The Polyvagal Theory in Clinical Practice

with Deb Dana


Polyvagal theory, especially the notion of the social engagement system provides profound insight into human interaction. In the context of manual therapy, the co-regulative role of the therapist applies to all aspects of our contact with our client, how we meet and greet them, how we touch them and even how we present ourselves on social media.


An understanding of Polyvagal Theory will not only inform the way we approach chronic conditions, digestive issues, anxiety, people suffering with trauma etc. but can also lead to a greater awareness of our own body language, tone of voice, facial expression and degree of self-regulation in the interaction with others.


Deb Dana is a US based clinician, consultant author who works with complex trauma. She has published several books on Polyvagal Theory and co-edited with Stephen Porges “Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory”.


In this conversation with John Wilks, Deb discusses some of the ways in which this understanding can be used in manual therapy.

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