say, so what was the resolution that you had, maybe in your own personal life and then how has that transported to other people?

Aimie Apigian: Yeah. Well, I mean, I guess first I'll up with my son. So, he and I had six really long, difficult years. Wade, they were really long.

Wade Lightheart: Six years. Yeah.

Aimie Apigian: Really difficult years. I was running, you know, like a child psych unit, out of my home. Right? Like that's how extreme, you want to talk about extremes; that's how extreme it got, where I was having to put alarms on my bedroom door because I didn't trust that he would not try to kill me at night. Right? He was starting to even do false allegations of abuse and tell people that I was starving him. I went on a small trip when I was applying for residency programs and I came back, my mother having watched him for just two days, just two days. And at that point, he was still pooping in his pants as a seven year old, as an eight year old, he was still pooping in his pants. And I come back from that trip and he had convinced my mother, my mother, he had convinced my mother that I was abusing him and starving him. Like, that's how good these people get to be, in terms of survival. It's just so instinctual. And that's really what I want to, you know, kind of help communicate is that this becomes our default way of living life. We don't think about it. It becomes our instincts. And so, whether you realize it or not, whatever you have is coming out in the world, is coming out in your relationships, is coming out in your health. And so, it's not good enough to just not know about it and not be aware of it. You need to learn about this. You need to be aware of it, so that you can change the patterns and change the outcomes that you're going to have, even five 10 years from now, in all areas of your life. So with my son, I threw myself into figuring things out. I drove him around the country, to different professionals, tried all kinds of different therapies; some seem to help for a little bit, some definitely made things worse. And I eventually found all the pieces that made it come together for him. And this was I mean, this was the most beautiful moment for me, right? We're walking down this shaded lane in West Virginia, of all places. I am from California.

Wade Lightheart: Right.

Aimie Apigian: We were a long way from home.

Wade Lightheart: Right.

Aimie Apigian: And, it was this last therapy that we were trying and everything that I had been doing up until then, laid the groundwork for it because I don't think that this therapy was just the one and only piece for him. But for the first time ever, Wade, he reaches out for me and he puts his hand in my hand, to hold my hand. And I'm so shocked because he's never reached out to me before. Right? It's always been me reaching out for him and feeling that rejection from him, you know, of him trying to pull his hand out. He doesn't want to hold my hand. And so for the first time, he reaches out for me and I looked down at him, kind of in, like, what is this, right? And he looks in my eyes and he's like, 'mom, I love you.' And it was just like, Whoa! Like, it still gives me chills, thinking back at that moment and kind of, everything that we had to go through to get to that point, where he was finally able to feel my love and to feel safe in my love. To know that I wasn't going to hurt him, I wasn't going to reject him; that he was safe, allowing himself to soften and be loved. Right?

Wade Lightheart: It's a really give me a second there and I just want to comment on that, and I think there's another story here that I think is for our listeners, that's really, really powerful. And I would say that is the power of unconditional love, and you should be recognized and honored that, because it is the pattern of unconditional love that I believe, drove you to kind of, to develop and do the work and do all those things under excruciating situations that were far and above. And I've always believed that unconditional love, which doesn't come from the mind, it doesn't make sense. It's not mental. It's what really connects humans on a great level, actually opens up the doors to incredible breakthroughs in virtually every field it always has and it always will. And I want to honor you for that.

Wade Lightheart: That's truly amazing to change that boy's life and how that boy and that situation is now changing other people's lives because of your understanding of this. So, without fast-forwarding the story, well, we'll get to that. We'll save that part for just a little bit further down. How is this discovery that you've had with your son, impacted of what's happening with people in the world right now?

Aimie Apigian: Yeah.

