Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve
Self-Help Exercises for Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, and Autism
This practical guide to understanding the cranial nerves as the key to our psychological and physical well-being builds on Stephen Porges’s Polyvagal Theory—one of the most important recent developments in human neurobiology. Drawing on more than thirty years of experience as a craniosacral therapist and Rolfer, Stanley Rosenberg explores the crucial role that the vagus nerve plays in determining our psychological and emotional states and explains that a myriad of common psychological and physical symptoms—from anxiety and depression to migraines and back pain—indicates a lack of proper functioning in the vagus nerve.
Through a series of easy self-help exercises, the book illustrates the simple ways we can regulate the vagus nerve in order to initiate deep relaxation, improve sleep, and recover from injury and trauma. Additionally, by exploring the link between a well-regulated vagus nerve and social functioning, Rosenberg’s findings and methods offer new hope that by improving social behavior it is possible to alleviate some of the symptoms at the core of many cases of autism spectrum disorders. Useful for psychotherapists, doctors, bodyworkers, and caregivers, as well as anyone who experiences the symptoms of chronic stress and depression, this book shows how we can optimize autonomic functioning in ourselves and others, and bring the body into the state of safety that activates its innate capacity to heal.
About the Author
STANLEY ROSENBERG is an American-born author and body therapist. A
Rolfer since 1983 and a practicing craniosacral therapist since 1987, he
studied biomechanical craniosacral therapy for many years under Alain
Gehin, trained in craniosacral therapy at the Upledger Institute and in
biodynamic craniosacral courses with Giorgia Milne, studied applications
for treating children with Benjamin Shield, and took courses in
osteopathy with Jean-Pierre Barral.
For many years he led a school in Denmark, teaching structural
integration, myofascial release, release of scar tissue, biomechanical
craniosacral 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 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.
More information about the techniques presented in this book can be
found on his website: www.stanleyrosenberg.com.
“Stanley Rosenberg has put his encyclopedic clinical knowledge to work through the lens of the Polyvagal Theory, illuminating the path away from the underlying cause of so much of today’s disease: anxiety. A tour de force.”—Tom Myers, author of Anatomy Trains
“Stanley Rosenberg is one of the world’s most skilled and creative hands-on therapists. His diagnostic and treatment techniques have immediate application for everyone. Read and enjoy this book, and apply the techniques in your life or in your practice.”—James L. Oschman, PhD, author of Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis
“An excellent and most valuable resource, written by one of the true masters in the field.”— Dr. Robert Schleip, director of the Fascia Research Group