Rowena and Sean talk about speeding recovery with the NanoVi™ and how it enhances Cryotherapy and Float Sessions

The Optimal Performance Podcast is hosted by Sean McCormick, a life coach dedicated to helping people find their best selves through improving mental and physical performance, which means the NanoVi is the perfect fit for his podcast since speeding recovery can boost performance.

Optimal Performance Podcast, Biohacking, NanoVi

Sean McCormick, Optimal Performance Podcast, OPP, Float, Cryotherapy, Sensory DeprivationSean McCormick has served as a life coach to the NFL players Russell Okung and Steven Hauschka, as well as for Peter Schmock, a two time Olympian and former coach for the Seattle Mariners. In addition to his career as a life coach, Sean McCormick is also the owner of Float Seattle and Float Bellevue, which provides opportunities for people to relax, meditate, or otherwise de-stress while floating in a sensory deprivation tank for an hour.

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Sean: You’re listening to the optimal performance podcast and I’m you host, Sean McCormick. It’s the OPP. I’m a performance coach, a wellness entrepreneur, a blogger, a speaker, a biohacker and it’s my privilege to bring to you the leading experts in the field of performance, so let’s dig right in here with Rowena Gates from Eng3. Rowena, thanks for joining us.

Rowena: Hey, it’s a pleasure and good to be here.

Sean: So, we’re going to dig into so much science and so much performance, but before we dig into any of that, I like to start each of these podcasts the same way, which is to ask each guest what they have in their body for today. So today, it’s 9:30 on a Monday morning in Pacific Standard Time, what have you eaten? What sort of supplements, coffees, what’s in your body right now Rowena?

Rowena: Not much. I’ve had a small cup of coffee and some water and that’s it. I’m one of those intermittent fasters.

Sean: Every day?

Rowena: Yeah, so I go until about noon or one depending on how busy I am and then I start to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner all condensed into maybe six or seven hours, depending.

Sean: Yeah, I’m in the same way. Yeah, in a window at the same 2 o’clock till about 8 or 9 o’clock, do you take supplements or tinctures or anything like that?

Rowena: I do in the evening.

Sean: Is it targeted at sort of sleep and recovery or is it just kind of when you do it?

Rowena: It’s when I do it because otherwise I forget. I do take some stuff in the morning like Restore, Zach Bush’s product, but mostly I just do it in the evening or else I forget to do it. I’m not reliably diligent about that.

Sean: If you’re like me, you like to do all the hard work in the first half of the day when you’re sharp and light on your toes, right?

Rowena: Yes!

Sean: Yeah, me too. So, like I said we’re going to dig into all aspects of the topic and I will just sort of preface by saying that I’ve actually tried the NanoVi a couple of times, and I’ll tell a little bit about my experience with it and Rowena. You and I’ve met before at my Flotation Centre both in Seattle and Bellevue, but let’s start with the basics. You’ve been on the Bulletproof Podcast stand and I’ve seen you speak in other places too and I know that you guys are active in the conference world, but I think that we should start with the basics. So, tell us a little bit about what oxidative stress is?

Rowena: So oxidative stress comes from the use of oxygen and they call it the oxygen irony. It’s part of the sense of humor the body has where the one thing you really can’t live without for more than a few minutes is also systematically damaging because it’s like the exhaust from an engine. It’s a pollutant in the body and it’s creating free radicals and if they accumulate, then it’s oxidative stress, and if it is pervasive then it becomes oxidative stress damage.

Sean: And what can oxidative stress and oxidative stress damage lead to?

Rowena: So basically, the free radical is going to damage anything that it can get its hand on, oftentimes proteins. It could also damage the mitochondria, any cell component, the cell membrane or anything that interacts with it, and so the first line of defense for the body is antioxidants. They stand in the way, basically they interrupt the damage, thus intake of antioxidants is great but it’s not perfect. That’s the first line of defense, but there is still damage that occurs. So, the second line of defense is to repair the damage after it’s happened and that’s where the NanoVi device comes in, so we’re not an antioxidant, but we repair the oxidative stress damage after it has occurred.

Sean: Does our body have a natural way to repair oxidative stress?

Rowena: Absolutely and it produces the antioxidants itself, so we supplement it, but the antioxidants are coming from within. Then we have the exogenous supplementation and so all of those processes are naturally occurring all the time and if we didn’t repair, we wouldn’t live very long. But one thing is very interesting that’s been shown in, athletes in particular, is that the more oxygen you consume, the more oxidative stress you have, so taking antioxidants is very important. But over supplement the antioxidants and another sort of irony of the body is that the free radicals that had reactive oxygen species are both doing damage generally, but also have a signaling responsibility as a second messenger. It’s a molecule that emits a specific energy that triggers repair, so if you do too much on the antioxidant side, you interrupt too much of that process then your body is not getting the message to repair. A few years ago in Norway, they showed that the athletes that were over supplemented didn’t put on muscle mass the way the other athletes did; so you can actually undermine your agenda if you overdo the antioxidants. So that’s not a solution basically you can’t just take endless antioxidants and expect that to mitigate all the free radical damage.

