The polyvagal theory,

or how our vagus nerve impacts our social life?

The polyvagal theory, developed by American psychologist Stephen Porges, asserts a close link between our nervous system and social behavior. In simple terms, our nervous system detects signals of insecurity internally and externally, a process known as neuroception, triggering three types of responses:

  • Ventral response: activated in a state of safety.
  • Sympathetic response: activated when the body prepares to react to a threat.
  • Dorsal response: occurring when one perceives a danger from which they cannot escape.

However, consistent exposure to insecure situations, particularly during development or due to trauma, may overactivate the dorsal system.

Stimulating the vagus nerve aims to transition from a dorsal to a ventral state. Feeling secure within ourselves fosters a more open, confident relationship with the world, enabling us to seize opportunities. Conversely, dorsal activation induces feelings of insecurity, mistrust, and protection. Though our consciousness may recognize this response as disproportionate, our internal reality dictates our reaction.

To address this dorsal state, it is advisable to engage when the ventral state is activated. Feeling secure allows exploration of insecurities, trusting our ability to self-regulate. Modifying vagus nerve responses requires careful, compassionate care, crucial in treating anxiety disorders, depression, and other mood and social behavior disorders.

AXO massage aims not to treat the dorsal state but to facilitate a ventral state, empowering clients to address and soothe their dorsal state. Heart coherence techniques, self-massage, or meditation are effective, but professional therapy may be necessary for deeper changes.

As AXO therapists, you serve as direct liaisons to clients’ emotional states. If faced with significant distress or insecurity, refer them to appropriate professionals. AXO prioritizes clients’ overall health.


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