Neufit offers a solution for patients who have lost function due to Multiple Sclerosis

 In Blog, Exercise, Lifestyle, multiple sclerosis, Research

If you’ve lost function due to MS—Neufit is here to restore your hope.

Neufit offers a solution for patients who have lost function due to Multiple Sclerosis and other neurologic impairment

When diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the goal of your conventional neurologist or conventional physical therapist is to prevent loss and maintain function. This was my initial goal when I was steadily declining after my MS diagnosis. I did anything I could to delay my disability.

In this quest—much to everyone’s surprise—I actually IMPROVED function by supporting my exercise with electric current. 

I invited Garrett Salpeter, CEO of Neufit, to talk with me about how electrical stimulation can accelerate your recovery, allowing you to get more work done in less time. 

In this interview we cover:

  • How I work with Neufit to get stronger
  • How Neufit’s Neubie can help you reach your neurorehab goals faster
  • A brief lesson in electricity and how electric current supports rehabilitation
  • Why you shouldn’t lose hope if you are experiencing lost function or coordination due to MS or neurodegenerative diagnosis 

Neufit is a Wahls Protocol Seminar sponsor. I am grateful for the partnership with this company and sponsorships like this are part of how we are able to produce so many informational resources at no cost to you.  I hope that you do find the information shared to be beneficial!

Learn more about neufit and their neubie device at neu.fit/wahls

Read the transcript below:

Dr. Wahls: Welcome, everyone. And I’m just so glad to have my very good friend, Garrett from NeuFit. Garrett has a really interesting healing story of his own, in terms of how he discovered the power of electrical stimulation, and how powerful that can be for improving your function as part of your rehabilitation program. Now Garrett, forgive me, I don’t know how to properly say your last name but I don’t want to get it wrong. Salpeter?

Garrett Salpeter: You got it.

Dr. Wahls: Okay. So, everyone, welcome Garrett. Garrett, so tell us your background, and how you discovered and got so passionate about electrical therapy.

Garrett Salpeter: Absolutely. Thank you first of all, Dr. Wahls, for having me here. It’s a pleasure to be able to continue to work with you and all the Wahls Warriors out there. We’ve seen some incredible things happen, and we’re just so grateful to be able to work with someone who’s so aligned and so congruent with our mission and just thank you for all of your work. To actually answer your question, my entry point into this work came as an athlete.

Garrett Salpeter: So I was originally looking more from the standpoint of sports injuries. My last year playing college ice hockey, I had some torn ligaments in my wrist. I was supposed to be out for three months and have surgery, and I had this really serendipitous experience, wherein I met a chiropractic neurologist, and for the first time, he introduced me to the notion of functional neurology, and taking more of a functional approach as opposed to a structural approach. Taking a functional approach to something that was typically very squarely in the orthopedic realm. And so, I worked with him.

Garrett Salpeter: We focused on activating the muscles around my injured ligaments. We used earlier, more primitive versions of direct current to accelerate the healing. And it was this amazing, I call it my eureka moment where my ligaments healed in two and a half weeks instead of three months. I avoided surgery altogether, and that is really the pivotal, transformative experience for me. Because that’s when I just started to feel this calling inside of myself to share this work with as many people as I could. And I had no idea at the time what it would look like, but that set me off on this journey.

Dr. Wahls: What were you studying at that time?

Garrett Salpeter: So I was studying. I got a physics degree. I was still in undergrad. I got a physics degree, and I was already set to come to graduate school in engineering.

Dr. Wahls: Perfect. So we have someone who’s into science, into physics, into engineering, has this transformative, healing experience. And how did that inform your next step in the engineering world?

Garrett Salpeter: So in a couple ways. One kind of counterintuitive. So I came to graduate school in engineering, and I was doing my curriculum. I shifted, and became more interested in electrical engineering, and more interested in electronics, because of my experience with direct current. So it shifted my focus and then my first summer when I was supposed to be doing research in the lab, I ended up going and apprenticing with this original doctor who had helped me heal these ligaments and made this profound impact on me. So, I did that, and then I ended up… It was originally going to be a PhD program. I ended up leaving early with a Master’s in order to start a clinic here in Austin. I partnered with a different chiropractor here in town, and started using earlier versions of direct current and some of those techniques I had learned from a few mentors, from self-study, and that was about 12 years ago.

