Jeannie writing in her journal

Creating safety in our own hypermobile bodies is key

“When we feel safe, we can be whoever we were meant to be”

Stephen Porges, author of The Polyvagal Theory, said this at an event I attended with him. I have been curious and passionate about creating a sense of safety for myself and my clients since I created my Integral Movement Method. My method for hypermobility starts with Breathing and Relaxation because I was instinctively drawn to this for myself during my own search for safety.

Last year I presented to The Fascia Hub about trauma, the autonomic nervous system and EDS. Why do some people’s symptoms of dysautonomia start after a trauma? A trauma can be anything your nervous system perceived as trauma – accident, illness, hormonal changes. It does not necessarily mean a childhood trauma.

For me, my symptoms started aged 12. I was diagnosed with IBS at that age. This directly correlates with my parents’ divorce. Fainting, dizziness, palpitations, chemical sensitivities all followed. Did the trauma of the divorce push my nervous system to trigger my symptoms? Home life prior to the divorce was often tense, unpredictable and I learnt at a very young age that I didn’t always feel safe. My nervous system was primed for ‘fight or flight’.

Through my work, I’ve searched and researched ways to feel safe. I pass this onto my clients now through my movement therapy work. Breath is key. We must find a way to release tension in our tissues – our body and mind – so that we can become stronger. This is why I believe rehab can never just be about doing exercise. Language is so key to this too – using words like push, pull, squeeze – all have connotations of force. If you are working on your nervous system – perhaps from a trauma – you do not want to be stimulating your system in this way. If you’ve seen any of my YouTube videos, you will see that I choose language that is very soothing and calming for the nervous system.

  • Julia
    Posted at 12:59h, 04 May Reply

    Makes a lot of sense… Was thinking no trauma here… But then remembered how tough it was when my mum was very poorly for several years… Perhaps this affected my kids more than I thought. Was around this time my daughter got a lot worse with her own health. Trauma often buried…

    • Jeannie Di Bon
      Posted at 10:19h, 09 May Reply

      Thanks for sharing your experience, I’m glad the post was helpful

  • Amy Lynn Dowd
    Posted at 23:08h, 04 May Reply

    Trauma trapped inside the body. i agree with you that releasing it somehow is the key to a journey back to health. I’ve been diagnosed with UCDT and also lots of arthritis throughout my body. I intuitively know, as you’ve affirmed in your excerpt, that there’s a connection between not having processed these emotions and my physical pain. I have intentionally stripped back all my running around and have gone “within” ore than ever in the last few years, which has helped me get closer to resetting my nervous system and feeling calmer. I’m hoping i can find some videos of yours somewhere other than the app, as I’m too broke for that, atm! 😬.

    • Jeannie Di Bon
      Posted at 10:18h, 09 May Reply

      Thank you for sharing your personal experience, I am glad the blog was helpful and thoughtful

  • Kathy from TZC
    Posted at 16:28h, 17 May Reply

    This makes so much sense to me in a Bessel van der Kolk kind of way. I was also 12 when diagnosed with mitral prolapse (progressed and was eventually repaired through surgery when I was 30), and it was an absolutely awful year in my childhood. When I received my hypermobility dx recently, I could perceive a pattern of earlier symptom activation when I was younger than 12, but that year really “sealed the deal” with its stressors. Your breathing and NS calming techniques help so much with this.

    • Jeannie Di Bon
      Posted at 13:29h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you – I love that book too, so glad my sessions are helpful.

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