Since we are in 2019, almost twenty years into the millennium, I thought it was time for me to launch a long overdue blog. So, what do I want to say about the LifeSAFER?? Well, it will be a monthly space where I will offer self defense insights and safety tips for all who seek it, and we may even have a few laughs along the way. Afterall, we are all life travelers on our journey and who wants to walk it alone. I see the LifeSafer Blog as a shared, sometimes sobering adventure with life saving information. The most important aspect of the LifeSafer is to remember that if we get knocked down, we dust ourselves off, get up and keep on going!!
As the wise Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Winny, I couldn’t have said it better myself. So, let’s dig our heels right in, and if necessary, into someone’s foot. Why mince words, we are talking about our personal safety right? Since we are talking about the physical safety of our body I am starting a series of blogs on “Inside Our Body.” Deep breath, here goes ….
What Happens In Vagus, Stays in Vagus
No this isn’t a typo or a poor attempt at promoting tourism for a cheap trip to the gambling capitol of the world. In fact, to get there you don’t even have to leave your body. I’m talking about the longest cranial nerve in the body; the Vagus Nerve. It is also known as the “wandering nerve” as it wanders like branches on a tree and touches on many of our nerve centers. So, you may be asking yourself why I am I telling you about nerves in your body?
Well simply, the more you understand your body the more prepared your body will be in the event of a potential assault. Dr. Stephen Porges, from the University of Illinois at Chicago coined the term “neuroception.” Neuroception is the process of evaluating how the neural circuits of the body distinguishes whether people feel safe or feel threatened. In the event of a situation when your body become hypoaroused it goes into three primitive defense states: Fight, Flight or Freeze. In the event of an assault Fight or Flight will work, Freeze won’t. Porges’s Polyvagal Theory describes three developmental stages of a mammal’s autonomic nervous system. Let’s take a look.
The Shopping Excursion
You’re all pumped up for a day of shopping at your favorite outlet, you found great sales, and hands are full of awesome purchases and you are exhausted. You are so tired you even forgot where you parked your car. Now, ask yourself this question, how is your body and mind processing this information in your environment. Our brains will evaluate the risk of danger and safety through our sense organs.
Hmm. What are the sense organs? Sense organs contain receptors that relay information through the skin; visceral organs including the abdominal cavity and our muscles. Believe it or not our nose can smell fear. According to researchers, people can actually unconsciously detect whether someone is stressed or scared by smelling a chemical pheramone released in their sweat. Information is communicated to our brain through our central and peripheral nervous system in order to determine our next course of action. Our reptillian brain, yes I said reptillian, this is the most primitive part of our brain as it operates on a subconscious level. We need to pay attention to the release of adrenaline and cortisol hormones. So how will you know if you are starting to feel stressed and panicky. Simply your breathing will become shallow, you may start sweating, your body will become tense. The good news is that our bodies are capable to override the parasympathetic response of freezing and is capable of moving under stress. So the next time you feel your heart beating too fast, or your sweating whe it’s 35 degrees out. Take a deep breath, look around and override your nervous system. Being aware and in control of your body will help you to stay calm and alert you to any danger which may be lurking in your blind spots. And if you forgot where your parked when you go shopping instead of walking around in circles, find security and ask for assistance. There is no shame in asking for help, but just make sure it is a safe person.
Now let’s see what S.A.F.E.TY Girl has to say this month:
THE BACKFIST STRIKE
- MAKE FIST WITH EITHER HAND
- CLOSE FIST WITH THUMB ON OUTSIDE
- DELIVER BACKFIST TO FRONT OR BACK OF FACE
- BE SURE TO STRIKE TARGET QUICKLY
- FIST SHOULD MOVE LIKE A HINGE, FREELY
TILL NEXT TIME…. Y’ALL BE SAFE OUT THERE!!