Episode 15 Healing through Bioenergetic Health Practices with Nick Loffree

Jun 16, 2021

Have you heard of qigong? What are some important lessons that you can learn from Chinese medicine? Are there benefits to adding embodied healing into talk therapy?

MEET NICK LOFFREE

Nick Loffree teaches Bioenergetic health practices – Using Qigong, biohacking, functional training, and dietary therapy to bring people to their highest potential. Nick started on this path while healing from paranoid psychosis and chronic skin and gut disease that began in adolescence.

He now helps thousands of people around the world to achieve optimal health through his videos, coaching, workshops, and programs. Find Nick on Youtube or head to his website Nickloffree.com for more.

Visit his website. Connect on Instagram, Facebook and subscribe to his YouTube channel.

Access Nick’s online courses here.

IN THIS PODCAST:

  • Lessons from Chinese medicine
  • Nick’s experience with Qigong healing mental health
  • Benefits of qigong in counseling
  • Advice to listeners starting their holistic journey

LESSONS FROM CHINESE MEDICINE

The underlying philosophy of Chinese medicine is that the notion of chi, life energy, is supporting the body’s structures. There’s a balance between structure and energy so when you have good structure, say in Qigong [pronounced chi-gong], you have good posture or in diet, giving your body the right building blocks, then those structures support the flow of energy and when that energy is flowing, it supports the structures of the body in maintaining themselves. (Nick Loffree)

Alongside the philosophy of good posture and a healthy diet to provide good energy flow and building blocks for the body, there are other lessons we can learn from Chinese medicine:

  • The idea that stress is a “natural” part of being in a high-energy process is not found in Chinese medicine.
  • In Chinese medicine, stress gives you a temporary boost of energy that ultimately depletes your energy over time, causing you to crash or become fatigued far quicker.
  • If you have low stress, you are able to better manage your energy consumption over time: you can think more clearly, your emotions are stable and everything you do becomes more efficient.

NICK’S EXPERIENCE WITH QIGONG HEALING MENTAL HEALTH

It’s amazing how much control we have. I could basically choose whether I want to be depressed, anxious, or even full-blown paranoid psychotic, or go to the total other end and feel totally blissful, loads of energy, relaxed, happy, and you can really choose that based on just lifestyle stuff, based on just how you move, how you breathe, how you organize your life, what you are eating. You can go from one end of the spectrum to completely the other just based on your actions. (Nick Loffree)

Using the philosophy and principles from Chinese medicine, yoga, and other lifestyle changes, Nick was able to completely turn around where he was years ago and create a life that gave him energy and health.

Once we come to understand how our bodies work, and how we can serve them correctly and adequately, we can biohack our way into heath and wholeness because by taking care of our mind, health, diet, and body we are able to build the foundational blocks we need to create a life that brings us joy and possibility.

BENEFITS OF QIGONG IN COUNSELING

Talk-based therapy is good and helpful to patients who need to mentally and verbally process their experiences, however, when therapists can incorporate body-based wellness and healing into counseling, it opens up more holistic and wholesome healing possibilities for the patient.

Providing physical cues and physical healing practices to help patients “reset” on their own provides them with agency, and empowers them, by bringing their actions into their own healing.

ADVICE TO LISTENERS STARTING THEIR HOLISTIC JOURNEY

Start small. Pick one or two things that you would like to add to your life and start slow and small.

It can get confusing, especially finding the nutritional balance in your diet that suits your body best. If you need any nutritional advice, Nick recommends cutting out poly-unsaturated fatty acids such as canola and sunflower oil.

Use coconut oil, olive oil, and butter as alternatives – not all animal fats are good for you.

Connect With Me

Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Transcript

[CHRIS McDONALD]:

The Holistic Counseling Podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you market and grow your business and yourself. To hear other podcasts like Behind the Bite, Full of Shift and Impact Driven Leader, go to www.practiceofthepractice.com/network.

[CHRIS McDONALD]:

Welcome to the Holistic Counseling Podcast, where you discover diverse wellness modalities, advice on growing your integrative practice, and grow confidence in being your unique self. I'm your host, Chris McDonald. I'm so glad you're here for the journey.

[CHRIS McDONALD]:

Welcome to the Holistic Counseling Podcast. I'm your host, Chris McDonald. I found today's guest on YouTube and really connected to his cheek on practice. He shows beautiful scenic backgrounds and practices that really energized and centered me. His name is Nick Loffree and he teaches bioenergetic health practices using Qigong, biohacking, functional training, and dietary therapy to bring people to their highest potential. Nick started on this path while healing from paranoid psychosis and chronic skin and gut disease that began in adolescence. He now helps thousands of people around the world to achieve optimal health through his videos, coaching, workshops, and programs. Welcome to the podcast, Nick.

[NICK LOFFREE]:

Hi. Thanks for having me.

[CHRIS]:

Can you tell my listeners a little more about yourself and your work?

