Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 18: Performance Physician Kirk Parsley

Men’s Journal’s Everyday Warrior With Mike Sarraille is a new podcast that inspires individuals to live more fulfilling lives by having conversations with disrupters and high performers in all walks of life. In our eighteenth episode, we spoke to Dr. Kirk Parsley, M.D. a retired Navy SEAL and performance enhancement physician who specializes in sleep, wellness, and hormonal optimization.  Listen to the full episode above (scroll down for the transcript) and see more from this series below.

This interview has not been edited for length or clarity.

Mike Sarraille:

Welcome to the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior podcast. Excited to have you, excited to talk about not only your life, but how you impact a lot of your clients and help them to live an optimal life in their thirties, forties, fifties, and beyond, which becomes an increasingly important thing as we age. I wanna dive in a little to your background for the listeners, get into your life story, especially the fact that you didn’t graduate from high school. I’m just gonna zone in on this one… became a Navy SEAL. And then I just don’t understand how high school dropout was selected by the Navy to become a premier doctor.

Kirk Parsley

A lot of guilt And shame twisted into me. So, yeah, so I went to all four years of high school. Um, but I was much more interested in, um, girls and cars and sports and fighting and so forth. Um, so didn’t, apply myself. You might say, I, I actually started getting DS and Fs in third grade. Um, so a suboptimal home life I’ll leave it there. And, so school was kind of my escape. It was kind of the only time I got to be away from home. And so I spent all my energy, you know, doing the fun stuff, not, not really working in school. And, at the end of four years I had enough credits to be a sophomore. And, um, I wasn’t gonna stick around after all my friends graduated, but none of my friends knew I wasn’t graduating.

They just, you know, everybody went their way. Everybody went to college and I went and got a G E D and went to the Navy, actually joined, in December before I graduated. So, December of 87 and, they’d just released a documentary about seals, they’d covered a Bud’s class. And they kept saying how this was the toughest training in the world. And, Crimins, you know, how Crimins was like the star of it and the tough fishermen from new England guy. Right. And, so I was like, well, this is the toughest training. I’m gonna go do that. So, um, you know, I, I, I was a good athlete as a good power athlete. Strengthen speed sucked at endurance. So budge was not the easiest experience for me, obviously. Um, but, yeah, I, I decided I want to go do the toughest training I could do.

I signed up, took the F they just started the dive fair program. So I was guaranteed a shot to go if I passed the test and bud and, bootcamp, um, didn’t even know the Navy was gonna pay me. And that’s how naive I was. I just thought they’re gonna gimme clothes. They’re gonna gimme a place to live. They’re gonna feed me. Then I’m either gonna be training for war or in war. So what the hell do I need money for? Right. Um, and, yeah, went, went into the seal team during the Hollywood days, obviously, like we, you know, we had the goal for, you know, where three bullets were shot, you know, so we didn’t have anything real, did a lot of what they call fit. Now, you know, they traveling overseas, training other, organizations, and then, you know, just training trip after training trip, same thing over and over kind of on a treadmill.

And I was like, I’m gonna go, I’m gonna go check out something else, go do something else. knew I’d have to go to college, had to start in junior college. You can’t get into college without a high school diploma. So, went to junior college, started working at San Diego sports medicine center. cuz I thought I was gonna be a physical therapist and um, you have to volunteer like 2000 hours to get into PT school. So I’m doing my doing my volunteer hours decided I didn’t really want to be a PT. Um, had every kind of healthcare practitioner in the world at this clinic. So I got to know everybody. And then, the doctors there because I’d been a SEAL. and then I was like, in my second year of college, these guys were only like three years older than me.

Like the young doctors. And they’re like, you should go be a doctor. And I was like, pump, you know, pump the brake sports, right? Like I didn’t graduate high school. I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna be a doctor. And the owner of the clinic, a doctor named Lee rice who still practices out in San Diego, here’s over here’s the conversation comes out into the hallway and says, Kirk, the question isn’t can you get into medical school? The question is, would you want to go, if you could get into medical school? And I said, of course I’d want to go. He said, well then what do you, what’s the question? And I’m like, all right. So he kind of changed me into it. You’re like, yeah, I’d love to be a doctor, but I don’t think I can be. So he’s like, well you gotta try.

So, went through college, set the curve in every class, got a 4.0 GPA all through, when he came time to apply for medical school. I found out the military had their own medical school, which I, I didn’t know. but I was already married, already had a kid found out. They’d pay me to go to medical school instead of the other way around. Um, and then of course, you know, the military, everything they trained you for, you repay with time. So I had to be a doctor for them for eight years. And so I just said, well, I’m sure I’ll be able to get back to the teams and go get back to the community and I’ll go do sports medicine, ortho, something like that. I’m well suited for cuz you know, being a at my age and being an athlete and a SEAL, like the only thing I knew about medicine was injuries.

Kirk Parsley
Right? Like that, that’s what I thought a doctor did, you know, like they fixed your shoulder, your elbow, your knee, like, and yeah.

So obviously, you know, as you said, I, I, got through medical school, did a residency in hyperbaric and under sea medicine so that I could go work with divers. And they sent me to this policy job with submarine rescue for like two years. And then I got to go to the SEAL teams and then I spent my last four years in the military at the SEAL teams and destroyed my career there, helping the guys but doing the right thing. And and so there, there was no future for me after that job. And so I, I got out at 19 years.

Mike Sarraille (06:32):
<laughs> When you say destroyed your career, you mean you pissed people off?

Kirk Parsley (06:35):
Yeah. I pissed off everybody in the medical sphere.

Mike Sarraille (06:38):
Because they were probably wrong.

Kirk Parsley (06:40):
Well because, they trained me as a doctor to diagnose and treat disease and none of our brothers had diseases. They had performance issues. And so I was, I had to learn a ton of integrative and functional alternative medicine. I had to learn about a lot about nutrition and supplements and hormones and like all like all the stuff that would interfere with performance. Um, and one of the things that I figured out was, you know, our guys, I don’t know if, if the east coast was the same way, but the west coast, about 85% of the team was taking Ambien every night. Like that was handed out like M&Ms, a normal thing. They thought it was an inconsequential jug, just take this and you’ll sleep. And so all these guys came to me with these problems of like low motivation shifts of body composition, moodiness, short attention span.

Kirk Parsley (07:34):
And it wasn’t disease. Nobody had a disease, but nobody was performing the way they wanted it to perform. And after I learned enough about sleep, I said, oh, sleep could be a big component of this. So let’s get everybody off of sleep drugs. And when I did that, like 85% of the people got rid of 90% of their problems just by the sleep. And I was like, oh my gosh. So this is bigger than I thought it was. And then, you know, and then that just, that just segued into me learning more and more about performance medicine because that, that, you know, but you know, the military, they got pissed off that I was giving people, Myer Stockdales, which is an IV of vitamins. Apparently that’s beyond my scope as a doctor, I wasn’t allowed to do that. And you know, I was giving people like, aromatase inhibitors to lower their estrogens of their testosterone would come back up and I wasn’t allowed to do that. And I kept getting investigated and shut down. And

Mike Sarraille (08:29):
That doesn’t surprise me with the military. No, very closeminded and don’t step outside of their lane.

Kirk Parsley (08:36):
knew they weren’t gonna let me give these guys hormones, even though their hormones were in the tank. and the same one I worked with NFL guys, like I worked with NFL linemen who they’re in the normal range by like one point like 250 to 1100, they’re 251. They can’t take hormones either. So the seals were the same way. I knew it because, and, and that makes sense, right? Cuz in, Admiral’s gonna be on CNN explaining why all the seals are on steroids, if you give ’em hormones. Right. So I knew I couldn’t do that. So I had to figure out, well, how do I optimize hormones? How do I optimize performance? How do I get these people’s body comps to shift? You know? And we had a nutritionist, but they were doing very standard nutritional stuff for the general population, not civilian.

