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How stored up traumatic (toxic) stress creates chronic illness

January 15, 2020


  • Reply Marcia Harms April 28, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Once again, a great job explaining the harm that can be done from early trauma. I was not aware that the parasympathetic system got stuck up with the sympathetic system. I thought they were totally reverse, exaggerated all on or all off for trauma issues. I need to restudy this and program this into my understanding.

  • Reply Gayle Crisp April 28, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Thanks Irene, I love this explanation …so clear and relevant for me right now, I have been up in the zone for the last few weeks and my system is screaming….my kidneys are literally aching…You know the stressful situation is on going currently…but I am seriously comitted to working with my vaga nerve…I was just blogging about it and when this post appeared. As I hear you speak, do your programs and understand more, my capacity grows…yep slowly, but I can measure the changes. I have four days off now and priority number one…vagal tone…lots of gentle social engagement: time with my husband, my child, my dog, my friends warm packs on my back, .some music is calling me, and tapping into some of the New Inner Game excercises for my poor old kidneys. thanks so much….if i could hug you right now I would.

  • Reply Harmony Restored April 29, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    I love this, thank you so much for sharing. I am an energy medicine practitioner, and help clients these traumas from people's bodies. I love how you explain this, and will be sending this video to several of my clients!

  • Reply cherrylane79 May 3, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Is it possible that during the years in this state, the flight or flight response shuts down almost completely (like adrenal exhaustion) and the sympathetic nervous system goes too low as well, causing the response to new stress to be inadequate? It is very hard for the system to be highly alert all the time, it will fail in time, in my opinion.

  • Reply Irini Rockwell May 7, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you so much for your clarity in explaining this.

  • Reply Sandi Donnally May 11, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    You are making me learn SO MUCH!!! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and insight.

  • Reply Lawrence Davis July 25, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    so depression and anxiety are due to both systems being in hyper arousal?

  • Reply MuusiK Fan July 29, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Although emotional and mental stress can cause physical unwellness, we are living in an environmental toxic world, vaccines, medications, chemtrails, EMF/EHS, pesticides insecticides, GMO, etc.. stress can be good, it depends on coping mechanism, etc.. reasons for increase in chronic illnesses are caused by the aforementioned.

  • Reply barbara c belger September 24, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    love it ! am just discovering your brilliant presentations. i am a coach & trauma expert and can absolutely confirm what you are talking about here. i do love the meta health and 'german new medicine' approach, personally – as it pinpoints precisely what syndrome, which organ and brain layer and what 'time frame' we are looking at to determine the often hidden initial stress or conflict shock
    once resolved the symptoms disappear 🙂
    i call our work 'the journey to world peace' – as each person who clears and heals from their 'blockages' will become a whole, complete person, a compassionate 'hu-man' at a place where there is no war within and therefore no war without.

  • Reply Katina Hockney March 12, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    This explains so clearly as to why chronic illness develops. Thank you.

  • Reply eli Twinks March 13, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    so clear & valuable, thank you !

  • Reply buzzwaffle March 23, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Very good video!

  • Reply I P March 23, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Thanks for the video Irene. I've an opportunity to get EMDR at a low cost clinic or Somatic Experiencing on Skype. In what way does EMDR differ from Somatic therapy for developmental trauma and shock?

  • Reply Out-Thinking Parkinson's July 5, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Well done. I agree with your synopsis – I believe Parkinson's fits squarely into this picture. I neeed to do some more research on Polyvagal Theory [I assume that is essentially what you are talking about it here]?

  • Reply Kimberley Kaiser July 8, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Irene, how can I access the "First Video" regarding developmental trauma that you mention here. Mahalo nui loa for your very well detailed explanations. This makes much of what is read more clearly understood. I appreciate your work.

  • Reply Miss V Miss V September 14, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    I really like your videos and your knowledge, the way you explain. Thank you. Ill add to that list – and dont know why you dont mention it – BIG PHARMA. Specifically ANTIBIOTICS and PSYCHIATRIC MEDICATIONS. Our metabolisms are so damaged by antibiotics, that is the link to all this.