And pivoted, and started doing this, but in the back of my mind, I had this engineering experience and was always thinking about things I’d like to see the technology be able to do, and improvements I’d like to make in the technology. And eventually, after five or six years, that voice just got overwhelmingly louder and louder. And so I finally took on the responsibility of improving direct current stimulation and then working on what led to the Neubie device.

Dr. Wahls: So clearly, there’s a little entrepreneur in you as well, because it’s a lot of work to make new things. So you and I have our Neubies in the background, and it certainly has been… I think everyone knows that electrical current, in all of the work that I did with electrical stimulation with a physical therapist who had an athletic practice, and then treated me as he did his athletes, with steady progression. I mean, I worked pretty hard as an athlete to achieve what I was able to achieve. But I actually worked much, much harder as a patient trying to get my life back, and e-stim was definitely part of that.

And so, I’ve been a huge, huge champion for using electrical therapy to accelerate recovery. And so what I love about Garrett’s work and what I love about you is that you are so comfortable with using electrical stimulation as part of rehabilitation. And I see that you have a much more comprehensive approach to how to accelerate people’s recovery. Can you tell us more about your programs, and how your device is different than many of the other devices that are available?

Garrett Salpeter: Absolutely. So one of the things that I love that you dropped in there was how you worked with a physical therapist, who tends to work with more of an athletic population. And I even, talking about my background as an athlete, and some people might be listening and think, “Well, I’m an MS patient,” or, “I have a neurodegenerative disease. Why would I work with someone who works with athletes?” And the answer is that if you are an MS patient and because of MS, you’ve lost function, you have weakness or sensory deficits, or you’ve lost coordination or you’re impaired in some way, if you want to have a chance to regain that function, you are going to have to train like an athlete, in order to drive neuroplastic changes, to harness this capacity that we all have for neuroplasticity.

Going to physical therapy 30 to 60 minutes, twice a week is not going to be nearly enough input, not nearly enough stimulus, not nearly enough work to drive your body, to signal your body to make those changes. And so if you think about how an athlete trains, think about someone who’s training for the Olympics or to be a professional athlete. They’re training a few hours a day of focused, intense work daily, on a daily basis. And not just for a week or a month, but for months and months and months, for years.

And that’s the level of commitment that it takes to restore function. So in terms of this notion of treating patients like athletes, I think it’s really important that we understand the prerequisite, the level of work that it takes in order to drive those changes. And it’s almost as an MS patient, it’s almost more, even more vitally important. Because there’s a phenomenon, the flip side of that neuroplasticity is called learned disuse, where if you have impairments and you can’t use your muscles, you can’t engage them as effectively or as completely, then if you’re sedentary, you’re going to go lose function even more, even faster. Those negative effects are going to compound. Just like the positive effects can compound and build on each other, so too can those negative effects. And the people who are doing an hour of physical therapy twice a week are doing a more traditional dose. They may be frustrated and say, “I’m not making progress.”

But in reality, what they’re doing is actually preventing learned disuse. So at that moderate level, they’re actually doing some good for themselves because they’re preventing themselves from getting worse. So that’s something that I do want to hit home. Yes, you’re absolutely doing something. The fact that you haven’t made any progress in a year, or however the length of time is, yeah, that’s disappointing. But if you’ve preserved function and sealed off against that downside loss, that’s good too. So that’s one component of it.

Dr. Wahls: That’s interesting. So my conventional neurologist, conventional physical therapist really focused on preventing loss, and that when you have progressive MS, or often when you have MS, the goal is to prevent loss, maintain function. What Garrett and I are talking about is we want to improve function. And you improve function by working the muscle. And so, yes, you could do this through progressive exercise and that can happen.

But thanks to e-stim, we can accelerate that. And that’s what I love about using electrical stimulation of muscles, and that’s what I love about Garrett and Garrett’s approach, is that he is accelerating your recovery through his programs and his devices. So Garrett, can you go into a little bit more detail about how your device accelerates that recovery beyond just what a progressive exercise program would do?

