PolyVagal Theory

PolyVagal Theory

With the foundation of polyvagal theory, we can demonstrate how life events and emotions effect every organ in the body. All responses, all emotions are expressed along and within the branches of this nerves response path. This is why stressful experiences can create symptoms anywhere and differently in different people.

Health and wellbeing is based on the integration of our manifestations of lifestyle including our environment, social interaction, occupation, sense of love and belonging, mental and emotional wellbeing. It not only affects our physical body, but is also a history of trauma.  

We hear the patient’s story, the paths that have brought them to the present.  We consider the historical symptoms that have lead them to our clinic.

We often work with patients whose lab work and imaging that suggests they are just fine. Despite this, they are in poor physical health. We welcome these patients, as we believe we can uncover the underlying emotional causation that can be absent from standard diagnosis techniques. We often find trauma that may have left a significant effect upon the physical body.

Studies have shown that negative emotional states such as anxiety, depression, and anger increase the inflammatory response in the body. From this we can infer a direct link between our emotions and health (Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. et al ,2002)

In addition, studies have suggested that lifetime traumatic experiences in childhood can have long term health effects (De Venter, M. et al,2013)( Gilbert, L. K. et al.2015).

In cases of trauma, individuals may endure long-term reactions such as unpredictable emotions, physical illness and flashbacks. In some cases, the underlying stress in a patient’s history can result in severe reactions to events, which can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Stress and trauma have the ability to interfere with the communication in the endocrine and immune system (Padgett, D.A. et al, 2003)



De Venter, M., Demyttenaere, K., & Bruffaerts, R. (2013). Het verband tussen traumatische gebeurtenissen in de kindertijd en angst, depressie en middelenmisbruik in de volwassenheid; een systematisch literatuuroverzicht [The relationship between adverse childhood experiences and mental health in adulthood. A systematic literature review]. Tijdschrift voor psychiatrie55(4), 259–268.

Gilbert, L. K., Breiding, M. J., Merrick, M. T., Thompson, W. W., Ford, D. C., Dhingra, S. S., & Parks, S. E. (2015). Childhood adversity and adult chronic disease: an update from ten states and the District of Columbia, 2010. American journal of preventive medicine48(3), 345-349.

Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., McGuire, L., Robles, T. F., & Glaser, R. (2002). Emotions, morbidity, and mortality: new perspectives from psychoneuroimmunology. Annual review of psychology53, 83–107. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.53.100901.135217

Padgett, D. A., & Glaser, R. (2003). How stress influences the immune response. Trends in immunology, 24(8), 444-448.