Sean: Right because you’re overdoing and sort of undermining the body’s own biological processes, right?

Rowena: Exactly.

Sean: So as far as the damage that comes from oxidative stress, I’m thinking about our audience for the hard charger type A, Mover-Shaker that’s taking supplements and taking care of their body and potentially doing a ton of cardio. If they’re doing a lot of long-term cardio are they more susceptible to oxidative stress than someone who does zero or a little bit of cardio?

Rowena: It depends on what they do to mitigate it. They’re definitely going to create more, an athlete can create 100 times more oxidative stress, but they might be in the position to repair that very easily. When you say type A; that makes me think of somebody that’s also more sort of stressed personally which means they should get in a float tank. When they’re just always in overdrive, and we see this all the time, they’re high performers, but if they don’t take that timeout, that calm time to give their body a chance to catchup, then their damage is going to outweigh the repair. There are certain athletes or types of people that just age faster because they’re not keeping up and that’s obviously an ongoing thing. If our repair kept up to the damage that was being done, we wouldn’t age because our cells have the ability to recreate themselves perfectly; and so it’s just a matter of how fast we age at some point, and then the other side of it is, depending on where the damage is and how it’s done, it could ultimately end up as a chronic illness. So, certain types of damage might show up as cancers, whereas other types of damage show up as diabetes or respiratory illness or so on.

Sean: Right! So as far as the recovery process too that sort of gets into protein folding which is an important element of what NanoVi does, can you tell us again as excessively as possible, what protein folding is?

Rowena: So, the proteins are chains of amino acids that are just kind of hanging around there and they need to fold into specific three-dimensional shapes in order to do their function. There’s this huge orchestration of activities that can be biophysical or biochemical that trigger these proteins into action and they can only function properly when they fold into the three-dimensional shape and have the right structure. So, protein-folding is critical to proper function and proper function is critical to everything. All the repair that gets done, all the movement, blink your eye and that’s protein activity, and so they’re really critical and their ability to perform their tasks is all based on them creating the correct shapes and behaving correctly.

Sean: And where are these, are we talking about the proteins like in the mitochondria in the cells themselves?

Rowena: Yes, inside the cell they are tiny and we don’t know so much about them, there’s 30,000 that have been identified, but they estimate that there’s about a million in there. Then you think of the complexity that all of those guys could interact in ways that are just so complex that it is probably never possible to figure it all out, just through a kind of analytical approach to it. That’s why there’s so many drug interventions that go after specific proteins, turn the receptors on or off, replace them if they’re missing and so on. There’s been some great advances through a kind of manipulating proteins, but that whole suite of proteins being so huge and all the potential for unintended consequences because they interact and they play possibly multiple roles that are very hard to track with all these interactions; that’s what makes it really hard to sort out.

Sean: Yeah and as we age and as we have more stress that affects the protein folding process, right?

Rowena: Absolutely, absolutely so. As I mentioned, they’re very small, there’s just tons of them inside the cell just as there are tons of mitochondria. Since the oxygen burns in the mitochondria, a lot of the damage is to the mitochondria itself and that’s a big part of what people notice about our device. It’s one of the reasons that they like it so much because they’ve been really focused on mitochondrial function and if you can repair damage related to the mitochondria, you get better output, better energy and that’s kind of fundamental to the whole system working better. So, athletes notice that, and it’s great for concentration which is like running a marathon only with your mind and so it’s that mitochondrial function is also kind of the foundation piece of health.

Sean: Right and before we get into the device and how the device works and what it does, can you tell us a little bit about your background with Eng3. Can you tell us how you got involved, I mean how does anyone get involved with longevity devices and health devices like, tell us your story a little bit?

Rowena: Oh, my story, it is a circuitous path. I was in tech, my first company was in 1995 and we were doing trade or logistics over the internet and it was pretty challenging. These investors didn’t really know what the internet was and there were very few people who really believed that it was something that would be used in commerce. I mean it was kind of early, and then the next company I did was more specifically related to international trade documentation. The first one was called Inpassage and it was around for a while, but then I started focusing on the trade documentation and I shifted out of that company. I was going to take some time off and I said I would help Hans Eng because in spite of his name Hans Eng is a big German guy, he is not Chinese, and his English was not as good then as it is now, let’s just say that. So I was helping with getting the English right and things like that, and then we get these phone calls about how helpful it was to people and it really swept me up because it was a much better purpose than international trade documents. I mean nobody ever called and said international trade documents changed their life and so I just kind of got caught in that feeling like I was doing something meaningful and I shifted over. By now, I feel like I know quite a lot about the medical device space but at that time I really was brand new.

