Sing the Body Electric

Natureza Gabriel
2 min readMay 22, 2023

On the mysterious beauty of the Deep Nervous System

My new collection of essays on the Autonomic Nervous System came out Saturday. This is the fruit of a thirty year inquiry into the neurophysiology of wellbeing, and a translation, and hopefully extension, of our work in Polyvagal Theory into the clinical realms.

We have applied this body of work now with about 15,000 people in 45 countries, and we are just getting started. The foundational understandings here integrate cutting-edge research in neurophysiology based on the work of my mentor Dr. Stephen Porges, Developer of the Polyvagal Theory, with our own research and clinical applications of applied mindfulness, interoception, Indigenous Lifeways, and archetypal motor gestures.

We begin by exploring why the standard depictions of the Vagus, and the vagal systems, which are totally anatomically incorrect, profoundly interfere with our conceptualization of what the Autonomic Nervous System is.

We then bring our attention to the importance of interoception, and why our systemic societal failure to measure and train it functionally deprives us of access to our intuition.

Third, we explore neuroception: Porges’ conceptualization of the moment-to-moment bodily perception of safety or danger. Here we elucidate what I call ‘biphasic’ neuroception, which is the differential quality of this phenomenon at the gateways of danger versus lifethreat.

We turn our attention in the next essay to the relationship between Polyvagal Theory and Indigenous Lifeways.

Then to the difference between good and bad stress.

From here we turn our lens to the exploration of the primary states (ventrality, fight, flight, and shutdown).

The book ends with an inquiry into archetypal motor gestures: e.g., those that are autonomically derived.

From the seasoned polyvagally-informed practitioner to the person just realizing they have a deep nervous system, I hope there is something in this collection of essays that will prove enlightening, provoking, and transformational, and that will help you better understand the animal you live in.

You can download the book here.

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Natureza Gabriel

Gabriel Kram is a connection phenomenologist. He is Founder and CEO of Hearth Science, Inc., the Restorative Practices Alliance, and The Original Fire