Dr. Heather discusses Dr. Porges' work with him regarding the polyvagal theory. This shows how different parts of the vagus nerve of the parasympathetic system respond to where we are emotionally. We used to think the vagus nerve is all about calm and generating GABA, the calming hormone, but that in fact isn't true. By understanding what moves us or keeps us in the ventral vagus, the healthy mode, shines light on how we can move through trauma and everything else. It also shows how important social engagement is as this affects the nervous system deeply and is why compassion and community are so important to healing. I love that he was able to figure this out. He's obviously one very smart dude!! Here is his bio.
Dr. Stephen W. Porges is a distinguished university scientist at Indiana University, where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium. He is also a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. His more than 350 peer‐reviewed scientific papers, published across several disciplines, have been cited in approximately 40,000 peer-reviewed papers. He holds several patents involved in monitoring and regulating autonomic state and originated the polyvagal theory, which emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral, mental, and health problems related to traumatic experiences. He is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation, The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe, and Polyvagal Safety, as well as co-editor of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies, and Polyvagal Safety