Dr. Kien Vuu is one of the most sought-after anti-aging physicians in the country. At his VuuMD Longevity and Performance Clinic, Dr. Vuu regularly works with celebrities, top corporate executives, and high-functioning professionals to optimize their health, performance, and vitality.
Image by Sadie Culberson / mbg creative
November 5, 2023
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We’re living in a world enamored with the prospects of technology. Walk through any longevity lab, and you’ll see scientists meticulously dropping liquids into Petri dishes, machinery whirring in the background to analyze our genes and decode our biological destiny. From the discovery of stem cells capable of regenerating damaged tissues to the wonders of CRISPR gene-editing to rewrite the very blueprints of life, the progress we’ve made in scientific research isn’t just remarkable; it’s revolutionary.
This focus on the empirical and the quantifiable has already expanded our understanding of the human body in ways previously considered science fiction. Futurists speculate on how biotechnology will allow us to live longer, healthier lives, even aiming for the once unthinkable goal of halting aging altogether. We’ve developed an infatuation with the molecular machinery that keeps us ticking, and rightfully so. These discoveries hold the promise of extending our lifespans beyond current expectations.
But what if I told you the key to unlocking the ultimate potential of human performance and longevity is only sometimes found within the walls of sterile labs or amid lines of computer code? What if the next revolutionary advancement lies in a space far removed from pipettes, petri dishes, and test tubes—a space that’s been with us all along but is yet to be fully acknowledged by the scientific community?
I believe that the next chapter in the epic saga of human longevity and performance is not just about cracking the genetic code or mastering the molecular jigsaw puzzles of our cells. It’s about deciphering the spiritual code within each of us.
Why we need to integrate spirituality into longevity science
In today’s world, we often hear that science and spirituality are mutually exclusive domains. Science is seen as pursuing empirical facts that explain the natural world through testable theories. On the other hand, spirituality is considered the unmeasurable and subjective domain, dealing with existential questions and intangible experiences. But increasingly, research shows that incorporating spiritual elements into our lives can significantly affect our well-being, our longevity, and even our molecular biology.
To explore why, let’s take a moment to reflect on our very essence. We are composed of the very elements—carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and oxygen (O)—that have birthed the universe. These molecules, which course through our veins, have been recycled through all forms of life, both organic and inorganic. This is a testament to our interconnectedness and our inherent divinity. Yet, as we evolved as physical body, we developed a protective nervous system, giving rise to the Default Mode Network (DMN), which often clouds our perception, making us forget our divine nature.
The DMN is a primitive aspect of our brain and nervous system, and its primary role is to keep us safe and to help us survive. This DMN is largely programmed before age 10 before we have conscious thought. And it’s primarily programmed by everything and everyone around us—the epigenetic signatures of our parents, media, teachers, and society. It’s an autopilot mode that’s responsible for survival. But here’s the catch: this autopilot has a mind of its own and is only sometimes helpful. It can get stuck in loops of negative thoughts, stress, or even old traumas.
The DMN, with its outdated programs, can keep us in a perpetual state of stress, which in turn triggers a response called the Conserved Transcriptional Response to Adversity (CTRA). Chronic activation of this pattern has been associated with numerous health issues, including inflammatory diseases, tumors, and susceptibility to viral infections.
This relationship between the DMN and CTRA demonstrates why we need to blend the science of longevity with the art of living.
What the DMN looks like in practive
As someone who was born a boat refugee from Vietnam and was teased and ridiculed growing up, I was subconsciously programmed to seek validation from external sources. This programming ultimately led to a complete breakdown of my mental and physical health. My DMD had created an undercurrent of stress that manifested as hypertension, diabetes, and dependence on prescription medications.
It wasn’t until I did a deep dive into the teachings of spiritual figures and scientific studies that I had my renaissance—my awakening. Once I started to view my past experiences not as burdens but as stepping stones, my DMN began to shift. I also came across research suggesting that my struggles with weight, diabetes, and high blood pressure were not the outcomes of mere chance but an orchestration by my DMN to keep me shackled to my past traumas.
My life took a transformational turn when I explored spirituality and science side by side. When I realized my DMN was holding me captive, I questioned its authority. I learned to rewrite my internal narrative through and create biological and spiritual harmony.
The harmony between the mind, body, and spirit isn’t just poetic rhetoric; it’s a science-backed formula for longevity.
When we unravel our purpose—which resonates with our soul—we mute the continuous noise created by our DMN. Our telomeres, those biological clocks at the ends of our chromosomes, seem to tick slower, granting us extra time on this earthly plane. A purpose more significant than ourselves, a spiritual drive, becomes the ultimate elixir for a healthy life.
The harmony between the mind, body, and spirit isn’t just poetic rhetoric; it’s a science-backed formula for longevity and performance. For example, research demonstrates the correlation between mindful practices and increased resilience and lowered depression and anxiety.
So, here we are, standing at the intersection of science and spirituality, a crossroad that seemed implausible just a few decades ago. But the evidence is here, and it’s overwhelming—your authentic self, your spiritual essence, isn’t some abstract, ‘feel-good’ concept confined to philosophical debates or new-age circles. It is a scientifically backed, life-extending, and performance-enhancing reality. Studies are now showing that aligning with your spiritual self can not only improve mental well-being but can also have profound effects on physical health. It can quiet the CTRA genes that trigger harmful inflammation and inhibit the immune response, helping you not just survive but thrive in the truest sense. It’s this type of not just surviving but thriving that I explore in my book, Thrive State, and will be speaking to at length in my upcoming Thrive State Summit.
As we contemplate our pursuits of longevity and performance, I believe we must ask ourselves: Are we chasing these ideals driven by our egos and the DMN, which we know can activate the CTRA? Or do we seek them from a place of recognizing our inherent divinity, aiming to elevate life for all? This distinction is pivotal. It’s not merely about what we’re doing, who we’re becoming, or how we’re achieving it. It’s about the ‘why.’ Our motivations, rooted in either ego or divinity, can profoundly influence our journey and its outcomes.
In a world frenzied about the next big thing in biotechnology, where we often seek external solutions for internal problems, your most potent weapon against time, against disease, against the very boundaries of human potential isn’t necessarily to be found in a syringe, a pill, or some future gene-editing technology. It’s found within.
Your true power lies in embracing your authentic self and projecting that spiritual resonance into the world. And in doing so, you’re not just defying the traditional metrics of age; you’re redefining what it means to live a fulfilling, expansive life, sharing your gifts with the world so the next generation knows truly healing and living. This is transcendent. This is biohacking immortality.