Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve
Self-Help Exercises for Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, and Autism
Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve is a practical guide to understanding the cranial nerves as the key to our psychological and physical wellbeing. Drawing from the polyvagal theory of Stephen Porges–one of the biggest new developments in human neurobiology–Rosenberg explains in easy-to-understand terms how the vagus nerve, in particular, has a strong role in determining our psychological and emotional state, especially when it comes to how we relate and react to other people. By understanding the physiology of the autonomic nervous system and practicing simple exercises to restore proper vagal functioning, we can learn how to improve our emotional state within minutes. Those suffering from anxiety, depression, panic, and trauma will find much that is useful here, as well as those with physical ailments such as chronic pain and digestive problems. Additionally, because the vagus nerve is a key regulator of social interaction, therapy for proper vagal functioning has great potential for helping those with autism spectrum disorders.
Following a detailed explanation of the cranial nerves, the polyvagal theory, and how craniosacral therapy can assist with restoring proper neuroception, Rosenberg provides self-help exercises to test ventral vagal function and to improve the function of the cranial nerves. A separate chapter addresses how we might rethink common psychological problems via vagal theory, including anxiety, panic, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as autism, ADHD, and more. Rosenberg also includes case studies throughout from his twenty years of experience as a craniosacral therapist.
When we change our emotional state from one of pain and confusion to one of wellbeing and feeling safe, we feel better, think more clearly, and have better interactions with others. The healing power of the vagus nerve removes negative feelings blocking our true potential; by restoring vagal functioning, we can naturally shift our behavior to get the most out of life.
About the Author
STANLEY ROSENBERG is an American-born author and body therapist. A practicing cranio-sacral therapist since 1987 and a Rolfer since 1983, he studied biomechanical cranio-sacral for many years under Alain Gehin, trained in cranio-sacral at the Upledger Institute and in biodynamic cranio-sacral with Georgia Milne, studied the treatment of children with Benjamin Shield, and took courses in osteopathy with Jean Pierre Barral. For many years he has run a school in Denmark, teaching structural integration, myofascial release, release of scar tissue, biomechanical cranio-sacral therapy, visceral massage, and biotensegrity. He is the author of four books published in Denmark: Nevermore Pain in the Back; Nevermore Stiff Neck; Pain Relief with Osteomassage; and Hwa Yu Tai Chi. In addition to his work as a body therapist, he has has worked in theater, training actors in yoga, acrobatics, and voice at various institutions, including Yale University, Brandeis University, Swarthmore College, and the National Theatre Schools of Denmark and Iceland.