Kirk Parsley (09:21):
A nutritionist came from a D-1 school worked with athletes, but it still is like, this is a different animal, right? Like we have a different, you know, you think about the, the healthcare providers that get to work with teams, they have an advantage because that’s a sport and there’s a schedule and there’s an off season and there’s downtime and, and everything’s calculated just like when you’re a seal, when are you gonna sleep? Like when is your on season? When do you have, when do you have to be on all the freaking die every day when you gonna sleep, whenever you can. How often is that gonna be? Who knows? Like you might not get to sleep this week. You know, you may not get a full night sleep for the next two weeks. Um, and so I had to work within this very limited scope. You, well, you know, with our, you know, within our community scope, it was different. And so while the people we hired, you know, we brought from the Olympic training center from professional sports teams, they’re working with athletes, which being a special forces guy is an athletic endeavor to be sure, but you don’t get a field with like lines drawn on it. And so many minutes of play and so many min like it doesn’t work like that and

Mike Sarraille (10:30):
You don’t get blown up.

Kirk Parsley (10:31):
Yeah. And you don’t get blown up and you don’t watch your buddies get blown up and you don’t have to work three days in a row because schedules got screwed and you don’t get to sleep for three days and still you gotta go do the da anyway, even though you’re hallucinating already, you know? so that, that, that was the sort of the environment that I found myself in, which was different than any other healthcare provider. I, it was, I was at an, in a great space in that, you know, seals had already killed Ben Laden and you know, like they had this fame. Right, right. They had this, this national notoriety. So I could call up any doctor. I could read a, you know, read a doctor’s book, listen, you know, listen to him on a podcast, see his lecture, listen to, oh, sees Ted talk or whatever.

Kirk Parsley (115):
And I could say, Hey, I, I learned about you here. I think what you do might be applicable to my guys. I’m the, I’m the doctor for the west coast seal teams. Would you allow me to train with you? Would you mentor me? Would you coach me? Would you let me to, would you consult on patients with me? And they’d be like, hell yeah. Every time. Hell yeah. Well, yeah. I’d love to. Um, and so I got, I mean, I had an unfair advantage. I, I got to learn probably 10 years worth of stuff in two years.

Mike Sarraille (142):
Le now let’s step back with, with the special operations community, namely the, the seal command was probably supportive of what you were doing. It was the traditional conventional military medical services that were

Kirk Parsley (153):
Well. So the, so war comp has a force medical officer, um, who is my boss technically. And then even like, even at the group, I had a senior medical officer above me who, was actually a physician’s assistant because the military does crazy stuff like that. and he told me day one, he is like, Hey, you know, because you’re wearing that Trident, people are gonna expect special treatment. And I was like, yeah. And I’m gonna give it to him because they’re wearing the Trident. Like it’s part of the name. Right. Special warfare. Like they got like, I’m a seal there seal of course. Yeah, of course I went and he’s like, no, you can’t do that. And I’m like, well, that’s what I’m gonna do. Um, and so they, they literally suspended my privileges many times investigated me, you know, tried to limit what I could do. And um, you know, I just kept pushing things lower and lower below the radar, but never, never stopped.

Mike Sarraille (12:59):
Not, not surprising, no. With, with the military. No. I mean, let’s be honest. They want you to be decisive. They want you to have a bias for action, but the second you’re outta line, right. Or, or your aperture is too open to right. Other ways of doing business. Yeah. They they’re, they’re gonna crash you. And,

Kirk Parsley (13:11):
And so some senior physician, you know, department head at the Navy hospital would hear

Mike Sarraille (13:17):
What you’re doing,

Kirk Parsley (13:18):
What, what I’m doing, because she’s seeing one of my patients and be like, what the hell he, and they call force medical and be like, oh, all over again. Well, what’s, what’s this guy doing now. and now it’s like, what I do thousands of doctors do now, but no one was doing it back then.

Mike Sarraille (13:33):
So let let’s back up. Now you’ve made a name for yourself, both within the special operations community and the civilian sector. Yeah. With regards to sleep, you’ve become one of the national experts on sleep. You’ve even written a book called sleep to win how Navy seals and other high performers stay on top.

Kirk Parsley (13:51):

Mike Sarraille (13:53):
What was it that made you dial in on sleep when you were looking at all these seals, these, these athletes suffering from a lack of performance. Yeah. And what is it about sleep that you consider to be the gateway to optimal

Kirk Parsley (14:09):
Health? Right. So, the most important part to understand about this is the difference between catabolic and anabolic. So catabolic is when you’re taking big complex things and you’re breaking them down into small, simple things. So as an example, if I’m in famine and I haven’t eaten for three days and my cells need amino acids, my body will eat by muscle and turn my muscle into amino acids so that my other cells can get the amino as they need. So I can stay alive. That’s catabolic stress hormones are catabolic. The higher level of stress you’re in. When you’re in fight or flight, you’re 100% catabolic, anabolic, exact opposite. What you think of with anabolic steroids, you’re taking amino acids and building muscles out of them, right? You’re taking small, small, simple things and building big complex things. So the most anabolic time in your life.

Kirk Parsley (15:03):
And in fact, really the only anabolic time in your life is deep sleep. So when you’re in deep sleep, you have almost no stress hormones. It’s the lowest or stress hormones will ever be. And it’s where about 95% of all of your anabolic hormones are secreted. And when these seals came to me with their problems, I didn’t have the slightest idea how to fix it. I’m like I have no, like I got nothing like nothing. I have no idea. So I just started testing everything I could. And their anabolic hormones were terrible. Their testosterone was low, their free testosterone was low. Their, I, you know, growth hormone was low. IGF. One is the market for that. Where’s low. Their estrogen was really high. You know, their insulin sensitivity was really low. And even though their ripped and they’re in good shape and they look like they should be on it’re inflammatory markers, which is catabolic.

Kirk Parsley (15:49):
Right. Um, all of those are really high. So I wanted to fix their hormones. But again, I knew I couldn’t just give them, I couldn’t give ’em hormones. I knew I, even if I give ’em thyroid, it would disqualify ’em. So they all, almost all of ’em had thyroid problems. So I’m like, well, what could be the thing? So then when I learned what actually happens during sleep, the first four hours of sleep, like that’s your anabolic time. So when you’re working out, you’re getting weaker, right? You’re damaging your muscles. When you go to sleep, your body ramps up anabolic activity, and it makes that muscle stronger. So that tomorrow it can lift the weight. You tried to lift today and you couldn’t. So once I learned that and I learned, well, that’s where all the hormones are secreted. And then I learned that the sleep drugs interfere with that let’s get ’em off of sleep drugs, got them sleeping.

Kirk Parsley (16:36):
And once they started sleeping and get rid of the sleep drugs, testosterone, tripled, quadrupled, quintuple, I had, I had guys getting PRS at 45 years old, the CEO of silting five, send me his workout log. He’s like, I, I PR in six lifts at 45 years old strongest, I’ve been my entire life. And I was like, oh, this is more than like, I wanted to give him hormones. But I knew that the sleep would help a little. I didn’t realize that it would be so big. And now the more I learn about sleep, every single thing that you care about happens when you sleep anything you wanna get better at. It happens when you’re sleep, you don’t get better at all. During the day you learn things. You don’t really learn them until you sleep on ’em you exercise. You don’t benefit from that until you recover from it.

Mike Sarraille (17:22):
Let, let me ask you this. So if you, if you had to put a percentage on the amount of problems that went away, once their sleep was back to, to, to optimal conditions. Yeah. What would that percentage be?

Kirk Parsley (17:35):
80%. You’re

Mike Sarraille (17:37):

Kirk Parsley (17:37):
Me. 80%. And I guarantee you 90% of what remained 90% of that, of that 20% was from TVs, which I didn’t figure out.

Mike Sarraille (17:49):
The TBIs are

Kirk Parsley (17:50):
The traumatic brain injuries from the over pressure rate. You know, all the blast injuries our guys had. I didn’t figure that out until probably two years into it. So about halfway through my time working, I realized how important the TBIs was because the brain is what sets all your hormones. So when your brain’s damaged and inflamed, it doesn’t balance your hormones. Right? And you, every, everything about your performance is hormones.

