I recently had the opportunity to interview Tony Robbins — likely the most successful personal development coach in modern history — about what he’s been up to during the last couple of years, and the release of his new book, “Life Force: How New Breakthroughs in Precision Medicine Can Transform the Quality of Your Life and Those You Love.”
During his career, Robbins has coached more than 10 million people through group events, and more than 100 million digitally. Pre-COVID, he would visit, on average, 125 cities in more than a dozen countries each year. The pandemic put a firm stop to all those mass gatherings so, in the end, he innovated and developed virtual interactive multiday seminars that reached millions of people around the world during the global pandemic.
“I’m used to a stadium, and the energy,” Robbins says. “So, I said, ‘This is what we’re going to do. We’re going to build a studio with 50-foot ceilings, 20-foot LEDs, .67 highest resolution …
I’m going to go to the guys at Zoom and see if I can get them to go from 1,000 to 25,000,’ (now 200,0000), and then [we] made software so that people could communicate — like clapping, [by] shaking their phone. If one person does it, you don’t hear it, but when 10,000 people do it, its thunderous. It’s like being at a real event.
I would normally go see a quarter of a million people over most years, some years a million people, but now, we had one the other day for six days; 800,000 people signed up, and then there are people joining them because it’s in their home.
We had over a million people for this one program. Technology has allowed us to touch people’s lives when they need it most. I’m just grateful that we found a way to adapt to make it happen.”
When asked what drives him to maintain such a rigorous schedule, all while being more than successful, so much so that he doesn’t actually need to work, Robbins replies:
“I’ve been driven by impact my whole life. I don’t have to work, fortunately, but you feel a sense of responsibility when you know what’s available. That’s why I was so frustrated at the beginning [of the pandemic], because if there was ever a time people needed help, it was during this [pandemic].
Stanford studied my work and that study just came out in a psychiatric journal. It’s mind-boggling. The most you ever see when they do meta studies on depression, in people who get treated, about 40% improve, 60% don’t.
They approached me because, using drugs and everything else, that’s the best they’ve seen. There was one study done by Johns Hopkins two years ago where they used hallucinogenics, magic mushrooms, along with therapy, and they had a four times greater result than anything they’d ever seen, meaning 53% of the people, four weeks later, had no symptoms whatsoever of depression.
They put people through one of my five-and-a-half day ‘Date With Destiny’ programs. People can see it if they go to Netflix — a version of one. ‘Tony Robbins: I’m Not Your Guru,’ compresses it. It’s an hour and 45 minutes. But they followed up with the people. At the end, 30 days later, zero people had any symptoms of clinical depression.
Now I’m working on being able to expand, and none of this would have happened except so many people got depressed over COVID and Stanford said, ‘We got to find some better solutions.’ I’m really grateful for the researchers there and it’s opening up all kinds of doors to help people in a new way.
I’m driven by impact. I’m driven to see people’s lives change. What else are you going to do with your life? Sit around and do nothing? I’m a kid. I’m 62 years old. I got a lot of life in me.”
Overcoming Injury and Pain
His latest book, “Life Force,” grew out of his experience with a physical injury, a severely torn rotator cuff. It was so severe he thought his career might be over. He was also diagnosed with spinal stenosis. Four different doctors told him surgery was the only option, but Robbins was curious about stem cells. Might that help?
“I work with some of the greatest athletes in the world and I remember Cristiano Ronaldo, the greatest soccer player, he was supposed to be out three months. He did stem cells [and was] back in three weeks,” Robbins says.
His doctors said no, but Robbins got hooked up with Dr. Bob Hariri, a neuroscientist and stem cell specialist. Hariri explained that the key to stem cells is using four-day old stem cells, as they contain the “life force.” Fetal (embryonic) stem cells are commercially outlawed in most places, and were out of the question from an ethical perspective.
But these stem cells can also be derived from the placenta and umbilical cord. So, Robbins received intravenous stem cells at a clinic in Panama, three days in a row. “I woke up the third morning with no pain in my shoulder, the MRI is perfect, and no pain in my spine for the first time in 14 years. That made me an evangelist,” he says.
The Stem Cell Phenomenon
This experience inspired Robbins to learn all he could about stem cells, and the book is the product of interviews with numerous experts in the field. Interestingly, Pope Francis invited Robbins to speak at his biannual regenerative medicine conference, which is the largest in the world. There, he met experts and patients alike.
“I met a kid that was supposed to die at 5. He got his sister’s stem cells and he’s now 11 and totally healthy. I met the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus, and he said he couldn’t stand for 10 minutes, he was in such pain.
They were going to fuse his spine, which works about 50% of the time and even then, it restricts you. He did stem cells instead and he’s now 82 playing golf and playing tennis … I met this kid who was on America’s Got Talent. He was blind and he’s had gene therapy and he can see now. I mean, things that sound like science fiction [are] now happening …
I did a book on finance where I interviewed 50 of the smartest financial people in the world … I thought, what if I did this with 100 or 150 of the greatest scientists, Nobel Laureates, greatest regenerative medicine doctors? It was a three-year project in the middle of COVID, and it was a passion project. It all came together.”
There are many different types of stem cells and some are more effective than others. Robbins is particularly impressed with the research from a group called Biosplice, which is working on WNT stem cells.
However, my favorite stem cells are Vsels (very small embryonic stem cells), which are taken from your own peripheral blood rather than your bone marrow or fat. Since they are your own cells, they have virtually no chance of causing long term complications to you. They are very similar to PRP (platelet rich plasma) only profoundly more effective.
Your DNA Is Not Your Destiny
While your genes were for a time believed to be the final determinant of your health, we now know this simply isn’t true. As noted by Robbins, “DNA is not destiny.” Epigenetic factors are far more important.
