In this episode, I am speaking with Dr. Christine Schaffner—a board-certified naturopathic physician and clinic director of the Sophia Health Institute. We will talk about how light, deuterium, and exclusion-zone (EZ) water affect your health, and how you can use them to boost health and energy.
In this podcast, Dr. Schaffner will cover:
• The profound health effect light has on your body
• The science on deuterium (And how it affects your body)
• The best approach to EMFs
• What is exclusion zone water and why it is essential for your health
• The body electric and biofields – what are they and how do they affect your body?
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How To Boost Your Energy (With Light, Deuterium Depletion, and More) with Dr. Christine Schaffner - Transcript
Ari Whitten: Hey there, welcome to the Energy Blueprint Podcast. I am your host Ari Whitten and today I have with me Dr. Christine Schaffner who is a board certified naturopathic physician and the Clinic Director of Sophia Health Institute, which is the clinic she co-created with her mentor, Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, in Woodinville, Washington. I was going to say Woodville but it is Woodinville. She is also the host of the new Body Electric Summit, which, covers a lot of really fascinating science. I am a speaker in the Summit. Thank you, by the way, for having me on. And we are going to get into a lot of really cool kind of cutting edge science in this Podcast with hopefully a whole bunch of stuff that most people have never heard of. So welcome to the show, Dr. Schaffner. Such a pleasure to have you on.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Well, thank you, Ari. I am really excited to have this conversation and thanks again for also being part of the Summit. Your talk was one of my favorites, so thank you.
Ari Whitten: Thank you. Cool. That is good to hear. So, body electric. There is probably a lot of people listening who have, first of all, no idea that that is kind of a reference to, there was a book titled “The Body Electric” maybe 20 years ago, is it that old?
Dr. Christine Schaffner: I think longer even, yeah.
The body electric definition
Ari Whitten: And then there is kind of this whole concept around like the body’s bioenergy fields and various kinds of, let’s call them more broadly like energetic inputs into our biological system, into our body, that can affect the way ourselves and our metabolism functions in all kinds of ways. And, I was going to name off a bunch of stuff, but I would rather just have you kind of explain the way that you conceptualize this broad picture of kind of what does the “body electric” mean?
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Yeah, that is a great question. And I think, I had an understanding before I did all these interviews and now I have a certain, you know, deeper understanding and a desire to go even further in. And you know, this inspiration for this Summit, you know, came out of… At Sophia I work with Dr. Klinghardt and we see a lot of patients who have seen like so many doctors, they have been through hell and back and they have just been sick for way too long. And you know, one of his reflections that he has taught me over the years is that, you know, to really heal and recover from chronic illness, the people who really get better are not only the people who use, you know, principals and treatments that employ biochemistry, which I think we are really good at. I mean I think that we have gotten a deeper understanding. I mean, there is so much in the functional medicine world and areas of detoxification and you know, the supplement industry and the diet industry.
And we know, we have a lot of tools in that toolkit and people have usually exhausted a lot of those by the time they come and see us. And his comment was that when you combine really good biochemistry with good biophysics… And we didn’t want to call the summit the “Biophysics Summit” because that might not be as, you know, that might be a scary topic for some people. But when we employ those two understandings of how the body communicates that people really heal. And so Dr. Klinghardt is from Germany. In Europe I have been able to go to Medicine Week a handful of times, which is this wonderful medical conference in Baden-Baden. And there is this wonderful vendor exhibit and there is so many different devices and tools and, you know, it is just like kind of Disneyland if you like those types of things.
And why I am saying that is in Europe they are a lot more comfortable. The Russians and the Germans have done a lot of studying on this electromagnetic energy that we emit from our body. And you know, they have different devices to either measure or balance. And so that is a comfortable conversation in Europe. And then they actually don’t have as many supplements. Supplements are really tightly regulated, so people are more going to be drawn to those types of tools and therapeutics when they are going to alternative medicine. And then in the US, you know, we have all of these supplements but we don’t have a really deep conversation about biophysics. And so the Body Electric Summit, you know, I just wanted to have this conversation and just share with people especially who are struggling out there, that there are all these other tools that you might want to try so we can accelerate and amplify your body’s ability to heal.
So when we talk about the body electric, one of the things I always like to remind people is that this is not a woo idea. It is actually grounded in science. We know that we have a strong electromagnetic field that is generated from our heart and we measure that with an EKG in conventional medicine. We also have brain waves, you know, from our brain, you know, they get measured from an EEG. So conventional medicine knows this and uses different tools to measure these electrical aspects of our body. And, you know, one of the speakers, I don’t know if you know her, Ari, Dr. Rubik, but she is one of these biophysicists from Berkeley and she is one of these frontier scientists. And she actually coined the term “biofield” and actually put that in PubMed in the 1990s so we could actually have an area of research that could develop around these concepts of this electromagnetic field that we have around our body.
And so when we talk about the biofield, because I think the Body Electric, you have to have this conversation around this biofield. And so she talks about it as this electromagnetic field that surrounds our body. And then a lot of the speakers have this, you know, different way of kind of, I am going to just really dumb it down and distill this information that I got from this, that this electromagnetic field that surrounds our body, it is not just this kind of random field that is generated from our body, but it actually has a property of where it actually instructs and informs our physical body to regulate. So it almost has this blueprint like nature to regulate our physical body and for our biochemistry to actually work correctly. And so, again, dumbing down this conversation really simplistically, you know, health is a result of coherence and what coherence means is just think of, you know, flow, organized energy.
