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591: Navy SEAL Health Optimization Secrets: Sleep, Peptides, and Behavior Change with Dr. Kirk Parsley

In today’s episode, Ted interviews the renowned performance-enhancement physician and sleep expert, Kirk Parsley.

They are going to discuss the complexity of health and fitness information and the challenges of navigating this industry. They will talk about the power of sleep and why sleeping is essential to our health, metabolism and performance.

They will also talk about behavior change, building resiliency through stepping outside of our comfort zones, the foundational principles of health and the challenge of applying them in a busy lifestyle.

Dr. Parsley also delves into the use of peptides and psychedelics as tools for enhancing neuroplasticity and facilitating behavioral change and more. Listen now!


Today’s Guest

Dr. Kirk Parsley

Doctor Kirk Parsley is a performance enhancement physician who specializes in sleep optimization.

He is the Chief Sleep Officer at Doc Parsley Sleep Remedy. He has been a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine since 2006, has served as Naval Special Warfare’s expert on Sleep Medicine, a former SEAL, and received his Medical Degree from Bethesda.

He believes that many diseases and disorders in modern society are the effects of poor sleeping habits, living in a toxic environment, eating foods we were not designed to digest, and allowing stress to overwhelm us. His goal is to help his patients and clients sleep better and understand the importance of sleep, so they can achieve the highest quality of life possible.


Connect to Dr. Kirk Parsley


Facebook: Doc Parsley 

Instagram: @kirkparsley 

Sleep Remedy:  

Dr. Parsley’s TED Talk


You’ll learn:

  • Navigating misinformation and myths in health and fitness
  • Diving deep into peptides and their impact on health
  • The revolutionary role of psychedelics in enhancing neuroplasticity
  • Exploring hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • The challenge of behavioral change in health
  • The power of sleep for learning new skills
  • Navigating health choices in a busy lifestyle
  • And much more…


Related Episodes:  

489: Sleep 101: Why Sleep Is the No. 1 Most Important Thing for a Better Body with Dr. Kirk Parsley 

430: The Power Of Sleep with Dr. Kirk Parsley 

398: Sleep Guidelines, Immune System, and Coronavirus with Dr. Kirk Parsley 


Podcast Transcription: Navy SEAL Health Optimization Secrets: Sleep, Peptides, and Behavior Change with Dr. Kirk Parsley

Ted Ryce: Kirk Parsley, welcome back to the show. Really excited to have you back on. It's been a couple of years since we chatted. It was, uh, like 2021, I believe is when we had our last conversation. And I was in Brazil. You were, you had just moved out of Austin to a different part of that area of Texas. And, uh, here we are. 

Kirk Parsley: Where I am now. Yeah. I was, uh, I was probably in the house. This is an office I built up off the house. But, uh, yeah, I've been in this house since 2021. I had to, I had to get out of Austin proper because it's, um, yes, those folks. It's not my people there. I was like, during COVID. Yeah, during COVID, I'd, I'd be sitting out on my front yard or whatever, mowing or raking or just sitting on the porch, whatever. 

And, you know, see healthy fit 25-year-old guys running down the middle of the street on a sunny day with a face mask on. And I'm just like. Man, I don't even know what to say. And then, yeah, my closest grocery store to me was a Whole Foods and they were, yeah, they were serious about their rules and regulations. 

And I would, yeah, I was a nonbeliever, a nonsubscriber to any of the stuff. And so. I was like, I got to get away, man. So, I kind of moved out rural and, uh, yeah, just about 2 months ago, Starlink opened up out here. And so now I actually have real Internet for a while I was, I mean, I had a satellite, but it was, uh, I think it had about a 3% a 3-degree angle that it worked in and it was slow.  

It was slow as dial-up almost. And I had some little Wi-Fi pucks from AT&T that that's what I ran for a while for over 2 years. So now I, I feel like I've joined the human race. I've gotten back into the human race in the last few months with, uh, having Starlink and real, real Internet access. So, things are going great for me, man. Moving up. 

Ted Ryce: There you go. And I remember that conversation. Cause we, I think you warned me about it when we had that last conversation. But what you said about the people who were, you know, maybe taking it a bit too far with the, the guidance, the recommended, you know, does a mask work? Does it not work? 

Well, that's a separate conversation, but you certainly don't need to be wearing one running down the street. 

I also wanted to talk about, you know, you, before we hopped on, you were like, well, I don't know how much more I really have to say. I think I've been on your show so many times. 

Everybody knows all about me and what I teach about sleep. And what I said was, you know what, things have gotten a little bit crazy in the health and fitness space. Uh, can you talk about, you know, can you talk about a little bit of that? 

Kirk Parsley: Yeah. Well, I mean, I, so. No, obviously I have, I have the sleep supplement is kind of like a side hustle as the kids call it these days. 

You know, that's just something I want. I'm something I'm passionate about having on the market. It's not really the focus of my life. So I, you know, I, I see private clients. I do annual programs with private clients. And then I treat, uh, retired, well, former seals. So whether they retired or just got out, uh, and I'm on, I'm, I work with several organizations to do that. 

Yeah, and we, and there's lots of maybe cool things we could talk about there that we don't, that we, I don't think we've ever talked about, like, the types of things I do with them with the, you know, because I'm, I'm taking guys who've really kind of destroyed themselves for 20 years and fixing them back up. 

And that's kind of what I do with private clients as well. And so. You know, it's everything from hormones to peptides to regenerative medicine, to hyperbarics, even psychedelics, like, you know, whatever it takes. And there's, there's, there's reasons for all those tools. But to answer your question, I mean, I have so, so many guys who rely on me for what I term performance, right? 

I'm not, I'm not working with people with diseases, uh, other than the disease of a lot of neuroinflammation, which all the seals have, cause they have thousands and thousands of, uh, minor TBIs, you know. But, yeah, I mean, they, they all talk to me about, I heard this on Huberman's podcast, or I heard this on Rogan, or I heard this, or I read this book, and, and it, and, you know, what, what, what's the saying? 

There's like, it's like, it's like an order of magnitude more work to, to disprove BS than it, than there is to produce it. Right? So, yeah. Yeah, we, we all know and we don't have to we don't have to point fingers. I will if you want, we don't need to point fingers. But, uh, you know, we know, we know there are people out there who are opportunistic and there and if there's there, if there's a study that suggests something might be true and it was done in whatever North Korea 7 years ago with 300 mice or whatever, and they might extrapolate that out into some entire fitness program, whatever, you know.  

And the nutrition industry nutrition industry industry is so it's so flawed. It's impossibly it's impossibly complex, right? It's like you know, it's like climate change, right? That there's going to be arguments on both sides of that forever because it's a complex system on top of a complex system on top of it.  

And all you can do is model it. Right? And you can and all models are wrong. Right? All models are wrong. But some of them can be useful. You have to make assumptions and to the model and with research on nutrition, it's similar. 

And there's so many layers of complexity. It's like, okay, well, you ate this, but how did you sleep and how did you exercise? And what was your sun exposure? And were you sick and did it like, and there's so many things going on. And what, like, what are your genetics? What are your epigenetics right now? 

What, like, what are you training at? Are you overtraining? Are you undertraining? Are you over like, are you in a caloric deficit? Are you in excess? What's your goals? Okay. There's, there's so much nuance in there. There's so much complexity. I mean, like, I'm sure we've talked about before, just a simple thing, like. 

A simple thing like how well you sleep, right? You know, did you get a good night's sleep? Well, if you got a, if you, if you slept well last night, versus you slept like crap last night, that not, not only changes your neuroregulation of your appetite, like how hungry you will be and what you will crave and how much willpower it's going to take to not eat the things that you're craving that, you know, right that, you know, we're not in your best interest, but it also changes fuel partitioning. 

So, if you ate the same macros, your body's going to do different things with it because you're under huge physiologic stress, and it could very well be perceived as famine or that you're being preyed upon or everybody like there could be some ancestral neurological planning programming and that says, hey, we got up early because we're starving and we need to go further to find food or we got up early because we're being we're being followed. 

We're being stalked by a predator or something. And I can't prove that, but we do know that stress hormones change a lot. And when stress, stress hormones are catabolic and as perceived as your body is like, hey, this is this is a time of extremes where we're trying to survive versus, hey, I'm, I'm eating well, sleeping well, exercising appropriately, controlling my stress that well, then that's a time to thrive right now. 

My reproduction is higher. My, you know, my, my cognitive functioning is higher. Like all, all sorts of things are different when I'm in a thriving environment and what my body will do with those, with those proteins, fats, and carbohydrates is going to be different depending on what my physiologic state is. 

And so, I would imagine the same is true with mice and rats and whatever they do. And then, of course, you have the NHANES where they're just. They're surveying people, like how, like how much, how much red meat did you eat? And, and then, you know, we see it all the time. The media likes to sensationalize anything it's for the clickbait. 

So, you'll see everything for like, here's a great example of what we're talking about. I think it was, it was like 2 weeks ago. It's, it was, I want to say it was published in the Lancet. Um, and it was, it was a model on eating red meat. And it was this, it was this big retrospective cohort and there was, you know, 10 universities and all these brilliant scientists involved. 

And the conclusion came out that there's no acceptable amount of red meat to eat. Like any red meat is deleterious to your health. Okay. It's like, okay, well, we evolved eating meat, so there's that, so, you know, like, we wouldn't be here if it weren't for meat, so that, that seems like an unrealistic problem, even if, even if humans weren't ideally suited to eat meat, which I think we are, but even if we weren't, you know, we've had a couple hundred thousand years to solve that problem, you know, through selection. 

And, you know, we know, like, we know for a fact, you know, man has been building fire and hunting animals for a couple of 100, 000 years, at least. So that doesn't make any sense. But then when you, if you actually read the study, and they don't even offer this, it's not even in their actual study. Like, you have to, you have to request the data. 

And then they'll tell you how they did their model. And, you know, it's a model. It's a computer model. So, they're, they're putting in a bunch of variables and they're making a bunch of assumptions. And it's, it's an EMTR and I can't, I can't remember what it stands for, but it's basically like, it's an estimate, an estimated nutritional value. 

And sort of a cost-benefit analysis kind of all rolled into one number. Right? Well, they set red meat to zero. And then at the end of the study, it said zero red meat is good for you. Well, I mean, you just, you just, you just made your, you know, you just essentially made your theory into your answer into your conclusion. 

Here's my hypothesis. No red meat's good for you. I'm going to do a model that says no red meat's good for you. And at the end, I'm going to conclude that zero red meat is ideal, right? And so there's, there's so much crap like that. And that's an actual academic medicine, not to mention all of the health influencers online who are all, you know, 25 to 35 years old and work out for a living and take performance-enhancing drugs and like literally build their whole life around fitness. 