“Think of it as your DNA or your genome is the keyboard on a piano. The epigenome, epi being above, is the player turning on or off the keys, and that’s what makes the music of your life.
What most people don’t understand is that epigenome could be affected by diet, exercise — all the things you teach and that I teach. They’re so simple and critical, they don’t cost anything, and then there’s exposure to radiation, chemicals and things of that nature.
All that plays a role, but in order for us to have that epigenome function at its ideal, there are seven master genes called sirtuins. They do four things, primarily. No. 1, they help the epigenome turn off the right genes. If they don’t do that, you start to break down, your body starts to age, you can have disease.
Secondly, they reduce inflammation, which is the basis of most breakdown in the body. The third thing they do is they affect the mitochondria’s ability to produce ATP, which is the source of energy for everything. Then, the fourth thing they do, is they clean up our DNA, because as we live longer, we get exposed to more radiation, more exposures, and that DNA starts to break down.
The problem is, all this needs a source of fuel for work … Some people do infusions of NAD, but there’s no solid research that I can find that those large molecules are fully absorbed. You can feel like it for a while but it doesn’t seem to be sustainable. The better approach is to give the precursor for [NAD], which is NMN.”
How to Boost Your NAD Level
According to Robbins, NMN has been shown to be very effective in mice, and effects appear to be even greater in humans. The problem is that NMN is highly perishable, and tests have shown most commercially available products have no NMN in them at all.
MIB 626 or NAD3, a product that is still under development, contains a more stable form of NAD, along with coenzymes that act as catalysts to activate more of the NAD in your body. NAD3 is currently on the fast-track to approval thanks to the fact that the U.S. military wants it.
“Imagine you can go to your doctor and get prescribed something that used to be in your body anyway, or at least a co-enzyme of it, and suddenly have all those four things working your best,” Robbins says.
“The more energy your cells can have throughout the whole body means the organ systems, everything will work better, the cleanup of your DNA, the right genes turning on and off, and inflammation reducing. To me, that’s the part that excites me about where things are going. Everything in the book is either now or within 36 months, so you’re prepared for it.”
That said, you can also raise your NAD level naturally. The enzyme for forming NAD is NAMPT, and you can radically upregulate NAMPT through exercise, time-restricted eating (which mimics the effects of calorie restriction) and sauna. NAMPT basically converts nicotinamide — the breakdown product of NAD — into NMN, which in turn reforms into NAD. You can also add 50 mg (1/64 of a teaspoon) of niacinamide powder three times a day for even greater improvement.
Start With the Fundamentals
So, what are the best interventions Robbins has come across in his search for optimal health?
“I think the first thing you have to do is [start] where you are. I can plot a course where I want to go, but if I have a map and I don’t know where I am, it’s worthless. So, you need to do some of the most fundamental blood tests. You’ve got to do heavy metals testing. You can do a hormone test.
If your hormones are off, your body is off … Today, hormone optimization therapy is available with smaller inserts and huge changes, in men and in women. Once you know where you are and you know what your issues are, then you measure those things. You don’t have to measure everything, because you have a base to know where you stand.
Now what are the interventions? For me, you’ve got to include some form of exercise, and for some people, that’s just beyond their scope. That’s why the sauna is so valuable, because I can put somebody in a sauna for 20 minutes … and you’re going to see these heat shock proteins in your body.
There’s a transformation that occurs. Studies show 50% reduction in heart attacks, 60% reduction in stroke, and overall reduction of death at early age is down by 70%.
Then what happens is people feel better and now they can do some simple exercises … I believe in cold also. I use cryotherapy … I think that’s a place to start for people. The other thing I tell people to do is cut 300 calories [a day]. Cut one bagel, and research shows that over two years, a person will usually lose between 17 and 20 pounds, if they’re overweight …
Supplementing, obviously, with the right supplements, to me, is critical. So, figure out where you are, decide where you want to go. Once you know where you are, address what’s there. It might be diabetes, it might be weight loss; whatever it is, address it.
Get yourself the core nutrients, and have a diet that matches your metabolism and a place for your body to have a little bit of a rest with intermittent fasting or the equivalent of intermittent fasting. To me, those are fundamentals.”
For more information on the benefits of sauna, be sure to listen to the full interview. For additional details, you can also review my previous article, “The Stunning Health Benefits of Sauna Therapy.”
To go along with the book, “Life Force,” Robbins has co-founded two companies to help make precision medicine breakthroughs available to the public. The first one is Fountain Life, which works with doctors around the world to provide testing and regenerative and peak performance medicine.
This includes CCTA testing, which can predict a heart attack up to five years in advance, and Release, which uses ultrasound to scan your body for connective tissue that has tightened or hardened around nerves or blood vessels. A fluid is then injected into the affected area, instantly releasing that restriction.
At present, Fountain Life has nine health centers located in Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, the United Arab Emirates, India and Canada. “About 12% to 14% of people find something through the scans that’s serious, and they’re able to deal with it,” Robbins says. The second company is MyLifeForce.com, from which you can also order a variety of tests at minimal cost.
“What normally costs about $700 … they’ll do it for $350. We make no money on the tests,” Robbins says. “Then it gives you products like the NAD3 — it can recommend what’s available …
So, I have both those groups. One is so you can have basically telemedicine, the other is if you want to do something direct; like the CCAT test, you can order it, your doctor can order it.”
And, last but certainly not least, to learn about the breakthroughs in precision medicine that are already available, or soon will be, be sure to pick up a copy of “Life Force: How New Breakthroughs in Precision Medicine Can Transform the Quality of Your Life and Those You Love.”