0 // 🙋♂️ PINNED POST
🫁 Welcome to the NSM Community! 🫁
This is a home for all of you to deeply explore yourself, experiment in the community, and move towards nervous system regulation and thriving!
This is a safe, supportive and confidential space to share your experiences, questions, insights, and challenges with others on a similar path.
Thank you for being here, and we’re excited to guide you on this journey to mastering your nervous system.
How to Get Started
There are a few essential first steps to take in order to make the most of this training.
Connect & Engage
- Introduce Yourself & share your intentions for being here
- Register for the Live Sessions
Logistics & Set-up
- Download the Circle iOS app to browse the NSM community on the go
- Customise your notifications to stay on top of what matters
- Read the Recommendations for making the most of NSM
- Calibrate Your Expectations
- Read through the Additional Resources
1 // 👨🏫 Welcome to NSM!
// (video with Teleprompter + text)
Firstly, welcome and thank you so much for being here.
I wanted to share a few words as to why I’ve created this course ~ and some of the reasons that I’m genuinely honoured to be sharing this with you.
Let’s start with a fairly radical claim // I believe that Nervous System Regulation is a missing foundational pillar of what it means to life A Good Life.
It's only relatively recently that neuroscientists have been waking up to how integral the Autonomic Nervous System is—it's not just part of the plumbing in our flesh-suits, but it impacts EVERYTHING.
When we’re in a state of regulation ~ and of course will get to what this means ~ we are capable of working creatively towards our goals and desires. We are able to form intimate connections & friendships. In short, we show up as the most present, alive, and empathetic versions of ourselves.
Conversely, the ways in which our nervous system becomes dysregulated ~ almost like a kinked hose ~ results in us falling into various states of Reactivity.
And we can really see this unfolding on a collective scale ~ in fact I would make the case that this collective lack of nervous system regulation is one of the root causes of our interpersonal, relational & even societal issues.
Whether it is expressed as a lack of empathy, outbursts from unconscious anger, or feeling increasing levels of fear and stress ~ internal dysregulation of our nervous systems impacts all aspects of our external lives.
And I think it’s fair to say that all of our nervous systems have experienced abnormally high stress levels in the past few years ~ I personally know friends, coaching clients teetering on burnout, young parents juggling dozens of plats and digital nomads navigating chronic health problems.
So What Can Be Done?
On a more positive note, in the last decade or so, there has been a flurry of compelling research carried out specifically on aspects of the Nervous System, although currently, much of it is still lurking deep within dense scholarly articles that make it less accessible to those not in academia.
What I have attempted to do is to read, curate, and experiment on myself in order to share the most practical & relevant theory and protocols which allow us to leverage our biology to rise out of reactive states that we all find ourselves in at times & embark on a journey to cultivate a deep sense of embodied self-awareness.
My hope for you and the impact of this program is to spread this nervous system literacy ~ such that more of us feel empowered to take full responsibility for our mental, physical + emotional state.
And that as we do this ~ as we engage with the lost art of reconnecting to our physical bodies and tend to our neuronal hard-wiring — I believe we’re taking a meaningful step towards experiencing states of connection and growing into more mature + sovereign humans on this planet.
2 // 👋 Introduce Yourself
👋 Hello hello!
You are now a member of the NSM community, or as we like to call ourselves ‘Somanauts’ (meaning inner-explorers)
We’d love to get to know you a bit better, so please introduce yourself and feel free to use some of the prompts below as a starting point.
Tell us about what brought you here:
1 // ❓ Which country/city are you joining us from?
2 // 👨🎓 What are you hoping to get out of the NSM program?
3 // ❓ What nervous-system-related question is most alive for you?
4 // ⚡ What might you help others with? What lights you up?
Please feel free to share as much or as little as you’d like—these prompts are simply suggestions to get the wheels turning.
