Ashok Gupta

The Groundbreaking Power Of Neuroplasticity To Treat Chronic Fatigue | Ashok Gupta






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Do you or someone you love suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), long-haul Covid, Fibromyalgia, or even just exhaustion that won’t go away?

In this eye-opening episode, I’m thrilled to be chatting with Ashok Gupta, a renowned expert in the field of Chronic Fatigue and related conditions. 

Ashok’s journey to understand these wildly debilitating yet hugely misunderstood conditions began with his own struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome while studying at Cambridge University. His breakthroughs and recovery led him to develop revolutionary approaches for treating what he terms ‘Neuro-Immune Conditioned Syndromes’ or NICS.

In this hugely important conversation, we delve into: the common myths surrounding these syndromes, why conventional healthcare often falls short in treating these complex conditions, the fascinating role of neuroplasticity in the treatment of Chronic Fatigue and NICS, the groundbreaking potential of retraining the brain to overcome these syndromes, practical strategies for preventing and managing chronic conditions, his top three steps for sufferers, and critical habits for maintaining a healthy brain and body.

This conversation is not just a beacon of hope; it’s a treasure trove of highly actionable knowledge. Whether you’re directly affected by these conditions, know someone who is, or you’re simply passionate about maintaining optimal brain health, this episode is a must-listen.

So, are you ready to unlock the secrets of your brain’s healing power and discover a new way to treat Chronic Fatigue, long-haul Covid, Fibromyalgia and more? Then press play now… this episode is for you.

About Ashok Gupta

Ashok is an internationally renowned Speaker, Filmmaker & Health Practitioner who has dedicated his life to supporting people through chronic illness, and achieving their potential.

Ashok suffered from ME, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, around 25 years ago when he was studying at Cambridge University. Through neurological research that he conducted, he managed to get himself 100% better. He then set up a clinic to treat others, and then published the well-known neuroplasticity “limbic retraining” recovery program and app known as the Gupta Program in 2007.

He has published several medical papers including randomized controlled trials on Long Covid, ME/CFS, & Fibromyalgia, showing that the treatment is effective, and is continually researching these conditions.

In this episode we chat about:

  • His personal journey with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (3:17)
  • The surprising ways that these conditions can present (5:56)
  • The groundbreaking potential of retraining the brain to overcome Chronic Fatigue (12:11)
  • Critical risk factors to be aware of (15:32)
  • Neuro-Immune Conditioned Syndromes: What are NICS? And what do all these conditions have in common? (20:46)
  • What’s causing the huge rise in NICS cases? (22:53)
  • Why traditional healthcare approaches often fall short in the treatment of NICS (24:34)
  • The mind-blowing success stories that will restore hope for sufferers (27:20)
  • The crucial habits and health practices that can protect your brain (31:43)
  • What are the first steps someone experiencing NICS can do to start healing? (34:24)
  • The life-changing book that should be in every school curriculum (37:32)

Episode resources:

  • SheLaunch (join here)
  • Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini (book)
  • Open Wide by Melissa Ambrosini (book)
  • Comparisonitis by Melissa Ambrosini (book)
  • Time Magic by Melissa Ambrosini and Nick Broadhurst (book)
  • Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue  by Neale Donald Walsch (book)
  • Conversations With God And Neale Donald Walsch (podcast)
  • Gupta Program (website)
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The following transcript has been automatically generated and not checked for accuracy.

Melissa: [00:00:00] In episode 561 with Ashok Gupta, we are diving deep into neuroimmune diseases like chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, ME, long COVID, mold, Lyme, and so much more. If you have suffered from any of these or know someone who has, you’re going to get so much out of this episode. And if you are someone who just wants to take their health to the next level, you are going to want to grab your pen and paper.

This episode is gold. Welcome to the Melissa Ambrosini show. I’m your host, Melissa, best selling author of Mastering Your Mean Girl, Open Wide, Comparisonitis. And time magic. And I’m here to remind you that love is sexy, healthy is liberating, and wealthy isn’t a dirty word. Each week I’ll be getting up close and personal with thought leaders from around the globe, as well as your weekly dose of motivation so that you can create epic change in your [00:01:00] own life and become the best version of yourself possible.

Are you ready? Beautiful. Beautiful. Hey, beautiful and welcome back to the show. I’m so excited about this conversation because it is one very close to my heart. Nick has suffered with a lot of the things that we are talking about today and This man that created the program that is on today has helped him so much along his journey.

So I’m really excited for you guys to listen to this episode. And if you’re someone who wants to learn how to reprogram your brain, you are going to get so much out of this conversation. So for those of you that have never heard of Ashok, he is an internationally renowned speaker, filmmaker, and health practitioner who has dedicated his life to supporting people through chronic illness and achieving their potential.

Now he suffered from ME and chronic fatigue syndrome around 25 years ago when he was studying at Cambridge University. Now through neurological research that [00:02:00] he conducted, he managed to get himself 100 percent better. And then he set up a well known neuroplasticity limbic retraining recovery program and app known as the Gupta program in 2007.

And Nick has done that program. Now he also published several medical papers, including randomized control trials on long COVID. Me, CF, s, and fibromyalgia showing that the treatment is effective and he’s continually researching these conditions. Now you can find out more@guptaprogram.com. And for everything that we mention in today’s episode, you can check out in the show notes and that’s over@melissaandbini.com slash five six.

Grab your pen and paper guys, let’s dive in.

