Ep.79: Human Longevity with Jason Prall
It’s my great privilege today to interview Jason Prall. Jason is a former mechanical engineer who has been all over the world studying human longevity. He has studied with some of the centenarian populations that were made famous by the Blue Zones research. He’s also a practitioner, helping people resolve chronic, complex health problems and issues with weight. Jason recently launched The Human Longevity Project, which is a docuseries that unveils what people do around the world to live long and healthy lives.
What do we learn from people in the world who live to be 100 and older at 20 to 30 times the rate that we Americans do? What are we missing? What do we not know that they know?
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
Check out his film, The Human Longevity Project
Robyn: Hi, it’s Robyn Openshaw here, and welcome back to Vibe. It’s my great privilege today to interview Jason Prall. Jason is a former mechanical engineer who has been all over the world studying human longevity. He has studied with some of the centenarian populations that were made famous by the Blue Zones research, and he’s also a practitioner, helping people resolve chronic, complex health problems and problems with overweight. Jason recently launched The Human Longevity Project, which is a docuseries discovering what people do that helps us live long and healthy.
If we want to live a long time, well, we are living a fairly long time right now. But we are now predicting that our children, my children, will live a shorter time than me. And I think it might have everything to do with the toxicity in our world, but we’re going to dive into that with Jason and learn what he learned when he went to all of the longest-living people around the world, or many of them. He is not affiliated with the Blue Zones or Dan Buettner. We’ve talked quite a few times in different episodes on my podcast and on the Green Smoothie Girl platform about the Blue Zones. What do we learn from people in the world who live to be 100 and older at 20 to 30 times the rate that we Americans do? What are we missing? What do we not know that they know?
Jason went around the world to these places, spent some time with these elderly populations, and then he ran all over the US, talking to longevity experts, and he learned a lot. And I’m really excited to learn from Jason Prall. Welcome to Vibe.
Jason: Hey, thanks for having me.
Robyn: Well, it’s been really nice to meet you and learn a little bit about your work. And I want to know about The Human Longevity Project; you’re looking at people who live into old age at really high rates. Will you talk a little bit about the differences you noticed in their homes versus (you live here in the US I think) what you see here in the first-world North America?
Jason: I mean, I think we’re starting to see a movement in the US, which is this sort of simplification. We’re downsizing things, we’re simplifying things, which I think is a good trend. This minimalist type of trend is a positive trend, and it actually gets us closer to the populations that I witnessed. When we were in Costa Rica, for example, or in Greece, they live so simply. And that’s today. Even today, in a sort of modern world, everything’s simpler. They don’t have as many products, they don’t use tons of healthcare or facial products and beauty products and makeups and deodorants. And these things are not used in the quantities that we see here. Everything is simplified, they just require less to get by and to live well.
I think it’s something you will notice if you start to reduce your reliance on a lot of products and a lot of things in your home. You realize how much you don’t need most of them. They’re just extra. And they clutter up your space, they clutter up your mind, they clutter up your bank account. There’s no reason for a lot of these things. And most of them, unfortunately, due to our industry, are toxic. I’m sure you’ve had a lot of people talking about the compounding effect of toxins. We have to really look at our homes and start to recognize that they’re coming in from everywhere. From furniture, from the products in our bathrooms, from laundry detergents and cleaners and stuff.
This is one of the things that we look at in our project, in our film series: our relationship to the outside world, and to the microbes in particular. We’ve developed a culture where we want to kill all these microbes and kill everything around us. But now we’re starting to learn through research that we need to interact with these microbes. And that is one of the components of health and longevity. So the very thing that we’ve been trying to do, which is kill everything, is not only killing everything which is harmful for us, but it’s also introducing toxins to our own biology.
So everything is more natural. They have less stuff. And they are actually outside more. So they’re just less reliant on being indoors. I’ll give you one really cool example about the old Okinawan architecture. They would build homes without any nails or anything to join the house together except for these really interesting joints. In other words, they used completely wood. No glue, no nails, no artificial anything, and these houses were sturdy enough to withstand the typhoons and hurricanes and things that they get on the island.
So they just figured out ways to do things that don’t involve artificial anything.
Robyn: Talk about the Okinawans a little bit. Specifically, what did you learn from them? Because you and I were talking, before we started this interview, about how you and I have both read about how Okinawans are some of the longest-lived people. You look at the ones who lived through WWII, then when you get to people younger than me, maybe even younger than you, they’re not looking so great anymore. Talk about that a little bit.
Jason: I think this is a historical aspect to longevity and to these places around the world that we have to really consider. If you were a 100-year-old person today that means you were born in 1918, which means that for most of your life, you didn’t have industrial products. They grew up in a time — these old people that live there now that we can look to for advice and for information — they grew up in a time when these things weren’t an option. So they didn’t have to think about them. They lived in a natural way because that’s the way it was. And so their habits and their whole lifestyle is sort of directed by that reality that they grew up in.
Whereas the kids today, quite a different story. They actually have something called “hamburger syndrome,” that they coined in Okinawa. We see McDonald’s, we see Starbucks, we see cell phones, we see technology. Everything is starting to change with these younger generations-
Robyn: You mean all these franchises; they’re importing all of these western franchises that feed people junk food into Okinawa, and that’s a big reason why the younger generations in Okinawa right now actually have tons of cancer and heart disease and all the diabetes and everything else?
Jason: Diabetes, yes. Exactly. I think that the real issue is of course, yes, these things that we can look to and point at as a reason for this decline in health. But I think more importantly, the entire framework has shifted. The older Okinawan generations understand the connection to nature. They understand harmony. They understand balance. They understand taking care of the environment. They understand this connection. The younger generations are losing this connection because of all these artificial things and all this western mindset. When you look at some place like Okinawa, [western culture] has a massive influence. Okinawa used to be a sort of independent island. And then it got influenced by Japan, it’s influenced by the US, it’s influenced by China. All three of these places have very westernized, or increasingly westernized, aspects to them. So the influence is now directing the old Okinawan culture into something totally new.
