On this episode, our guest is Mastin Kipp, a best-selling author and creator of Functional Life CoachingTM. Mastin joined the podcast to talk about his recent book titled, Reclaim Your Nervous System, which discusses the importance of prioritizing the nervous system in healing and overall well-being.

Mastin asserts that befriending and addressing resistant parts of ourselves can promote healing and improve our relationship with our nervous system. Mastin highlights the power of group care and co-regulation in creating a safe space for emotional expression and healing.

This podcast release coincides with Evolution of Medicine’s launch of VagusFest, which is a participatory nervous system healing event that practitioners can organize to promote healing in their communities. If you’re interested in hosting your own event, please contact support@goevomed.com.

Check out the full podcast episode to hear about:

  • Mastin Kipp’s journey into coaching and the study of the nervous system.
  • The power of group settings for facilitating behavior change and creating a sense of safety.
  • Co-regulating groups can drive the adoption of functional medicine as a standard of care, with clinicians providing support and addressing root causes when necessary.
  • Challenges of expressing emotions and the societal conditioning that often discourages emotional expression.
  • And more!


Group and Participatory Care for Nervous System Regulation | Episode 339


James Maskell:
Hello and welcome to the podcast. This week we have Mastin Kipp. You may know him from The Daily Love, which was a website that he created that was absolutely massive. In the last few years, he has focused in on the nervous system and he has a new book called Reclaim Your Nervous System. I think this is one of the most interesting podcasts that I’ve ever had here on the Evolution of Medicine. I think it speaks to this coming evolution, which is a focus in on the nervous system. I think there’s a lot of value here for any practitioner to think about how do we order the therapies. If you look at the therapeutic order, self-healing is right near the bottom. And so that is a critical piece of the future of medicine. I’m really glad to have him here to talk about his book, Reclaim Your Nervous System, talk about some of the things that he’s up to. If you’re interested in finding out more about what he offers, check out the show notes. Enjoy.

A warm welcome to the podcast. I think for the first time, Mastin Kipp. Welcome, Mastin.

Mastin Kipp:
James, I’m so happy we’re doing this finally. Really excited to be here.

James Maskell:
Yeah, it’s pretty exciting for me too. So we met in 2015, ’16, I think for the first time, and followed along and saw in sort of 2019, 2020, sort of a hard pivot into the area that we’re speaking about now. So take us, how do you go from the daily love into really focus on the nervous system?

Mastin Kipp:
Oh, what a beautiful question. So I mean, what I can tell you is that I am the least likely person to be in the position that I’m in a way. College dropout 6’5” white male from Kansas. The only certification I have is in yoga, and it hasn’t been renewed. So a very unlikely character.

But when I started coaching people, I just wanted to help them get things that worked. And I am very curious. I was raised by a biologist. My dad edited peer-reviewed journals and studied the scientific method in these things. So as I work with people, I kind of went through that same process of forming a hypothesis and measuring results. And because my father was a biologist, I was always curious about the underlying mechanisms of what I was observing in my coaching practice, which eventually led me into the biology of the human body and understanding nervous system science and recognizing that everything basically gets translated through the nervous system.

And then realizing that the nervous system is how you experience trauma, it’s how you experience joy, it’s how you experience a setback or imposter syndrome, it’s how you experience the love of your life. It’s all through this filter of our nervous system. And so it felt like a first principle to study it in the context of growth and healing and mindfulness and sort of accidentally just through pure curiosity kind of found my way here, but it wasn’t on purpose. I certainly didn’t know anything about trauma when I first got started a long time ago. I didn’t know what that was or any of that stuff. It’s just pure research, working with people, building up a knowledge base, disclosing my scope of practice and giving people informed consent and being upfront about that from the beginning and then realizing that, hey, this nervous system piece of it is the part we’re not talking about.

And I can say this on this podcast because of the content here, there’s a problem in the world when people like Elon Musk say things publicly like, “Hey, I don’t really value talking about, there’s no value in talking about what my dad did to me, but let’s send rovers to Mars.” So there’s a disconnect there where it’s like we understand the first principles of physics to understand how to get rovers to Mars or SpaceX. We understand AI at such a profound level. We are working towards AGI very quickly. But we’re not really focused on the nervous system, which is the filter through which all of us are experiencing things. And so it feels like a very important message to get out there, but it was pure just curiosity and recognizing that there’s this problem that no one’s talking about.