[NICK]:

Sure. So I see my job as testing all the weird stuff so that other people don't have to and coming back with what works and that involves doing a lot of stuff that really doesn't work because there's a lot of, wo-wo, a lot of how to, you know dietary philosophies that are just based on that, like philosophy and not necessarily what actually works in reality. So that's through it all. And as people can tell from my bio, I had to go through a kind of rough period that sent me off on this path. The reason I had to try so much stuff that didn't work was basically, I just had a problem that wasn't supposed to be curable, actually had a few of those. So I wound up with a paranoid psychosis as a teenager, got put on a bunch of medication, and generally the prognosis is you're stuck on medication for life.

[CHRIS]:

It's not too good for that.

[NICK]:

Yes. You're going in and out of a psychiatrist for the rest of your life, getting checked up on. Luckily we caught it early and the medication did help, but I basically wound up with like eight other problems because of the medications.

[CHRIS]:

Are you serious? Oh my God.

[NICK]:

Yes. So a lot of it was physical, like eczema and acne all over my body. I lost the ability to digest all kinds of things. My liver was so congested that like breathing hurt, just the diaphragm touching my liver hurt, but a lot of it was also psychological. So these psychiatric medications create a pattern of depression and they just bounce back and forth between severe depression and severe anxiety that lasted for years. So even without the psychosis, I still had like these pretty big hurdles to jump. And to be honest, I'm not sure I want my psychiatrist to hear this, but when I got off the medication, I wasn't really cleared of the psychosis. I had just figured out tools for myself to manage it and decided to get off the medication because there were so many side effects. But if you ask the official literature or the official notes, the psychiatrist took, I was free of symptoms, but that was good as the only way to get off of them.

[NICK]:

So I had to go through all this stuff and it meant I had to try a lot of things and that helped me land on a few things that really seem to work. And a lot of those things are out there. So that's where I see myself, as this kind of bridge between this like confusing, contradictory world of nutrition and this kind of wo-wo new age world of like energy medicine stuff and bridging that into what actually works and what's actually practical.

[CHRIS]:

I love that. It's like making experiments for yourself, what works, what doesn't?

[NICK]:

Yes.

[CHRIS]:

That's fantastic. So how did it bring you to the holistic realm, I guess? Was it just, you felt disillusioned with traditional medicine?

[NICK]:

Yes. It actually started before I had the psychotic break. Not really so much the medicine side, but I was, I mean, a lot of the reason I wound up psychotic was I was experimenting with a lot of drugs and a lot of that was psychedelics. Psychedelics are a double-edged sword, right? Like LSD can make you psychotic or it can make you enlightened briefly? And I was getting a bit of both. So most of my early experiences with psychedelics was giving me these like profound experiences of healing and a spiritual connection and realizing like, oh my gosh, why am I, why do I have such a bad relationship with my parents? I got to fix that. And, oh my gosh, I should study hard and go to school and listen to my dad. Like a lot of things you wouldn't expect psychedelics to do was happening, like making me want to study harder and things like that.

[NICK]:

Yes, like realizing, oh my God, my parents were right, and stuff, kind of the opposite of what people normally think about on psychedelics. So part of it was just like spiritual stuff it was opening me up to and that, and then me and my friends who were doing that, we got into listening to Alan Watts, the Zen philosopher from the sixties and seventies. So that kind of opened me up to the like Eastern spirituality stuff. Actually, the symptoms was my first experience with that, was when Lisa Sampson becomes a Buddhist and at the end, her mom gives her a, like a tree, a Bodhi tree to meditate under. And so the whole episode didn't impact me at all until the tree and all of a sudden I was like, "Oh my God, I need to get that tree. I don't know why." I was like 15 and I'm like, Googling like Bodhi tree. We're gonna buy a Bodhi tree. I couldn't find where to buy this tree, but I just found all these websites explaining Buddhism. And I was like, "Oh, this is really cool." So I got into it.

[CHRIS]:

I think you're the first person I think, to find Buddhism through the system. That's the first I've heard of.

[NICK]:

Yes.

[CHRIS]:

I love it.

[NICK]:

I like to say maybe it was a past life thing, like recognizing the tree or something.

[CHRIS]:

Yes, that connection.

[NICK]:

But anyways, so that kind of opened me up to that. And then when I went through this psychotic break and I'm getting put on medication and I just was, I was a little frustrated with the way the psychiatric system was where there wasn't even like talk therapy as part of it. Like, it's not like they sent in like a therapist, a counselor or somebody to help me like process the emotions I was going through in relation to my experience. It was just, here's some sedatives, here's anti-psychotic meds. We're going to stick you in a mental hospital for a few weeks and just hope that like chemically, we reverse what's going on. But nobody wanted to like talk to me about my experience.

[CHRIS]:

Oh, that's unfortunate.