Welcome Ashok, I am so excited to have you here. But before we dive in, can you tell us what you had for breakfast this morning? [00:03:00] 

Ashok: Yes, so I had a nice bowl of porridge with currants and a slice of stevia chocolate inside it. Oh, 

Melissa: yum. I am all for chocolate for breakfast. Absolutely. I mean, why not? So before we got recording, you were actually chatting with my husband who has done your program and it really helped him on his chronic fatigue journey.

But before we dive into that, can you talk us through about your personal experience with chronic fatigue syndrome when you were studying at Cambridge University? 

Ashok: Yes, of course, like many of us who’ve come on this journey, we’ve been through our own challenges and mine was in the mid nineties, actually, before these illnesses were really recognized.

I actually suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome, ME. I got some kind of virus, some kind of stomach bug and the stomach bug seemed to go away, but it left a legacy, which was that I [00:04:00] just suddenly felt super exhausted, super tired all the time. To the point at which I opened up a textbook and I couldn’t even read the words on the page.

It got to that level, I had to crawl to the bathroom in my worst moments, I was just so exhausted. And I would go from doctor to doctor and they would say, we don’t know what you have, we don’t know what causes it, we don’t even have a proper name for it, and you might have it forever, and there’s nothing we can do.

And that was almost like a death sentence to a young man. And that started a lifelong journey for me to try and understand these illnesses and these conditions and try and help myself, of course, and look at helping others and I remember my worst moments thinking, you know, I’ve met hundreds of people who have this condition.

If I can just get myself well, even if it’s not 100 percent well, even if it’s 50 percent well, 70 percent well, I will dedicate the rest of my life to helping others with these conditions because of the untold suffering that people go through when they have these unexplained [00:05:00] conditions. And that’s really how my journey started.

And I. Then research, a lot of brain neurology, a lot of physiology, came up with a hypothesis as to what I thought caused these conditions, and then published that hypothesis at the same time, managed to retrain my brain and get a hundred percent well, so that was my 

Melissa: journey. My goodness. I’m so glad and so happy that you are sharing all of your wisdom and your knowledge now, because.

You have helped my husband so much. He was exactly the same, could barely walk. He was in so much physical and emotional pain and. He had tried everything and so many doctors were just like, we don’t know what’s wrong, we don’t know what’s wrong. But after doing your program and realizing that a lot of it is that loop, that mental loop that your mind goes on and you teach people how to retrain that, which I want to talk about, I want to just go back to [00:06:00] the causes of chronic fatigue first.

Like for someone who is not familiar with it, like how does it typically present? And how do we get it? 

Ashok: So, so big questions. And I always like to start the kind of hypothesis as to what causes this with the kind of biggest question of all, why are we here? So we can spend the next half an hour talking about it from a philosophical perspective.

But if we look at it from a scientific perspective, we’re here because this brain, this nervous system, this body has adapted to our environment, learned how to survive. It then procreates. And passes on our genes to the next generation. So from an evolutionary biology perspective, our bodies are survival machines and many people don’t realize this, but actually our bodies have evolved from plants, single cell organisms, invertebrates, vertebrates, reptiles, mammals, human beings.

We [00:07:00] contain that DNA. We contain that lineage. And a funny thing is I heard, uh, we share 40 percent of the same DNA as a banana. Which might be fascinating. So the point here is that we are survival machines and this gives us a clue as to what happens in chronic fatigue or many of these diseases is that our body cares more about survival than it does wellness.

So the way these diseases start is let’s take the example of long COVID because I think we all know somebody who’s suffering from lingering effects of COVID. Now let’s say COVID comes along, normally we experienced the virus, our body fights it off and then our immune system comes back to balance. and we return to normal health and go back to our day.

But in about 10 to 30 percent of patients, they have the virus, but it leaves a legacy. But even that the virus has gone, their body is still responding as if the virus is still present. And we believe that is conditioning in the brain, learning in the brain learns that perhaps there’s still [00:08:00] something wrong because it’s still under threat.

And a great way of describing this, Melissa, I don’t know, are you a Game of Thrones fan by any chance? 

Melissa: I am not at all, I’ve not watched a single episode ever, but my husband loves it. And the reason being is I have two genres of films that I watch or shows, and that is romantic comedy and comedy. It’s too violent for me.

I can’t do it, but I understand, you know, some of the analogies and characters so you can share it with me. 

Ashok: Okay, fine. So let’s take the romantic comedy known as. Let’s say Cinderella, I’m sure you know, so a kind of fairies. Let’s take the example of the fairies. So imagine that you are Queen Melissa of your kingdom.

So your kingdom represents your body and you are the brain, the head of the brain, as it were. So you’re the queen of your kingdom and your castle. And you have an army, which is your nervous system. And you have a Navy, which is your immune system, which defends your castle against threats. [00:09:00] Now, imagine an army comes over the hill.

It’s an infection. Your army and navy, your nervous system and immune system get into battle. They fight off the virus. Everything’s good. But let’s say a virus comes along when there is a drought in the kingdom. So there’s a drought. So the kingdom is weaker. The army is weaker. The navy is weaker. And so that COVID 19 infection is like an army coming over the hill.

And your army and navy, they’re a bit more fearful. And so they fight valiantly, but because they’re weak, they only just managed to fight off the invading army. And they’re traumatized by the war. And they think, Queen Melissa, look, they still might be hiding out in the forest on the edge of the kingdom.

So they come to you for their weekly meeting and they say, Queen Melissa, we need all the resources. We need all the metal, the food, the water. Everything’s got to be channeled to the army and navy because we’ve still got to defend the kingdom. We might still be under threat. [00:10:00] And so you think, well, that’s the right thing to do.

