"The PolyVagal Theory"- An evolutionary approach to understanding attachment
Updated: Jun 25, 2018
In this video Stephen Porges, a scientist whose work explores the evolutionary and phylogenetic upgrade of the vagus nerve as a key neurological plexus in healing and integrating trauma in the body.
One of the key facets of the vagus nerve is that it is the part of our nervous system responsible for co-regulation and bonding. Essentially it's the "love nerve" and also points to the fact that we need bonding with others in order to feel safe and healthy in the world.
The vagus nerve is also intrinsically linked to the striated muscles of the face, voice, and to the muscles of the inner ear. We are unique as mammals in our ability to process information through the vagus nerve. But in a world which is often less and less embodied we are losing access to this part of ourselves.
Learning about the ways which we often disconnect from this part of ourselves is extremely helpful in allowing us to access our higher brain, and evolve in our ability to experience ourselves in the context of the larger world in the form of community and relationships.
If you want an experiential understanding of your vagus nerve go ahead and download this image and print it out. Next, color it in intuitively to express where emotional colors may be held in the context of the vagus nerve. Having an awareness of how this nerve is hardwired to help you feel your emotional experience through your visceral body helps you to work with the vagus nerve as an intuitive bridge to your connection to the world.