Our hearts are important in many ways, including as an organ of perception. Did you know that the heart sends more messages to the brain than the brain sends to the heart? In the embryo, the heart begins beating just 4 weeks after conception, the first organ to come online. The face, also involved in sensing our world and in relational perception, grows on the heart, Until we are ready to lift our heads up into a more familiar human stance, we grow with our heads bowed down to the heart.
Due to the groundbreaking research of Stephen Porges, we now understand that our hearts and bodies are not only regulated by our sympathetic (fight-flight) and parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous systems but that we also have a third component of our autonomic, automatic nervous system. This more recently developed Ventral Vagus Nerve is closely associated with the cranial nerves involved with the senses in our heads. Together they form the social engagement nervous system, enabling us to bond at birth, to be socially present and at ease, to communicate our needs and listen to and respond to others. This involves down-regulating ourselves when we are in an activated fight-flight mode, increasing tone and presence if we tend to dissociate or freeze, and being able to accurately assess safety in present time. Our hearts are part of this important social engagement system and are intricately involved with activation and regulation. Our faces are home to many of our senses essential to social engagement.
In this 3-hour Continuum webinar, we apply the gentle sounding, breaths and mindful movement of Continuum to soften and awaken our hearts and faces and support our social engagement nervous system.