Mike Sarraille (18:16):
So seal or not your, your, your, your average civilian lets put it that way as you age, it seems like sleep problems become more prevalent. Yes. I mean, even now I’m wearing a, a embarrassingly, a, C P a P machine when, when I sleep. So what can your average person do in terms of either? I know I’ve heard it called sleep hygiene. What can they do to, to, to optimize their, their sleep? And I know this thing right here. Yeah. And, and even I’ve heard, TV in the bedroom is the worst thing you can do.

Kirk Parsley (18:56):
Well, it’s not ideal. I wouldn’t say it’s the worst thing, but it’s, it’s a, it’s a not ideal thing. so basically the most important thing is to convince yourself that sleep’s the most important thing. Once you get there, it’ll be really easy to learn how to sleep well. Um, the problem is our society does not value sleep, right? Like we go, we go, you think about our community. We go a week without sleep and training just approved to us. We don’t really need sleep. I think, right. Obviously we need sleep, you know, and entrepreneurs and C level executives. And like all these people who really get after it, they all believe that sleep is for the week that you’re lazy if you’re sleeping. So the first thing is to convince yourself that sleep’s the most important thing. You can do that very easily by going to Google scholar or PubMed and type in sleep.

Kirk Parsley (19:42):
And anything else you care about. Sleep in muscle. When sleep in parenting, sleep in mood, sleep in cognition, sleep in. I don’t care. Anything you care about. Start reading the science. You’ll be horrified. Once you’re scared to death, I’m like, oh my God, I need to sleep. Now. You’re ready. Sleep hygiene is really a fancy word for a bedtime routine. Remember when, when you have little kids, there’s a bedtime routine takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get a kid ready for bed. We need to get ready for bed too. We don’t give ourselves that time. So our ancestors, usually the sun as the cues, when to sleep, when the sun went down, the blue light went away. That triggered the chemical changes in our brain to make us sleepy about three hours later. And then three hours later, we would feel like going to sleep.

Kirk Parsley (20:27):
And then we’d wake up right around the time the sun comes up. And that turns out to be right around eight hours. And so you think about it. Our ancestors think about a thousand years ago, the sun went down. What would you do? You’d back into your cave. Maybe build a little fire. You’re very vulnerable. You can’t see at night, right? Any kind of predator could get you. You’re gonna, you’re tuck yourself away. You’re gonna have a fire to kind of ward off other animals. Now you now you really can’t see anything. There’s not gonna be a lot of activity. The sun went down, the air’s gonna get cooler. You’re gonna get cooler. So all that sleep hygiene is, is taking the blue light out of your eyes, decreasing the amount that you’re interacting with the environment. If you, you can wear the blue blocking glasses, all you want to, but go out to a nightclub with music, Blain and you know, attractive people of the opposite or whatever your preference is.

Mike Sarraille (215):
I like how you caught yourself there. You know what I’m saying? With his girlfriend sitting in the audience, you

Kirk Parsley (220):
Can do all of the, you can do all that stuff and you can push yourself to where you’re not sleepy because you’re interacting with the environment. So decrease the blue light, decrease your interaction with the environment, including your computer. So just because you’re wearing blue blocking glasses, doesn’t mean you can work on a stressful work project until 9 59 and get in bed at 10 o’clock and be like, why am I not asleep in 15 minutes? It doesn’t work that way. So decrease your interaction with the environment, including stress, and then lower your body temperature. Those three things are 100% of sleep hygiene. Now you’ll see that broken into a thousand different behaviors and tricks and do this and do that. But that’s what everything is for.

Mike Sarraille (257):
I, I know there’s parents listening that have toddlers and they’re like, yeah, this, this is a pipe dream. Thanks buddy. Right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And the only advice I I can give to them is get your kids on a, a sleep schedule,

Kirk Parsley (22:08):
Get your kids to sleep well. And if your kids are problematic sleepers, nobody likes to hear this, but one of you needs to recover. So you’re gonna have to take turns with dealing with the kids. And like one person gets to put in earplugs and eye mask and go down in the basement and crank up the AC and get 10 hours of sleep and recover. And then the next night they’re on duty and you switch, but that’s the only way to recover. The faster you recover, the less damage you do.

Mike Sarraille (22:35):
Let, let me ask you this. Does physiology play into genetics, play into certain people’s sleep in what I’m thinking of? And you probably know where I’m going. This there there’s guys like JAA wiling who can stay up till 12 if traveling on the road, but still gets up at four 30 and seems to operate at a, a high degree. Right. I, I, I can’t operate that, that, that way. I mean, given I I’ve, I had a lot more combat deployments, a lot more bangs and booms. Right. But it does. Does physiology and gen play.

Kirk Parsley (23:04):
Yeah. So it’s like anything else, right? Like we aren’t, we aren’t all equal. Right. That’s why the Olympics exist. No, nobody’s gonna pay to watch me. And you run a hundred meters, right. Because we’re not, we’re not those people. Right. So everybody has genetic gifts and that, so there’s, there’s no, there, there’s no evidence that anybody on the planet is optimal with less than eight hours of sleep. But there is evidence that certain gen genotypes people, certain gene profiles suffer less, but there’s, it’s still not ideal. They would still be ideal with eight hours. So if Joco slept eight hours every night, he would be better Joco than he is. But he just doesn’t suffer as much as maybe no,

Mike Sarraille (23:44):
You and I would. So he doesn’t suffer a larger date radiation as, as you or I would with, he’s definitely a, a beast. Um, we’re, we’re going to sort of roll into a, a mid, break here. And, and before we take a first break, man, I wanna ask you a few hard questions, which is what we do here at the, the everyday warrior. We’re gonna ask you to get a little vulnerability because as you know, and I preach this in a lot of my, my speeches is you can’t have a healthy culture unless you have vulnerability. Right? And amongst the most elite warriors I’ve ever seen, they were kind, they were empathetic and they didn’t fear being vulnerable with their fellow men. So first one is hardest decision Kirk Parsley’s ever had to make.

Kirk Parsley (24:27):
Um, honestly that would probably be whether or not to get a divorce. When I had small children. That was real. That was, that was, took me many years to make that decision. That was tough. but on topic, the next hardest thing would be was I gonna keep doing everything that I wasn’t allowed to do for our guys and possibly lose my medical license and all that other stuff, you know?

Mike Sarraille (24:55):
So that’s, that’s the hardest thing you had to face. Yeah. Is military punishment

Kirk Parsley (25:00):
Doing your job mean? Well, I mean, cuz that would’ve been my whole life like that. I, if I would’ve lost my license in the medical school, that, or in the military that would’ve followed me in the civilian sector,

Mike Sarraille (25:08):
You would’ve been done,

Kirk Parsley (25:09):
I’d be working on Harleys or digging ditches right now. I wouldn’t be a doctor. You

Mike Sarraille (25:13):
You’d be pretty good ditch Digger.

Kirk Parsley (25:15):
I think so. Yeah. Like

Mike Sarraille (25:16):
I, I mean, look at you, dude. You’re beast.

Kirk Parsley (25:18):
Yeah. I, I got, I got good arms for them.

Mike Sarraille (25:21):
You, you know what I gotta say about human performance doctors is I’m always fearful. It’s it’s much like a trainer, right? Like at a gym who who’s got a little bit of a belly hanging over there. yeah. Their belt, like, ah, what’s your qualifications. Yeah. Do you live with credibility?

Kirk Parsley (25:36):
Yeah. And there’s other guys who have a lot more than a little bit of a belly. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille (25:39):
<laugh> last question. Before we take this, this break, the hardest regret

Kirk Parsley (25:45):
You live with the hardest regret.