[NICK]:

Yes. The talking was mostly just to take notes on whether the drugs were working, but I'd been through like some like emotional shocks and traumas. And I think that was a big part of what triggered the psychotic experience, was just this chronic state of anxiety that made me hyper vigilant and paranoid. And so I felt like getting to the bottom of those traumas was like probably the path that would be helpful, but it was, I just found it super weird that like, it wasn't even being offered.

[CHRIS]:

That is strange.

[NICK]:

And like, I was actively shut down, like talking to the psychiatrist, they would get all uncomfortable, like, "Oh my gosh, why are we talking about your personal life? You know, I just want to put you on these medications and numbers of boxes."

[CHRIS]:

And I'll be done with you.

[NICK]:

Yes. And that kind of changed once I got out of the mental hospital, but in the mental hospital was like completely like that, I was getting a little frustrated. I was like, "What can I do for myself? Like, they're just giving me pills, but like, what can I do?" And because I'd been exposed to Buddhism and stuff, I was like, "Well, if the problem is like my brain and my mind, like maybe meditation would help." And I was fortunate, my mom was like, just going through, I'm not sure she was a yoga teacher yet, but she was like getting into yoga or something at the time. I think later she became a yoga teacher because she was getting into that, she knew a bit about that stuff, and so she was going to the library and picking up books on meditation and stuff and bringing them to me in the mental hospital. So that was pretty life-saving, to just have something I could actually do for myself, something that I could read and educate myself on to give just some sense of like empowerment over the whole thing.

[NICK]:

And when I got out of the mental hospital, I started pushing that really hard. I would meditate as much as I possibly could and listen to lectures about Buddhism and Taoism and stuff, as much as I could and in between and I just went really went after it. And to be honest, it wasn't super helpful, the meditation, because the way I was going about it, and later I learned a different styles of meditation that were more about regulating the nervous system, relaxing, things like that, but at the time I was going down this kind of hardcore, like Buddhist path of like the whole point of meditation is to make your mind totally silenced to find that one pointed mind. So I I was going at it from this like really like warrior mentality and getting basically no benefit, but at least it gave me something to do. And it's really hard to meditate when you have voices in your head yelling at you about what a piece of shit you are too.

[CHRIS]:

That can be counterintuitive too.

[NICK]:

Yes, but I kept going after it and eventually I had this experience where I really did actually get my mind to completely quiet. I was doing this meditation sitting next to this river and just listening to the sound of the river and putting my mind on that over and over. And eventually my mind did actually completely get absorbed in that sound experience of the river and probably only was quiet for like 30 seconds, maybe a minute tops. It was hard to keep track of time, but in that quiet, basically like the traumas and everything that was under the surface now that the conscious mind was completely quiet, there's all this room for the unconscious mind to come to the surface. And so it basically surfaces like an archetype, this like demonic mutant figure, just like representing all my pain and everything that was below the surface just came up to the surface and just showed me like, this is what you've been feeling and this is what's been underneath and driving this psychotic experience.

[NICK]:

And as soon as I was able to see it from like the outside now, it immediately dissipated and was replaced with what the Buddhists call insight. So you might've heard of the function of meditation, which means insight. And so the whole point of this quieting of the mind is to generate these insights and so there was this like huge shock of this like demon archetypes coming up and then this immediate relief of it just dissolving and being replaced with this insight of basically self-love and self-acceptance.

[CHRIS]:

That's fascinating.

[NICK]:

I basically spent like 20 minutes just crying and just pouring snot into this river. It was very relieving, but it was interesting, like the way of getting there was this very intense form of meditation that was completely unproductive until this experience of insight. And afterwards, when I tried to go back and meditate, that experience was so intense. The shock of that coming out of me was so intense that I could never get myself back to that quiet mind state again, because every time I started to feel myself go back there, I was like, "Oh, crap is like a demon going to like come back to me again." And I get all worried [crosstalk] chattering again. Yes. So, and around that time, I basically discovered, my mom actually brought me to a yoga class. It was my first yoga class and I was like completely blown away by how hard it was. I'd imagined yoga in my head is like a bunch of like moms like rolling around on the floor or something.

[NICK]:

When I did my first one, it was like a level two Ashtanga. It was some stupid thing I should have done as my first class, but I was just amazed like what a workout it was and how much like sweating toxins out of my body, how good that made me feel at the end. And I was like, oh my God, this spiritual stuff can actually make you feel good, instead of like it being this like hardcore thing that like, you don't get results for months.