Sean: You were drawn by the passion to help people and provide them with something interesting.

Rowena: Exactly and it was accidental, I’m embarrassed to say but I mean I was helping people with trade documents so that felt fulfilling, but this was just so much more helpful and you probably noticed that too with Natural Stacks and your load projects where it just really feels good when you have a good outcome.

Sean: Yeah, it really does and speaking of the outcome, you guys’ website is really comprehensive and we’re going to get into who uses the device like pro-athletes and hard-charging investors. The site does a really good job to explain sort of the qualitative responses that you get from people, and we’re going to have links galore for this podcast, but before we get into that, can you explain how the NanoVi works, what it is, how it looks, how you use it?

Rowena: Sure, just let me walk through from the very beginning and people can visualize it maybe. The device has bubbling water to create humidity and then that humidity is passed through excitation chambers and what we’re doing is mimicking what the body naturally does. So, we’re mimicking that reactive oxygen species that I mentioned earlier that emits a specific signal that is used to trigger repair and assist the body with protein folding and function and so we’re only mimicking what the body is doing, and all that research is out of the cell biology, it’s already done basically. So, our innovation is to find a way to do that artificially and augment the body’s processes and so the air passes through the excitation chamber and you inhale it, but what happening is all biophysical, there’s no biochemistry, which people find confusing because when you inhale something, everybody thinks it’s oxygen, but in this case what we’re doing is modifying the water droplets. So, the water droplets have a different state, we’ve shown that in research labs, we have verified that that it has these particular properties that are what’s needed to ultimately help the protein folding process. So that adjustment to the water is called ordered water, it’s also related to Dr. Pollack’s work and other’s work in EZ-water, exclusion zone water. It’s a different state and they call it the fourth phase of water because it’s not solid, liquid or gas; it’s almost like a gel state and its sort of special properties and special to the body. So that is inhaled by the user. You can either use a nasal cannula, which is like an oxygen delivery, or you can breathe it directly from the tube on the device, and once you inhale it goes through the mucous membrane out through the watery environment, so it doesn’t have to go directly into the lungs. As soon as it touches the water, there is all this interconnected water in the system and it something like 99% of your body’s molecules are water. So, there’s a lot of water there, but the body is not like a big bag of water, it’s more like a cloud. It’s like pockets of water because the cells divided up, and so the humidity, which are droplets of water, work very well in that environment. Dr. Pollack actually wrote a piece about that to explain why the humidity is so important, you can’t just drink this water and have it do the same thing because you need a lot of surface area and so each of the droplets has that surface area. So that is essentially how the person gets it into their body. There’s three versions of the device, and just so people know they’re ranging from a little over $5000 to a little under $14,000. So, it is an upfront investment, then you use it for anywhere from an hour with the cheaper one to 15 minutes with the most expensive one, and so all of our pro-athletes and dentists and doctors will often buy that expensive device because they want the shorter time period, but the other devices are great and it doesn’t have to be done in 15 minutes; that’s what the executives get.

Sean: Right, just give me the best one, give me the best one you got and is the different prices for the power of the actual chambers, is it because of the complexity of the chamber?

Rowena: Yeah, it’s the output of the device. So, it is more powerful and you are really doubling up that output.

Sean: So, you talked a little bit about some of the athletes that use the device. You know, Ben Greenfield has talked a lot about it, I know Mad Boy who is local to me up here in the Northwest, pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, I got to imagine that this is also really highly beneficial not only for endurance athletes, can you tell us a little about some of the experiences that these athletes have had?

Rowena: One of the things that is really noticeable for them is when they use it after training, so if they’re running or riding a bike or whatever they’re speeding recovery. They can significantly reduce the time it takes them to recover when normally it takes them a few days. What this means to a performance athlete is they can train harder because there’s just going to do more of it. That’s how they develop their skill and that’s how they win races, and so the biggest thing that any trained athlete can notice is that they recover faster. Recovery includes kind of all the aspects, energy levels, soreness, all the aspects of recovery, and we have even had one guy who was one of the tougher type guys who said he felt cheated afterwards because he wasn’t sore and he knew he worked out really hard and he should feel bad and he is like “I don’t even feel bad!”

Sean: Yeah; that’s funny.

Rowena: So that’s a really big one, especially for endurance athletes because they’re really doing the long haul and we have one guy that’s done, okay I might say this wrong, a Deca-Ultra Triathlon which is 10 ironman competitions 10 days in a row. He has also done the Arctic race that are largely above the Arctic Circle and so on and so for people like that it’s a really big aspect. They’re never going to keep up with that kind of damage in 10 days; however, over the time in the months following, it’s still going to really help them with regeneration.

Sean: And what does this athlete talk about, I mean have you talked to the athlete directly, do you know like would they use it like right after a race?