And then they try to tell 45-year-old people with five kids in a, you know, difficult profession, like, Oh, you just do this and that, and this, and it's like, okay, be reliable, you just lift until you puke, kind of like their beginning of the CrossFit days, right? It's just like lift until you puke and then eat your, what, what was the, uh, what was the diet that had the blocks? 

Ted Ryce: Oh, the zone diet? 

Kirk Parsley: The zone, the zone. Yeah, it was so big at the beginning of CrossFit. It's like, Oh, you got to get your protein blocks and your carb blocks. And now I had this many blocks and you're there and then you work out so you pass out and then you get up and you do it one later in the day. And, uh, Oh my God. 

So anyway, there, I mean, there's a lot of money to be made in, uh, extending the problem, you know, that there's that poster, you know, consulting, if you're not part of the solution, there's a, there's a, there's a lot of money to be made in extending the problem, you know, so that's kind of, that's kind of what it is, you know, and everybody has their new elixir, their new snake oil. 

And, you know, a lot of it's comical, but I think something else we're talking about at the beginning is, you know, people's attention spans are so short, we're bombarded by so much contrary information. I mean, I'm, I'm, you know, I went through a lot of education to know what I know right now. And I've been clinically practicing for 20 years and it's confusing to me. 

I mean, this, it comes so fast. Like, I mean, I remember seeing that Lancet article and I was like, what the hell is this? I mean, of course I'm like, that's not, it couldn't possibly be true. And if you feel like you're being lied to, you're probably being lied to. Like that's, that's just the way the world works. 

I mean, you don't have time to dig into everything, but 

Ted Ryce: yeah, especially think streams, right? When it's just like no red meat. I mean, yeah, big streams are hard to believe. 

Kirk Parsley: I saw a short clip of Gary Breka. I don't know Gary Breka like I I've seen 2 minutes past probably tops of any. Of anything he's any content he's ever produced, but I know he's got a big name and I, I know he's influential. 

I hear his name around a lot. And, uh, you know, he was on stage and he just said it with deadpan certainty. He's like, your muscles can only use 3 fuels glucose glycogen. And I, and I was like, Glycogen and glucose are the same thing. Okay, but keep going. And then, uh, he's like, you can use glucose, you can use glycogen, you can't use fat, and so if you exercise and your body needs glycogen, you're going to liquefy your muscles, so you have to eat 30, you have to eat 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking in to do 30 minutes of cardio, and you watch the fat eviscerate, and I was like, A, bullshit, B, that's not what eviscerate means, uh, so I was like, you know, I see that stuff all the time and I just go, oh, my God. 

And, you know, my wife's a nurse practitioner and we laugh at it. But, but, like I said, my clients, my friends, you know, people, whatever, like, people, people I go to church with people, I just see around, like, people I've known for years who don't sort of run in the health and wellness space, you know, aren't health care providers, whatever. 

They're so lost. They're so confused by it. You know, like every, every time we go to a, my wife's one of my wife's cousins has this really like amazing lake house on this amazing lake. And I want to say it's like a 15-bedroom house and there's kids everywhere and there's fricking quad runners and dirt bikes and 4-wheelers, you know, whatever side by sides and whatever they're shooting skied over here and jet skiing over here and skiing over. And it's just like, and nobody there is in our field, right? Like, everybody in there is whatever. It's like, some of them are contractors, electrician, someone working security. So, like, whatever, like, they're all over the place. 

And when my wife and I show up, it's just 72 hours of interrogation because everybody's so confused. Everybody's so confused. They're like, well, I read this. I read that I read this I heard this and I'm like... 

Ted Ryce: I think it's really important to point out to that. I, I've been in the business for 25 years now, this year, this month, actually with health and fitness, right? And you said you've been practicing clinically as a medical doctor dealing with performance sports medicine with, with seals for 20 years. And you were a seal before that. And, um, and the thing is more and more people I see, I see this on Twitter cause I spent a lot of time there. 

And I see these 25-year-old guys, they're hungry. They want to make a, uh, they want to have a big break in their life. They want to be successful financially and there's nothing wrong with that. I think it's a good thing, but all of a sudden, but what they do is they, they kind of know some things about health and fitness because everybody knows. 

A few things, right? We're just bombarded by it. But what they do is they use marketing. And then I saw a guy write a thread the other day, which is a series of tweets linked together in case you're not on X or, you know, formerly known as Twitter.  

And it was like, Oh gosh, what did he say? He was talking about intermittent fasting. And how it was and doing fasted workouts and I was just like, man, I don't know, man, I mean, every study that we have shows that when you bump up the intensity, it's like you need some carbs to feel the higher intensity work. Maybe if you're going to go for a run, but it's, but he said it again, like your example with Gary Breka. 

I've seen that clip that you're talking about in other clips. It's delivered with such confidence and authority and sincerity. And they might even believe it is the other thing. Some people, well, I think,  

Kirk Parsley: I think most of them do. I think most of them do believe it. Yeah.  

Ted Ryce: I think so too. Yeah. And that's the thing. Someone can be sincere, but they can also be sincerely wrong. And then, you know, it's not, maybe not the biggest, it doesn't affect me or you, but if you're trying to get results and you're struggling to do it and you're trying to intermittent fasting, but you're just ending up eating more calories because you skipped breakfast and then you're ravenous by lunchtime, but you think that the magical eating window is going to solve all your problems.  

And then, I mean, it's kind of good for business, Kirk. I'm not going to lie, but it's just, it takes people years to become a client because they have to see my message being consistent and sane for that amount of time. 

Kirk Parsley: And they have to, they have to fail all the, the stick in the, like, you know, whatever, all the kites in the wind, you know, it, it's, you know, when something you said reminded me,  I can remember so clearly this interaction I had with, uh, with a staff member when I was, uh, I was a fourth-year medical student and I was on a rotation and long story. 

But, yeah, one of the residents had been presenting during rounds and was saying something that none of us thought was true. Right? There's something about a drug, like, being off patent or on patent or something. I can't remember exactly what the, uh, but I remember so clearly. You know, this is before I, before smartphones, but we had the PDAs and like, we had textbooks on our PDAs and I remember as we're walking away, I was looking this up and I said to the staff, I'm like, I'm like, she was wrong about that. 

Like, here's like, here's the facts right here. And he goes, he said, I know. And I kind of looked at him as, you know, it was a little bit of surprise and like, and, you know, and he said, Kirk, it's important to remember that you don't have to be correct to be sure. And I was like, yeah, that's it. I've used that ever since like, that is, that is one of the most profound statements. 

So many people are short. They're so certain. It doesn't mean they're correct. Those are totally different things, and it doesn't mean that they're bad people. It's just like, they're so sure of something that just isn't. So, but, but also what I was going to say, because of that exchange, there's, you know, the fact of the matter is that if, if people would listen to the simplistic truth and just say, okay, I'm going to have to apply some discipline and do these 4 things. 

Like, we'd be out of a job because it's not that complex. Right? I mean, like, look at all the bickering and nutrition. Just look at all the bickering, right? Just like you go all the way, go all the way back to Ansel keys and then like, go forward, like whatever Mediterranean diet, the Atkins diet, the low-fat diet, the low-carb diet, the keto diet, the carnivore diet, like everybody had, everybody had the answer, and they all had scientific documentation to prove they were right. Like, here it is, absolute truth, 50,000 people, 10 different countries, 20 years, whatever, like, nail in the coffin, and then somebody else produces exactly the opposite information a year later, just as valid of a study. 

People come to me and say, which is right? I say, I don't know. How do I know? Like, I can't read all the studies. However, probably the thing that's closer to evolution, right? I mean, we've been evolving for a couple of hundred thousand years to be on this planet and eat certain things and sleep a certain way and move a certain way. 

And I think the closer you are, I mean, you just think about it. Every, every piece of life on this planet. Has been optimized to be on the planet right now, right? 98 percent of everything that's ever lived is extinct, right? Because the things that adapted well are here today. And a lot of them will be extinct eventually. 

Probably us as well. Uh, you know, almost certainly us as well, but it's like, okay, well, if I spent 200,000 years, you know, my ancestors spent 200,000 years adapting to this planet that I'm part of. They probably did it in the best way, that's why they're here. And so the closer I can come to that, and that's pretty easy. 

Right? Uh, because what, you know, what the reason life spans were short was because of disease, infection, trauma, and war and war. It wasn't, you weren't dying of cancer and heart attacks in old age. Right? I mean, there are a few who are lucky enough for that, but the lifespan of the species was the same because they're indistinguishable bodies. Right?  

And so, you put antibiotics and antivirals and trauma medicine in there back then. And, you know, they probably everybody would have lived to 85 or 90 then to, you know. And so, yeah, I mean, and the same thing with exercise, it's like, I don't think anybody got out, like, stepped out of their hut and went and ran 50 miles because that was the thing to do, or tried to pick up a boulder and throw it over a tree limb 50 times. 

And, you know, with your time themselves or whatever, with that sundial, you know, there's performance things and there's like, things you can do that you want to be great at. And like, that can be novel. Right? Because there's like, well, we didn't evolve, we didn't evolve for the Olympics. We didn't, you know, we didn't, we didn't evolve to be extreme athletes, you know, jumping bikes or whatever, whatever. 

Like, so we, you know, we didn't evolve to do what we do. So, like, when you're looking at performance in that sphere, you can start going off the rails a little bit, but it's just as far as health goes, eat what your great grandparents called food, right? I mean, it's kind of it, you know, get out of bed and be active.  

Like, you know, people, people walk about 10 miles a day. They lifted heavy stuff when they had to, they sprinted when they had to, they climbed some things and they carried heavy things around. I mean, that's kind of how we're designed. Like we're slow and like slow and low. Like, you know, we, we aren't fast. 

We're hardly faster than anything on the planet, but. You know, we can, we can jog and walk and jog a long way and kind of like, you run animals down and go long distances with heavy stuff and whatever. That's kind of what we're designed to do. And so, it's like, you know, you can optimize 1 of those things as you as you want to.  

But just realize that's a performance thing. That's not sort of a health and longevity. And then, of course, we all evolved to sleep 8 hours. And if we could have evolved to sleep less, we would have because sleep is a very vulnerable time. So that's obviously as short as we could get it. And so sleep 8 hours, eat what your great grandparents called food, try to, you know, be active and, you know, exercise. 