So when we have coherence in our biofield we tend to be healthier and our body communicates on a cellular level better. But when we have incoherence or just think about disharmony, and there are lots of speakers who have a lot of different ideas of what that means and how that, you know, comes to be, even conversations around trauma and how trauma can affect our, you know, biofield and can affect our physical body. And so it was a really, you know, fun conversation to have with a number of speakers who talk about this conceptual framework and also tools and therapeutics and modalities that some speakers use day in and day out to treat patients with quite, you know, fascinating results. And so yeah, so when I think about the body electric I think about this electromagnetic energy that we have surrounding our body. And then I really love Beverly’s work and I really resonate with her descriptions and her understanding and she has dedicated her life to trying to, you know, have a language around this and have science to support, you know, this aspect of our nature.
The science on biofields
Ari Whitten: Fascinating stuff. So I will tell you my big question in all of this. So let’s say we know that there is a biofield and we know, for example, there is an electromagnetic field around the heart or around the brain or around our body more broadly. How do we know, what is the sort of layers of evidence that would allow us to know whether this is cause of health problems or whether this is an effect of health problems or whether it is just an epiphenomenon, something just there but is not really relevant in dictating our health in any profound way? So what is the, like what is the evidence to show that this is really important in our health?
Dr. Christine Schaffner: I think that is a great question and a question that I am pondering especially. I have been doing this for nine years. It is a long time but not a long time. And you know, I am always trying to think about how can I make my patients’ treatments more elegant and how I can get them better faster and if I am missing something or if I added something in, you know, more, sooner in their treatment strategy would they get better faster? So I come to this Summit and these conversations kind of with that thought in mind. And one of the speakers is Lynne McTaggart and she actually wrote a book called “The Field.” And she is an investigative journalist and she, you know, really is kind of a, was a naysayer in a lot of ways. But she, you know, came through her solid investigation and study of these concepts of “The Field” kind of a believer in this aspect of science.
And she actually, her conversation in the book, or in the Summit rather, is around her book called “The Power of Eight.” And kind of when you get a group of collected people focusing on one thing, how she sees all these kind of really, we can’t make sense with our mind, you know, how people have these kind of feelings or effects in their body. So going back to your question, I have been reading her book over and over again and you know, she really kind of looks at what is the evidence of these energies and how they influence the body. And there is a doctor, Dr. Fritz-Albert Popp. I don’t know if you have introduced him to your audience at this time…
Ari Whitten: I haven’t. I don’t know a whole lot about him, but I have definitely heard the name.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Yeah. So he is a German biophysicists who came up with this biophoton theory idea.
Ari Whitten: That is right, yeah.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: So he came up with this idea and Dr. Klinghardt really bases a lot of his concepts of how he treats people with this understanding and how all living organisms and ourselves actually emit a low, weak level of light. And so he also was able to demonstrate, you know, patients who had cancer had, you know, not enough light in their body. But patients who had MS actually had too much light. So like any health concept, it is like that middle path, right? You know, we want this kind of balanced amount of light. And so why I am referencing him in your question is because, you know, really his research was around that question and it seemed, again, you know, I can’t quote like a paper, but he has like over 150 on this topic that really the light is not just this kind of offshoot or like this luminescence that the, you know, cells emit.
But it has an organizing factor and it actually affects cellular communication. And even he went into studying our DNA and how our DNA actually emits light and how that is part of its regulatory mechanism, having proper light emissions to instruct and inform our genetic expression. So, again, I am not an expert in this topic, but there is enough clues for me to kind of start thinking about the body in this way and to, you know, go deeper. And a lot of, you know, when we are in, you know, the platforms that you and I both are, you know, the people who are typically in the research aspects of the universities, they are not, you know, big marketers or on podcasts or, you know, so you have to go look for this information a little bit more. But if this is a topic someone is wanting to go deeper into the science, I think, Lynne did a really good job in her book “The Field “and she actually goes through this whole story and you know, this development of research that paints the picture that this is something that we should pay attention to. And it is not this random, you know, part of our body, but this is the way our body communicates and this is also how we are interconnected with each other and if you want to take a step further, with the planet. And so, you know, it has that potential to…
Ari Whitten: I just watched the movie “Avatar” for the second time. I hadn’t seen it in years, but it does a great job I think of kind of visually depicting this kind of concept of like these direct connections and even do it as sort of things lighting up. And like sort of a bio luminescence effect is often there in the movie or like kind of almost like neuron connections, but they kind of show the electrical activity like connection between the avatar creatures and the Na’vi people and the animals or the Na’vi people in direct in the earth and kind of the trees and things like that.
And I mean, it is obviously a very beautiful world. And there seems to be definitely more science emerging showing that some of those layers are real. We just can’t visualize them in those ways that we can when we are watching a movie. But, you know, not necessarily all of them like you can’t hook your threads up to, you know, your neurons like to the Tree of Souls and kind of connect directly with all of your ancestors and have them talk to you. But I think there is some layers of this kind of, this world that have relevance to what science is now discovering about this whole body electric.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Yeah, I absolutely agree.
How light affects your body
Ari Whitten: Yeah. So, what are some of the devices that you are… Oh, you know, actually before we get there, I was trying to remember what I was going to say before I thought of the Avatar thing, which is my next book is actually going to be on light.
So my last book was on red and near infrared light therapy. My next one is going to be on light more broadly and basically an entire picture of all of the mechanisms through, all of the known mechanisms as of 2019, I am sure we will discover more, that light interacts with our body, with ourselves, with our skin, with neurotransmitter pathway and, you know, all kinds of pathways. And as I have been digging into the science really in depth over the last year very obsessively, it is so cool to dig into this because I am just discovering all of these mechanisms of how light interacts with our body that really no one knows about. So, as one example, like, or very few people know about I should say. So, you know, ultraviolet light interacts with our skin. Everybody knows about vitamin D, but there is also something called cholesterol sulfate, which kind of, there is research to suggest it builds negative charge on our red blood cells which helps, you know, blood to flow more freely as the red blood cells kind of repel one another as opposed to clumping together.