[NICK]:

And so I got addicted to yoga, like right off the bat and the meditation was starting to feel kind of weird. And I was like, "Well, let me do it, could do this yoga thing for awhile." And that started to put me down more of this path of like, it really hadn't clicked for me before how much my physical reality impacted my mind. So yoga was the first way of like, discovering that, like, oh, when I sweat out toxins, my mind feels clearer. When I keep my body at stretch ---

[CHRIS]:

Yes, sounds like you needed that physical ---

[NICK]:

Yes. And that grounding getting me out of my head and out of this, because a lot of what the psychotic experience was, I realized it took me a while to realize, but it was basically just like being on a low dose of a psychedelic all the time. And the thing about psychedelics is if you resist them and get scared, you have a bad trip. And so it's like, you're basically directing the trip by how much you resist it and if you don't resist it and you just let go and let the trip happen and let it unfold and show you what it wants to show you, generally, you have a good experience or an experience that could be construed as good, in that it's healing, even though it might be painful for awhile or something.

[CHRIS]:

Yes. I know I have heard of that before. That's an interesting perspective.

[NICK]:

Yes. So basically I started to realize like a lot of those came from yoga. That being in Shavasana and that conscious relaxation at the end, and actually being able to relax, made me start to realize that when that psychotic state started coming up, I could fight it and get paranoid and wind up in this battle in my mind. Or I could relax into it like I was on a low dose of mushrooms or something. And usually if I relax, I would have a really beautiful experience and what was like voices telling me all sorts of awful things and stuff like that would turn into like beautiful visions of like, usually it's very spiritual visions, like Hindu gods and native American symbology and all this like stuff would just sort of paint itself in my mind. I would have these blissful experiences in my body and all it really took was surrendering into it. And yoga really helped me to learn ---

[CHRIS]:

Yoga is all about surrender.

[NICK]:

Yes. So I spent a couple of years doing yoga and the weird thing was how long it took me to realize how much my food was impacting my health. By this point, all the side effects of the medication had really taken over and I was just covered in skin problems and digestive problems, brain fog. And it got really hard to think clearly about anything. I can't really remember exactly what tipped it off, but I remember feeling so stupid when I realized like, "Oh wait, eating McDonald's and KFC and giant plates of like 20 chicken fingers for lunch probably isn't making my body or mind any healthier." And looking back, it's like, it's so hard to imagine how that didn't, that wasn't just intuitive to begin with. It's so weird to think, but basically because I was in yoga, a lot of people in the yoga world are like vegan and stuff and so I got into veganism, raw veganism, green smoothies, juice fasting, all that kind of stuff.

[NICK]:

And I found a lot of that stuff gave like temporary benefits. Like fasting would like really clear my mind a lot. It would get rid of the brain fog a lot, but then the anxiety levels would be really high. So I was basically like choosing between like, oh, do I want to be like depressed with brain fog or really anxious, but with a really clear mind.

[CHRIS]:

Pick one.

[NICK]:

I was bouncing between the two and it just took me a long time, like figuring it out. I realized veganism wasn't working for me because my digestion was just so weak. I couldn't digest all that fiber from beans, plant foods and everything, but it took me a lot. I was really stubborn too, because I was, I've always been into like nature stuff and environmentalism, you know veganism, really markets itself as this pro-environmental diet but I think it's probably better for the environment in a lot of ways, but it contributed to me being a little more stubborn with it. And I still think it's better than eating McDonald's and stuff all day, but I don't think it was really going to like heal me the way I needed. And eventually I got into more like the paleo diet, which seemed to be more helpful because it's kind of main goal is to lower inflammation and provide foods that are easier to digest. And you can actually assimilate nutrients.

[NICK]:

Because I had a really weak digestion and a lot of auto-immune stuff going on, like the eczema and eventually realizing like most of what was wrong with my brain was inflammation in my brain. And it seemed like the auto-immune oriented anti-inflammatory diets seem to play a big role in helping things out. And eventually I stumbled into this guy named Ray Pete. He teaches this really interesting diet, that's actually where I got the word bioenergetics from.

[CHRIS]:

That's what I wondered where that came from. I had trouble saying that. I had to practice.

[NICK]:

Yes. I think you said, enagenesis, enagenetics, and I was like, "Oh no. No genetics involved."

[CHRIS]:

I know. It takes a minute to say that.

[NICK]:

Yes. So he's a biologist with this very obscure following. He doesn't have a big following. It's not a big diet like vegan or paleo or something. It's this very niche thing. And he has a lot of counter-intuitive things, even in terms of like alternative medicine. He goes against the grain a lot. So when I found him, I was like really skeptical. Like, I don't know, this guy says Omega-3s are bad for you. He says, serotonin is actually a stress chemical, not the happiness chemical. He had just all these like weird things. He says, sugar is really good for you and complex carbohydrates are bad for you. Like there's all these like weird things that ---

[CHRIS]:

A lot of it is never told, right?

[NICK]:

Yes, he goes totally against even alternative health stuff. So I was like, okay, I'll try like one little thing of his at a time and see if it works. But the reason I was drawn to it was actually because his, like the underlying philosophy that he painted was this bioenergetic philosophy that completely meshed with my understanding of Chinese medicine, which I have to add to my story completely, but basically I got a few injuries in yoga and I had to find a substitute and got really into this Chinese healing art called Chingong, which is basically like a subtler version of yoga. So you're doing a lot of movements, but instead of the movements being like all oriented around strengthening and stretching the body, they're more oriented around regulating the nervous system. So it's like a little bit more direct towards that mental healing component that we're trying to get out of yoga.