And this is what we see in the US and a lot of the western world, which is this complete disconnection from nature. And when you don’t connect with nature, you don’t understand the powerful aspect of that and the importance of it, then you’re of course more likely to use toxic products. Because whatever, it works better, it’s cheaper, it’s easier, right? So I think we really have to reestablish this connection to nature so that we can understand the powerful decisions that we make when we buy products, when we use products. Because it doesn’t just affect us. It affects first us, then it goes somewhere, and then it’s entering other biological organisms in the environment, which eventually comes back around to us. These things don’t go away. We have to understand that there is a big, big effect here. And we need to bring back this idea that we need to be connected to our environments.
Robyn: When I was in graduate school, studying to be a psychotherapist, I was really torn my first year. I had to pick an emphasis, and I ended up being a sex therapist. But my other big love, the thing that I really wanted to do, was gerontology because as an undergraduate, I used to go to this old folks home near where I lived. And I would just go door to door with my cleaning bucket and say, “Can I help you with something? Can I cook something for you? Can I shop for you? Can I clean your house?” And I would clean for them. I met this one lady, I was friends with her all through college, and she passed away shortly after I graduated college. I found someone who needed me. Who needed me to shop for her and help her and didn’t have really any family to rely on.
But what I loved, I mean I loved helping them, but I loved sitting and listening to her stories. And I would ask her questions, like, “Tell me about this. What was this like 50 years ago?” And she was pretty lucid. She was physically deteriorating, but she was very mentally sharp, and I learned so much from her. And I’ve always loved elderly people and what I learn from them.
So there’s toxic issues when it comes to all the chemical toxins in our environment, but what did you learn sitting and talking to these centenarians that is of value to you in terms of emotional toxicity, and how to live in a way that is free from a lot of the weird, first-world stresses that we have? What did you learn?
Jason: I think this is the big one, to be honest. Emotional toxicity is probably the fundamental driver of most health challenges, or at least a component of most health challenges that we see in the west. The aspect of emotional toxicity is very interesting because it’s all internal. It comes from within. It is you. We often look at others and say others trigger us, or it’s their fault, or this person’s annoying, or this person’s a jerk, or whatever. But at the end of the day, it’s always how we feel. We’re the only person that decides that. And so talking to a lot of these people (and this was in Greece, it was in Italy, it was in Costa Rica, it was a lot of places), I actually heard the same thing came up. One of the questions I asked them was, “If you could offer me one piece of advice to live a long, healthy, happy life, what would it be?” And an overwhelming majority of them said some version of, “Maintain good relationships with those around you and hold no grudges.”
And I thought, this is really interesting. How many of us have zero grudges? I think there’s not many people I know. I certainly still have some, even though I was told this by many people. It’s a very challenging thing, or it can be a challenging thing to unwind. But if we first accept this idea, that our emotional states are decisions that we make, then we can start to take responsibility and take back our power. A lot of time we give our power away in these emotional situations. And I think when it comes to emotional toxicity, it’s so difficult sometimes to see them because they generally operate at the subconscious level. And these subconscious traumas, or these subconscious feelings that we have, will manifest in various ways.
But they are so toxic to the actual biology. They are toxic to the nervous system; they will shift you into a fight or flight response, unknowingly. You may not even recognize this, partially because we’re so adaptable and we’re very good at dealing with permanent stress in terms of that being our baseline state. They can be very subversive. You just don’t know they’re there. So it can be difficult, especially in our culture, to recognize these things. But I think it’s a critical factor that we cannot forget about. And again, if it comes up over and over again when you’re speaking with people that are 80, 90, and 100, all over the world, then it’s probably something we should pay attention to.
Robyn: In December, I did a neurofeedback for a week at this clinic, this retreat, and I had electrodes attached to all four lobes of my brain. It was measuring my alpha, beta, gamma, theta, delta waves, and seeing what we could learn from the brain. And what they know from looking at a lot of people’s brains is that what holds them back, and this goes to your point, is lack of forgiveness. So a lot of our many, many hours that we spent in there was going through each person who had wronged us, each major event of our lives that we’re still holding onto, and going through a process to release it. Going into that negative energy, and going into the memory of that negative event, and then releasing it and riding those alpha waves out into a place of peace and forgiveness, and letting go, is healing.
And I often talk about how, both as a therapist but also a human, a mother of four adult children, a divorced person now for ten years, what my big takeaway is. Someone asked me, and a few people have over the years, “What did you learn? What did you learn from your divorce story? Married twenty years, divorced, what did you learn?” And I learned (I wonder what you have to say about these elderly people you talked to, because it feels a lot like what you just said that they have in common, which is that they don’t hold grudges), is: let go. Let go, let go, let go. Let go of more stuff.
You were talking earlier about letting go of stuff. These people probably own two pots and pans. The longest-living people in the world are not the wealthy people of the world, right?
Jason: Exactly. And I think you hit it on the head. And I continue to say this: simplify everything. Simplify your thought patterns, simplify your emotions, simplify how you spend your time, your relationships. All this stuff, we can simplify. It’s sort of paradoxical because we’re always trying to do more, right? “I feel like crap, something’s happening to me, there’s something I’m missing I need to do more. I need to find the thing.” And often, it’s shedding. It’s stripping away. It’s getting to the core, really, of what’s going on.
Here’s the interesting thing about the traumas, and the emotional toxicities. I think it can be dangerous if we view them as a toxin, like mercury for example. In other words, something’s that so bad that we have to get rid of it. I think emotions and these traumas, these things that happen to us, are actually so useful. But if we don’t recognize them, and we can’t see the pattern, then they become toxic over time. But in a certain regard, they can be very, very useful and act as a powerful teacher.
