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I am on this path recently, focusing on the coolness of the breath in the nose. Spent an hour doing that last night! Lol but it helped relax me and feel more embodied, I am going to be doing it every day for at least a month so will update on the website how that goes. Also trying to get a lot of choline in with supplements and eggs as that makes acetylcholine which is the main neurotransmitter of the vagus nerve. Are you thinking of getting this procedure done?
 

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The theory behind the vagus nerve and dissociation comes from Stephen Porges and partly Peter Levine. with the "polyvagal theory" that claims that the vagus nerve in divided into two responses. A safe, social response and a immobilisation response that is used when a "fight and flight" response can be mobilised. So, depersonalisation is a reponse from the CNS in the body to the brain. You can train the safe response of the vagus with things like heart rate variability biofeedback, yoga make exercises for the safe part of the vagus nerve so the unsafe immobilisation part that makes depersonalisation stops its responses.

The problem is the theory is likely to be false. It claims it is a "bottom up" response from the CNS to the brain. But, if ones looks on the experiences from rTMS on the prefrontal cortex these structures affects both the parasympathetic and sympathetic responses in the body, rTMS on the prefrontal cortex effects heart rate variability, In depersonalisation if rTMS in given on the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex the skin conduction starts to fluctuate, the sympatric nervous systems becomes more active. So, the are indication that there is a "Top-down" from the prefrontal cortex to the parasympathetic system(vagus nerve) and the sympathetic system. So, the disruptions in depersonalisation related to the vagus nerve like heart rate variability is likely to come from the prefrontal cortex. A study was done here on the CNS in depersonalisation .https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4374468/
 

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Yeh I was learning about the polyvagal theory again just yday. It pressumes that dissociation is the freeze response which would be actually TOO MUCH paraysmpathetic activity from the vagus nerve. But I definitely dont feel super relaxed lol I feel tense and anxious all the time. So how accurate that is I don't know. But I am trying to dedicate 1 hour a day to breath meditation in the hope of stimulating the vagus nerve to help me relax/sleep better. Over time who knows if that will help
 

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It will likely not help. The theory is that dissociation a "bottom up" phenomena. It is not. The prefrontal cortex can effect the parasympathetic and sympathic nervous system. The left medial prefrontal cortex, the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex with both are active in depersonalisation are also when active stimulators of parasympathetic responses. Depersonalisation is in the brain,- not the vagus nerve.
 

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It's interesting you say that, I don't really know why meditation works. They say it has effects on brain structure and function over time. I do see focusing on the breath as a hack into the PNS and this in turn will affect the brain. So if the body is stressed it affects the amygdala, hippocampus as well as prefrontal areas, but if we can calm the system these areas should rewire and grow again. It makes more sense to me that they are damaged and atrophy due to stress/overstimulation and that they can recover through relaxation and rest (neurologically speaking). I will stick to the meditation for an hour a day and return with my results on the forum after a month
 

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The polyvagal-theory states that 80% of our thoughts are influnenced by our body and only 20% by our mind. Once we feel safe, our social-engagement systems starts to work again. We are mostly a body in this world and our body is under stress as a result of surpressed emotions. For most of us anxiety covered all our emotions, so we need to uncover our real emotions. Often it is more appropriate to feel angry or sad, rather than anxious. This was never allowed in childhood, so we surpressed these emotions.

I did neurofeedback, safe and sound protocol and yoga, but did not see lasting effects from these. I do not believe that machines exist that heal trauma. This happens in a safe connection with another human being and expressing our emotions and feelings. We are seen by the other person in this case and it it arises more containment to hold the emotions without dissociating again.

I am uncertain about TMS, but this also does not heal the trauma. For some it might worked, for others not. I guess it depends on the amount of trauma stored in the body. Even if it does work, the trauma might lead to same result again, if this is not healed.
 