I consider exercise like performance-oriented activity, right? It's like, I have a goal with this. Exercise, you know, in a logical, reasonable way. And there, there's some nuance there. There's some science around exercise that can guide people for performance goals. You know, like I really want to be good at this one thing. 

You can drive towards that for sure. And control your stress, man, distress, hormones, a catabolic and catabolism is what kills you. But it's really that easy, man. And it, you know, it's like a one-day seminar and people could walk away with the handwritten notes and be able to walk away and they're like, I'm done, man. 

Like, I know what, I know what I need to do. But then all you got to have is somebody come and say, no, no, no. You can get up at four o'clock in the morning and beat out all the competition. You just have to put butter in your coffee and start this stuff up your nose and wear this band around your wrist or whatever. 

And you're like, yeah, okay. And I just don't argue. Okay. Whatever do you do, do what you're going to do. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, no, I think you're saying some important things there. It is more foundational than we realize. What I find myself doing and why I hate, I like, and Twitter is one of those places where the diet wars rage and people do, yeah, I've been in, I've had to figure out, well, how am I going to navigate this? 

But what's funny to me is that despite the, you know, exercise, by the way, never lifting it, it does, there is some controversy, but it never gets as controversial as. But what's super funny to me is like, I don't even, I mean, I know you do what you do is very different with the concierge medicine or however you, you, um, you know, describe what you do, uh, medically for your patients. 

But man, I do a lot of behavioral change stuff and that's the part. Is that true?  

Kirk Parsley: 90 percent of what I do, 90 percent of what I 

Ted Ryce: That's the part it's like, and speaking of attention spans, people also, it's like, they'll come to the calls with me and there'll be focused and then they'll get distracted again. 

And then it's like, it could be from other health and fitness information because they're watching the Huberman or whatever, or it could just be like, well, life took me away. And one thing that, and this, this is this why I love talking to you. And this is a, an epiphany I had. After talking to you, I started realizing the power of sleep is people are trying to change their behavior. 

They have this simple, right? These simple rules. The way you described it was, was great. Very simple rules. Applying them in the context of a busy lifestyle, like what you were saying, not when you're a 25 year old guy and have all the time in the world, but when you got the, the kids, uh, the career, the wife who also may be working and, you know, the vacations and the client dinners. 

It's like, how do you do it in that context? And you have to learn new information and learn new skills. And one of the things you talked about is like how sleep solidifies those new skills. You talked about like, Hey, I'll teach someone something and we'll, we'll have them take a nap afterwards. And that's one thing that people I think don't get. 

Stress also affects learning is something that I, I believe we talked about in the past. And so that's what shorting people in my experience, at least, right? That's what's shorting people out a lot of the times, and they need so many repetitions to create the skill of being healthy within the context of their lifestyle because it's never the diet. 

It's never the exercise. Everyone has some foundational knowledge at least the people I work with and I'm sure your clients as well. It's like how do you learn the skills to eat healthy when you're flying and crossing the time zone from Miami to LA and then you're meeting with a client and then you don't know what to order on the menu because it's very different from the factory Greek yogurt and blueberry and whey protein that you have back home and like. And then there's that peer pressure, like, come on, have a drink or get the ribeye bone in super steak, you know, and so, so that's it. Can you talk a little bit about the, how you approach the behavioral change side? 

Kirk Parsley: Yeah, so. So, I mean, of course, every day there's like, there's, there's not only new, new studies coming out, which to be clear, I'm, I'm never going to be first to anything unless I stumbled upon it because I'm always, I'm always going to wait for things to flesh themselves out again, it's either, it's either that, or I'm going to do nothing but read studies for, you know, 7 or 8 hours a day to keep up and then I, and then I, once I've saturated my brain with that many studies, I won't, I won't be able to remember, remember any of them because they'll all just, you know, they'll all just gel together. 

So, I'm not doing that. So, again, like I said, I'm just always going to default to how we evolved and like that, whatever seems to be the best align with that. That's what I'm going to do. But, you know, with all of the studies now, I mean, obviously we have. You know, we now have this genetic aging thing, which everybody's all wrapped up around and then we have all these wearable devices and you don't have to wear things now. 

You can put the 8 sleep mattress topper on and get all your information through that. And you can get your heart rate variability while you're exercising and while you're sleeping and while you're working. And, you know, of course, we can do all sorts of scans. There's all sorts of blood tests. Now, like, you know, we can, we can test all the, yeah. You know, obviously, we can, we can test all your hormones, we can test a bunch of inflammatory markers, we can, you know, we can test for how you're processing hormones, your metabolites of hormones, we can, we can look at all, you know, we can look at all your micronutrients, we can look at, again, your genetic predispositions, your Hmm. 

You know, genetic shifts, we can do DEXA scans, we can, like, there's so much crap we can do that it's overwhelming what we can do. 

But if we wanted to crunch all of that data, we could say, okay, here's the ideal way for you to live. Given everything I know about you, what your, like, what your genetic predispositions are, what you respond well to, what you don't respond well to, what your lifestyle is like, what you're going to do, what you're not going to do, this would be ideal, right? 

And everything we could control is like in this ideal line. Well, here's reality, right? Like you're moving towards it and here's reality. There's a gap. That's because reality isn't ideal. And so, we have inside of that gap is where we have to compensate. So, you know, I do everything by the Pareto distribution with my clients. 

Right. It's like. The predator distribution is ubiquitous for a reason. It, it applies to everything observable, you know, the way which trees grow leaves, you know, all the way to like, how many of your employees are doing, you know, the vast majority of your work, whatever. So, it's obviously an unavoidable. I mean, I know it's not a rule, but it's a theorem, right. 

And it, and it, and it seems to be ubiquitous and unavoidable. Right. So I just kind of go for that. Right. Uh, and I tell people. Look, if you eat, exercise, sleep, and control your stress, 80 percent of ideal, 80 percent of the time, perfect. Right? Because there's also a detriment to living ideally, right? Because if I'm living ideally, well, then I don't have any stressors really, because I'm living ideally. 

And when it like, you know, most of the things that people are getting into now that they think are revolutionary, revolutionary. You know, ice baths and saunas and fasting. It's like. Yeah, those are called hormatic stressors and, you know, they make you stronger because they make you more resilient, right? 

Because if you think about it, what does being old mean? It means you have fewer resources, right? That's all it means. Like, you can't recover from injury, you can't fight off infection as well, you don't have as much of a muscle mass to sustain you through illness or famine or whatever, you know, you're not as fast, you're not as strong, you're not as smart, you're like, whatever. 

It's just like, you're, you're decaying and you're losing resources. So, if you have more resources, you're functionally younger. So, if I say, well, here's, Here's my comfort. Like I could lay in bed and watch television and eat comfort food all day, every day and feel fine, but I wouldn't have any resiliency whatsoever. 

Right? It's like, whatever my air conditioner breaks, I might die because I have no resiliency whatsoever. So if I make myself. If I make, if I bring myself outside of my comfort zone, so like for me, like, I'm, I'm not an endurance athlete at all. Uh, never have been, but let's say I, I wanted to push those metabolic pathways on me. 

I could say, well, I'm going to go run 3 miles a day, 3 days a week for, you know, the next 6 weeks or something. It's not something I ordinarily do. And like, it's not going to kill me. I'll recover from it and I'll get some metabolic benefit and I'll be more resilient to that. And if something happens to where I have to do something that's similar to three miles, I'll be a lot better able to handle that. Right. If I go out and run an ultra marathon tomorrow, if I don't die doing it, I'll probably die the next day, you know, because I'm, I'm not, I don't have that. I don't have that range there. Right.  

And so it's the same thing. It's like, again, we evolved to be as comfortable as we can on this, on this planet, but it required living through really hot summers and really cold winters, and it required weeks, days, weeks, months of famine very often through evolutionary history. 

Right? And like all of the things that we, all the things that we do, like, well, fasting, yeah, it changes the metabolic pathways that are, that are accessible really easily when you're young, not so accessible when you're older. So, let's maintain those pathways by doing some occasional fasting. It's not a, it's not a panacea. 

Like none of this stuff is a panacea. It's just like everything you can do that's a hormetic stressor, meaning basically it's a stressor that you can recover from and then be stronger because you went through it. If you go far, if you go so far that you have to recover for weeks from it, you've gone too far, right? 

It should be something like, I got in an ice bath for three or five minutes, whatever. Like that's way too cold from, from this animal. I should never be that cold. And so I have to, my body has to do a bunch of things. It has resources to do that I'm not tapping into if I don't do that. And so do I need to do it every day? 

Do I need to do every month? Do I do it seven minutes a day for five days a week? Like, and that's all the scientific crap, and that's what people market. And I'm like, I don't know. Nobody knows. Like who cares? Do it. Like do it, do it here and there. Sauna here and there. Do some car, do some ridiculous cardio, whatever that is for you. 

Like for me, it's like I said, for me it's like three miles. Like running three miles would be, that's ridiculous cardio for me. That's tough. Like, do some ridiculous cardio, do some ridiculous strength training, nothing that's going to hurt you. Like, you know, not go so far, but like, push yourself outside of your content. 

Go for a while without eating, overeat. Let's see, let's see what your body can do with that, you know? And then, you know, even, even, like, even, even sleep. I don't think you should deliberately go, well, I got to challenge myself by not sleeping for a while, but allow yourself to go. Well, I'm going to travel and I'm going to like, whatever. 

I'm traveling across 10, 10 time zones. I'm going to be there for 3 days and I'm coming back. There's no way out my circadian rhythm is catching up with that, right? Or I got this big project at work or like, you know. I want to go hunting with my buddies. I want to get up at four o'clock in the morning. 

Ted Ryce: Does that apply? Does the hormetic stress principle or apply to sleep deprivation sometimes?  

Kirk Parsley: it does. It does in the aspect of resiliency, right? 

Ted Tyce: When you mean resiliency, you're not talking about like psychologically, I can push through it. You're talking about there's physiological... 

Kirk Parsley: Yeah. Yeah. There's a, there's a component of that, but there's also the, just the component of being able to perform an extremist, right? 

So if you fast, like think of it like this, if he fast for 36 hours or so, whatever, 24 hours, whatever you want to call it, probably you need 36 hours, but let's say you fasted for 36 hours. How are you performing during this 36 hours? Right? Okay. We've changed a bunch of metabolic pathways that you aren't, that aren't usually accessible. 

And so now maybe you have that in reserve in case something happens and you actually need to fast. And whatever, we're clearing out some senescent cells and whatever, there's some things going on that we don't really know, like, biology is descriptive. We have people fast and then we look at what happens and we go, see, all these great things happen, you know, but we, like, we, we can't predict it. 

