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What is Neural-somatics?


Just tracking body felt sense isn’t enough when working to resolve trauma.  In addition, we also need to understand what part of your nervous system is involved in generating the sensations.  Because trauma is actually the result of an imbalance in your nervous system due to unresolved emotional energies, e.g. all the energy of the fear, anger, or grief, (sense of loss) you felt at the time of the trauma have not yet processed to completion.

The part of your nervous system involved in trauma is known as the autonomic nervous system or ANS.  Your ANS is composed of the following sub-divisions:

  • Parasympathetic nervous system – PNS
  • Sympathetic nervous system – SNS

And due to the very important work of Professor Stephen Porges and his “Polyvagal Theory”, your PNS is now understood to be further divided into:

  • the Ventral Vagal Complex – VVC
  • the Dorsal Vagal Complex – DVC

Each of the above sub-divisions are involved in different biological processes/responses as follows:

  • VVC is involved in social engagement and sense of safety, e.g.
    • feelings of relaxation and connection,
    • ability to digest; gurgles in the digestive system
  • DVC is involved in the primitive freeze or conservation response, e.g.
    • feelings of numbness, heaviness, coldness
    • high levels of constriction,
    • feelings of immobility
    • feelings of dissociation
  • SNS is involved in flight and fight responses, e.g.
    • racing and pounding heart,
    • rapid breathing

In a Somatic Tao session I help you learn how to recognise and track which of the above is speaking in your experience of your body.  I also teach you ways to change the balance back to a place that indicates more VVC activity and less DVC or SNS activity.  This is very important when working with trauma: trauma creates a sense of feeling unsafe and to heal we need to recover a sense of relative safety.