Ready to share? Click on the “New Post” button at the top of the screen to start drafting your intro. ✍️
3 // 📆 Register for Live Sessions
- Head over to the ‘Live NSM Sessions’ space and RSVP to as many of the live events as you can attend ~ and ideally, add these to your calendar so that you don’t forget to attend.
4 // 👨🎓 How to Make the Most of NSM
// (audio + text)
So I appreciate that many of you have full schedules so in the interest of making the absolute most of your time and attention ~ here are four principles that I believe will help you to make the most of this course.
1. ⏳ Choose a Realistic Weekly Time Commitment
2. 🤼 View Life as Your Nervous System Training Ground
The benefits to you come through consistent repetition—based on neuroplasticity... which require reps to build new neural pathways.
This course is designed to be integrated into your life. Every day, you will have opportunities to integrate what you learn: the practices of interoception, self-regulation and emotional fluidity are like any skills that can absolutely be trained, tracked and improved over time.
3. 🤓 Theory is Necessary But Not Sufficient
The Asaro tribe of Papua New Guinea have a proverb that I absolutely love, they say: “Knowledge is only a rumour until it lives in the muscle.”
Along these lines, I know reputable neuroscientists who study this material but still have highly dysregulated nervous systems, just as there are doctors who smoke and overweight personal trainers.
So whilst a degree of theory & conceptual understanding is important ~ and I’ll provide additional resources for those of you who wish to dive deeper into the theory ~ this course is more of an experiment in interactive immersive learning.
4. 👨🔬 Engage with an Experimental + Curious Mindset
I realise that many of you have joined us because you might be feeling anxiety or struggling with sleep ~ and so the invitation here is to let go of any need for this to change or to ‘fix yourself’.
Rather I’d like to invite you to approach this material with as much curiosity as you can possibly muster ~ viewing each of the protocols as literal experiments, where like a scientist of your own experience ~ you explore them with an open mind, and pay close attention to how you feel afterwards.
Also know that the fastest path to learning is through engaging with the community, and sharing your questions and insights with others.
5. 👩🚀 Invitation to Create an Identity Shift
Finally, and this might be the most important one ~ beyond all of the theory or practices, I'm inviting you to see the world through a new lens.
To begin to see your actions, your states of being and your behaviours through this lens of the nervous system.
My greatest hope for you is to become what I call a ‘SOMANAUT’ which means inner-exporer or if you prefer ~ interoceptive scientist ~ both referring to one who is perpetually curious about their own internal state. In fact, this entire course is structured, guided and co-created interoceptive exploration.
So there you have it ~ the invitation for the next five weeks, and hopefully beyond, is to learn to fall in love with the process of self-discovery, because, in the long run, nothing will be more transformative or exciting than embarking on that journey.
5 // 📝 Calibrating Expectations
1. Seeking Feedback
This course is still in beta. You will almost certainly notice or think of several things that could be improved, made clearer or simply aren't working. Feedback in all of forms ~ including constructive criticism ~ is hugely appreciated. So please don’t be shy in sharing or letting one of our team know so that we can continue to improve your learning experience.
2. No Stupid Questions
I'm making myself available on Circle for the duration of the training. If you have questions about the content or the format, it’s likely that others will too so don’t hold back.
However, we do ask that you direct all questions + curiosities to the appropriate space in Circle or alternatively send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Important Cautionary Note
This NSM training is NOT a replacement for working with a licensed therapist or psychologist of which I am neither.
It is entirely possible that through learning how to relax your nervous system, underlying traumatic memories or emotions may arise.
This is healthy in the long run but can risk destabilisation in the short term. If this is the case, please do contact me, and I will help refer you to a suitable professional.
I would also add that this course is highly complementary to working with a trained somatic therapist or trauma-aware bodyworker. If this is within your resource constraints then it’s likely you will be able to go deeper with additional professional 1-1 support.
4. Be Your Own Teacher
Finally, this is the biggest one: you are the only one in control of your nervous system mastery.
My hope is that the content + community presented will guide and eventually enable you to become your own greatest teacher.