Mike Sarraille (25:47):
No regrets,

Kirk Parsley (25:49):
No, no regrets. Um, man, you know, I would,

Kirk Parsley (25:59):
I mean, it, it’s a foolish regret and I’ve actually expressed it to a guy out here in the audience before, um, you know, leaving the seal teams pre nine 11 and never getting to go to combat. Not because I wanted to go to combat, but because I felt like I was deserting my brothers and you know, when one of those guys died, we all kind of have this stupid image of ourselves that maybe we, it would’ve been different or whatever. Um, and so I, I, I regret getting out of the seal teams, but I don’t regret what’s happened since. So it’s, it’s a mixed bag, but that, that one’s, I mean, that one haunts me. Like I always think like maybe, you know,

Mike Sarraille (26:41):
Well, regardless if you went war or not, you prepped the next generation and, and given some of the stories you tell me at dinner, I’m so glad that the seals in the nineties did not go to war <laugh> you guys were the wild children and God help us. If we unleashed those, we were

Kirk Parsley (26:55):
Truly the dirty dozen back then. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille (26:57):
Yeah. You guys were well with that. We’ll we’ll be right back. And we are back with duck, Kirk parsley, Navy seal, and nationally renowned. Can I say that nationally renowned sleep and human. You could

Kirk Parsley (27:12):
Actually, you could actually say internationally, internationally. I I’ve lectured internationally.

Mike Sarraille (27:16):
You you’re renowned

Kirk Parsley (27:17):
International guy.

Mike Sarraille (27:19):
Let, let, because you are a beast and I know people will see you on the, the videos for this. What, how old are you?

Kirk Parsley (27:26):
I’ll be 52 next month.

Mike Sarraille (27:28):
That’s fucking old.

Kirk Parsley (27:29):
I know. Okay. It’s all. But I probably, you know, any, like, I’m just every day’s gravy from now. Like I’ve like, I’ve already lived longer than I expected

Mike Sarraille (27:40):
It. We, you look good, dude. If I look as good as you, when I’m 52, that’s gonna be a victory.

Kirk Parsley (27:46):
Well, you better start working. <laugh>

Mike Sarraille (27:48):
Yeah. We’ll we’ll compare, body scans after,

Kirk Parsley (27:51):
, now we won after this. Yeah. You’re I’m sure you’re leaner than I am.

Mike Sarraille (27:55):
Okay. So, you know, we, we talked about sleep and that was educational. I think for everyone in the crowd and, and educational for the listeners, it’s something we, we, we just dismiss it. I mean, you can dismiss it when you’re 20 getting drunk, with your, your buddies operating off of two hours of sleep and they go to work. But as you get older, that’s just, it’s, it’s

Kirk Parsley (28:14):
Not there. Well, you think about just our society in general and not just America, but Western society. What’s the first thing you give up. Oh, sleep for anything. It’s like time crunch. Oh, I gotta get all this stuff done. I don’t have enough time. I’ll go to bed later. I’ll get up earlier. Right. That’s the first thing we give up should be the last thing we give up because it impacts everything we do. And so whether using your body or your brain to get that project done, you’re impairing the process. So if you say, well, I’m going to cut my sleep short by two hours. You’re gonna lose about almost three hours of efficiency that next day. So it’s a negative sum game and you’re tearing yourself down. You’re aging really? Right? Because if you, if you could, if you had perfect sleep, what would happen is you would go to sleep and you would repair 100% and you would wake up the next day exactly the way you were that morning. So you would never age.

Mike Sarraille (29:15):
So I understand this and, and I understand this because of you and I, and I know for, for the listeners, Kirk and I have known each other for a long time. I, so I, I am in bed by probably eight. And, I think, you know, my wife calls me the gremlin. Yeah. Cuz she’s watching, reality TV and she pokes me to, to, to watch a certain scene. I, I, I react. Yeah. Not well <laugh> and so she calls me the grumbling, so Hey, we will move beyond sleep. But I mean, you went as far to create duck, partially sleep remedies. Where, where can people find that? And what, what, what is it?

Kirk Parsley (29:51):
Yeah. So when, when I was, when I decided that I, that, I wanted to get the guys off of the sleep drugs, obviously they were taking sleep drugs because they couldn’t sleep. So I had to give them something in, right. I did, I had to substitute with something and all pharmaceuticals are really kind of the same, um, there’s nuances, but they all, they all mess up the sleep architecture, um, which is like the different stages of sleep. So, um, because I could work with all of these experts all over the world and sleep and nutrition and you know, neurology and all those things. I, I did my own research and I figured out what supplements actually help with sleep and why. And I just made a list of all of’em and then all the team guys were going to buy this. They’re going to buy the list of all these products, one by one. And then they just hared me into making a product. Cuz they were like ISS, a pain in the ass. We gotta go to all these different stores

Mike Sarraille (30:46):
And this, so you, you were in a van down by the river basically. Yeah. Concocting.

Kirk Parsley (30:50):
Yeah. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille (30:51):
Different ingredients. No,

Kirk Parsley (30:52):
No. So, so I was sending ’em to the store and then they were like, they were like, man, I got like, I gotta buy this in a powder and this is a pill and this is a 90 day supply. That’s a 60 day. I gotta travel with all this shit. Can you just make something? And I was like, all right, I’ll try, I’ll try. I’ll try. And then I, I like dropped out of clinical practice that I’m just gonna, I’ll build this supplement over the course of a year. I’m just gonna sell it to the seal teams. And then I’m gonna go back into clinical, like brick and mortar. And I just survived off of consulting. Like I, I gave up my income. I said, I’m just gonna build this real quick. had a couple of friends invest and we built it up real quick. Still don’t sell to the seals. Six days, six years later, no contracts with the military, ton of seals by it. A ton of military people buy it on their own. I give them like a big discount, cuz that’s why I built it, but it turned into a real business. Um, and then when I go lecture all over the place and people are like, well, what’s a good sleep supplement. I’m well that happened to happen. That’s mine. Right?

Mike Sarraille (349):
Mine mine’s best. Yeah. Now you’ve also created, recently a, a sleep journal, which I mean you’ve shared with me.

Kirk Parsley (356):
Yeah. So it’s basically what we are talking about. Like, um, all the sleep hygiene stuff, but also like how do you get stress out of, because the number one reason people don’t sleep while the stress. So how do you remove stress from the equation? So I’ve written blogs and given, I, I, I gave a four day lecture on just that topic like four, eight hour days. Um, and I, and I’ve basically made a journal. That’s a summary. Um, and, and we’re selling it on my site. Um, but if any, anybody listening to this or anybody in the audience who wants that, um, if you just email me at kirkparsleydotcomorkirkparsley.com. Yeah. Um, I I’ll email you. The it’s a PDF. We, we have it in a bound, but I’ll email you the, that. But if you go to doc parsley.com, my website, you can, you can buy the journal on there. You can buy the sleep supplement on there. You can list the hundreds of hours of podcast. If you’re so inclined or watch the lectures, read, read blogs, whatever, there’s a ton of sleep stuff on there. There’s other stuff, hormones and what have you. But

Mike Sarraille (33:04):
Yeah, let’s, let’s get into, to the human performance side, which I know has become your passion. Cuz so many of us that know you come to you and say, Hey, you know, I’m not feeling right. Right. you, it actually remind me. and again, I think it was not to, to hone in on Joco. I think it was, 2006. I was about to turn 30. I think he was 35 at the time or something like that. And he’s like, Hey, when you turn 30, nothing will heal the same. I’m like, ah, whatever. No, I’m like, you don’t know me. I’m I’m a high performer. I’m good. And, and he was right, right. And it got worse at 40 and I’m gonna assume it only gets worse

Kirk Parsley (33:39):
At up, gets worse at 50, at 50, at fifties, when I really started getting injuries that didn’t heal, like to take months to heal. And I’m like, man, that’s what it healed in two weeks in my twenties.

Mike Sarraille (33:50):
<laugh> so explain to me. And it reminds me that I think it was the old John Wayne quote and I, I won’t use the word, getting old isn’t for cowards. Yeah. Yeah. What is it specifically as we age as men, what is degrading to the point that human performance medicine can step in and start to provide?