So we develop these emotional things, baggage, however you want to describe it, as a coping mechanism. As an adaptive tool. Something happened to us, and we use this thing to get through it, to keep us safe. And they only become a problem when we’re holding onto them when we no longer need to. We just have to look at ourselves and say, “What is going on? What am I feeling? Where is this coming from?” And take an honest look and try to uncover some of that stuff, without viewing it as something so negative. Just say, “Okay, that’s what that is.” And we can start to move through it, and release it, and let it go.
This always comes back to the same thing over and over again: it’s just letting go. It’s letting go of everything, and just riding the wave and being cool with whatever’s going on. So I think you’re totally right. I did notice it was kind of interesting that a lot of the people that we spoke with, they didn’t even have these things. To some degree, it’s like, when you don’t have those problems, they couldn’t even speak to them. It’s like cancer. When I was asking them about cancer, it was like, “I don’t know. We don’t really deal with it so I can’t give you any information.”
Same type of thing, I think they have a strong family unit. They’ve got a strong village or societal unit, and because of that, a lot of the traumas that we see here in the west don’t manifest because they have so much support, they have so much care. They don’t have to develop these adaptive mechanisms that we might see in our culture because they have the fundamental support from the get-go, and I think we need to get back to some of that. But in the meantime, we have to kind of work to shed our traumas and our emotional toxicities by letting them go.
Robyn: It’s a perfect example of that saying, “Not forgiving is like drinking a cup of poison and hoping that it kills the person who gave it to you.”
Robyn: You’re just drinking the poison. Just stop drinking the poison, let it go. And it is so freeing, whether you do it with electrodes attached to your brain in an exercise you go through in a tank or not. I don’t think you have to do it that way. You have to get very, very clear on, “This is lowering my vibrational frequency, this is holding me back. I want to forgive this person so that I can move forward. I want to let go of this situation and these negative things that happened to me for the sake of my own centenarian life.”
Jason: And a lot of times it’s on ourselves. A lot of times, we have to forgive ourselves. We feel like crap, and we blame ourselves, and we don’t even recognize it. So I think we also have to look at ourselves in that regard, and make sure that we’re not causing problems to ourselves, by ourselves.
Robyn: We had to do that in the pods, too, when we went in there with the electrodes on our brain. We had to go through [that process], and that’s where I lost it. I was in there just sobbing. I was sobbing. I went through an exercise to forgive myself of some parenting mistakes I made with my oldest son, and I just-
Jason: You just feel like everything’s kind of lifted off you. And it’s like, “Ah, gosh, I didn’t need all of that.”
Robyn: You feel like literally 40 pounds got taken off of you. Yeah. When you forgive yourself, when you realize, “I did the very best I could, and nobody gave me a manual when I came into this life,” [you heal]. I read these stories about the centenarians, how they are revered, and I wonder if that’s a part of it too. I’m not entirely sure how to help be a change agent in making this shift in our culture, where we sort of put our old people out to pasture, and we put them off in some brick rambler home, and we visit them couple times a month to feel better about ourselves.
Compared to these centenarian populations (they don’t have to be centenarians, but they’re in their 80s, 90s, 100s), nobody can eat until the elder has begun eating. That is not how it goes around here. And I think one thing we can do is we can start to take a look at our elders as people we want to go to for wisdom, and advice, and a laugh. They’re funny. Old people are funny.
Jason: I’m kind of with you on that. I actually don’t know the answer to this, how to help foster change. Because there’s so many things I think we’re doing wrong. One is, I actually don’t know that we have a ton of elders that are acting like elders that have the wisdom. So I think to some degree, we’ve actually lost wisdom. In other words, maybe we need more elders stepping up to fill that role.
So I think that’s part of it. I don’t think that’s the main component, because I think you’re right. We basically kick out our parents as soon as we can, and we have this independent mindset about us from basically 18 years old. “I need to get away from my parents, I need to push away, if I live with them, it’s weird.” If you’re a 32-year-old guy and you’re living with your parents and you bring home a date, you’re going to be looked at as really weird. So there is a weird societal thing here, that I don’t know how we solve.
Robyn: Whereas in some of these communities, I think you’re probably going to tell me it’s different than that.
Jason: This is the thing: they grew up in a different time and their whole lifestyle was different. Often times, you have a traditional family: mother and father with let’s say, eight kids, which would be actually fairly traditional in a lot of these places. The mother and father would tend to both go out and work, or at least the father. And the mother would be taking care of the kids, or working, or both, in which case the grandfather and more likely the grandmother would be there helping, taking care of the kids. If mother was out there, sort of doing some physical work and manual labor around the house, then you need grandma there to help watch the kids and deal with the kids, and even breastfeed the kids sometimes. This is a story. If mom wasn’t there to breastfeed or couldn’t breastfeed due to some infection or something had happened, grandma would come in and breastfeed.
So they played a role in society, in the family. They were necessary. If you didn’t have a grandma and/or grandpa there to help you, or even aunts or great aunts, a whole unit, then you couldn’t get things done effectively. And so the kids develop really good relationships with the grandparents, the grandparents were served a useful role, which gives them purpose, which factors into longevity and their health, because they’re there for a reason. Now you have knowledge and wisdom being passed down. So I think in those more traditional cultures, you can see the roles.
But it was also more natural. Whereas now, we’ve moved beyond this sort of demanding culture of physical labor and survival. We’re doing podcasts, and writing blogs. We don’t need grandma and grandpa, necessarily, to help us with the kids. So the question is, how do we incorporate this? And I don’t know the answer.
But what I can definitely say to the older generations, and maybe as we become in that older generation category, we probably should not continue this idea of retirement. And perhaps we should incorporate this idea of serving a role. It can be anything, taking care of our farm or our garden. It can be taking care of the house, it can be helping with the kids, it can be donating your time, or whatever. But I think having a purpose and playing a role is really important to society and important for your own health.
So I’m kind of with you; I saw such a different lifestyle. And Okinawa was a good example of this, where you have 97-year-olds and 98-year-olds who don’t live at the elderly home. They have elderly homes, but they would live outside of the home, perhaps, and then they would come and hang out with their 94 and 102-year old friends. They might get a bath there, they might get some help-
Robyn: Not the senior center? The urban senior center?
