The Vagus Nerve and the Healing Promise of The Sudarshan Kriya – Waking Times : Waking Times

This breathing technique sounds like a powerful tool to relieve depression, anxiety and stress responses – all three being diseases or disorders associated with the outcomes of (C-) PTSD (listed under so-called co-morbidities, i.e. diseases that are secondary outcomes of the primary one). I have posted about Dr. Stephen Porges’ seminal work before, concluding from the linked article that his approach and findings might have the potential to cure a person who has been suffering from PTSD and C-PTSD for a long time. As we all know and as researchers now confirm, symptoms of PTSD worsen over time as the fear-related responses get “engraved” deeper and deeper in the system with every triggering situation and every flash-back that affected individuals experience.

I personally haven’t done SK&P yet, but I did some holothropic breathing for a while. The effects of an hour of non-stop breathing at varying pace and the ensuing rest and relaxation with scented candles and meditation music in a light-dimmed room and someone to talk to when needed are often described as “rebirthing”. I must admit that some powerful emotions came up – not as powerful as I know them from my own “treatments” of self-medicating with alcohol and then watching a drama movie, where trauma – or overcoming trauma – runs as a central theme of the movie. But they were powerful enough.

As far as that – admitted: questionable – approach I found myself, i.e. binge-eating, binge-drinking and watching movies that seemed to have a fair amount of potential to trigger me, I think it helped me to at least access and feel emotions I seem to have repressed forever. In other words: I wouldn’t underestimate the healing potential of a good cry – even if it borders into a breakdown lasting several hours (they did a few times, yes). After all, if we were supposed to be tough all the time, evolution probably wouldn’t have bothered to provide our species with tear glands, right? Now I’ve said it: I’m a crybaby, hahaha! 😀 But seriously: I’d deem reconnecting with bottled up emotions and for once giving yourself permission to feel them and even let them overpower you not too small a therapeutic value (might sound overbearing on my part, but I do know that I felt a good deal of relief and “inner clarity” and calmness when those crying fits were over; a few times might do, I don’t think you need to go through an entire series of re-experiencing.)

Anyway, without further ado on my part, find the article on SK&P here:  The Vagus Nerve and the Healing Promise of The Sudarshan Kriya – Waking Times : Waking Times.

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4 thoughts on “The Vagus Nerve and the Healing Promise of The Sudarshan Kriya – Waking Times : Waking Times

  1. From one crybaby to another….in my experience, walking outdoors—yes, even in the city—may be helpful, too…in various unpredictable ways…sometimes it helps with Breathing, sometimes with re-centering, or simple, basic circulatory needs… sometimes with letting go…sometimes with acceptance….

    Once, when walking and crying, a wrinkly homeless woman looked me in the eyes as we passed one another. I still feel grateful for that instant of conscious contact.

    Anyway…Breathing…great topic. I easily forget.. Shallow breathing becomes habitual for me…..i needed to be reminded about breathing. Seriously. Thanks. 🙂

    • I constantly need to remind myself of proper breathing, too, Ruby. Fortunately, I seem to have developed enough somatic mindfulness to catch me when I tense up, cramp up or breath too shallow. In any of these cases, taking one conscious long in- and outbreath, then rest, then repeat it a few times, helps to calm myself down, rebalance and find my center. At most times, not always. 😉 Also, becoming mindful about which messages and whom they come from have what effect on me is another exercise of mind-over-(body)matter or taking as much control of the somatic expression as humanly possible without becoming a total zombie 😀

      • yes, mindful of messages, sources, effects etc, so nicely stated! And kudos to you for making progress with those needs!

        A related possible resource:

        A very new acquaintance of mine just received (last week) a lap-sized service dog who helps alert her to somatic reactions (non cognitive—re: Porges’ theory), to subtly suggest to her, for instance, to please step outside prior to the build-up of oncoming tension, so to speak…which offers my acquaintance a chance to commence some specific forms of mindful breathing together before her system reaches a point of no return (In a group situation, she simply says, e.g. “Oh, excuse me, I just need to pop out for a moment with ‘Boots’…”) 🙂

        Her service dog was trained by prisoners from the local state penitentiary (a coveted position of trust), for people with different kinds of disabilities, including, specifically, for people with somatic and emotional needs related to C-PTSD. These wonderful four legged companions sense and gently suggest options, in various helpful ways, apparently—- and thus of course are not 100% “accurate” or “effective” (so very unlike robot devices, thank goodness!)

        After she confided some of these details, our conversation got around (jokingly) to the potential, awful dilemma i/r/t one’s service dog eventually needing its own service dog…. and, apparently, there are contingencies in place to avert that dreadful problem!

        Keeping my fingers crossed….that a similar helper might become available for me…..

        And of course fingers crossed for you too if that option would be a realistic, helpful possibility, in your area. 🙂

        Leaving aside goofy/creepy/silly “Planet of the Apes” scenarios, LOL, I’m thinking the proposition sounds, well, just maybe… promising… will be quietly noting my new friend’s experiences, perhaps, in the coming months.

      • I’ve heard of therapeutic dogs before, but not with this specific training of sensing and responding to somatic changes in the person they’re being “assigned” to. That might do wonders for me as I somatize EVERYTHING (which is probably a mundane statement to make as I suppose we all do that, whether we’re conscious of it or not, the latter – not conscious – probably being the “norm”).

        I’ll also bury my nose in a book by Peter A. Levin called “Waking the Tiger in you…” or something like that, which also seems to focus on the idea of employing somatic intelligence to process out residual aspects of trauma.

        On a side note: I’m staying at home folks’ right now and my body’s response doesn’t leave a trace of a doubt as to how bright an idea this was… :/ Talk about revoking years of work on myself over the course of a few days. Wow. The body never lies (it just wouldn’t know “how” to begin with, right?) Gotta get back, but am stranded for heavy winter weather and blizzard like snowfall… damn. Guess, breathing will have to be my lifeline more than ever now…. :/

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