Wade Lightheart: It's because we are in, perhaps, I was reading a paper the other day, how a psychologist had said that the world is developing a severe psychosis around the COVID and responsiveness, and it's damaging people's capacity to see the world and connect with others. We're talking a globalized traumatic event. And, I always think of my grandparents and, who went through the depression, we'd go to their houses and they would just have cans and cans of food, like food that was been there for 20 years because they had gone through this severe traumatic event in the great depression that impacted them forever. Do you believe that that's happening right now and what can people do about it?

Aimie Apigian: So this is huge, Wade, this is huge. And we have not even seen the beginning of the mental health crisis. That's going to be a result of COVID. And I, you know, I don't want to say as a result of COVID, I would say, as a result of the social restrictions.

Wade Lightheart: Yeah. The mitigations that, and the wide variety of whatever does not seem to be uniform application of science, for everyone to say. Yeah.

Aimie Apigian: Now, in terms of COVID itself, let me just touch on that briefly. Anybody with these insecure attachment styles, part of their health pattern, we talked about the immune system being effected, and so they are more vulnerable to the long lasting effects of a viral infection, whether that's COVID, whether that's Epstein Barr virus, whether that's slime, it doesn't matter. Their immune system is more vulnerable because of the imbalances in their nervous system. So, these are the very same people that yes, will have not only, be more disposed to the long lasting effects of COVID, but also be more prone to the mental health effects of COVID that result from the brain inflammation. And so a big part of trauma sometimes, and even a lot of people have histories of, you know, physical head traumas, whether concussions or sports injuries, those people, their brains are more predisposed to inflammation and they're at more risk of that with COVID or any other viral illness. So, there is that, you know, biological vulnerability, if you want to say that, of people with these types of patterns, just getting sick with anything. But then, you look at the social changes that have happened as a result of COVID. And this is what's causing and going to cause even more of a huge mental health crisis. I'm pretty deep right now into the addiction medicine space. I run a couple of detox centers and talk about, you know, another extreme that I love working with, because if I can biohack their nervous system, I can biohack anybody's nervous system. Right? And, we're seeing, I mean, I'm seeing many more overdoses.

Wade Lightheart: Right.

Aimie Apigian: And I'm seeing a lot of people relapsing after years of being sober and clean. And the reason is, when we have these insecurities, we develop coping mechanisms in order to help ourselves survive and feel well, right? Like, we talk about the hierarchy of needs, and once our basic survival needs are met, then it's in terms of thriving and doing well and connecting. And, so we have these coping mechanisms that help us survive and then hopefully get us to a place of thriving. And, for hopefully many people, they've developed healthy coping mechanisms that have helped them come out of any type of addiction, but not only addictions, just general mental health, right? And whether it's anxiety or depression, there are healthy coping mechanisms like exercise, even though exercise can turn into an unhealthy coping mechanism, right? I've been there, I've done that. But healthy connection, healthy relationships, getting together with friends, being a part of a community, being a part of a community of people where there's a purpose greater than you.

Aimie Apigian: Those are all essential things to our mental health. And all of that's been taken away with COVID. And touch, right? Like touch is one of the most important ways for our body to biologically feel that support and that connection. And so, when we have touch taken away, our bodies naturally are going to be closer at baseline to that line of overwhelm. And so now it's not going to take much to push our bodies past that line of overwhelm. Whereas, when we had our normal life and we were able to hug our friends and, you know, have that healthy touch, our bodies were naturally, at baseline, much further away from that line of overwhelm. A term that you can use as resilience, right? There are things that we naturally have in our life that create resilience or just living further from that line of overwhelm, and we've lost a lot of that, a lot of that. We've lost gyms, we've lost our ability to meet and socialize and gather, and travel has been affected. And so, there's many more who may have had their emotional and psychological stress managed. And now it's not managed because their ways of managing it have been taken away. And so they find themselves getting more irritable, they find themselves more angry, they find themselves more lashing out and stressed out and depressed, and going into that overwhelm where they just, they go into shutdown. And what that looks like is like, they just don't care anymore. Right? They've lost their fight. And we're seeing that a lot in society right now, of just, they tend to just become a follower because they've lost their fight. They don't care anymore. They don't have the energy to care anymore. And this is really where then all of the biological and the biohacking stuff comes into play, because if we can give your body more energy, it gets its fight back, it gets its life back. And then you're more alive and you do have an opinion, and you're going to fight for your opinion in your life, rather than just living in the freeze response and numbing out in order to not care what's done to you.