I will consider this training a success if by the end you no longer need my guidance and are relentlessly curious to run experiments and learn for yourself.
Finally, remember to be gentle with yourself and set down expectations for overnight transformations — although I hope that you experience powerful shifts in the coming weeks, deepening your relationship with your own nervous system is a journey that never really ends.
6 // 📚 Additional Resources
🛒 NSM Recommended Purchases
There are a handful of products that will enhance your course experience and long-term mastery of the material. These have been carefully selected based on research as well as my own experiences.
There are multiple options to suit a variety of budgets.
Please note that none of these products are mandatory for completing this course or beginning mastery of the nervous system. You do not need to purchase anything at all to create regulation in your system.
However, these items should be viewed as things to experiment with (if you have the budget available) to see if they are supportive and/or interesting.
All items should be readily available across the US and Europe but might require creativity in other parts of the world.
1. ⌚ A wearable to track Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
Why: An incredibly effective tool for HRV + sleep tracking (know why it is you feel the way you do). It's expensive but honestly in my opinion well worth the investment.
- The Ōura Ring 3rd Gen // $299+
The most sophisticated and minimalist health tracker that I use daily. This tracks sleep quality, resting heart rate, HRV (which is valuable information), breathing rate, 02 saturation and more.
2. 🤐 Mouth tape
Why: For nasal breathing at night. See this Medium post from Patrick McKeown for a full breakdown of the numerous benefits. In a nutshell, many of us are unwitting mouth-breathers, and if you’ve read the book ‘Breathe’ by James Nestor you’ll know that it there are shocking + intense health consequences from mouth-breathing at night.
- SomniFix Mouth Tape
- Breath-right strips ~ these actually go on your nose and are helpful for increasing the aperture of your nostrils to support nose breathing.
- You can also use any thin, super sticky medical tape from your local pharmacy (I actually prefer this)
3. 😎 Blue-blocking glasses (amber-tinted)
Why: For evening screen-viewing or artificially lit rooms. You'll want to find a pair with amber-tinted lenses, not clear ones, to reduce the maximum amount of blue light coming through.
- Most recommended: Ra Optics Blue Blocking Glasses // Not all blue blockers were created equal, and I love the research Matt Maruca the founder of Ra Optics, is putting out on the impact of ‘Junk Light’ on our health.
- Amazon ($-$$ - variety of styles)
- BlueBlocker ($$ - classic styles)* – use code "NSM15"
- BLUblox Sleep+ ($$$ - modern styles)
NB. assuming you’re at home post-sunset most of the time, changing to downward facing and dimmable lightbulbs ~ or even better candles will have the same effect of allowing your adenosine (which creates the feeling of sleepiness) to naturally arise.Also, if you must use screens after sunset, definitely install f.lux or similar software.
4. 💊 Magnesium Supplements
Why ~ I’m not an expert in supplementation, so I’ll defer to my go-to source for supplementation protocols Grimhood:
“Magnesium is one of the human body's primary electrolyte minerals involved in about 40% of all enzymes. In 2012, there was a study titled The Magnesome that found that instead of the constantly regurgitated 325 processes, Magnesium is used in 3174 processes within the human body. This doesn't even account for the importance of Magnesium in Mg-ATP development, one of the main forms of energy in EVERY process of the body.”
Your personal need to consume magnesium is related to your personal level of physical effort, food consumption, and stress that you have to deal with in a day.
Optimal intake as portrayed by Mildred Seelig, Ph.D. and Carolyn Dean, MD is about 5-10mg ELEMENTAL Magnesium per pound of body weight
(NB. this is likely a LOT more than you are currently taking).
If you are just starting Magnesium supplementation, you will want to start slow and low with about 400mg Mg glycinate orally or 1/4-1/2 tsp Mg chloride in drinking water and see how you respond (watch out for the classic ‘bowel flush’ in the beginning).
