Elite Performance and Learning Center
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Theme music by: Ruel Morales
Brian Schoenborn 0:02
Hello, hello. Hey everyone. Our guest today has over 40years’ experience in the area of elite performance through visual training,having worked with the likes of NASA, the US Olympic shooting team, thePittsburgh Pirates, New England Patriots, Boston Bruins, and jet fighterpilots, as well as those with autism, PTSD and traumatic brain injury. AsPresident of the elite performance and learning center, is pioneered the areaand has developed a zone-inducing technology. Give it up for my friend, Dr.Joseph Trachtman.
Brian Schoenborn 0:36
My name is Brian Schoenborn. I’m an explorer of people,places and culture. In my travels, spanning over 20 countries across fourcontinents, I’ve had the pleasure of engaging in authentic conversations withamazingly interesting people. These are their stories, on location andunfiltered presented by 8B Media. This is Half the City.
Brian Schoenborn 1:02
What’s up, buddy? How you doing?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:04
I’m fine. Thank you, Brian.
Brian Schoenborn 1:05
Good, good, good. So let’s let’s just dive right into it. Imean, you’ve got a pretty interesting background, right? I mean, not only beunder 40 years of experience and stuff, but you know, when you’re dealing withelite performance, you know, typically I would think of somebody that has apretty, you know, strong sports background. But for those of you listening athome, you can’t see the fine doctor here. You don’t really strike me as as ajock. Right? So for those listening, we’re in Seattle, Dr. Trachtman’s what,five-one?
Brian Schoenborn 1:42
Maybe not that short. But you’re probably about like5’4″, 5’6″ something like that?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:47
I used to be five-seven and due to aging, I shrunk a littlebit. More about 5’6″.
Brian Schoenborn 1:52
5’6″, maybe a buck-20 soaking wet. But not but not alarge man.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:59
When I was performing, I was about 135.
Brian Schoenborn 2:03
135? When you were performing. Performing performing?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 2:08
College athletics was 137 pound wrestler in college.
Brian Schoenborn 2:14
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 2:15
I was the team pole vaulter.
Brian Schoenborn 2:17
So you wrestled and track and field in college.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 2:20
Brian Schoenborn 2:21
That’s amazing. Like, again, like you don’t strike me as thetype that competed the those levels.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 2:29
I longed jump. And I sprinted, and I was on the collegerecord-setting 440 relay team. Back then we used yards and not meters.
Brian Schoenborn 2:43
So how did you? I mean, how did you get into college sports?I mean, remember, we’re talking offline, you’re mentioning something about mygod junior high school, things along those lines.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 2:55
They didn’t have junior high when I was in school. We haddinosaurs, things like that.
Brian Schoenborn 3:04
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 3:05
We didn’t have junior high schools. I’ve been thinking abouthow I got into the concept of elite performance. And I remember when I was inLittle League when I was 11 years old, I likee to steal bases because I was, Iwas very fast. And in Little League you can’t steal, you can’t move from thebase until the ball goes past the batter.
Brian Schoenborn 3:36
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 3:36
Whereas in in other leagues like when I played the BabaeRuth League, and post American Legion and professionally, you could leaveanytime you want. You’re taking the chance.
Brian Schoenborn 3:48
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 3:48
But Little League, only once the ball passes the batter. SoI remember vividly, and this was a long time ago, over 60, 60 years ago. Iremember being on first base and blocking everything out of my mind and waitingfor the ball to go past the batter. And as soon as that would happen I wouldrun as fast as I could to second base, and most of the time I was successful. Icould steal third base not all the time or as much the time as second days butquite often, and I think I even stole home once or twice.
Brian Schoenborn 4:28
Wow. That’s impressive, you know, because I mean stealingsecond is one thing, right? Where they gotta throw the ball all the way acrossthe diamond, but like going from second to third and that’s a short, that’s amuch shorter distance, right? Or stealing home for that matter.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 4:41
In Little League it’s 60 feet.
Brian Schoenborn 4:42
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 4:44
And the throw is also 60 feet from the catcher to the thirdbaseman.
Brian Schoenborn 4:51
Stealing home like how like, so how do you I mean, you’vedone that a couple of times, but like how did you was your…do you rememberwhat you…this is Little League and a long time ago but like…
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 5:00
I would, you know, be on third base and I would watch theball very carefully and as soon as it went past the batter, I would start tocome off the base. And if I saw the catcher fumbling or being uncomfortable, Iwould take off very fast.
Brian Schoenborn 5:19
That’s so cool like you know that’s kind of like, that’s thestuff you see in movies, right? Like the feel-good movies, or you know, likeThe Sandlot or something like that where the you know, the kid takes thatchance and it’s you know, he gets it, he scores home and it’s like you knowcrowd goes wild, right? Because it’s so rare. Nice. So that kind of got yourgot your start into I mean, if you’re, if you’re drowning everything else out.Like what you know what kind of like what were you experiencing? What werethose first inklings when you were that age?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 5:47
I didn’t think much about it then. When I was pole vaultingin college, so beginning of my sophomore year, I went to the track coach and Isaid, I want to pole vault. So he looked at me and had the same attitude thatyou just said, “Trachtman, you don’t look like what you could even getacross the street, okay.”
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 6:11
I said, “I’d like to pole vault.” So he said,“Well, you don’t have the upper body strength.” I said, “Well,that’s strange that you mentioned that, because the wrestling coach, who wasworld renowned was on the Olympic Committee and one of the top refs in the inthe whole the whole world. He made me the 137-pound wrestler and I only at thattime I weigh 133 pounds. So apparently, he thinks I have upper body strength,or else he would have put me down to 123 pounds.”
Brian Schoenborn 6:51
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 6:52
So I said, “Just give me some tests to do. And see I’mnot gonna argue with you. If you say no, no, but you know, give mechance.”
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 7:01
So he says, “All right. Go downstairs and suit up andcome up to the gym.” So I go downstairs and put on my gym stuff upstairs.He said, “Okay, climb up the ropes, do this do that stuff,.”
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 7:14
I did everything very easily. And he said, “Okay, godownstairs, take a shower, change clothes and come to my office.” So I didthat, come to his office. And so this was September 1964. And I rememberwalking into his office, he was sitting behind one of those institutionalgreysteel desks that had a center drawer. It had another drawer to the rightand on the bottom right had a drawer that would hold file folders.
Brian Schoenborn 7:46
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 7:48
So I walk in, he reaches into the file folder drawer takesout a manila folder. He hands it to me, reaches into the center drawer of hisdesk, takes out a set of keys, gives me the keys in the folder. And he says,“Okay, you can be the pole vaulter.”
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 8:03
I said, “Okay, thank you.”
Brian Schoenborn 8:07
So what were the keys for?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 8:08
The keys were for where the stanchions and the cross piecefor the pole vaults and the poles.
Brian Schoenborn 8:18
So you can get out and practice whenever you wanted.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 8:20
Yes. And in those days the pole didn’t bend.
Brian Schoenborn 8:25
Yeah, that’s right. So it took even more strength to likeget up and over, I would imagine.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 8:31
So when I left his office, and that walked a little away, Iopened up the folder and what was it? It was an article from Sports Illustratedof someone pole vaulting. It was in time sequence. And that’s how I learned howto pole vault. The track host never said one word to me after that about polevaulting.
Brian Schoenborn 8:56
So you didn’t pole vault before you read this article?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 8:58
Brian Schoenborn 8:59
You just, you just woke up one day and said, “I want tobe a pole vaulter.”