Jason: It was like a senior center, that’s exactly right. And they would just hang out, and they would play certain games. They would be entertained. So it’s very interesting to see this different dynamic where they still came together as a community even if they didn’t have a family. But they weren’t cast aside, and they didn’t operate with this retirement mindset. So just very, very different. I don’t know what we can do here other than to take charge of our own lives as we get into those older ages.
Robyn: Yeah, it seems like here in the US, we overwork for a certain number of decades of our life so that we can get to the point where we do nothing.
Jason: Stop. Yeah, exactly.
Robyn: There’s so many retirees who have these crises that sometimes stay on a few years, and they end up [dying], many of them, especially like executives and entrepreneurs where they always had a project. I know I’m addicted to projects; I know that I love it, I love work, I love meaningful work, I love building something, I love writing a book, I love managing my team. I’ve got 25 employees and I love it. And I started to get to this point in the last couple years, where I’m like, “Wait, I’m hitting all my goals. All the things have happened. I’ve checked all the things off the list.” And I’m like, “Oh my gosh.”
Jason: Now what?
Robyn: Yeah. If I stop now, what would I do? I’m not ready to put myself out to pasture because I feel like it’s just now, just barely, that I start to have something to say, something of great value to offer that’s more than the stuff I read in books. It’s actual wisdom that I achieved from living life. So it is incumbent on us… and I’m philosophizing and lecturing a little bit here.
Jason: It’s important.
Robyn: But I am really interested in what you have to say about it too, that we have to keep ourselves healthy so that we can be the elders who actually have something to say, and we’re not with Alzheimer’s in a home for 15 years eating cafeteria food with our family dropping in twice a month to bring us a houseplant.
Jason: I think you hit it on the head. To some degree, we would be helping take care of our older grandparents or older parents or whatever, but to some degree they would be helping us. There was a mutually beneficial relationship — and I don’t mean to make it sound transactional — but to some degree, there was value all around. And now we don’t seem to have value on either end, because the wisdom is sort of lost; there’s no real desire for grandparents to really play a role. I feel like the parents don’t want the grandparents around all the time, and the grandparents don’t really want to be around the kids and the grandkids all the time.
So I think we’ve just lost our way in that regard, but I think you’re exactly right. We’ve lost the wisdom. Especially now, where the younger generations are moving into technology at such an insane clip. It’s like, these kids, that’s all they do is use technology. And they’re really good at it, and it’s clearly the future. So how do we integrate this with the older understanding of things, the wisdom?
I remember chopping wood with my grandfather. And who chops wood anymore? Maybe in some places, yes, but there was something interesting about that. You’re moving, you’re outside in nature, you’re focused on a physical task which is very simple, so your mind’s not wandering, you’re not checking emails. These types of things. And you’re just in a more natural state. Whatever it might be-
Robyn: You have the most organic conversations when you’re doing something like that, too.
Jason: Exactly. And you’re problem-solving in various ways. There’s so much to that. I think all those things that our grandparents and great-grandparents might’ve done aren’t necessarily being done anymore, and we’re losing the context for a lot of this stuff. “Why would I want to do that when I can just do this here, and it’s electronic, and it’s faster?” So we’re losing the context.
Robyn: Isn’t there a study showing that men who live to be, I want to say older than 90, have at very, very high rate of daughters and granddaughters taking care of them?
Jason: I have no idea. I haven’t seen that. But it probably makes sense. I do know, and this is interesting from a male/female thing, that when you have a married couple and the man dies first, it actually benefits the woman’s longevity. And when the woman dies first, it negatively impacts the man’s longevity. So it appears that women basically are the key to everybody’s longevity. Women help men and men negatively impact women. So-
Robyn: We don’t want to hurt the feelings of our male listeners, but-
Jason: We rely on you women to keep us healthy.
Robyn: Well, divorce statistics are that after a divorce, the women get happier and the men get unhappier.
Jason: Yeah, I mean, it makes sense. I get it.
Robyn: And the men turn around and get married really, really fast, because they were happier when they were married. And actually, to be fair to men, I want to say that the research in psychotherapy draws these inferences from the fact that men’s needs are easy to meet. And they get those-
Jason: We’re simple creatures.
Robyn: Yes. There’s two simple needs, and those needs are met very well in the marriage situation for men. Women are more complex, we’re difficult. We don’t not explain what’s going on with us to be difficult. It’s because we don’t even know sometimes. Anyways, very sideways.
Let’s talk about some of your thoughts on aging. If you ranked all the factors that accelerate aging, or make you more likely to suffer from chronic disease, where would you rank environmental toxicity, or having a toxic home, where we’re indoors 90 percent of the time and we’ve got, like you’ve mentioned, cleaning products and Teflon on our cooking utensils and our laundry products and our many cosmetics, et cetera? Where does that rank?
Jason: I would say it is definitely in the top three. I’m going to give you my top three, just to sort of round this out. I think sleep is critical, so I think a lack of sleep, in other words. That’s where we repair, regenerate, we do everything. So if you’re not sleeping well, no matter what you do around you, it’s not going to matter. So you have to sleep. I think that’s going to have to be in the top three. The emotional aspect of things, I think, is also in the top three just because it’s such a prominent thing in our culture. And I’d probably put toxins in there as well. So rank them one, two, and three however you want. I think those are maybe perhaps the three-legged stool that we would look at.
And the thing about toxins is, the list has to include all of the toxins. So you have artificial light toxins, which are becoming more and more of a problem. We’re starting to recognize it, which is good. But these artificial lights have only been around for the past 130 years — since 1890, essentially. This is a problem, and it’s gotten worse ever since about 1980 or 1990. It really started picking up and getting worse. So the light toxins are a problem.
Then you have the electromagnetic toxins, which-
Robyn: Let’s back up to light toxins. I think you’re talking about, but tell me if I’m wrong, like blue light that we’re looking at at night when we’re on our laptops or on our TV.
