The map of our autonomic nervous system (ANS). Our ANS is all about survival. Regulating our nervous system states is the missing link to our health and wellbeing. Polyvagal Theory focuses on what is happening in the body and the nervous system, and explains how our sense of safety, danger or life threat can impact our behavior and mood. Polyvagal theory shows how our autonomic nervous system has three parts: Ventral Vagal (Social Engagement, connection, safety), Sympathetic (mobilization, fight or flight), and Dorsal Vagal (Immobilization, freeze). When we feel safe, there is no need to defend ourselves. If we perceive danger, the sympathetic nervous system takes over and we go into fight-or-flight mode. If our fight-or-flight defense mechanisms don’t make us feel safe, the sympathetic nervous system can become inhibited, leading to a most primitive form of defense, immobilization.
Cutting edge heart-brain science tools to manage stress and remain balanced. HeartMath tools bridge the connection between your heart and mind deeping a connection with yourself and others. The scientifically based techniques help you tap into the power and intelligence of your heart which awakens you to the best version of yourself. Our heart influences our perceptions, emotions, intuition, and health. Tuning into your heart’s wisdom creates a profound shift within your nervous system that helps you approach situations with more emotional balance, compassion, clarity and personal confidence. HeartMath greatly reduces stress, increases resilience and unlocks your natural intuitive guidance for making better choices and realizing your full potential.
A neurobiological, body-oriented approach to working with stress Somatic Experiencing is a body-centered approach to treating stress and trauma, rather than focusing on thoughts or emotions, this technique includes the natural bodily (somatic) responses that happen with stress. There is a natural cycle that should happen in our nervous system when we have stress. If we stop this innate process then the stress becomes trapped within our body - called body memory (procedural memory) - causing an imbalance in the nervous system. In essence, the stress becomes stuck preventing us from returning to a relaxed, balanced state. In order to diffuse the memory, there are certain body-based techniques that can be used to reset our nervous system and release the trapped stress in our body. Somatic experiencing techniques help people build awareness, coherence and self-regulation. The result is a deeper understanding of the mind-body connection with improved ability to release and regulate emotions. It also helps manage stress, resolve issues related to trauma, heal from and navigate life transitions, relationships and build resilience.
Tension Releasing Exercises
Unlock your body’s natural way to return to balance after stress. Tension Releasing Exercises assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma. The exercises safely activate a natural reflex mechanism of shaking or vibrating that releases muscular tension, calming down the nervous system. When this muscular shaking/vibrating mechanism is activated in a safe and controlled environment, the body is encouraged to return back to a state of balance. This mechanism can release emotions ranging from mild upset to severe anxiety whether it is caused by work stress, excessive worry, conflict in relationships, physical stresses or traumas. The reflexive muscle vibrations generally feel pleasant and soothing, invoking feelings of peace and well-being, supporting and promoting your health and wellness.
Harness the vital energy within yourself for health, vitality, and longevity. Qigong involves using exercises to optimize energy within the body, mind, and spirit, with the goal of improving and maintaining health and well-being. Qigong has both psychological and physical components and involves the regulation of the mind, breath, and body’s movement and posture. The slow movements and breathwork of qigong are said to stimulate the life force that flows through your body and can help strengthen your mind-body connection. Qigong is known to harmonize and enhance your bodily systems, having many health benefits, and leaving you feeling refreshed, revitalized, stronger, and more centered.
Tap into your super power to manage stress and balance the body and mind. Breathwork encompasses various techniques that incorporate intentional, mindful use of the breath to regulate our nervous system. Breathing in a conscious and systematic way regulates our stress response, improves our emotional state, enhances our relationships, increases self-awareness, and a greater sense of well-being. Conscious control of breathing influences your mental, emotional, and physical state and has many therapeutic effects. Breathwork helps us feel calm, centered, grounded and energized. How we breathe often indicates how we feel. Breathing is something we do everyday, often without even thinking twice about it. Even in times of stress, our breath automatically responds by speeding up, shortening, or even holding our breath. With practice, breathing can also be controlled allowing us to utilize it as an effective tool during times of stress.
A sense of calm, peace and balance for overall health and well-being. Meditation is a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clarity and an emotionally calm and stable state. Meditation is a practice that involves focusing or clearing your mind using a combination of mental and physical techniques. Meditation is an exploration - venturing into your sensations, emotions and thoughts. Meditation reduces stress, increases calmness and clarity and promotes happiness. Learning how to meditate is straightforward, and the benefits can come quickly.
Early experiences impact how we respond to stress. Our early attachment experiences shape our physiology and how we regulate our stress reactions. In other words, how our body reacts to and copes with challenges is influenced by our early experiences in relationships. Specifically, how we bond with our primary caregiver(s) primes us for how we cope with challenges later in life. Attachment is a primary evolutionary mechanism as all the basic needs are met through a child’s attachment: food, water, emotional security, etc. Attachment theory suggests that we are wired to seek out and attach to individuals who provide the comfort and security they need to survive. We create different types of attachment based on our early experiences. The type of attachment that is formed impacts our thoughts, memories, beliefs, expectations, emotions, and behaviors that influence how we interact with ourselves and others, and what type of relationships we seek out. When we learn our style of attachment and how this impacts us even on a nervous system level, we can change our experiences especially in managing stress more adaptively.