You need to have all the resources. So all the resources get channeled to the army and navy. And they start over responding. So even if a little man on a horse comes over the hill, they see it as a threat and they fire off their weapons of war, which is the inflammation in the guts, the inflammation in the body, in the brain, the tightening of the muscles, all of those things we know, see in these diseases.

And some of those weapons accidentally land back in the kingdom. So that’s when we get inflammatory effects and auto immune effects in the body. And also then what happens is normally we have a secret service that is well funded, gets rid of spies in the kingdom. Now that Secret Service doesn’t have the funding, so spies start proliferating inside the kingdom.

So that is your opportunistic viruses, opportunistic infections, sensitivities. They start proliferating, and now you have the whole kingdom in this dysbiosis, this lack of balance where your firing off these defense systems inappropriately [00:11:00] because of the trauma of war. Just like veterans come back from war zones and are traumatized.

Our immune system can actually become traumatized by the war of fighting off an infection. And there we can see that we become weak. Energy is drained because it takes a lot of energy for our bodies to keep triggering off the immune system. And then these opportunistic infections also are there, which cause even more symptoms.

So you can see how the whole body stays in this weakened state. And brain retraining is when they come through their weekly meeting with you, Queen Melissa, they say, look, we need all the resources. We’ve got to keep firing off our weapons of war. And you would say to them, my dear generals, you’ve done a wonderful job of protecting the kingdom, but the war is over.

You can stand down. Now, of course, they’re not going to believe you the first time because they’re going to think, is this a trick? Like the enemy is there. So they won’t stand down the first time you tell them, but through neuroplasticity and brain retraining through repetition, we can train the brain that we aren’t in danger anymore.

So [00:12:00] eventually it gets the message and it calms down those responses and gets your system back back to balance. So that we believe is kind of layman’s explanation of what might be going on in our nervous system and immune system. 

Melissa: How do we retrain the brain? 

Ashok: So we’ve spent the last 20 years developing these specific tools, 25 years, these specific tools and ways of working.

And I spent about 12 years in private practice one on one, working with patients, trying to figure out what is the set of techniques that works for the vast majority of people, vast majority of the time. And so these training techniques are taken from a whole range of different therapeutic interventions, but I really call them brain retraining because that’s the only way to characterize them.

And there are three R’s of the brain retraining. So we call this the wings of a dove. So how does a dove fly? It needs two wings and it needs the tail feathers to give it direction. And so one of those wings is relaxing the system, which makes your brain more neuroplastic. So when we’re stressed, it’s very difficult for our brain to [00:13:00] Learn something new or take a new perspective.

And so the first port of call is to loosen up the soil of the minds to make it more neuroplastic. So we relax the nervous system through relaxation techniques, breathing techniques, meditation techniques, nervous system regulation, vagus nerve, whatever you want to call these set of techniques. Prepares the grounds for then the core retraining, which is the second hour of the program, which is retraining the brain.

And that’s a special seven step process. And there’s lots of short versions as well. Okay. where we teach patients to recognize those danger signals from the unconscious, from the, literally directly from the parts of the brain that control the immune system and nervous system, and training the brain to get to, to a sense of safety.

And the third R of the program is re engaging with joy. Now, what that means is many people, when they have these conditions, they are often anxious. They are in fight or flight or freeze. And that may mean Even once they recover, if they have a [00:14:00] stress in their lives, a lot of the symptoms can come flooding back.

So we teach patients to recognize their stress levels and connect with their inner joy to feel more relaxed in general throughout the rest of their lives so they don’t have any dips or relapses afterwards. So those are the three R’s of the program. And listen, if I can share an analogy I think many people find very useful is imagine your brain is like a field.

And there’s a river flowing through that field. And that river has dug a pathway and that river represents those neurons that say, every time we detect any symptoms in our body, it must mean we are under threat. So we must trigger the immune system and nervous system, which then creates symptoms. So that’s the river along the left hand path.

And we want to dig a new channel along the right hand path, but the ground is frozen, so we have to thaw the ground first, loosen the soil. So that’s the relaxation of the nervous system. And then gradually we keep digging a new pathway along the right hand path, digging it again and again. And the water flows along the right hand path, but it’s very [00:15:00] prone to going back to the old riverbed again, the old indentation in the field.

So through repetition, we dig a new channel, which is a new set of neuronal connections and responses, until the old channel grows over with soil and grass, and our brain now has a new way of responding and reacting. And to maintain that, we then need to re engage with joy, that inner joy that we are. So that is, in a nutshell, the brain retraining.


Melissa: great. I love it. And I love that this is part of the program. I think it’s so important. Now I would love to hear what type of people are more prone to chronic fatigue. Are there any lifestyle factors that can lead to it? 

Ashok: Yes. So we know that. It often comes down to the factory setting of your stress system.

And this is related to brain structure called the amygdala. I’m sure you’ve heard of, and a lot of your listeners have heard of, which is essentially how kind of emotional center. And it used to be thought that’s in charge of our [00:16:00] emotions and our psychology, but actually it’s also related to pain. It’s also related to the immune system.

So our brain doesn’t differentiate between psychological or physiological. It just has the brain structures. the same brain structures ensuring survival and defense. And We know that the factory setting of our stress system is affected by how stressed our mother was when we were in the womb, the birth experience itself, but most importantly, the first five to 10 years of life, how many adverse childhood experiences did we, and those can be related to parental interactions.

They can be sibling interactions. It can be things of school bullying can all impact on our stress system. Then when we become an adult becomes like the setting. And so we noticed that people who have these conditions tend to be, you know, more prone to stress and anxiety and more prone to certain personality traits.