James Maskell:
Yeah, absolutely. Well, yeah, I want to share my process because I’m equally excited this and I’m ready to learn from you because you’ve been in it for the last how many years here. But from my perspective, I’m in the business of helping doctors make the switch to practice more holistically. And when you have a doctor that’s trained conventionally, well, first of all, there’s a lot of trauma in the training process. I think that’s probably part of how they indoctrinate you to not think about creating healthy humans or fostering healthy humans. There’s a part of it there. But typically what happens is these doctors latch onto the biochemical stuff first. And that’s why you’ll see, okay, you’re going to do these labs and do these drugs. Now you can do these labs and these supplements. That’s an easy place to start because it’s not that far out from the paradigm.

But then you see other doctors that come in from a different place. So an acupuncturist or a chiropractor might end up doing the same medicine, but because they’ve been thinking about the nervous system from the beginning, it’s a very different practice. And so eventually you end up kind of pit maneuvering in from these different areas. And what I’ve come to see is that when practitioners reach…they do all the lifestyle stuff with patients. They do all the functional biochemistry stuff with patients, and there’s still some dysfunction, that the nervous system becomes the front runner in terms of the root cause.

And part of how I’ve seen that actually was the fact that group-delivered functional medicine, started to outperform individual functional medicine. And how is that possible? Because you’re getting less attention, in many cases, not even run by a doctor. And that’s what led me to be stumble into the Polyvagal theory and safety and all these ideas. So I think that you would resonate with that thesis.

Mastin Kipp:
Big time. Oh, yeah.

James Maskell:
We’ve come to the same place from different angles.

Mastin Kipp:
Yeah. I mean, if you study the tenants of polyvagal theory authored by Stephen Porges, who endorsed the book by the way, which I’m very honored by, one of the core tenants or first principles of polyvagal theory, is that co-regulation, which is the mutual, mutual, not just one way, it’s mutual sending and receiving of safe signals. So safe vocal tones, safe facial expressions, safe body posture, that context of relational safety, that co-regulation is what he calls biological mandate. So he doesn’t say it’s a maybe or a should. It’s a biological mandate. And Dan Siegel helps us understand the brain is a social organ, and so we need each other as much as people who have avoidant attachment may not want to admit that. Every person with anxious attachment says, “I know,” but avoidance, “I don’t need anybody.” We need each other.

And when we get into a more regulated state in our nervous system, we bring in what Porges calls our ventral vagal system. Well, what the research shows is that that’s anti-inflammatory. It shows that that produces health growth and restoration. It helps with all of the underlying functions that are trying to be restored. And so it’s not the only thing, but if we don’t have safety and co-regulation, Glutamine is not going to help you. You know what I mean? It is just not. Because when you look at, for example, we talked about the vagus nerve, below the diaphragm, the vagus nerve is not myelinated. And so when we go into a dorsal vagal immobilized shutdown response, that part of the nervous system takes over. And then guess what? The un-myelinated part of the vagus is connected to all the sub-diaphragmatic organs for the most part. So we have sub-diaphragmatic organ issues. Well, do we have a liver problem? Do we have a gut problem or do we have a vagal tone issue? And there’s a lot of research that’s basically starting to show that the one biometric that is correlated to overall health and longevity is heart rate variability, which again regulated by the vagus nerve.

And so we look at people with higher HRVs, they tend to have better lifestyle, better stress regulation, better nervous system capacity, less disease. Lower HRVs tend to be associated with more stress, more chronic issues and stuff like that. And so it’s not the only thing, nothing’s a magic bullet obviously, but I think you would probably agree, and physicians listening would agree, that the body has so many complex processes that it’s impossible to do the exact biochemical intervention to do the exact thing needs to happen versus helping the body get into a state where it can do the healing itself also. And if you think about immunotherapies, that’s the whole purpose of immunotherapies is to help the body do its thing with cancer. So when we’re in a regulated state, the research is very clear that enables healing at a whole different level. And so I think it’s not the only thing, but it is a missing thing that has not been included so far in the approach because there’s just so many worlds that are colliding right now.

James Maskell:
I love everything you said about that. In the world of mental health, we’ve had a very individual paradigm for a collective illness, right?

