“Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things…”
Perhaps you’ve heard that classic Julie Andrews song from The Sound Of Music film score.
Anyways, regardless of your familiarity with old movies, let’s segue way into something else old: today (at least at the time I’m writing these words) I turned 40.
And so I figured I’d ever-so-briefly give you a quick update as to a few of the fringe, compelling, interesting, and/or helpful new biohacks and tricks I’ve been toying around with lately. These are, so to speak, the “winners” for me that in my daily experimentation with the new, the novel, and the cutting-edge, seem to be moving the dial quite a bit in the energy, recovery, and overall well-being department.
So in no particular order of importance, here we go with eight of my favorite new biohacks…
8 Of Ben’s Favorite New Biohacks
Biohack #1: Sensate
Sensate is a vagus nerve stimulator that you hang around your neck like a necklace, and it sits right over the sternum, where it produces a vibration that stimulates your vagus nerve via bone conduction. It vibrates at very specific frequencies for vagal nerve tone and parasympathetic nervous system regulation, shifts you quite quickly into a state of relaxation, and syncs with a phone app that plays specific sounds and tracks that follow along with the vibrating stimulator. I’ve been digging the 10-30 minute sessions as an alternative to meditation or a nap. Sensate is also good if you wake up at night and need to lull yourself back to sleep, if you need to work on increasing your HRV score, or if you tend to have trouble quieting racing thoughts. I’ve been doing two to three sessions a week.
Biohack #2: BrainTap
BrainTap is a light-sound stimulation headset that has an enormous selection of tracks that you can play for self-hypnosis, meditation, breathwork, increasing sleep onset, learning, creativity, etc. I messed around with a BrainTap a couple of years ago and wasn’t too impressed, but then I recently got to try their new, upgraded hardware and it works surprisingly well. My twin thirteen-year-old sons love the “journeys” of hypnosis it can take you on, and while I thought the whole thing was gimmicky at first, it’s now (to my geeky self, at least), better than watching a movie. Like the Sensate, I’ve been doing two to three sessions a week and really digging it. Also, like the Sensate, BrainTap is a great modern, techy alternative to napping or meditation, with similar relaxation and refreshing effects. I find it works even better when I pair it with the Apollo wearable in “Meditation/Mindfulness” mode.
Biohack #3: Othership
Othership is my favorite new breathwork app. It has over 300 selections of extremely well-produced guided breathwork sessions, including specific “trippy” sessions designed to pair with things like CBD, THC, ketamine, sex, etc. There’s a dizzying variety of breathwork apps out there but this one is just really good, earning it a spot in this favorite new biohacks list. I’m been doing a 6-15 minute “upper” session each day, a “downer” session often before naps or sleep, and on the weekends, the longer 50-70 minute holotropic-style trippy sessions. It’s better with headphones, by the way, because many of the tracks also include binaural beats and really great tracks to shift you into different brainwave states.
Biohack #4: VASPER with LIVEO2
For some time, I’ve owned both a VASPER (a full-body exercise machine that combines cold thermogenesis, grounding/earthing, and blood flow restriction) and a LIVEO2 (an oxygen mask that allows you to rapidly shift between hyperoxia and hypoxia during exercise, thus saturating the brain and muscles with oxygen, very similar to hyperbaric therapy). When winter began and more of my workouts shifted indoors, I started doing three 21-minute sessions a week combining the two, and I’m pretty much convinced it’s the most effective cardiovascular stack I’ve ever experienced. Obviously a spendy setup, but for biohackers who dig exercise and owning nice things that make exercise about ten times more efficient, this is a pretty impressive one-two combo—probably the most efficient “minimal exercise dose” I know of.
Biohack #5: Voodoo Flossing
Kelly Starrett’s book Becoming A Supple Leopard has always been a go-to cookbook for me when managing injuries and joint mobility, and in it, he gives a good education on the concept of tourniqueting above and below a joint with a stretchy band, then pumping that joint through a range of motion to decrease inflammation, increase mobility, break down scar tissue, etc. I kind of forgot about this so-called “voodoo flossing” for a while, then got a bum knee and started doing it again. Considering it’s a quick two-minute mobility hack, it works surprisingly well.
Biohack #6: Kratom & Kava
Between my podcast episode with Cameron George of TruKava and JW Ross of the Feel Free kratom/kava blend, I’ve been consuming quite a bit of kratom and kava, and I must say that I feel fantastic relying upon these as my two main nootropics and adaptogens of late. Some people don’t like either one of them, but what can I say: they really, really agree with my physiology. I typically have a shot of Feel Free mid-morning and another shot mid-afternoon, then keep the TruKava tincture around as a handy alternative to alcohol in the evenings. I’m pretty happy with both and recommend you give them a try if you haven’t yet.
Biohack #7: Hapbee
The Hapbee device, which uses a magnetic signal to activate the same cellular response as you’d get from substances such as CBD, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, MDMA, THC, etc., but without actually consuming said substance, is something I’ve recorded a podcast about here. What’s cool is that they just added a host of new recipes that combine different molecules, so now you can flip the device on and choose from recipe blends such as “Long Flight,” “Email Mastery,” “Deep Work,” “Out On The Town,” and more. I’m pretty much hooked on this thing and still blown away how you can get the same effect as a supplement or medication without actually consuming it. Crazy.
Biohack #8: Delta-8 THC
I’m kind of shocked that Delta-8 is not yet banned by the feds and remains somehow legal to buy anywhere and order online. The reason I’m surprised is that, when used in adequate doses, Delta-8 basically gets you just as high (kind of more of a “full-body high”) as Delta-9 THC, the psychedelic side of cannabis most of us are familiar with. I figure at some point in the next few months some congressman or something is going to eat a Delta-8 edible, get “high as F,” realize the stuff should be regulated, then enact legislation to do so. But in the meantime, Delta-8 is fully available, and while I’m not a fan of, nor do I endorse, getting high just to get high, the fact is that microdoses of the stuff are amazing for creativity, and if you’re stressed or hyped up, a regular-sized dose is just absolutely magical for sleep. The brand I’ve been using is Noel Creek Hemp, which makes a delicious gummy in a variety of flavors, including a couple of my favorites: pineapple and passionfruit.
So there you have it: a few of my favorite new biohacks. I realize those were Spartan-esque explanations of how I use each of those cool tools, but hopefully, you’ve discovered just a couple that make your life better. I’m constantly experimenting and will continue to report back on what works and what doesn’t (e.g., right now I’m trying a multi-day stint of my friend Dr. John Lieurance’s methylene blue suppositories called “Lumetol” with SimplyO3 ozone treatments and full-body infrared via JOOVV for the ultimate mitochondrial “cocktail”—the results thus far are promising in terms of overall daily energy!).
How about you? What are a few of the favorite things that have been working well for you lately? Leave your questions, comments, and feedback below. I read them all. And should you want a complete list of the tools and toys I use on the regular—and often equip my clients with to enhance their own lives—you can download this handy little document.