And that obviously leads to lower blood viscosity and better oxygen delivery. And then, you know, there is layers of this story where it directly impacts neurotransmitters in the brain or it impacts various neurotransmitters and other chemicals in the skin pathways. So, for example, beta endorphin levels get increased through, they get produced in the skin in response to sunlight, which then gets into your bloodstream and interacts with your brain. We also can produce serotonin in our skin, which gets into our bloodstream and interacts with our brain and, you know, red and near infrared light and circadian rhythm pathways. I mean, it is just this rich story. And as you build it out more and more, you realize that our bodies are, you know, extremely sensitive and responsive to all these different light wavelengths, these nutrients of light in way more profound ways than most people realize.
There is all these layers of mechanisms of how our body is responding to light. So I think that is really fascinating. Biophoton stuff as far as… So everything I just said is light going into the body. There is this other side of things which is like ourselves actually producing light and communicating via light photons. That is always fascinating to me. But my attitude towards it is kind of like, it is still very much in its infancy. We don’t really know what to do with any of that information or how to like modulate it to improve somebody’s health in any profound way. But I certainly think it is fascinating. I am excited to see more developments in that area. But do you feel there is any, am I wrong, is there anything that has developed thus far as of 2019 where we can modulate that biophoton system in any way that does anything to change somebody’s health?
Dr. Christine Schaffner: I think it is a great question and I think this is an area that we need to go deeper and, you know, if I got like a hundred million dollars, this is kind of the research I would love to see and, you know, really be able to measure and see how therapeutic interventions change this and so we can draw more conclusions. You know, just to kind of echo what you are saying, I love that you are writing this book because that is one of the most exciting modalities that I really am excited about. And in our practice we have a couple people talking about light and different applications of light. One of the most exciting applications that we are using at Sophia is something called photodynamic therapy where we are actually using intravenous lights. Or if you can’t do IV therapy, you can use acupuncture application with different colors or different wavelengths of light, right?
So either red, yellow, blue, green, even UV or infrared. And that application has a known biological affect which I am sure you are going deeper into understand about. You know, the receptors in the mitochondria that respond to light and how that can turn on, you know, cellular respiration. And, you know, we have Dr. Pollack, you know, who is on the Summit. And, I think it is such a beautiful kind of way to kind of look at the body of how, when we have more infrared light or even sunlight, right? You know, how that increases our exclusions zone water, which I know you talk a lot about. And I honestly, the more I dive into this concept of exclusion zone water, I feel like, you know, health is really an outcome of how much exclusion zone water we have built up in ourselves and whether that is, whether we have enough of that, you know or not because that is going to help maintain our charge and our cells’ ability to exclude things out of ourselves. So not to go down that path…
Ari Whitten: Let me interrupt you there because most people listening to this Podcast probably haven’t heard me talk about that subject and I haven’t had Gerald Pollack on the Podcast yet. So I am going to rely on you right now to explain exclusion zone water and what it is and why it is important or why it is still obviously very early in the research as far as the implications for human health specifically. But I do think that there is going, it will turn out that there is definitely something to this concept, especially given what I know about, for example, the effects of sunlight and saunas. I think at least one of the mechanisms that that is working through is probably this EZ, exclusion zone water. But can you explain the concept and why it relates or why we think it might relate to human health?
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Yeah, absolutely. I will do my best to explain it. And so Gerald Pollack, he actually lives in Seattle and has become a friend of the clinic and we had been introduced to this idea a few years ago when we met him. And just trying to think about applications and if this actually changes the way people feel and maybe also thinking about therapeutics a little bit differently, like the infrared sauna, why it might be working. And I can share a little bit more about that. But this exclusion zone water or EZ water or the fourth phase of water is this water that basically organizes itself around the cell membranes. And it is this charge build up. So, we have H2O, and exclusions zone water is H3O and so it has this extra hydrogen that develops in the organization. And it kind of, when you look at, and I suggest you Google or kind of look at a diagram, but it is this organized almost crystalline structure that the water takes and it kind of layers in sheets along the membrane and it has all these exciting properties that Gerry is trying to, you know, tell us about.
So he actually thinks that the exclusion zone water inside the cell is what maintains the cell charge. So when you go to medical school or you study physiology, we are taught that the sodium potassium pump is actually what maintains our negative 70 millivolts within the cell. But he is saying, you know, let’s look at the charge build up as actually how much exclusions zone water is actually inside the cell. And so, and not to go down this road, but Dr. Cowan is actually on the Summit and he kind of takes it a little bit further in talking about how he feels like this cytoplasm, the exclusion zone water in the cytoplasm is very important to the health of the cell. But so this is a natural occurring phenomenon, but it can occur with different inputs and occurs more readily.
