What I really want you to know, and what’s often misunderstood, is that nervous system rewiring and improving regulation (of the nervous system) is ALL about improving mental health.
(And all the by-products that come with this, such as more restful and restorative sleep, improving our immune system, enhanced digestion, more meaningful relationships, the list of positive by-products is a little endless!)
It can be tough to understand all the connections between the body and the mind; early trauma, later in life trauma, chronic stress, the nervous system, the brain, gene expression, the gut-brain connection, healing trauma, physical well being etc…because, historically, we have separated mind from body and body from mind.
So it can be a big leap to consider another way of seeing things when this duality influences how we (and our medical/health world) see health, and all the medicines and therapies created to ease suffering and pain.
But what if the area that’s suffering, our mental state for example (think: anxiety or depression or stuckness) has ZERO to do with our psyche per se? Or, the flipside to this: what if a physical illness (think: heart disease or autoimmune disease) is NOT the fault of the heart or the immune system, but is a result of something overwhelming that occured to the whole system when one was a child?
Well the word is out on the scientific street!
We now know that gene expression (what turns on disease in the body) can be caused by psychological trauma and that overthinking and overanalyzing in our minds can create a cascade of reactions that turn on a biological stress reaction!
This is proof the body and mind are not separate. They are one. So it makes a TON of sense that working with the nervous system is often the best way to improve mental health.
It’s possible you already know this. Or maybe you’re still finding ways to talk to people about these connections, or maybe, this is the very first time you’re getting this news. Regardless of where you are on this journey with me, I want to share two new video clips that dive into these topics.
They are both from a long form interview I did with Kathy Kain, one of my colleagues and mentors and a leader in the field of healing trauma.
This first clip is about the over emphasis we put on the psyche (and the brain) and important connections between our gut and other key biological systems for mental health.
In the second clip Kathy and I talk about the relevance of the ACE study (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and how it confirmed the link between early psychological trauma and physical illness later in life.
At the end of the day, humans are not simple beings.
This means that in order to understand how we tick, how we get sick, and most importantly, what it takes to heal and find that turning point wherein we go from merely surviving to full out thriving, we need to understand the full story of mental health, physical illness, early trauma, rewiring and regulating the nervous system.
This is intricate stuff and it’s exciting for me because it shows we are getting closer to a universal language for healing and health: a language steeped in the basic understanding that all is connected and we must address the entire person. We have to take a fuller approach to healing that encompasses everything; the mind and body, the environments we grew up in and continue to live through and everything in between.
I want to remind you that while this journey ain’t a quick fix and the intricacies of this info can’t all be conveyed in one blog post, understanding and applying this whole-system approach does work to create more health on ALL levels, and my job on this planet is to make this complex journey a little simpler and easier to understand so you can experience this for yourself.
So I hope you continue to learn about your nervous system (and its regulation) and how a healthy mind-body connection is essential for mental health and wellness.
As a reminder, there are lots of great resources on my site, but for today, I’d love to share these two video clips with you.
Be sure to watch ‘em now:
Is the brain really in charge? A very special note on mental health
The ACE Study. Connections with Psychological Trauma & Physical Illness
Here’s to our human potential and improving our mental health via nervous system healing and regulation.
Resources + References:
Nurturing Resilience: Helping Clients Move Forward from Developmental Trauma–An Integrative Somatic Approach
Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study
Suggested articles to complement this article:
An Epidemic of Chronic Illness: How Stress, Trauma & Adversity Early in Life Impacts Our Capacity to Heal
Traumatic stress physiology has an unpredictable response.
This is largest public health study you’ve probably never heard of