Garrett Salpeter:

Absolutely. So electrical stimulation in general, before we even get into the specifics of the Neubie and what makes it different, in general, it can allow people to get more work done in less time, allow you to contract your muscles more than you normally can do on your own, to if there’s an equivalent amount of work that you need to do, it can allow you to get there a lot faster. And so, generally that’s a big part of the value proposition in these types of circumstances. In terms of the Neubie device, you may have heard me earlier. I mentioned that it’s direct current, and my initial exposure with my own wrist injury to direct current, how transformative that was, that’s really important as we talk about driving these neurological adaptations. Because traditional alternating current devices, they can cause muscles to contract, of course. And the issue there is oftentimes as they contract… So, a little electricity lesson.

So alternating current is a signal that goes back and forth. So go up and down, and up and positive, negative, positive, negative, whereas direct current is only going in one direction. And our nervous systems work on direct current as well. So our brain, we have one pathway from our brain down to our body, the motor or efferent side of the nervous system. And our brain sends signals down to the body. That same pathway never carries signals back up from the body to the brain. Those are separate pathways. It’s like a highway. On one side, you have northbound traffic. On the other side, you have southbound traffic. You never go the same direction on the same pathway.

So direct current is the type of signal that we use, so conceptually, it makes sense. In terms of the specific applications, when you use alternating current, as you turn it up, before you get to a true maximum load of stimulus or challenge that you can handle, what’s going to happen is the muscles are going to lock up because as that signal goes back and forth, it causes muscles on both sides of the joint to contract at the same time in a unusual or uncoordinated manner. And that’s actually the same type of pattern of contraction that can lead to muscles shortening and stiffening.

It can also reinforce spasms, and so there’s some downsides when you use alternating current devices. Whereas with the Neubie, with direct current, we’re able to send that signal and to some degree, bypass… Not fully, we’re still stimulating the muscles. But to some degree, bypass some of that muscular contraction so more of that signal gets into the sensory input side of the nervous system so we can create those very powerful signals and stimuli into the nervous system and ultimately, to the brain where there’s a tremendous opportunity to drive neuroplastic changes and really, it comes down to stimulus and response. When we hear that in neurology, in psychology, stimulus, response.

And so the more stimulus we can get into the nervous system, the greater the opportunity there is for the body to adapt and drive neuroplastic changes. Of course, it depends on… there has to be a robust, underlying foundation of good health. An individual has to have the physical resources to support and drive those changes, [crosstalk 00:13:45]. But you need enough of the right type of stimulus, and so that’s where these nuances with the type of current and some of the other engineering features of the Neubie really come in valuable.

Dr. Wahls: So again, to the tribe, what Garrett and I are telling you is you want to address the root causes of whatever’s driving your neurologic disability. So address diet, toxins, your sleep, get all of that tuned. And now you’re in a position where you can begin to rebuild muscle, repair that connection between your brain and your muscles. And you’ll do that with exercise, but by adding in the Neubie to those training sessions, you can accelerate the neuroplastic changes in the brain.

You’re going to accelerate, and correct me if I’m wrong, Garrett. But my understanding is we accelerate the growth of the myocytes, the health of the myocyte itself in terms of mitochondrial health and the cellular help by doing that electrical work. Now, you’ll still want to exercise, so it’s not like you get hooked up to this wonderful machine, which I do love and I just lay there, and I grow muscles just laying there.

Garrett Salpeter: If only.

Dr. Wahls: I grow muscles because Garrett’s physical therapist worked with me to design the exercise functional movements that will help address my unique limitations, based on all of my health challenges. And then they design my program, the settings, the frequency, and I do my training. And then I [inaudible 00:15:40] check in with my physical therapist, who again assesses where I’m at and advances my program. That’s how I get stronger. That’s how I can do more push-ups. That’s how I can do more vertical jumps. It’s not just laying there with the machine hooked up. Garrett, do you want to expand on that any?

Garrett Salpeter: Absolutely. We talked about differences between alternating current and direct current. Part of the difference beyond the technology is really how it’s used. Traditionally, stim is very passive, where you do just lie there and let the machine buzz you or zap you. And there’s very limited benefit to that, because part of what we’re trying to do is actually improve movement patterns, and in order to do that, there’s a component or there’s a very important concept in neuroscience called the SAID Principle, specific adaptation to imposed demand. So it means that we’re always adapting to exactly what it is that we’re doing.