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 9:03
I had wanted to in high school. And then in high school, Iwas a little shorter and a little skinnier. So the track coach, he just brushedit off. And he also brushed off in, in my sophomore year that I was a sprinter.And then in my senior year, I was the number two in the hundred yard dash and Iwould do the anchor on the 880 yard relay. Each one ran 220 yards. So I was theanchor man and usually the fastest one is the anchor man.
Brian Schoenborn 9:37
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 9:38
But even known knowing that he just had this attitude. Somesmart little Jewish guy thinks he could pole vault. Give me a break.
Brian Schoenborn 9:50
Don’t judge a book by its cover, right?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 9:52
So, I wanted to pole vault because I just thought it wasfun. I didn’t think that I was, to be a champion or to just do it better thananyone else who’s doing it on the team. And this, it just looked like it wasfun. So I would before the wrestling season, which began in October orNovember, I would go out onto the track where the pole vault pit was, I wouldpractice pole vaulting. And when I did it, everything occurred in slow motion.You have to remember, I was very relaxed, there was no competitive baggagealong with it. It was just something to do for fun. And I just remember that,you run as fast as you can plant the pole in this little hole in the ground,wait for the pole to go straight up vertically, do a handstand on top of thepole, push the pole away, go up over the bar, and land in the pit of sawdustand sand.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 10:54
We didn’t have foam then. It was sawdust and sand. So youhad to know how to fall, and from wrestling I knew how to fall, so there wasnot a problem. Every once in a while when I was doing my studies, I would getthe same feeling of the pole vaulting.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 11:15
And when I would do that, I would have photographic memoryand I could speed read. And so after a while my studies became like a joke thatI could go into an exam, and I would have all the notes photographed in mymind. And sometimes I would take a blank paper or asked the professor for blankpaper, and I would just make an outline of the notes that were photographed inmy mind. Then I would eat a chocolate bar, I would take a five to 10 minuterest, then just to get me completely relaxed in the zone and I will take thetest and get an A.
Brian Schoenborn 12:00
You’re talking about other sports stuff is like getting intothe zone. Right?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 12:03
Brian Schoenborn 12:04
Um, it sounds like the same thing with the studies and thetesting. You know, I, I love being in the zone. Like, that’s my, I don’t, Idon’t know exactly how to say. I mean, obviously, I think I think most peoplethat perform at a high level, you know, I think to get into the zone, right,like, that’s where, that’s the sweet spot, right?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 12:27
Brian Schoenborn 12:27
That’s the sweet spot where, you know, you’re doingsomething that you love doing, you do it really well. And when you’re doing it,it’s almost like nothing else matters. Kind of like, um, remember the movie ABeautiful Mind? Russell Crowe, you know, when he’s like looking at thechalkboard and all these, you know, all these symbols and stuff are just likefloating around, like, kind of like that, right? I mean, that’s how it feels tome anyways.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 12:54
When you’re in the zone, it, we can explain it this way. Inour Western culture, most of our information is in the center of our visual field:computer screens, TV.
Brian Schoenborn 13:11
Right. It’s very, very point A to point B.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 13:15
Brian Schoenborn 13:16
Direct line of sight.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 13:17
Very few tasks are involved in the periphery.
Brian Schoenborn 13:21
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 13:23
In the vision system in the brain, there’s two separatechannels for information processing. There’s central processing and peripheralprocessing, which are analogous to analytical, which is center and emotional,which is peripheral. So as we know, that we have analytical intelligence, butwe also have emotional intelligence.
Brian Schoenborn 13:47
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 13:48
When you’re in the zone using both, and using both doesn’tdetract from either one. In fact it’s additive. So for example, you can thinkof being just central or being just peripheral as a straight line, like yousaid from A to B. Now, some people have the ability to switch from center toperiphery or periphery to center. So we used computer terminology for that sameflip flop, flip flop from one method of processing to another.
Brian Schoenborn 14:31
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 14:32
Then there are other people who can…so the flip flop islike a two-dimensional plane, like a piece of paper is basically a two-dimensionalplane. It has a thickness but it’s negligible. People who are parallelprocessing, it’s like a sphere. If you can imagine in your mind, the differencebetween a line, a plane, and a sphere. The sphere has tremendously more volumethan the other two. In fact, the line doesn’t even have volume.
Brian Schoenborn 15:08
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 15:09
And this is what happens without processing. So when we’reparallel processing, when we’re in the zone, we’re able to do to do all thesethings. And the point you made is very good. I’ve had when I was in New York, Ihad patients who were Broadway performers, and they call it in the moment.
Brian Schoenborn 15:27
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 15:27
And they said that the great stage performers, and theexample one of the patients gave was Sir Laurence Oliver. Just being in in inthe same theater when he was performing, you could feel it, you can feel thatthat energy. You know, you can call it charisma or people call other things,but that’s it. When you’re in the zone, the brainwaves change, and thebrainwave is called the alpha wave that gets very big. This is the Zen state.
Brian Schoenborn 16:02
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 16:03
And this is optimizes body function and produces lots ofgood body chemicals. And one of those is beta endorphin, which makes us feelgood.
Brian Schoenborn 16:15
So a lot of that’s sciency jargon, which admit, I mean,admittedly, I don’t know shit about. But it’s fine. You know, I think the waythat you explained it, you know, it’s like Laurence Olivier and like otheractors, you know, like, or professional athletes, like we’re going to get intoin a minute. But yeah, it’s one of those things where it’s like, when you’re inthe zone, or in the moment or in the flow or whatever you want to call it, it’salmost like everything else slows down. It’s like in slow motion, right? Likeyou’re just seeing everything.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 16:45
That’s that’s how the athletes would describe it.
Brian Schoenborn 16:48
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 16:48
Particularly baseball players so they could see the rotationof the seams of the baseball and it’s leaving the pitcher’s hand, so they knowwhether it will be a two-seam or four-seam fastball or breaking ball.
Brian Schoenborn 17:02
…which is crazy to think about because that ball goes sofast. Right? And I mean, you’re talking 80 to 100 miles an hour, 90 feet awayor however, however far it is, I forget in baseball.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 17:12
60 feet, six inches.
Brian Schoenborn 17:14
60, oh right, that’s right. So it’s, you know, it’s like asplit second, right?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 17:20
About three tenths of a second. Well, about, depending howfast…less than six tenths of a second?
Brian Schoenborn 17:27
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 17:28
Could be faster, but not any more than that.
Brian Schoenborn 17:31
Right. I mean, and I say like, you know, it’s it’s oftenbeen said that hitting a baseball is, at the major league level, is like one ofthe hardest things to do in sports. Because you know, you’re right, becauseyou’ve got like that fraction of a second, not only to understand how fast theball is going, but the curvature, right, and what type of pitches have, youknow, how it’s going to how it’s going to wavers as it moves…
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 17:51
It’s not coming straight towards you.
Brian Schoenborn 17:55
Even if it’s a fastball, it’s coming like down right?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 17:58
Roger Withrow, who was the world champion in the air riflewhen I was training him, he could see the bullet going through the papertarget.
Brian Schoenborn 18:06
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 18:06
Now you could say that you know he’s full of baloney, but…
Brian Schoenborn 18:10
It sounds like bullshit to me.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 18:12
My answer is he has the gold medal and you don’t.
Brian Schoenborn 18:15
Exactly, exactly so whatever he says, I mean, there’scredibility there.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 18:19
Now and I was training the Navy pilots in Pensacola land onthe aircraft carriers. They said that you can’t do that unless you see in slowmotion. There’s just too many things happening all at once. For example, a plane’sgoing hundreds of miles an hour.