Mastin Kipp:
Yeah. I mean, yes. And I mean also, how should I put this? Mental health as we know it, the diagnostic and statistics manual for mental health disorders, that’s been around since 1952. Indigenous practices for healing trauma have been around for tens of thousands of years. So we have this idea that for some reason, these psychiatric issues or these trauma-based issues have to be solved by credentialed people, which don’t get me wrong, I believe in credentialed people. And I think that higher education and licensure is very important to have if you’re providing medical treatment. However, all the research that’s coming out now around psychedelics, co-regulation, group therapy, to your point, these are not new ideas to indigenous populations. When we hear about MDMA being a breakthrough therapy or psilocybin being a breakthrough therapy for depression, we hear these things or we hear about yoga being a breakthrough therapy or everyone’s talking about breath work, like the indigenous cultures are like, we know y’all. We’ve been saying it for a long time.

What’s beautiful about it though is we’re getting the evidence behind it so that we can understand the mechanisms underlying these different interventions. But ultimately, loneliness will cause all kinds of problems. And especially post pandemic, there was a time in the pandemic where we were all told to go away, but there was never really an all-clear sign. And so it’s like there’s a part of this also where we had to re-socialize and be able to get into more co-regulation. And without that, the data is so clear that there is kinds of all-cause mortality issues that arise when you don’t have community and support. So yes, yes, yes. Everything that you’re saying.

James Maskell:
Yeah, I’m really, really excited about everything there. Let me just ask you this. So in 2013, I started to get really to understand the microbiome, and I realized that one, hardly any doctors knew about it because it was so fresh. The Human Microbiome Project was a couple years old. And if you understood the implications of it should turn medicine completely on its head because we’ve had this pathology-focused medicine, and ultimately 99% of microbes are there for your good. They’re symbiotic. And so I was like, this is the moment. So that’s when I started the Functional Forum and started making content because I was like, I’ve got something here that should turn medicine on its head.

I feel like we’re in the same moment now for the vagus nerve where it’s like the science is there, it should turn everything on its head. It kind of is already, and practitioners need to get on board with this because ultimately this is really helping everyone understand how the body works first and foremost, doesn’t matter about healing. How does it actually work? What is the gut brain axis? What’s actually accessing the brain and the gut? It’s the vagus nerve, right?

Mastin Kipp:
Yeah. I mean, the root word of vagus means vagabond, which is the nerve that goes everywhere now. It’s the 10th cranial nerve. We have more than 10 cranial nerves, and the sympathetic system is super important too, and understanding how it works and this idea of the branched vagus nerve where we have the myelinated part of the vagus that’s above the diaphragm and the non-myelinated part that’s below the diaphragm, and recognizing that there’s a hierarchy to the nervous system that kicks in predictably based on how much stress somebody is under.

We know that if you’re under normal levels of stress, you can be in a regulated ventral vagal state. If there’s too much challenge, we drop down into a sympathetic fight or flight state, which is all the adrenal glands and cortisol and all that stuff. But if we’re under imminent life threat, we drop down to what’s known as the dorsal vagal state, and that’s where we’re immobilized.

And so we want to understand this concept of allostatic load, which is how much accumulation of stress does somebody have in their life? One of my partners on some of my retreats, you probably know her, is Dr. Helen Messier. She’s a brilliant mind in functional medicine. One of the things that we would always talk about is this idea that if you have a biomarker for LDL cholesterol or HbA-1c or any of these biomarkers that we’re measuring for in blood chemistry, we need metadata around it to understand the context of that number.

And so just saying that you have high cholesterol may or may not be a good thing depending on context. Example, if you’re under a lot of stress, my LDLs can go into the 200s, sometimes low 300s for a week while I’m doing very stressful, intense things because lipids are the precursors to hormones, and then it returns the baseline.

I’ve noted because I measure. I do this crazy stuff. I measure my lipids daily and stuff like that, so I’m kind of strange like that. So I’m really in tune with my body. And so the reason why I’m saying this is because if we don’t understand the metadata or the meta context that somebody’s in around a biomarker, then the intervention with medicine or supplements or food may or may not take hold because there’s a stressor in their life that could also be causing cortisol issues.

And so we want to have a larger perspective on it, and ultimately we want to get the body into a safe state so it can do its thing, not so that we can impose things on it because it’s way smarter than we are. Even with all of our fancy AI and technology, our body is so much smarter than we are.

James Maskell:
Absolutely. So we are going to get to some cross-pollination of same concepts here, but I guess the thesis has to be then, and I think this is the thesis in your book, let’s move this regulation, nervous system regulation, co-regulation, right to the front of medicine, right?