And so infrared, which you talk a lot about, and you can get infrared from, you know, the sunlight. That actually creates more of this exclusion zone water in the body. And this charge build up not only maintains the health of the cell but it has this, and you already touched on this, this propulsion like effect in the body. So it really helps with blood flow. And Gerry always talks about the microcirculation and the capillary bed and, you know, when he thinks about the hemodynamics of blood flow in the capillaries. And so does Dr. Cowan talks about this, there is something else, you know, behind the propulsion and you know, in these small spaces in the body…
Ari Whitten: Rather than just the action of the heart pumping fluid through miles and miles and miles of vessels.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Exactly. And so I, you know, so I think about, okay, health is exclusion zone water and maybe we are disconnected from, you know, healthy lights or kind of the natural rhythms of the day and that is, you know, building that up in the body. And then I also think that our environment and the things that build up in our tissues and inside our cells and the extracellular matrix having a blocking effect to create more exclusion zone water in the body and Dr. Cowan goes into that a little bit. And, you know, there is different charges on heavy metals and, you know, and glyphosate and all of that, how that kind of gets, you know, can disrupt that environment and can maybe decrease our body’s ability to make exclusion zone water in different tissues. And so I think one tactic to, and I hate kind of using this word and I am going to use it loosely, to detoxify our body could be, you know, how do we, you know, we might not be able to get all this out. But one way to kind of combat that is building up more exclusion zone water so our body can recalibrate given all the stresses that we are up against. So I don’t know if I did a good enough job on that, but that is my construct of, you know, the fourth phase of water.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. I think you did a great job. One interesting aside on this, I don’t know if you are familiar with Gilbert Ling’s work but…
Dr. Christine Schaffner: You know, I was just listening to Gerry talk about Gilbert. Is he…
Ari Whitten: Yeah, Gerald Pollack references Gilbert.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Yeah, sodium potassium pump guy or…
Ari Whitten: Yes, yeah. He did a lot of work around that. Exactly. And, as you said, you know, in biology you learn that kind of these gradients of ions across the cell are maintained by these ion pumps. It is the sodium potassium pump, but there is actually, as Gilbert Ling showed, that in order to maintain gradients of all these other ions that we know have gradients across a cell, you would need a whole bunch of other pumps, actually. And, he actually did the math and calculated if this were true, if we had these sort of ion pumps for all these different ions that are responsible for maintaining these ion gradients in the intracellular and extracellular environments, it would be, I am not going to get this exactly right, but it is something like orders of magnitude higher, it would require orders of magnitude higher calorie intake then we actually eat in an entire day. So in other words, all of the calories of all of the food that you eat would do nothing other than just maintain these ion gradients in your cells. They wouldn’t be able to power any other function in your body.
And even just to maintain that it would require orders of magnitude more food intake each day to maintain that. So what he is getting across is there is some other force that is working to maintain these ion gradients of things like calcium and sodium and potassium and other ions in the cell and outside the cell. There is something that is working to maintain those gradients more passively that doesn’t require ATP production. And, basically that there is a gel, like basically like a viscous gel like layer of water close to the membranes, which is exactly what Gerald Pollack would predict based on his work, that itself kind of creates separation of charge and kind of repels a lot of these ions. So it just the chemical nature of that water, basically passively maintains a lot of these gradients so that we don’t have to consume thousands of calories each day just to maintain ourselves in this, with these ion gradients. So I just thought that was an interesting kind of layer to the story.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Yeah, absolutely. And I think Dr. Klinghardt actually interviewed Dr. Pollack in the Summit and they talk a lot about that, the pump theory. There is just not enough, you know, it just is faulty. Right? You know, so, and that is the fun part of these conversations and even the work that you are bringing to light is, you know, sometimes…
Ari Whitten: Nice pun, by the way.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Yeah, I know.
Ari Whitten: What I am bringing to light.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: That can be your tagline for your book. I didn’t even mean that, you know? But you know, my point is that sometimes we get so, you know, we think that everything, we have everything figured out. And then, you know, what I always like to think about when I am, you know, looking at science and trying to, you know, prepare for lectures. I mean, we just found out about the glymphatic system in 2015 and then the interstitium a few years ago and even that the mesentery was like one continuous fold. You know, like these things that we think, you know, we have the body figured out. It is like we don’t.
Ari Whitten: Actually, you know, did you just see like, I think it was last week, there was a new study about the stress response? I think it was basically showing that our bone is integral to our body’s stress response. And it is not, for example, all about like our HPA-axis system. But people without any adrenals and without any cortisol can actually have a full blown fight or flight stress response. It is mediated predominantly by, I think it was osteocalcin if I am remembering the exact compound that is secreted by bone tissue. So who would have thought that our skeletal structure is playing an integral role in our body’s stress response?
Dr. Christine Schaffner: That is interesting because a lot of our, we see a lot of Lyme patients and patients who have been sick for a while and a lot of their parathyroid hormone can get dysregulated quite often. And we just, you know, it is just an observation, but you know this could, looking at that maybe we can make more sense of why that tends to be a trend in our patients.
The effects on deuterium on the human body
Ari Whitten: Interesting. So, I want to get into some of these other aspects of this whole body electric stuff. Talk to me about deuterium. What is deuterium? What is the relevance of it in human health and cellular function?
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Yeah. You know, this is an exciting topic. You know, we are still trying to figure out what to do with all of this information. My good friend Dr. Petra Dorfsman, who is actually in Santa Monica, brought this information to us and she works closely with Dr. Boros and some of these researchers that you see out of UCLA who are really diving into this full force and applying it to, you know, now more clinical settings. And so deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen. And so it is a naturally occurring isotope. So when we drink water, we always think we are drinking H2O, but often we can be drinking D2O or DHO. So it is deuterium, which is a heavier, it is going to be heavier in its nature than a hydrogen molecule. And so it is called heavy water often. And so how I have really oversimplified the deuterium story cause I listened to a ton of people in trying to figure out how to make sense to all of this is that even though it is naturally occurring, we are probably getting more exposed to deuterium because of kind of maybe just changes in our environment or just modern life or what have you, that we are getting more exposed to deuterium than maybe we were meant to be.