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Wade Lightheart: One of the things I've noticed I interact with a wide variety of individuals in life, and I've been very blessed to do so. One of the things that I have noted is that a lot of people in the biohacking and the health community, and people who are taking, I would say, a significant investment in their time to improve their energy, their health, their vitality, their performance, these types of things, seem to be far more suspicious of the current mitigations, and certainly putting up more resistance to them than say, the general population. The other thing that I've witnessed is, and maybe you can comment on this I'm not sure, is that even when presented with this series of illogical action statements, purported propaganda on the various networks of whatever, I'll watch people who, you can say, they get to a certain point and then they kind of default into this, Oh, well, you know, what? You know, even if they know that their whole life is ruined, even if they know their business is ruined, their relationship is ruined, the economy is ruined, but they go, 'Yes, I understand. Yes, I understand. Yes, I understand.' And then they shut down and go back to that kind of like, nothing we can do about it kind of thing.

Aimie Apigian: That is the freeze response, Wade.

Wade Lightheart: That is, so this is the freeze response that is happening to people worldwide. They've gone through that. How the heck do we break people out of this?

Aimie Apigian: That's a big question, Wade.

Wade Lightheart: Well, that's the kind that I like to ask. I like asking big questions. We ask big questions here at BiOptimizers. We train all day long to ask big questions. But that is the question because,

Aimie Apigian: That is the question.

Wade Lightheart: We are looking at a complete alteration of society, perhaps permanently. I don't know what the damage has been done to children, particularly in these developmental stages. We know trauma that's happening to business owners and people, careers and all this stuff. And, then the reality is, a political figure somewhere else, or a medical figure somewhere else, whatever happens, they can't change this. It's up to us to be able to cultivate positive human relations and a positive health and outlook in life for us. So, what do we do? What do we got to get out of this?

Aimie Apigian: I mean, there's a couple of different ways to look at this; there's individually and then there's globally,

Wade Lightheart: Right. So, let's start with the individual first, because that's really the only thing we have any control over, despite my 420 posts that are trying to convince other people of my opinion.

Aimie Apigian: And then, there's sharing, right? Like, sharing in order to inspire, right? Which is what you do, which I love you for that. So individually, what we can do is realize, be aware of what's coming up for us in terms of our insecurities. And one of the easiest ways to do that is just simply asking ourselves, am I feeling insecure these days? Or am I feeling secure? And obviously, globally, most people are feeling very insecure, and that's the psychological effects that are surfacing as a result of all these changes with COVID. They've always been there, Wade. They've always been there.

Wade Lightheart: Right. But it's kind of like they're getting exposed. They're getting exposed under the stress of the environment. It's like, you were always just the bunny rabbit in the field, but now the big, bad Wolf is showed up and you're not so sure you can outrun it.

Aimie Apigian: Exactly. That's exactly what it is, is now that you're faced with these changes and change is always, for a person with insecure attachment, change is always going to produce insecurity.

Wade Lightheart: Right.

Aimie Apigian: And so, when we are feeling ourselves in this insecure place, that's where we have the work to do individually. And so this is where everything comes into play. And this is my whole work right now, is this neuro optimization that requires an integrated approach with not only the biology side of things and actually improving our mitochondria, because this is partly an energy problem, right? The freeze response is an energy conservation problem. But then we also need to address the actual emotional insecurities because if those continue, it's going to continue to drain our energy and our mitochondria. And so we have to address both, in order to get the results, and the shift that we want, that's going to stick because there's so many people that I talk to where they feel good, as long as they're on their yoga mat,

Wade Lightheart: But right. Yeah. Oh boy! That's a great one.