Mastin Kipp:
Yes. I think the front of everything because we experience everything through our nervous system. And I think also one of the problems I point out in the book in the mental health community is that we’re solving a chronic illness problem within the infectious disease model and that doesn’t…nobody sneezes on you and you catch the depression. You know what I mean? You don’t just sweat on somebody and then you get anxiety from it or something like that. There’s a buildup of it over time, and we have to understand that all of that’s being filtered through our nervous system, which includes our brain, and there’s a relationship that we get to create between those things. And when we prioritize that, everything improves.

There’s a study that was done in I think 2013 or ’14 where they took rheumatoid arthritis patients and then they put them with rheumatoid arthritis, that the control was people with RA. Then they had RA plus Internal Family Systems, which is a trauma therapy by Dick Schwartz, and I don’t know the exact number, but it was a statistically significant difference between the RA plus IFS people versus the standard RA treatment.

What that tells us is that the wounds that we hold, and it’s not internal family systems, it’s the work on the nervous system and that somatic based body work to get in touch with these wounds that we hold. When we prioritize that work, it has a major impact on relieving chronic illness symptoms. Now, that’s just for RA. They’re doing a lot more studies now. But it’s easy to say, I hypothesize this would probably be true in other cases as well. And I can tell you anecdotally in my own practice, we don’t make any medical claims. I’m a coach. I don’t do HIPAA, none of those things. But I’ve seen many people come to our retreats and they haven’t had a period for say, five or 10 years and they have a period at the retreat. What’s that about? So that’s not a medical claim. We’ve had people who have had bipolar or depression or PTSD diagnosed or fibromyalgia or these different issues, and they start to have better outcomes in their medical practice when they do this work.

So I’m not making medical claims, I’m just making observations in my practice, but it sort of seems intuitive that if you would to prioritize the nervous system and getting in touch with and befriending the wounds that we hold and releasing them, that the body could reallocate metabolic energy into health growth and restoration. That seems relatively obvious as a first principle, but we don’t really think of it that way because it’s novel science.

Stephen Ford just published his first paper in 1992, but the real book on polyvagal theory didn’t come out until 2012. So this is novel science, and I think it was just two or three years ago where he presented for the first time at IFM, the IFM conference. So it’s still making its way into, I think the medical practitioner lexicon because to doctors’ credit, they’re not researchers. They’re providing front end care to people. They don’t have time to do all this research. So it’s people like you and I and having these conversations that can hopefully push it forward. But I don’t fault doctors for not knowing this stuff because they’re not researchers. Every once in a while I get research-based doctors, but they’re just on the front lines trying to fill out all these forms and being HIPAA compliant and all these things. It’s very hard to do all that and be up on everything, let alone the stress that they’re under by themselves. It is just like a lot.

James Maskell:
Well, before we finish this interview, I want to pitch you on something that I’m launching that I think you might really enjoy. But before we get there, you have a book, and many times on this podcast I say, “Hey, this might be the kind of book that you might want to have in your waiting room for your patients,” because ultimately, if they started to do the things in your book, it would probably create better outcomes through your practice. And I think I may have said that many times over the years with different things, but I really feel like this one might be the one, because ultimately a lot of this is to be done at home, right? By people just doing it to themselves. It’s not like a medical service and its mission critical to healing.

Mastin Kipp:
The book is called Reclaim Your Nervous System, which I fought tooth and nail for that title. And the first podcast I did, it took seven years to put it out there because I’ve been very timid to put it out there. And the first podcast I did, someone said, when someone gets into the healing world or the trauma world or the performance world or the chronic illness world, I used to give them five or six books. Now I can give them one book. And that was the most amazing compliment. My friend Henry said, “I was like, wow, that’s amazing.” And I do think that the more that you can help patients have an education about what’s happening within them in a way that they can understand, I think it only helps the healing process because it gives them agency and it gives them a context where they feel like they’re not going crazy, that there’s something wrong with them, but their nervous system is responding in the way that it should base on what they’ve been through. And we’ve seen a lot of people who learn this information, there’s de-shaming, there’s less stress around it. They feel like there’s not something wrong with them. They realize, oh, this is my nervous system, how it’s responding, and that is only a good thing.