Jason: Absolutely. I was a former energy efficiency engineer. So one of the things that happened in energy efficiency is we took out the infrared aspects of lights. This was what we went to when we made complex fluorescent. We started flashing them; we took out the infrared. This saved a lot of heat and a lot of energy. Well, that’s great, except that’s a really weird spectrum of light that the human body has never seen until the last 30 or so years. So this changes biology in really profound ways, through the eyes and on the skin, and all these things. It’s a toxin, and make no mistake about it, it is critical that we get this right. So that is a big one.
You have electromagnetic. This is wifi, and Bluetooth, and these type of things. Also a big, big problem. And I know it’s sort of being debated and people are minimizing the effects. I understand that. Also, we have to recognize that this stuff is becoming more powerful. It’s everywhere now. Everything is smart. If we don’t recognize the potential aspect of the toxicity there, and we keep moving forward at the rate we are, we’re going to find out real quick who’s right in this aspect, and I’m pretty confident that it’s not going to turn out pretty as we move into 5G and everything starts to become electromagnetic.
Robyn: Talk about that for a second, because not everybody knows what you’re talking about when you say we move into 5G. When the 5G network rolls out. Talk a little bit about-
Jason: Electromagnetic frequencies, this is wifi, this is Bluetooth, these are cell signals. This is a form of light. Electromagnetic frequency is a form of light, and it is natural to some degree, but not the extent that we are getting. S-rays fall into this, your microwave oven, these type of things. And they are becoming so prominent, and most of the research on this stuff is looking at 2G, so this is technology from your cell phone that was from 15, 20 years ago. Or maybe 10, 15 years ago. So it’s old technology.
Now, most cell phones are on 4G and moving into 5G. So 5G is now 40 times more powerful than 4G. What that means is, from a technology standpoint, it’s fantastic. I can download a high-definition video in seconds. It’s really cool. And also you can do surgery from New York on a person in LA. We can do really cool things with 5G technology. The downside is that this stuff is so powerful, and the cooler it gets, the more people are going to want to use it. So if I can download videos in seconds, I’m going to be doing that. And so to some degree, it’s sort of this compounding, weird effect that it’s everywhere now, and if you’re talking to your Amazon Echo, and you have the smart thermostats, and you have the smart refrigerator and the smart TV and the Xbox and the computers, all of a sudden everything is wifi around you. And if you could see wifi, it would look like this weird smog. It would just be everywhere.
Robyn: Well, you actually can. There’s cerulean photography that shows it to be this big, chaotic mess. Whereas I think as somebody out on the Nicyoa Peninsula has pretty, natural earth vibrations everywhere.
Jason: And here’s the thing. We know that being in the presence of forest or trees, literally hugging a tree, changes your brain. So to think that wifi and these things aren’t affecting us when a simple tree can affect our brain… come on. We have to open up to this idea. Just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean that it’s not affecting us. So that’s a major, major toxin, and it’s a toxin that’s growing and increasing so we have to look at that.
Robyn: Yeah, if you don’t think that these things have an effect on you because you can’t see them, because we Americans tend to not believe something unless the medical profession has done a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study and published it in a medical journal, just go sit in a room for 10 minutes with wifi on, or go sit near a smart meter. And then go outside and sit in the sunshine, which is actually charging your electric battery, and put as much of your body in contact with earth as possible, or stand on the earth and hug a tree, and see how different you feel. Anybody who cannot tell me they do not feel radically different, and they do not feel the improvement in their energy and mood from going outside and charging in the sun and grounding on the earth, is so completely out of touch with their own energetic field that something’s very wrong.
Jason: And the biggest one right now I think is sleep. Almost everybody I know has some form of messed-up sleep. Definitely every client that I work with has disrupted sleep. And one of the things that is impacting that, I think, is not only the artificial lights that are coming from our overhead lights and our computers and these types of things, but also the wifi. And the Bluetooth and the cell signals. When you have a cell phone on, on your nightstand, next to your head, and you have the wifi router on at night and all these things, it disrupts your sleep. And if you don’t believe me, turn all that stuff off, and watch how much better you sleep over time.
There’s people talking about this. You may not be noticeably impacted, but that doesn’t matter. I’m not noticeably impacted by the chlorine that’s in my water through the showers, but it’s undoubtedly and unquestionably affecting my biology. So we have to be really, really careful with this stuff.
And the other aspect to wifi and also toxins — like metals and aluminum and mercury and arsenic and all these things that we’re seeing in our environment — if you throw some tinfoil in a microwave, which I would not recommend, it’s going to spark like crazy. That’s the interaction between electromagnetic fields and metals. We know that we’re all toxic. That’s just a reality, unfortunately, that we have to accept to some degree, that we have toxins in us because they’re everywhere. So if we have toxic metals in us, and now we have wifi, who knows what that’s doing. There aren’t studies to show the impact, because it’s impossible to control for a study like this. We can say that it is impacting us based on other research, but we don’t know to what affect and exactly what’s happening biologically. Because we’re so toxic especially with metals, it’s even more reason to suspect that wifi and Bluetooth and cell phone signals are impacting us. So we have to really pay attention to this stuff.
And then there’s the chemicals. The chemicals, the plastics, everything that’s preventing fires that are in furniture, all these retardants, all these things that are in carpets and drapes and furniture. Again, to some degree, it’s daunting and it’s overwhelming, and it’s sort of depressing. But I think the thing that you can do, if you’re new to this, is go through that little quick depressive phase, like, “Oh, my god,” and then you can move through it. Like, “Alright, I have the control, I have the power here. I can do what I can do. I can change my soaps, I can change my detergents, I can minimize my use of everything. I can get shower filters.” You move. You move forward, and you start reducing, and you get organic cotton sheets.