Brian Schoenborn 18:36
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 18:37
The aircraft carrier’s probably going 60, 70 miles an hour.And it’s rocking left and, left and right or…
Brian Schoenborn 18:44
Right, because it’s on the water.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 18:45
Port and starboard, we have to keep our language correct.And it’s fore and aft. So it’s doing all these things. And you have to landthis, and you only get one shot at the hook.
Brian Schoenborn 18:56
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 18:56
And they said oh, they call it streaming where they can seeeverything on the control panel, and they can see everything on the deck,everything. And it just is, like you said just in zone and just happens.
Brian Schoenborn 19:11
I want to dive into all that stuff like there’s a lot tounpack there. First, I’d like to kind of pull it back a little bit and kind ofunderstand how you got there, how you got to that point. You know, you’re doingsports in college, right? You realize you’re recognizing that you’re gettinginto this like flow state, maybe you’re not sure exactly what it was orwhatever. But how did you go from Joe Trachtman, you know, wrestler, track andfield athlete in college to expert in the field of elite performance?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 19:44
I have to give myself a plug because you mentioned I alsoplayed a lot of baseball. And when I was a senior in high school, I was playingin an outside league. And there was a paper in New York City then called theJournal American, which since went out of print. They would have an annualscholarship for combination baseball player-scholar. And I came in second andall the city, like the whole New York City.
Brian Schoenborn 20:13
Nice, a dual threat.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 20:15
You know, so I played, I also played baseball. So how did Iget into it? So, after undergraduate school, I went to optometry college. Andafter optometry college, I went into the army.
Brian Schoenborn 20:27
That was, I think that was during Vietnam, right? If Irecall?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 20:30
Brian Schoenborn 20:30
So you’re so you’re an optometrist?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 20:32
I was an optometrist.
Brian Schoenborn 20:33
In the army. In the Vietnam era.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 20:35
Actually my title was Chief Optometry Officer, US Kirk ArmyHospital, Aberdeen Proving Ground.
Brian Schoenborn 20:41
At the Aberdeen Proving Ground. Just for the listeners, canyou explain a little bit about what the Aberdeen Proving Ground is or was?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 20:49
Aberdeen Proving Ground at that time, I don’t know now, atthat time, was the center for ordinance. So they had the ordinance school.
Brian Schoenborn 21:00
Which is like explosives and bombs and things like that.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 21:02
Yes. And also, it was the headquarters for the Test andEvaluation command. The acronym TECOM. In the military, they love acronyms.
Brian Schoenborn 21:16
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 21:17
When you first get your orders, you’re trying to readthat…
Brian Schoenborn 21:21
You’re like, “Where am I going? What is this?”Yeah.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 21:27
My brother was in the Navy Reserve. I got my orders. I hadhim come over and read them, and he says, “What is all this stuff?”and he was laughing.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 21:41
So, so TECOM is where they would test all the advancedweapons. So at that time, 1970, they were testing the laser tank.
Brian Schoenborn 21:52
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 21:53
They used a laser rangefinder find, to pinpoint targets.
Brian Schoenborn 21:58
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 21:59
And you know, 50 years ago, that was a novel.
Brian Schoenborn 22:04
Technology’s changed a little bit since then.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 22:06
So Aberdeen, at that time, a population of 40,000…
Brian Schoenborn 22:12
….and you’re coming from Brooklyn.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 22:13
I’m coming from Brooklyn, there’s probably 40,000 people onmy street. So my clinic was open from eight to 4:30. And then by 5:30, theypulled the sidewalks in, and I’m sitting there in my apartment, twiddling mythumbs saying, “Now what am I gonna do to eight o’clock in themorning?”
Brian Schoenborn 22:30
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 22:31
So, fortunately, I got accepted the Johns HopkinsUniversity, graduate program, masters program. And during that program, Istarted to learn about biofeedback. And so I thought biofeedback would be avery interesting application of vision training. And so when I was dischargedand came back to New York, I wanted to pursue a PhD in experimental psychology.
Brian Schoenborn 23:04
Real quick. I mean, I want to back up a second, can youexplain the concept behind biofeedback? Like, what is that?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 23:11
Brian Schoenborn 23:12
And then how that fits into vision training you’re talkingabout?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 23:16
Biofeedback, it can be defined as becoming aware of a bodyfunction or process that you’re not normally aware of. For example, if you wantto do biofeedback of finger temperature, which is very helpful for people whohave migraine headaches, you would use a sensor that’s not sensitive, just to a10th of a degree, like a regular thermometer that you would use like 98.6 or100.2, whatever, it will be sensitive to 1000th or even 1 10thousandth of adegree. So a very, very small change can measure very small change in yourtemperature, and then produce a very big sound or light display correspondingto that very small change.
Brian Schoenborn 24:02
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 24:04
With that kind of feedback, you can learn how to controlyour temperature, heart rate, body temperature, all these different things. So,so the muscles inside the eye that focus…
Brian Schoenborn 24:18
Being an optometrist you’re saying, “Okay, this concepthere, can this also be applied?”
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 24:24
Well, I had, I haddone an internship and residency in vision training.
Brian Schoenborn 24:27
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 24:28
So that that was my specialty. And so I was reallyinterested in how to improve people’s vision naturally, and you can do it invision training. It would take a long time, we would get good results, butsometimes it would take a very long time and a lot of patients would drop outbefore they could get good success.
Brian Schoenborn 24:50
You can actually improve your eyesight without, you know,just needing his glasses or LASIK surgery or something like that.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 24:56
Yes, exactly. And you can do it for when you need glasses.Or you have a lazy eye, or when your eye turns, whatever vision problem thereis we can do vision training for. Now they call it vision therapy then wecalled it vision training.
Brian Schoenborn 25:13
So, so getting into the biofeedback, right? And you’resaying, hey, how can I apply this, so towards vision training?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 25:19
As I was pursuing this, I came across a NASA article, wherea NASA scientist called, named Robert Randall, who trained some NASA pilots toimprove their vision. So I took his report to my dissertation committee. And,to get a PhD is very formal. You have to have a committee, you have a chairmanhead, You have to have a written proposal and very formal.
Brian Schoenborn 25:49
A lot of hoops to jump through.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 25:51
And your proposal has to be substantial. It usually issomething novel, a replication of something that there has been some controversyabout. So I brought to their attention something novel, being able to takepeople who wear glasses, and give them the biofeedback training to see if thatwould be helpful. So the NASA research was done with astronauts who, you know,were almost Superman.
Brian Schoenborn 26:22
Well yeah, they’re like the top of the top of the top right?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 26:24
Exactly. And so training they’re vision, you know, may notrelate to the general population. So that, that was my dissertation. So, afterthat, finished that 1978. And then in the early 1980s, a patient came to me andhe said, I want to be in New York City fireman. But I said to him, his name’sRobert, and it was in Omni Magazine in 1985. They wrote up his story.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 27:00
He can only see the big E at the 10 feet.
Brian Schoenborn 27:08
So when you say the big E you’re talking about, like thevision chart?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 27:10
Yeah. The big E, that’s about 10 inches.
Brian Schoenborn 27:13
Like the biggest thing at the top.
Brian Schoenborn 27:15
Right, so you go through and you read the different letters,or whatever.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 27:15
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 27:17
So that’s what you can see without your glasses, so you haveto be able to see 20/30 which is about an inch and a half, without your glassesto pass the fireman’s test.
Brian Schoenborn 27:19
So he’s basically like blind, right? I mean, almost legallyblind.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 27:30
Legally blind means that with glasses, you can’t see.