Rowena: They typically will use it as soon as they can afterwards, sometimes that’s not logistically possible and in some cases we’ve also shown for athlete that if it’s used before performance, it reduces lactic acid very significantly and so for some athletes. If you were, say, a sprinter, it would be pretty easy to find the time to use it and then go do your race, but for others like the hockey players, they have a bunch of prep and gearing up and all that so they couldn’t use it right before. Ideally if you’re using it every day, you still get that sort of benefit that you’re going to have less lactate in your system. Unfortunately, we don’t have the measurements of that. So, we have a double-blind placebo-controlled study showing, using it prior to all out exertion exercise will reduce lactic acid by as much as 17% and that’s a controlled crossover study, but what we don’t have is the sort of that follow-on research that would say well if he used it three hours before, would it have the same affect and so….

Sean: Wow! That’s really compelling, I mean 17% can mean a difference between a top 10 finish and not qualifying for something.

Rowena: It’s really stunning. Now, I just want to remind everybody that all our exertion tests is when the athlete goes to depletion, which is either the doctor stops the test or the athlete does, has to be supervised, but they go to full exhaustion and pretty much nobody does that in sports, so you wouldn’t expect the same number from what people’s normal activities, but it’s still very very dramatic. I mean, people have not seen anything like that basically. So that’s a great aspect of it and I think and we’ll see more and more use for these in all kinds of sports whether if they’re running down the field or court or whatever, the lactic acid is a big deal for a lot of sports.

Sean: Yeah and what about for non-athletes?

Rowena: Well for non-athletes, it’s only the people who want to have healthy aging that need it and so it is repairing the damage and helping people age more gracefully. They may or may not notice more energy, very often people do, or they might have more clarity and focus, but the biggest thing that most people notice and actually this relates really well to what you’re doing with the flotation tanks is it balances the autonomic nervous system. You can show that with heart rate variability testing and that as you know has a huge benefit for all aspects of health and the most noticeable one for us is better sleep, but it also is noticeable for people’s mood, anxiety and so on when they get that advantage. It’s a really great combination with flotation because you’re just helping that person get out of the sympathetic state which is the stress mode and into a parasympathetic state where they’re going to be calm and relaxed and so; that’s why the Type A executive benefits so much from it because they spend a lot of time in that sympathetic state of the autonomic nervous system.

Sean: Right, it’s akin to endurance athletes because for people who are mentally straining day after day, I’m taking a vacation tomorrow because I know that my body needs it, you know I need a break, I need at least a couple of days to recharge my batteries and the fact that NanoVi can not only reduce lactic acid and help recovery but in assistance with the protein folding, it’s actually helping because we know that there’s a lot of mitochondria in our brain that it helps with that mental strain and you’ve seen that time and time again, I assume.

Rowena: Yeah, absolutely and I think that such a good point to makes on because I don’t think people realize that you do oxidative damage by your tremendous concentration and focus. It’s like physical activity in that you’re burning a lot of calories, your brain is a huge user of oxygen and when you really challenge the brain which is fantastic; that’s how people perform so well and do great things, but then you also need that recovery time just like you would if you were an athlete and I think that’s where people started getting behind and they run their careers and suddenly realize, “oh man, you know, I’m just not feeling as good as I should be at” if you’re 60 or something.

Sean: Yeah, how often do you use it?

Rowena: I use it almost every day. I don’t use it on weekends. This weekend, I took it home, but often I just have it at my desk and so I use it often a couple of times a day too. So, do a session in the morning and evening. You don’t have to do a whole session all at once, you can do more smaller sessions, you can use it a lot and I should explain that when I talked about the device, I mentioned its biophysics, but you’re not introducing any foreign substance, you’re not doing anything that can create problems. So, if you use it a lot, it doesn’t have the potential for contraindications or any downside to it. So, I figure well if I am at my desk anyway, I might as well be using it.

Sean: Yeah, why wouldn’t you because you potentially be using it like all day, can you do too much of it?

Rowena: Yes and no. There’re people that use it while they sleep at night, but the only time you can really do too much is when you first start using it. Part of the cells job is to get rid of the waste products. So in fact there is a Nobel prize in medicine for that in 2016 for the person who did that background research to look at how the cells identify when something is wrong, recycle what they can and eliminate the rest of it. So if people have a lot of that toxicity that’s build up, I don’t know, I guess it’s not necessarily toxicity but sort of that waste in the cells whatever it is, then they should start using the device slowly because when you get better cellular function, it’s going try to get rid of its waste products. If your elimination system doesn’t keep up, then you could end up with diarrhea, skin rash, headache; these sort of attributes of detoxification, and so then it’s important to go more slowly so that the system is comfortable and then you’re fine.

Sean: Yeah going from I’m not processing effectively enough to I’m doing too well; my body is not used to that. It’s not trained for functioning at this high level.