And then we, because it is naturally occurring, we have mechanisms in our body to deplete deuterium on a natural occurring basis, but those mechanisms often get blocked. And so we have this build up of deuterium in our tissues. And basically why deuterium can be so problematic is that it actually affects our mitochondrial machinery to make ATP. And really, where I am still wrapping my head around this concept of really the, you know, we always think about the mitochondria making ATP. But it is also its job is to make metabolic water. And so how we can actually have the right water balance and you know, probably it has to do with exclusions zone water. Somebody needs to look at all of this, right? You know, but when deuterium, when we are overexposed to deuterium and that gets saturated in our tissues, it can affect our cellular machinery and our mitochondrial function.
And then we get this lowering of our energy and lowering of, you know, our metabolic water in our body. And so why this can be more of a conversation now is that there is a test that is available where you can look at your saliva and your breath levels of your deuterium and you can kind of see what your exposure is and how well you are getting rid of it. And then there is lots of different strategies around getting rid of it. Again, the practicality of all this I am trying to figure out. But if people are really suffering from a chronic illness, there is also cancer application. I don’t treat cancer, but they do treat a lot of cancer patients because it does seem to be a part of the story. And that is a lot of, Dr. Boros is working…
Ari Whitten: Yeah, I actually just interviewed a cancer researcher and he was talking about the trials with deuterium depleted water and was, he is very much like kind of a mainstream cancer researcher. He is not very alternative at all and he was really impressed, blown away, I would even say, by the trials with deuterium depleted water.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Yeah. And so basically, you know, what we are both saying is that you get your levels and if you have cancer or you have, you are struggling, you are probably, levels tend to be pretty high and you are not getting rid of it. And so they give you this special water that is depleted of deuterium and then they measure per parts per million. And depending on how sick you are, kind of what they want to do they will, for instance, have you drink a liter a day of 85 parts per million deuterium. And so what that does is you are getting less exposure so your body can finally catch up and start depleting this. And so that tends to naturally occur. And then, you know, Jack Kruse and these people talk also about, you know, how we have other ways to deplete the deuterium by, you know, light is one way that we can, you know, do that.
And then I have some friends who are trying to think about supplements, you know, to deplete deuterium as well. And I don’t have any opinion on that. But why I am so curious with this is because the results that she has seen and kind of what I continue to hear, it seems to be a piece of the story. And what the deuterium people are saying is, “Why don’t you start there first instead of doing all this intervention, why don’t you kind of get someone’s deuterium levels, you know, to where they should be and then their body is going to function better and respond better to whatever you decide to do? Or just see how, where their health is once their levels get better.”
Ari Whitten: So they are actually making the argument that deuterium is like maybe the most or one of the most critical compounds in ourselves that determines health more broadly
Dr. Christine Schaffner: And yeah. Or the over exposure of it is going to destroy our health more than anything else than we are realizing because it is, you know, it is such a fundamental… You know, everyone is talking about mitochondrial medicine, right? You know, give them the carnitine, whatever, you know. But it is like, you know, it could be the deuterium that is really, you know, jamming up the mitochondria. And so why am I not completely sold on this idea yet is the water is really expensive. And so…
Ari Whitten: How expensive is it, by the way? I actually haven’t looked.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: You know, it just depends, you know, don’t quote me, but usually a month’s supply is about a thousand dollars, you know. So, yeah, it is just one of these things where… And it is hard, you know, again, when, you know, we are changing a paradigm or a new science or modalities come out they tend to be expensive and then you kind of wait, you know. Kind of like technology, like the iPhone, you know. But it is, we are in that stage where it is still, for me to recommend it to a patient I have to kind of feel like they have the resources and the determination or we are out of options or we need to try something different. And so that is why I don’t have like a huge, not a lot of patients on it, but it is…
Ari Whitten: Yet another reason to take care of your mitochondrial function and not get cancer in the first place.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. You know, and so, I mean, that is so important. But you know, I see people who live these wonderfully healthy lifestyles who still get sick, you know. So it is just, I think what we are up against environmentally is sometimes, you know, beyond, you know, what we probably all realize. And, you know, the deuterium, you know, piece could be a result of also, you know, these environmental stressors that we are up against, too.
Ari Whitten: Do you know of any, you know, you mentioned light and obviously healthy mitochondria actually work to deplete deuterium at the cellular level. So, healthy mitochondria, anything that feeds into healthier mitochondria, sunlight exposure. Are there any other strategies that you are aware of that are very effective, other than like the very expensive you drinking deuterium depleted water, but anything to help ourselves deplete deuterium?
Dr. Christine Schaffner: You know, they talk a lot about dietary strategies and more of like the keto or a fat based diet is going to be, our body is actually going to make more metabolic water out of that, out of fat. And so they feel like that is also another strategy. There is a list. I mean, again, I am not doing this all day long. I just wanted to kind of share this information because I think we are going to be hearing about it more and more. And I want people to be educated so they can make an opinion. But, there is like a list of like, you know, things to do to kind of optimize. But depending on where your health is and how your levels are, you might just decide to drink water.
The best devices to support your body and health
Ari Whitten: Got you. So I want to switch to other devices. I want to say also on this topic of the whole bioelectric fields, I have some, as you know as we were talking about before we started recording, I have some reservations about some aspects of it. Because I think on the one hand there is a lot of science that is really fascinating stuff and like stuff that is in its infancy. The biophoton stuff is fascinating. Deuterium is fascinating. You know, microcurrents and a lot of layers of quantum biology that are being built out right now I think are really fascinating. But I think there is also some, unfortunately some people in this industry that are kind of like hijacking some of this research and then making all kinds of really wild claims to support, you know, whether they are selling a device or various methods and they are trying to kind of ground it in some of these quantum ideas, this quantum weirdness and kind of claim this is the next generation of medicine and it is really cutting edge and things like that.
