Leila Stuart

June 1, 2018


         A friend living in the southern US opened her front door, and literally froze.  There was a dangerous snake on her porch.  Doing its best to protect her, her nervous system froze her body. Dr. Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory explains the way evolution dictates how the nervous system and body respond to danger signals in the environment.  His theory has transformed the way we view trauma and chronic illness and has raised the status and relevance of the vagus nerve to be a popular topic in mainstream magazines.  Dr. Porges discovered that the vagus nerve, which innervates most of our organs, has different branches, and that the autonomic nervous system reacts to danger in a hierarchy of three possible responses.  The first line of defence in the face of a perceived threat is activation of the most recently evolved social engagement system.  We try to negotiate […]