Brian Schoenborn 27:32
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 27:33
This is without his glasses with the glasses, he could see20/20 you know, smaller, but those glasses that all, but the fire departmentregulation was you had to see 20/30 or maybe 20/40 a much smaller letter, one10th of the size of what he could see. And I said that I don’t think that’spossible. So he said, “No, I really need to do this. I don’t like doingany other work, I want to be a fireman.”
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 28:02
So I said, “Okay, let me assemble my dissertationapparatus that had put away in boxes.” Figuring that, you know, once it’sover, it’s over. And so it took me about a month or so to do it. Gave him about15 or 17 training sessions. And he actually passed.
Brian Schoenborn 28:18
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 28:19
He actually passed. He subsequently retired from FDNY.
Brian Schoenborn 28:23
Yeah, so so you’re able to take the, so the apparatus,right? So this was a machine that you put together?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 28:30
It was a desktop unit that had two components: it had a chinrest, if one has gone to the eye doctor when he looks at your eyes with amicroscope, measures your eyes otherwise, sometimes you have to put your headin a chin and head rest where your chin goes in a cup and your forehead goes upagainst the bar to hold the head steady.
Brian Schoenborn 28:51
Yeah, got it.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 28:52
So that that was one part, and that had the optical systemthat would measure how your eye is focusing and then that was connected to aelectronic box that had all the electronics in it. Back then we had integratedcircuits and, and resistors and capacitors and the power supply. So it had tobe separate…
Brian Schoenborn 29:13
Big, big machines back then.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 29:15
Right. No tubes, but it still had a lot of bulk to it. And aLED display and buttons and knobs control, and an oscilloscope which is like aTV screen that would show the image that was being projected on the eye. So wecould line up and see how people were doing. And so that that was the firstinstrument.
Brian Schoenborn 29:37
So did you, before you applied this with the firefighter,did you test it out or use it?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 29:46
No, it was my dissertation research.
Brian Schoenborn 29:48
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 29:49
So I only did it for the just subjects in the dissertation.I hadn’t done it with anybody else. He was the first one, so after this successwith him, we started to train more people who are near sighted because theysaid we have a method to do this. And then people would bring children, theirchildren in who were nearsighted or becoming nearsighted, or they werefarsighted. People over the age of 40 start to have problems reading up close,so they would say, “Does it work for that?”
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 30:21
And I said, “I don’t know. Let’s try it.” So itworked for that then someone bring a child in that had the lazy eye, it workedfor that. Someone came in with an eye turns in or out, we did that. There’sanother condition called nystagmus where the eyes oscillate back and forth,left to right. And it worked for that. So it worked for all these differentdifferent things.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 30:44
And, and that’s when eventually got to the PittsburghPirates and the Olympic Shooting Team because they wanted to improve theirvision.
Brian Schoenborn 30:52
So tell me a bit about the Pirates work, like, what did you,what did you do with them and like…?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 30:57
The first I went down to Sarasota when they were doing springtraining, in 1988 and the general manager of the Pirates then was Syd Thrift.
Brian Schoenborn 31:09
So ’88 was the year with Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 31:13
Yeah, and Andy van Slyke.
Brian Schoenborn 31:15
There was, was the, was that their World Series run?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 31:18
No, they almost…lost the pennant to the Mets.
Brian Schoenborn 31:21
Oh, that’s right.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 31:22
But they they were very it was a very close contest and thenthey would have gone to the World Series.
Brian Schoenborn 31:27
Yep. So did you, you wound up working with the Piratesthroughout the season or?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 31:31
Right, so what we did is, you know, I trained a number ofthe athletes, baseball players. And their vision improved so much that weusually do the testing at 20 feet. But at 20 feet, they could see the bottomline of everything. So we had to move it back to 30 feet. And they still couldsee the bottom line. It just threw everything, just blew them out of the water.
Brian Schoenborn 31:53
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 31:54
So what we did is we, I trained one of the graduate studentsat the University of Pittsburgh in the psychology department, and how did Ientice him to do that? I said, “I need someone to give training to the baseballplayers. And if you want to do it, you go to every home game for free.”
Brian Schoenborn 32:14
Nice. And that’s a, you know, it’s a little bit of a perk.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 32:17
So I trained him, so he would give the players ,whoever wantedit, you know, professional athletes, you can’t force them to do anything, theyjust…but most of them, you know, come in and do a little tune up before thegame. And then I would fly in about every month and just to check up oneverything. And it worked out very, very well the, the players really liked it.Syd Thrift liked it so much that in his book, The Game According to Syd, chapterfive is all about me.
Brian Schoenborn 32:46
Nice, you got a full dedicated chapter. Yeah that’s sweet.And that’s because again, like ’88, like Pirates were like beast mode thatyear, right? Like.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 32:55
Yes, Bobby Bonilla was Triple Crown.
Brian Schoenborn 32:58
Did he win the Triple Crown?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 33:00
He had it for a while.
Brian Schoenborn 33:03
Yeah, right. Like that was like his big like, that was hisbreakout year. He was good. He was good before that, but like that was hisyear.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 33:11
Brian Schoenborn 33:12
Um, were you, were you working with him that year?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 33:16
Brian Schoenborn 33:17
Oh nice, so, I’m so you probably…I’m gonna take a lookreally quick. I’m gonna see if I can see some. I wanna see some stat lines.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 33:22
Actually I had a very good relationship with him. He livedin the Bronx. So number one, he was from New York City. But his father lived inBrooklyn. So anybody who lived in Brooklyn was cool. And so we got along very,very well and and it helped him quite a bit. It helped Bob Walk, one of thepitchers, and another one of the pitchers. Forget his last name. First name isJim. They had a whole article in GQ about about him, how it helped the pitcherso much to really get focused in what they were doing. With so much crowdnoise, not be distracted.
Brian Schoenborn 34:06
So that’s when was that when you started realizing,“Hey, it’s more than just improving eyesight, but it’s also like, divinginto the zone?”
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 34:16
So right after that, I started to measure brainwaves whilewe were doing the training. And that’s when I discovered that when the musclesin the eye relaxed an optimal amount, the brainwaves change to what wementioned before the alpha state. This is zen meditative state.
Brian Schoenborn 34:37
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 34:38
And that was novel, have a patent on it. Previous to that inthe literature, and it’s still in, in books now, that when you eyes are closed,the alpha wave is big, but when you open your eyes to alpha get smaller.
Brian Schoenborn 34:55
Okay, so what does that mean?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 34:56
That means that we were able to train people to go intoalpha with their eyes open. And that was the novelty.
Brian Schoenborn 35:02
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 35:04
Before people didn’t think that they could do it. In the60s, college students were doing alpha training to get the buzz out of it. Ifthey were on other stuff, they got an extra buzz, but when they would open theireyes it would go away. So they stopped doing it. When the players would tell methat they got into this altered state, I wanted to measure their brainwaves,and having a PhD in experimental psychology, I was very familiar with thosekinds of things. So so, you know, measuring their brainwaves. People might askwhat’s I back to doing measuring brainwaves?
Brian Schoenborn 35:40
Right? No, that’s what I’m saying. Like, there’s aninteresting cross between the doctor of optometry and the…
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 35:46
…experimental side of psychology. In experimentalpsychology, one of the sub-specialties is vision.