[NICK]:

So it's not trying to give you like a six pack and get you like hyper flexible while you're healing your emotional imbalances. It's just going straight to the emotional stuff for the most part. So I got really hooked on that and it really helped on that healing path and it became like the main thing I teach. But anyways, Chingong, when it comes to Chinese medicine and the underlying philosophy of Chinese medicine is that the notion of Chi, life energy, is supporting all the body's structures. So there's a balance between structure and energy. So when you have good structure say, Chingong by setting up good posture or in diet, giving your body the right building blocks, then those structures support the flow of energy. And when that energy is flowing, it supports the structures in the body and maintaining themselves. Also another underlying philosophy is that when you have more stress, it actually decreases your energy.

New Speaker:

So a lot of people think like all being stressed is just part of getting things done. You're going about, you're being all frazzled, making sure everything gets done. And stress is just a part of that. But in Chinese medicine, they basically say the opposite. They say, well, the stress, it gives you this temporary boost of energy that ultimately depletes your energy and so you wind up just running your reserves down more and more whereas when you have low stress, you're more efficient with your energy. Your mind is not racing, you're thinking more efficiently, your emotions aren't as up and down burning all your energy and everything you do just becomes more efficient. You're actually getting more done and have more energy when there's less stress. And I never found any like Western scientific framework that really encapsulated that at least in terms of any of the kind of natural health stuff until I found Ray Pete.

[NICK]:

He basically had the same philosophy, but instead of like Chi, he was talking about like the free flow of electrons through the cell, maintaining the structure of the cell and switching from cortisol and adrenaline as the primary sources of energy in your body, so basically your stress hormones. So switching from an adrenal-based source of energy to a thyroid-based source of energy. So if you raise the function of the thyroid gland, it lowers your need to be dependent on the adrenal glands. And so you go from a stress source of energy to a sort of relaxed but energized state.

[CHRIS]:

Oh that's very interesting.

[NICK]:

And I just got to believe, yes, I couldn't believe how close that was to the Chingong philosophy that I was like, okay --- [crosstalk]. Yes. And so even though I was kind of like, well, I'm pretty sure he's wrong about serotonin being a stress chemical, because everything I've ever seen, so serotonin is like the happiness chemical, and I'm pretty sure he's wrong about Omega-3 is causing inflammation. Because everything I've seen says they cure inflammation. So I was really skeptical going, those are his only ideas. Those would probably just be like his more controversial ones. Although his idea that like people with anemia actually have like too much iron, all these like weird ideas. And I'm like, man, I'm not like a chemist. Like I don't know how to like fact check his ideas except to like test them on myself. And I basically felt like Chingong and paleo diet and everything had gotten me like 80% of where I wanted to be, but there was always this like nagging like 20% of like if I slipped off the diet for like a day that the acne would all just come rushing back, like everything would just come back so easily.

New Speaker:

I just felt like the health was still so fragile that if I did everything right, like I could keep myself in a good place, but like, why was it so fragile that the second I did something wrong, like why could I still not digest dairy? Why can't I still not eat grains? Like, it just seemed like you should be able to at least once in a while slip a little bit and not have this perfectionism. So I was curious what this totally like weird diet and philosophy could do for me. So I started getting into it. At first it didn't work super well because he basically recommends like getting off of complex carbohydrates, like grains and even potatoes and sweet potatoes for the most part and switching to more sugar as your fuel source. So whether that's actual white sugar in like everything or just eating fruit instead of vegetables or whatever, there's all this weird stuff. But I wound up just putting on a bunch of weight and the sugar was like making my acne come back.

New Speaker:

But diving into it for awhile, it's basically realizing that, because he doesn't lay it out super well. He's a scientist. He's not like a, he's not a big like teacher, like his role isn't to demystify the science and put it into a system that people could use. His thing was he would just write an article like once a month, all this like complicated stuff ---

[CHRIS]:

Here's the stuff, you figure it out.

[NICK]:

Blackburn, Georgie [inaudible:

[CHRIS]:

You're really brave though to take all these different things. I mean, wow. Talk about lifestyle changes.

[NICK]:

Yes, for sure. Yes, and it's always a journey. It's always learning, but yes, it opened my mind to this whole new way of looking at the gut even and the brain and the way the brain chemistry works.

[CHRIS]:

And the impact on you. Well, I guess the gut health and mental health, there's a big connection with that too.