If there’s anything I would say, if you take nothing else away from this, the first step I always recommend that somebody take is go to get organic cotton sheets for their bed. Because you spend seven to eight hours a day in your bed. If you’re not changing your bed or your bedroom environment, you can get an air filter in your bedroom. Think in bedroom first. So if you’re starting on this journey of improving your home, go to the bedroom first, and start fixing that. Because you spend seven to eight hours, hopefully, in that room. Perhaps directly in contact with bedding and sheets and these types of things.
There’s ways to move forward. We just have to become aware, and then step into that power, and want to fix it.
Robyn: That’s really interesting. We haven’t had anyone else tell us that they think that one of the most high-impact things they can do, or the low-hanging fruit, is get organic cotton sheets. Why? As opposed to what our sheets made out of, what’s that doing to us?
Jason: First of all, if it’s cotton sheets, it’s mostly likely that it’s GMO cotton. Genetically modified cotton is a huge, huge product, which contains all kind of pesticides and herbicides and toxins. If your cotton sheets are not organic, then you’re setting yourself up for an issue there. If it’s some other material, it’s synthetic in all likelihood. It could be bamboo; organic bamboo’s another option. There’s organic plant fibers out there that you can get.
But if it’s some sort of polyester, some sort of blend — these are all petrochemical products. Before 1940-ish (that’s when the sort of chemical boom happened) we didn’t have these things. Plastic wasn’t a thing. I took a plastics class in engineering in college, and I learned all about plastics and the history of plastics. It’s truly fascinating, the explosion in this plastic world, and how it allowed us to accomplish a lot of things. But now we’re starting to see the issues; one of the things I learned in my education about plastics was that they are tough, tough to get rid of. You can do some really intensive processes to recoup them and regenerate them and recycle them, but they don’t go away.
And so that is, I think, an easy, low-hanging fruit thing to do; go to organic bamboo, organic cotton, sheets, bedding, and look at the mattress as well, to really make an impact in a time where you need to be recovering and you’re spending seven to eight hours a day, every day.
Robyn: Super interesting. Anybody can understand that if you stick aluminum foil in your microwave and turn it on, you are seeing the interaction of metals with chaotic frequencies. And we’re all being bombarded via chaotic frequencies, and we all have heavy metals in us, which is coming from everything from pollution to sushi to our amalgam fillings.
Jason: To the aluminum foil that we’re using in our kitchens.
Robyn: To the aluminum foil that we’re actually using. And then you also make a fantastic point about how all these 8000 studies that have been published about the actual effects on human cells, or living cells, of electromagnetic frequencies on cells, were done with really old technology, which is 2G. Now when we go from 4G to 5G, we will be, you said, 40xing our exposure to EMF. There are a lot of people who are saying this is going to be a human health catastrophe.
Jason: I don’t want to sound overly dramatic or alarmist. But honestly, from the research I’ve done into physics and light and interactions with biology, and what they’re looking to do with 5G, honestly, it scares the heck out of me. And to the point where if it is implemented in mass scale, I probably won’t be living in that city or in the US. To me, it’s that important. And I’m not going to hang around for the experiment and for some government agency to tell me that it’s okay or it’s not okay. And we end up with another DDT. This is the thing. If people are looking for the government to tell them what’s good and bad, they need to look to history.
Robyn: They’re not going to serve us, just like they haven’t protected us from GMOs.
Jason: Glyphosates, and DDT. Here’s a really cool study (Robyn, you will probably remember this, but if anybody’s too young, they may not), in the ’80s and ’90s, New York had a really big wave of crime. There was tons of crime, violent crime, and theft and all this stuff in New York City. This was kind of a big deal. And then Major Giuliani came in, and there was all these strategies on how to clean this up. Well, they saw a really dramatic decline in the rate of crime in New York City. And there’s lots of groups looking into this, and they looked at economic factors, socioeconomic factors, racial factors, all kinds of things. And there was two independent groups that came to the same conclusion. And they didn’t know it.
Robyn: Is this where the crime dropped massively without the government interventions that were planned?
Jason: Yes, exactly.
Robyn: I know exactly what the conclusion was, and I’m interested to hear you say it because it’s very controversial. This is one of the subjects of Freakonomics, isn’t it?
Jason: It might be. I don’t remember. But I remember reading an article about this in an environmental magazine, and I was like, “Holy smokes, this is mind-blowing.” Giuliani gets all the credit, which is funny. But what they traced it back to was that it was most likely due to the removal of lead in gasoline. Because lead, for a long time, was used as a gasoline additive. And as highly dense areas, a lot of automobiles would be producing a lot of, basically, lead exposure through the air. So as lead was removed in the gasoline, they saw about a 15 to 18 year lag in the drop in crime, which makes sense because lead is basically a neurotoxin; it makes people more aggressive, it lowers IQ. Basically, all the things that would factor into more violence, it results in.
So as you remove this stuff, from the 18-20 [years old] male population in particular, then the lead is not impacting them as much, the violent crime starts to go down. And this is very controversial, but they looked at the same thing in every major, highly-dense city. Chicago, all around the world. It’s not proof, but two people came to the same conclusion and they traced it all around the world and saw the same things. And it makes sense.
So these are the type of things that we have to look at in terms of the exposures. I came from the construction industry and engineering. Asbestos was a big one. I would still see asbestos in places around the world, and what’s really fascinating, is that for decades, asbestos was used like it was no big deal. People were sawing it, cutting it, touching it all over the place. Now when you see asbestos, you have to totally freak out. So I find it really interesting that, without any sort of fault, the government didn’t accept any responsibility for this. It’s almost like, one day, “Ah, no, it’s totally fine, don’t worry about it.” And then the next day, “Oh my God, nobody move.” How do we go from “It’s totally cool” to “It’s the worst thing in the world” without anybody accepting responsibility for it and it gets swept under the rug?
Are we really naïve enough think that that’s not going to happen with glyphosate? And its not going to happen with electromagnetic fields? I will bet anything that I own that that’s exactly what happen, is that at some point it will be accepted that glyphosates, electromagnetic fields, and some other things that we have in our environment, will be the be-all end-all of “don’t touch that stuff.” But now, it’s like, “Oh, it’s no big deal.”
