S2 EPISODE 22 - Flow-State, The Athletic Brain & Overcoming Over-Thinking w/ Amit Katwala

In season 2 episode 22, Dr. Bubbs interviews award-winning writer Amit Katwala to discuss how the athletic brain impacts performance. In this episode, Amit discusses how the art of anticipation and high-speed decision making sets elite athlete’s brains apart from the rest of us, describes what happens in the brain when athletes overthink during competition, reviews the connection between brain neuroplasticity, BDNF and dopamine, how to get into a flow-state, strategies for performing under pressure… and much, much more. 

Lay-Ups In This Episode

1)    Chunking – The brain's method for organizing information to reduce the demands on the brain, moving information from the “thinking” pre-frontal cortex to the “primitive” basal ganglia.

2)    Technology may help upgrade brain function by improving executive decision-making, working memory and high-speed decision making.

3)    You can facilitate entering a flow state via ensuring clear goals, having immediate feedback and a challenge to skill ratio of approximately 4%.

About Amit Katwala

Amit is an award-winning sport, science and technology writer, editor, speaker. He is author of the highly acclaimed book The Athletic Brain: How Neuroscience is Revolutionising Sport and Can Help You Perform Better . Follow Amit on Twitter.

S2 EPISODE 14 - The Opioid Epidemic, Meditation & Managing Chronic Pain w/ Dr. Abhimanyu Sud MD

In Season 2 Episode 14, Dr. Bubbs sits down with expert Dr. Abhimanyu Sud MD to talk about managing chronic pain and today’s opioid crisis. In this episode, Dr. Sud will share staggering statistics on the scope and intensity of today’s opioid epidemic, what’s driving the opioid crisis, the research evidence supporting the use of opioids for treating long-term pain, as well as the impact of opioids in sports – in particular contact sports like hockey and the NFL – and how meditation can alter areas of the brain that impact pain intensity and pain suffering. Dr. Sud also provides tips on meditation and shares insights into his routine. Make sure you listen to this fantastic episode!

Lay-Ups In This Episode

1)  More people dying in current opioid epidemic than at the height of the opioid crisis.

2)  The evidence-based research on the use of opioids for chronic pain management is very poor (despite their widespread use).

3)  Meditation can alter regions of the brain that control pain intensity and pain bothersomeness.

Links To Research & Articles

https://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/2016/10/31/rethinking-our-understanding-of-chronic-pain-and-use-of-opioids-doctors-notes.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5056880/

The “Big Rocks” – Dr. Sud’s Tip

Commit to the meditation practice, do it everyday. 

About Dr. Abhimanyu Sud MD

Dr. Abhimanyu Sud MD is a family doctor and lecturer in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. He directs the Safe Opioid Prescribing Program through Continuing Professional Development at the Faculty of Medicine, which teaches doctors how to prescribe opioids for chronic pain in a safer and more evidence-informed manner. Follow Dr. Sud on Twitter.