And that primes the immune system to be overreactive as [00:17:00] well. Because if we’re overreactive or more sensitive as human beings, our physiology is also tend to be more prone to perhaps overstimulating yourself, overprotecting yourself. So those are some of the risk factors. And then also I think it’s In general, in the world, we’re seeing more and more of these illnesses.

And that’s because, you know, we’re living in a more toxic environment. So we’ve got more toxins in our food, in our cleaning products, in our homes, got more pollution around us. And then secondly, we’ve got more stress. So we’re not living according to our genetic inheritance. So we’re living in boxes.

We’re not exposed to light and sunlight. We’re eating more toxic food and less fresh foods. And we’re also exposing ourselves to screens for multiple hours a day, which is once again, not. What our nervous system is designed to do. And I think a combination of all of these factors connects competitiveness on social media, the access to 24 hour rolling news, all of these things is impacting on us.

And that means that we’re more prone then to [00:18:00] getting these types of conditions. And interestingly, women, we generally find that 80 to 90 percent of our audience is women. And we believe that’s because a woman’s immune system is programmed differently from man’s immune system. And that a woman’s immune system is more prone to this defensive state.

And this may be related to the fact that in ancient times, actually from the late teenage years right through to a woman’s 30s or 40s even, she’d be pregnant a lot of that time. And therefore the immune system needed to be primed in a certain way to protect the offspring and therefore tend to be more defensive than perhaps a man’s immune system would be.

And I hope we don’t interpret that in a sexist way. I’m just talking back in caveman era, that’s how the system, the biological systems were designed. 

Melissa: So fascinating. So it all starts back in the womb. So if anyone is listening to this who is currently pregnant, It’s time to relax, it’s [00:19:00] time to chill. It’s just so important.

And yeah, you’re right, like we are exposed to so many more toxins than ever before. So we have to be so mindful of getting outside, getting natural light, decreasing our exposure to toxins in our food and products and all of these things that. I say a low hanging fruit. They’re little things, little shifts that we can do that really move the needle.

They make such a difference. And it’s often just these tiny little tweaks each day, every day, that add up to either big results or big consequences. So I love that it comes back to these little things that we can do every single day. 

Ashok: Definitely. And an analogy we use that patients find really helpful is to imagine that our capacity for handling our environment is like a bucket.

And that bucket can handle environmental stress, emotional stress, [00:20:00] childhood stress, but the more it fills up, it flows over the edge and then we get illness. And also what feeds into that lifestyle factors, as you say, the smoking, the drinking, being overweight, all of these different things, more stress.

But we can make a hole in this bucket each day. And the hole in the bucket, as you say, is those lifestyle shifts and changes. If we are, you know, as much as practically possible leading a low tox life, if we are meditating, relaxing each day, if we are getting actual daylight, if we are exercising, all the good stuff we know, having a good night’s sleep.

All of those things can reduce our inflammation and help our bodies cope with infections and the stresses of life. 

Melissa: Yeah, absolutely. Now, there’s a name that you coined for a whole bunch of different but related syndromes, including chronic fatigue. Now, you call this group of syndromes neuroimmune conditioned syndromes or NICs.

Now, what are [00:21:00] NICs and what do all of these conditions have in 

Ashok: common? Well, interestingly, we just published. Last week, per second hot off the press, a new study on the GUPS program on 16 different conditions and on 14 of those conditions, the study showed that the GUPS program was significant in able to reduce symptoms.

And there was between a 50 to 120 percent improvement in symptoms within three months. And this was across a range of different conditions. This was not only chronic fatigue syndrome and ME and fibromyalgia. But also long COVID, and then also some of these sensitivity reactions like mold illness, Lyme disease, electrical sensitivities, chemical sensitivities, hot.

It’s interesting because we see these different conditions as very separate, but in our hypothesis, we see them having the same root cause, which is we’re defining these illnesses by the collection of symptoms, but the same upstream thing cause is the same. So like a branches of a [00:22:00] tree, these are all different Illnesses, but they share the same trunk, the same root cause.

And we believe this is neuroimmune condition syndrome. So neuro means the brain and the nervous system. Immune because that’s the immune system is involved, so the inflammation. Conditioned because it’s a learned response. So the brain has become conditioned to respond in that way. And syndrome because there’s a unique set of symptoms associated with each illness, NICS.

And we believe that a whole range of different illnesses. Not only the ones I’ve mentioned, but even things like MS, Alzheimer’s, they’re all down to an immune system which is responding inappropriately. And if we can find the right key to the right lock, if we can unlock this and switch off these immune responses, we could heal a whole bunch of different diseases, which is the promise of This type of approach in neuroplasticity.

Melissa: I love that. How prevalent are NICs in today’s 

Ashok: society? Well, it’s very difficult to estimate, but certainly we know [00:23:00] that a few percent of the population right now, certainly US and UK, up to, I think up to UK, up to 10 to 15 million people in the US are suffering from long COVID, right? It’s the number one cause of workplace absenteeism.

So it shows you how severe the situation is. And then that’s using the people with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. And now mold illness. I mean, it’s just absolutely taking off in the U S there’s so many people with mold illness right now and chemical sensitivities. There’s a lot more people being diagnosed with POTS.

And so in terms of the percent of the population, I wouldn’t know the exact stats, but I would say 10 to 20 percent of the populations have one of these types of conditions and are wrestling with them. Nevermind things like burnouts, anxiety, depression, all the other things, which we also believe come under the banner of these types of conditions.

Melissa: Wow. I’m so fascinated because Nick has experienced most of those things that you’ve mentioned. ME, chronic fatigue, mold illness, Lyme’s [00:24:00] disease, all of those things that you mentioned, pretty much. He’s experienced all of those and he was bedridden. He couldn’t work for three years. He was completely bedridden and It was such a challenging time for him.