[NICK]:

Yes, exactly. And people really don't put that together. I mean, I'm sure in this kind of world they do, but it's weird. It's weird how the thing that as it became, eventually it seemed the strangest to me about the way society generally thinks about mental health is as though like your brain or your mind is somehow totally disconnected from your physical reality and like what you eat and your exercise and all those kinds of things, they have no impact on your brain. Your brain is just like separate thing, like in a vat, on like another planet or something and is not related to your digestion or anything like that. And it's so weird that it's like this fringe thing to like, think about your diet for your mental health.

[CHRIS]:

Yes. And it's all connected, interconnectivity with everything and --- yes. Well

[NICK]:

Yes. Well your brain is just a part of your body. It's just another organ. So like if your liver wasn't working well, you might expect that might have some downstream effect on your kidneys or something. It wouldn't be a big leap to think that. If your stomach wasn't digesting food and stuff was going through on digested, it wouldn't be a big leap to think, oh, the small intestine and below that might get some trouble with undigested food going in there. It's so weird that we don't think of the brain in that way, at least outside of the kind of holistic worlds.

[CHRIS]:

That's true. So I guess did the Chingong and the diet changes, did that help your mental health and physical health overall?

[NICK]:

Completely. Yes. It's amazing how much control we have. Like I can basically choose whether I want to be depressed, anxious, or even full-blown like paranoid, psychotic, or go to the total other end and feel totally blissful, loads of energy, relaxed, happy. And you can really choose that based on just lifestyle stuff, based on just how you move, how you breathe, how you organize your life, what you're eating. It's amazing. You can go from one end of the spectrum to completely the other just based on your actions.

[CHRIS]:

And I love your Chingong, because it seems like you use some yoga in there too. I know you, I looked on YouTube today. I know you have some meditations in there and you have so many different kinds of issues. It's just fascinating to me how all that come together in different practices.

[NICK]:

Chingong itself really encapsulates a lot of things. So like I went through a lot of different training, meditation, yoga, breathwork, all kinds of stuff outside of Chingong. But then inside Chingong, all that stuff was already happening for like thousands of years. So Yogis in India, Buddhists from Nepal were traveling to China and teaching the Daoism and everything there. And so all these practices totally got mixed up and blended together and all kinds of ways. So there's all kinds of styles of Chingong. You could find some are going to be more like yoga. Some are going to involve martial arts that go back all the way back to India, to a very old martial arts, because it's all kinds of things like that were already happening. So I leave it to guests in my videos. You can guess that I get this from yoga, from Chingong and you never know.

[CHRIS]:

That's how I try to wonder. I do, but I love it because I also have some injury and I can't do full yoga practices. But the yoga that I teach clients in therapy is more the gentle yoga. And I know you mentioned the nervous system and it also comes in nervous system because it's all about the slow, mindful movements. But she also taught, my teacher taught some of the Chingong was in there mixed in and we did some acupressure like the whole holistic, I guess you could say part of that. That's why I was so excited to find your Chingong. I thought this would be awesome to teach clients as well to have that integration. I like your whole philosophy on integrating so many different things in one practice because it is finding what works for you and if you're teaching other people what they may benefit from, if that makes sense.

[NICK]:

Yes. Having a good toolkit. Chingong is so nice because you can do it all just standing if it's a small space. Just move your, wave your arms around and stuff. It's nice to like at work, if you're at work you're like wearing a suit or something and you want to take a quick break, 5, 10 minutes and do something to reset. Chingong has a lot of nice tools for that kind of thing.

[CHRIS]:

Yes. So what do you think about therapists learning this to use it with clients? Do you think that would be beneficial?

[NICK]:

Oh yes. It's so good. I mean body-based stuff is so great. Like talking, talk therapy, very useful. Giving clients something they can do on their own just to hit the reset button, I think is a ---

[CHRIS]:

Yes, I love that, hit the reset button.

[NICK]:

I'm biased, but,

[CHRIS]:

Me too. I imagine that if you would have had a therapist at that time, when you were going through all this, that could do talk therapy and do some somatic stuff, is what we call it and do some movement. I'm sure that that could have maybe even helped you sooner on your healing journey.

[NICK]:

Yes. And people love it. They love the idea of something they can do for themselves.

[CHRIS]:

Yes, and that's empowering.

[NICK]:

Yes, just like the feeling of like, all right, I've got my thing, whatever it is. Like I'm going to make this smoothie every day or I'm going to do this quick exercise every day. And just that feeling of confidence that comes from that, like that feeling like I'm moving forward is going to break some of that depression or anxiety or whatever it is to begin with, regardless from the actual effects of the thing. Just the feeling of having something you can do is powerful.

[CHRIS]:

But I find your videos too, just wonderful with the locations, because I'm just find myself just looking at, oh my God, look at that beautiful mountain lake. It's so soothing, too visually. How do you find all these beautiful places?