  • Reply wisdom keeper September 24, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Vaccines and environmental toxicity also cause massive dysregulation of the autonamic nervous system. And I've seen on your FB page that you support vaccines. I support you to do more research because the trauma these children go through is off the chart. Your interest may be childhood trauma but vaccines are part of this.

  • Reply Jeremy Goldberg September 27, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    I just want to say thank you so much! Every word you said I highly resonate. I always had anxiety, but after a traumatic experience, i immediately experienced symptoms of fibromyalgia. However I noticed, when I feel calmer, when I don’t think about it or my fight or flight goes down, my fibro is alleviated. It’s interesting because yes there is no cure, because no one can cure your fight or flight except for me! I’m going to work very hard to get my system back on track. Thanks!

  • Reply Sheilah Gaines October 8, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Hey, Irene, you explain in a very intuitive way which I find helpful, but also I'm seeking clarity about the anatomy and function of the two branches of the vagus. (my science mind likes to pitch in with the healing process!) I have been reading Stephen Porges' Polyvagal Theory, and from what I understand, there is the old, "reptilian" vagus branch that makes us freeze in fear, lowering our brain oxygen levels and causing other long-term detrimental effects; and then there is the mammalian vagus, which is highly connected to our social and communication centers, and which is able to turn of the SNS more efficiently, without harmful effects like low oxygen, stiff muscles, the sensation of fear, etc.

    He says that mammals evolved this newer vagus to regulate the stress system and to evolve our social systems. So I wonder, where does the older vagus fit in? Is it almost vestigial at this point? Maybe, if people fail to use their mammalian vagus to return to baseline (because we didn't learn good co-regulation strategies, or because the stress is just too overwhelming), then the reptilian vagus comes in as a last resort to shut down the over-activated system. But in general it's better to use the mammalian vagus. When you are showing both PNS and SNS "staying high," you are talking about the old vagus, right?

  • Reply Horge Condaliza February 5, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Thank you so much, your a lifesavor. I've been going through therapy to get to the root of my issues, and never could figure out why talk therapy wasn't enough, and after watching you and listening to the body keeps the score, I know why. Thank you for showing me what I need to do. I can't wait to get into your program, so I can help myself, and become a coach and help others. ☺

  • Reply firefly198 March 1, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Thank you, this explains so much. I have signed up to the 21 day nervous system programme as a pre-run and will be continuing onto SmartBody SmartMind In April. I have CFS and am so excited about healing!

  • Reply Sean J Kennedy April 5, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Goodness where were you 2 years ago when all this stuff started to overwhelm me! Grateful your wisdom found its way to me after a period of intense chronic soul detox.

  • Reply Joni M Becker CPA April 7, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    You seem to totally ignore the degrading of our food – food is no longer food. It is a mix of chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, etc. along with genetic manipulation. Our bodies were never meant to use this crap to nourish them. Since I have started eating clean, my depression and anxiety has cleared up considerably (and I have an ACE's of 7) and my chronic fatigue is getting better. There is more than one side to this puzzle that is chronic disease.

  • Reply Allison Hauser April 8, 2018 at 12:52 am

    You mention moving out of this bind *slowly*. How do we know if we are moving too fast or too slow?

  • Reply Aneesha C. Mueller April 8, 2018 at 9:13 am

    You ROCK!!!! Thank you!!!! <3

  • Reply aerialpunk April 11, 2018 at 9:04 am

    This resonates with me so much! I got ME/CFS after a year of pretty intense, ongoing stress. And I've had a lot of the kind of stress you talk about, where you feel like you have little control over it & can't get away from it like you want to… not so much as a kid, but as a teen through to my late 20s and again in the last few years.

  • Reply Alex Klatt June 4, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Makes perfect sense.

  • Reply Noe July 3, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Arthur Janov was talking about the parasympathetic and sympathetic in 1968. Do your research!