And when in fact, I see a lot of people out there who are really just selling pseudoscience. They are selling nonsense and snake oil. And so my feeling has been… Really the reason that I haven’t done a Podcast on this area is because I am so wary of people getting misled and then, you know, getting kind of scammed. So having said that, I am curious, do you feel, you know, you mentioned at the beginning of this interview that you do think there are some devices out there that are useful. What are the devices that you think have really good evidence to support them and are actually useful?
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Yeah. No, and I appreciate your perspective because I think, you know, when people are vulnerable and they might, you know… We both have studied science for a long time to be able to make opinions, right? And so when people are vulnerable or, you know, just really, you know, wanting a quick fix or, you know, they are really, you know, there are people unfortunately in this space who can take advantage of that. And so I think, you know, always, you know, trying to get a perspective and, you know, as much information before you try something. And you know, as a doctor, I am always like, do no harm. Right? So I want to. And in my position where I sit in that, where I have a patient population who have been failed by so many things that they are so open and maybe more open than they ever would have been if they haven’t gone through that experience.
So, I feel blessed in that sense that when I, when patients come to us, they are looking for an alternative approach because they, you know, they have been to the Mayo Clinic, they have been to the Cleveland Clinic. Conventional medicine has had a chance to cure them and hasn’t. And so I think, you know, we are being asked to like look at this paradigm differently and look at different tools and strategies. And so with that being said, some of the things that we use at the clinic and that I do feel, you know, we have speakers, you know, speaking about this. I mentioned the photodynamic therapy. That is something that we just got this last year. So it is in its infancy at our clinic. But so far the results are quite fascinating. And I don’t know if this is something you have come across with your research and in your book. But this concept of we will have this laser application and then you can take things that are naturally what we call photosensitizers. So it is this beautiful mechanism in the body that cells that are more damaged actually are going to take up these photosensitizers more readily. So they are going to be more susceptible to the light application therapy. And Dr. Weber, he is in Germany, he is the guy who created this device and has a textbook on all of this if you want to learn more.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, I am interested in that topic. I have definitely read a few papers on it here and there, but I am definitely not an expert in it. But mainly what I have seen is… I have actually kind of been almost afraid of even trying anything like that because I like getting lots of sun exposure and light exposure. And I don’t, if you know, you start getting into these photosensitizers, which I have seen research like what you are describing. Like for example, they will use it to specifically photosensitize like tumor cells, cancer and then shine bright light on the cancer. And you can, I have seen amazing studies where they can actually kill the cancer by photosensitizing it and then shining light on it, which creates all these toxic byproducts in the cell that kill the cancer. And so I have been kind of just wary of that whole space of taking anything that might be a photosensitizer.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: And I hear you. But curcumin actually is naturally a photosensitizer. And so there is some of these naturally occurring compounds. There are things like methylene blue and indocyanine green, it is ICG, I can’t remember the exact term. But, Dr. Weber, he treats a lot of cancer patients and he shows these really remarkable studies of the combination of photosensitizers and light application. He is sometimes using low dose chemotherapy or other interventions, too. So it is not just this alone. But I went there to their conference in San Diego actually in the beginning of this year and I was just blown away and there was such a humble group of people, too. So, you know, they are really in it for the medicine in what I have seen. So light is absolutely something, you know, we are excited about and we use. We also, we have a Joovv panel at the clinic and you talk about, you know, red light and infrared light and near infrared.
And so that is something that I absolutely can stand by. And then, I don’t know if you have talked to your community about frequency specific microcurrent.
Ari Whitten: I haven’t, no.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: But, so Dr. Carolyn McMackin, she is on the Summit and she has a textbook and also, you know, just a layman’s book on this topic called “The Resonance Effect.” But she has this really beautiful career and study of frequency specific microcurrent. So it is using a microcurrent technology and there is different frequencies to treat different tissues or organ systems or even pathogens in the body. And she has done her due diligence over the years to really see what the therapeutic effect and why this works. And she has some understanding, I think it is part of the understanding, but she can document an increase in ATP production with the use of microcurrents, so kind of increasing cellular function.
But we use frequency specific microcurrent at the Clinic and it is really good for concussions or head injuries to, you know, helping people’s lymph drainage. You know, and these are kind of what I hear from clinical experience. So, she gave a great interview. Neurofeedback I think is really exciting. We have a couple of different, we have one person who is talking about microcurrent or neurofeedback on the Summit. We have a technology at the office as well, and I still feel like there is so much room to use this therapy, you know, more strategically. But it is this idea of mapping your brain and seeing where there might be underactive or overactive brainwaves and then using different neurofeedback devices usually that are EEG driven to kind of balance, you know, making, you know, just kind of restoring them to balance so they are not underactive or overactive. And that can help with everything from post concussion syndrome to, you know, cognitive impairment.
So I think that there is a lot of promise in that. Why I am kind of, I don’t use it all the time so I can’t talk from my experience, but we talk about that and we share that information at the Summit. And then just as far as other modalities that peaked my curiosity, we have Dr. Garcia. He actually uses something called biomagnetism. So paired magnets with the positive or negative charge and how that can affect tissue pH and can kind of also, you know, help to upregulate the immune system or circulation and healing in organs that might be struggling. And so he had a really wonderful lecture. And then, you know, in the realm of maybe esoteric, but what I see clinically to be true, there is this whole idea of trauma and emotions and how unhealed or unresolved trauma can affect our physical body.