Vagal Toning Techniques
Secret weapon to regain calm and control with stress. Strengthening our vagal tone makes us more resilient; offers us a powerful way of rapidly returning to a sense of safety in our body after a stressful encounter. The mind and body are connected through the vagus nerve, the longest nerve in the autonomic nervous system, stretching from the brainstem to the colon. It is our internal control center, allowing the brain to monitor and receive information about many of our bodily functions. The vagus nerve helps to regulate critical aspects of our physiology, including the heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, temperature, digestion and stress response. As the body takes in information automatically through our perceptions, the vagus nerve communicates this information to the brain, which processes the signals and cues from the world around us and in turn determines how we react. Vagus nerve stimulation slows the heart and breathing rate, relaxes the muscles, and more. Through these physiological changes, vagus nerve exercises jumpstart a cascade of events that tell the body that it's safe to enter a state of rejuvenation and recovery. In this way, the vagus nerve acts like a lever you can pull to signal safety to your body in a language it recognizes to control your stress response.
Live feedback of your physiology for powerful change. Biofeedback is a type of mind-body technique to control some of your body's functions, such as your heart rate, breathing patterns and muscle responses. Biofeedback is a process that enables you to learn how to change your physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity and accurately "feedback" information to you in live time. Biofeedback helps you gain awareness of the changes in your body such as an increased heart rate, faster breathing, and muscle tension in times of stress. This technique gives you the ability to make changes to shift your nervous system to a more favorable state such as relaxing muscles to reduce tension, decreasing your heart rate, and slowing your breathing. Biofeedback gives you the awareness of what causes a stress response and understanding of how to practice new ways to control your body.
A powerful stress relief technique bringing our life back into balance. Tapping is proven to reduce stress, lower cortisol, improve sleep, reduce anxiety, relieve pain, increase productivity, and so much more! This body-based technique is based on the combined principles of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology. The basic Tapping technique has you focus on a negative emotion at hand such as a fear, a worry, or any unresolved problem. While maintaining your mental focus on this issue, you use your fingertips to tap on specific points of the body. Tapping on specific points while you think about what is causing you stress helps your mind understand that you are not in any physical danger and it is safe to relax, reducing the stress response.
The user manual for your supercomputer called the mind. Neuro-Linguistic programming (NLP) is a set of techniques that attempt to change the way you think, behave, and communicate. Neuro, short for neurology, implies our behavior results from the information we receive through our senses. Linguistics refers to language, which helps organize our thoughts and communication. Programming acknowledges that we can change our thoughts and behaviors to produce a desired outcome. NLP is an understanding that we all have our own subjective experience of the world. Meaning we all perceive our surroundings, experiences, and interactions in slightly different ways. By examining how our brains process information, NLP techniques help us to look at our thoughts, feelings and emotions as things that we can control, rather than things that passively happen to us.
A way of life and wellness tool for mind-body connection. Yoga means to unite and can promote optimal functioning of your mind, body, and nervous system. Yoga is a wellness tool for self-regulation, effective stress management, and developing resilience. The basics of yoga allows you to achieve conscious control over your unconscious nervous system, and puts it to work for you. It helps you regulate and recover from the daily demands of life and manage daily stressors to prevent them from building up. In essence, understand what your body needs, listen to it, and apply the tools necessary to manage. Yoga helps you process stress in a manner that leads to growth and to build mental and physical resilience. Gaining awareness and a sense of understanding of how our body works is critical to our physical and psychological health. Yoga is therapeutic and is especially powerful when tailored to an individual's needs to optimize health and well-being.
A state of being that reduces stress, improves your happiness, and overall well-being. Mindfulness is an awareness practice through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Mindfulness is available to you at every moment; being aware of where you are and what you are doing. Whenever you bring awareness to what you are directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful. Mindfulness diffuses the stress response, helps reduce stress, improve your mental and physical health, and even increase your overall happiness in life.
Restore mind-body balance with sound. When we listen to sound and music, our mind and body respond in various ways changing how we feel. Music can motivate, stimulate, calm, and help focus our energies on a specific goal (i.e. sleep, focus, performance, relaxation). In fact, music creates a full mind-body experience that we can use to enhance or even change our moods. Music stimulates various areas of the brain and can be used to help us in the present moment. Music therapy is a great way to balance your life, moods, and heal your mind and body to live your best life.
Internal Family Systems
Generate new, creative solutions to internal problems you're facing. The Internal Family Systems approach considers each of us has many different parts of our minds and psyches. Our parts play roles in our lives, form our personalities, and shape how we show up in the world. Each of these parts (or subpersonalities) has unique needs, wants, and beliefs and may be consciously or unconsciously helping or harming us as we move through our days encountering different situations, triggers, and scenarios. By bringing our awareness to these many different parts within us – giving each a voice, learning what each needs, wants, and fears, and understanding their roles and motivations – we are then more able to lovingly integrate (but not eliminate) the many aspects within us to create more choice, expand our capacity to creatively problem-solve, and to give us a greater sense of wholeness and aliveness in our daily lives.
What Our Clients Say
"The tools and knowledge Misty brings during each session, are simply life changing. She has been such a safe place for me. Misty has always shown compassion and understanding to all of the topics we have discussed as well as has held me accountable for my own growth and progress with her. Not only does she show me how to utilize different methods of breathing techniques, or different poses and stances to help me cope with the stressors of my life, but she explains why these different techniques work and what they do to your physical body once you put them into play. I can’t count the numerous times she has made me realize how helpful and important these techniques are (Mind blown moments)."