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  • Writer's pictureCait Donovan

Dan Sykes: The Somatic Fanatic Talks the Power of Curiosity For Nervous System Training

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

“If you are no longer curious, the best of your life is behind you because the best of your life is being curious,” shares Dan Sykes, Founder of the Somatic Training Network and author of Somatic Fanatic. Dan’s burnout came as a result of a midlife crisis. He found relief in the somatic arts, the art of training the nervous system, and aims to share the importance of nervous system training with the world.

Dan found himself experiencing a midlife crisis after his divorce, in part because he had chosen his wife over his desired filmmaking career. He found himself divorced, seemingly shut out of the career he had desired for himself decades prior, and staring down another thirty to forty years of life. When Dan discovered sistema, a Russian martial art that trains the nervous system, he found both psychological and physical relief from his burnout. He now works to share the somatic arts with others and to make nervous system training more widely known in the Western world.

Tune into today’s episode of FRIED. The Burnout Podcast for a conversation with Dan Sykes about the importance of the nervous system and the roles it plays in all aspects of life. Learn to retrain your nervous system as a way to heal from burnout.


“Midlife crisis to me is when you come to feel that the world is still in the midst of having this party of being alive and you’re no longer invited, and yet you’re looking at another 30 or 40 years of being around the planet. That’s what midlife crisis felt like to me.” (8:16-8:36)

“The reason we retain all this chronic tension is because our nervous system has forgotten how to feel these muscles. As it forgets how to feel them, it forgets that it can let go.” (19:51-20:09)

“I learned once again to lead everything I do curiosity first. Where instead of me pushing myself to accomplish, I got curious of what might be possible in every area of my life.” (26:45-27:11)

• “Nervous system is as crucial a part of wellness as nutrition or strength training or relaxation of other kinds. It’s kind of the missing link. My mission is that hopefully 10 years from now everyone in the West will know that you have to train your nervous system on a regular basis.” (45:16-45:39)

• “Your nervous system runs your entire experience of living. It takes in all sense and it does all commands so when you improve the function of your nervous system, all these areas of life get simultaneous benefit.” (46:05-46:20)

• “If you’re predominantly feeling emotional pain, focus on the physical side of nervous system training. Move and feel. If you’re predominantly feeling physical pain, you should focus temporarily predominantly on the emotional side.” (48:00-48:27)

• “If you are no longer curious, the best of your life is behind you, because the best of your life is being curious.” (52:57-53:21)




If you know that it’s time to actually DO something about the burnout cycle you’ve been in for too long - book your free consult today:


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