058 – The Physical, Chemical, and Emotional Elements of Brain Health, with Dr. Titus Chiu

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Today we speak with a master of brain optimization, Dr. Titus Chiu. He begins our discussion by explaining his systems approach to the brain, breaking down the three pillars of brain health. While the physical structure of the brain undoubtedly matters, the chemical environment in which the brain functions is equally as important. In addition, the third pillar, the emotional brain, comprises the mindsets and beliefs which we know directly impact the other functionalities. All three pillars need to be taken care of, not only to ensure brain optimization but also healing after trauma. Dr. Chiu walks us through the process of evaluating patients, including the various tests they run and how they personalize the treatment of each unique case. Sometimes interventions such as meditation and mindset coaching are not enough to move the needle and we discuss the use of vagal stimulation and electroceuticals in getting patients out of the fight-or-flight response and improving the parasympathetic tone. Dr. Chiu also shares about the importance of physical and sensory therapy for the brain to heal and gives specific advice for people who struggle with emotional issues such as stress and anxiety.

Don’t forget to have a look at the awesome offerings of our show sponsor ButcherBox! They’re giving you guys $20 off your first order and hooking you up with some free meat – simply use the code MI40.


  • The reasons for the systems approach and the three pillars of brain health. [5:54]
  • Identifying which pillar requires attention by studying each patient’s history. [10:05]
  • The process and checkpoints for testing the chemical health of the brain. [10:52]
  • The role of stool and breath tests in assessing the brain. [13:41]
  • Why the physical brain is the priority and the nature of intervention at his level. [16:38]
  • Dr. Chiu’s recommended modalities for those who want to optimize brain function. [21:03]
  • The use of vagal stimulation and electroceuticals to improve parasympathetic tone. [26:15]
  • Protocols for getting patients out of the stress response that prevents other changes. [29:39] 
  • A case study about treating chronic insomnia following a concussion. [33:48]
  • The four stages of optimization and healing the brain and how each is accomplished. [37:20]
  • Physical and sensory therapies to prepare the brain for neuroplasticity. [39:20]
  • More about his book BrainSAVE! and the awesome six-week plan included. [43:09]
  • Advice for people who struggle with emotional regulation such as negative thinking. [45:33]
  • Interventional approaches with supplements and what Dr. Chiu uses. [52:19]
  • Techniques for getting out of sympathetic arousal, including an eyeball massage! [57:19]

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Ben Pakulski

Ben Pakulski

Since first lifting weights as a teenager, Ben has been on a mission to do whatever it takes… …to become the most muscular man on the planet! On the eve of The Arnold Classic, he confronts the dark realities of bodybuilding… And his own future! Follow him on his journey…

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Formerly the Muscle Expert Podcast. The world’s top authority on intelligent muscle building and fat loss gives us a simple to understand deep dive into the complex world of building a body you love, and living your greatness. Weekly interviews with leading experts in a vast number of scientific fields focusing on health optimization (nutrition, sleep, hormones, mindfulness and mind set), strength, (both physical and mental), and muscle hypertrophy. Learn proven strategies for optimum life performance, whether it be in the gym, the board room or the bedroom; this is the blueprint for becoming the upgraded modern man. Ladies, this podcast is for you too. The topics, tips, and life hacks covered are essential for every individual who wants to upgrade themselves mentally and physically.

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