You ideally ought to be on 2-6 different forms of Magnesium to fully support and saturate the body, which is why I personally like the MagBreakthrough subscription combined with the EASE topical spray.
Bottom-line is that due to a ton of different reasons, it’s hard for your body to get as much magnesium as it needs, so best to start supplementing.
If you live outside of the US or are on a budget, then a cheaper option would be to buy bulk magnesium glycinate powder in bulk and consume it throughout the day.
5. 🎵 Binaural Beats
Why: Binaural beats are an evidence-backed audio technology that promotes desired brainwave states. Many tracks combine a blend of delta + theta waves that can be used to prepare for sleep, calm, or focus during your day.
- Cory Allen's beats for meditation (mp3 files) – there are many great tracks out there, but Cory's are the best I've come across. I listen to the track called 'Bliss Fountain' and find it drops me into a deep state of presence during breathing practice.
- Endel (iOS app) – of all the products out there, Endel has the most impressive scientific rigor and innovative collaborations, using patented technology to create soundscapes that adapt in real-time. It reacts to inputs like time of day, weather, heart rate, and location. I highly recommend checking it out (as an Alan Watts fan, I loved their 'wiggly wisdom' soundscape collaboration)
6. 🥶 Chest Freezer (hardcore bio-hacking option)
Why: harnessing the power of the cold (thermogenesis) is one of the most effective and natural ways to increase your stress resilience, release dopamine, increase immune function and bolster your mental health.
Many gyms now offer ice baths in their recovery sections, but you can fairly affordably create your own home set-up (<$500).
I realise that this might be a stretch for many of you, but I’ll say that I did this myself (whilst living in Mexico) & can say it was absolutely worth every penny and the time taken to source it.
- Find yourself a chest freezer (I bought mine used from craigslist)
- Follow this conversion tutorial (video) or this blog post (via Ben Greenfield) to seal the insides using silicon and install the timer to ensure it doesn't totally freeze.
NB. Ice baths are generally safe, although not recommended for those with circulatory issues of type 1/2 diabetes. Also, if you stay in for a while be sure that you can warm up afterwards!
📚🎙️ Additional Reading + Listening
If you're eager to dive into material about the nervous system before the class begins, you'll find trusted resources below (click the arrow to expand each section).
🎙️ Five Podcast Episodes to Whet Your Appetite
If you’re a Spotify user, you can also subscribe to this NSM-specific interview playlist for easy listening. The link is here.
📚 Five Superb Books to Add to Your Reading Shelf
These are not required reading but will definitely support your learning journey & are highly recommended.
- ‘Anchored’ by Deb Dana – one of the most accessible and well-written books on the science of Polyvagal Theory & how to apply it to your everyday life with field-tested techniques.
- 'The Breathing Cure' by Patrick McKeown — an in-depth collection of breathing protocols backed by 20+ years of field research. You’ll never mouth breathe again after reading this…
- 'Widen the Window' by Elizabeth Stanley – a superb introduction to the science of trauma, what it means to increase resilience & research-backed tools for increasing your capacity in life.
- ‘Nurturing Resilience’ by Kathy Kain – a superb read, although more of a book for clinical practitioners or those who are looking for a deep dive into the world of somatic therapy & working through developmental trauma.
🤓 Five Experts to Follow On Instagram
Fill your Instagram feed with useful information so you can learn while you're scrolling ;)
- Andrew Huberman @hubermanlab // — truly superb podcast episodes and IG Lives — I'd recommend starting with 'Tools for managing stress and anxiety'
- HHP Foundation @HHPFoundation // – well-curated studies focusing on health + breath optimisation. The archive of studies and reports is absolutely superb.
- Jessica Maguire @repairing_the_nervous_system // specialises in repairing the ventral vagus nerve and Polyvagal theory research.
- Nick Health @thebreathingdiabetic // – breathing practitioner sharing nuggets of research-backed wisdom on the nervous system
- Eddie Ulm @scienceofttouch // embodiment researcher specializing in Posttraumatic Stress Management.