And so I have so much compassion and empathy for people who are going through it because it is debilitating. It’s truly debilitating. And I just, my heart goes out to people who are experiencing it because I have seen firsthand just how, life altering it is, or to have someone in your home who’s going through that.

So I would love to hear, like, why do traditional healthcare approaches often fall short in treating NICSs? 

Ashok: It comes down to upstream versus downstream. So imagine you’re standing on a bridge and you’re looking down into the river and there’s people drowning. So you jump into the river, you save that person.

You think, oh my gosh, there’s another person drowning. So you jump in the river, you save that person and so on. You set up a rescue center. to [00:25:00] save those people. So that is a very valuable and worthy thing to do. But nobody’s asking the question, who’s throwing these people into the river in the first place upstream?

What is the cause of this? And in integrative and functional medicine, we often talk about what is the root cause. And so what we’re doing is working, walking further upstream to the root cause and saying, what is going on here? Why are we having these downstream symptoms? So traditional medicine and a lot of integrative and functional medicine.

Don’t get me wrong. We’re not against that. We think they’re doing a great job in terms of treating the symptoms, but it is treating the downstream effects. And we believe it will be very difficult to treat the core or the root cause. And even when people do get better, it may be inadvertently a form of brain retraining.

So when people take supplements and medications improves the way the body handles these types of conditions, which then sets the brain on a positive virtuous cycle of belief in recovery. Okay. which then is able to get someone’s [00:26:00] balance. But we often also hear that someone gets a stress in their lives, wham, everything comes back.

Symptoms all come back. And so what we do is go to the root cause of this and say, actually, it’s in the software, not the hardware. So I love this analogy because I’m a bit of an IT geek. But really, medicine is about treating what can be measured. So what can we measure? We can measure enzymes. We can measure hormones.

We can measure muscle activity. All of these things can be measured. Medicine treats that, but the brain was always a black box, but nobody recently have been able to peer into that black box and say, ah, this is what may be going on. And this is the promise of neuroplasticity. Could we heal so many different diseases if we can harness the power of the brain to heal the body?

And that’s why I think brain retraining plasticity will get to the root causes of so many conditions. Compared to just treating those downstream 

Melissa: symptoms. I love it. Yeah. You’ve 

Ashok: got to do both. Absolutely. And we work [00:27:00] compliment with so many different nutritionists where we say, of course, you know, we didn’t patients stop doing, they continue with their traditional treatments, but then come on to the GUPS program.

And as long as they stick with the belief of the GUPS program and stop researching, then they can continue with their complimentary treatments. Yeah. 

Melissa: Amazing. Now, I know you can’t obviously reveal any specific details about patients, but can you share any success stories without revealing any confidential information?


Ashok: of course. Yes. I mean, we’ve, on our website as well, we have like, I think it’s about four or five hundred success stories now that we’ve collected. But I think the one that really stands out to me actually in your neck of the woods. So in New Zealand, right? So you’re in Australia, right? 

Melissa: Just a little plane 

Ashok: flight away.

They’re all playing flight away. Yeah. So we, we call it the pond. Actually, when we compare the U S and UK, so hop over the pond. So we had a guy in New Zealand, he was in his early eighties and he had had fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, mold, lying, you name [00:28:00] it for about 30 years. Yeah. It’s impacted his life.

And we thought, look, he’s quite elderly. I mean, would he be able to retrain his brain? Is the brain neuroplastic at that age? And he managed to get himself 85 to 90 percent better within three to four months. And I asked him, what will you do now thinking, you know, he’s going to retire and settle. And he said, I’ve got my energy, I’ve got my life, but I’m going to travel the world.

I’m going to do all the things that I said I would do. And I never did because I had this condition. And that would, to me, was just incredible. I thought if a man in his early eighties, which you’re naturally going to be experiencing fatigue and slowing down, if he can retrain his brain and get his health back, then I think that anyone can, if they have that true capacity.

And that was just a beautiful story to, to, to see that man get his life back at such an elderly age, but still be full of gratitude and want to make the most of his life. And then recently with long COVID, we have many examples, but one that really particularly stands out. We had a gentleman who [00:29:00] was in his fifties and he ran marathons.

He was cycling a hundred kilometers a day, suddenly got COVID, was flat on his back, was on his, on the couch for a year, couldn’t do anything. And you think here’s someone who’s really fit. I mean, incredibly fit to be able to run marathons in your fifties, and he was just flattened. And of course, what we understood was that some of that was over training as well, which had weakened his immune system probably.

But anyway, we managed to get him better. We got him up to 90, 95 percent recovery, started exercising again, and now he’s back to running what we recommend half marathons rather than full marathons. And gradually getting his strength and health back. So it shows you that even if you’ve had one of these conditions, even if you think your body’s weak, actually it’s a functional issue.

It’s not something where there’s permanent organic damage in our view, can be reversed. Your body knows how to heal and get back to normal. 

Melissa: Yeah, the body is amazing, and the mind is amazing too, and given half the chance, and given the right environment, [00:30:00] it can fully heal and thrive, but we have to create the environment that is conducive to health and thriving.

If we’re constantly adding in alcohol and toxic chemicals and smoking and staying up late and blue light and no nature and all of these things, it’s just a cocktail for a disaster. So if we create a beautiful environment that is conducive to health and thriving, then the body and the mind have no choice but to thrive.