And so why that conversation is in the Summit is because, you know, it is this kind of, we don’t have a way of saying, “Oh, trauma affects, you know, our mitochondria.” Right? You know, it is not in this biochemical model. So we know, though, that it has an impact on our feeling of wellbeing. I mean, time and what my practice has shown me is when people look at these other aspects of their bodies, so Dr. Klinghardt calls it the five levels of healing. But there is just this idea that we are more than our physical body and this mind-body-spirit connection if you want to just oversimplify it. But when people start to acknowledge and create healing around past traumas, their body can absolutely respond differently and they can, you know, get better faster.
So I see that a lot. So we have different people talking about EFT and different tapping modalities and breath work and, you know, all of that. So, yeah. It is, you know, my goal was just to put this out there into the world. I mean, there is also this other conversation around EMF and how EMF, you know, with our… You know, technology is wonderful that we are able to do these kinds of talks and all of this. But we just have to understand, you know, this cumulative exposure, we are kind of in this uncharted territory of, you know, we haven’t been in, you know, human history surrounded by this much exposure for this long without many breaks. And…
Dr. Schaffner’s thoughts on EMFs
Ari Whitten: Actually, this was going to be my next question on EMFs. So I am glad you brought it up because my attitude towards it is basically that I feel, I am kind of just waiting for more science to develop a strong opinion. Because I feel like I have seen definitely some research suggesting harm and then there is other research, kind of an expert suggesting that it is really benign and, you know, all the concern over it is just, is fear-mongering and is not based in science. I have not formed a strong opinion and I have not done a lot of speaking about this issue to my audience and telling them they need to go to great lengths to avoid exposure to electromagnetic fields. Of course, I recommend some basic things like don’t talk, use your cell phone on speaker, have it on airplane mode if it is on your body, you know, wired internet at home if possible, turn your wifi off at night, things like that. But, I haven’t really emphasized it because in the absence of evidence showing that it is really harmful, I am actually more worried about like creating nocebo effects from telling people how harmful it is. So I am just curious, like that is kind of my attitude, but I am totally open to more evidence showing that it really is harmful and we need to be really talking more about it. But what is your take on this?
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Yeah. You know, something that we feel pretty strongly at Sophia, that we give people recommendations on, you know, safe uses of technology and also, you know, how to mitigate and have a healthy home. I think we, I think you bring up a really great point when you know kind of what we both know. We can live in a world where it can be really scary out there and it can be really anxiety producing and that, we know that can affect our physiology, you know, in a very negative way, maybe more than actually what we are being afraid of. So I think that there is that balance. Absolutely. But I want to, of course, empower people, give them education. What I, you know, what I feel very strongly about knowing some of the science which I am happy to share, is that we should all really strive to have a safe sleeping location.
So we are not going to be able to, you know, change the world yet, you know, with kind of how we maybe improve this technology or, you know, have different ways that we utilize it. But where I do think it just makes sense to me, so we don’t have a break, you know, where we are constantly exposed and our sleep is so important for our brain’s ability to heal and detoxify. So I recommend people measuring their, you know, where their bed is and measuring their EMF exposure. So, you know, definitely turning off the wifi or not using that at bedtime, knowing if you live near a cell phone tower or around neighbors who, you know, have a lot of wifi going on. So just knowing, you know, what your exposure is and then you can make, you know, recommendations.
And so when we think about EMF, we think about cell phones, we think about wifi, we also think about dirty electricity and that can be more due to the wiring in your home. And so what I have learned over the years, and there is science that is looking at it more in Europe than here, but just to bring it back to the Summit, Dr. Rubick talks about her study with 4G, not 5G, wearable devices on people. And then she just looked at live blood cells and did show a significant [inaudible] or clumpiness of the red blood cells, you know, with increased exposure over time. And so what that means is that 4G cell phones, when you are wearing them on your body, they can potentially be making your blood more coagulable and sluggish.
And, you know, at the end of the day, health is blood flow, right? We need blood to carry oxygen to our tissues and nutrients and get waste out. And so that was interesting to me, her study. I always refer to Dr. Martin Paul and his research in looking at basically the voltage gated calcium channels and how EMF, he has shown to make ourselves more hyper excitable because of the influx of calcium. Again, we just had this conversation on exclusion zone water. So who knows, you know, what is happening. But he, you know, he feels strongly and he has shown this and so, you know, it is affecting our neurons and nervous system. You know, there is an increase in brain tumors. I have a, you know, PA who used to work with me who worked in a brain surgeon’s office and there is no doubt, I mean that is not debatable and the science is showing that we do have increases in brain tumors. I mean, of course…
Ari Whitten: Just to clarify that, are you saying like increased rates of brain tumors in the population level compared to a couple of decades ago? Or are you saying increased rates of brain tumors that we know are linked to like cell phone use?
Dr. Christine Schaffner: So, my point is saying there is an increase in rates of brain tumors, you know, since past decades. But again, you know, of course it could be other factors. But it is highly suspicious, especially with a lot of these technologies being close to the head and brain tumors, you know, developing around kind of where people tend to put their phones. And so again, there is a correlation. I am not saying causation, but that is something to think about. You know, things that have been interesting to me, I have seen studies that show an increase in urinary excretion of melatonin with increased exposure to EMF.
Ari Whitten: I haven’t seen that.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Yeah. So, yeah, I will send the study to you afterwards. And then there is, you know, I am just thinking because I know I have a PowerPoint on my desk with a bunch of studies that I could [crosstalk].