Aimie Apigian: As soon as they get off the yoga mat, they've got, it's right back. Right.

Wade Lightheart: And they feel good when they're watching the Netflix video, they kind of check out of whatever

Aimie Apigian: When they can zone out, check out, they're fine. Even though that is the freeze response, Wade, right there is,

Wade Lightheart: It is, because you're kind of in a semi hypnotic state, brain activity is like below sleep. You're freezing out.

Aimie Apigian: Yes. That is the freeze response. So, if a person is feeling the need to check out, zone out, they can tell that they have the freeze response. That is one way to know. So, we look at the insecurities that a person has and that's where the work is, because we've got to be able to address it and deal with the mitochondria, with the biology side of things and with the insecurity side of things, so that when they get off of their yoga mat, they can go into the world and bring their sense of security, of peace, of health, of love, of connection. Because if not, if they haven't this work, they're going to be bringing their insecurity, their fear and adding to the global fear and hysteria, and then the reactivity that is part of that.

Wade Lightheart: Beautifully said. And one of the things that I've actively done during this time, because I agree with you a hundred percent and I certainly didn't have the research acumen or understanding of that stuff at your level. But what I did notice is, I know that humans are a social species and they need touch and they need love and they need connection and they will come. And so I have the bio home here, I've got another group of friends down in Orange County.

Aimie Apigian: Speak up because I need to find a day that I can come out with.

Wade Lightheart: Yes, yes. And, I'm routinely opened up for, I have a gym on my roof, for example, and I have people in the neighborhood who are coming over and they've, you know, I strike up a friendship and like, well, that's a nice gym up there. And I'm like, well, would you like to come work out in? Work out in it? Yeah. Just knock on the door. Before we started, someone knocked on the door and I'm like, yeah, yeah, go up. Because they need to know that people still care.

Aimie Apigian: Yes.

Wade Lightheart: I don't know all these people super well. They see my gym on the roof. I'm here in my office working. They want to have a workout. They come over and it gives hope that they can have a workout. They come over and feel connected, my friends down in orange County where they have places where people will meet up and reconnect that.

Wade Lightheart: And I actually was, and I'll give one other piece and we'll go back to you. I recently did some tactical weapons training in Nevada, way out in the middle of this desert at this compound in Nevada, because, you know, Hey, it's a really dark time; who knows what could happen, and I want it to be responsible and understanding, my constitutional rights, the criminal code, the civil law, all these things that are involved in use of deadly work. Because if society goes down and it's not pleasant, what could potentially happen if someone comes into your door gangs, I'm in Los Angeles. It's a very dependent city on the systems of civilization. And what struck me, when I got there, is that there was a massive group of people, there was hundreds of people there and people, frankly, it is the truth that they weren't wearing masks. They were all carrying guns, everybody's carrying guns. And it was probably the nicest, happiest, most connected, joyful bunch of people you'd ever imagine. They're all toting deadly weapons. And when I got there, because it had been so deficient to people, I got there and I was like, wow, this feels really good. It's kind of that when people used to gather at a football stadium, or gather at a baseball stadium, or at a rock concert, or a community gathering. There's something that bonds us into something greater and that's been taken away from people. And there is a nervous system response to this, as what you are saying.

Aimie Apigian: Yes, and I'm going to add to that. And here's some of the science behind that. In our past, you know, like we lived in tribes.

Wade Lightheart: Yes.

Aimie Apigian: And in terms of survival, that was how we survived. We lived in community. The worst thing that could have happened to us would be, we get kicked out of the tribe.

Wade Lightheart: Correct.

Aimie Apigian: Because if we're out there by ourselves, we can't survive.

Wade Lightheart: Correct.

