As we move into the month of May, we are 6 weeks deep into the stay-at-home order here in California. If you are like me, it’s weighing on you and for many of you who have expressed to me your frustrations, I want to lay it out really simply… 

…it’s not your fault. 

It’s wholly un-human to not see people, not be with your friends and family, and not be free to navigate society. 

It’s called the Poly-Vagal theory as coined by Dr. Stephen Porges, PhD. 

The vagus nerve is cranial nerve 10. It is well known to be the most influential nerve on global visceral physiology (aka it makes your organs work better). 

This nerve has a rather unknown influence on our ability to be well, HUMAN. 

This nerve is the one that makes us a social species. It helps us connect with our own humanity and someone else’s. 

So from my view, what does this mean with the shelter-in-place order? 

We are going to witness one of the largest increases in chronic health problems in years. Without being able to exercise the genetic requirement of being a social being, we are not exercising and building neuroplasticity in the Vagus nerve… without this necessary stimuli, our Vagus nerve will not be able to do its OTHER functions optimally which include, but are not limited to: 

  1. Upper, Middle and Lower GI function. We will see an immediate rise in GUT issues. From dysbiosis, to hypochlorhydria, to autoimmunity flares. We will see a rise in leaky gut and its related conditions which are in many respects causal to every chronic condition. Make your appointments with Olivia and get your nutritional evaluation and your gut in check! 
  2. Chronic Adrenal Stress (Exhaustion and Failure). With a deficiency in human connection, our nervous systems are stuck on the gas pedal and we are going to be feeling this one for a while. For the first time in a long time, I am genuinely concerned about the mental wellbeing of all of our patients. Take the time to BREATHE, rest and fill your tanks … now is the time to guard your mind and your heart from the stress, hysteria, and panic. Most importantly CONNECT CONNECT CONNECT with others even if it’s only Zoom or virtually. 

In the end, regardless of what you believe about this shelter-in-place, COVID-19, etc. it is really important for us to be good to each other; to take an invested interest in everyone’s well-being. One of my great friends from West Point said that “rational compassion” is everything right now and I agree. It behooves us more than ever to see each other as human beings. 

If you’re looking for one of those virtual places to connect and find community, check out our Facebook Support Group. It’s a safe place for us to share our thoughts, little wins, and engage with each other.