[NICK]:

Uh, it's pretty easy. You can just use Google. I often use landscape photographers websites because that's basically what I'm doing. It's like landscape photography with a person in the middle moving, so I just look up like best landscape photography locations in Northern California or in Idaho or wherever I am. And they even give me the best shot to like, here's the best angle to like shoot it. I'll go and find that exact location they did it from, I'll find some little landmarks of like log or something.

[CHRIS]:

Wonderful. So what, what do you do daily for as far as holistic strategies, part of your daily routine, what do you use?

[NICK]:

of which is called [inaudible:

[CHRIS]:

No.

[NICK]:

Yes. There's a, so there's the vegan, I know there's like the opposite, which is carnival, where they're basically using it for mostly auto-immune conditions, which largely get driven by the gut. So they're eating, like all these people that, all they eat is like steak or something. Usually like grass-fed beef is what they're big on. And it winds up like clearing all these autoimmune conditions that are, seem like I would philosophize that I would guess that they're based on like gut bacteria, fermenting vegetable fibers and things like that in the gut and then that fermentation getting into the bloodstream and causing issues. And I think that's why the carnivore thing helps.

[CHRIS]:

That works.

[NICK]:

Yes. But I think there's better ways to do it. So like repeats, bioenergetic diet, I think achieves the same thing without having to be that like crazily restrictive. And there's all kinds of like problems with like eating that much meat too. You don't want to get, like, you're getting way too much of certain amino acids that can be carcinogenic.

[CHRIS]:

That's all about balance.

[NICK]:

Yes. Like way too much iron from the red meat, that you're not balancing with calcium, if you're not consuming dairy or eating calcium-rich plants. So eventually a lot of these carnival people land on this light version of carnivore where you're still getting carbohydrates by eating fruit. And so it's basically like you're eating like fruit and meat and that's like the whole diet. So my diet's kind of similar to that, but a little more like nuance. There's also like a dairy basically blocks iron absorption. So if you're eating like red meat and you have dairy with it, it blocks the calcium blocks, some of the excess iron, but I basically don't really eat much vegetables. The vegetables I eat are technically fruits. So I eat like squash. So like well cooked zucchinis and stuff because the philosophy is that fruits want to be eaten because they want animals to spread their seeds.

New Speaker:

That's why plants grow what we call fruits, but seeds they make them delicious and easily digest it so that animals will eat them and then go poop the seeds elsewhere, things that we think of as vegetables, but that are really technically fruits. So I would include like things like zucchini and tomatoes and things like that. So I basically eat like, well cooked versions of the fruit, like vegetables as my vegetables and so that involves like no greens, no leaves, things like that. And then I eat actual fruit for my carbohydrates, dairy and mostly ruminant meats and ruminant being like the sheep, cow goat, elk, those that eat grass basically. That's my basic diet, and then I have like a supplement regimen that's a little bit more complicated that I won't get too far, too much into. But that's the basis of like ---

[CHRIS]:

That's okay, that how to, what it sounds like.

[NICK]:

Yes, it seems to be just incredibly gut-friendly. There's no, I have foods with indigestible fibers. There's no Fidotoxins. Like the toxins that plants make to keep themselves from being digested by animals. And that's just, I'm not saying that's the perfect diet for everybody. I'm really into the idea that everybody's body's going to be a little different. Their needs are going to be a little different, but it seems to be what worked super well for me.

[CHRIS]:

Well, like you said, yes, exploring and figuring out what works for you. Sometimes you do got to try separate things and figure out what your conditions are and talking to your doctor too, and seeing what's bad. And I know you have a teacher training as well. Can you share a little bit about that?

[NICK]:

Yes. This is my first time running it, actually. Up till now, I've been helping my Chingong teacher run his training and basically his students go through it, but because he has so many students, he can't really work one-on-one with them. There's just too many. So he sends up to like the senior instructors to do one-on-one sessions as part of their teacher-training experience. So I've been doing that for a few years and then this year I decided to try to launch my own and decided to run it online since I had the reasonable YouTube audience and everything to market to, and I figured I'd get like three or four people or something like that. It's like the way that many people want to do it., Chingong teacher-training. That was me when I knew I could do with, you know, my teacher who's like this amazing guy and, but I wound up with 45 people signed up and ---

[CHRIS]:

That's amazing.

[NICK]:

Yes, I was pretty amazed. And so I've been doing that for the first time, which is a lot of work doing it the first time, because you're trying to figure everything out or you're making a lot of mistakes, but I made it cheap. I made it a lot cheaper than most teacher-trainings, so ---

[CHRIS]:

I looked it up online and I was like, wow.

[NICK]:

Yes. So it's like the beta version. It's like the test experience. So a lot of really awesome students there, they'd be very forgiving of or where I've had technical issues and stuff that I'm trying to figure out, but it will be, and it sure just gets better every time. I think it's really good. I mostly get hard on myself about the technical stuff, because that's what I used to do for a living, was film and things like that. That was how I wound up doing my apprenticeship with my teacher, was trading him like a lot of work like that. So I get nerdy about it.