Rowena: Yeah and usually those people know who they are because they’re sensitive to everything in it. It’s great to get that taken care of, its just that you want to be comfortable. Actually there’s one other thing, it’s really a good thing but it’s something that I learned quite a bit from Athletic Training Institute, you know those guys. If there’s old injuries that didn’t heal correctly, the body is going to go and create the inflammatory process that heals it and then it resolves; so in athletes with old injuries that weren’t properly healed, they may notice that it gets worse before it gets better, but then it will resolve them. I should mention that like with mitochondrial function, it’s great for inflammation and we also have double-blind placebo-controlled studies on the inflammatory markers that show higher immune response and I want to point out, we tend to go down this path of inflammation is bad and actually it’s good and bad. If it’s chronic, it’s bad, it’s not productive and that it can be traced as underlying many many diseases and poor performance, but that acute phase of inflammation that’s productive is essential, it’s what gets rid of the cells that have gone off the rails, it’s protection against pathogens, it’s what gets wounds healed without getting all infected and so on and so the acute phase of the inflammation is very important and that’s what this study showed that after being over stressed then that acute inflammation was significantly improved by 10% to 17% when the NanoVi device was used, but I think it’s so important for people to kind of separate these type of inflammation because there is a bit of a bandwagon effect of just everything reduces inflammation and some inflammation is very good and that’s what we see with these athletes, that it can be uncomfortable as it kicks back in that healing cycle.

Sean: Alright. What are the studies, are there other double-blind placebo tests that you’ve done that you would like to reference because I know that there are listeners, they want the data, is there other things that you can mention?

Rowena: Well, those guys are expensive. So please understand and I should mention those studies were not done by us; they’re independent and so we can always get exactly what we want from them in terms of data because we don’t pay for them or publications, we don’t control what they publish. There was an Olympic Training Centre in Vienna that studied double-stranded DNA breaks in athletes, but it’s not a blinded big study, but it’s a very reliable, it doesn’t have to be in a way because they’re taking blood samples and they look at the double-strand breaks that will fluoresce during this testing process, it’s expensive to do, but they can see how much DNA damage there is and so they did that on a smaller group of athletes, but they showed pretty substantially reduction in the double-strand damage, that was something like 13% to 35% less damage. Again, that’s going to depend on the overall condition; what else is in the system, what’s the state of the athlete, but there’s always a significant improvement by the reduction of damage and I should also mention that double-strand damage is the tricky stuff because one strand can’t replicate off the other strand. So, it’s really the dangerous stuff and it’s also the stuff that is done through radiation, that’s why people take so long to bounce back after some of the therapies that involve radiation.

Sean: One thing that you and I chatted before turning the record button on was the other sort of differentiating between oxygen therapy and antioxidant therapy. This really does something different than all of those and really works in tandem. Can you explain how this is different and complementary to like use of a hyperbaric chamber?

Rowena: Sure, hyperbaric, actually it’s interesting, anybody out there who has got a hyperbaric chamber, you really should add the NanoVi because you get much better outcomes. So that’s just for the person using it. It’s a big advantage. The hyperbarics flooding the system with oxygen, it’s even in the plus it’s really upping the oxygen in the system. If you follow it with the NanoVi session, you can essentially extend that value by getting better utilization of that oxygen. So NanoVi doesn’t add anything but if the cells can utilize it better, then you’re going to get a much better outcome. You also get better tolerance of the hyperbaric. We’ve had one center that’s already purchased three or four of the biggest devices because there is just a remarkable difference. It’s a little handier to use but its doing something different. So, there’s hyperbaric essential for certain acute healing, wound healing, burns and so on. I mean NanoVi will not replace it at all, but it will improve the outcomes and complement it really well, the same with if you want to exercise with oxygen therapy, when the two are combined, it’s a great combination.

Sean: Right because when you’re giving the system more oxygen and you’re oxygenating you blood which is what’s happening in a hyperbaric chamber, the NanoVi can work with that oxygen, work with that increase in blood oxygen level to like you said to help optimize outcomes, right?

Rowena: Correct and also when there is more oxygen, there is more oxidation, and so you also want to mitigate that damage as actively as you can and so there’s a cleanup project plus there’s a utilization aspect of it; that’s why they pair so well with any of the oxygen therapies including concentrated oxygen, you want to mitigate that oxidation.

Sean: That’s just basically having pure oxygen pumped in through the nose?

Rowena: Yeah, in people, it might not be pure and they will need more and more of it; if they require oxygen then they tend to need more and more oxygen and our device is used often in tandem or cycled with concentrated oxygen so that they don’t need to keep increasing the liters of oxygen that they take overtime.

Sean: Yeah. What would a naysayer say. What would they pick apart? What would they try to discredit from, I mean you can’t mess with double-blind placebo studies talking about lactic acid buildup, what do the critics say and how do you respond?

