5 Ways to Downregulate the Nervous System and Heal Faster with Guest Patrick Lerouge - Inna Topiler

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5 Ways to Downregulate the Nervous System and Heal Faster with Guest Patrick Lerouge

How Undetected Stress can put the Nervous System into Overdrive

The Case: 

  • Julia is dealing with many different symptoms that none of her doctors can explain or treat.
  • She feels achy, has low energy, deals with anxiety, and has trouble sleeping
  • She took matters into her own hands but she found herself on a very strict diet, taking a lot of supplements, obsessing over her meals and with limited results.

The Investigation

When I met Julia it was clear that there was a lot going on. Her symptoms were quite varied and she had already tried a lot of different solutions. On the plus side, she had made a lot of healthy shifts in her diet but ultimately, it had become so strict that it was creating stress. When I found out how much stress she was experiencing at home and work, I started to develop a theory about what was going on with Julia and her persistent symptoms. 

My suspicions led me to look at the state of the nervous system because an upregulated nervous system can cause all kinds of unexplained symptoms. To discuss this case further, I knew exactly who I wanted to invite on the show – Patrick Lerouge. He has been in the holistic health field for over 20 years as an energy healer, coach, and body worker. He is also the author of the book “The Simple Path to Getting Everything Done, with Energy Left to Spare”. 

What is an Upregulated Nervous System?

The nervous system is programmed to respond to stress. Often, we think of the fight or flight response. This is what we want it to do in order to help us get out of dangerous or threatening situations. But, most of us are experiencing this response even when we are not being threatened. Instead, it’s caused by the busyness and noise in our lives. And then there’s the emotional side, where all of your emotions are heightened in such a way that you experience them in the extremes. This can also trigger a response from the nervous system. 

When you are in a constant state of ‘fight or flight’ you get stuck in an upregulated nervous system response. 

What Stressors Trigger the Nervous System?

When we think of the ‘fight or flight’ response, we go back to the idea of facing down a tiger. But the stress doesn’t have to be that dramatic to trigger the nervous system. It could be something as simple as the light from your computer shining in your face or a dog barking. 

It could also be triggered by over-thinking. Overthinkers are playing out all of the scenarios in their head; trying to find the best path forward and getting frustrated when it’s not clear. This amount of overthinking is like revving the engine of a car all the time or leaving it running – it’s going to break down or overheat. The same thing happens when we overthink. 

Emotions can also trigger the nervous system, especially if you have a history of not properly dealing with those emotions. So, the trigger can be physical, mental, and/or emotional. 

The Dangers of a Long Term Upregulated Nervous System

If there are signs of long term upregulation, such as body cues, difficulty focusing, racing mind, and unstable emotional temperament, then this could mean that the nervous system is in an extended upregulation state. This can lead to depression, anxiety, an inability to make decisions, fatigue, inconsistent energy levels, and emotional detachment. Sometimes there are no small symptoms because the body and mind are so busy adapting to the situation that they don’t realize the breaking point. This is important because someone may not ‘feel stressed’ even when they are in a long-term upregulated state. 

Self-Diagnosing an Upregulated Nervous System

There are a few ways to determine if you are in an upregulated state. The first test Patrick suggested is to feel your heart. To take a moment and see if you can connect with your heart and feel it beating in your chest. The second test he calls the ‘stadium test’.  Can you sit in a busy, noisy place, even in a crowded stadium, and be quiet; can you have the stadium clear out of your mind? 

5 Ways to Downregulate an Elevated Nervous System

Bringing an upregulated nervous system down starts by reconnecting the mind and body. Most people are either a mind person or a body person meaning they either focus on the feelings of the mind or the body. Regulating the nervous system requires the mind and body to work together. 

Here are five ways to do that:

  1. Breathing and Feeling Air Through the Body. Unlike normal breathing exercises, this one focuses on feeling the air enter the body and spread all the way through. Humming can be a powerful way to connect breathwork with feeling the body’s sensation because of the vibrations it creates. 
  2. TRE (Trauma and Tension Release Exercise). When we are stressed, our body tenses up. To release that tension, TRE is a series of 5 exercises that fatigue the muscles to trigger an automatic release of tension. This is a practice that should be done with a certified professional. 
  3. Mind Dumps and Venting. There are three levels of stress, emotional, mental and physical and one each feeds the next. So, to release the emotional and mental, Patrick suggests getting the thoughts out through journaling or other forms of intentionally clearing the mind but to feel those things as you write them down so you can close the loop on them. If you do this at night, you’ll sleep better. He also suggests revisiting and tapping into the feeling of a favorite memory like the moment you remember falling in love or the first time you held your child. You want to remember it but also feel it again. Patrick uses this exercise when patients are feeling anxious. 
  4. Improve Energy Flow. A common way to increase energy is by eating with the seasons because the body can digest seasonal food better. Other options include working out according to their body type and meditating in a way that fits with their flow. 
  5. Human Connection. Patrick points out how powerful skin to skin contact and human connections can be for down regulating the nervous system. If connection or touch therapy isn’t available, then playing with pets can also lower the nervous system. 

The Power of Human Connection Post COVID

Touch and human connection is a powerful way to downregulate the nervous system but it’s a bit tricky right now during COVID times. Patrick says that when we come out of the restrictions, and it’s safe to touch again, we need to reprogram ourselves to seek it out and to be okay with it. We have been avoiding touch for so long now that we may have developed a fear of touch or an aversion to touch. We need to unpack the fear around touch and connection so that we can normalize this important healing practice.  In order to support the nervous system, we need to retrain ourselves to see human connection as a good thing. 

However, because our bodies are craving it but our minds are telling us it’s taboo, there is the risk of developing a negative relationship with touch (like developing an addiction) so you need to be mindful of that. 

Mystery Solved

The first step in helping Julia with all of her systems was to focus on supporting her nervous system. We began by reducing her supplement intake as she was overdoing it – she was taking over 40 pills per day.  Testing revealed what she really needed in terms of supplements.

Remember, she had been on a very restrictive diet which was causing stress for her around eating and where to find food that would fit into her diet. So, I gave her permission to ease up a little on her restrictions. We did some testing to focus on only eliminating the foods that were truly causing an issue. 

Next, Julia started to work on actively downregulating her nervous system.  I had Julia create an activity menu so she had things to pick from each day.

After just 3 weeks she was amazed at the difference. Her aches and pains decreased, she had more energy and her anxiety was better. She felt so much calmer, was able to concentrate, and could breathe easier. Overall, she was happier. 

Happy Ending

After just 3 weeks she was amazed at the difference. Her aches and pains decreased, she had more energy and her anxiety was better. She felt so much calmer, was able to concentrate, and could breathe easier. Overall, she was happier. 

Eliminating Health Mysteries

For Julia we were able to find that missing piece of the health puzzle and help her regain her health. Could this be the missing clue for you or someone in your life? 


Resources mentioned:

Thanks to my guest Patrick Lerouge! You can connect with him on Facebook (be sure to DM him for access to his free tools). Or, you can visit his website.  

Suggested Products

The Simple Path to Getting Everything Done, with Energy Left to Spare

Related Podcast Episodes:

So Many Symptoms, One Root Case The Surprising Long Term Effect of COVID on Autoimmunity Are you Getting in Your Own Way of Healing?

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