So if I’m trying to improve my gait for example, my walking ability, I am going to have to do some work on my feet, legs, hips. Doing a lot of work on hand dexterity probably is not going to help my gait as much as working on my feet, legs, hips. Working on those muscles and the coordination there. So specificity’s very important. So if we’re trying to drive specific movements, of course we’re going to have to do those movements. And if you add the sensory, that neurological feedback and input from the Neubie, you can get the equivalent.

There’s no exact formula, but it’s as if you’re doing more movements. If you’re doing three, it’s as if you’re doing six or nine or 12 of those movements, and because you’re getting the input, it amplifies the effect. It amplifies the benefit of that movement, and so you can really accelerate the rate at which you’re making changes and adaptations, and it’s being guided, because of the movement that you’re doing, it’s being guided in the right direction from a specificity perspective.

Dr. Wahls: Now, people may be asking what the experience is like. If I come to you and I say, “Okay, Garrett. I’m in a wheelchair, I’d like to be up walking again,” what would my experience be like coming to work with you or one of the Neubie-trained professionals?

Garrett Salpeter: That’s a great question. So the first thing that I want to say upfront is that it’s going to take time and effort. I believe we have ways to shorten the time and effort, but if it’s something that normally would take four years and you do something amazing which is cut that time in half, that’s still two years. So we just want to be clear that it takes time and effort.

The experience, one of the things that we typically do to start is… So, you see the machine back there. We’ll actually connect some pads and scan around on the body with electrodes like this, and we’ll look for where the impaired or limited neurological pathways are. Again, so we can use this specificity principle, to give you, to give whoever’s listening, if it’s you, if you’re trying this yourself, to give you the stimulation that you need on the exact right pathways to help drive the appropriate and correct neurological changes. So we’ll scan around on the body. Then once we find those areas, we’ll place the pads there, stimulate those while you go through different movements. And just like Dr. [Wahl 00:19:20] said, we’ll coach you, or your practitioner will coach you and guide you and choose the movements that are going to get the most bang for the buck.

And then there is also the circumstance where someone might be listening to this and thinking, “Well, gosh, I’d like to do that, but I can’t move. I don’t yet have the strength to lift my leg or bend my knee,” or whatever the movement is. And so in those cases, that again is where the specificity principle comes in perhaps even more importantly. Because in that case, we’re thinking, “Okay, we need to do tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of repetitions of that movement.” But if you can’t even do one repetition to start, oh my gosh. That’s mind-boggling. You might think, “How the heck am I going to get to hundreds of thousands if I can’t even do one?”

And the answer is that traditionally speaking, you may not be able to, but if we’re able to find these exact pathways and stimulate them with the machine, we can start to get the stimulus on there, create the response within your body wherein you’ll start to… assuming it’s within your capacity and resources. Everyone has an individual different in how much they can respond and adapt, but if it is within your capacity, you will start to up regulate and strengthen those nerve pathways. Just like if you go to the gym and you train your muscles and they get bigger, your nerve pathways can actually regrow, remodel, reinforce, be strengthened. And so, we can actually stimulate those exact same pathways and start to build them up to give you a chance to get that first rep and then start to take those next steps to build up to dozens and hundreds and thousands of repetitions.

Dr. Wahls: Now, do you have any stories you that you can tell us about some of the Wahls Warriors who have come and worked with you?

Garrett Salpeter: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. So we’ve had probably a few hundred now, maybe even few hundreds have used NeuFit. Many of them have worked with providers in our network. So we’ve certified at the time of this recording, about eight or 900 providers around North America and then a few in some other continents and countries now. We just received international clearances on the device last year, so expanding internationally as well.So many people have worked with practitioners outside of our internal team with us. We’ve been blessed to work with several locally here in Austin and several Wahls Warriors who have flown in to see us. Typically come down for three to five days to go through the full assessment evaluation, allow us to build a protocol, and do an intensive start together for a few days of intense work. And then they’re able to bring a device home like you have, and do the same type of remote consultation.

We can continue to update protocols and provide coaching over video calls just like this. And one that comes to mind is a story that we had talked actually about a woman named Wendy, who came down from Wisconsin. And we talked about how she came down… So on a previous interview, she came down and did this intensive with us. And in five days, was able to lift her leg up for the first time in years, was able to bend down, and tie her own shoes because she had been not only week, but also stiff as a protective mechanism. Weakness and stiffness, sometimes it’s like the worst of both worlds.