Brian Schoenborn 35:53
God, that’s really cool. I mean, you know, like I said, Ican’t say it enough. Like I’m I love being in the zone. Like, that’s my, that’smy favorite place to be. If I could do it all day every day, that’d be, like,ideal.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 36:05
One of the most rewarding things of the training now is theincrease in the diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder. I have quite a numberof young children like seven to nine. Their parents bring them into the officebecause they’ve been diagnosed as being on the spectrum. This, that, and theother thing, and within 10 visits, 10 training visits with the training device,teach them how to concentrate. And then usually by the sixth or seventhsession, they’re going to the library, they’re going to their parents bookshelfand taking out books to read. Whereas before getting them to read it was like,the worst thing in the world.
Brian Schoenborn 36:50
Yeah. No, I hear that my, my nephew’s on the spectrum. Idon’t think he’s like, super deep on the spectrum right? He’s not like it’s notlike Rain Man autistic. But he definitely shows signs. And I could see wheresome of that concentration stuff or, you know, being able to like pick up abook and like read and just, you know, go and chill, I think that’d have hugepositive impacts on him and other people like him.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 37:22
If any of you listeners are interested, I give myselfanother plug.
Brian Schoenborn 37:25
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 37:26
And also a big shout out to Brian because he did the filmingthat if you go to my YouTube channel, you’ll see that is a one-hour video understandingautism.
Brian Schoenborn 37:39
What’s your YouTube channel?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 37:40
Brian Schoenborn 37:41
Joseph Trachtman Yep, you’ll see the spelling of that whenyou look at the podcast episode.
Brian Schoenborn 37:47
That’s cool. So you worked at the Pirates during the bigrun, Bobby Bonilla’s breakout year, right? I mean, it’s really because of thatand the next three, uh you know, during during that run In the late 80s, early90s, when they were like a threat every year, right, it was kind of because ofthat, that he wound going to the Mets and got that deal where he’s stillgetting paid.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 38:10
Brian Schoenborn 38:10
He’s still getting paid. He hasn’t played for like 20 years.That’s gotta be the greatest deal in history.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 38:17
As you asked me before, I don’t get a percentage of that.
Brian Schoenborn 38:22
That’s too bad, you should have worked out. But so you know,so you’ve done the work with the autistic kids. You’ve done stuff with thePirates.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 38:32
To get back to the shooters.
Brian Schoenborn 38:34
Yeah. And that’s what I want to talk about. The US OlympicShooting Team,
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 38:34
…and so 1992 the silver medalist, Buddy Firth…I hadgiven him training, and then the National Women’s Champion, and competed wellinto the 90s after that, she also figured it out. And this is funny. So we gaveher training in the morning and she was having trouble figuring it out and wasgetting a little angry about it. Because, you know, people at the championlevel don’t enjoy not being successful.
Brian Schoenborn 39:10
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 39:11
And so she came back in the afternoon and she really nailedit. And then shortly after that, she broke all her records. And then in the,you know, 93, 94, 95, she continued in just one kept winning more awards, andsetting records.
Brian Schoenborn 39:29
That’s awesome. You know, like, I was a pretty good shooterback in the Marines. I was a rifle expert, almost a perfect score, that sort ofthing. And so I sit there and I think about when you’re shooting, like, for meduring my time it was the M16, right? So the I think I see M4 now. But eitherway, you’ve got to qualify once a year in the range. And when I when I wasdoing qualifications, you know, you’ve got you’ve got to qualify three or fourdifferent ways, right?
Brian Schoenborn 39:55
One’s standing, one’s kneeling, one’s sitting and one’sprone or laying down. So they’ve all got their own different challenges. Butyou know, really the secret to shooting straight and shooting true. One is thebreathing, right? Slow, measured breath. Two is relaxing as much as possible.Right? That’s relaxing your breathing. It’s relaxing your body. It’s alsorelaxing your eye. So you can keep that straight and focused. And relaxing yourmind too. Absolutely can’t be thinking about anything else.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 39:56
No, when you relax the mind, everything else goes.Everything else goes into a relaxed state.
Brian Schoenborn 40:42
Like being a being in the zone like that. I mean, that’s,that’s about as optimal as you possibly can have for keeping that aim straightand true. Right? So I could see totally how that works out for the Olympic teamand how that worked out for her.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 40:56
Brian Schoenborn 40:56
For sure. I know you mentioned you also did some stuff withthe with the Patriots and the Bruins and things like that.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 41:02
Brian Schoenborn 41:04
Can you kind of dive into that a little bit?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 41:06
With the Patriots, a player I worked with was an offensivetackle. At that time, he was about six foot 3, 6’4″, weighed 260. Now he’dbe running back or safety. Back then, you know, that was that was pretty big.
Brian Schoenborn 41:27
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 41:28
And what he liked most about it was that if he could get offthe line, the slightest fraction of a second faster than the guy on the otherside that made all the difference in the world.
Brian Schoenborn 41:42
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 41:43
Didn’t make how how big and strong you are, but if you got thejump on the other guy that would that that was the big benefit and that’s whathe enjoyed the most about it. The hockey player the Boston Bruin that I workedwith most was Kenny Linseman.
Brian Schoenborn 42:00
He was with the Bruins, right?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 42:02
Yeah. And he was noted for his speed on on ice. So heactually told me that he had a challenged this the Olympic speed skater Eric, Idon’t remember his last name now. But you know, this guy was the gold medalistin the in this speedskating. It didn’t happen but that’s how, you know how fasthe was. And he just loved it because she said I could. It’s opened up hisperiphery tremendously. And then he could see where everybody on the ice was.His passing was better. And his goal shots were better. He just, he just lovedit.
Brian Schoenborn 42:45
You see more of the field. That’s kind of what I think aboutwhen I hear like, you know, NFL commentators talk about the great quarterbacks,for example. And you know, usually the one, the great quarterbacks they see theentire field, right? And, you know, maybe they’re maybe they’re Looking to theright, but they can see that the receiver on the left is opening up or is goingto open up. So they can anticipate that,
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 43:06
…you know, it’s they see everything all at once.
Brian Schoenborn 43:09
Yeah, for sure.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 43:11
So I’ve spoken to quarterbacks about this. And and once theystep back into the pocket, that’s when the whole field opens up for them ifthey’re in the zone, and then they can see who’s open, who’s not open in the inthe smallest fraction of a second. And that’s how they can do it. If you’re ina normal vision mode, you don’t understand how you can do it. Also, hockey ifyou’re watching hockey on a small TV screen, you can’t follow it. It’s just toofast.
Brian Schoenborn 43:45
So you did all this work. So I’ll say you discovered this,you know, you discovered this zone-inducing concept through biofeedback youknow, the cross between optometry and experimental psychology. Whic led to alot of work with NASA, Pirates, the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bobby Bonilla.
Brian Schoenborn 44:09
You know, players with the Patriots and the Bruins andautistic kids, things like that. I heard you mentioned something earlier aboutjet fighter pilots as well. Could you dive into that a little bit more alittle?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 44:18
Yes. I think the best way to explain it is with the story.So around 1988 I met an Israeli, someone who had been an Israeli pilot. And hewas, I think, the number three or number five of the aces. So he was, you know,top and I gave him the training. And usually, people want to know, you know howto do it. And because it’s an experience, like riding a bicycle, you reallycan’t tell people. You just play with the sound.
Brian Schoenborn 44:50
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 44:52
And we will explain more about it to give a demo. So if wedo a one time and my See sort of getting it. And then the second time he reallynailed it. And this is back with a big smile on his face. And he says,“Ah, now I know.” So I said, “What do you know? Tell me.”
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 45:11
He said, “When we were being trained, they told us afew things. One was that when you’re in combat, (and he had obviously been incombat, she didn’t have the risk of being an ace.) Although your electronicsare going to tell you exactly where the enemy plane is. They still want you tomake visual contact. But when you’re looking at uniformly blue sky, it’s hardto focus the eyes because you’re looking up close at the control panel. And nowyou have to get your eyes to look far away but there’s nothing out there tosee. So your eyes don’t know what to do.”