So, you know, this is why I’m so passionate about health and wellness because I’ve also ended up in hospital completely burnt out and I know what it’s like to not have my health. And so now I’m just so grateful to feel healthy and have energy and to be thriving. And anytime I do have a dip, I’m like, Oh my gosh, then when I get my health back, I’m so grateful.

I’m so [00:31:00] grateful. I’m so grateful. And it inspires me even more to take better care of myself even more. So. Give your body and your mind the environment that is conducive to thriving and it 

Ashok: will thrive. Exactly right. I think the challenge is our modern way of living or certainly how we become addicted to the modern way of living is posing that.

And so as you say, we have to be super conscious of what we’re putting into our minds, what we’re putting into our bodies. Which if we leave it to its own devices, society to its own devices, it will be stuff that isn’t good for us, but it’s just addictive and it causes a crash in our health. So absolutely, as you said, it’s about being conscious of it.


Melissa: We’ve mentioned so many habits and health practices already. Is there anything else that we haven’t mentioned? Like you’ve mentioned meditation and breath work and obviously toxins and light and nature. Is there anything else that we haven’t [00:32:00] touched 

Ashok: on? I would say the core thing that a lot of our patients find really powerful is something called parts work.

It was made popular by Dr. Richard Schwartz with IFS, but it’s, you know, we built upon his great work. And This is all about us recognizing that we have different parts of our personality that come out and create certain stresses and strains and reactivity to our environment. And so it is about that holistic approach, mental, physical, emotional, spiritual.

So the physical, there’s lots of information on that. We all know what a good diet is. We know we should be reducing toxins in our environment. Then there’s the mental, sorry, rather the emotional. So that’s the emotional side where recognizing these parts within us. and how we can calm down our emotional reactions.

That’s where meditation and breathing can be incredibly powerful to relax the emotional system. But then there’s the mental. Often we’re overworking. We’re too long on a screen. We’re concentrating for too long. We’re not allowing our nervous system to relax. And we’ve become hyper competitive as human beings.

We find it very difficult to just accept we’re super high [00:33:00] achievers, which is also contributing to this stress. And really the ultimate aspect, the spiritual aspect, which is unfortunately in our modern society. Those spiritual aspects have become, you know, gone to the back burner versus being the forefront of our existence.

But now, luckily more and more people are doing yoga and breathing and meditating and becoming aware of their spiritual nature, and there’s a resurgence of kind of knowledge. So each of these layers, there’s something that we can do. Even if we just do one thing in each of those layers, it can be incredibly neuro immune protective, where we can.

I reduce our chances of illness and lead a happier, healthier life. 

Melissa: Yep. Beautiful. I love that. Yeah. I love IFS and parts in my program, SheLaunch. I teach it and I say, you know, this is how we’re going to start addressing things. You know, there’s a little part of me that feels fear about putting myself out there on social media.

And just that tweak in language helps [00:34:00] you shift it from being such a huge thing, like I feel fearful to this like, Oh, there’s a little part of me. It just helps not feel like it is your truth or who you are or all encompassing because it’s not. So I love that that is part of your training. I think that’s amazing.

I use that in my own personal life and I use it in my work as well. So I love that you mentioned that. Now for someone who is already suffering from one of these conditions, what are the three most important steps that they should start with to begin their healing? 

Ashok: Well in our program, we offer a free section, which is the relaxation of the nervous system.

So people can already start with some free breathing techniques and free meditation techniques that we give away. And that’s really the starting point. I think. A lot of people find meditation very tricky, or they have a certain expectation. So starting with breathing techniques is very powerful. And these are, you know, it’s only something that I think in the West [00:35:00] we’re discovering the last 10, 20 years, but obviously in the ancient East, especially in India, breathing techniques were there for millennia and people knew that these were very important.

And so starting with a regime of regular breathing can be very powerful and connect meditation or any kind of relaxation. Those are the really the starting points. And I think thirdly, just having that belief that you can heal, because often when we’re part of a support group or we’ve been from practitioner to practitioner, we can feel quite cynical.

Oh, maybe this is nothing that can help me. This is the way it’s going to be for the rest of my life. We can give up and have that belief, but I encourage everyone to realize that your brain is far more flexible than you realize. And if you find the right keys, the right lock, you can unlock your brain and you can heal from these seemingly chronic diseases.

I think that’s a really important step. Is to accept where you are and have the belief that you can heal. 

Melissa: That was huge for Nick, really, really big because. It had been part of his [00:36:00] life for so many years, that belief had started to really dwindle. But when he did your program and he really tapped back into that belief that he can heal and that it doesn’t have to be part of his story, that is when things really started to shift for him.

So the mindset, it is so important. It is so important. Like we have to do the physical work. But we have to do the mindset stuff because it is equally as important in this whole puzzle. We need to do all of it. You can’t do one without the other. They complement each other and this is where true healing and where we will really start to thrive when we integrate both the body and the 

Ashok: mind.

And that is the vision of holistic healing. Traditional medicine is very reductionist. It We are essentially a collection of chemicals, and if we can figure out the minutest level where that chemical is higher or lower or inappropriate, [00:37:00] then we’re going to somehow fix the whole system. But that reductionist philosophy I think is now defunct, and we realize that actually we’re dealing more with systems biology, a whole system, a whole biological organism that is interrelated.

And that organism has these different layers, these four layers, the mental, physical, emotional, spiritual. And And therefore we need to address each layer and have an holistic approach. And I think more and more health practitioners are realizing this and making it part of the journey. Yeah, 

Melissa: absolutely.

It’s so important. Now let’s pretend you have a magic wand and you could put one book in the school curriculum of every high school around the world. So this is for, you know, that 16, 17, 18, female and male. What book would you choose? And this can be on any topic, but what book would 

Ashok: you choose? I would pick one of my favorite books called Conversations with God.