We can't say why it's happening. We're just observing it. And so is that good? Yes, probably. How much? I don't know. But, like, the whole idea of resiliency is that 80 /20 principle, right? So it's like 80 percent of the time I'm doing 80 percent of the stuff right, which means that the other 20 percent of the time I can be forced out of my comfort zone. 

I can be forced out of my sleep wake cycle, I can be forced out of my diet, I can be forced out of my exercise routine, I can be forced into a stressful situation, and I'm resilient. My body, and I can handle it. My brain can handle it, my body can handle it. If I do a 36 hour fast and I can't get outta bed, that's not functional, right? 

That means maybe I need to fast for 12 hours for a while, and then, and I, and, and the same thing with sleep. Like if I need to get up at four o'clock in the morning, three or four days in a row to do something. because I have to, you know, because it because it that's in line with my goals in life the future I want for myself if I'm working towards that the least four days are really important that I don't get enough sleep Okay, fine. 

Like I can handle it because I'm doing everything I should be doing all like 80 percent of the time I'm doing 80 percent of the stuff, right? And so when that 20 percent of the time pops up like whatever I can handle it I can't handle it as well as I could when I was 20, but I can handle it a lot better than people who don't do all the stuff 80 percent of the time. Right?  

And so that's like, that's my approach with it. And like you said, that it's so nuanced because everybody's hearing these sound bites, you know, the snapshots and sound bites or everything and say, oh, it's this is the answer. That's the answer. This is and they're so confused. 

They want to know. Is that the answer? And you just like, Settle down, settle, like, even if that is the answer, that's the answer for that last 5 percent when you're trying to maximize your performance. Like, the 80 percent is simple. It's just simple like that. People need to remind me over and over and over again. 

You know, they start getting stressed out. It's like, I mean, that's you. That's usually I don't know for you, but for me, that's usually the conversation with my clients. Like, they're really uncomfortable. They're really stressed out about something. Right? Like things aren't going the way they want them to go. 

And you're like, okay, well, what is it? And you can categorically get, well, how are you sleeping? And then they may not have even thought of that. What's your diet been? Like, what's your exercise routine? Like, have, like, have you been ill? Like, how is there a big stressor in your life? Like, there's all these, like, there's all these simple things. 

And, you know, you just have to keep it down. Yeah. And, and I don't mean this in a condescending way, but it's like teaching, it's like teaching your child how to be an adult. It's the same concepts, it's the same 5 or 6 concepts all the time, but there's 20 different lessons every day for 18, 20 years before they, you know, before they're actually getting it. 

And then they're still going to go out and do a bunch of dumb stuff and have to learn those concepts over and over again. So, the behavioral, the behavioral modification is the job, right? I tell people all the time, I'm a health coach with a, with a medical license and I can prescribe stuff, but that's really it. 

Like, I spend all of my time changing people's behaviors because my goal is I only work with people for a year. Every now and then some slick-talking entrepreneur will talk to me and do it in another year, but very, very rare, right?  

So, I work with people for a year and I tell them I'm working with you for a year because I'm teaching you to fish, man. Like, I'm not giving you fish. I'm teaching you to fish. So at the end of this year, you're going to know everything you need to know to keep going without me. And that, you know, that that's my goal, because I want to have the biggest impact on as many people as possible. And I'm sure you see this that you carry, you carry clients for a long time. 

You lose influence with them over time because you become a normal part of their lives and you become a really good friend with them and then, you know, and then they aren't like, you're just not as influential. They're not thinking about everything that you say nearly as much as they used to, but they're also going to become more and more reliant on you because if you're always the solution, it's just like, well, I got to do is call Kirk. 

All you got to do is text Kirk. I want him to be like, "Hey, 4 months from now, I'm not going to be able to call Kirk." It's like, wait, like, let me see if I can figure this out, you know, and it's just these. You know, just like with kids, it's a little bit of a change. It's a little, you're just fine-tuning every day. 

But like I said, at the end of the day, it's not all that complex. Like, and I think if you, if you got, like, there's definitely a subset of the population who's completely unaware of any of this stuff. Right? And I don't know how large that population is, but there's definitely a subset that's like that. 

It's just never entered their mind. They don't even think about fitness. They don't think about nutrition, but I would say for most people, for, you know, high school-educated average kind of Joe blow Americans. All the way up to the elite, highly educated people, if you put them all in a room, regardless of what their profession was. 

Regardless of where their insurance lay, if you gave them a multiple-choice test about basic life concepts, right, about lifestyle, like, how much sleep should you get? And should you sleep consistently? And like, what sort of, like, is this a picture of this meal versus a McDonald's meal? Which one is healthier? 

Right? If you did all this basic stuff, 95 percent of the people would score 95 percent on that, right? Like, people know what to do. Right. Changing behavior is a really hard thing to do. And that's actually like that. That's one of the things I'm most excited about now, uh, you know, in the last. I don't know if we talked about it, but, you know, really, in the last 4 or 5 years, I've, I've really kind of expanded my toolbox to, you know, include include a lot of, you know, a lot of peptides, a lot of hyper I've done a lot with hyperbarics, uh, and I'm even doing a fair amount with psychedelics. 

Like, I don't actually do anything with them, but I advise on them and I'm and I have good friends who are, you know, leading leading the research charge in those areas. Yeah. You know, and that stuff actually, all of those things can actually make behavioral change a lot easier because they are, they all enhance neuroplasticity and, you know, the reason I'm a grumpy old man isn't because I'm 54 years old. 

It's because I have these very durable tracks in my brain that go, that's the way you do this. And that's the way you do that. And this is the way you do that. And this is how. When I say this, you're supposed to say that, right? And like, and, and it's when you're young, it's like, you don't have all this, you don't have all these super highways.  

You just have like, a ton of little road and trails going every which way. Because you haven't adamantly decided what's right and what's wrong as much as you, like, the older you get, the more characteristic your thinking is, and that rigid thinking is what makes behavioral change hard. 

And so, yeah, unfortunately, my private clients are, you know, 45. Yeah, they're, they're 45 to 65-year-old guys who traded their health for wealth for whatever, 20, 30 years. Uh, now they have a ton of money, but they want to be healthy, right? They like, you know, whatever. So, it's like their, their younger brother had a heart attack or, you know, they sold their business and they're just loaded and they like to have tons of free time. 

And like, I want to be a division one athlete again. Right. And so, you know, I get them to change their behavior, but they're grumpy old men already. And so those are hard patients. And then of course. There's, there's no grumpier old man than a retired seal, even though, you know, he's probably only 40 or 42, right? 

Cause. You do 20 years, you start when you're 18, 20, maybe. So it's like, the guys are pretty young, but they're grumpy old men. You know, they've had, they've had hard lives, very rule-oriented, very strict lives where mistakes lead to death. And they're really certain the way things should be done.  

And they're, they're hard to move off that role, you know, And there's a ton of, a ton of neuroinflammation, a ton of brain injury in those guys too, you know, so that, that's one of the reasons all those, all those other modalities help so much. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, Kirk, uh, you know, it's, it's so fascinating to listen to you talk about all the, the, to explain that because we talk about, we talk about that, right? Everybody knows, well, I guess in a certain, what, if you start asking the question, like, what's causing people to struggle with behavior change? Not just... 

You mentioned, of course, the, the adamant, the, the beliefs we have that keep us, you know, operating in one type of way with our behavior, but like the neuroplasticity and then using psychedelics to kind of open that up. Yeah, it's, it's so important. Can you talk a little bit, I mean, for me, I'm fascinated with this seals, however, I think it might be more relevant to the clientele who are executives entrepreneurs to the people who listen to the show, what do you do with someone in terms of the peptides?  

So, we've got the basic building blocks out of the way. As you said, if you gave someone a multiple-choice test, they could figure it out. They know that a c. hicken salad with a bunch of vegetables on it, it's going to be better than a Big Mac So after that, how are you using the peptides? Can we get into the peptides specifically? 

Kirk Parsley: Sure. So, there's different categories of them. And, and, and the way, the way I run my practice is, you know, for first I screen very heavily for people that I believe are willing to do the work and ready to do the work and they're going to listen and they're going to be successful. And then, you know, I basically, I do kind of every evaluation that I know how to interpret. 

And so, we do a really robust workout, workout at the beginning, workout at the beginning. And then I sit down with them for a few hours and we go over everything that I've found and their sort of list of what's going well in their life and what's not going well, right? Like, what, what would they, you know, the phrase I like to use if, if I gave you a magic wand and said, you can improve 10 things in your life in the next year, what would those 10 things be? 

And I don't care, like, make it as audacious as you want, like, shoot for the moon on this. Right? You know, it just just go whatever, whatever you want to do. I don't care. I will help you. I will help you do it because basically, all I'm trying to do is optimize your performance. Your physiologic performance. 

I'm trying to optimize that in a way that's going to allow you to get to your goals. Right? So, if your goals are primarily around, you know, spending time with your family, connecting with your kids and, you know, whatever, like, if there's goals like that, that's obviously a completely different set than, you know, some somebody who's like an age group, athlete marathon or triathlete CrossFit games, whatever, like. Somebody who's super competitive and wants to have, has performance goals that way, or people that are just really broken, man. And they're like, I want to be out of pain. Like, I want to be able to sleep through the night. I want to be able to lose 30 pounds. I like, I, you know, whatever.  

And so, it's very, you know, it's very specific to what, what they want to do, but, you know, the, the peptides for people who don't know, they're, they're physiologic compounds that exist in your body already. Right? Like, we like to talk about biochemistry and things we know, like, you know, we throw things out there like the Krebs cycle and like, you know, our NAD, NADH, NADH pathways and all that. 

Like, nobody really knows what the hell you're talking about, but. Right. Whatever, we have all these biochemical pathways in our head that we, that we've memorized. Well, there, there's billions of other compounds in your body that are affecting all of this, and, and the way they're classified is through random chance with research, obviously, right? 

So, a peptide could be on a carcinoid. It could, it could be a self-signaler. It could be, it could be a metabolite of a hormone, right? So, like, you look at growth hormone, for an example, it's 171 amino acids long. Well, that gets chopped up into about 17 different things. And some of those things are only 3 or 4 amino acids long. 

And that's a peptide, right? Some of those, you know, basically a peptide is somewhere below either 30 or 40 amino acids long. But they have the same effect as hormones. They have the same effect as cellular signalers. They have the same effect as, you know, your immune system, right? So, your immune system is what fights off infections and disease. 

