TIPP of the Iceberg: Understanding Trauma to Overcome It with Dr. Don Wood

Dr. Don Wood, PhD, lived an idyllic childhood with loving and supportive parents. It cultivated a sense of confidence and optimism that he’s carried throughout his life. This high vantage point instilled in him an appreciation for the wildly diverse atmospheric conditions we all face, and how they make us unique in so many ways.

After struggling to find a way to combat his daughter’s Crohn’s and his wife’s autoimmune disease, he decided to dig deeper – past their symptoms, which had been the focus of conventional medical science. He eventually realized that their bodies were responding to mental and emotional trauma with a stress response that was destroying their immune systems. Our bodies aren’t designed to experience the fight or flight response permanently, after all. This insight was the seed for something amazing.

Leveraging his background in psychology and clinical counseling, he developed a system to address the problem: the TIPP method, which he’s used to successfully cure not only his family, but help professional athletes, world record holders, and CEOs alike break through deeply held mental barriers that limit their physical and intellectual performance or well-being.

He joins us on this edition of Gravity for a fascinating discussion of how trauma (or a lack thereof) shapes us, how sport is a wonderful tool for us to learn life’s lessons, and the power of positivity when trying to achieve inner peace. We also hear his firsthand account of the creation of his TIPP program, how it fits into medicine as we currently know it, and how he’s hoping to use it to help the world in the future. 

Dr. Wood’s story and insight offered so many incredible takeaways during our session. Optimism and confidence are profoundly powerful forces we can tap into. Doing so turns that optimism into reality and proves the belief in yourself to be right. 

What Brett asks:

  • [01:30] Tell me about your childhood.
  • [07:00] What were your interests as a kid?
  • [09:00] How do you feel about having such a nice upbringing now that you know how rough some people’s are?
  • [11:30] How do you feel about the notion of us being responsible for our choices?
  • [15:50] Did you enjoy being able to play sports without carrying stress into your games?
  • [17:05] Tell me about your experience of becoming a young adult.
  • [23:00] Do you agree that sports are a good place to learn?
  • [25:50] Tell me about the career you had prior to your current work?
  • [27:00] Was the decision to leave your family business, in part, driven by the confidence and optimism of your upbringing?
  • [31:30] What’s it like to walk away from something without worrying about it?
  • [34:40] Tell us about making the jump to your current career?
  • [37:30] Tell us about the medical system today and the things that we don’t know yet.
  • [41:00] How did you find out what was medically wrong with your daughter?
  • [44:05] How did you arrive at the techniques of your program?
  • [46:25] What’s next for you and the program?
  • [48:30] Describe the processes that the program involves.
  • [53:00] Tell us how this can be helpful to everyone.
  • [58:00] Do you have any final thoughts?

Lessons for intentional living:

  • Those of us who are fortunate enough to have lived happy lives should always try to remember that many other people aren’t so lucky. Trauma doesn’t spring into existence from nowhere. It’s a direct result of things that have happened to a person. Empathy, always.
  • Sport is a wonderful tool in life for the obvious reasons: fitness and relaxation. But remember that there’s also a less commonly recognized benefit to sport and that is the infinite list of life lessons that they can teach you, be it the motivation to improve your game or something deeper like sizing up your opponents, their personalities, and how they’re approaching the same problems as you.
  • Don’s approach to creating his program was a desire to find and treat the cause of a problem where people had only been focusing on the symptoms. This is something that applies to almost any issue we face in life. Sometimes, a band-aid over the problem can be the right decision, but more often than not, it pays to dig deeper, find where the symptoms are coming from, and tackle the problem head on.