Ari Whitten: To that point, I have seen two studies where they have looked at EMF exposure suppressing melatonin production in like measurable levels. I think they measured either in the, I am guessing, in the blood, maybe it was the saliva, but I know that they showed suppressed melatonin. I hadn’t seen what you are talking about, like increased urinary excretion of melatonin. One quick aside that most people don’t know. Most people think of melatonin as just a sleep hormone. But they don’t realize that melatonin is actually one of the most, if not the single most powerful protector of your mitochondria. And so melatonin I think is a really big deal that doesn’t get enough focus.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: I am so glad you are saying that. We are kind of down the melatonin rabbit hole at Sophia right now. And so, again, it is the circadian rhythm aspect of melatonin. But it is also highly neuro-protective. It has been shown to get viruses and I think arsenic, cadmium and mercury out of the brain. So it is one of the most powerful agents to actually detoxify the brain. So how elegant is the body? Right? The glymphatic system works at bedtime and our brain actually produces, you know, melatonin to not only put us to sleep, but also protect our brain. And then, you know, there is a lot of cancer studies and things. And so we are playing around with not only liposomal oral melatonin, but also transdermal melatonin creams and suppositories and, you know, it has been rewarding so far.
Ari Whitten: Very cool. So I want to be sensitive to your time here. We have covered a lot of really fascinating topics. I would love for you to wrap up with maybe your top two or three kind of big, big takeaways that you want people to come away from this with. And it can be things that you have already touched on or if you want to kind of bring any new ideas to the table.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Yeah, absolutely, thank you. Again, this was really a lot of fun for me and I, it is really, you know, we teach sometimes what we want to learn, right? And so it is just really fascinating me and I really want to go deeper in a lot of these conversations that I had. And so I am really excited to see where this takes my knowledge and then also, you know, my practice and how I can help patients better. So that is just really what this is all about. And so with that being said, I mean one of the, probably every speaker talked about grounding and I do think that grounding is something that has probably a ton of effects, you know, that are really helpful and that is something that is free that everybody can do. And so that is actually getting your bare feet in contact with the earth.
The idea is that you are getting electrons from the earth and that is actually helping for your body to deal with all of the free radical stress. So free radical stress is usually an unpaired electron, so you are getting more electrons, you know, through this contact with the earth and that can help you withstand the stresses of modern life. And it is known to make people feel more relaxed and, you know, connect with nature. And I think that that is all positive. So I think that grounding is something we all have access to. And then I would say, you know, the water conversation was fun. You know, I still, you know, it is still impractical and probably too expensive. But if I could put in a nutshell what I have learned about water is of course we want to filter it, get the fluoride out, get the aluminum out of the water, get the glyphosate and the, you know, all the things that we can. And then, you know, the other conversation is maybe get the deuterium levels under 130, you know, parts per million.
Ari Whitten: By the way, there is, I was talking with the cancer researcher just yesterday when I interviewed him. But he said there is a bunch of actually like do-it-yourself deuterium depletion videos for how to deplete water at home of deuterium which involves like freezing it and then scraping the layers of ice off the top. So it sounds like appealing in the one sense that it is do-it-yourself at home deuterium depletion, so it saves you a lot of money. On the other hand, it sounds extremely time intensive and tedious.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Absolutely. Absolutely. And so I know, I mean this is the hack, right? The more we get people thinking about this, someone is going to figure this out even in a more elegant way, right? It is kind of like, okay, getting that and depleting the deuterium. And then, you know, potentially we did talk about hydrogen water, so that is an idea. So maybe adding the hydrogen in and structuring it so there is more exclusion zone water. So that would be the perfect drinking water. So again, it is not practical at this point but, you know, just how can you maybe start implementing some of this and some of these things I think is important. And then really, you know, again, the message, Ari, is if you are struggling out there, really, you know, I want you to know that there is a whole toolkit, you know, with, you know, with hopefully having a trusted, you know, practitioner or physician to help guide you and help you make the right choices for you. But you know, I am kind of at that point of my life where I have seen a lot of people struggle and it has been, you know, I have, of course I see patients get better and it is so rewarding but it takes too long and it is too hard. And so how can we maybe employ these thoughts and these concepts so we can create really more elegant paths for healing for our patients.
Ari Whitten: Beautiful. Dr. Schaffner, I have really, really, really enjoyed this conversation. This was a lot of fun and we covered a lot of really cool, unusual, novel, cutting edge topics. I am super excited to like have you on again in a year or two as this whole field of research continues to evolve as you seem to have a unique interest and to be on the leading edge of it. So, thank you so much for coming on the show and having this very fun conversation with me. I really appreciate it.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Well, thank you Ari. I really appreciate your time and your support and your participation. And I would be, I would love to see where I go down this rabbit hole in a year and reconnect. So thank you.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, absolutely. . And where can people follow your work, Dr. Schaffner, or reach out to you if they want to work with you in person?
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Great. Well, thank you. So, I work at Sophia Health Institute and that is sophiahi.com. And I have a, we have a wonderful team of practitioners and naturopathic medical doctors and, you know, so check us out there. And then I also have a website, drchristineschaffner.com. I have a podcast I would love to have Ari on. And I know just everything I am doing is kind of located in that one site as well, so thank you.
Ari Whitten: Awesome. Thanks so much, doctor. I mispronounce your last name there. Is it Schaffner rather than Schaffner?
Dr. Christine Schaffner: It is Schaffner. Yeah. So it is my married name. It is what they tell me, you know, how to say it, so…
Ari Whitten: Perfect. Thank you again and look forward to connecting again very soon.
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Thank you.
How To Boost Your Energy (With Light, Deuterium Depletion, and More) with Dr. Christine Schaffner - Show Notes
The body electric definition (1:20)
The science on biofields (7:30)
How light affects your body (13:40)
EZ Water (18:45)
The effects on deuterium on the human body (29:00)
The best devices to support your body and health (35:35)
Dr. Schaffner’s thoughts on EMFs (36:00)