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Muscle Medicine Podcast: What Is The Polyvagal Theory & How Can It Help You Move Forward w/ Dr. Stephen Porges

🕑 2 minutes read
Posted December 16, 2019

Highly stressful situations can lead to an inability to act and respond. These feelings have long-lasting impacts that affect people well afterward. However, as you’ll hear, this is not the result of some inadequacy, but an ancient neurological response.


  • How trauma can trigger a reflex that leads to an inability to act
  • The ways that stress and trauma impact future relationships
  • How to cope with the lasting effects of trauma
  • The power of breath for helping to regulate parts of the nervous system
  • Ways to make others feel safe simply by using your voice
  • The link between feelings of safety and creativity
  • Technological innovations that may reduce inflammation of the vagal nerve


“I would say that the nervous system is much more rational in its decision-making properties and we have to be very careful about imposing a simplistic worldview on it and trying to make everything fit that simplicity.” [1:43]

“This whole act of going into immobilization or inability to recruit fight-flight is a powerful reaction that many people have experienced. But once they experience it, they don’t know how to make sense of it.” [9:47]

“Breath is really a wonderful gift because when we manipulate our breathing we can change the tone of our autonomic nervous system. And if we change that tone, even for short periods of time, we can experience the world differently for those moments.” [16:52]

“What we really want is to enable people to be better witnesses of their own body and to become more self-aware and compassionate to respect those bodily feelings.” [48:38]


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