And so I do think it increases patient or client agency, which love it or not, also the placebo effect is very potent. So if we can get people believing certain things, what’s the downside to that? And also, I’ll say one thing. I don’t believe in false hope. I think hope is binary. You either have hope or you don’t have hope, but false hope is a non-entity in my opinion. You either have hope or you don’t have hope. And if you don’t have hope on a healing journey, what do you have either?

James Maskell:
Absolutely. So give us some of your favorite nervous system regulation exercises that you’ve recommended, that you do on your retreats that have immediate impact. One of the things that, and this will come to the idea lately, is that I see that so many things in functional medicine take a while. You’re going to reverse your chronic illness. It might take six months, it might take nine months, it might take three months, it might take two years if it’s an autoimmune disease and you’re really repairing a lot of stuff. One of the things that hit me about all of the nervous system related efforts is that you can feel it straight away. You can actually experience it when you start participating. And part of my thesis is if you want to get people ready for participatory medicine, don’t lecture them about it. Have them participate in it.

Mastin Kipp:
Yes, yes. Well, I think a few things. So a lot of my clients have functional medicine providers, and sometimes I’ll quarterback with the functional medicine doctor and give them my observations. And we work together. And one of the things that I work on with people who are going through a functional medicine journey is if you think about how did I get into a chronic illness in the first place, there’s usually themes of putting yourself last, not being assertive, not expressing anger, not speaking up, not taking up space. There’s usually some type of theme. I call this a transpersonal theme of the healing journey, which is not to replace any type of medical advice. It’s more to contextualize the journey for somebody.

And so I think it’s important to understand that when you’re on a healing journey, especially if it’s a chronic illness healing journey, the things that you have to do to get better are the things that your body is asking for. And so in a way, the healing journey is a corrective emotional experience. Part of that, and one of the things that’s very beneficial is to get in touch with the parts of you that resist healing, that resist taking in something good, that resist speaking up or prioritizing yourself. And to literally turn towards where you feel that resistance and take your hands and place it wherever you feel it on the body. Literally. Literally place it on the body where you feel the shame or the guilt or the stress or the anxiety or the I could never possibly do that. I feel so bad. Whatever that feeling is, notice where you feel it in your body. Ask that part of you, how old do you think I am? What are you keeping me safe from? And then thank it for all the ways it’s kept you safe that you know about, and all the ways it’s kept you safe that you don’t know about.

When we do something like that, we see usually an immediate sort of down regulation of stress in people’s body. They release, their somatic responses tend to open up, and we want to actually turn towards those parts because it’s one thing for a functional medicine doctor or a medicine provider to give you a protocol to follow, but what’s the term? Compliance? How compliant are patients? Well, part of the reason why they’re not compliant is they’re not used to taking in good things for themselves. They’re used to giving it to other people. So let’s buddy up to and befriend the parts of a client or a patient, help them learn how to have a relationship with the parts of them that give but don’t receive support and increase what’s called their receptive capacity. And just by literally taking a second to slow down and notice where those resistant parts are in your body and not shaming them, not trying to override them can be so beautiful to just slow down.

What’s hard about taking the supplement or what’s hard about receiving a compliment or what’s hard about feeling better? We had a client on a retreat once who had arthritis, and I just intuitively once just kind of told her in the right moment, right context, your husband can love you whether you’re sick or well, and she broke down crying and she had linked his love with taking care of her. And there was a part of her that was holding, I’m not worthy of love if I’m healthy. That’s not something you’re going to show up in a blood work lab.

So it’s really getting in touch with the parts and you can feel them. It’s not hard to do. This is not some strange long, esoteric practice. It’s literally like, where do you feel stress in your body? Where do you feel tension in your body? Where do you feel sadness or the emotion in your body? And literally place your hands there, close your eyes and try to connect with it and become curious because then we can love the parts of ourselves that our early caregivers or our parents couldn’t love, or we had to dismiss to get their love.

And so there’s a re-parenting process, but literally, it’s such a simple thing. But it’s a profound, profound practice to be able to do that. And what you’ll find is if you can improve the relationship with these parts, you may not need as much breath work. You may not need as much of some of these other things because a lot of these parts will create the stress or the dysregulation in your system to get your attention. But once they get your attention and you’re actually listening, they tend to release many times. So that would be probably the one thing I think if you could do anything befriending the parts that are resistant is a very powerful one, and it’s not complex.

James Maskell:
Yeah, it’s really wonderful you shared that. I’ve been part of a men’s group for the last five years, and that process that you just described and doing it to each other is basically the work that is happening in that group. I mean, that’s in the work segment. It’s really helping people identify the areas that are stressful, feeling where it feels, and then give thanks to it.