[CHRIS]:

So yes, that's amazing though, that you were able to already get started with a teacher training on your own and, but to reach like a whole global audience with doing it online is amazing.

[NICK]:

Yes. It's really fun. We get people from Europe and South America and Southeast Asia. And what's crazy is I don't actually have like a huge YouTube following. It's like 7,000 followers or something, which I guess sounds like a big number if you don't do YouTube, but on YouTube, that's like following it out. But the fact that I can, you know, YouTube will run ads on your videos and send you a little bit of money, but with 7,000 followers, that's like a really small amount of money, but it seems to be enough that if I make my own e-courses, my own online trainings, if I going market those, I can actually make a living doing it, which is really fun.

[CHRIS]:

So what's a takeaway you could share today that could help listeners who are starting their holistic journey?

[NICK]:

t what we call the [inaudible:

New Speaker:

on the wall. And in the year:

New Speaker:

I think that this is one of the few things that is starting to get some consensus in the dietary world, most things everybody's just arguing about all the time. This is one of the few, aside from, I think the vegans, because they don't want to eat butter and animal fat, which is more saturated that they tend to push for this unsafe unsaturated fat thing or polyunsaturated fats. I think for the most part, it's getting some consensus that this causes a lot of inflammation and definitely in my own experience, it seems to just, my brain just works 10 times better without it. Yes, it definitely is that a lot of clients, they seem to notice the benefits when they change the oils too.

[CHRIS]:

So what's the best way.

[NICK]:

So saturated fats like coconut oil and butter and even some animal fats like beef, tallow, the fat from cows, not all animal fats are going to be. Like pig has a lot of polyunsaturated fat, so eating a lot of bacon, which I'm not sure why the keto, bulletproof people advertise a lot of bacon when they say polyunsaturated fat is bad for you and then they tell you, you eat much bacon, which is just loaded with polyunsaturated fats. I don't know why they do that. Yes, so pig fat, chicken fat, Coldwater fish fat is all going to be a lot of polyunsaturated fats. So sticking more to the ruminant animals is more saturated and then like your coconut oil. Olive oil is mono unsaturated, so it's more stable.

[CHRIS]:

That was my question.

[NICK]:

That's the biggest switch I'd make. And also just because it's in everything like those seed oils are like, if you start just reading product labels, they're in everything. They're in bread, just, because they're basically not food that bacteria doesn't want to digest them. So they use them as like a preservative. So they put them in bread and crackers and everything and just to keep things, the shelf life longer. So if you started looking for them, you'd find them everywhere and to cut them out, you basically clean up your whole diet just by cutting them out, because you stop eating most processed foods. You basically clean everything up if you just focus on that one.

[CHRIS]:

Yes. So what's the best way for listeners to find you and learn more about you?

[NICK]:

Best way to find me, my YouTube channel has lots of great stuff, mostly around movement and stuff. I haven't been, I haven't really, I've only been really going out to YouTube for like a year or so. I've been focusing on mostly Chingong and things like that. So you're going to find a lot more of that there. Coaching, I do a lot more with nutrition. So if you want to do one-on-ones with me or anything like that, go to my website, just nickloffree.com. It's just my name. My YouTube channel is Nick Loffree as well.

[CHRIS]:

We'll put that in the show notes as well.

[NICK]:

Yes. And then I have an e-course on my website called Stoic Sunrise. And that makes it really easy to just start making a habit out of healthy movement practice, meditation. It simplifies it down to like a short period of time each day. It's like 15 minutes a day.

[NICK]:

It's called stoic sunrise. Cause the idea is creating this like healthy habit in the morning. And it's basically a course just takes you through like seven days of trying to implement this healthy movement stuff and breathing exercises in the mornings. And there's a few lessons on nutrition, more from the Chinese medicine, sort of traditional medicine perspective. And mostly just again, refining your morning routine, getting a healthy morning. And nutrition-wise, there's a few lessons on that. And that's what makes it really easy to start a healthy lifestyle and just choosing one period of your day. It's not like your whole day. You're obsessed with your health is just the start of your day. You focus on that and the rest you can just chill. Well, thanks for coming on today, Nick. Yes. Thanks for having me super fun.

[CHRIS]:

And I thank you for listening today and remember to subscribe, rate and review wherever you get your podcasts. And again, this is Chris McDonald sending each one of you much light and love until next time, take care. If you're loving the show, will you rate review and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform? We just started this and that helps other people find this show. Also, if you're feeling uncertain about your modalities and you want to build your confidence to be your unique self, once you to join my free email course, becoming a holistic counselor over@holisticcounselingpodcast.com in my becoming a holistic counselor course you'll get tips for adding integrative care into your practice, what training you need and don't in the know-how to attract your ideal holistic clients. If this sounds like the direction you're headed, sign up@holisticcounselingpodcast.com. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It has given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guests are rendering legal accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

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