But that combination is fairly common, and then she took a couple steps holding onto her husband’s hand just in that first week, and then she kept working and her stretch goal at the time that we were working together was to… She’s like, “Oh, man. If I could take a few steps holding my husband’s hand, that would be awesome. But if I could walk my son down the aisle at his wedding, that would be incredible.” And in the time since you and I last spoke, her son’s wedding happened, and she actually after about a year and four or five months of working with the machine, she was prepared. She was ready to go. she walked her son down the aisle at his wedding, and everyone-

Dr. Wahls: I saw the video.

Garrett Salpeter: Oh my gosh.

Dr. Wahls: It’s just so beautiful.

Garrett Salpeter: It was so inspiring. And she’s a true testament. Like you said, it’s not just sitting there and letting the machine do the work. She’s doing the work at least five days a week, an hour or two a day, she’s on the machine. She’s very diligent, and it’s an investment, right?

And she made the investment, and she got a tremendous return on the investment, and now she also is back… So when she was diagnosed with MS, she had to give up… She became disabled and had to give up many things, including driving. Including teaching second grade, she was a teacher, and so she also in addition to achieving this stretch goal of walking her son down the aisle at his wedding, she got her driver’s license back and she’s now volunteering at the school where she was teaching decades ago.

Dr. Wahls: And if I recall the story correctly, I think I saw her dancing at her son’s wedding as well.

Garrett Salpeter: That’s right.

Dr. Wahls: Which by the way, inspired me because my son is getting married, and so I pitched the idea of him of doing a mother/son dance, and that I would take dance lessons so I would do a good job. So we’ll see, but everyone who’s listening here, I think I want you to be inspired by that story. Here’s a woman who was wheelchair-dependent, had difficulty taking even a few steps, had difficulty tying her own shoes, and she saw immediate gains. Small ones, but immediate meaningful gains.

And she was willing to work daily towards her goals with Garrett’s team’s guidance and support. And she achieved remarkable improvements in her function, and continues to improve and continues to work out. For me, I continue to do e-stim. I spent a year not doing e-stim, and I decided to go back to it, because I wanted to continue to have that progressive improvement and that progressive training. So this is part of my daily routine. I get up and do my morning meditation. I hook up and I do my strength training with the e-stim. Now, I’ll also take some days where I’m swimming, and so I may or may not do my e-stim every day, but I certainly value strength training, and I know I can get more out of my strength training if I do it to electricity.

Garrett Salpeter: I couldn’t have said it any better myself. That’s beautiful.

Dr. Wahls: And my conventional neurologist had originally told me that I had such remarkable success, remarkable performance, he convinced me to stop e-stim. And I did, stopped it for a year and discovered I was beginning to lose ground even though I was working out every day, without the benefit of the e-stim. So I was really quite thrilled when I met Garrett, got back on e-stim.

There’s a lot of benefit, particularly for all of us who have a neurologic disorder to keep the e-stim going. One, because you might as well continue to progress your strength conditioning and your coordination that I can get through the e-stim. And I am getting more mature. I’m now over 65, and so age-related senescence begins to happen. And we can anticipate decline in sensory function, decline in motor function. But my goal is to live to 120, still teaching, still playing with any children that I happen to have in my life. And hopefully, still doing some research. And I don’t want to have age-related senescence. And what do you think, Garrett, could the Neubie help prevent that?

Garrett Salpeter: So I think that based on some of what we’ve seen in terms of both general research on the effects of exercise, on the brain promoting BDNF and neurotransmitter function, and I mean, all these wonderful things, and the way that we’ve seen the Neubie amplify the overall benefits of exercise, including those on mood and cognitive function and the effect on the autonomic nervous system which is crucial for good health and recovery and long term health during the aging process, I think there’s a chance that this can really make an impact as part of an overall Wahls protocol included lifestyle.

Dr. Wahls: Correct. I mean, ultimately, I will still get gray hair, or white hair. Clearly, it is graying. So obviously, some effects of aging are still going to occur. However, I want to have a health span through that whole time. I want to have the best brain possible, the best energy possible, the strongest bones, the strongest muscles. And I certainly see Neubie as part of that strategy for me.