Rowena: Well, I think the biggest area of criticism is related to water. There’s a lot of people that are just now kind of coming around to the idea that water has these pretty interesting and unique properties and if people are not familiar with water research, which was very much rejected for many years because it was so uncomfortable, it was very disruptive when you tell scientific researchers now suddenly water is not just water; that’s kind of not very comfortable, but it’s now sort of indisputable and so people are coming around to it and more accepting of it, but if you have somebody with that older mindset, then they just like, “ah that’s you know, you can’t just influence water and then influence the cellular water and that supports the protein folding process” and however at this point, it’s pretty locked down and we’ve done the studies on the water itself to prove that it is a different state of water and if we create that state of water and so we have patented technology and it’s the only one in the world that can do that.

Sean: Yeah, I love to talk about my experience with it because let’s make it all about me for a minute. So I’ve used it both as an adjunct with flotation therapy and also with cryotherapy and what I found, I’ve used it a total of three times and in each case, I used it before cryo and before floating and what I found is that after my first session with it, I felt this sort of like opening up of my chest and in this getting into sort of like energy and feeling. I’m very aware of how my body processes and through meditation and supplementation and floating and exercise and all the things that I do to tinker around and infrared saunas and stuff, I’m pretty aware of when I get a boost of energy and what I found is that when I first used it, I felt like a dopamine rush a little bit, I felt like I was sitting up straighter, I felt like this sort of sense of well-being and maybe 10% or 15% uptake in my energy and it really lasted for the rest of the day. My float was supercharged because the way that I use flotation therapy is not only to go in and recover and relax and space out and meditate, but also I use it for problem solving and brainstorming and stuff like that and what I found is that my mind was moving faster than my attitude and emotional state was elevated and when I got out of the flow tank, I really felt like I can go and run a marathon. I had an increase in energy and I don’t know if it is because I was breathing in the very barely humid air, maybe that was a sort of like my own effect of it, but I really enjoyed it. Do you get a lot of people that say that they get just sort of like a quick energy boost from it, is that common?

Rowena: It’s really common, that they get almost like a focus and clarity upfront and that is very common and sort of related to that, I don’t want to go off topic too much, but related to that is when people have low blood oxygen saturation, they will go up even with no concentrated oxygen, their saturation will go up because they’re getting better utilization, better mitochondrial function, better utilization and that’s why you would be experiencing, overtime you might not notice it as much, but I love the idea of doing it before float because then you’re already part way down the path to balance the autonomic nervous system. You’re going into the tank more ready to really take advantage of the tank. We also mentioned cryo, we’ve a lot of people that use it usually after cryo and also I think after flotation would make sense, where it serves that transition back. You know because you probably have people coming out of the tank who are just sitting in a chair and going “Ah, Ah…” for a while before they drive.

Sean: Yeah, cryotherapy has a similar effect where you just feel good, you feel focused and relaxed and this sense of well-being and I wanted to read just this quick quote from Ben Greenfield, “for the past four months, I have been breathing air from a special device on my desk, a device called a NanoVi. It gives me a clear head, better workouts, and more focus, but the effect goes deep, deep into the body and actually cause repair.” Another one from him “all I know is I feel amazing when I use this thing, whether it’s before exercise or just during the day.” Those sorts of quotes, we can learn all the science, we can know what’s happening at the cellular level but the proof is always in the pudding. How does it make you feel and how does it make you better and for the listeners of this podcast, it’s important to know that it just works and we’ll show pictures, we’ve links, etc. so the people can see what it is, but it’s a really simple device, it’s a little machine, it’s like no bigger than a laptop as far as size and then it has a tube that comes up, there is this centrifugal water spinner that lights up and looks neat and sci-fi and then there’s a tube that comes up and it just sort of like lightly whispers this humid air and you just breathe it in, so as far as usability it’s really accessible to people, it’s not too far out there.

Rowena: Yeah and we have athletes using it, you put down a stand beside you on stationary equipment, so in that case you’ve to use the cannula not just the tube. The cannula is the plastic tubing like the oxygen people wear and so it’s pretty easy to use and actually we’ve a boxer who is the North American champion for the super middleweight and he has both a hyperbaric chamber and the NanoVi, but his point is it’s really easy to use, you can get a session and you just put it beside you and use it whereas versus going to cryo or hyperbarics and so on. So, it is very handy.

Sean: Yeah. What do you think because I want to make this accessible to people and obviously super athletes and endurance athletes are getting a positive effect, but some of the quotes and reviews that you guys have on the website are really interesting. Can you share with us the story of maybe a dramatic turnaround for sort of a common user, whether it is somebody recovering from surgery or somebody that was dealing with some illness or disease, can you give us like an anecdote from a user that’s our people can connect with.