By Arnold Walsh, it’s a real classic [00:38:00] and that’s probably the best book I’ve ever read. And it’s an incredible book, profound wisdom, but just very conversational. So that’s one of my favorite books. You 

Melissa: know, we’ve had. Over 550 episodes on this show, and I’ve had Neil Donald Walsh on the show, which I’ll link to in the show notes.

You should go listen to it. If you love the book, you’ll love that episode. And so many of my guests have recommended that book. It’s probably been one of the most popular books that have been recommended. If you have not read Conversations with God, do yourself a favor and read it. It is a game changer.

Like when I read it, I just was like, yes, yes, yes, yes. This is it. So read it. It is so good. So I’m so glad that you loved that book 

Ashok: too. Yeah. It certainly started me on my spiritual journey and has been very profound. Absolutely. 

Melissa: Me too. [00:39:00] Definitely has inspired me so much on my journey. Now, I always love learning from the experts.

I want to know how you go through your day. What is your morning routine? What are your rituals? Talk us through a quote unquote typical day in your life. From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed, what are all the little things that you do? Mmm. 

Ashok: Well, the first thing is as soon as I wake up, our brains are hypnotic state point.

We haven’t fully woken up, so we’re more suggestible and programmable. So as soon as I wake up, I imagine my day ahead and my vision and my goals. So I think about what is it that I choose for today and also in general for my life. And I imagine that I imagine it already accomplished. So that’s my kind of manifestation of visualization time is as soon as I wake up, even if it’s just lying in bed, I’ll imagine it with a smile and imagine it all, and then I’ll drink a big glass of water and [00:40:00] then I will do my cardio.

So that at that point I will do a 20 to 20 to 30 minutes of high intensity interval training, some strength training, some cardio, all kind of mixed together. Then I will have a shower and then I will go for my morning ritual, which will be some yoga. Then some breathing techniques, especially breathing techniques I learned on the Art of Living course, course of Daoist Shinkurya.

I do that breathing technique and then I will meditate. So that process will take about 45 minutes to do those three things. 

Melissa: What type of meditation do you do? 

Ashok: So I do a meditation that I learned on the Art of Living course called Sahaja Samadhi meditation. So it’s a mantra meditation, essentially, but it’s not listening to anything.

It’s my personal mantra. And after that, I will have my breakfast, but generally when I’m working, so sometimes I might intermittent fast. If I Want to, or I’ll just have a bowl of porridge. And as mentioned to you at the beginning, I have a little cheat because I [00:41:00] find porridge intensely boring. So I will put some bit of granola in there.

I will put some stevia chocolate. So there’s no sugar in there, but you have a nice chocolatey experience and put some raisins in there. So that’s my breakfast. Then I’ll be working during the day. Um, I’ll take breaks and if I’ve got meetings, I will do walking meetings. So I will get my team on the phone.

I’ll say, so walking meeting. Um, And I’ll walk in the country park behind my house sometimes for two or three hours on meetings. And it’s great because you’re getting your cardio, you’re getting fresh air, you’re getting daylight and you’re getting your work done at the same time, which is great. And then in the evenings I will meditate before dinner for 20 to 30 minutes and I will have my dinner.

And in the evenings it’s all about the nervous system of course, socializing or learning something new, just allowing the mind to let go. As much as possible, I’m not on a screen, although these days, it’s very tempting to have a screen. So that’s some of my daily routine. Yeah. 

Melissa: Yeah. [00:42:00] Well, thank you for sharing that.

Thank you. Now I have three rapid fire questions for you. Are you ready? Yeah. What is one thing that we can all do today for our 

Ashok: health? Meditate, meditate, meditate. Maybe that’s the answer to all three questions. Yes, it is. The number one thing. It’s so easy. It’s free. It takes some time to train yourself.

See, most people want to meditate, but they just think, Oh no, I can’t meditate. I can’t get an empty mind, but give yourself space and time. You can get. 

Melissa: Yeah. It’s the best. I love it so much. It’s just, it’s delicious. It really is. Okay. Next one. What is one thing that we can do for more wealth in our life? So more abundance in all areas of 

Ashok: our life.

It is realizing that we are being looked after. Yeah. Higher power scarcity principle comes in when we feel fearful, like we are this lonely soul in this [00:43:00] vast, lonely universe. And therefore, of course, we’re going to feel fearful and therefore we’ll get into a hoarding mentality and a lack of abundance.

But when we recognize that we are connected to this existence and that we’ve been taken care of, even when it doesn’t feel like we are, then we get out of that scarcity principle into a more abundant state of being. And we can flow, we can feel surrendered and flow with the rhythms of life. And when we do that, then we will naturally feel wealthy, whatever we have in our lives.

And when we get into that state, we are more grateful and what you appreciate, appreciates. 

Melissa: Absolutely. And last one, what is one thing that we can do for more love in our life? 

Ashok: When we think of that, we often think of gaining love from the outside. But the number one thing is to recognize there’s a little child living inside us, for most of us, that for some reason doesn’t feel loved, or as [00:44:00] loved as it could be, doesn’t feel as nurtured as it could be.

So the number one thing is to recognize that little child inside you, and love that little child inside you. That is the secret. Nobody else can give you that. Nobody else can make you feel loved. Even when you’re in love, that person is simply giving you permission to love yourself. So all love is a form of self love.

