The vagus nerve (also known as the 10th cranial nerve) is a very long nerve that originates in the brain stem and extends down through the neck and into the chest and abdomen. Perhaps the greatest significance of the vagus nerve is that it is the body's major parasympathetic nerve which allows the body to rest, digest and heal.
A naturalistic, and neurobiological, body-oriented approach to healing trauma and other stress-related disorders; restoring the authentic self with self-regulation, relaxation, wholeness, and aliveness. Trauma isn't an event or a series of events, rather, it is what happens to the body as a result of various adverse experiences. Trauma can also be inherited - whatever the mother and grandmother experienced int heir lives even prior to conception is stored within the tissues and the very DNA of the body. This can be unknowingly passed on to subsequent generations. That is, until someone decides to heal this trauma through therapeutic methods that include body, mind AND spirit.
Somatic therapy employs gentle touch which can facilitate co-regulation by connecting and repairing the social nervous system. This supports healing, accurate perception and development of healthy boundaries.
Recipients of such therapy report an overall sense of well-being, find themselves better able to handle the every day stresses of life, reduced anxiety and better sleep. Parents of clients notice improvement in behavioral issues in their children as well as the aforementioned benefits.
There are downsides to focusing on calm as your primary goal. Let's explore what a regulated nervous system looks like.
A regulated nervous system has the biological ability to go into the full spectrum of emotions. It has the ability to modulate intensity, stress, emotions, and a variety of survival responses.
Healing comes from growing capacity to experience discomfort, pain, or challenging emotions without getting stuck outside of our window of tolerance. In essence, we are able to ride a stressor or emotion like a wave back home to shore.
There will be times when something happens and it's the appropriate response to be angry or sad or scared. It's important to remember that all feelings are okay, and that there are times when "calm" isn't useful or appropriate. It;s not about trying to "fix" or rush ourselves through an emotion that we actually need to process and feel.
Aiming to stay calm all the time can mean that we suppress our stress response and avoid an emotion. That way, we shut down an inner experience that is uncomfortable by using a coping strategy. Our primary goal is to feel what presents itself; it's not about shifting our state as quickly and effectively as possible.
With solid nervous system regulation and growing capacity, calming down naturally unfold without having to consciously shift our state with a specific technique.
We can be angry and regulated, we can be scared and connected to ourselves, we can feel grief and stay grounded. True regulation, confidence, and happiness is knowing "I can handle stress and rupture - AND I can handle joy.
This is real freedom.
Dr. Peter Levine, creator of Somatic Experiencing, discusses this unique and powerful therapy.
I offer Somatic Experiencing and Vagus System work which assists the body in releasing stored trauma and harmful patterns of belief and behaviors. These powerful sessions are offered in person and by Zoom. Any and all communication is CONFIDENTIAL whether or not you become a client. The client-therapist relationship is a sacred one based on trust and respect. (please use the form below "SEND A MESSAGE")