People think, right? Like, you fight off microbials with that. Well, what fixes your damaged muscles? What fixes your, you know, when you exercise your muscles and you break them down and they repair, what, what system is doing that? What's your repair system? If you strain your tendon, your ligament, or, you know, sprain your ankle, what, what's your repair system? 

Well, that's your immune system. It's the same thing, right? So, it's like all of these cell signalers and, you know, you're recruiting cells and you're recruiting, you know, fibroblasts to lay down, you know, to lay down some new fibrin and your whatever connective tissue you've overstressed or, you know, you're stimulating chondrocytes to fix the cartilage injury that you have, or just to re smooth over, like, some regular wear and tear or whatever, um, you know, there's amino acids that affect your I'm sorry, there's peptides that that affect your inflammation cascades again, your, your repair system. 

A lot of those are based off of thymus peptides, you probably remember when you're young, you have this big, robust thymus as part of your immune and repair system that atrophies as we get older. And so, there's, there's a lot of, there's a lot of thymus derived peptides that have a lot of those benefits. 

So those are things that can help with inflammation, but they can help with repair and all this. There's peptides that work with, uh, cognition that it, uh, so like, one of the peptides I use a lot because I, uh, you know, we'll say with the seals, I use a lot of because of tons of brain damage, right? Tons of traumatic brain injury. 

And there's there's a peptide called cerebral lysine that has a ton of. What we call neurotrophic growth factors in there, so things that actually cause you to develop more brain cells to develop new synapses to improve the function of the synapses that you have. It has something on that Jeff in there, which grows new vascularization and allows you to get more blood flow to your brain. 

There's anti-inflammatory capacities in there. That's decreasing inflammation in your brain. You know, there's. Yeah, there are other neurotrophic things. There's 1 called 1 called 1 called. They all have similar things, you know, because again, these are all usually larger molecules that have broken down into smaller molecules and the smaller molecules we're calling peptides. 

There's an even smaller version when they get down to 2 or 3, they call them something different. I don't, I don't play that game. But yeah, so, you know, but then there's big basic things too, right? Like, there's, like, there's, uh, like, you've heard of HCG, right? So that human chorionic, you know, right? So people use that to recover from steroid cycles for lack of a better word to recover testicular function. It can be used for fertility for both men and women.  

And basically, basically what it is, is it's, it's simulating luteinizing hormone and follicular stimulating hormone, and it's causing your body to produce sex hormones. You can take something called a secretagogue, which is a peptide, which some of them act like ghrelin, they're called ghrelin mimetics. 

And then some of them are just what's called secreted dogs. So, they actually stimulate the nucleus on your pituitary gland to cause your pituitary to secrete more growth hormone. And then that growth hormone becomes one and that's a very anabolic substance and it helps with all sorts of things. It helps maintain tissue elasticity and maintains stem cells. It's a help. It's an anabolic agent that helps you recover from exercises. 

It helps you just recover from life, you know, being life is catabolic, like sleep is anabolic, being awake. It's kind of catabolic kind of helps you recover from life. Yeah. So there's, there's really just no limit to what you can do. 

So, you know, obviously if people have emotional things, you know, that they want to work on that, you know, that's a lot of, that's a lot of talking. But it's also, I also, I know I need to optimize their neurological situation. So sleep is going to be paramount. Sleep's always paramount, but yeah. Sleep's going to be super important. 

We got to make sure that you're getting really, you know, high quality sleep. We got to make sure that your nutrition is on point, like all the lifestyle stuff has to be there, but then like, there's things we can do that will help you. And that's when psychedelics would come in to play too. If you have a lot of neurological or cognitive or psychological kind of issues that you want to work on. 

You can take these psychedelics, um, and there's, you know, there's places to do this legally. I'm not, you know, telling people to go do esoteric weird, random stuff. Like, there, there's facilities that are doing this 

Ted Ryce: go down to Tulum. In Mexico, 

Kirk Parsley: yeah, yeah, there's, there's facilities that are doing this in a controlled professional manner. 

And, you know, there's enhanced neuroplasticity again, increase in neurotrophic growth factor BDNF glial cell derived neurotrophic factors. And, you know, increases decreases brain inflammation, increases brain vascularization and recruit stem cells.  

But the psychedelics reduce amygdala tone. So, you're familiar with the limbic system, which are hedonistic highway is kind of like, uh, our, our pleasure craving and fear avoiding system, for a lack of a better word. 

And the amygdala is like, there's 2 little walnuts. I'm size brain regions on either side, kind of your temples. That alert you to when something's dangerous or when something's concerning or something you should pay attention to and that alert is pushing you towards fight or flight. Now, I don't maybe only 1 percent of the way to fight or flight. 

It may be 30 percent of the way. There depends on what the stressor is. But the older we get, the more social media we get into, the more information we have from different directions, the more sort of multitasking we are, the higher the amygdala tone, that's sort of the higher the stress, which I know we've talked about earlier, stress hormones interfere with the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of our brain that makes us the smartest animal on the planet. 

Well, psychedelics can decrease the amygdala activity by 90%, up to 90%. So, you haven't had that low of stress hormones, like you haven't had that low of a stress and vigilance response probably since you were 4 or 5 years old, you know, I mean, it's a huge drop and what that does. There's reason, there's 2 reasons people don't make changes. 

Well, there's 3. One, they don't know what to like, they don't know how to change it. Okay. So we'll take that. I'll say what's getting in their way of changing it, though, that rigidity that we talked about the lack of the neuroplasticity, right? And then the fear, because, uh, you know, it's whatever it's, uh, especially in the psychedelic circle has been in lots of circles. 

It's just, it's called the ego, right? You have, you have this part of you that's controlling you to be safe and the world, right? And it's, it's a really protective part of you and some of that, some of that protection is what will people think of me? But part of that protection is also like, is that aligned with who I am? 

Right? And so, you have kind of. Yeah. This really old, like chronologically old, but developmentally young ego. So, it, it starts, like the ego is developed when you're pretty young, like when you're a kid and it kind of starts presenting you as who you are. And I'm not the, I'm not the guy who does that. I'm not the kind of guy who does that. 

I'm right. And that's against my values. That's again, like, I don't think that's safe. That's too much of a risk. Like all of the, like all of these sort of rules that we use to guide our own behaviors. Yeah. Controlled by the ego. So, the psychedelics let the ego, you know, they drop the ego away during the psychedelic experience. And then after that, you have this decreased fear and you have this enhanced neuroplasticity.  

And so now I can make all kinds of changes when I get rid of the ego, what that does is it allows me to look at myself more objectively, right? Because my ego is protecting me. So even when, even when I'm assessing myself, my ego is giving me the best possible version of that assessment so that I feel good about myself. 

I could be doing something completely dysfunctional, but I know what to do, because, damn it, I've been around, I've been on this planet a long time, and I've done all this and that, and I know what to do, and I'm going to do the right thing. Well, it might be the most dysfunctional behavior in the world. It might be the absolute worst thing, but I'm never going to see it unless I do something like psychedelic, where it's just going to, like, take that ego away and allow me to look at that from a third party perspective. 

And without any self judgment or fear or anxiety, because all that's been repressed, I can just go, well, that's stupid. Like, why, why am I doing that? Like, I can see that I've done that 20 times in my life and it's had the same result every time. That's a dumb thing. I'm going to quit doing that. Aha. Are you, how are you going to quit doing that? 

So, like, that's the work afterwards. But you need that decreased fear because you come out of that dissociative environment, the, your ego starts coming back up and you're like, well, I don't know if I want to change that. Like, that was just some kind of experience. Maybe I, I may be changing. That's going to be the worst thing in the world. 

Maybe I misjudge that. And so that's why you need the lower fear levels because then it allows you. You know, to want to make the change to take the action to make the change in the neuroplasticity is giving you a brain that you can actually change. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, that's such a great breakdown because, I mean, I don't, I don't talk about it much, but I was, you know, recreating the 60s in my late teens and actually sold LSD as to pay for the weed that I smoked. But, um, and, and then I got away from all that.  

And then I went to, I went in, I went to Rhythmia place in Costa Rica to drink ayahuasca, and I just went there again for the second time in August. And, um, you know, as you're talking about that, it's like, it's so true, it brings... And you feel amazing. The really interesting, and this is going to be the same in any well run retreat or therapeutic context.  

But I was asking the guy who was taking me back, the driver, about his experience, taking people to Rhythmia and taking them back. And he was like, man, it's just amazing. 

Everybody is stressed out, sometimes even rude on the way. And then just so relaxed. Now, of course, some people leave mid, you know, halfway through the week or whatever.  

And so, you just kind of explained from in a way I've never heard before how it's working and with a better objective, because I feel like people just show up there, they're like, I'm going to take, I don't know what else to do, I'm like a bit of a mess and I'm going to do this and then hopefully it's going to change and actually. 

You should even say this and then I want to hear how, how, you know, how you use this in, in the context of your health coaching program, but some people get hooked a little bit to where like, it's always, I had one person who worked with me, he, we met at Rhythmia and then he ended up going to another, uh, retreat. 

It wasn't for psychedelics, it was for meditation, but he was just like, people get sucked into this cycle of needing, like, you know, not, they're, they're not able to do the work. Like you, what you mentioned, it's like, Hey, this is to help your life. You don't want to live in a retreat. You need to come back to whatever it is, or you need to... 

Kirk Parsley: They become retreat, retreat junkies. 

Ted Ryce: Retreat junkies. Exactly, yeah. And don't make the changes. How do you make the decision? Like, "Oh, this is someone who's going to benefit from this." And then, um, You know, if you can, whatever details you can share, where do you send them? And what's psychedelic? 

Kirk Parsley: Yeah. So that varies. That varies for the population, obviously. So, the seals I treat significantly different than the private clients, yeah, the seals. 

Again, the seals, the seals have, you know, probably on average, 10,000, 10,000 brain injuries right over their career. So, we're, we're dealing, we're dealing with a hot mess there. So, like, obviously, the 1st thing always, the 1st thing to do is optimize the lifestyle and then optimize the hormones. I mean, you can't, you can't really perform well and anywhere in any aspect of life if your hormones are off. So I always do that. Uh, and then of course, like I said, if there's any peptides that are needed... 

Ted Ryce: would you mean optimize hormones? Do you mean like TRT or you mean through the lifestyle? 

Kirk Parsley: Yeah, things through that. So. it can, uh, it depends like how old they are, like how capable they are, like, how far off are their hormones, like, if, if they're.  

If they're 50 and they came to me and their testosterone is in the lowest. You know, 10 or 20 percent of, of the, uh, distribution that guy's probably going to end up on TRT, right?  