So when we have that little child, just so you can picture in your own mind, there’s a little part of me that’s afraid, scared, not feeling loved. You now take the role of nurturing and loving that child. And that’s the most loving thing to express to the world. Mm 

Melissa: hmm. Absolutely. So beautiful. Such a nice little reminder, you know, we all have that gorgeous little inner child still within us that just wants love and to feel safe and seen and held and loved.

So place your hands on your heart and give that to your beautiful inner child [00:45:00] that’s still in there. So this has been amazing and so much wisdom and so much knowledge that you have shared with us today that is going to help so many people to take their health to the next level. Is there anything else that you want to share?

Like you have given so much. I would love to know if there’s anything else that you want to share with us. Yeah. 

Ashok: I think what is important for people when they’re on this journey. is the science behind this as well, because there can be so many different things out there saying, Oh, well, this can help.

That can help. And for us, the science route is really important. So we’ve invested a lot of time and energy into medical research. So we’ve actually published the kind of gold standard of science, the randomized controlled trials on ME and chronic fatigue syndrome on fibromyalgia on long COVID. And you know, a lot of these studies, they’ve really shown that the program is far more effective than a wellness program.

So for We compared GUPTA program to this wellness program that has supplements and diet and sleep and exercise. [00:46:00] And they found that the GUPTA program was four times more effective at reducing fatigue and exhaustion and twice as effective at increasing levels of energy. And similarly with fibromyalgia on the pain side, it halved pain compared to the control group.

We had a 40 percent reduction in fibromyalgia scores, halving of anxiety and depression. So these are real scientific studies showing and building up this body of evidence that GUPTA program is effective for these illnesses. And as I said, just last week, we published a study on 14 different illnesses, and it showed for these 14 illnesses, between a 50 to 120 percent reduction in symptoms or improvement in health and functioning within three months.

So I want people to really realize that. This isn’t just airy fairy, this is grounded in science now. A lot of evidence now supporting this and we’d love for people to have a go with our program and give it a shot and you know, we offer a money back guarantee, a one year money back guarantee on it so that people have nothing to lose by, that’s what we really want.

We really want people to make it super easy for people to use [00:47:00] this and be able to benefit and get their lives back. Yes. 

Melissa: And can you tell us where they can go to find out all of that information and I will link to it all in the show notes as well for everyone. 

Ashok: Yeah, so they can take our free trial so they can go to guptaprogram.

com, which is g u p t a p r o g r a m d o t c o m and sign up for the free trial and you get lots of free videos and audios. Even easier, you can go to the App Store or Play Store. It’s such a good program, brain retraining, and you’ll find the app there as well. You can download it, start retraining your brain straight away.

So you can’t say any easier than that. 

Melissa: Awesome. Now I want to thank you so much for creating such an amazing program, for helping my husband so much and for all the incredible work that you’re doing in the world. Like you are helping so many people and their families. So I want to know what I and the listeners can do to give back to you.

How can we serve you today? Oh, 

Ashok: that’s such a sweet question, Melissa. You know, [00:48:00] no one’s ever asked me that on a podcast before, so that’s very sweet. Well, actually there is one thing. We want to get as many medical studies going because then if the medical profession comes on board, they can fund this treatment so that we can roll this out and it can be free at a point of use.

Thank you so much. But that is going to require funding. So we have funds where we’re raising money for studies on chronic fatigue, on Lyme, on Mold, on even MS. And so we’re looking for high net worth individuals or institutions who can donate to this fund. And we have a fact five or six randomized controlled trials that will cost around half a million dollars.

So that’s our target is to raise those funds so that we can run those trials and really get to So if there’s anyone out there who’d like to contribute or they know somebody who has benefits from the GUPS program or brain retraining and wants to contribute and help, that’s certainly a way that people support us and 

Melissa: help us.

I love that. Yes, absolutely. [00:49:00] Well, thank you again so much for being here, for sharing all of this wisdom with us. I really hope it helps so many people. Like I said, I’ll link to everything in the show notes so people can learn more. And please share this with anyone that. is experiencing any of those symptoms or things that we’ve mentioned.

Let’s help them really heal and thrive. So thank you so much for being 

Ashok: here. Thank you so much, Melissa.

Melissa: I truly hope you got so much out of this episode. Whether you have suffered from any of those things, or you know someone who has, or you just want to reprogram your brain or limiting beliefs like I do, then you have to check out the Gupta program. It is so incredible. So you can go to the show notes. All of the links are there and please let me know how you go.

And if you enjoyed this conversation and got a lot out of it, please podcasts, because that means that we can [00:50:00] inspire and educate even more people together. And it also means that all of my episodes will pop up in your feed. So you never have to go searching for a new episode. Now, come and tell me on Instagram at Melissa Rambrosini, what you got from this episode.

What was your biggest takeaway? What really landed for you? Come and share it with me. I would absolutely love to connect with you and hear your takeaway. Now before I go, I just wanted to say thank you so much for being here, for wanting to be the best, the healthiest and the happiest version of yourself and for showing up today for you.

You rock. Now, if there’s someone in your life that you can think of that would really benefit from this episode, please share it with them right now. You can take a screenshot, share it on your social media, email it to them, text it to them, do whatever you’ve got to do to get this in their ears. And until next time, take care.

Don’t forget that love is sexy, healthy is liberating, and wealthy isn’t a dirty word.

Thank you so much for listening. I’m so honored that you’re here and would be SO grateful if you could leave me a review on Apple podcasts, that way we can inspire and educate even more people together.

P.S. If you’re looking for a high-impact marketing opportunity for your business and are interested in becoming a sponsor for The Melissa Ambrosini Show podcast, please email pr@melissaambrosini.com for more information.

P.P.S. Please seek advice from a qualified holistic practitioner before starting any new health practice.

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