  • Reply Marie-Josée Charette July 31, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Where is the video #3 please, my unorthodox healing blueprint?? Thank you

  • Reply Pallavi Mehta August 5, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    I'm stuck in the sympathetic mode. Will stellate ganglion block work to release it?

  • Reply shaw m August 23, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Parasympathetic. Just in the last twenty years? Heard of Osteopathy?

  • Reply The Pursuit of Happiness September 10, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    Is your therapy available anywhere or only in person?

  • Reply Music&Feels December 4, 2018 at 5:06 am

    Thank you for the video Irene! I went through years of childhood trauma and began having physical health problems when I was 20. I have had many abdominal issues; liver, kidney, pancreas, colon and have had my gal bladder removed. I was told I was going to die. I saw many different doctors and they are unable to explain why at 24 I had so many problems with my health. After going to therapy for the last year to deal with some trauma my health has improved immensely. I think it is so incredibly important for people to be aware of the manifestation of stress and childhood trauma! Although I am still recovering and have heath issues triggered by stress from time to time it is my awareness that has kept me out of the ER for the last year.

  • Reply Chris Gonzales January 13, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Have you ever heard of intrusive thoughts happening to people that have complex trauma

  • Reply Belreis February 23, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    M I N D B L O W N – thank you for showing the crossing point. It all makes more sense now in my head because I've been thinking that fight/flight is on the opposite site of freeze and that they can't happen at the same time. Understand why I feel so tired AND stressed now 🙂

  • Reply twaye30 March 15, 2019 at 7:10 am

    Now I understand why my doctor wanted to prescribe me Zoloft for muscle tightness and joint pain. My mom is almost 60 but has been suffering with rhumetoid arthritis and ibs since her late 40s .She worked so hard as a home health aide and from as far as I can remember she has always been Avery anal retentive person. So high strung all the time. I'm starting to believe that all of that has caused her health issues. I'm in my late 30s and am taking an approach to natural health. Spending lots of time on the ocean and in nature. I'm exercising more now as well. Maybe that will help reduce my stress levels. I want to try and stay healthy as long as possible

  • Reply anon_sls March 17, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    Hey Irene, I love you study/research work. I really feel like God put me on this earth to do the same work you do because growing up I felt like I could heal through the body and psych. But because of my own issues (bipolar & cptsd) I’m having a hard time healing with a traditional therapist. What type of therapist would you recommend for this type of treatment?

  • Reply Gabrielle Collins March 19, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    Thanks for that really enjoyed getting the information . Today I’ve just received the book The deepest well so I’m definitely on the right path for myself and clients . No coincidence there I don’t believe in it .

  • Reply Li B March 22, 2019 at 8:56 am

    Excellent! Excellent!! Excellent!!!

  • Reply VeganRiotgrrrl March 31, 2019 at 1:14 am

    Wow! THANK YOU for this video, it explains so much! ❤

  • Reply Anna Wolfe April 9, 2019 at 12:01 am

    OMG you are a genius. you finally explained it!!!

  • Reply Snivebyram April 27, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    This information is golden. My hope is that it will go viral someday.

  • Reply MedicineMan007 April 30, 2019 at 6:22 am

    2 Grand for your program? Are you serious?

  • Reply harlenevan May 31, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    great teaching! Thank You 🙂

  • Reply ɮօʊռċɛ օʄʄ June 5, 2019 at 8:41 am

    I stayed on fight or flight for almost 4 years after i ran away from the torture

  • Reply ɮօʊռċɛ օʄʄ June 5, 2019 at 8:44 am

    & i never had a good night sleep in my entire miserable fucking life
    It's all cancer nightmares

  • Reply moonshineonme75013 June 8, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    May Your Blessings Be Multiplied 💗 Exponentially.