But if he comes to me and he's, he's 40 and he's halfway, you know, he's, he's at the 50th percentile. I want to get him to 80th or above. I can probably get that guy up with different things, right? Maybe I can do it with some supplements. I can do that with a little bit of pharma. But whatever, we'll, we'll, we'll see what we need to do. 

And I only work with men. My wife is great with women. She does all what she does with men. She does with women. She's every bit as good as I am at that. And, uh, you know, the people that I move on to neurological things, you know, they fall into 2 categories: one is people who are having some serious psychological struggles who, you know, essentially are cognitive behavioral therapy, which, you know, we're, we're calling our coaching. 

You know, they're coaching it can't really get gained footing in this situation because the brain just isn't working well enough. And so those are people that I'm going to move towards that end.  

Ted Ryce: What do they do, Kirk? Is it you tell them what to do? Are they resistant to it? Are they just not able to put it into action? What makes you make the call? 

Kirk Parsley: Well, it, it's usually, it's, it, it reveals itself. It's usually pretty simple. So it's like. We've had the same conversation, like we do, I do weekly calls in my program, right? For the last, for the last 9 weeks, we've had the same conversation. And you haven't you haven't changed anything. 

Why haven't you changed anything? Right? Or I'm trying to do what you say, and I can't like, I'm trying. I'm doing this. I can't. I'm trying. I'm doing this. I can't it's stressing me out. I'm feeling emotional. I feel I'm feeling like I want to quit. I'm feeling like a loser, like, whatever.  

And of course, we're going to 1st, just again, work with some cognitive behavioral things and some reframing and, you know, some reality mapping narrative changing, you know, kind of get people out of that, but definitely like people who people who have had the vaccine, who have cognitive struggles or people who are dealing with something like long covid and those are very hard to parse out, you know, because a lot of times you don't know, like, well, was this a vaccine injury or did this guy get vaccinated and have long covid for other reasons? 

I don't know. But we know that that spike protein is toxic. We know it embeds in the brain. We know it causes neuroinflammation. All neuroinflammation affects cognition and whether that's affecting your emotional capabilities, your ability to do math. I don't know. Like, it depends on what region of your brain's inflamed or what I deal with a lot. 

Once guys get older, I'd say like over 50. Uh, they just don't feel like they can do it. They just don't feel like they can, they just don't feel like they can stay on track. They're like, I, I can't, like, I know what to do. I can't get myself to do it or I get myself to do it and I forget it all the time. Or I do it like so much mental work for me that it exhausts me and I'd rather just not do it. 

And so, you know, there's lots of ways to pick up. And then, of course, I know if they have a history of a lot of brain trauma or something, or, you know, obviously, a lot of my entrepreneurs have abused stimulants for decades. Uh, you know, they, they have some issues. A lot of them have abused alcohol and stimulants.  

So, I know they have some neurological dysfunction. And obviously this is nowhere near the 1st thing I'm going to work with him on. I mean, this is a minimum of 4 months into the year, probably closer to 6 or 8 months to the year before we're talking about something like this. And by that time, I know them fairly well, and I can almost everybody will take peptides, right? 

And, and we can, we can restore some neurological function. I think, I mean, if you, if you just gave me 1 tool to enhance people's overall health, I would choose hyperbaric.  

Ted Ryce: Really? 

Kirk Parsley: But hyperbaric is very time-consuming. Uh, it can be very expensive and logistically a lot of people just aren't close to hyperbaric facilities. 

Ted Ryce: What's, what's the mechanism there?  

Kirk Parsley: So hyperbaric has a lot of the same effects of both the psychedelics and the, and the peptides. So hyper, so think of it, you can think of hyperbaric basically is like, there's like being on kind of like being on steroids for a couple of hours per day. Okay. Since what you're doing is you're going, you're going super-physiologic with oxygen and it's super-physiologic in a way that's, it's super-physiologic in a way that's nowhere close to being oxygen-saturated at sea level. 

So, like right now I'm basically at sea level, so I'm probably saturating 98 or 99%. I could put on an oxygen mask no matter how much I'm blowing into that. Best thing I can do is saturate to 100 percent and that's it. And I. Okay. Whatever my red blood cells exchange as they're going through the capillaries, that's the limit of my oxygen supply when I go into when I go down to 2 atmospheres or lower, I have 2 atmospheres of pressure or greater, which is, you know, equivalent to 33 feet of seawater.  

So this low or whatever. We'll skip all that. If I go to high pressure and then I breathe 100 percent oxygen for 1, the partial pressure of the oxygen doubles as I go down. So, every atmosphere I go down the partial pressure of that oxygen. So double. So that just means there's more pressure for gas exchange because I'm at depth. 

But if I'm breathing 100 percent oxygen. At sea level, I'm only breathing 20 percent oxygen, right? So, I'm breathing 5 times as much oxygen and I've doubled the partial pressure and now I can dissolve oxygen into my plasma and I have little oxygen bubbles, little oxygen molecules floating around in my plasma that can leave the vasculature anywhere. 

It doesn't have to exchange in the capillaries. Anywhere there's a crack in the blood vessel for it to go through, it can diffuse into, it can diffuse into all my tissues. So, it saturates my interstitium, it saturates my lymphatics, it saturates my plasma, and now I can get oxygen to places where I don't really have blood supply.  

Like, I could be, you know, my capillary bed could be whatever, 3 or 4 millimeters away from these cells, I can get oxygen to there just because I've diffused it across the body. And now I can do more oxidative phosphorylation, right? So now I have more cell, I have more ATP production and every cell in my body can function better. 

And it is just essentially ramps everything up. So you, you recover faster. Like there's great, there's great research on this. You can look at, you can look at, uh, athletes who, you know, just take them during their season. You don't even have to treat them very often. Just give them a couple of treatments a week and look at their markers, uh, you look at their metabolites for muscle damage, you know, look, look at, you know, look at their markers for inflammation, look at their markers for muscle damage. 

You know, everything, you know, everything that we know, like CK, MK, everything that we can look at to say, okay, you have muscle damage, which is kind of like predictive, delayed onset muscle soreness. Right? Like, you can see that all your inflammatory markers, you know, interleukin, interleukin 6 alpha, like all those usual suspects that are associated with, inflammation, something as simple as HSCRP, and it plummets. 

And it doesn't just plummet while you're in the chamber, it plummets long term. So, while you're actually in the chamber, and for about an hour afterwards, before all that oxygen diffuses out, you have super-physiologic oxygen. Well, what do you do to get in shape? You push yourself, you push your muscles farther than they can do, you outpace oxidative phosphorylation's capabilities, right? 

And I get into, um, you know, true exercise. I'm pushing myself past my limits to try to enhance my limits. Well, I get that just sitting still in a chamber, right? I get all this oxygen delivery, and now, I actually increase mitochondrial density and I increase mitochondrial physiology. So, my mitochondria work more efficiently and I will grow more mitochondria and I'll decrease inflammation and I'll accelerate muscle recovery, all injury recovery, and it's an anti-inflammatory for the brain and it secretes neurotrophic growth factors. 

And it increases neovascularization, so new blood vessels everywhere in the body, but including the brain. And so, you decrease inflammation in the brain, the brain works better, period. You increase vascularization in the brain, the brain works better. 800 percent more stem cells in the brain after about 4 weeks of hyperbarics. 

More stem cells and lots of tissues and your and your muscles like lots of stem cells enhancement And so you just it's it's an anabolic state. So you're sort of super anabolic while you're in there for about an hour afterwards And then there's some long term benefits of it. Like once you kind of saturate the treatment It looks like you can probably maintain that with about two 90 minute treatments a week 

Ted Ryce: And what is the initial, like, what do you have to do initially to get all the benefits before you move to that two times for 90 minutes? 

Kirk Parsley: So, all of the, all the research so far has been done around what's called a table eight, which is one hour a day, Monday through Friday.  

Ted Ryce: Wow. The commitment. 

Kirk Parsley: For eight weeks. That's a big commitment. We've compared that. When I say we, I mean, literally we, like me and some of my doctor friends and my buddies who own hyperbaric facilities, like, we've compared that to doing 2 dives a day for 4 weeks instead of, right? 

And it's not as good, but it's, it's close. It, it depends on like how much time, how much time you have. It's also expensive. So if you have most places, it's somewhere between two or two to $300 per dive. So you can do the math. It's a thousand dollars a week to do that. Uh, if you're doing two dives a day, $2,000 a week to do that. 

You can get packages and maybe make it a little cheaper, but not. So it's, it's a, it's a huge time suck. The people who do it the most are my really wealthy clients who just get a chamber and put it in their house and do it like they put a chamber in their garage and just do it. So that's a great tool. 

Uh, and like I said, if I can get somebody to do that, lots of the nonprofit organizations that, that helped me work with the seals will pay for that. So if the seals live close enough and they can work into their life, they will. And then if they're the right people and they're amenable to it, and it feels good when I tell them about it, like I'll talk to them about psychedelics and I'll say, here's what we know about psychedelics. 

And I've experienced pretty much all the psychedelics for the sole purpose of knowing what the hell I'm talking about when I talk to my clients. Right. And so, and, and then we, we have various organizations, um, you know, one, one of my, I'd say my favorite, there's a guy here in Austin, uh, that has started a sanctuary and he can legally because of the sanctuary status, he can, he can legally provide psychedelics as his sacrament essentially. 

So, he does psilocybin, ayahuasca, and ibogaine. Ibogaine obviously is kind of the harshest, they're called the father, right? 

Ted Ryce: It's the one I don't want to do. 

Kirk Parsley: Yeah, this is not a drug of addiction. I guarantee you like you do that once you're like, I'm done with that. I don't I don't need to ever do that again. 

You know, it's a harsh teacher. It's similar to ayahuasca, but just like a little faster and a little harder and a little more unrelenting and just like, you're going to see, you're going to see things you don't want to see. It's going to be good for you at the end. Like your dad's discipline. You're like, all right. 

Yeah, he's a prick, but I'm glad he did it right at the end of the day. It's like, all right, that was a good that was a good call. You know, I was obviously called the mother of it again. Similar. The duration of the dissociation is different, but what you're experiencing and the intensity of it is fairly similar, at least in my experience.  

Ted Ryce: So, ibogaine.  

Kirk Parsley: Yeah, ibogaine. So ibogaine was the third one I did. I started with ayahuasca, then I did psilocybin, then I did ibogaine. And I think because I had already had so many, I'd already had psychedelic experiences and I knew what to expect.  