Mastin Kipp:
That’s right.

James Maskell:
And so it’s like this is the power of the group, when the group creates trust and the group has ways to support each other in there. That’s the safety and that’s what triggers outcomes in a group related setting compared to that. And this is part of the reason I share this on the way in that I believe that the operating system, how functional medicine becomes the standard of care, is that these co-regulating groups drive the behavior change, drive the safety. And for many people, that’s enough.

Mastin Kipp:
That’s right.

James Maskell:
Especially if they’re doing some of the lifestyle medicine stuff. And then for the people that it’s not enough, you’ve got this network of clinicians that are trained in dealing with the root cause and doing some of the biochemical stuff, maybe some of the psycho-emotional stuff, but most of it’s done within the group. We could do that today. We don’t need 10 more years of journey. There’s enough people to do that. We just have to get the right people in the right seats on the bus.

Mastin Kipp:
Yeah, and I think one of the things that’s been interesting, I love what you’re saying because I have a lot of friends that could do hard physical things. I think of somebody right now who’s summited Mount Everest as an example, and K2, right? And very difficult physical feats. K2 is way harder than Mount Everest, even though Everest is higher. K2, like you could probably die on K2 and multiple times. And this person confided in me, that’s easier for them to do that than it is to express certain emotions to people. And if you think about that, that’s kind of a staggering thought, that it’s easier to summit Everest or K2 than it is to express an emotion.

And I was curious about why is it easier for people to sometimes do physically hard things, but the slightest emotionally hard thing will take somebody out? And I think the answer is because when we express emotion, especially in our childhood when we were younger, we were programmed that certain emotions would have a negative relational impact on us. So if I express a certain motion, my caregiver will withdraw or I’ll be shamed, or I’ll be abandoned, or I’ll be neglected or I’ll disappoint somebody and then I’ll be all alone.

And what I love about what you’re saying is that you’re creating a place where there isn’t a negative relationship outcome for expressing emotion. And I don’t think many people would have negative relationship outcomes from someone summiting Mount Everest or doing an Iron Man or something like that. Most people would be probably celebrated for that, but who’s celebrated for expressing their anger or their sadness or their disappointment, like very few. So if we can create more safe relational experiences for the emotions that have not found expression to find expression safely, I think that’s going to be a very powerful piece of the healing journey. And that’s what I love about your group model is that it creates that safety and a net positive relational experience for people to be able to express themselves. Whereas when we were younger, there was a net negative experience.

James Maskell:
And also it takes work to get to a point where there’s enough trust to be able to get into that, right?

Mastin Kipp:
That’s right.

James Maskell:
That’s why in each one of these groups that I go to every Wednesday night, we start off with talking about what’s going on in our world so we can kind of get that off of our plate. We go through a process of really feeling where we are in our emotions right there, and we have some accountability for the work that we said that we were going to do, to really create a container of trust so that when you get into that work round, you feel safe amongst this group of men to get into whatever you need to get into.

Mastin Kipp:
I love it.

James Maskell:
It’s a powerful force. And look, there are a lot of people I think that are centering in on this same idea, and I’m really having seen you on your Instagram for the last four years, put out these clips from your teaching and everything that you’re doing. I really think you’re a person that can take this where it needs to go, which is everywhere. And I hope that the book can do that.

Mastin Kipp:
Me too. From your mouth to God’s ears.

James Maskell:
Well, look, while I’ve got you here, I want to pitch you on something that is hot. I don’t know when this podcast is going to come out, but at the end of this month, in two weeks, actually in a week on Wednesday, as I record this, we are going to be launching a new concept that I just came up with after listening to that podcast on the Vegas Fest. And it comes out of my world, which is that I’m in the business of helping doctors make the journey to practice more holistically and then get the word out to their community about it. That’s what we’ve done for the last decade.

And part of the switch that I had was a realization that rather than didactically educating everyone what is possible, which has worked to a certain degree, why not just cut and then know that, okay, it might take a while, but you’ve got to do all these things. Why don’t you just give people an experience of this firsthand? What is participatory medicine? Let’s give them an opportunity to participate. So the concept is called Vegas Fest. And a Vegas Fest is a participatory nervous system healing event that practitioners can put on.