  • Reply Courtney Cross June 27, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    I would love to do your course! My psychotherapist recommended it to me as I’m hopefully moving country and won’t be able to see her soon, iv spent most of my life in freeze until I had a major panic attack one day then I was in flight or fight constantly it got so bad I got to the point I could barely lift my feet to walk, when dropping my kids off to school, I’m at the stage now where everyday is different from complete freeze, to feeling normal and then to fight flight again,

  • Reply Birdsong July 6, 2019 at 8:17 am


  • Reply Hollywood Art Chick July 30, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    Wish I'd seen this decades ago. With no other influences than stress, I've managed to get congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation. I need to learn a whole lot more about how to deal with this process of coming down from the ramp-up of stress.

  • Reply Let It Roll August 11, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    I'm youngest of very large , low income family. Father was physically abusive to all brothers, and my Mother, sexually abusive to his daughters from very young age. Got severe case of shingles in primary school. Terrified of him at all times, adored Mother whom I became extremely protective of as I aged, around 17 and up.
    For decades now, as adult, I've had migraines and fibromyalgia, worsening every year. Hypersensitivity to light (sun and fluorescent or flashing), smells (perfumes, dogs, exhaust, bushes, trees) sounds (I startle way too easy with even store intercom..only go out after dark), can only wear cotton or flannel next to skin, cannot tolerate sadness, extremely overprotective of grown children and Mother when she was alive- passed in 2002 and still can't speak of her without crying), prone to panic attacks. Now on disability after working 40+ very stressful years. Migraine neurologist dxd me with "central nervous system hypersensitivity" but had no treatment. Am a senior now and rarely leave my home due to above sensitivities. My children are worried. One is very much like me..had severe unrelenting stress during pregnancy, as my Mother must have had we me and all siblings. None of us are "normal." What can I do?

  • Reply truthmerchant1 August 18, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    I've never felt safe in my life, just varying degrees of terror.

  • Reply William M September 7, 2019 at 1:55 am

    So. how to heal from extreme childhood traumas at 48? I am in constant fight, flight, freeze mode all day…

  • Reply Gregory Taylor September 15, 2019 at 12:42 am

    I recommend this for everyone in trauma who is open to vibrational medicine. Some SE practitioners use this remedy. It is indicated in cases of PTSD and CPTSD and brings a sense of safety, allowing the system to come down.

  • Reply patty torres September 28, 2019 at 2:48 am

    Subtitles on spanish please🙏 it would be awsome ! Thanks

  • Reply Jessica Lindsay October 13, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    So now I know this is information what can I do to get better?

  • Reply That Wise Old Bitch October 25, 2019 at 11:38 pm

    This is 100% me…

  • Reply Amy Rebecca Perez November 2, 2019 at 12:49 am

    Thanks Irene… I am so grateful each day that I found your channel on YouTube…you are a wealth of knowledge…I have benefited so much from all you're teaching and sharing it with others💟😊💟

  • Reply Anush Shrestha November 24, 2019 at 5:54 am


  • Reply Lori Parr November 25, 2019 at 6:40 am

    Put lavender oil on that burn and repeat any time the heat rises in it. Lavender will also ease the anxiety that comes in not knowing if the pain will worsen.

  • Reply Rosemarie Marotta November 30, 2019 at 1:41 am

    wow now I understand the reason…high alert for 50 years..really feeling it now..

  • Reply Aranka Vos December 3, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    Pfffff Irene, this is incredible! Mind blowing………..Thank you so much for sharing this! This really make sence!!!!

  • Reply infiniLor December 5, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Fight, flight, freeze …. what about fauning? (people-pleasing?)

  • Reply Hmm Thinking December 17, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    Thank you so much! You're right; why isn't everyone taught this?

  • Reply The Daves I Know January 10, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    Invasive is expensive and risky, but socially stigma-free – the sufferer is afflicted and the disease is the culprit. Mind-body is inexpensive, less risky, but socially it implies you are broken because it's not serious enough to be hospitalised, so the blame and shame's on the sufferer.
    Of course, this might not be the reason that invasive is followed more by medicine – that could be because of the legacy bias towards quick and monitorable structural, anatomical or chemical correction (surgery/medication) rather than slower and less monitorable functional correction (mind-body), OR, a conspiracy racket theory could be more profit for hospitals.

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