Garrett Salpeter: I love that. And there’s one thing. We see videos and we share them from time to time. In the amateur track and field for instance, there’s a 90 and over age division, and there’s people who are competing in track and field and sprinting and throwing javelins in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. And I think these are inspiring examples of what’s possible. It just takes work. Use it or lose it is one side of the coin, and then if you’re diligent and consistent, you can do… have that health span and be even active until 120.

Dr. Wahls: That’s the plan. When I talk to some of my other research scientists, and they tell me that they have this big goal of doing well until their 90s, like, “No, no, why have such a small goal? Oh my God, let’s go for 120.” And I’m waiting for someone to challenge me up to 150. So, we’ll see.

Garrett Salpeter: Our mutual friend Dave Asprey, he has his stated goal of living to 180. And that’s-

Dr. Wahls: Time will tell.

Garrett Salpeter: There’s potential, yeah. We’ll find out.

Dr. Wahls: And we don’t really know what the upper limit is, but I certainly know what my decision is about my daily choice, and that’s pretty straightforward. I’m going to take great care of myself, I’ll be sure that I’m protecting my sleep, have some meditation time and have exercise time.

And I love having exercise with my Neubie. Now, one thing we didn’t ask, when I was a kid on the farm, we’d grab the electrical wires for the electrical fence that would keep the cows in shape, and that would be a farm trick, to see how long could you hang onto the wire without letting go. And when you have siblings doing that to each other, we shocked ourselves quite a few times. But many people, they’re hearing about electricity, hearing about the Neubie, they’re afraid like, oh my God, this must sound so painful that if we’re doing Neubie to get stronger.

Dr. Wahls: So, could you talk about what the person might experience while they’re getting current?

Garrett Salpeter: That’s a great question. Thank you for bringing that up. So we’ve talked about how you have to be consistent, you have to put in the work, and when we say putting in the work, that also means that the sessions can be fairly intense in the sense that we’re going to ask you, Dr. Wahls, ask you, whoever’s listening to push yourself outside your comfort zone. So in terms of overall, we have to be uncomfortable in order to drive adaptation. Because if we’re comfortable, there’s no reason for our brains to invest the energy and resources to make change in the first place. So there has to be some degree of intensity.

The question is, how do we do that in a safe and sustainable way? And so that’s part of why I really like the machine, because we can get a lot more recruitment, activation of muscles without having to lift heavy weights or do some of the risky activities that we otherwise would have to do. And then in terms of the machine, we do want to turn it up to a point where it feels fairly intense. But it is engineered to be pleasant, so traditional direct current devices typically would sting and burn the skin and we’ve eliminated all of that through some of the wave form engineering. And then when it is intense, it’ll feel like a muscle contracting if you were doing a movement on your own, or it’ll feel sometimes like you’re getting into a trigger point area. So it would feel that type of sensation.

It’s typically nothing that’s excessively uncomfortable. Some people really like it and find it to be rather pleasant, and we can always be… Esp in the beginning or even at any time, we can be more conservative with the level of current because we’re still getting the input in there. So it’s really you’re in control, you choose your own adventure because you can always turn the machine down. You can always use a lower level of power, if you choose.

Dr. Wahls: And again, to anyone who’s listening, what I really want to understand is when you’re in control of the level of intensity, it’s a very different experience than if someone else is in control. So I’ve always found these sessions to be quite manageable. So that is not a problem with most folks. And obviously, you can work with your therapist to get to the level of intensity that works for you, and what I experienced and what I think most patients will experience is the more sessions that you do, the more comfortable and pleasurable this becomes. And so over time, you’ll take more current and it will feel quite comfortable and you’ll keep being able to take more and more current over time.

And now, Garrett, you can weigh in on this. Is this because my pain tolerance got better? Is this because my nervous system healed? Is it because my brain is reinterpreting those sensations in a more pleasurable way as opposed to a more painful way, or is it a combination of all of those factors?

Garrett Salpeter: That’s an excellent question, and ultimately, we believe it’s a combination of those types of factors. In terms of the ability to take higher current, a lot of it is due to legitimate adaptations in the nervous system. And just like if your muscles start out at a point where you can only lift 10 pounds, but then you get stronger and your muscles can lift 20 pounds, they’re legitimately stronger.

