This past November I started an online course with Irene Lyon, called The New Inner Game. It’s a 12-week nervous system rewire. Irene combines her kinesiology and bio-medical research backgrounds with her Feldenkrais and Somatic Experiencing certifications to do some pretty ground breaking work.
The toughest part of this work is explaining it, but I shall try…
Everyone suffers from trauma. We suffer from emotional wounds, shock trauma, acute injury, psychological damage and chronic stress and as such we’ve all been thrown into multiple fight, flight or freeze responses due to traumatic events throughout our lifetimes.
Unlike animals that automatically discharge excess energy once they’re safe, we humans let that energy build up. This disrupts our autonomic nervous system and causes our vagus nerve to malfunction.
Because the vagus nerve (which prevents inflammation) connects the brain-stem to our visceral organs and the Autonomic Nervous System unconsciously controls all of our body systems, this disruption eventually shows up as disease and/or emotional issues.
Irene has been teaching me how to work at the subtle, internal, somatic, (body) level which helps me to move with more ease and less tension, better follow my impulses and not only notice but also discharge this excess energy.
Research is now showing that this type of work will not only re-balance my nervous system but by toning and strengthening my vagus nerve it will also help to decrease my chronic inflammation and strengthen my immune system, improving my overall health and wellness.
In case you’re wondering if any of this is valid, her work dovetails nicely (and is partially based on) the research coming to light about how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) negatively affect health in adulthood (Donna Jackson Nakazawa has written extensively on this). How trauma gets stuck in our nervous system causing psychological problems and health issues. (Peter Levine’s lifework.) Dr. Gabor Mate has been exploring and writing about how the emotions we process are connected to our hormonal, nervous and immune systems while Dr. Michael Merzenich’s research in brain plasticity has completely changed neurology as we once knew it.
So yes, the nervous system can be rewired. That’s what I work on every day and what I hope to ultimately succeed in achieving. But it’s complicated, nuanced and multifaceted. There’s no nervous system re-wire pill that I can pop. (However if you have severe epilepsy or depression you can have a vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) implanted in your chest wall to send mild electrical impulses to your brain via your 10th cranial nerve which is cool!)
But for the most part, doing this work takes, time, patience, mindfulness and requires movement, resourcing, orientation and sound to get your autonomic nervous system back on track.
I’ll be blogging about this in future posts but suffice to say this is a cool and exciting option if you suffer from one of the more than 80 autoimmune disorders, emotional distress, or feel chronically overwhelmed.
If you’re interested in your own personal re-wire another 3 month session starts next month. You can also work with Irene 1:1, dig into her blog or download her free content. Go to her site for more information or message me if you have any questions.