This week I am bringing in Irene Lyon to talk about working with trauma. A little bit about Irene, she is a nervous system specialist and therapeutic coach who helps everyone — from the mom next door to the next big thought leaders — transform their bodies, businesses, relationships and lives through regulating their nervous systems. Irene has intensively studied and practices the work of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, Peter Levine (founder of Somatic Experiencing) and Kathy Kain (founder of Somatic Practice). Irene has a master’s degree in research in the fields of biomedical and health science. She regularly appears on podcasts and online summits teaching all things nervous system health, healing trauma and neuroplasticity.
In this episode we cover what got her working in the field of trauma, and then dive into the subject of procedural memory. I was fascinated by the mechanics of procedural memory and ever since that conversation I have been paying attention to how it might play into my life and the lives of my clients. She also talks about the fight, flight, or freeze response. And we learn about the ACE study, which stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences, and the implications from that body of work.
Here are some resources she mentioned:
1) Dr. Mate’s first book, When The Body Says No – Understanding The Stress-Disease Connection
2) Dr. Mate’s website
3) The Need For Authenticity.
4) Podcast episode: Origins of *The ACE Study*
5) Ted Talk: How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime
In this episode:
[2:11] Her history that led her to working with trauma.
[8:16] First session with Feldenkrais practitioner
[15:45]} Working with a ski patroller
[22:15] Procedural memory in car accident
[28:56] Using procedural memory in the massage room
[33:58] How to tell if a subtle client moment is from trauma
[39:33] List of trauma events that get overlooked
[47:24] Fight, flight, freeze
[58:35] Irene’s share about failure
[1:04:14] The ACE study
Important quotes from Irene
“I was a highly trained exercise scientist. So understood fitness from a very high level, but I didn’t understand how the body is supposed to move until I started the feldenkrais work.”
“When we start to get those traumatic memories out, it literally starts to unclog the system.”
“If the practitioner doesn’t have the sense and perspective to know what to look for, they will often miss the tiny little flickers of the eye, or twitch of the head that wants to look away.”
“The moment you work with any human being, you are working with their entire nervous system.”
“We all have trauma. I have yet to meet anyone that doesn’t have something.”
“Its hard to look at things that we’ve not wanted to look at. Because we didn’t look at them for a reason.”
“A large proportion of our population is living in what we call functional freeze.”
“We are in this conundrum where most of us have to shut down in some way to get through the day and pay the bills.”