👋 Welcome NSM Student
👋 Welcome NSM Student

👋 Welcome NSM Student

Thank you for joining the 2022 cohort of NSM ~ we’re thrilled to have you on board for this inward adventure!

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Right now we’re adding the finishing touches to the curriculum ~ but expect to hear back from us in late October with specific instructions for how to prepare appropriately and join the NSM cohort.

In the meantime…

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1 // Set aside time in your calendar // for the 60 minute live sessions (Fridays at 10am PST) as well as approx 45 minutes per week for going through the pre-recorded content. Here are the exact times for the NSM live sessions:
  • Welcome SessionMonday Nov 7th, 10am PST >> 📆 link
  • Live Session #1Friday Nov 11th, 10am PST >> 📆 link
  • Live Session #2Friday Nov 18th, 10am PST >> 📆 link
  • Live Session #3Friday Nov 25th, 10am PST >> 📆 link
  • Live Session #4Friday Dec 2nd, 10am PST >> 📆 link
  • Live Session #5Friday Dec 9th, 10am PST >> 📆 link

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2 // Review the recommendations below // none of these purchases are essential by any means, but some may be complementary (and/or interesting) for your learning journey.

🛒 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.

Recommendation:

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  • 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 (valuable information), breathing rate, 02 saturation, and more.

Alternatives:

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 there are shocking + intense health consequences from mouth-breathing at night.

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Recommendations:

  • 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.

Recommendations:

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  • 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.

Alternatives

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 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 like the MagBreakthrough subscription combined with the EASE topical spray.

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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.

Recommendations:

  • 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.
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  • Endel (iOS app) – of all the products out there, Endel has the most impressive scientific rigour 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)
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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.

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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.

Recommendations:

  • Budget Option –– pre-order a Lumi Recovery Pod for an affordable but high-quality and portable ice-bath.
  • DIY Option ~~ Find yourself a 550-litre chest freezer (I bought mine used from craigslist) then 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.
  • Luxury Option ~ The Cold Plunge, personally I wouldn’t spend $5k+ on this, but I know that some have the budget and don’t mind paying more for something that they’ll use most days.

NB. Ice-baths are generally safe although not recommended for those with either 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).

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Please note that reading beforehand is not necessary. All information you need to know will be delivered to you inside the course.

🎙️  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.

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  1. 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.
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  1. '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…
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  1. '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.

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  1. 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.

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  1. The Practice of Embodying Emotions’ by Raja Selvam, PhD ~ this is a book containing a treasure trove of research + practices for building greater embodied capacity to be with intense emotions. Highly recommended for those wishing to dive deeper.

🤓 Five Experts to Follow On Instagram

Fill your Instagram feed with useful information so you can learn while you're scrolling ;)

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  1. Andrew Huberman @hubermanlab // — truly superb podcast episodes and IG Lives — I'd recommend starting with 'Tools for managing stress and anxiety'

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  1. HHP Foundation @HHPFoundation // – well-curated studies focusing on health + breath optimization. The archive of studies and reports is absolutely superb.

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  1. Jessica Maguire @repairing_the_nervous_system // specialises in repairing the ventral vagus nerve and Polyvagal theory research.
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  1. Nick Health @thebreathingdiabetic // – breathing practitioner sharing nuggets of research-backed wisdom on the nervous system
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  1. Eddie Ulm @scienceofttouch // – embodiment researcher specialising in Posttraumatic Stress Management.

That’s all for now ~ look forward to seeing you in the NSM community in November.

Stay Regulated Out There,

Jonny