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  • Published: 5 December 2023
  • ISBN: 9781761343117
  • Imprint: Penguin Life
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $35.00

The Vagus Nerve Reset

Train your body to heal stress, trauma and anxiety with Anna the Anxiety Coach

Extract

Welcome to The Vagus Nerve Reset. Whatever has brought you here, I hope that the information held within these pages will help you reclaim your sense of self, happiness and vitality. I know how difficult it can be to feel like your past experiences, anxiety and stress are getting the better of you – that hollow feeling that sits within you making everything a question mark in your mind; the exhausting inability to relax, the constant buzz of thoughts and worries; the fatigue that follows you like a dark cloud after almost any social interaction; the feeling of intense overwhelm from certain noises, smells, tastes and sensations; the confusion that comes from being unable to connect your feelings to words; the distance you feel from other people and the world around you, like something has been lost inside of you – I know because I’ve been there too. But the honest truth is, you have the innate capacity and power to heal and overcome.

By picking up this book, you have taken the first step onyour healing journey, embracing the path to somatic (of or relating to the body) therapies, committing to understanding your nervous system and learning how your vagus nerve influences your energy, mood and physical and emotional health every day.

HEALING AND RECOVERY ARE POSSIBLE

Your past experiences are held within your body, physiology and nervous system (which we will build our understanding of in Chapter 1), and your past continues to influence your present and future experiences. But you have the power to find the keys to true healing and self- reclamation. In doing so, you will release anxiety, brain fog and imposter syndrome as well as physical issues such as inflammation and gut issues – all of which can be signs of a nervous system out of balance.

Your body has the innate capacity to process, release and return to a state of safety and connection. We have traditionally focused on mind first – the mind being our innate human- ness. Humans are unique because of our ability to be cognitive, right? But what if I told you that we have this ‘intelligence’ the wrong way around? That in order to truly process the ills that arise when we are stuck in our heads, we need to turn inwards and listen to our bodies, and learn to connect to the innate wisdom we hold there. We have to process fully the experiences that have crystallised in our behaviours and caused us so much pain and anguish through trying to ‘understand’ them. What if we could tune into our greatest self- healing power by learning to harness the immense potential of the vagus nerve? To help us consciously and deliberately process, release and heal the stresses and traumas that we have been through? This book will show you how.

As a somatic therapist, I have worked with thousands of people from all over the world who have suffered from chronic anxiety, depression and trauma. Through my journey of self-discovery, I’ve come to realise that wellness can be achieved in various ways. However, it is through my own painful and traumatic experiences that I have been motivated to seek out a new way of being in the world, a way that is unapologetically vulnerable, yet also authentic and resilient. It became my mission to share, support and guide others to also discover their own truths and sense of self. I have witnessed first-hand how tools and techniques, like the ones I’ll teach you in this book, can help you to heal, grow and even flourish. I have had the honour of holding space and watching so many people unfurl and free themselves from their past painful experiences and seemingly never-ending daily symptoms.

So, how did I acquire the skills and knowledge to be able to help so many people? It started with my own experiences.

ABOUT ME

I was in an accident when I was ten years old which changed my life – and altered my nervous system. I shifted from being an outgoing, adventurous and energetic child, to feeling disconnected and constantly at war with my body and mind.

Without having proper understanding, guidance and tools, this led to a chaotic period in young adulthood, leaving me exhausted and frustrated with myself and the mental health system. After an undulating healing journey where, over time, I pieced together my own somatic healing toolkit, I began to use my body as a way of healing what I thought were the problems of my mind. I qualified as a Somatic Healing Practitioner and in this book, you now have access to the incredible healing programme I use with my clients.

The moment that changed the course of my life was the moment I learned to consciously bring attention and selfawareness to my physiological experience. Once I began to see my body as a resource and vehicle for processing my emotions – identifying them and giving myself the time and space needed in order for them to emerge naturally rather than trying to suppress or escape whatever those feelings were – I was then able to acknowledge and honour my pain and start my healing journey. Now you can too.

HOW TO USE THIS BOOK

In this book we will explore how our nervous system works and how we can nurture it to positively influence our health, mood and behaviour. We will uncover how the nervous system’s responses impact our perceptions and learn strategies to redefine these in order to balance those responses and create a new harmonious reality.

In Part 1, we look at the nervous system as a whole, to begin to understand how significantly it influences every bodily system and dictates our mind’s landscape, without us even being aware! You will learn about polyvagal theory, the underlying principle of how our nervous system regulates our feelings of safety and consequently how we respond to our experiences in the world. We’ll of course meet the star of the show, the vagus nerve, and delve into the detail of exactly what this awe- inspiring nerve network does for our body and mind and how incredible it is that we can consciously choose to soothe our nervous system, as long as we know how. You will begin to learn about the power of somatic healing tools (and what ‘somatic therapy’ is), and the myriad challenges that the modern world presents for our health and well-being. This will give you the foundation of understanding to then be able to confidently move through the healing Vagus Nerve Reset Programme (see page 91).

The Reset Programme in Part 2 will teach you exactly how to access and nurture the systems within you. Learn about the power of breath, touch, movement and intention and how to build these key pillars into your life. The Reset Programme shows you how to use these tools on a daily basis, to bring more balance to your every day.


The Vagus Nerve Reset Anna Ferguson

Harness the power of your vagus nerve to reduce stress, overcome anxiety and release past trauma.

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