Aimie Apigian: Right? Like, we can't survive the elements, we can't survive the wild animals. The only way for us to survive is in community. And what's happened is that with the shifts in our society that have happened over the last, you know, several years, decades, and centuries is that we've become more and more isolated. And we don't have as much of that sense of community and connection to a community that's bigger than us, where there's a purpose bigger than us, there's a meaning bigger than us. And, so what happens is that now we have a bunch of people running around the world who, because of that loss of deep community and connection with people, they are more insecure at baseline.

Wade Lightheart: Right.

Aimie Apigian: Realizing it, but that's... Right. That's where they are. And so, then you have something like a pandemic that comes through and you make them even more isolated. All of those insecurities are going to come up, they're going to surface. And now, rather than being able to respond in, what is my responsibility? What is the way in which I want to show up in the world right now? What are the decisions that I want to take for me, my family? Whatever that is. Instead of being able to respond from a balanced, logic and emotional place, they are reacting from a pure survival base. And when the riots first broke out, right? Like that was what we were seeing, is this reactivity from a place of survival, where they felt that they were acting on something else, but it was just that we are all more prone to reacting to survival right now, because of the baseline. We're feeling isolated, we've been taken away, we've been taken out of our community, out of our tribe, we've been separated; and that's then how we get controlled by fear.

Wade Lightheart: You may not know, there's another piece to this that I think is really important, because I've noticed this whole concept of virtue signaling, and people want to... What I call it, they have a low level of information about any given situation.

Aimie Apigian: Right.

Wade Lightheart: Because society is very complex, history is very complex, all these different things that are happening. But everybody wants to be seen as a virtuous person and part of the good team, and, you know, we're kind of this tribal mentality. And I think, when you saw, for example, the protests, we had definitely there were some legitimate protestors who were saying, 'Hey, this isn't right.' And I don't think there was anybody that saw what initiated those responses, I thought that was a good thing. Whether, whatever race or background, and I don't know anybody that said, that was a good thing. However, the outrage was way more in advanced and people were going on. And then you had, people taking on extremely irrational and aggressive tones like, a number of police officers were hurt. People were killed in protest of someone getting killed. Like, it's complete insanity. It's the opposite of what you would want to have is like, as opposed to coming together and saying, 'Hey, let's find a better way to do this,' We're actually propagating that under disguise that there's somebody out there like a tribal mentality. It's those guys over there, that's the problem, and we need to take them out, we need to eliminate them, we need to kill them because, are they projecting the threat that they're feeling in their own life on to everybody around, just like your son was projecting onto you that you're the bad person? Is that what's happening?

Aimie Apigian: Yes. And the problem is, Wade, and this is why we have to biohack and work with the nervous system to get it to a stable place, because when you are in one of your survival states, to you, it seems completely rational in the moment. You can't see that what you're doing is irrational. You cannot see it. And then people start to have a negative reaction to you and you get even angrier because they're not seeing what you're seeing. Right? And so that's the problem, is that we have so many people living in survival states, all the time right now, this is their life and they don't see it. And so, the work is, first looking at ourselves, do I have any of these survival responses? When do my insecurities come up? And then having the tools to shift back into the parasympathetic state, out of the insecurity so that you can be in a place where you're consistently, consistently, and that's like a big key here, right? It's not going back and forth between extremes and shut down and zoning out and then back in, but consistently being able to respond, consistently feeling secure and safe, that whatever challenges come your way, you're going to be able to have enough energy, information, resources to meet that challenge to come through. That's the work is to, for us individually, to keep ourselves in that parasympathetic secure state. And that requires us to understand that our three states be able to recognize those states, know how to work with them and know how to work with our biology, to make sure that we are optimized with our nervous system.