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The polyvagal theory claims it is a "bottom up" from the body(vagus nerve) to the brain. But, there are two studies in depersonalisation that indicate it is not the case. We know from rTMS studies that different structures in the frontal cortex are regulators of emotions but also of the parasympathetic and sympathetic systems. rTMS at the frontal cortex also have an effect on heart rate variability. Structures like the left medial prefrontal, the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex are modulates of emotions to stress, anxiety, social pain and exclusion. They can also suppress physical pain. These are very active in depersonalisation disorder. When you give rTMS to the VLPFC in depersonalisation the sympathetic system becomes more active. rTMS has been given to people with post traumatic stress disorder and depression in the medial prefrontal cortex for depression -but in many the PTSD went away too. So, there are some indications that there is a "Top-down" from the frontal cortex to the CNS. That Peter Levine and Stephen Porges is wrong. I have read and have their books, i have tried heart rate variability biofeedback without any effect.
 

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The trauma is stored in the body and in case it is too overwhelming makes us dissociate.

I see your point that rTMS might help with DP, but does not work on the underlying issues. I believe it is an attachement trauma and if this is not healed then we might fall again in this state in case of high stress. But rTMS can surely be helpful, to reach a state of better coping with the underlying issues and eventually healing them.
 

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Mayer-Gross I would say that sounds rather definitive. I think you are right to an extent but when I feel tension, pain, emotional suffering and the dissociation that has brought, I think partly what would help is to reconnect to the body. Yoga for example increases GABA up to 22% after a session and activates the parasympathetic nervous system. HRV is one tool, and these tools unfortunately won't suit or work on everyone.

Yoga, meditation and exercise are things that can activate the release of GABA and acetylcholine and help the body relax and repair it's frazzled nerves. I only did my first session of yoga yesterday for 40mins but did it again today and am pretty hooked, more so than meditation. Read some studies on it, it really does have effects on changing the brain- bottom-up
 

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"The results suggest that 18 sessions of LF rTMS in ASD results in increased cardiac vagal control and reduced sympathetic arousal."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4204613/

"only after real HF-rTMS over the left DLPFC the physiological stress response was diminished, as indicated by a significant increase in HRV. No effects were found in the sham or right side stimulation condition."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26618798

"Results show that NIBS affects cardiovascular and autonomic nervous system activity, confirming a potential pathogenic brain-heart pathway to cardiovascular disease."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27185286

"HRV measures indicated that rTMS produced significantly greater reduction in the sympathetic: parasympathetic ratio suggesting improvement in sympathovagal balance. Conventional cardiac autonomic function tests did not differentiate the two therapy effects."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17490754

"Nevertheless given our a priori interest in the effect of VLPFC on autonomic function in DPD we carried out paired t-tests which showed a trend increase in patients' SFs following VLPFC"

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3968882/

"The implication of the right ventral PFC and left insular in DPD neuropathophysiology are particularly relevant to this study and autonomic function in general as sympathetic responses are lateralized to the right hemisphere (Oppenheimer et al., 1992) with the left insular cortex involved in parasympathetic cardiovascular regulation, for example, acute left insular stroke disrupts the correlation between HR and BP (Oppenheimer et al., 1996). The implication of limbic dysregulation modulated by PFC emotional reappraisal in the neuropathophysiology of DPD may have contributed to the current findings during pressor exercises and their additional central demands."

"Therefore, from a top-down perspective, the current OR findings could be due to limbic/autonomic centers, such as the dorsomedial hypothalamus (environmental cardiovascular responses (Dampney et al., 2002), paraventricular neucleus of the hypothalamus [afferent homeostatic axis (Benarroch, 2005)] or amygdala [sympathoadrenal responses (Janig and Habler, 2003)] that function aberrantly during aversive emotional processing in DPD (Phillips et al., 2001; Medford et al., 2006; Lemche et al., 2007, 2008) dysregulating downstream effector organ responses."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4374468/

It is a "top-down" phenomena from the brain,-primarily the prefrontal cortex. Not a "bottom up" from the vagus. Have a nice yoga class. May the chakra system be with you.
 
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