The Centre for Healing Blog


The Nervous System

autonomic nervous system nervous system polyvagal theory stephen porges trauma May 24, 2022
Nervous System

The science behind the nervous system has evolved in recent years due to the studies of Stephen Porges and polyvagal theory.

This discovery has given us deeper insights into the nature of trauma as well as the shutdown, freeze and fawn responses and what happens in our neurophysiology when we enter these states.

Understanding the nervous system is like having a map of Texas, we can use the map to navigate the terrain and walk through the different landscapes without getting lost in it. Though, it is important to remember that the map is never the territory.

In other words the map is a helpful tool but it is via exploring and navigating our own direct experience that gives us true insight and brings about transformation.

We can have read and understand every study there is about strawberries, what makes them grow, what they taste like, what environments are most conducive for them etc, all of which are helpful in navigating and understanding a strawberry, but it is only by biting directly into a strawberry that we come to truly know it.




If we have an understanding of our autonomic nervous system we can then use that map to inquire, watch and be conscious of what is happening in our body through out the day.

We may notice that in a specific situation like when we have to do a public talk we may experience anxiety and enter a fight or flight (sympathetic response) and in other situations like when a conflict arises in our intimate relationship we may enter into a freeze or fawn response.

By using this framework we can see the areas that keep us stuck, and by skilfully working with the body we can learn to transform these survival patterns and cooperate with them, bringing our body and being back to regulation and homeostasis

In peace,
The Centre for Healing

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