Wade Lightheart: I first witnessed this a number of years ago when Professor Jordan Peterson, from Canada, the psychology individual who ended up writing 12 rules for life, and I think he's released another book. He became this media sensation and largely in part was grossly mis-characterized. He was characterized in the media as someone who was against transgender and all these sort of ideas, which it wasn't. He was actually against the government compelling speech because it was a constitutional issue. And yet, very few of the people who were interviewing him, were actually able to even hear and listen what his argument was. And then, he came to worldwide fame because he started to demonstrate what was happening. And he was holding lectures and people were becoming completely outrageous and unreasonable and creating all these sort of things, out of a sign that he was now the lightening rod to threats, to their survival as an individual or as whatever group they identified with. And, he handled it well, and of course he went through, he had his own challenges that he's just recently somewhat recovered from, of course because he had a lot of anxiety, his wife, you know, worldwide fame. I mean, it was criticism, and an unusual and tragic public story. And I actually saw him speak and it was quite wonderful. But I'm seeing this play out, not for people who are like Dr. Jordan Peterson, who's now a world renowned psychologist, but this is happening on people's social media groups. This is happening at people's family thanksgiving dinner. This is happening inside of communities. For example, there's, I know myself, I'm very conscientious about what I say or what I put out in certain areas around certain people, not because I'm concerned about what somebody thinks about me, I just don't want to tip them off and see them go off into a complete ballistic rage.

Wade Lightheart: I'm not to say that my opinions are all accurate or right, or anything else, but I do believe the expression of them and I'm one of these people that like to debate. And I'll take someone who has an opposite point of view and we'll discuss this, so they can point the holes in my argument and refine them or change me and vice versa. This is what has been, you know, what makes humans, humans. But now, there is not even the point of we can have these conversations. So, in our own lives and in our communities that we find ourself, what are your suggestions that people can implement, maybe a few steps that they can do to address these and maybe where they can find out more information of what you're doing and how you're like, sharing...? Because this information is basically the difference between us having a successful society and descending into total chaos and anarchy.

Aimie Apigian: It really is. And bringing it back to individually, this is going to be what's up to a person coming through this with a sane mind or falling apart and going ballistic. Yeah.

Wade Lightheart: Wow! Let's lay it out. Lay it out. Dear doctor, please save us right now, please. We're just putting you to save the world today. That's all that we are asking.

Aimie Apigian: Nothing big. I get you. So, when I was working with my son, what would happen? And one of the first things that started happening after that honeymoon period, is that when I would tell him, 'No, you can't do that.' Or, and that's really how it started, right? Like, he would ask me, 'Can I have a cookie?' No, it's not time for a cookie, right? That word, "no' would trigger such an emotional reaction, and it would trigger usually violence and him starting to hit me and we would go into the whole rage and property destruction for hours. And it was only because I had said, "No, you can't have a cookie right now.'.

Wade Lightheart: Right.

Aimie Apigian: The reason being is because when we have these insecurities, then when we enter into a debate or when we, there's this possibility that we don't know everything or that we may be wrong, that is such a threat to who we are and how we see ourselves, that it becomes a reason to overreact, lash out and hurt other people in order to preserve our belonging, our worthiness, our ability to be loved and be accepted. When we are coming from a secure place, we can enter into a debate, we can even find out that we are completely wrong and it doesn't shake us in our core, from us feeling like we are lovable and we are worthy of belonging.

Wade Lightheart: Right.

Aimie Apigian: And so, this is what we're going into is, we're not even able to see ourselves as possibly being wrong or possibly not having all the information because of the threat that, that is for those people with insecure patterns. So, what do we do?

Aimie Apigian: This is where we really want to talk about what types of therapies are useful, because there are many therapies that are not useful. And after having tried many of them, both for my son and for myself, it really is working directly with the nervous system, where these insecurities are wired. And so that's why, I've gotten trained in the body-based trauma therapies, because I've seen those as the most effective and efficient. You don't, you know, you're not stuck in therapy for years, talking about the same thing and going over the same thing, you're actually working and rewiring these insecurities in your nervous system. At the same time, you have to have to have to be addressing your biological factors affecting your nervous system, because I have seen people still do tons of therapy and be stuck in those insecurities because they're not addressing the inflammation in their body.