And I didn't kind of have the fear of like, what if I lose my mind or like, whatever the things you're thinking the first time you're ever doing that, having no idea what a dissociative experience is going to be like. 

And, you know, there's all the, there's all the, you know, fears involved in that. So, by the time I did, I began, I was pretty comfortable with the psychedelic experience. So, I think it wasn't as harsh for me as it is for people like that. Here's your 1st experience is like, and some guys, like, I just wasn't as affected by that 1 as a lot of people are. 

So, it was about a 4-hour dissociation for me. And then I just kind of fell asleep, which is unheard of for that. I know guys who puked for 36 hours and were like, completely dissociated and miserable for 36 hours. So, it can be a lot harsher than what I experienced.  

But the primary difference between those, those 3, like, they all work through DMT and they all have very similar. The very similar experiences and they're doing physiologically. We think they're doing very similar things. The unfortunate thing is that, like, we would have to drill holes in people's heads and various regions and pull chemicals out to figure out exactly what's going on. We're never going to do that. 

So, we're doing the next best thing by, like, trying to do some imaging afterwards and imaging before and imaging afterwards and brain mapping before and after and like, and trying to see consequences.  

But there's a lot of physiologic change in there that we don't know what's going on. It's a mess. I mean, there's, there's thousands of things happening in there, but that decrease in amygdala tone, that decrease of ego, that ability to kind of open doors and see the things that are plaguing you that maybe you're intentionally ignoring, intentionally not paying attention to those all come rushing towards you. 

The primary difference, in my opinion, is the durability of that effect. So, those, you know, heightened neurophysiologic states and decrease of stress. Bracillocybin lasts about 2 to 3 months after your heroic journey. Ayahuasca is about twice that. So, like 4 to 6 months. And then 9 to 12 months. So, it's like how long how, how durable are those neurologic changes and to, you know, to your point earlier, it's like, you have to do the work during that time. 

Because if you don't do the work during that time, you're going to end up exactly the same person you were before you went through there and you're not going to reap any of the benefits really of the, of what you've gone through. 

Ted Ryce: Maybe slightly more aware, right? But that's about it.  

Kirk Parsley: Maybe. Yeah. You know, you'll, you'll at least be more, you'll, you'll be at least less certain about reality. 

You'll be a little more open to ideas and going, well, I, I guess I don't know as many things as I thought I knew because, you know, you, you have to come out of there realizing, wow, there's a whole lot I didn't know about the world, you know, like that's just all there is to it. There's a whole lot. I don't know about my mind and there's a whole lot. 

I did. I didn't know about the world because I've been seeing the world through this lens for my whole life. And then you realize, Oh, there's a billion different lenses. Like, Oh, like I've heard people talk about that, but I've never actually allowed myself to see that, you know? 

Ted Ryce: Right. Well, well, Kirk, man, you know, thanks for the, the really put on a clinic today, not just about really honing in on the basics. 

And I love that we started there, but then you went on to, uh, explain peptides. It was a little bit over my head because I mean, I understand what a peptide is, have a degree in biology, but yeah, all the different ones.  

So, if you're listening right now, and you're in peptides or something that you're interested in, Kirk is one of the people to really talk to about that. And he even uses them when it's appropriate with his, his patients or clients, coaching clients.  

And then with the psychedelics, I'm really glad to hear you talk about that. Cause we didn't talk about that last time and it can be transformational, but it's not, like you said, people want a magic bullet. 

It's not, you see, you're like, well, I understand the universe and it's opened up and then it's like, you just go back to drinking alcohol and yelling at your kids or whatever the case may be in overeating food and not skipping your workouts. 

Kirk Parsley: And there are people, like there are people who have bad experiences with psychedelics. 

You know, there are people that it doesn't it doesn't match their physiologic state, like whatever it does to them. Yeah, they aren't making this where they make Tylenol like this isn't this isn't an exact science. I mean, it's just going, yeah, we're kind of like putting a little more of this root in a little more of that bark and stern like, you know, it. 

So, there's, there's huge variations and variability. Ibogaine is the most sort of clinical, I guess, because they've reduced that down to a salt and they do a body weight calculation on it.  

Ted Ryce: Interesting.  

Kirk Parsley: But, you know, these plant medicines, I mean, they're, they're variable, like, there's, you know, unlike the marijuana, there's different strands of mushrooms that kind of have different effects on different people. 

And, and so it's not, it's not a certain thing that you're going to come out of there and go, wow, I'm so glad you did. I did that. I feel much better. Like, I'll be honest, none of my psychedelic experiences have ever been good. They've all been helpful. Let me say they've never been pleasant. They've never been pleasant.  

It's never been, I've never enjoyed a single moment of being under the influence of a psychedelic. It's been a struggle the whole time, right? And I don't mean a struggle in that I'm resisting it. It's just like, this is, Exceedingly, this is exceedingly unpleasant and I don't like the way I feel and I don't really understand what this is about and it's just confusing and overwhelming and I kind of regret doing this right now, you know, you know, I got to do it again tomorrow night or whatever you have. 

So, like, I, you know, people who are worried, like, I used to think that it, oh, that's just. Some hippie way of getting high on drugs and calling it, you know, something useful. Like, I thought it was a bunch of BS and then I had a seal that was med boarded out of the military, very angry about it. Did not want to be med boarded out, but he had had a very, he was in a, he was in a vehicle that was blown up by an IED and he broke his neck and he had a lot of, he had a lot of cognitive, like, he was physically fine. 

Like he, you know, he didn't get paralyzed or anything, but ton of cognitive problems afterwards. Which let, you know, cognitive and psychiatric problems and he was on all the psychiatric meds and one, you know, that, how, you know, that goes like 1 med leads to another med and another another, you got to use this 1 to mask the side effects of that 1 and. 

Upwards to make him feel awake and downers to make him go to sleep and and he got out and just said, hey, I'm not dying this way. Like, I'm if I'm going to die, I'm going to die. And so, he threw away all his medications and he got on a plane and he flew down to Peru and he lived in the Amazon with a shaman for 30 days for reasons I don't understand he was nude for 30 days, but whatever. He lived in the, he lived in the jungle nude for 30 days. Did ayahuasca every third night did six to eight hours of Kundalini yoga every day.  

The next time I saw him was six months later. This wasn't a guy that this wasn't like a client. I'd seen a few times. I had hundreds of hours of sitting right across the desk from this guy. I knew him very well.  

And 6 months later, he's sitting across from me at a fundraiser and I don't have any idea who he is. Which wasn't, it's not that uncommon, right? Because I'm, I'm a doctor for thousands of guys and a lot of times it takes me, you know, 3, 4, 5 minutes to figure out who somebody is and I'll be like, okay, yeah, got it now. 

Never got there with like, 25 minutes into the conversation. I just asked him who he was and he said. And he tells me, and I was like, what, he's like, who'd you think it was? I'm like, I still don't believe that. So you are like, are you kidding me? You didn't even look like the same guy. And so I asked him like, what happened 

And he told me, and I thought, okay, well, maybe there's something to that. But that was it, just kind of put it in the back of my head. A few months later, the guys who ran a clinic in Mexico called Crossroads, they, they kind of led, they were kind of cutting edge for Ibogaine research, and they were, they're Mexican guys, American educated physicians who ran a clinic down there. 

It's called Crossroads because, uh, Eric, Eric Clapton went after his son. Fell out window and died and he donated some guitars to keep that, you know, to kind of keep that clinic in business. So anyway, um, they came up and took me out to lunch and we're talking to me about how I began so great for opiate addiction. 

So, if I have any SEALs who have open addictions, and I was like, "I don't have that, like, we don't have that problem. Like, we're not allowed to give SEALs opiates.  

So, we don't, they don't get to show me out on them." And towards the end of lunch, they said, "but there, you know, there are also some new research showing that it can be helped with PTSD." And I was like, "okay, that that I'm interested in, and I think PTSD is brain damage. I think PTSD is mechanical. It's mechanical biochemical changes that lead to behavioral changes and behavior and different and changes in thought processes."  

Because it's. It always seems to be the case that once you correct the neurophysiology, and I mean, just making it healthier with things like, you know, growth factors, peptides, hyperbarics, psychedelics, and things like that, the PTSD goes away. Right? So, it just makes sense to me that that's what's going on. So anyway, I was interested in that and, uh, and, uh, maybe 2 months after that lunch. Well, the first thing I did is I went home and I researched.  

What it did and the 2 doctors who were talking to me were 2 of the first guys that came up when I was researching it and those 2 guys had supervised the treatment of 2 people who had died under the influence of Ibogaine. Oh, wow. I was like, well, that's not, that's not a great endorsement. So I'm going to put that on the back burner  

Ted Ryce: Like cardiac issues?  

Kirk Parsley: Like, yeah, cardiac, cardiac, it can lead to arrhythmias. And so, I was like, well, that's not a ringing endorsement. So I'm just going to put that on the back burner. Fast forward a couple of months later, one of my best friend from, from the SEAL teams, you know, we went through training or roommates all through training, he became suicidal and, you know, his wife called me, uh, he'd thrown everybody out of the house. He's writing a suicide note. 

I went to his house. And I sat in his house for 5 or 6 hours, and he was not on any drugs, he wasn't drunk, completely, like, he wasn't raving, he wasn't mad, calm as you and I are sitting here talking, he had written a 5 page assessment of why it's better for everybody if he dies, and here's why, and he just reads it with, you know, just passionately, and I was like, yeah, but none of us want you dead, so, You're not putting that in there. It's like, you're going to, you're going to upset all of us.  

So I know that's kind of selfish, but we don't want you to be dead. And so I said, I said, Hey, yeah, there's this thing down in Mexico. And he was much like that guy who had been med boarded. Like, you know, he tons of trauma. He'd actually had, he actually had some frags in his brain from a frag grenade. So he has some serious brain damage and he's on all the psychiatric medications, like all the crap, just like the other guy.  

And, uh, And I said, well, there's this thing down in Mexico and it could kill you actually, because what I read about it, but if you're going to kill yourself anyway, like this, like, this is, you know, maybe, maybe this works.  

And so we, like, so we did that and the only person that I knew who knew anything about it was the other guy I told you about who lived in the jungle. And so, I called him and said, will you go down there with us? Because I, I have no idea what I'm, I have no idea what we're getting into. And at least you could be a, you know, your SEAL too. So, like, you know, you could kind of be there. For whatever comfort sake, essentially, and I was petrified and we went down there. Turns out they didn't know each other and it turns out they had it.  