Robyn: Well, my father was spraying malathion on the cherry orchards that my family owned here in Utah before I was born, and it’s been banned for many, many years here in the US. So I think what you’re saying is, the hope that I’m looking for in this, is that you’ve given examples of how now we don’t have lead in our gasoline, and we don’t have lead-based paint, and we don’t have asbestos in our insulation. We have to keep talking. You and I, Jason, must be our mission to keep talking about this because we will impact people every time we talk about it.
Jason: It does.
Robyn: Every single thing that you put into play that you hear here, that you are learning from Jason and his worldwide research on what causes disease and what leads to longevity, [will help]. If you put these things into play, every single one of them counts. It is incremental. Incremental improvement is improvement. You don’t sit in a car and text in a car that’s turned off while wearing metal jewelry, you didn’t make yourself an antenna, boom. You improved one thing right there. And obviously there are a lot of things we’ve covered in deeper dives or on a very superficial level, a lot of things. But I believe that as we educate more people we will see answers to the 5G network. There’s a big financial opportunity out there for the people who are actually developing on the network to find ways to protect the American public. And as you and I and many others educate people about the risks that are coming our way or are already in our lives, I believe things will get better, like removing lead from paint.
Jason: Here’s the thing. I want to send a message of empowerment. Because there are things that are out of your control. That’s just the reality. You can’t control some of these things. But there is so much that is in your control. And the cool thing is that your local environment is what matters most. The light that’s in your house, the electromagnetic frequencies that are in your house, the toxins that are in your house and on your body and in your food, that’s really what is making up probably 80 to 90 percent of the problem or the load. So if you can correct and deal with 80 to 90 percent of the issue, just by the way you interact with your local environment in your house and on your body, then that’s a tremendous factor, especially over time. And think about if everybody did that. Then, the entire society changes. The entire external environment changes. So instead of trying to go march and do all these things and write your congressman, just buy different stuff and buy less stuff, and change your immediate environment, and you will see a snowball effect that’s more grassroots-driven.
Robyn: And talk to people who you have influence with. Libby Darnell, I did a course with her on how to decrease the AMF in your environment, she’s become an expert on it. Her whole journey started when she was very, very ill. She was running a Biomeridian scanning machine in her medical practice for 12 hours a day, and she was so ill. She told her husband, “I’m going to start hearing voices, they’re going to have to admit me soon, I’m that ill and that bordering on crazy.” And then somebody told her to go outside, in Chicago winter, to go outside and lie on the ground. And she went outside and laid on the ground, and felt so much better. She had not felt that good for months.
It turned a light bulb on in her, and here she has now impacted, even just through my work, the Green Smoothie Girl, a quarter of a million people. [She] has impacted tens of thousands of lives as I’ve helped her take her message [to others]. She’s done much more than, obviously, her work with me, from someone having a conversation with her and said, “What if you’re energetically ill? What if you need to go drop a whole bunch of electrons into the ground and pick up some other ones?” And she went out and laid in the grass and an epiphany happened. An amazing thing happened.
So we need to talk about what you’re here doing. If you’re listening to this, this is a great first move. I’m super-ecstatic to introduce you to Jason Prall and The Longevity Project that he’s spent a ton of his life building. You’ve taught me a lot, actually, just today, Jason. I’m super, super excited for where your career goes from here. I think you’re going to do great things, I think you’re going to educate a ton of people. I think you’re going to bless a lot of lives, and you’re going to help a lot of people live to be older and happier, happier while they’re older instead of just being 78 and in a wheelchair and on oxygen the last two years. That’s not the dream.
Jason: Not what we’re looking for.
Jason: I appreciate it, honestly. It means a lot. When I got out of engineering, that was what I understood. This was what I was meant to do, is figure my own garbage out and use that to help educate other people. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. It’s our own personal journey, every single one of us. Instead of giving your power away to a doctor, to a practitioner, to anybody else … I mean, yes, they are useful. I’m one of them. They can be useful. But they’re not needed, honestly.
You have everything you’d ever need. I think we just have to own that, and step into that. And you pointed out a great example of something so simple and free. Go outside and lay on the ground. It doesn’t get any easier than that. So we just have to get back to who we are and what we’re meant to do. And get out of the mold of the modern environment just a little and start to move in the right direction. Then it just makes it so easy.
Robyn: I want to mention one random thing, but it’s related to something you said before; it’s just been totally right here in my brain. As you’re talking about EMF and 5G network rolling out, which a lot of us who are really out there, who live in the health, wellness, nutrition world, have been really concerned about. I’m moving to Park City, Utah this fall, and I’m going to be in a complex of condominiums. The two condos that I own are in a big complex. I’m used to this, where I live right now, a freestanding house. So I’ve been nervous about it. I can’t really get away from the 5G network or I don’t know what the whole smart meter thing is.
I’m thinking of getting EMF-blocking paint, and I just have a little more research to do to make sure that the paint itself doesn’t have actual chemical toxins. But you know, my paint does anyway, right in my condo. But when I learn about that, I will put [EMF-blocking paint] in there, and I will put my notes about what I discovered and whatever the solution is that I decide to go with [out there]. If we have to deal with the 5G network, there will be solutions. We are investigating that right now.
If you have anything to say about that, you can Jason, but the last question I want to ask you is, as you went all over the world, and then you interviewed a lot of longevity experts and some environmental toxin experts too, I’ve seen, as part of your docuseries. You can address that whole EMF-blocking paint, which I’m thinking of doing in my bedroom. Because, by the way, Libby Darnell was here when we were building that EMF Solutions video master class on everything she knows about EMF, and it’s ten videos and nine demo videos. We tested Chad’s Hyundai, my Tesla, and we show here’s what the EMF is in my battery-powered, computer-run car, and his gas-powered car, and everything. My whole house. My son — turns out he had two game boxes that I didn’t know about. I thought he only had one. Turns out, not even on, the thing pegged out the meter, just plugged into the wall. We learned lots of things like that, and it’s all in there.