Aimie Apigian: And there's many more examples, right? I'll just mention that one because it's a common one, but when you have inflammation and that's what is being, your nervous system is exposed to inflammation, your nervous system is getting the message, a signal of danger. Inflammation is a sign of danger. And we often think of, you know, there being dangers and threats in our external environment around us, but there's just as many that can happen inside of us. And, as long as there's an internal message of danger because of toxins, inflammation, poor mitochondria, so low ATP, whatever the situation is, our nervous system is biologically going to be stuck in survival mode because it feels like, I don't know if I have enough resources, so I need to conserve my resources just to get through the day.

Wade Lightheart: Right.

Aimie Apigian: And the problem is that, even though it's something biological, you are still going to have all of the psychological symptoms of insecurities. And so, you're going to still be having the thoughts of, I'm not worthy, I'm not lovable, I need to hustle for my worthiness, I need to, you know, work to be approved and be loved or whatever, you know, your patterns for insecurities. Even though it's something that's being caused by inflammation or toxins or poor mitochondria, but that's that connection between our mind and body, where whatever's happening in our biology is what is the types of thoughts and feelings that we're going to have.

Wade Lightheart: And I've also observed that I believe that's true that, you know, there is the psychological components, but there's the biology that you're dealing with.

Aimie Apigian: They're one in the same, like they are the two sides of the same coin. You cannot separate them. You cannot separate them.

Wade Lightheart: Yeah. So first and foremost, I think what you're suggesting is, instead of, like zoning out, founding that umpteen bags of chips, while you're watching the, whatever new Netflix series is just come on, with 57 new episodes to zone out, and you're suggesting you need to do a pattern interrupt and you need to do something that's going to enhance your biochemistry or your health perspective, and you're going to need something to engage and understand how you can implement, whatever the situation is, some positive connections that we need as humans.

Aimie Apigian: Yes. I would definitely say that that would be the first step. And, I know that we're running out of time and, so I will just tell you that way, this is going to have to be another conversation we have, but I also want to just kind of warn people that when they do that pattern disruption, stuff is going to happen, right? Because that is the body's way of surviving.

Wade Lightheart: Right.

Aimie Apigian: Right?

Wade Lightheart: Stuff is going to happen.

Aimie Apigian: You're going to experience more anxiety. You're going to experience like, okay, if I don't have, if I can't zone out, what do I do to get through? Because that has been my survival mechanism. So, the pattern disruption is essential, but at the same time, understand that it's serving a purpose. And so, as soon as you take away that mechanism, you're going to need, you're going to be, your body, your brain is going to be looking for, okay, well then what's the next thing that I can use to zone out? What's the other addiction that I can develop in order to get through this? And so that's really where it's important to be working with someone who can help guide you through that process so that you don't just develop another unhealthy coping mechanism. Another way of checking out, of numbing out, of zoning out, right? Going into over-exercising over-working over anything, right? That's all part of the freeze response. So, whenever you try to disrupt the freeze response, the reason the freeze response is going to come up, and that's then what you got to learn how to deal with. And that's a whole another conversation.

Wade Lightheart: We're going to get you back, and as soon as possible, I'm gonna let my assistant know that we need to kind of get this, because I think this is a topic that's going to continue to develop under the current, because it looks like there's more mitigations coming and more all kinds of stuff, so we'll organize that. How can people find out more about you, more about your work, what you're turning out here, particularly in regards to this, and then maybe a final piece about how you and your son are doing today?

Aimie Apigian: Yeah. So, people can find me, probably the easiest way to find me as Dr. I spell my name A I M I E. So, just Dr. For Doctor, and there they will find all the different projects that I'm doing, both with my neuro optimization concierge program and then the trauma work. And, I've developed a business called 'accelerating the healing of trauma' because that's where I feel the work is at. Right? Not getting stuck, so we've recognized that you've got some trauma patterns, let's deal with it, right? Like, let's get on with life. Let's put an end to that as fast as possible. So, I'm doing a lot of programs there and actually starting to brain inflammation core soon, and then a sleep course, all in terms of how do we optimize those for rewiring the nervous system for these secure attachments and health. So that would be the best place to find me.

