EPISODE 379: Know Your Nerves: Polyvagal Theory

People often compare the human body to a car, but this is a bad analogy (unless it’s a Tesla) because your body doesn’t contain a combustion engine. You’re electric, my friend, and your nerves are in the driver’s seat. One electrical stimulus makes you anxious, another makes you calm; mostly, you’re an out-of-control cross-fire of signals that kicks you around energetically and emotionally throughout the day.

To know your nerves, you must know the vagus nerve. It’s the master controller of the parasympathetic branch of your autonomic nervous system – and it’s more complex than simply “rest and digest.” Let’s deep dive into the polyvagal theory on this week’s show.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to better understand your body’s nervous system responses
  • The importance of the vagus nerve for stress modulation
  • How to deal with triggers and embrace and appreciate glimmers
  • The polyvagal theory explained
  • Ventral vagal complex: readiness to connect
  • Dorsal vagal complex: collapse and freeze

ABOUT OUR GUEST

Deb is a clinician, consultant, lecturer, and coordinator of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium in the Kinsey Institute. Her work is based on the Polyvagal Theory to understand and resolve the impact of trauma, understand the autonomic nervous system, and move into states of protection and connection. She is the author of the book The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy available on Amazon or through her website.

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