Rowena: Yes and no, I’ll do my best. We are a FDA Class I medical device and that puts us in the class where we can make medical claims, but one classic one that’s really just a matter of well-being and regeneration is a woman that’s been through cancer therapy many months earlier and unable to regain energy levels. So, we don’t do anything with cancer, but that ability to bring her back to life quite literally, just coming back online in relatively short order; that’s only the repair and rejuvenation side of it and so that’s one good example of that. The others are very measurable. So if a person is suffering from say heart disease, they use any of the inflammatory markers or things that are studied as indicators for heart disease or diabetes, just blood glucose levels and A1c’s and blood oxygen levels; all these things that are easily measured are things that people can look for if they were to want to see the difference and we definitely see those differences, have them reported by doctors and individuals, but I can’t really walk through the scenarios very carefully. I mean I’ve to be very careful and I’m afraid that I might not be careful enough. I love talking about athletes.

Sean: Yeah, no, you’re good. I know that it’s tricky making claims and that’s why I think the qualitative responses are so important because people can actually say like I did this and I feel really good and my quality of life improved.

Rowena: And all of our comments and testimonials are reviewed by a compliance person and they are all basically watered down and so, but that’s important to have them be fitting for where we are as a medical device.

Sean: So how can working people, if they’re not going to buy one, is there a place where they can like search to see if there’s one near them?

Rowena: Yes, there is a locator at our website. The easiest thing is to go to the footer at the bottom of the page and then you’ll see locator, just click on that, enter your ZIP Code. That’s the easiest way to do it, but you’re hitting on my kind of personal mission is that these are very widely available and with a big device, it can support a hundred people a week or more as a regular therapeutic session and so if they can be in centers in various locations, then people can access the device. So ideally, they are at a gym where you could go and use it while you’re already at the gym to work out and things like that. So that’s sort of our agenda moving forward. We’re not really there yet but there’s a decent number of centers depending on the location in the country.

Sean: Cool! Well, it keeps coming up and I don’t remember even how we got connected before I took over the podcast for Natural Stacks, you and I met, but it keeps coming up and I know that people at ATI and when you hear about something and it’s all positive, your ears perk up a little bit. Maybe more interesting cases that I’ve had was when I hosted a Seattle Startup Week event and I was part of the personal development track for the Seattle Startup Week and the CEO of Bulletproof Labs, Martin Tobias who is a champion of the NanoVi, he and I got to talking a little bit and he is an avid cyclist and he was explaining to me that as the CEO of Bulletproof Labs, he is trying all sorts of stuff. I mean he has done it all and if he hasn’t, he is planning to and what I was struck by him is not only his level of fitness as for those of you that don’t know Martin is an Angel Investor and CEO of several startups including Tipper and he is just a really highly effective person and is based in Seattle and California and what he was explaining to me was he was really diligently timing his bike ride up a specific hill that’s by his house, and he had been timing it for months and months and it really wasn’t improving and he was trying all these different things to try to improve his cycling time and then I think what he said was he just did like two sessions with the NanoVi and his personal best jumped, I think he cut off some, I don’t remember what it was but he cut off time off of the cycling route that he did every single day and when a guy like that says, yeah it’s pretty incredible, I really like it and of course I bought four and we’re going to have it here and he showed it to Dave Asprey and now he has got four of them, it really struck me. I mean do you know Martin, if you worked with Martin, you’re closely with him?

Rowena: Yeah, now it’s the other way around. Dave Asprey had it long before Labs opened and so Labs added it partly because of what you said is slid it in at the last minute when they opened it up. David had been using it for a quite long time before that and it’s definitely something that people can measure and for Gablin, in his case, he was just using it each day and then rode the bike. So it wasn’t as if he was doing a session right before riding and that’s a performance advantage that is pretty significant, but I’ve to say it all depends because every person will be a bit different with it depending on where they are physically, what they are tuned into, what they’re measuring, and it’s hard to set an expectation for what someone will experience. A lot of people get sort of this clarity and energy and focus and some people don’t get that at all and so it’s a bit tricky that way because we’ve had one stem cell doctor, it’s great with any stem cell treatments, perfect complimentary. Well the stem cells have to remain viable, right. It’s how many of them survive, which is really the big thing, you can spend a lot of money and most of them don’t make it, they’re not going to be very helpful and so it really supports the process. We have doctors using it before and after to pre-treat, get the system ready and then after to help out, but this one doctor had like a hugely dramatic response where he was having trouble running just 3 miles and suddenly he could run 8 miles or whatever, it was just crazy response and then he is telling people about it and I’m saying, no you can’t set that expectation, nobody else is going to be like you, but some people like in his case I think he was close to some threshold so the device helped get him up over that thresholds, so it was really profound, but for other people it might be just a very gradual increase over time and it takes weeks that it builds up and then they kind of take inventory and recognize that they are actually at a very different place, but they didn’t even noticed it. So, it’s tricky that way.