Kirk Parsley (34:12):
I mean, it it’s the same. It’s the same for men and women. Again, like the metaphor I gave earlier. Um, if, if you think about a kid, think about a 14 year old, a 14 year old goes to sleep. They sleep for 12 hours. If they’re uninterrupted, right? If they don’t have to get up, they’ll sleep for 12, maybe 14 hours, but they actually wake up better than they were the day before. So they, they grew, they improved, they get smarter, they get stronger, they got faster. And then at some point roughly around 30, it could be anywhere from 25 to 35, depending on your genetics and how you’ve lived your life and how serious you are about the other pillars of health, like nutrition, exercise and stress mitigation. Um, you, it becomes a, a wash and you’re like going to bed recovering about the same as you were the next day.

Kirk Parsley (35:00):
And then somewhere around 35, 30, 35, it starts dropping off and you don’t recover a hundred percent every night and that’s largely hormone, but there’s a lot involved. It’s it’s epigenetics, which is like, what genes are expressed. There’s things called ssen cells. So like older cells that are dying. There’s blood flow issues. As you get athlos groceries, you don’t get as much blood and oxygen. And if you think about it, all aging really means is that you’re becoming less capable of recovery, right? Because when you’re old, why do you die? Well, you die because you can’t fight off illness as well. You’re immune, right? You, you just don’t recover as well. You fall down the stairs, you don’t recover as well. You get injured, you don’t recover as well. So you’re more likely to die as you get older. And that’s really all it is. You’re just not as capable as recovery.

Kirk Parsley (35:47):
So recovery is everything. It’s your nutritional status. It’s blood flow. It’s hormone, just genetics. It’s your, you know, and that can be supplemented, like supplement supplemental nutritions. Like you could be deficient on micronutrients. You could be deficient on vitamins. You could be, you know, there there’s herbs that can adapt sort of your hormone regulation. There’s actual hormones. There’s peptides that mimic things in your body that affect your immune system that affects your recovery. Like all of those things matter, but the lifestyle’s 90% of it, right? You still have to sleep well, you still have to eat well. You still have to exercise regularly. Exercising regularly is the best thing for longevity is the best thing to fight off disease is the best thing for cognition. And it’s the best thing for everything, you know? Um, and then, you know, you gotta be able to control your stress and that can be mindfulness.

It can be meditation. That could be, maybe you control your stress through exercise, right? It’s like, maybe you’re a meditator. Maybe you do yoga. It doesn’t matter what you do. As long as some people get it from community. That’s why a lot of people with community who go to church or they live in big families, they live longer because they have community, they have lower stress. They feel like they have more support. And so you have to balance all of those things, but that’s an ideal lifestyle, but then there’s reality, right? Cuz there’s limitations to what you can do. And then in between, here’s where we supplement. That’s where we give you supplements. Maybe there’s far, maybe there’s a pharmaceutical. Maybe there’s a hormone. Maybe there’s a PSM. Maybe there’s a peptide. Maybe, you know, maybe there’s a gadget we can use to help you meditate. There’s a gadget we can use to help you get to sleep faster. There’s a gadget we can use to help you monitor your nutrition back to that. You,

Mike Sarraille (37:25):
You bring up the SARMs, you bring up the peptide as you bring up the hormones and you let’s let’s let’s solidify this before you even go there. Right. You have to have that foundation of what you said, sleep proper nutrition. Yeah. And, and exercise. Right. And, and

Kirk Parsley (37:40):
You, you could, you could take horse doses of hormones and soms and peptides drink beer all day, eat pizza and not work out. And you’re not going to be healthy. Like that’s not the way it works. Like you, you have to have the foundation to get the benefit from it. Those things don’t matter at all, if you aren’t doing the other things. Right.

Mike Sarraille (37:58):
So, you know, and we’re gonna get into psychedelics briefly. Yeah. today. And, and we’re gonna bring on Dr. Martin, Polanco, who we both know and, and has been critical to our lives and helped a lot of our, our brothers with, with trauma, therapy. When you mention PSMs peptides and hormones, there’s just like this still this dirty

Kirk Parsley (38:22):

Mike Sarraille (38:23):
Connotation that people are like, no, I don’t wanna do that. That’s that’s and it,

Kirk Parsley (38:26):
And it’s so dumb, but it’s just the way it works, man. It’s just politics.

Mike Sarraille (38:30):
Because if my testosterone is low, the only way to increase that to a meaningful level outside of sleep, nutrition and exercise is to actually supplement to get my H my, my testosterone, a healthy

Kirk Parsley (38:41):
Yard. Yeah. I mean, if you were, if you were 35 and your hormones were low, I’s probably other pharmaceuticals I could give you that would get you up there. But once you get over, you know, when you get to like mid forties, the odds that we’re gonna get you up into that upper 20% of the range, which is where all the real benefits shown to be. If you take the bell curve of what’s normal, it’s a huge range. 250 to 1100. So what does 600 tell me in the range, right? Is that in the range for you? Like, I don’t know. I’d have to know you your whole life. Right? So, but what, when you stratify that and you say, all right, let’s break it down into 20th percentiles, Quintiles. The people whose testosterone, total testosterone are in that upper quintile lowest risk of death, lowest risk of disease. So that there are one, right? What’s your risk one. You go down to the next quintile that doubles it doubles again. When you go down doubles again, when you go down doubles again, when you go down, you do the math. If you’re in the lowest quintile, you’re 16 times more likely to die of anything. You’re 16 times more likely to have any disease, but baseball players use testosterone to cheat in a home run contest. And so we don’t wanna give you

Mike Sarraille (39:54):
Testosterone, which was the greatest year of baseball. It was like

Kirk Parsley (39:57):
The coolest part of baseball ever.

Mike Sarraille (39:59):
I, so, McGuire. Yeah, that was, that was the greatest

Kirk Parsley (40:02):
I gave, I gave a lecture to a professional baseball team and I used McGuire when I did the testosterone, slide. It was him hitting a home

Mike Sarraille (40:12):
Like, and he was in the crowd.

Kirk Parsley (40:14):
He was one of the coaches on the team. <laugh> but he was totally cool about it. He was totally cool about it. He talked to me for like an hour. He was a great guy.

Mike Sarraille (40:21):
I, I don’t care what anyone says. I, I remember that one season. I don’t remember any other season. Yeah. I mean, that was the best baseball we’ve ever seen. So, you know, let, let’s talk about blood work cuz whenever I come to you, the first step is always, Hey, let’s get blood labs. Right? The it’s almost from a, from a, person that, that doesn’t have a medical background. It seems like that’s always sort of your baseline. The blood says

Kirk Parsley (40:45):
All. I mean it has to be right. Like it, it, I mean, it doesn’t have to be blood. It could be blood, it could be urine. It could be saliva depending on what we’re testing. Mm-hmm <affirmative> but it’d be the same. If you came to me and said, Hey, I’m having sleep problems. And I said, how much are you sleeping? Said, I don’t know.

Mike Sarraille (40:58):

Kirk Parsley (40:59):
All right, well, I, I don’t know what to do with that, but let me do some labs on you. Right? Same thing. I’m having problems. Well, I don’t know what your hormones look like. I don’t know what your inflammation looks like. I don’t know what your, toxicity levels, right. You could have like environmental talks, you get, I mean, being a team guy, especially your team, I guarantee you have lead toxicity. If you’ve never worked to get it out, you have it. Um, so I don’t know any of that until I test. And once I see everything I can say, this is probably the first thing we should work on because this is, this is like, this one thing will fix 60% of the things. And then this one thing will fix 10% like it. And then we figure out the order in which we

Mike Sarraille (441):
Now correct me if I’m wrong here, because it seems like traditional medicine. And what I mean by that is when I go in for my annual checkup, right. With my Tricare doctor, right. Who’s not exactly, hitting a, a high percentage there. I, even in my forties, they’re not asking for robust blood labs. What, what can a male in his late thirties, forties, and fifties do on his own outside of his general practitioner to, to check those levels?