Either bigger, either the muscle fibers have grown, or you’re able to activate more of them or a combination. Whatever it is, the capacity of that muscle is greater, and so to will the capacity of your nerves increase. It’s like having a very slow internet connection that only sends a couple megabytes per second to having a super-duper internet connection, that sends a few hundred megabytes per second. So part of it is your nervous system actually can conduct better, more, higher capacity, faster speeds, literally an upgrade of the nervous system. And then part of it is also the processing in the brain and when something… If the brain perceives any sort of stimulus as being threatening, it’s going to trigger pain.

Pain is an output signal from the brain, and the brain triggers pain in response to any sort of perceived threat. And so in the beginning, because you’re getting signal… especially if you’ve had impairments and areas have been weakened or haven’t been working recently, that signal can be because it’s so new, that signal can be perceived as threatening. And then over time, part of the adaptation that we want to see is for the brain to down regulate that perception of threat and allow higher levels of activity. Because our brains will actually limit us as a protective mechanism. So when that changes, that tells us the brain is lifting off those protective governors, and actually allowing us to use more of our capacity.

Dr. Wahls: Absolutely. Okay. So we’ve got people fired up about this technology, and we’ll say first for the clinicians who are hearing this, like, “Oh my gosh, I want to be able to refer my patients to a NeuFit trained person,” how would they find someone? So, if I wanted to refer my patients to your types of therapy?

Garrett Salpeter: So for everyone listening to this, the best resource to go to is probably going to be a special page we created for the Wahls Warriors that’s Neu.Fit. It’s www.N-E-U, like neurological, N-E-U.F-I-T/Wahls. And if people go there, there’ll be a link to our locations where you can find a provider and hopefully, there’ll be someone near you.

Garrett Salpeter: There’s also some other resources and things if you want to do a deeper dive, and different ways that we can potentially be of service to you, possibly help you on your journey, whether it’s referring you to somebody else or if there’s an opportunity to work directly. Or if it’s a clinician, ways where we can connect and talk with you to explore whether this technology might be a good fit for your practice.

Dr. Wahls: So patients, we’ve got resources for you to figure out how to search for someone in your area. And if you’re a professional, another thing you can do is work with Garrett’s team and get trained to offer this in your clinic. And so that might be chiropractors, physical therapists, occupational therapists. What other professions might want to get trained to have this in their clinical space?

Garrett Salpeter: So definitely like you mentioned, PTs, OTs, chiropractors, other integrative medical practices we’ve seen. So some MDs and DOs have the device and that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re operating it with their patients. That could mean they have someone on their team who they send to us either remotely or in-person to get trained and certified in it. So we can train someone on your team, as long as they have some requisite knowledge in physiology and the human body, and such. So sometimes, it’s massage therapists or personal trainers who are using it, but it does have to be under the supervision of a licensed practitioner.

Dr. Wahls: Correct, correct.

Garrett Salpeter: So it’s a range, but so integrative medical or pain management, there’s some really… kind of a different realm.

Dr. Wahls: Sure.

Garrett Salpeter: But there’s some really solid applications there, as well.

Dr. Wahls: And people can sometimes just come directly to you in Austin. How would that work?

Garrett Salpeter: Yeah, absolutely. So we mentioned Wendy’s story about how she came down for a five-day intensive, and thankfully, things went well enough with her that she ended up renting a device and bringing it back home. It was going well, and she just continued to rent it, and eventually, she just accumulated enough where she had bought the machine and then kept it, and still keeps it, still has it and still uses it. So typically, if someone is interested in having a machine, it’s best if you can find a practitioner near you and have someone to work with and guide you.

But if that is not accessible or time and cost prohibitive, getting a machine and doing it at home is a viable option. So ideally, would like to get started in-person, whether it’s with us in Austin or another provider closer to you. And then we have a team here who can consult with you remotely, get on video, observe movements, do remote assessments, help customize your program, and tweak it along the way so that you can continue to make as much progress as possible.

Dr. Wahls: Now, one of the questions that people ask me from time to time is do you have any plans for creating any of these smaller home-going units? That there are smaller e-stim devices available on the internet that have very much smaller power, and so people ask about those devices, to ask if you have a comparable smaller device at home. Can you comment on that?