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 45:54
So he said, “They taught us to look at it, the wing andand just get the feeling of focusing from the control panel to the tip of thewing. And just practice that and get to understand that feeling, thatexperience.” He said, “Once I remembered that, and I applied it towhat I was doing here with the training that made the sound go the highest. Andthen then after that, it just made that exercise with the wing so much morepowerful because now I can do it anytime I want.” And honestly, and Idon’t think there’s more to say about for pilots, jet fighter pilots,
Brian Schoenborn 46:37
Well, because the thing is even with, you know, jet fighterpilots, like you have to be elite athletes as well.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 46:41
Brian Schoenborn 46:41
Right? And I think you were talking earlier about like, youknow, landing on an aircraft carrier, that sort of thing like, that’s, I mean,just just for some perspective. Just think about this for a second people.aircraft carriers are how long?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 46:56
Three football fields.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 46:57
From that height? The size of the aircraft carrier be likean ant. If you’re top of a tall building.
Brian Schoenborn 46:57
Three football fields, we’re talking 300 yards long. Andwhen you’re flying in your jet, you know, you’re probably 10, 30, 50,000 feetin the air, something like that. Super high anyways. Right? So like, if you’veever been on the top of a building, on a skyscraper, and you look down and youlook at like a car, or you know how small or, like, people like ants orwhatever…
Brian Schoenborn 47:29
Yeah, you know, you’ve got to have, I mean, you’ve got the,you know, you’ve got the electronic equipment, right, but you’ve got to havethat visual, you gotta, you get that pinpoint on that end, on this giant ocean.So kind of like looking at the sky where everything’s blue…
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 47:43
…and you’re flying, you know, 1000, 1500 miles an hour,maybe faster, you know, the speeds are classified, but they’re going, you know,three, four times faster than…
Brian Schoenborn 47:56
…you’re talking Mach three stuff like that, you know?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 47:59
You know, it’s not 500 miles an hour, like on yourcommercial jet. Three, four times faster.
Brian Schoenborn 48:09
So you’re flying super fast. The vision is, I mean, it’s allblue or whatever. So like you were just saying it’s like hard to like, for youreyes to understand what to look at. And you find this little ant, this dot, inthe middle of the ocean, and somehow you’ve got to get down there and you’vegot one shot to get that hook.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 48:26
Brian Schoenborn 48:26
I mean, that’s, that takes incredible takes incredibleskill. Not just from the physical sense, but from the visual sense.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 48:34
Absolutely. I was on a panel discussion about sports vision.And there was some naysayers. There’s always naysayers,
Brian Schoenborn 48:43
…of course. They’re haters man.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 48:45
…and saying that you know, you can’t train you can’t trainathletes to have better vision. It won’t make their performance any better. SoI had anticipated this, so I had brought with me a stack of documents, mostlyfrom research then at Pensacola on Navy jet fighter pilot training. Stack aboutmore than a foot high. And I put them on the table next to the microphone. Andwhen it came my time to speak, this is what I said. I said, “I think wewould all agree that jet fighter pilots are elite athletes and performers.”And you know, some people were a little hesitant, but eventually everyoneagreed.
Brian Schoenborn 49:29
Well, I mean, if you don’t understand what it takes to be apilot, jet fighter pilot, like, you know, it might not just click, you know?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 49:37
Everybody was I doctor so they had a basic idea. And then Isaid, “Well, now the question is whether training improves theirperformance. And I said here, “See all these papers here is all documentsfrom Navy training, said so there’s no question that you can train eliteperformance.”
Brian Schoenborn 50:00
Awesome. God, there’s so much cool stuff wrapped in thereand that and your career man, like, you know, you’re talking about, again, allof the like the cream of the crop stuff, that sort of thing. The autism stuff,something I’m really interested in, personally because, you know, I’m affectedby it as well. I know you do some stuff related to like PTSD, too, right?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 50:23
Brian Schoenborn 50:24
And, you know, as you know, and listeners, I mean, as youget to know me, you know, you know that I’ve lived with PTSD from my militarydays for about 18 years from you know, around the 911 times. You’ve got your zone-trac,right, which is a much smaller device now than that desktop model that you weretalking about. This is more like a pair of glasses, almost.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 50:47
Brian Schoenborn 50:48
Almost. It’s a prototype. You use the zone-trac to, to trainthose eyes, right?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 50:55
Brian Schoenborn 50:55
Biofeedback device. You know, all the elite performance andautism and PTSD. So how does it, how did you come across that it helps peoplewith PTSD? And like how, like, how does that like how does that work?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 51:10
So as you mentioned before, I was on active duty during theVietnam War. And I saw at least 10,000 military people during my tour. And manyof them had come back from Vietnam.
Unknown Speaker 51:25
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 51:26
And they didn’t call it PTSD then right, but they all hadsome, something.
Brian Schoenborn 51:31
Back then they call it like fog of war or like combatfatigue.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 51:36
Yeah, there’s all different things.
Brian Schoenborn 51:38
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 51:39
Yes. And, and because of that, their experience combinedwith whatever Agent Orange was doing to them. Many of them came back,unfortunately, addicted to the drugs or alcohol.
Brian Schoenborn 51:57
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 52:00
Not blaming them, they’re all good people, but this is whatthey were exposed to. Very traumatic incidents, experience. The whole rules ofengagement and the whole philosophy about the war and the system.
Brian Schoenborn 52:16
It was a shitshow, you know, it was a mess.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 52:21
I had experience with before this. I didn’t know what to dowith it then because nobody was really talking about it. In I can’t remember,maybe five, six years ago, I was looking for something on the internet relatedto my research, and I came across a program called Homecoming for Veterans. Andit’s a program where you do a biofeedback to veterans who have PTSD. So Iregistered for the program, you know, they check your credentials and do allthis other stuff and everything was fine. And, and so when a veteran calls me,this is what I tell them.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 53:11
I said, “I’ll give you 10 weekly sessions at no charge.Because I’m a veteran, I have great compassion for other veterans who’ve hadbad experiences.” So this is what we do. They come in, I give them aregular eye exam to make sure that their eyes are healthy and general healthand they’re not on medications that will interfere with the training. And thenI introduce them to the training and after two or three sessions, they start tohave the relaxation feeling from it, the in-the-zone feeling and then I then thenext visit I say, “Okay, now before we start the training today, I wantyou to recall the PTSD incident and get that in your mind with that emotion.And then open your eyes and do the training and substitute the relaxationfeeling to the bad emotion.”
Brian Schoenborn 54:01
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 54:04
And doing that repetitively, they’re able to do itvoluntarily. And sometimes they can even do with involuntarily once that, thatdark knight starts coming into your head, the white knight will just push itaway without even trying to do anything.
Brian Schoenborn 54:21
Oh, that’s awesome. I mean, there’s so many veterans outthere that PTSD obviously, but there’s also so many people in general, likecivilians and other things where, you know, that that could really benefit fromstuff like that, you know, there’s a lot of I know, a lot of PTSD-affectedveterans, and they go to the VA and stuff like that, and the VA just loads themup with drugs, right? And they just turned into these zombies and nothingreally helps.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 54:47
Remember last week, one of the veterans who was at ourgathering had a service dog. And so I asked him, you know, when I see someonewith a service dog, I think that they’re blind.
