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A theory about our nervous system& emotions. Pt 1

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A theory about our nervous system& emotions. Pt 1
For those of you of ‘a certain age’, you may remember a Monty Python skit of an interview with Anne Elk – not to be confused with having an elk to interview (sorry but couldn’t find the video version I was looking for, but here is the script). 
 
Sometimes, when people talk about a theory, I think of this skit because it reminds me that not all theories should be taken with utmost seriousness. Use them if they are useful to you and if they are able to predict future action.
 
Today, I’d like to introduce you to the Polyvagal Theory of safety and connection.

Quote
The polyvagal theory claims that humans have physical reactions, such as cardiac and digestive changes, associated with their facial expressions. 
~Wikipedia


Action Ideas
If you’ve been reading my blogs, you know I’m interested in the vagus nerve and its importance to our health (Part 1 and Part 2). My previous blog was about how, for healing and health, we need to more frequently live in our parasympathetic nervous systems (PNS) instead of our now our normal, sympathetic nervous system (SNS) (fight or flight system).
 
But, as is so often the case, it may not be that simple.
 
The parasympathetic system might not always be a system of healing. At its lower levels, it might be also be concerned with immediate survival. Specifically, the freeze response.
 
 According to the Polyvagal Theory, our nervous system is divided into three pathways – an older PNS pathway called the dorsal vagal pathway which decelerates our heart and puts us into the freeze response. Then we move up into our SNS, with an accelerated heart rate and into a fight or flight response. Finally, into the ventral vagal pathway of the PNS which focuses on safety and connection. Each pathway is connected to emotional states.
 
Dorsal vagal pathway of the parasympathetic nervous system: Feelings of hopelessness, feeling small, abandoned, trying not to be noticed =>

Sympathetic nervous system:  Dis-ease, anxiety, danger, hyper-alert =>

Ventral vagal pathway of the parasympathetic system: Sense of self and others, comfort, can see obstacles but not overwhelmed by them.
 
Put briefly, all systems are needed for a healthy life. The trick is, are you aware of where you normally reside and are you able to change your state?
 
Next week, we’ll discuss the emotional and physical repercussions to the 3 levels more deeply, and how to move from one system to another. Or, if this sparked your interest, here is an excellent summary of the theory.
 
If, to calm down your autonomic nervous system, you’d like a hug, we’ll give you a hug from afar. Check out our pressure vests which can be worn with or without straps.
 
Have a well-regulated nervous system, week and life (. . . not that I’m asking for a lot . . . 😂)

Providing calmness & comfort, learning & laughter,

InnovAID Inc.
www.InnovAID.ca

P.S. Do you experience freeze, flight/fight AND fine fettle*?

What do you do to move from one state into another? Is the move by choice?

Have your ever helped someone else to change their state?

Any tricks to share? Would love to hear them!

*while looking for ‘f’ words for relax, healthy, connected, I found ‘fine fettle’ and decided to use it.
“What does it mean to be in fine fettle?
If you say that someone or something is in fine fettle, you mean that they are in very good health or condition.” https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/in-fine-fettle

I hope you have fine fettle day!
 

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