Garrett Salpeter: Yeah, it’s a great question. So there is certainly, nice to have the smaller form factor and something more portable. But you and I obviously both have our devices on carts, and it’s not something you can just pop in your pocket and go walk outside with or something like that. So we are working on taking our same technology, this base technology of direct current, combination of wave forms, the highest power allowed by law, or at least the FDA here in the United States, and we are actively working on ways to miniaturize that same signal generating mechanism.

So we will have a smaller device out. The timeline is because of various regulatory approvals and such, it’s a little bit of a question mark as to how long it’ll be. One of the things that I can commit to though is that for people who have our existing device, we’ll have some generous upgrade programs or trade-in programs. We definitely want to take care of the early adopters.

Dr. Wahls: Sure.

Garrett Salpeter: So, we’ll certainly share. Once we have a better sense of the timeline, we’ll share that too.

Dr. Wahls: Yeah. So the big message is, “We don’t have it yet, we’re working on it,” and I know it can take a while to navigate all of the regulatory hurdles. But there are many ways you can access the device, which I really, really like. And I don’t know that we’ve stressed enough that Garrett has a very I think unique perspective. He is doing e-stim more through an athletic lens as part of this rehab.

And that’s why I think he’s so successful. That is why his device and his programs I think are so much more successful than the other device, which don’t have programs behind it, don’t have the understanding of the neurophysiology, and the rehab potential. So if you’re able to get access to his device, man, I think it’s some of the best investment you could possibly make on your making progress in your rehabilitation.

Well, we’ve talked a long time, longer than we thought we were going to, because it’s just so much fun chatting with you, Garrett.

Garrett Salpeter: Likewise.

Dr. Wahls: As we wrap things up, why don’t you tell us where to find you again? Do you have any social media handles, so that everyone can be aware of that as well?

Garrett Salpeter: Yes, absolutely. So, just to mention again, the website page is Neu.Fit/Wahls and Neu is N-E-U like neurological. N-E-U.F-I-T/W-A-H-L-S. And then we’re most active on Instagram and Facebook, so on Instagram, our handle is @NeuFitRFP, for rehab, fitness, and performance. @NeuFitRFP. And then same on Facebook. But Instagram, we’re on there a lot. Love to interact with people, so if you’re on there, please check us out. We’d love to see you on the platform.

Dr. Wahls: Well, as always Garrett, it is just such a pleasure chatting with you. I look forward to continue working with you and watching what new progress you make.

Garrett Salpeter: Thank you, Dr. Wahls. It’s a pleasure to be with you, and I love and want to acknowledge the model that you set. You truly, truly practice what you preach and you’re walking the walk, and you’re an inspiration to hundreds of thousands of people. So, thank you.

Dr. Wahls: Much love to you and your team.

Garrett Salpeter: Right, same to you.

Dr. Wahls: Alright, bye-bye now.

 


About CEO / Founder Garrett Salpeter:

Known as “The Health Engineer,” Garrett has taken his education in Physics (BS) and Engineering (MSE) and applied it into a system for making the human body better. His journey started when he picked up ice hockey as a boy. It was a game he loved, but for which he had little natural aptitude. After several years “skating by,” he decided to delve deeply into the world of strength and conditioning to try to give himself a chance to play at a higher level. Unfortunately, what was popular at the time did not work for him — and he kept searching.

​In dealing with some injury problems, he learned about the paramount importance of the nervous system, and saw the connections to how the same neurological principles could be applied to fitness. The neurological approach worked, and he never looked back. He became determined to learn as much as possible about how to affect the nervous system. To that end, he spent hundreds of hours in self-study, mentored under several leading-edge practitioners, tested many of his theories on himself and others, and even went back to school for a Ph.D. program in Neuroscience (from which he took a leave of absence to launch the Neubie device).

​In 2009, he opened his first facility in Austin, TX to start sharing these methods with his community. This has grown into what we now know as NeuFit, which combines an advanced understanding of physiology with the best practices from diverse training and therapeutic practices, and constantly pushes these processes by using technology to accelerate them further. Since that first day, he has worked with people of all ages and in almost all situations, including athletes from MLB, the NFL, the NHL, the NBA, UFC, Olympics, NCAA, and more, helping them get out of pain, improve performance, sometimes avoid surgeries, and live life at a higher level.

​​He lives in Austin, Texas and is ecstatically in love with his wife, Briana, and their two daughters, Gwenny and Gemma.

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