They had this completely random. It could not be coincidence. Such a necessary connection between these 2 guys. It was really powerful and my buddy woke up the next day after that treatment. Well, I guess I never went to sleep, but he came out of that next day. It went through the night on that. I began the next morning came out. He looked, you know, he was, I guess, when, when we did this, he was, we were probably, you know, we're in our early forties, so whatever, 42, 43 years old. And he, he was, he was hard, you know, he was a, he was a dev group, SEAL, 23 combat deployments.  

Like he had a lot of, he had a lot of hard miles on him and he was very serious and kind of mean mugged all the time and was grumpy as hell. And the next day he looked like the 18 year old kid that I met, you know, 30 years before, 25 years before. And when we got back to my house. We were getting dropped off. My driveway is probably a hundred, a hundred meters long or something.  

And he gets out of the car and my wife's down on the porch and she starts bawling and she's like, what happened? What happened to you? It's like, you look 15 years younger, 20 years younger. Like, I look like a little boy. What's going on with you? And so, from that point, I was, I was sold. I'm like, all right, well, that's that's the most amazing thing I've ever seen.  

And now, again, I, you know, I'm on, I'm on advisory boards, so I can. I can stay up on what's going on, like, you know, so the advisory board through vets that's working with Stanford to do research on Ibogaine, the Dell Medical Center here in Austin is doing some research on Ibogaine.  

Yeah, so I'm on, I'm on several different medical advisory boards that are doing this type of work so that I can stay up on it. I'm not, I'm not doing the research myself, but if I feel like it's appropriate for my guys, I talked to him about it, um, whether they're SEALs or civilians or whatever. It doesn't matter.  

And, uh, then we go with kind of what they want to do. Right? You know, because some of them, some, you know, some of the time, depending on the timing of, you know, this guy here in Austin, like, some of the times you, you know, they got to go out of the country because if it's urgent and there's, you know, there's not a program going on here, well, the, like, whatever, beyond Rhythmia, like, kind of all those, all those places who do mission within that's like, there's, there's about 6 different places we use.  

And my preference would be to start with psilocybin because super, super safe. You, you cannot overdose on psilocybin. You could eat your body weight and mushrooms and you're just going to trip longer, but like, it doesn't kill you.  

There's no contra-entry, no contraindication with any medications. A lot of times guys who are really down and out and really need this treatment. They're not, they're not reliable sources of information when you ask them what they've been doing or what they're taking and all that.  

And so, you know, ayahuasca is in between ibogaine and psilocybin, but ibogaine is deadly if you're, if you're taking the wrong drugs or like, if you're, if you're really metabolically broken or, you know, whatever. So that, you know, that's how we do it. 

Ted Ryce: Kirk, thanks so much for sharing the stories about, uh, the guy who was med boarded and, and the, and the other one as well. It was, uh, you know, very moving. And, um, yeah, I mean, it's an example, a testament to, to what can happen.  

You know, there, there's hope. It's a bit extreme. And like you said, you need to be with the right people. You need to write with Ibogaine in particular. That's something that I wouldn't do. I don't have any heart issues, but I just, I wouldn't do it, man, you know... 

Kirk Parsley: Well, most, most people don't need it. I mean, most people don't need it. That's, that's a very severe, it's a very severe drug, you know? But if, if I have a, you know, if I have a SEAL.  

Who has a history like that, you know, all the physics, all the physical trauma, and then all the psychological trauma that goes along with it, which SEALs never complain about, but it's there and it's a factor, you know, if it's that severe, and I'm worried about, you know, is this guy getting me dead in a couple of months if I don't do this, or is this guy getting me dead in a week if I don't do this, we're going to do the hardest thing we can, you know, because, you know, It's the most durable.  

Like I'm, I'm going to be able to, like, he's going to be in a great place to be able to change and be vulnerable and talk to some people or do some work, whether it's his own journaling, his own journey, or working with other people.  

But he's going to be in a great state to do that for 9 months to a year, you know, which is that's a pretty big window, right? Whereas psilocybin is safer, but you only have a couple of months, you know, and then they're going to be kind of right back to where they were and I'd rather have that longer duration. And if I can do psychedelics and hyper barracks and peptides, I will, you know, it's all, you know, it's all synergistic. 

Ted Ryce: Right. The tool, right tools, the right combination of tools for the right job, the right person. Yeah. Makes sense. You know, when you were saying about the, I've there, when I went to Rythima, um, you know, they do ayahuasca for those of you listening right now on that fourth night, cause you drink four nights in a row, I was like, is this, is this healing or is this serotonin syndrome?  

I don't know if I'm, you know, it's, it gets a bit freaky. But, um, yeah, man, um, it, it, it can be so powerful. So, thanks for sharing all that. It's, it's just a really crazy, wild and hopeful place that, that we're in right now for people who are having some challenges changing, especially, and, uh, listen, I, I mean, we've been at this for. For a while, I want to be respectful of your time, but, uh, but Kirk, you really blew me away today.  

And, you know, we, we, we outdid all our other, all our other interviews because, you know, we, we, we went quite a bit deeper and talked about some of the things that people, you know, we just don't talk about. And so I really appreciate you for that. 

Kirk Parsley: Yeah. Well, we got to get better, right? Got to be making progress. So. Thanks for having me on, man. I, I always enjoy our conversations and, uh, I enjoy sharing other people's soapbox because I don't, I don't have the discipline for my own podcast. So I got to go on other people's. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, absolutely. Well, always happy to have you here. I learned so much. Um, you know, you're just full of wisdom experience and you know, just hearing what you've done for people who, I mean, it's unthinkable to, for me to, and for most people to have shrapnel from a grenade in your brain. I mean, it's just hard for me to wrap my head around, despite of the serious, uh, things that I've been through in my life. So, so I really appreciate that.  

And, um, if you're, if you want to get connected with doc Parsley. You can go to his website, docoparsley. com. And, um, one thing that we didn't talk about that much today, Kirk, but we 

Kirk Parsley: We didn't, we didn't get into it now 

Ted Ryce: The sleep, but, uh, he's the guy you're at your Ted talk on sleep, and if you do want to listen to the episodes that Kirk was on the show, he was on for episode 489 “Sleep 101. Why sleep is the number one, most important thing for a better body”. And he was on episode 430, which is “The power of sleep”.  

So you can check those episodes out, but you also have a guide. Which is, uh, at doc parsley. com. You have a special link for legendary life listeners though. 

Kirk Parsley: Yeah. And that's, that's basically, uh, you know, that, that's for people who are trying to do the right thing. Sleeping. And they're having a hard time sleeping.  

So the, the number one cause for insomnia is something we called psychosocial insomnia, which mean, I'm sorry, psychophysiologic insomnia, which means that you can't sleep because you're worried that you are not going to be able to sleep.  

So, you know, it's kind of this self propagating downward spiral, you get in bed and you have a hard time going to sleep and then you worry, you know, the morning's getting closer and closer and you're not getting enough sleep and your stress hormones are raising because you're worried about not being able to sleep. And then you end up getting like, a terrible night of sleep and now you're tired. 

The way your body compensates for lack of sleep is by secreting more stress hormones the next day. And now you have a hard time going to sleep because your stress hormones are high. And then you lay in bed and you toss and turn and you get worried that you're not going to sleep good and I again and I, and so this is like a very common spiral and it's really hard to get out of.  

So, you know, we've talked about all the fancy things I do, but this worksheets, like, the most powerful thing I do, and it's, it's a simple. You know, I know we've talked about one of the podcasts before where you know your to-do list, your to worry list, setting an alarm clock to get ready for bed, getting in bed for eight hours, never getting out of bed. And basically it comes down to, you know, you, you're giving yourself eight hours of, of recovery, right?  

The whole reason to sleep tonight is to repair from today and prepare for tomorrow, and that takes eight hours. It just does, whether you want it to or not, whether you do any of the biohackings or anything you want to do, like, still takes 8 hours to recover. That's all there is to it.  

So, you get in bed for 8 hours and you're either sleeping or meditating or something close to meditation, an approximation of that, some progressive muscle relaxation, listening to diurnal beats, prayer, whatever it is that you can do to kind of maximize.  

Or let's say minimize stress hormones and try to maximize recovery and because you have your list to handle in the morning, you don't need to think about anything in your list.  

And if that pops up, you're like, that's on my list. I'm going to handle that in the morning. And you lay in bed and you meditate and you sleep and if you wake up in the middle of the night and you need to go to the bathroom, you go to the bathroom and you get back in bed and you say, I'm just going to lay here and meditate until my alarm clock goes off where I fall back asleep. And if your alarm clock is not going to go off for 4 hours, you're going to fall back to sleep. And if your alarm clock goes off 15 minutes later, you get 7 hours and 15 minutes or 7 minutes of sleep and 15 minutes of meditation or whatever. So that's the next best thing.  

And, you know, there's a little bit of CBT in there. There's a little bit of cognitive associations you have to make, but that's, that's the gist of it. But the real promise of that is like one, so it's mechanical at first.  

You just have to do what I say to do. And trust me, at some point, there's going to be a little, you know, we'll click in your brain. That's just going to, and you're going to be like, Oh, I get it. Here's the real promise of that. Like, it's a good tool to use at any time in your life, but once you, once you do this and you get past that point where you actually understand it and you feel it and you like internalize this thing. You'll never have insomnia again. 

Ted Ryce: Amazing. And, um, the  link for that is That's Kirk. Um, you can also find Kirk by the way, on Instagram, not on Twitter. Huh? 

Kirk Parsley: I'm on, I'm actually on Twitter. I was banned for Twitter from, I got banned during COVID for 18 months, but, uh, I'm back on Twitter. I don't use it a whole lot. Cause I just think it's, it's such a vile, aggressive environment.  

I just go, uh, yeah, it gives me fantasies of finding who people are and driving to their houses, you know, uh, like everybody's just so ugly towards each other. I'm like. This, this isn't how people behave. This is all artificial and I don't want to be a part of it. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, I understand you on that. Well, hey, well, you can find Kirk on Instagram and his website and the links for all that will be on the show notes for this episode as well.  

Dr. Kirk Parsley, always a pleasure. Thanks so much for sitting down and, you know, going deep with us today and sharing about what you do. Thanks so much! 

Ted Ryce is a high-performance coach, celebrity trainer, and a longevity evangelist. A leading fitness professional for over 24 years in the Miami Beach area, who has worked with celebrities like Sir Richard Branson, Rick Martin, Robert Downey, Jr., and hundreads of CEOs of multimillion-dollar companies. In addition to his fitness career, Ryce is the host of the top-rated podcast called Legendary Life, which helps men and women reclaim their health, and create the body and life they deserve.

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