Kirk Parsley (42:10):
Well, I mean, in this day and age with all of the environmental, so it like all the, like the BPA you hear about in the plastics, but all, almost all of these environmental toxins, like the, the pesticides and those other things, these things all act like estrogen. So that’s why they’re affecting men more than women. Um, and so the first thing, the first thing that any man needs to do is get a full hormone P profile. And that full hormone profile goes from cholesterol all the way past testosterone to D H, T and estradiol, because testosterone can become one of those two things. We need everything in between there so that we know what we’re dealing with. And then we need standard blood work on top of that. And then we need, you know, your thyroid hormones and your adrenal hormones, your stress hormones, we need to, because every hormone affects every other hormone.

Kirk Parsley (43:02):
So that would be, that would be the baseline. I would say, if you’re 35 or over, that would be the most important thing to do. and then it would, and then it would be like a metabol, which would be like your vitamins and minerals, which is not standard labs either. So, and then if you have a job, like you’ve had, I’d say, well, let’s check you for lead toxicity. This test you for manganese type, like let’s look at your toxic levels, but Joe blow, he has basically gone, gone to college, got married, got a job, I’d say full hormone panel. And I mean, every hormone you can test for insulin, thyroid cortisol, every anabolic hormone, every, every catabolic hormone.

Mike Sarraille (43:51):
Now some of this sounds cost prohibitive.

Kirk Parsley (43:55):
You can get that whole panel for like 600 bucks.

Mike Sarraille (43:58):
That’s a lot of money for, for a lot of people.

Kirk Parsley (44:01):
Well, you would only have to do that big of one, maybe once mm-hmm <affirmative>, but like Tricare would, if you told your doctor, Hey man, I want these things. if you have healthcare insurance, your doctor can order most of those things. And if you had to just go add a few things after that, you, you could probably get away for a hundred, a hundred, maybe 20

Mike Sarraille (44:23):
Bucks. Now for the guys listening that that can’t afford PSMs and peptides and hormones, is it always just go back to those core three sleep nutrition

Kirk Parsley (44:33):
Exercise. So I, I say sleep is the foundation that the pillars sit on, right? So sleep’s the most important thing you, and then you have a pillar of nutrition. You have a pillar of exercise, you have a pillar of stress mitigation. Yes. If sleep’s bad, all the pillars are gonna fall, right? Because that’s the foundation. but if you are say a shift worker and you don’t have an option, optimize those three pillars for sure. And sleep’s not gonna be great, that’s the way your life’s built. Um, but those guys can do some pretty obvious, hormone improvement. So you can take, you can take some supplements, there’s adrenal supplements that will help your repair, your adrenals, taking something as simply as seven keto, D H E a, that will improve your testosterone, cuz that can’t become estrogen taking zinc 60 milligrams of zinc, saturated, a that’ll block, estrogen conversion by a little bit, that’ll raise your testosterone. A man’s always gonna feel a little better with testosterone, with a little more testosterone. So that would be a, that would be a place to start. If you couldn’t do labs, if you couldn’t do any labs, it’s not gonna drive you high. Right. If, if, if, if we did happen to do labs and you turned out, you were like maxing out the testosterone level and you did all that other stuff, it wouldn’t wouldn’t change your testosterone level. Cause you maxed it out. Like it it’s a self-regulating system. So that would be worth trying.

Mike Sarraille (45:54):
Let’s let’s get into a subject that, I mean, you’ve spoken a lot about it, ed erectile, dysfunction. And, and I’m just gonna state, I don’t have a erectile dysfunction. My wife’s in the audience. Yeah. I want that to be understood. Um, no, no, no, but seriously again, let’s look at the seal community. A lot of brothers had this issue cuz of the things that they, they, they faced and the physiology of the, the impacts they faced at war. Um, what’s the biggest misconception about ed and, and, and who’s most frequently affected by it.

Kirk Parsley (46:30):
Well, so I, I would say the biggest misconception about ed is that, is, is that once that happens, you’re, you’re doomed. Um, because it can be an intermittent thing. It can be something that it can be caused by psychology, which is really common. Um, you know, unfor unfortunately in today’s world porn addiction is a big reason for it. but you, your, your, your psychology around performance, if it doesn’t quite work one night, it’s more likely to happen again. So that, the, the biggest misconception is like, oh, now I have ed that’s me from now on. Right. I’m gonna be fighting this forever now. Like it’s very possible. It’s just a short term thing. You need to massage a few things around and then everything’s gonna come back. Um, and then the other misconception is that it’s rare. It’s not rare. Like it it’s, it’s like 60, 70% of people, probably men probably by 40 have had it. And by 50 it’s probably closer to 80%.

Mike Sarraille (47:36):
No kidding.

Kirk Parsley (47:37):
And then that doesn’t mean this every time, but it’s like, you know, one out of every 10 times maybe you’re like, oh, this isn’t working. Right. Um, so it, it, it’s something that’s bound to happen, like gray hair, like it’s, there’s gonna be some degree of that at some point in your life and just roll with it, man. It’s just like, whatever. It’s, it’s just some, it’s something to work on. And there’s a ton of treatments. There’s so many things you can do

Mike Sarraille (48:01):
For that. But bottom line is go, just go see your doctor, go see don’t, don’t be embarrassed

Kirk Parsley (48:05):
To doctor. Don’t be embarrassed and like talk to other people. like I, um, I’ll, I’ll be, I’ll be vulnerable here. Like I had an issue with that after I had COVID and I started talking to people and they said, every time I talked to a guy who had had COVID, he was like, you know what? I kind of hung that too. Cause it wasn’t a severe thing, but it was like, yeah, this is really different. Like what’s going on here? Nobody wants to talk

Mike Sarraille (48:29):
About it. Do, do you think that’s what the Chinese were after was cause ed,

Kirk Parsley (48:32):
They were

Mike Sarraille (48:32):
Probably after the American male

Kirk Parsley (48:34):
Ed, they didn’t want me to procreate anymore.

Mike Sarraille (48:36):
Got it, got it. Damn.

Kirk Parsley (48:37):

Mike Sarraille (48:38):
Damn. The, Chinese government. Um, let, let’s talk a little about, and, and for the listeners, Kirk is not going anywhere. In fact, Kirk is part of this men’s journal every day warrior initiative, he’s gonna be a contributor. He’s gonna be helping men get back to that optimal health. And we’re gonna be diving in, in detail to a lot of the things we’ve discussed on this podcast. But I wanna talk about mental health really quickly again, which again is like ed is not something to be embarrassed about. Right? I struggle with my mental health depending on, on environment stressors that that’s just being human, but

Kirk Parsley (49:20):
Well, you and you have a thousand head injuries.

Mike Sarraille (49:24):
I’ve I’ve got lesions on the brain. I’ve got multiple lesions

Kirk Parsley (49:26):
On the brain. Like every, every special force this guy has had thousands of head injuries, just the over pressurization, the blast gun gunfire, Carl Gustos like, those are head injuries.

Mike Sarraille (49:38):
But regardless if, if you served at war or not, I mean, there there’s trauma. I mean, there’s, there’s mental health. I mean the environment in society today, but let, let’s talk about again, similar to your approach that pissed off traditional Navy medicine, right? You started referring a lot of these seals that were dealing with mental health issues. Yeah. If people wanna say PTSD, that’s fine. I call it survivor’s guilt.

Kirk Parsley (50:03):
Yeah. I don’t, I don’t, I, I don’t think we need a D we don’t need to call it.

Mike Sarraille (50:08):
It’s not a, it’s not a

Kirk Parsley (50:09):
Disorder. We don’t need a disorder. No. And I don’t think we need to post trauma. Right. It’s stress. And does it, does it really matter if the stress is because of your job? Does it really matter if the stress is physiologic because of injuries? Does it matter if it’s because of an emotional event? Does it matter if it’s because you’re going through bankruptcy or because you’re going through it doesn’t matter. It’s stress and that stress is catabolic. It’s breaking you down. It’s interfering with your sleep, which is breaking you down even further. And it’s, and almost every major psychiatric disease is preceded by a period of insomnia when you can’t sleep well, your brain doesn’t work well. And anything you’re susceptible to your neurochemistry changes and you may get depressed, or you may be, you may be a little bipolar. Like you might have a touch of that.

