Gali Bloch Liran and Maya Elhalal.

The Human Founder
The secrets of biohacking

As part of her day job, Executive Coach Gali Bloch Liran helps founders, CEOs, and investors develop the right skills and mentality. Her podcast takes us through the roller coaster of vulnerability, humanity, and the personalities of these "top dogs" of business and tech

“5 years ago was one of the lowest points of my life. It was the peak of my auto-immune flare up - I was dealing with a severe case of electro hyper-sensitivity, and for many months I was confined to my own home. When we raised a toast for my birthday, all I wished for was to stop being constantly in pain.”
From that point on, she went on a conscious search to make her wish come true, to relieve her pain. It was a gradual, step by step process, with no miracles, but a clear science that guided her through the dark times into feeling good in her own body again.
Now, with a big smile on her face, she’s thrilled to share that she’s free of any pain.
“What I had to do was look under the hood, open the black box, and really understand the underlying mechanism of what was going on.”
She began asking herself, what is the root cause of all these symptoms: the insomnia, the chronic headache, the severe decline in cognitive abilities and memory? What’s the bigger picture here?
After making a list, she started to understand what was going on and what steps she needed to take towards healing.
Ep. 131 - With Maya Elhalal, BioHacking Expert
“Stressors add up - I now realize that my crisis is a result of a decade of burnout thatpushed me over the edge. For someone else it could be Covid, a minor surgery, a car accident, emotional trauma, or trying to juggle too many things at once. It’s one thing that by itself would be small, but it pushes you over the edge, and then something breaks.”
The problem that Biohacking tries to solve is our detachment from our bodies. We’re so often disconnected from our feelings and senses, that we’re getting to a point where we're struggling to read our own signals sent from our bodies, and we miss so much crucial information. Our bodies always try to communicate with us; we just don’t know how to listen.
Biohacking includes so many tools for checking the body's functions, such as our heart rate and sugar levels, but that also raises the question - Is there a chance of overchecking ourselves?
For Maya, the answer is simple: “It’s not the technology’s fault; it’s how you work with the technology. A good Biohacking tool is a tool that gives you enough insight that you gain better awareness of your body and don’t need the technology to tell you anymore if you’re stressed or not.”
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Gali Bloch Liran Maya Elhalal
Gali Bloch Liran Maya Elhalal
Gali Bloch Liran and Maya Elhalal.
(Liron Cohen Aviv)
For her, it helped her take out the things that were disrupting the balance, more than add new things: she went back to living with natural light, to movement, to a diet that was lower on refined carbs, and by doing so, she gradually hacked her way back to normal sugar levels and energy production.
Here are some of Maya’s Biohacking tips for dealing with stress and burnout:
1. Remember to breathe - Sounds cliche at this point, but it’s still incredibly crucial. How we breathe affects our mental and biological states more than anything else.
“I noticed that sometimes when I think I’m anxious, I’m actually really excited but forgetting to breathe.”
Smart rings, for example, will tell you your rate of breathing per minute, and you’ll notice that when you’re tense, your breathing will tend to be more shallow and high to the chest rather than low and deep to the belly.
2. Look at your stress continuum - We need to be aware of our stress levels, and know how to work with them. Maya suggests measuring your state from -5 which is fully relaxed and almost right before falling asleep, to +5, which is high stress peak performance, or toxic stress. On a normal day to day basis, we want to be around a zero balance, and be able to flexibly move according to life’s needs from one side to another.
3. Use Hormetic Stressors to your advantage - “Hormetic stressors” are a kind of stressor that is very short, acute, and controlled, which helps us go from a stressed state to a very relaxed state in a very short time in a way that builds resilience.
Examples for that are: cold exposure, heat exposure, challenging exercise, or dietary restrictions.
When our stress levels shoot up in just a few seconds and we learn by using our breath to find comfort within an extremely uncomfortable environment, we gain a cross adaptation effect: “If you can do this, you are able to manage any other stress better because it’s the same mechanism.”
**It’s important to note here that different conditions will require different doses for effective results. More is not better. Everyone should find the right dose for them, which will change during the monthly cycle for women and the life cycle for men.
4. Rest is crucial - “For us entrepreneurs, we need to realize that sometimes we need to sacrifice the short term for the long term. It means we may not be able to do as much as we hoped this week, but we will be able to do a lot more this year.”
Our energy is our most important asset, and it’s our responsibility to listen to our bodies and keep it in check. When dealing with stressors or trying to exercise resilience habits in your life, rest is needed for recovery.
Sensory deprivation tanks, for example, are made to help the body get into a meditative, relaxed state that can help the body rejuvenate and heal itself.
**For us women, Maya suggests planning our month according to our monthly cycle - “When I’m ovulating, for example, it’s probably the best time to be in external interaction.”
5. Move your body - As entrepreneurs, our job requires sitting most of the time. We now know from research that people who sit more age faster. The good news is that it’s reversible, so we can improve our health by having a standing desk, a balance ball, taking frequent walks, taking a short break for movement, even taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking to work in natural light.
In conclusion, Maya shares: “What I hope is that I can share my experience with people so that they don't have to go through such a severe health crisis. If you don’t listen to the signs of pain now, it’s going to come for you much harder. My body asked kindly before it kicked me to the floor, and if I had listened earlier, it would not have taken me five years to go back to health and to balance.”
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Gali Bloch Liran
Gali Bloch Liran
Gali Bloch Liran.
(Omer Hacohen)
Gali Bloch Liran is the Founder & CEO of The Human Founder; Executive Coach & Startup Advisor; Entrepreneurship Lecturer at Reichman University; Host of The Human Founder Podcast