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Neuroscience continues to explode cutting edge information about the abilities humans have to overcome adversity and past trauma. When experiencing trauma, we go into overdrive with increased heart rate, adrenaline, norepinephrine, and experience the fight or flight response. It is difficult to turn the reaction down even long after the traumatic event occurred. When gently stimulated, the vagal nerve activates the parasympathetic system, which is the relaxation response and calms the body/mind.

Learning to stimulate the vagal nerve, which runs from the brain to the intestine, can lead to more relaxation and feelings of safety.  Locate the area between the back of the jaw bone and throat. Gently press with two fingers and notice a feeling of relaxation. Be sure and don’t press too hard.

Other activities to stimulate the vagal nerve include:

  • Taking a cold shower

  • Singing

  • Deep breathing

  • 5-HTP

  • Intermittent Fasting

  • Exercise

  • Massage

  • Being outside in the sun

  • Laughing

  • Social interaction with exchange of love and empathy

While trauma needs more attention than these suggestions, they are a beginning to shift over-active states to calm relaxation.

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