#170 This week, I had a truly incredible conversation with Dr. Stephen Porges. Stephen is a Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium. During our conversation, we discuss the Polyvagal Theory, understanding anxiety, and ultimately, how we can go about healing our traumas.
If you are feeling tension in your body as you’re reading this, then this episode is for you.
About Stephen: Dr. Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D. is a Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium. He is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and Professor Emeritus at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. In 1994 he proposed the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that links the evolution of the mammalian autonomic nervous system to social behavior and emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders. The theory is leading to innovative treatments based on insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders.
He is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation (Norton, 2011), The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe, (Norton, 2017) and co-editor of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies (Norton, 2018). He is the creator of a music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol ™ , which currently is used by more than 1400 therapists to improve spontaneous social engagement, to reduce hearing sensitivities, to improve language processing and state regulation.
Key points with time stamp:
The Polyvagal Theory and the Process of Healing Traumas (00:00) Defining the Polyvagal Theory (00:06) What does it mean to be human following trauma from the pandemic? (01:52) The healing journey and learning to listen to your body (03:47) Practical tips on understanding and dealing with anxiety (08:48) Living in gratitude vs. living in threat (10:40) Vulnerability and trauma (14:37) Releasing trauma tension from the body (16:36) Meditation and healing trauma. Is it a good idea? (23:13) The role of exercise in the healing journey (26:29) Heart Rate Variability and the body (30:00) On Kundalini experiences (35:39) Can our nervous systems evolve and change? (38:52) The entanglement of health and being helpful to others (40:25) The Golden Verses of Pythagoras and Man’s Search for Meaning (44:59) How to stay away from toxic stress responses (47:06)
Mentioned in this episode:
The Polyvagal Theory HRV, Heart Rate Variability A Kundalini awakening Neuro-ception Patrick Mckeown The Oxygen Advantage, 2015. A book by Patrick Mckeown James Nestor The Golden Verses of Pythagoras, a book by Fabre D’olivet Man’s Search for Meaning, a book by Viktor Frankl
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