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Stephen Porges, Ph.D.

See also [some open in new window]: Autonomic Science | New Brain Science & NICABM | FlexAware Fitness & Neuro Rehab | HANDLE Approach | Autonomic Regulation via Neuro-SCENAR | Heart Rate Variability Testing | Biofeedback | AcuGraph Digital Meridian Imaging | Craniosacral Therapy | Hypnotherapy | Dental Toxicity and Autoimmune Dysregulation | Have You Been Labeled a Hypochondriac?

See below: Interview -- "How Your Nervous System Sabotages Your Ability to Relate" | Dr. Eagleman gives great credit to Dr. Porges | FlexAware as Autonomic Nervous System modulator | My Three Control Systems Model of Health Management | Dr. Weiner Dysoxygenosis and Apnea Spectrum


Dr. Porges has made great contributions to the fields of brain development and Autism treatment, as well as Autonomic Nervous System function.

Dr. Porges' official internet site [click here]

Interview, "How Your Nervous System Sabotages Your Ability to Relate" [below, click here]

His work is spoken highly of by Dietrich Klinghardt, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Porges' new book is now available from Amazon.

[Click here for Amazon listing]

See his April 2011 event in Washington DC
New: June 6 2013 Interview

Dr. Drew and Dr. Stephen Porges discuss Dr. Porges' Polyvagal Theory and how our hearts and heads are connected. Later, Dr. Drew takes some listener calls.

Click here or on the picture to the left.
Webinar, with NICABM. [site]

Download transcript - pdf
Interview about PolyVagal Theory on a psychology show, "Shrink Rap Radio"

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
By neuroscientist David Eagleman, who gives great credit to Dr. Porges.

Interview by psychologist, David Van Nuys, of [link]
NPR Interview of Dr. Eagleman, May 31, 2011.

"Most of what you do, think and believe is generated by parts of your brain to which you have no access.  Here's the expose about the non-conscious brain and all the machinery under the hood that keeps the show going." [From the dust jacket:] "If the conscious mind—the part you consider you—is just the tip of the iceberg in the brain, what is all the rest doing?  Neuroscientist David Eagleman plumbs the depths of the subconscious brain to illuminate surprising questions: Why can your foot jump halfway to the brake pedal before you become consciously aware of danger ahead?  Why do strippers make more money at certain times of month, even while no one is consciously aware of their fertility level?  Is there a true Mel Gibson? What do Odysseus and the subprime mortgage meltdown have in common?  How is your brain like a conflicted democracy engaged in civil war?... The subsurface exploration includes waystops in brain damage, drugs, infidelity, synesthesia, criminal law, the future of artificial intelligence, and visual illusions—all highlighting how our perception of the world is a hidden and awe-inspiring construction of the brain."

Addendum: I was very impressed when I heard Dr. Eagleman state clearly that in his opinion a truly scientific approach could not definitively rule out the possibility of Creation. I hope that his open minded stance will help many more people choose to look at the new brain science that is helping to unravel what were formerly mysteries about human behavior. [See: My writing on Science and Spirituality.]

Stephen Porges: POLYVAGAL THEORY [gives theoretical background for ANS work of Klinghardt]

The work of Dr. Stephen Porges, this helps explain some puzzling aspects of human Autonomic Nervous System behavior. Dr. Porges founded the Institute for Child Study where he has developed interventions that help children develop more control of their autonomic function and this improves the social dynamics of their relationships. I have talked with him and appreciate his insights. [Note -- Nov 2006: His work is gaining appreciation for its help in understanding nervous system function.]


Careful anatomical study has revealed nerve fibers from higher centers of the brain are contained in what is considered a main autonomic nerve bundle, the Vagus Nerve. These extra fibers in the Vagus Nerve contribute a third component to what used to be considered a two-part ANS (made up of Sympathetic and Parasympathetic components). This gives a scientific reason for observations that the functions of the Autonomic Nervous System are affected by sound and sight. In our clinic, the Autonomic Response Testing and Applied Psycho-Neurobiology techniques include assessment of affects of colored light and spoken information. [See Autonomic Response Testing]


In addition, the "Triune Autonomic Nervous System" gives added value to our recommendations that patient consider Family Constellation Work or Family Dynamics Work as part of their integrative medicine program.


Graphics re the Triune Autonomic Nervous System ("Polyvagal Theory")

Graphic above: From John Chitty's essay on the ANS and Craniosacral Therapy, and Porges' work. [View: PDF version; or Updated Brief PDF version] Image used by permission: Colorado School of Energy Studies.

[See this online as a PowerPoint: Item #8 below]



Interview --

"How your nervous system sabotages your ability to relate."


Original interview: [Click Here]


Graphic of the Three Levels of the ANS: From Nexus Journal interview  [larger size]




1. Interview with Dr. Porges: 2006: "How your nervous system sabotages your ability to relate."

[On website of Nexus Journal] | Original interview: [PDF version]

2. Polyvagal Theory: Three Neural Circuits Regulate Behavioral Reactivity

3. The Polyvagal Theory -- Social Engagement and Attachment: A Phylogenetic Perspective [PDF; in Roots of Mental Illness in Children, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences]

4. Emotion: An Evolutionary byproduct of the Neural Regulation of the Autonomic Nervous System

5. Dr. Porges' professional Internet site

Three presentations from Chitty, that cite Porges' work:

6. Polyvagal Theory's value to psychology and interpersonal dynamics. [PDF document]

7. Polyvagal Theory...Triune Autonomic Nervous System & Therapeutic Applications [PDF]

8. Triune Autonomic Nervous System: Updated presentation also by Chitty. [PDF]

9. Schore on behavioral understanding, draws on Porges' work [website link]

10. A Voice For Freedom: Trauma & Civilization, draws on Porges' work [website link]

11. Dr. David Baldwin's Trauma Pages includes a section with papers by Dr. Porges.

12. He is spoken highly of by Dietrich Klinghardt, M.D., whose instruction manual had information about Dr. Porges

Related information:

13. Dr. Daniel Goleman writes about the "hard wiring" of the brain for social cues; this is exactly what Dr. Porges is talking about even though Goleman does not mention Porges on his website. Here is an entry in his blog about social cues that are missing in emails: [website link]

See also: Autonomic Response Testing | Craniosacral Therapy

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FlexAware Introduction

I am very impressed with the impact on the ANS of the new mind-body exercise called FlexAware). FlexAware was created by Steven Shafarman, who was a student of Moshe Feldenkrais. FlexAware touches upon many important aspects of human health:


FlexAware Jaw exercises
For Dental Support

[FlexAware | Biological Dentistry]
 FlexAware: A breath-driven mind-body exercise. Developed by Steven Shafarman, a Feldenkrais method practitioner; author: Awareness Heals.

FlexAware Jaw™ exercises are an advanced method of applying the FlexAware insights. This is a self-directed method of supporting your body’s innate healing capabilities.

Dr. Wilson is a Certified FlexAware Teacher and a Craniosacral therapy practitioner.

Stephen M. Levin, M.D., is an orthopedic surgeon who has developed a powerful library of visual and written information about the dynamic nature of living tissue.
[His Biotensegrity site]

[His companion site, Macintosh based, is an extensive network of essays and links]

Note: You are encouraged to purchase his DVD: Biotensegrity and Dynamic Anatomy.

YouTube: Biotensegrity Conversation with Dr. Levin
View on YouTube.
Dr. Levin's work gives scientific underpinning to the exercises and instructions of the new FlexAware Fitness approach to health enhancement.

If you watch the video to the right of this text, you will then be able to view associated interviews with Dr. Levin, and other presentations about the Biotensegrity model for healthy function of the body.

                          From Dr. Levin's Links page

Tom Flemons of Intension Designs has created tensegrity models and sculptures for 25 years.

Kenneth Snelson has built free-form tensegrity structures.

Applied Synergetics is the continuum of Buckminster Fuller's book Synergetics and has many good links that are kept up-to-date.

Don Ingber is, by far, the leading researcher in the field of tensegrity cellular mechanics.

Additional Links: [He writes:] "...There are many health care professionals who have integrated biotensegrity in their thinking and clinical practice.  Here is a of list a few with whom I have had direct contact, but there are many more. They cover a variety of professions and use biotensegrity in different ways. Biotensegrity is to be considered a basic science that can be adapted to various uses in various ways.  You might want to get in touch with any of those whose interest might coincide with yours."

Dr. Levin's internet site includes links to the work of several important researchers whose work is crucial to the growing field of tensegrity modeling of human function.

A Recent Discovery:

"Strolling Under the Skin" -- A DVD with a deep view of how Life energies flow within the human body. This is the work of French hand surgeon Jean-Claude Guimberteau, M.D., who discovered that a new way is needed to describe what happens as the body converts energy to movement. The music (e.g., Blue Danube) and words are inspiring. It shows functional relationships of important aspects of the body: the clear light-carrying fascia and the mineral-rich/mobile blood system.

[Viewing this, as a former massage practitioner, was a deeply moving experience. I wish that all health care practitioners could view it. I also think that any human being would understand and appreciate their own body a lot better if they watch this.]

Available from Anatomy Trains [in the USA].

Dr. Guimberteau's web site.

Converting energy to movement




Tensegrity information: Audio and Video on AnatomyTrains site: Click here


Study of the Human Form:

The Integral Anatomy series -- a beautiful study of the human body from the perspective of the holiness of life. Gil Hedley (author of "Reconceiving My Body") teaches the appreciation of the gift of life by anatomy dissection classes and DVDs. This is for practitioners, students, and the dedicated layperson who wants to learn more about their own body. 

See more on his Internet site

New focus: Dysoxygenosis and the work of Lowell Weiner, DDS, FAGD
[I call it the Apnea Spectrum. See FlexAware and jaw exercises above]

New focus for Functional Medicine practitioners:

Dr. Weiner addressed the Academy of Functional Medicine, Dentistry and Psychology [site] about the impact on physical and mental health that result from dysfunctional breathing.

Specialty and Practice Philosophy: Biological Dentistry. Helping the body to help itself using the least invasive technology following medical and biological dental concepts.

Areas of Focus: Sleep Apnea, Snoring, diagnosis and treatment of toxic teeth and their relationship to cavitations and chronic sinus problems. Non-surgical treatment of TMJ, and functional dental medicine. [more]




The You that contains the three control systems that you use to manage your life
[more on Blog entry]

"Living Inside the Box": The more I observe the intricacies of human life the more awed I am at the gift of life. As a doctor I enjoy teaching about how to move forward from where you are to an improved state of health. The more you understand the physical body and its importance to your overall existence the easier it is to make choices that support the life you were meant to have. One way that I describe human health is to recognize the Three Control Systems that each person has by which they manage their life... [more]

Have You Been Labeled a Hypochondriac?

[He is 'The Enigma', dismissed because he cannot be understood by those around him.]

Here are some expanded ways of evaluating the person shown as The Hypochondriac. It falls into place if one understands neurotoxicity, nutritional medicine and has studied the work of doctors and researchers of acumeridian theory, Ayurveda, and other non-mainstream systems of health care....


Humorous presentation of this information:

Homo toxicanus: a "new species."

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