Lately I have been spending time trying to educate my clients on the importance of the polyvagal nervous system and the polyvagal theory. This is often the missing scientifically-backed piece to my clients’ healing as they are taking a bottom-up approach. If you feel like you have tried everything and are still searching for the missing piece to the puzzle, read on.
Polyvagal Theory Defined
In simple terms, polyvagal theory provides the ability to understand that both branches of the vagus nerve calms our body but in different ways. The dorsal branch provides the flight, flight or freeze response while the ventral branch serves as the social engagement system which can calm the regularly active state of your nervous system. Ventral vagal release only takes milliseconds to occur.
Interoception can be understood as the foundation of physical, psychological, and social development in our bodies and allows us the ability to recognize stimulus that is originating from within the body. If we are disconnected from what is happening internally to our bodies it is extremely difficult to support our health development.
Neuroception can be understood as the ability of neural circuits to see if certain situations and people are safe or dangerous. Neuroception takes place in the primitive parts of our brain without our conscious awareness of it happening.
It looks like this
- Our brain unconsciously detects if a person or situation is safe or dangerous
- If the perceived situation is dangerous on an unconscious level, it triggers defensive behavior.
- Even though we are not aware of the danger on a conscious and cognitive level, our body has already started a neural process that facilitates defensive behaviours like fight, flight or freeze.
Neuroception is our nervous system’s response to real or perceived threats all happening on an unconscious level.
Having education on the interoception and neuroception polyvagal concepts, you can better tap in and check on your overall health. If you find yourself in a fight, flight or freeze state, even though on a conscious level, you know there is no perceived threat, here are some things you can do.
- Vagus nerve massage
- EFT tapping
- Breathing and movement
We can not expect to get to a state of calm all on our own. Oftentimes working with a practitioner allows you to build the safety muscle you need to move into a more consistent state of calm instead of living in fight or flight mode filled with stress and anxiety.
How to recognize if you are in a freeze state
- Feeling paralyzed or frozen
- Feeling shame or humiliation
- Feeling abandoned or unsafe
These are just a few easily recognizable emotions when it comes to identifying if you are in a freeze state. How often are you experiencing this freeze state? Oftentimes, our autonomic responses are programming that is on rerun from childhood that is still needing to be healed. If you never experienced a consistent state of safety and security in childhood, it may be really challenging for you to get there now.
If you are ready to dive into your healing journey and stop settling for a constant state of stress, sign up for my CLARITY CALL and find out how we can work together.
I have helped many women live a life of transformation and healing.
I have been where you are and I know what it is like to feel stuck, know that you no longer have to live that way. I am here as a resource for you. Everyone deserves to heal and I can help you get there