But one thing that I did is I tested all of my electrical outlets, and I learned that in my room, it was too high. In my office, it was off the chart here where wifi is. So we dealt with all of that stuff. When I put the filters on that we discovered are the best price and do the best job, after that, I had the only — in recent memory in the last however many years — I had the only two nights in a row of uninterrupted sleep. I didn’t wake up. I didn’t wake up for two minutes or two seconds, I literally slept for seven and nine hours those two nights without waking up. That literally hasn’t happened to me in recent memory. For sure in the last three years, that’s never happened to me once. It happened two nights in a row. I can’t say I’ve slept seven to nine hours without waking up every night since then, but it really made a believer out of me because I massively reduced the electromagnetic frequencies in my room and it completely changed the quality of my sleep. The quality of my sleep continues to be much better as a result of that. But we will make sure and put those resources in your free gift for being part of the Summit.
So if you have anything to have to say about EMF-blocking paint, if you even know anything about that Jason, have at it. But will you share with us a few things that you did as you learned all this stuff all over the world? What did you do in your own lifestyle? Any extra things that you haven’t talked about yet?
Jason: I didn’t really change anything. I went and did this documentary, and created this documentary with a framework or a thing that I was intending to put out there. And I knew that these people could help me frame this. So a lot of it was already with me in terms of the experience and the knowledge. What I learned from them, I think, just compounded some of the most important things.
First of all, being in the societies, this is interesting. When you go to these places in Costa Rica, for example. We were there for work, so it was not a vacation. I wasn’t there just hanging out. We were there to try to find these 100-year-olds and do all these things. And yet, time felt like it slowed down or stopped.
What that taught me was that the environment that you’re in is impacting you more than you think. Because when we came back to the US, nothing had changed in terms of our schedule and what we needed to do, but yet I already felt like I was late for something. Time felt like it was speeding up and I was already late and “Oh my gosh.” Nothing changed, except for the location. It really taught me that the environment that you’re in is really, really impactful. And if you don’t like the way that your life is playing out, perhaps you should consider moving to a different environment. Whether that be a smaller town, whether that be out of the US, whatever that is for you. But understand that about your environment. You are a product of your environment, and it’s impacting you. So that was probably the biggest takeaway that I didn’t mention, was that we really are mirrored. The environment’s mirroring back to us and impacting us in a big way. So no matter what you’re trying to do, if you’re trying to fight that, if you’re living in a big, hustle-and-bustle city and you’re trying to be calm, it can be very tough.
But in terms of the EMF paint and the bedroom stuff, EMF paint’s a real thing in my estimation. I’ve done measurements with the TriField Meter, and I’ve done that type of stuff, and I’ve seen the impact. And there’s a whole industry. We have nets you can get. Basically, these nets that go over your bed that protect you from electromagnetic fields. The thing about the EMF paint is that you still have windows, so that’s a thing. It doesn’t fully protect you in that regard. But it is a major step forward.
The other aspect is, keep in mind that if you have this shield, keeping electromagnetic frequencies out, it also means that you’re going to keep electromagnetic frequencies in. So it kind of works both ways. As we take that step to sort of the paint the walls of electromagnetic fields and block these things out, we need to now go, hopefully instead of using wifi, we go to a hard cable. I have my computer plugged in right now to a cable. No wifi interruption, doesn’t disrupt. It’s very stable, it’s faster. There’s no wifi needed. So I think people forget that cable drops are very simple and easy and we can use those effectively. So that’s a good way to eliminate wifi.
Cell phones. You want to basically keep your cell phone in airplane mode more often, probably, so that your cell phone isn’t trying to go grab a signal. This is one thing that you’ll notice. The reason that your phone will die faster when it can’t find a signal, when it’s in an area and there’s no signal and the battery will drain faster, is because it’s going to put out more power to try to go grab that signal. Because it can’t find something, it’s going to work harder to try to go find a signal.
That’s why your battery dies. When it’s putting out that energy, it’s impacting you more. So anything that’s going to disrupt your signal, like if you’re in a completely enclosed environment that doesn’t allow you to attach to a cell tower, your phone’s going to now put out more electromagnetic frequency. So we just have to understand that there’s this two-way thing happening. We keep things out, but we also keep things in.
I would totally advocate for electromagnetic-blocking paint, particularly in the bedroom. And at night, there’s no reason to have your wifi on. There’s no reason to have your cell phone on. So let’s just shut those things down, and go back to … Robyn, I’m sure you remember a time when we didn’t have cell phones. I was in high school, and we didn’t have cell phones. We didn’t have this stuff. We forget — this is the funny thing, and this is why it was so interesting to go around to the areas that we went to — we forget that we came from that, the simplicity. We’re so advanced now, but we forgot that in our childhood, we didn’t have these things. We lived in a completely different way, and we were perfectly happy. So we don’t need them as much as we think.
And as we shed them, as we let go of all this stuff, we start to recognize where our true happiness is, where our true purpose is, where we find meaning again. It’s not in the Instagram likes and how many people shared your latest tweet. There’s meaning in more fundamental things, and I think we have to shed some of this garbage to get back to that meaning. And that’s what I noticed in these places and with these people. They had meaning, and real things. They didn’t look for meaning in artificial garbage. And again, that’s the emotional toxins. It all compounds. So you see that we get caught up in this crazy, artificial, insane life. And we don’t need it. It’s only harming us in major, major ways. We just have to develop a better relationship with it, I think.
Robyn: Brilliantly put. Those were fantastic closing words, thank you so much for so many little pearls of wisdom. I’ve learned so much, and there are so many actionables in this interview that I’m really, really excited for my audience to hear. So, thank you so much, Jason Prall, of The Human Longevity Project.
Jason: Thanks for having me.