Navigate your Nervous System

- Learn how to use the Polyvagal Theory in your daily life

Nervous system regulation

Your nervous system is a part of your biology that helps to keep you safe, alive.
As long as it functions adaptively and has the flexibility to move through different defense states and back into safety again, everything works fine.

Problems start to appear when the system gets stuck in a state of defense without the person having tools to move out of that defense state, back into safety.

I work with the Polyvagal Theory in a practical way to help you to get to know the language of the nervous system, your own familiar defense patterns and I'll teach you strategies to interrupt stuck defense patterns and to shape the autonomic nervous system toward safety and connection.

We'll practice in multiple ways to track autonomic responses, learn skills to safely explore patterns of mobilization, disconnection and engagement and learn techniques to build autonomic regulation and resilience.

I work in a way where we learn the theory from the 'inside out', because feeling safe is not a cognitive experience.

It's one that you need to experience in your body.
I want to honor the individual autonomic wisdom and  help people to find the right degree of neural challenge. You might want to stretch your system a bit, but not stress it.

At this point I will offer a live 4 day training in the fall for individuals who want to learn this work and I'm starting an online training as well.
This first online training is fully booked, so sign up for my newsletter if you'd like to receive the new dates.

By signing up for my newsletter, you'll also receive a video with my polyvagal explanation as I've taught it in my Wheel of Consent workshop. So that's a special, free gift for you.
It is the start of any Nervous system training as well.

I love this part by Deb Dana in her Beginner's guide to the Polyvagal Theory:
"We come into the world wired to connect.

With our first breath, we embark on a quest to feel safe in our bodies, in our environments, and in our relationships with others.


The autonomic nervous system is our personal surveillance system, always on guard, asking the question “Is this safe?”

Its goal is to protect us by sensing safety and risk, listening moment by moment to what is happening in and around our bodies and in the connections we have to others.


This listening happens far below awareness and far away from our conscious control.

Dr. Porges, understanding that this is not awareness that comes with perception, coined the term neuroception to describe the way our autonomic nervous system scans for cues of safety, danger, and life threat without involving the thinking parts of our brain.


Because we humans are meaning-making beings, what begins as the wordless experiencing of neuroception drives the creation of a story that shapes our daily living."

You can download Deb Dana's Beginners guide here.




A new, online video training in Dutch:

"Je Zenuwstelsel en het ritme van Regulatie

- Pas de polyvagaal Theorie toe in je dagelijkse leven


In deze Online video training

- leer ik je de taal van je zenuwstelsel;

- Verken je je eigen zenuwstelsel;

- Breng je in kaart hoe jouw zenuwstelsel werkt;

- Oefen je hoe je zenuwstelsel kunt reguleren en daardoor meer veerkracht te ontwikkelen.

Heel veel (grote en kleine) fysieke en mentale klachten ontstaan door een ontregeld zenuwstelsel.

Voor mij maakte leren hoe mijn zenuwstelsel werkt, het oefenen flexibeler en veerkrachtiger te worden en de tools krijgen om me weer veilig te voelen, een wereld van verschil in mijn leven.


Ik hoop voor jou ook.


Voordelen van een flexibeler zenuwstelsel zijn o.a.:

- Grotere stressbestendigheid

- Betere focus, minder afleiding

- Emotionele regulatie

- Meer controle over de immuun response

- Minder ontstekingsreacties

- Vergrote capaciteit voor vriendschap en verbinding

- Compassie ervaren

- Ervaren van sociale acceptatie en verbinding

- Een groter, subjectief gevoel van welbevinden.

Wat houdt de training in?

* Je krijgt 6 e-mails: een start e-mail met voorbereidende bonus video, 4 weken lang 1 keer per week een video les en een afsluitende e-mail.

* Er is een geheime FB groep waar je support kunt krijgen en alle materialen ook nog eens geordend terug zijn te vinden.


Klik op de afbeelding om deel te nemen:

Banner video training.png

Benefits of Autonomic Nervous System flexibility (copyright Deb Dana, with permission)

  • Reduced inflammation, regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines (Andersson & Tracy, 2012)

  • Control of immune response (Rosas-Ballina & Tracy, 2009)

  • Emotional Regulation (Park & Thayer, 2014; Surland, et al., 2016; McCraty & Zayas, 2014)

  • Ability to inhibit distractions (Park, Vasey, Bavel & Thayer, 2014)

  • Stress resilience (Pereira, Campos & Sousa, 2017)

  • Subjective wellbeing (Geisler, Vennewald, Kubiak & Weber, 2010)

  • Increased capacity for friendschip and connection (Kok & Fredrickson, 2010)

  • Social support seeking, Perceptions of social acceptance, social connectedness (Kok et al., 2013)

  • Compassion (Stellar, Cohen, Oveis & Keltner, 2015)

Risks connected to autonomic Rigidity (copyright Deb Dana, with permission)

  • Vigilance for angry faces (Park & Thayer, 2014)

  • Distraction from tasks to potential threats (Park, Vasey, Bavel & Thayer, 2014)

  • Inability to discern trivial from important cues (Park, Vasey, Bavel & Thayer, 2014)

  • Heightened 'startle' response (Park & Thayer, 2014)

  • Hypoactive pre-frontal regulation (Park & Thayer, 2014)

  • Depression (Sgoifo et al, 2015)

  • Anxiety (Alvares et al., 2013)

  • Social isolation/ loneliness (Grippo, Lamb, Carter & Porges, 2007)

  • Impaired immune functioning, inflammatory diseases (Kenney & Ganta, 2014)

  • Digestive problems  (Mazur, Furgala, Jabloński, Mach & Thor, 2012)

  • Respiratory problems (Gerbarg & Brown, 2016)

  • Chronic Fatigue (Cauwenbergh et al., 2014)


I've learned a lot from Stephen Porges his work and from training with Deb Dana.

If you're looking for a place to read more, I can recommend her book (it's also available in Dutch):




And if you want to know more, you can also read Stephen Porges' books (click link)

And for more information on the Polyvagal Theory, this is a nice -4 minute- video to watch:

Schermafbeelding 2020-03-19 om 14.06.27.
Schermafbeelding 2020-03-19 om 14.08.32.

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© 2019 by Mariëlle Spronck