And the goal is that you don’t have to be in the Mastin Kipp structure, right? You don’t have to be a breath work expert to take 10 people through breath work. You don’t have to be…you can just do it because we’re just humans interacting with other humans. And as I think about it, I think there’s so much synergy to what we’re talking about because ultimately you are a master at getting the word out to the masses. I think I’ve just been living in this world of helping practitioners do it. And I think that if you’re a practitioner, whether you be functional medicine, lifestyle medicine, chiropractor, yoga teacher, whatever, giving people in your community, the gift of practicing nervous system regulation is probably going to work out pretty well for you and your business.

Mastin Kipp:
Yes, agreed. Well, I mean, I would love to learn more. And it sounds like a heck. I mean, how could you say no to something called Vegas Fest? You know what I mean? And it’s not Las Vegas. It’s like Vegas nerve. So that’s even better.

James Maskell:
Well, that’s where the idea came from. It actually is launching in Las Vegas at the IFF Conference this year.

Mastin Kipp:
Amazing.

James Maskell:
But where do you need more Vegas Nerve healing?

Mastin Kipp:
So in Las Vegas, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. In the vagus nerve, what happens in vagus goes everywhere.

James Maskell:
Goes everywhere. And you got to take it back to your community and heal everyone’s in front of all of us.

Well, dude, I’m so glad we’re aligned on this. And what I sense is that in the next decade that there’s going to be a lot of great work to do together. And I’m really…what I see that I just want to reflect back to you is just the dedication, pushing through uncomfortable things like getting into a world that has been licensed and credentials and has really in a certain way held this back because this has been around. It’s not like this is all completely new, but I think just having the courage to step forward into what obviously is a clear life path dharma for you. I just acknowledge that.

Mastin Kipp:
Thank you, James.

James Maskell:
And I’m excited to see what happens when this becomes the beginning of the standard of care. Because I believe what you believe, which is that there is an innate healing capacity. It’s in all of these educational sources, in naturopathic medicines, in Chinese medicine.

Mastin Kipp:
Yeah.

James Maskell:
Chiropractic. And it just needs to be like let loose. And I think what’s been holding it back has been the trauma, the nervous system dysregulation, and I think it’s time for us to turn it on.

Mastin Kipp:
Yeah. What I love about what you’re saying, James, is you’re doing something that is the work now. I believe that the age of the guru is over, and the future is about people who can synthesize ideas. So it’s like you’re bringing together multiple practices and multiple approaches to be able to communicate. And I think that’s so important because in the coaching space, in the therapy space, in the spiritual space, there’s all these fragmented sections and sectors and sections of people, whether it’s therapies, modalities or coaching modalities, spiritual modalities. And I think that the future is about synthetization and integration of modalities. And you’re on the cutting edge of that. And I just want to acknowledge that too, because thank you for your acknowledgement. But I think also what you’re doing is so important because I think we can get so siloed in our ways of thinking and think about a functional approach.

Our type of coaching that we created is called Functional Life Coaching™. I created it at the Consumer Health Summit directly next to Dr. Jeffrey Bland. As I was talking about what I do, that’s where the name came from. And it’s like, I think that we just need to get along and communicate and remember that our goal is to help people and to try to, yes, we have to differentiate between medical coaching, etcetera. But ultimately, all of our goals is to make the world a better place for the people that we serve. And you’re doing a beautiful job bringing people together and being a bridge. And I really think that the future is the bridge builders. And I want to thank you for doing that because it’s such an important job right now in the world. It’s so important.

James Maskell:
Right. Well, thank you, sir, and I appreciate it. And we’ll have all the links to both the book and the Functional Life Coaching™ in the show notes. If this piqued your interest and you’re interested in finding out more, what a great educational curriculum for someone in your community or someone in your team, in your office, who wants to go down this path and wants to bring this to the office that you work in. So think about that. I know we’ve had a lot of success with practitioners doing those kind of education processes. We’ll have all those details.

All right. Well, hopefully you can tell we’re fired up about this part of medicine. And if you have questions, please feel free to get in touch. Mastin, it’s been a pleasure to have you on the Evolution of Medicine podcast. This truly is an evolution of medicine and part of the reason why we called it that at the beginning is that we knew that it would continue to adapt and evolve over time. And I think this is an acceleration point right now. So thank you.

Mastin Kipp:
My pleasure.

James Maskell:
And thanks everyone for tuning in and we’ll see you next time.

Mastin Kipp:
Thanks, James.

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