Kirk Parsley (50:57):
And you may go into a manic episode. You know, there’s all sorts of things that can come out of that. Um, and, and things just as simple as your cognition, when you can’t remember things and you can’t focus well, you can’t pay attention. Well, you start doubting yourself. And that doubt cycles into more stress, which makes it harder for you to downward spiral stuff. And now you have anxiety because you can’t trust yourself to perform. And you don’t know what the hell’s wrong with you, what’s going on with me. Right. Um, so we all have it and it all manifests itself as a disorder, right? Meaning that we’re not performing the way we want to perform and it can always be improved upon no matter how, how dialed in you are, we can do better. And so if you’re optimals here and you’re living here and you get down here, you feel it. But getting back here might just be how you’re performing. We could still go better.

Mike Sarraille (548):
Yeah. So we both come from the same community and the, the seal community, the military at large always had a motto suffer in silence.

Kirk Parsley (557):
Oh yeah.

Mike Sarraille (558):
And, um, I’m glad to say that, that, that has been broken. Right. And the most masculine thing you can ever do. The biggest thing as a man, that the strongest thing is to say, Hey, I I’m having mental health issues. Yeah. And if you’re around a good tribe, they’ll wrap their arms around you and they’ll say, Hey, that’s okay. Let’s, let’s get somebody to, to talk to, but let’s so the VA, which I’m not gonna sit here and bag on the veteran affairs. There’s, there’s good people that work at the veteran affairs that care. But unfortunately they work under regulations.

Kirk Parsley (52:28):
They’re overly regulated underfunded and

Mike Sarraille (52:31):
Much like Navy traditional

Kirk Parsley (52:32):
Medicine. I mean, it’s just a, you know,

Mike Sarraille (52:34):
So even within the civilian world though, you know, mental health issues are usually dealt with, with a prescription pad. Right. And I, I had buddies that were on 17 different pills,

Kirk Parsley (52:47):
Very common.

Mike Sarraille (52:49):
You said this, this, this doesn’t make sense. Yeah. And you said, we need to open our aperture. And you started referring seals to a psychedelic therapy, retreat in Mexico.

Kirk Parsley (52:59):
Well, I could only do it after. Yes. After they had to, they had to be add to the teams. but in the like active duty now can do things right now because, because of maps, people can do MDMA and people can do ketamine cuz they can go into a clinical setting and do it. Um, and those in those days you couldn’t do anything. But yeah, I, I referred, I mean I referred people who were, you know, writing their suicide letter about to suck, start their pistol. And I’m like, Hey, I, this, this treatment actually scares me. I’m nervous to recommend this to you, but I’m gonna go down there. What,

Mike Sarraille (53:37):
What are, what the recourses

Kirk Parsley (53:38):
Going happen? It’s like, you’re about to kill yourself. Yeah. If this thing kills, you I’ll feel guilty forever, but it could turn things around and it, and it turns things around and all it takes, you know, the first guy that I, that I had do that had an amazing result. And then he told two of his buddies and you know how it goes from there. And now you have like 400 plus of just of

Mike Sarraille (53:58):
Our guys, special operations guys. Yeah.

Kirk Parsley (54:00):
Yeah. And, and the, and way more than that, that have gotten amazing, amazing results.

Mike Sarraille (54:04):
Well, I, I went because of you. Yeah. And you told me, and I pushed that off for two years, but that was, I wanna say that was the most interesting experience I’ve ever had. Yeah. And in particular, we’re gonna sit down with Dr. Martin, into an episode here shortly and we’re gonna dive into the details, but the two forms of medicine and, and what I gotta say, the setting that they, that they create for that weekend could not be more professional with cardiologists with, you know, heart rate monitors. Right. You go through a thorough medical screening, but first night was Ivy game, which I I’ll be honest was rough. Right. I wanted to get off that ride real quick. Yep. Um, but that set the conditions for the next thing, which was five EO DMT, which Mike Tyson on, on the Joe Rogan podcast has talked about the ego killer, which was the most spiritual thing I’ve ever experienced. Yeah. And that was life changing.

Kirk Parsley (55:04):
I’ve done that one myself and I had the same experience.

Mike Sarraille (55:07):
Yeah. And, and the amount of, again, it goes back to the, the stigma of, I, I was even afraid to tell my dad I’m, I’m 44. Right. I was afraid to tell my old man, who’s a, who’s a devout Roman Catholic that I was going on a psychedelic, therapy.

Kirk Parsley (55:20):
And, and again, that’s all politics. It’s just like the hormones, just like testosterone, testosterone exists in your body. It exists in men and women. It’s a natural hormone when it’s dysregulated. Why don’t we re-regulate it political reasons? Well, psychedelics have been known about for a long time. And in the sixties, they started studying ’em and some congressman’s son like overdosed on some kind of psychedelic and all the psychedelic research went away until like 10 years ago. And now they’re going, oh my gosh, it does all this amazing thing who would’ve ever figured that a plant that evolved to be on the planet at the same time of us, that we could ingest and has some, a benefit to us. Well, we eat plants and that benefits us. So why would we think that eating some other plant that causes some other kind of reaction that is beneficial? Why is that bad? Again? It’s all political. Um, it doesn’t make any sense from a healthcare practitioner. If I look at, if I’m, if I’m looking at a seal who’s suffering,

Mike Sarraille (56:19):
I don’t, anyone who’s suffering. Yeah. I, I

Kirk Parsley (56:21):
Don’t care what we have to do to get rid of the suffering. Right? Like, let’s, let’s do that. If this works, let’s do that. Why would I say, oh no, no, no, not that you can take these 17 pills, but don’t go drink that plant or don’t go take that pill of, of that psychedelic medication. It makes no sense. And our community specifically, it’s hard, hard, hard to be vulnerable. It’s hard for people to open up. Um, it’s hard for people to admit that they can’t fix everything. And so as you know, those drugs show you, you’re not anything, buddy. You can’t fix anything and you’re not, you’re not all that

Mike Sarraille (56:56):
<laugh>. Well, you know, one of the key supplements that came from that trip that is a part of my daily regimen is microdosing, right. Microdosing of psilocybin. Right. Which is probably one of the greatest mood enhancers and even focus. Yeah. supplements that I’ve ever taken and in no, at no point am I ever I’ll say tripping or going into a psychedelic journey with microdosing. Right. Right. And I know for some people, psilocybin wasn’t, wasn’t working. So they’re microdosing, LSD again, same effect. They’re not tripping.

Mike Sarraille (57:37):
Anything, well guys, Kirk, at this point of the show, we want to turn it over to the audience. If there’s any questions for Kirk in the wealth of knowledge that he has, we’ve got a microphone in the back. Um, please feel free. Nira is holding it. Please feel free to ask any questions.

Speaker 3 (57:55):
Hey, Dr. Kirk, it’s Austin Tally. I definitely, I’m gonna be reaching out. Um, my, one of my best friends and I both have a problem where we just can’t turn our brain off. It seems like, yeah. Um, we have two different life experiences. mine is, is 10 years of combat and, and him is the stresses of entrepreneurship without a doubt because every day you think you’re gonna go.

Kirk Parsley (58:19):
You are my two clients. That’s who I work with, like 99% of who I work with right there, those two.

Speaker 3 (58:24):
I guess if you could sum up any assistance out of turn our brain off a little bit, cuz I’ve done the blue light glasses too, I, I even use ’em to watch TV now. I don’t pick up any electronics without ’em. Um, but I, I obviously I’m gonna be hitting you up for more of a personal, one on one, but um, any guidance on that.