Wade Lightheart: We'll put all the links in the show notes. And how are you and your son doing these days?

Aimie Apigian: So, part of my story, Wade, is that I adopted him out to another family a few years agobecause I am a single mom and after he was doing phenomenal, I was in residency and was not able to be the mom that he needed. So, he is doing very well, and we were able to make a beautiful, very hard, but beautiful transition because of all the work that he had done, to be able to open up, soften up and accept love and feel loved. And so yeah, he's been my motivation for this change in my life, right. I mean, I changed from general surgery to trauma and addictions and the nervous system because I saw what was possible. And so, yeah, obviously love him so much and he has made such a difference in my life and I have absolutely no regrets, even though we went through some very, very hard times together.

Wade Lightheart: You know, the earmark of unconditional love is that it is without conditions. And, I think it's something that every parent has to go through at some point, they have to let go of their kids and let them go on with their lives. And just as a Testament for you and your work and who you are as a person, and it's a real honor to have you on the podcast. And you're a shining example on a lot of different levels about, how you can make lemons out of lemonades or lemonade out of lemons, I guess that is. Yeah. And then, more importantly though, how to deal with an extreme state and to hang in there and do whatever it takes. And I'm encouraging all of our listeners today, we are in, as they like to say, unprecedented times, I don't like to think that they're unprecedented times; I like to think that this is a collective stress on the human civilization, we haven't experienced before. And like Dr. Aimie has illustrated, there is an incredible opportunity here to break through, into a new level of connection, a new level of society, and a new understanding of what it is to be a human in the world and…

Aimie Apigian: Be alive.

Wade Lightheart: You know, the one thing about life is that nobody gets out of it alive and nobody gets out of it without being scarred. So, the reality is, are you going to go out like a sheep, or are you going to go out with a lion, and you are truly a lion.

Wade Lightheart: Thank you so much for joining us today. Dr. Aimie, we will get you back very soon. And for all our listeners here on, the awesome health podcast from BiOptimizers, I want to thank you for listening. I want you to take Aimie's words, listen to this over and over, share it with your friends. There are someone out there right now that you know, that you love that is suffering, and this might be the little tiny hook that gets them in another place. So the next time that you get in that crazy argument about politics, government policy, or what we need to do for COVID, refer to this interview, share it and hit the like button. Thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you, Dr. Aimie, and we'll see you again on the next awesome health podcast.Take care.

Speaker 1: And now, for a BiOptimizers sticks digestion tip, turn cultured foods into superfoods, raw fermented foods, like sauerkraut and low sugar, live yogurt can be good for you, but rarely have enough of the right probiotic strains for therapeutic benefit. So here's a way that you can turn them into superfoods. What I do is, I get some raw sauerkraut or a healthy yogurt, ideally, you know, it's grass fed or coconut based, and you can empty three caps of P3Olin into a container and mix it up thoroughly. Leave it at room temperature for a couple of hours before putting it back into the fridge. And what's going to happen is, these probiotic levels will be multiplied. In fact, it doubles every 20 minutes. And then what you're going to get is, you're going to have a food with strong proteolytic activity. To learn more about [P3Olin and why it's patented strains make it's the strongest probiotic available, go to

Speaker 2: Thank you for listening to the BiOptimizers awesome health podcast. You can find more information at
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  1. Neesa on December 31, 2021 at 11:42 am

    Thank you for this interview. It offers a very interesting and more in depth view into Dr. Aimie’s biography than I’ve seen before. Much appreciation.

    • Maria Eloisa Pineda on February 16, 2022 at 12:06 am

      Hello Neesa,
      My name is Maria, and I am a Happy Health Concierge here at BiOptimizers! You’re welcome! We’re glad to know you enjoyed the interview. Take care and stay safe!

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