Brian Schoenborn 55:00
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 55:01
So you know, eye doctor, I’m curious. I said what’s your eyeproblem? Oh, I don’t have an eye problem. This is where my PTSD. So when I wentto the VA, they loaded me up with drugs. I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t,couldn’t take them. And so the they gave me the service dog. And as soon as Istart to get agitated, the dog senses it and comes over and, and calms me down.And when I mentioned this to my wife, she said, that’s great. But wouldn’t bebetter if he didn’t need a dog, if you could just do it. Do it on his own. AndI said, “Yeah, just getting the word out.”
Brian Schoenborn 55:39
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 55:42
I’ve sent some of my research on that to senators and congressmen.And other than getting a somewhat nice letter from at that time, the chairmanof the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, thanking me for my work. None ofthem have followed up.
Brian Schoenborn 56:03
Isn’t that funny>? That’s the irony. The irony…
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 56:06
Brian Schoenborn 56:07
Well, yeah, of course. But that’s I’m saying like the ironyof it you know, with these with these big drug lobbies and stuff like that, youknow, for whatever reason, you got all these kids 1819 years old, whatever,guys and girls and, you know, put their life on the line for the country. Youknow, they went and served and they didn’t even come back whole, you know, ifthey came back at all, but the ones that came back didn’t, a lot of them didn’tcome back whole. And what is the VA want to do? They wanna say, “Oh, yeah,we support veterans”, that sort of thing. We’re just gonna load them upwith drugs, turn them into zombies and hope everything’s good.
Brian Schoenborn 56:43
You know, like, you could sit there and say, “Hey, youknow, guess what? You don’t need those drugs.” You know, like, I mean,I’ve, like I said, I’ve lived with PTSD for 18 years. I went through the wholei was i was loaded up with drugs early on, but I was like, fuck all that. LikeI don’t, I didn’t want to be a zombie, right? So it’s I’ve lived without,without prescription medication almost the entire time that I’ve been on it, orthat I’ve been affected by it.
Brian Schoenborn 57:16
And I’ve learned to manage it. Right? And a lot of it has todo with, like, meditation and getting in that Zen sort of thing. But that meansa lot of quiet time, closing my eyes, that kind of thing, right, like you weretalking about.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 57:33
It takes a long time, and a tremendous commitment.
Brian Schoenborn 57:37
Yeah. I’d love to be able to do with my eyes open I think Ican sometimes but I know I’ve done some work with the with with your with your zone-traca bit. And I love it. And that’s part of the reason why I want to talk to youtoday. I do see you have it here.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 57:54
Brian Schoenborn 57:55
Do you mind if I give it a shot? Give it a whirl?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 57:58
Brian Schoenborn 57:59
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 58:00
Get it set up.
Brian Schoenborn 58:02
Sweet. So for you guys listening, you’re probably going toturn down the volume a little bit. It’s a high pitched frequency. And basicallyit’s like so, so this is a is a prototype. Right? He’s working on funding forthis.
Brian Schoenborn 58:29
So you hear that you hear that pitch?
Brian Schoenborn 58:32
Basically this looks like kind of like a set of glassesalmost like almost like the 3d glasses with the squares. Right? Not Not Notblue and red, but like, you know, flat square panels, a couple of lights infront of it. And then you’ve got the rest of the device which I’m holding withtwo hands. And basically, how do we do this?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 58:53
Bring it up to your eyes, about two fingers. And you blinkyour eye and you should get a warbling Then you know, your eyes lined up. Andthen once your eyes lined up, you just want to make the sound go higher inpitch. And just like learning how to ride a bicycle, you only learn from theexperience. There’s nothing I could tell you.
Brian Schoenborn 59:13
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 59:14
Or show you.
Brian Schoenborn 59:17
So we do both eyes, or do we do one eye at a time?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 59:19
You do one eye at a time because the eyes actually can focusindependent of each other.
Brian Schoenborn 59:23
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 59:24
We have to train each eye separately.
Brian Schoenborn 59:26
Which one which am i doing first?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 59:27
Should be the right eye.
Brian Schoenborn 59:28
The right, okay.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 59:30
If I push the correct button.
Brian Schoenborn 59:32
And I keep both eyes open, right?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 59:33
Brian Schoenborn 59:35
All right, cool. Here goes. All right. You hear that? That’sthe sound I’m looking for, right?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 59:46
Brian Schoenborn 59:48
Oh, yeah. So like I’m looking at this and I’m almost lookingthrough it.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 59:53
You’re seeing the whole room.
Brian Schoenborn 59:54
I can even I can see my elbows. I mean, I’m leaning forwardwith my elbows on my knees. I can see my elbows, and I can, I can see your shoes,Joe. I can even see the far corner of the room, where the L-shaped couch ends.Yeah.
Brian Schoenborn 1:00:20
Some people don’t get this. I think it takes a certainbrain.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:00:25
You can rest now.
Brian Schoenborn 1:00:34
So then we chill for a minute.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:00:37
Brian Schoenborn 1:00:38
Talk about the grass.
Brian Schoenborn 1:00:41
Yeah, like I could, I can almost see so so my phone isplugged in and the exact opposite corner of where I’m at, probably 100…So, soif my line of sight is a flat line, we’re talking about a circle that’s almost180 degrees behind me talking like 150, something like that?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:00:58
180 degrees would be flat.
Brian Schoenborn 1:01:01
Ah, so it’s more than 180. God, I’m an idiot. Yes, we’retalking beyond 180 degrees here. That’s probably probably closer to 200 or so,right?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:01:12
More than 200.
Brian Schoenborn 1:01:14
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:01:14
360 would be being able to see behind you.
Brian Schoenborn 1:01:17
Right, of course.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:01:18
So 180’s way, and then, and then 360 is that way. So halfwaywould be 240.
Brian Schoenborn 1:01:28
Yeah, so that’s probably closer to 240 it’s almost like myso my vision has just like opened up like it’s almost, kind of like, um, youknow, I mean, in the zone, of course, but also like, for those of you thatdon’t understand what it’s like to be in the zone. It’s kind of like you’rereally hyped up on caffeine, but like, relaxed at the same time.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:01:48
So I tell you another story. So with the desktop model oneof the doctors was in California. One day, he calls me and he says, “Ihave a patient here who wants to thank you for, for developing thedevice.” And it was called the accomtrac vision trainer, the new one’sthat zone-trac. So I said, “Let me look at my schedule. And I’ll see whatI’m going to be in your area.” And I did and I said, “Okay, I’ll beout there during this week.” And we made a time.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:02:25
Now, I don’t believe in any coincidences. but less than twomonths ago, this patient called me and I hadn’t seen him for 30 years. Hewanted to thank me again, this is what happened. He had, he had come in forvision training. And he had been a cocaine addict. And he told me he was ableto break his cocaine addiction by doing the training. Because he was able to,as you mentioned, he was able to give himself that little bit of high but in avery controlled way. And not an over-powering way. But in a natural way.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:03:02
What do I mean natural way? It’s that you’re making goodchemicals and preventing bad chemicals. When you take a drug, any kind of drug,you’re just going one way you’re producing a chemical that’s making the nervoussystem go one way, but it makes the others go out of balance. When you producethings naturally, and that’s why I like biofeedback so much, you’re making goodchemicals and balancing the other chemicals. And, yes, so he said, “Now, Ifinally tracked you down, you know, from Brooklyn to Seattle. (It’s hard tofollow me sometimes.) And I just want to thank you changed my whole life andeverything’s just great.”
Brian Schoenborn 1:03:45
Yeah, it’s kind of like, I’m like I get that because it’skind of like a stimulant. Right?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:03:50
But it is it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. And that’swhat cocaine does. That’s what amphetamines means do and that’s what makes thepupils dilate.
