The Polyvagal Theory
When we speak of the autonomic nervous system, we talk of two branches – the sympathetic and parasympathetic.
There is now evidence that there are actually 3 branches of research to support the polyvagal theory emerges.
The two branches of the vagus nerve, the dorsal (back) and the ventral (front) appear to have very different functions, and improving the functioning of the central branch can help people with anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, chronic pain, and much more.
The book, Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve, by Stanley Rosenberg, includes lots of activities that people can do on their own to activate the ventral vagus nerve. It’s a fascinating book, and I recommend it if you are working with clients with anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, chronic pain, and trauma, and even those in the autism spectrum.