Social entre­pre­neur Lian Pham bio­hacked her way back to health. Now, she’s pass­ing her insights on to oth­ers.


5 min read

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Peak per­for­mance — it’s some­thing just about every­one strives for. There are count­less diets, books, blogs, TV shows and more ded­i­cat­ed to becom­ing your best self and oper­at­ing at your high­est capac­i­ty, both in busi­ness and in life. The ques­tion is, can it actu­al­ly be done?

While most focus on just one facet of self-care  (weight, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, nutri­tion, moti­va­tion, etc.), social entre­pre­neur and bio­hack­er Lian Pham’s approach is all-inclu­sive and com­pre­hen­sive. With her Peak Per­for­mance Pyra­mid, Pham — who, full dis­clo­sure, is a client of mine, but whose per­spec­tive I felt was valu­able to share dur­ing these chal­leng­ing times — has worked out a sys­tem of steps that include bio­hack­ing the mind, body and spir­it to reach peak per­for­mance across the boards. Here’s how she did it, as well her tips on how you can, too.

What led to your becom­ing so inter­est­ed in peak per­for­mance?

After the birth of my sec­ond child, I sud­den­ly became very, very ill. I went to every hos­pi­tal, every spe­cial­ist, but found no expla­na­tion for my severe headaches, numb­ness and hypokalemia. I knew that some­thing was wrong and that answers must be out there. I just had to find them. I nev­er gave up, and even­tu­al­ly, after count­less tests and scans, I was diag­nosed with Bel­l’s pal­sy. 

With this diag­no­sis came a sense of urgency. I decid­ed to apply my phi­los­o­phy of assum­ing noth­ing and pur­su­ing every­thing to my health and imme­di­ate­ly got to work build­ing a bio­hack­ing lab behind my house to exper­i­ment in. This is how I final­ly began to actu­al­ly feel bet­ter. After going through this entire process for myself, I real­ized that we all have this unusu­al pow­er to make our­selves health­i­er and stronger, so I set to work quan­ti­fy­ing the process I used to get well again. This result­ed in The Peak Per­former Pyra­mid, a series of inter­de­pen­dent steps that I and now many oth­ers have fol­lowed.

What should people first understand about the fundamentals of peak performance?

We’re not just bio­hack­ing our bod­ies; we’re bio­hack­ing every part that makes us whole. With each of these steps ful­filled, through sus­tain­able, dai­ly habits, peak per­for­mance is real­ized.

We are all — mind, body and soul — unique, and any­one can make peak per­for­mance their lifestyle.

How would you best characterize biohacking and how do you apply it to help yourself and others?

Bio­hack­ing is a very broad term and can mean dif­fer­ent things for dif­fer­ent peo­ple, but in essence, and for me, it means becom­ing the writer of your own health sto­ry. It means tak­ing your health and self-aware­ness into your own hands, to under­stand your­self and opti­mize your per­for­mance, often out­side the realm of tra­di­tion­al med­i­cine. 

I think bio­hack­ing should be applied to every facet of life — from our food, to the equip­ment at the office, to the tac­tics we use in busi­ness and beyond. Only if we bio­hack the phys­i­cal, men­tal and spir­i­tu­al can we per­form at our best at all times. For me, this start­ed with buy­ing count­less test kits for myself to find out the state of my DNA, my micro­bio­me, my micronu­tri­ents and so on. From there, I was able to build myself a roadmap for my health to progress through. 

Relat­ed: 4 Joy­less Ways to Bio­hack Your Way to High­er Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty

What new biohacking trends or processes are on the horizon that you expect to impact performance?

Since I believe bio­hack­ing extends beyond just the body, I will break this down into a few cat­e­gories. For phys­i­cal health, I’m using cus­tom IV packs to han­dle any nutri­tion­al defi­cien­cies quick­ly and eas­i­ly, ozone ther­a­py to improve the body’s intake and use of oxy­gen to acti­vate the immune sys­tem. I’m also eat­ing plant-based, bal­anc­ing my micro­bio­me (arguably the sec­ond brain of the body), doing Taba­ta (a type of HIIT work­out), tak­ing MCT oil, using red light ther­a­py, infrared sauna and cold plunges, tak­ing quick head­stand breaks and more.

At work, we snack reg­u­lar­ly because it isn’t dis­tract­ing or unpro­fes­sion­al — it’s brain food. For the mind, I rec­om­mend NAD in nasal spray or IV form to increase cog­ni­tive func­tion and Brain­Tap for tech­no­log­ic guid­ed med­i­ta­tion, to name just a few. And to bio­hack the soul, one must prac­tice mind­ful­ness, self-aware­ness and con­scious­ness to become ful­ly aware beyond just flesh and brain mat­ter. A lifestyle habit I use to bio­hack the soul is work­ing with crys­tals to set my dai­ly inten­tions and goals, to feel more ground­ed, con­nect­ed and cen­tered.  

In the end, bio­hack­ing will look dif­fer­ent for every per­son. That’s the beau­ty of it; it’s tai­lored to everyone’s unique needs.

Relat­ed: Why Bio­hack­ing Is the Lat­est Major Start­up Trend

What’s the single most important piece of advice for someone looking to achieve peak performance?

Don’t be a bystander — be a dis­rup­tor for good. How? Assume noth­ing, pur­sue every­thing. Be proac­tive, be opti­mistic. Per­se­vere. Real­ize your pow­er, your vision, and do some­thing with it. Know that peak per­for­mance is not just a fad, it is a lifestyle. First, you must make the deci­sion to take your health, your life and your per­for­mance into your own hands and then you must fol­low through on it. It is the com­pa­nies that cul­ti­vate a sense of mean­ing, belong­ing and heart in the work­place that will dom­i­nate the future. Start with your­self and expand your reach from there. 

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