Brian Schoenborn 1:04:06
It’s like your mind and eyes are on like high alert.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:04:10
Brian Schoenborn 1:04:11
But your body is still super chill.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:04:13
Brian Schoenborn 1:04:14
Yeah. Like this is like the best feeling in the world. Iunderstand why people would get like cocaine created or whatever because, youknow, it’s it’s like that right? I guess. I mean, that’s what he’s saying.Right?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:04:24
That’s what I’ve been told.
Brian Schoenborn 1:04:25
Yeah, yeah. So based on what you’re saying, right?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:04:28
I don’t have to do the other stuff I get.
Brian Schoenborn 1:04:30
Exactly, like, you don’t need to do anything.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:04:32
I have the real thing.
Brian Schoenborn 1:04:33
Exactly. Try it agian? Left eye?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:04:38
Yes. Okay, let me just…
Brian Schoenborn 1:04:43
Do one more trial and then…
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:04:47
Okay, blink a few times so they can hear the wobbling sound.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:04:55
And then you know, he lined up and now he’s going to make itgo very high and go in the zone.
Brian Schoenborn 1:05:15
There it is. Yeah this is awesome man.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:05:56
Brian Schoenborn 1:05:57
So remember you said there’s some people that you know thateither get it or they don’t. Like, what, um…
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:06:04
People who are very analytical. And now this is ageneralization. So no one takes particular offense.
Brian Schoenborn 1:06:12
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:06:12
But lawyers, accountants, engineers, because they’re veryanalytical. Either you can’t do this at all. Or when they do it, it’s done in avery feeble way, and they just don’t get it or understand it. And, and that’sunfortunate, as we have spoken, many times, that most people who are in chargeof funding to expand the project are very analytical. And when I ask, when Igive them a demo, they can’t make the sound change.
Brian Schoenborn 1:06:50
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:06:51
So they they see no utility at all. Whereas other peoplelike you and and other veterans in our program, when they do it, after theyfinished they’re ready to write me a check. Unfortunately, they don’t have themoney.
Brian Schoenborn 1:07:06
Yeah. I mean, I would I would write you a check right nowman, I would love to take one of those home with me and just like use it everyday, you know, start my day off right. Because right now like I said, I’m like,I’m like, let’s go like I’m in.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:07:21
Your face is flushed.
Brian Schoenborn 1:07:23
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:07:23
I can look at your arms and color now.
Brian Schoenborn 1:07:27
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:07:27
You’re having a relaxation response.
Brian Schoenborn 1:07:29
I’m ready to go man. Like I like I said, I’m chill, but I’mlike, I’m hyper focused, you know what I mean? Like, you know, I’m sitting herelooking at you, but I’m seeing everything. You know, it’s almost like, like Ican see your face. But then like right around it kind of gets a little blurrybut then everything else is like, clear.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:07:49
If your audience could see me around my face is a littleblurry because I have a long beard.
Brian Schoenborn 1:07:53
Well, that’s not a little beard. That’s not a little beard.that’s a that’s a fully man. That’s an impressive beard. Part of the reason whyI wanted to bring you on here is to talk about that, you know, like, it’s,it’s, I’ve worked with you with this. I’ve done several sessions. And it’sdone, it’s it’s done wonders for me. And you know, I just…so what are you?Where are you at right now in terms of like, the business cycle?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:08:29
So, so right now. We have our business plan. We haveexecutive summary, we have sales. We have a 40-year history of success in thebusiness. We have documentation in scientific journals. And now we’re lookingfor funding to commercialize the product. So, we want to repackage it and bringthe price point down to maybe 300, 350.
Brian Schoenborn 1:09:00
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:09:01
To make it affordable for more people, and then also to massmarket it, and money to mass market it because there’s millions of people thatcan have the quality of their life dramatically improved just by doing thetraining every once in a while.
Brian Schoenborn 1:09:19
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:09:20
And it’s a it’s a shame that, you know, you see peoplehaving all kinds of problems, health problems or emotional problems or learningproblems, problems at their job that can be resolved by being in the zone.
Brian Schoenborn 1:09:34
Yep. Yep. Not only that but it’s just like the best feelingin the world. You know, anybody who’s done something that requires highperformance, again, whether you’re studying for whether you’re in whether auniversity or something studying or whether you’re doing a sports-related thingor military-related thing or whatever the case may be, if it requires a highdegree of performance and focus, you probably know what it’s like to be in thezone. And the fact that like, you can…the fact that you figured out how tolike, induce the zone, you know, consciously induce it. Like this is to methat’s like, it’s game changing. You know, clearly I mean, talk about thePirates and stuff, right?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:10:22
It is. And that’s the problem because it’s, it’s a paradigmshift. And a lot of people either don’t know about it, or don’t believe thatyou can, you can change this. One of the people in our program said to me, Inever know you could change your brain waves.
Brian Schoenborn 1:10:44
I mean, I wouldn’t know that.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:10:45
And but you can change it. You can change all kinds ofthings. I’ve had patients who’ve had tumors, and once they go into a deep alphastate the tumors start to disappear. We do it with with imagery butnevertheless, that’s the way God made the body. That we can heal ourselves in,in many different ways, many different levels. But we all have that ability. Andit’s just getting that potential to come out into into the real world.
Brian Schoenborn 1:11:20
What would it to take for you to get over the hump? Like, soyou said you’re looking for funding?
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:11:24
You want me to give you numbers?
Brian Schoenborn 1:11:27
No, no, no, I’m not looking for that number that but I’mjust trying to. So I mean, you say, we have a hard time getting people tounderstand it on the financial side…
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:11:36
Looking for an investor or someone who has a company orsomeone who would like to license it to help me get to the next stages.
Brian Schoenborn 1:11:48
Got it. So it seems to me like this would be just when I’mthinking of like, what do they call it? When I’m thinking of what vertical toplace this in.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:11:58
Okay, so there’s right Another vertical market dimension.And that is one of the new hot topics which is augmented reality.
Brian Schoenborn 1:12:08
Oh sure, AR.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:12:09
Because people want to get the most out of their sensoryexperiences. And if you’re in the zone, you can do that if you’re not in thezone, no matter how good the technology is, it’s not going to be the same.
Brian Schoenborn 1:12:25
AR is a great vertical there. Sports, elite performancestuff. Medical Devices.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:12:32
Learning. Health. Vision.
Brian Schoenborn 1:12:35
Yep. So all you angels and VCs out there that are focused inmedical devices, sports, sports performance, AR.
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:12:48
Definitely check into this a little bit more. Where can theyfind your information? My website is accommotrac.com. A-C-C-O-M-O-T-R-A-C.COM.
Brian Schoenborn 1:13:05
Sweet. Alright man, well, I appreciate it. Anything else youwant to talk about? Or let’s
Dr. Joseph Trachtman 1:13:10
Nope, just thank you for the interview. And once again,thank you for helping with the videos that are on the YouTube channel.
Brian Schoenborn 1:13:16
Of course man, no sweat. appreciate our conversation today.Let’s get at it. Joe Trachtman everyone. You’ve been listening to “Halfthe City with Brian Schoenborn” presented by 8B Media. Be sure to subscribeto this podcast, share it with your friends, and leave a solid five-star reviewto ensure these stories get spread far and wide. For more information, as wellas the listened to other shows, including “Relentless: a Survivor’s Searchfor Passion, Purpose and Inner Peace” and “Beyond Relentless”,be sure to check out 8bmedia.com. Thank you for listening
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