Sean: Yeah, everybody’s physiology is different and that they’re going to respond differently based on kind of where they are at. For those folks that would try it and maybe don’t get that boost of energy that sort of noticeable response from doing a session, what would be some ways that you could measure afterwards. It was like if you measured before the NanoVi and then you did a series of NanoVi or you introduced it as sort of a daily practice what might somebody try to measure in their bladder, in their respiratory symptoms to show what impact it is having?

Rowena: The best time is if you’re ill because then you’re already taking measurements and you’re off right. If you are perfectly balanced and everything is perfect, it would not show improvement and so the older the person is or the more off track they already are the better for showing that result and then it is whatever is typically being used to measure. So all of the standard measures, especially the inflammatory markers are really kind of universal indicator but anything that’s also disease specific are the things that to be looked at and I had one person who had a heart disease and he called and said “you know, I just don’t think this is working” and we do have a return policy. We don’t want people to have them if it doesn’t work for them and I said well just wait and see what your doctors says. Well, he just wasn’t tuned into his body. The differences were profound and when he saw the blood work, then of course he kept the device. So that’s the other side of it is that you and the people you interact with largely are probably pretty tuned in and perceptive at noticing, but there is a lot of people that aren’t and I can’t really say that online, but I’ve had somebody that had those really big difference and he didn’t notice it because it was gradual but then he looked back on it and said that I can drive my car again and do these different day-to-day functions that hadn’t been possible, but it was a gradual change, so you didn’t even noticed it.

Sean: Yeah, right! I noticed immediately as soon as the machine turned off, I could tell a difference. Because you mentioned it briefly, how about for the elderly population, are you seeing people sort of geriatric care providers, do they use the NanoVi?

Rowena: The care providers; that’s not such a big section of the medical community, it’s more the functional medicine or integrated medicine, dentists and plastic surgeons have a real interest for speeding recovery, shall we say, but if it’s a dramatically faster repair somebody like an oral surgeon or a plastic surgeon cares a lot about that. That’s a really good place for it. Actually there is another story I can share legally, this woman had had extensive bone grafts for oral surgery and she already had a device, she used it a lot the day off and the next day when she went in, she didn’t have bruising, swelling, and pain and her dentist bought the big device as a result of that. Those things can be pretty big factors for how people respond when you’re already very healthy and you just want to slow the aging process, you can’t expect big changes that are dramatically noticeable. So for those people it might be that they’re not really tuned in, then it’s more of a matter of understanding that it is beneficial, just like understanding a good diet is good for you and continuing it more than doing it because its noticeable. Most people that are more in touch with energy and all that like you are very healthy, but you can still notice it, they do pick up on it.

Sean: What should everybody know as we take this thing home, what should people know about oxidative stress, what should they know about the NanoVi device itself, what can they look forward to like is there is a next-generation in the works, are you guys developing like NanoVi II or anything like that like where is this going?

Rowena: We don’t really have a NanoVi II on the drawing board, what we’re really focused right now is getting it in the hands of more people and ideally more centers where multiple people can access one device. So that’s what we would really like to work on and focus on and it can be on any, there’s all kinds of people that use it, this is just such a diverse crowd. We have the J2 Porsche racing team using it and they have to be at their peak when they get in the car and so it’s really interesting the diversity of it and we’re open to all of that but really passionate about keeping people healthy or helping people reclaim their health or boosting the performance for those who are interested in and really taking it to the next level.

Sean: That’s what it’s all about. Rowena, thank you so much for joining us today on the podcast.

Rowena: Hey, thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure.

Sean: For additional insights and practical lessons based on this show, go to, the ultimate performance podcast is a Natural Stacks original. Our executive producers are Dennis Buckley and myself, Sean McCormick. Our producer is Christian Randel. OPP intro-music by Odyssey. Additional music provided by ThatNewJam, a Randy MCandell Production.

Listeners of the Optimal Performance Podcast and those interested in speeding recovery may also be interested in:

Ben Pakulski Muscle Expert Podcast: Mitigating Oxidative Stress and Improving Recovery

Endurance Athlete and Elite Trainer Ben Greenfield talks with Hans Eng about Biohacking with the NanoVi™

Dave Asprey Discusses NanoVi™ as a Biohacking Tool on Bulletproof Radio

The Oxygen Irony

Sean McCormick, Optimal Performance Podcast, NanoVi, Eng3, Natural Stacks, Rowena Gates, biohack, speeding recovery, float bellevue, float seattle

Sean McCormick relaxing with a NanoVi

Float Bellevue, Float Seattle, Sean McCormick, Optimal Performance Podcast, Natural Stacks, NanoVi, Eng3, Rowna Gates, biohack, speeding recovery, sensory deprivation tank

One of Sean’s float tanks from Float Bellevue