Mike Sarraille (58:48):
So basically you’re jacked up at night.

Speaker 3 (58:50):
Yeah. Some days I can go to sleep at nine o’clock at night and some days it’s not till 3:30 in the morning, I’m still waking up at 6:50 every day without alarm clock.

Kirk Parsley (59:01):
Yeah. Well what I can say is, um, you know, there, there is, there’s a medical board specialty for doctors that, work with people who have sleep diseases. I’m not that guy like, right. So I’m, I’m a, I’m a physician that values sleep and, and teaches a lot about it. Um, so I don’t work with sleep diseased people. If they have a disease, I send ’em to a sleep specialist. Um, but I can tell you almost every single client that I’ve ever had, whether it’s a seal, who just I’m just consulting as a friend or a client who’s paying me. Um, almost every, almost every one of ’em. And I can’t think of any exceptions, but I’ll still say almost, um, stress is the reason they can’t sleep. And I’ve developed over the years, this seemingly ridiculous, ridiculously simple protocol to get rid of stress around sleep. And it’s the most, it’s the most powerful thing I do. It’s more powerful than any hormone and pharmaceutical I do. Um, and it’s just, it’s just a process to remove stress from the sleep environment, from both getting ready for sleep. And while you’re asleep,

Mike Sarraille (020):
You had a perfect opportunity right there to be like, just go to doc Parley, sleep aids.com. And buy my supplements,

Kirk Parsley (028):
My supplement might help a little bit, but if you’re really stressed, there’s nothing in there. That’s gonna knock you out. But I, but that sleep journal I was talking about that has here. Here’s how, here’s how you categorize all your stresses and here’s how you get rid of those around bedtime. Here’s how you get rid of those if you wake up in the middle of the night. Um, and so it it’s a process. It would take, it’d take a while to explain, but it’s, it’s in that sleep journal.

Speaker 3 (0000):
Well, thank you doctor. I’ll be, cutting my entrepreneurship partnership then and hitting you up for a better sleep ideas.

Mike Sarraille (0007):
Right, right on. All right. We got time for one more question, maybe.

Speaker 4 (0010):
Okay. So what if you get enough sleep, but you’re still tired all the time, but I mean like you get enough sleep, but you’re still just always exhausted. How do you know you’re getting enough sleep? I feel like even when I get eight, nine hours of sleep at night consecutively, I’m still just tired.

Kirk Parsley (0034):
Then you’re not getting enough sleep. It might…

Mike Sarraille (0037):
Is it enough sleep or good sleep?

Kirk Parsley (0039):
And that’s what I was gonna say. You might be sleeping for eight hours, but the sleep quality might be worth four hours.

Speaker 4 (0047):
So it’s just lack of quality sleep, which is,

Kirk Parsley (0050):
If you’re waking, if you’re waking up tired, then there’s something wrong with sleep either. It’s either the duration of sleep or it’s the quality of sleep or both. Um, so again, that would be a kind of the sleep hygiene thing. We need to make sure that caffeine’s not getting involved. We need to make sure stress not getting involved. We need to make sure there’s no medications getting involved. There’s no metabolic thing. Like if you have, like, if you were say pre-diabetic and you have poor insulin control and poor blood glucose control that can interfere with sleep, um, there’s lots of things. You could be a really bad snore. You could have sleep apnea, um, where you’re actually stopping breathing and becoming acidic. There’s a lot of things that could be happening, in there, but it it’s, if you you’re waking up tired, it’s not enough sleep either because you’re not sleeping enough hours or there’s not enough quality in the hours that you are sleeping.

Mike Sarraille (002:44):
And also, do you have a practice somewhere or I’m not

Kirk Parsley (002:49):
Gonna miss that? I, I, I practice virtually, right. So I, I do online, online consulting. I’ll, I’ll meet with you once and do labs and so forth, and then everything else will be online from there.

Mike Sarraille (003:01):
Awesome. Thank you. Yeah. And, and where can they find you?

Kirk Parsley (003:06):
Um, so D C short for doctor, and then my last name is partially like the herb. So doc parsley.com

Mike Sarraille (003:13):
And, and we’ll make sure when we release the, the podcast that everyone has those, URLs, those links. Well, thank you. before we say goodbye, we like to end this podcast with two of our own questions. And again, much like the hard questions. These are deep. How will you measure your life and whether you’ve lived well?

Kirk Parsley (003:41):
I measure my life through courage, um, and courage to me just means doing what I know I need to do. Um, and at this stage in different stages of my life, that meant different things. But at this stage of my life, what I care the most about is relationships. And so having the courage damn right, having the courage to always say what needs to be said, not leave anything unsaid in case tonight’s my last night. Um, and, and that’s, I, and I, I keep, I keep the record in my head. I know, I know when I don’t have the courage, and I know when I’m, when I, I know when I’m petering out, not doing what I should do. Um, but as long as I’m doing, we all know what we should be doing. As long as I’m doing what I know, what I should be doing, having the courage to do it

Mike Sarraille (004:33):
Now, for all of us. Are there any specific rules or codes? What, what, I could also call your keys to success by which you live your life?

Kirk Parsley (004:42):
I would go back to that one. <laugh>, you know, I, I, I would, I would still, I would still say doing what you, you know, having the courage to do what, you know, you need to do. And if you don’t have, the education to do it, having the courage to say you don’t know and learning how to do it. Um, I, I, I think it all comes down and that’s sort of a personal integrity. If I visualize a future I want, and I come up with a plan for moving towards it. I have to have the courage to do all of those things along the way, even when I don’t want to do ’em. And, and I, I consider like being tired and not feeling like doing it and still doing it. That’s still courage. Right? You’re still, you’re still doing what, you know, you want to do, even though you don’t feel like doing it. Um, and so, like, I, I think that’s the most important thing because everything else is nuanced and individual, but,

Mike Sarraille (005:32):
Well, it sounds like you’re describing more so than physical courage, moral courage, which is a rare trait, moral the rarest of trait, for sure. Rarest of traits amongst men, especially, even, even in the seal teams, we saw lack of moral courage, sometimes AB absolutely. To stand up for what’s right. Regardless of the, the outcomes. Well, Kirk, I can’t thank you enough for joining us. I mean, there’s, there’s, there’s so many subjects here that we need to deep, like do a deep dive on, but we have much more time. We have the articles that will be issued under men’s journal, the everyday warrior. I know men are interested in these subjects, how they can get back to optimal health for sustained periods, if not the rest of their life. So, yeah, we’ll get there, man. We’ll get there. And thanks for listening. Now, don’t forget visit men’s journal.com to sign up for the newsletter and get the latest everyday warrior strategies and tactics to living a purpose driven, fulfilling life, which all of you so rightly deserve. And again, under that everyday warrior concept, the three pillars are mental health, physical health in spiritual health, maybe with a little adventure mixed in there. Yeah. whether you’re a man or woman, make sure to pick up the new, issue of men’s journal magazine. It’s packed with amazing features on just as we discussed health and fitness, adventure, and travel style in the coolest gear, hitting the market today. Thank you. And until next time, this is Mike Sarraille with the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior podcast out here.


Episode 19

Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 19: Michael Gaffney
In episode nineteen, we spoke to Michael Gaffney, retired professional bull rider.
Flip podcast card

Episode 20

Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 20: Film Director Daniel Myrick
In episode 20, we spoke to film director Daniel Myrick who famously co-directed and wrote 'The Blair Witch Project.'
Flip podcast card

Episode 21

Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 21: Dave Bautista and John Kural
In episode 21 of the Men's Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast, we spoke with actor Dave Bautista and tattoo artist John Kural.
Flip podcast card

Episode 22

Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 22: Amy Van Dyken-Rouen
Men’s Journal’s Everyday Warrior With Mike Sarraille is a new podcast that inspires individuals to live more fulfilling lives by having conversations with
Flip podcast card

Episode 23

Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 23: Drew Brees
In episode 23, we spoke with Drew Brees, former NFL quarterback who played for 20 seasons.
Flip podcast card