July 19, 2021

E88 How trauma is stored in your body with Melanie Weller | Trauma Coach Podcast

In this episode, I talk with Melanie Weller about how trauma is stored in your body and how to understand the way that the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems are working as whole functions of the body.

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In this episode, I talk with Melanie Weller about how trauma is stored in your body and how to understand the way that the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems are working as whole functions of the body.

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Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well, wherever you are in the world. I hope that you're having an amazing day and I'm joined by the amazing Melanie Wellner, who is going to help us understand something that I think might actually change your life. Melanie, my friend. How are you today?

Melanie: I'm really well. Thank you. How are you, Michael?

Michael: Yeah, I'm super good. I'm stuck to have you on because I have studied so much about your expertise, understanding the vagus nerve, understanding the way that our parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems working the whole functions of the body from top to bottom. I think this is a beautiful opportunity to go deep, before doing that, I would love to know about Melanie. Who are you? How did you get here? What was your journey? Tell us about yourself.

Melanie:So I mean, I'll say at the, as I specialize in treating, the vagus nerve as a pinched nerve, I will say that this is all about figuring out my own vagus nerve and where it's pinched, and I can say that very clearly in hindsight. I was an athlete pathetic trainer in college majored in athletic training worked as an athletic trainer for a little while after college and went to physical therapy school. So I've been working with people's bodies for the better part of 30 years, really? And in doing so, one of the things that I really noticed very early on especially in my once I was finished with physical therapy school because I ended up working with people who had not found success in other places that their symptoms didn't fit inside of a box, they hadn't responded to other treatments and this was very much a piece of my own journey, like when I had, you know, if I had back pain or had vertigo and things like that, it never really fit inside the box, and I was just very fortunate to work with really brilliant clinicians who regularly thought outside the box. So that when I ran into issues, I was really able to I had the help there to mitigate them so that I can really see very easily how I took steps down the road to become one of my more complicated patients at times. And in the midst of branding myself, as a Stress Management expert, and having my own practice, my life really in my body, really started falling apart too. So, I've really had to live this whole stress mitigation thing, and I've learned a lot about myself, along the way, and really came to understand my clients at a deeper level through that as well. When I was little, our young child by have very, very good parents that were well-intentioned, but I didn't really have a voice at home and my dad had a very traumatic childhood spent some time, in an orphanage, my mom lost her dad and her sister when she was young and had a lot of unresolved grief, and I really absorbed a lot of that as a child and was didn't feel like I had a voice and even when I sang in the church choir, the youth choir instructor would not let me sing, she used to make me mouth the words. And here I am specializing in the nerve that innervates the vocal cords, and so it's really all about it, it's been this very full-circle thing to find my own voice and I so appreciate you sharing your platform to allow me to do that.

Michael: Yeah, of course. It's my honor. You know, I think that one of the greatest things that you can do when you have an understanding about something is to share it, you know, I feel in some sense, an obligation to have conversations like this knowing that I invested the better part of a decade and God knows how much money in learning and understanding these things in the same way as you so that I could heal or understand better my own problems and facilities and with doing so I think about this idea that, okay, how do we take our knowledge and information and spread it at scale to create vast impact? And there's no other better platform for this and so for if anything, I'm grateful. What I'm so curious about and I think about the understanding the correlation and many aspects of the vagus nerve in the role that it plays in the frenetic chaos that can exist within our physical body before we get there, I think that it would be very pertinent to pause and to have the conversation about what is the vagus nerve. Because I'm going to tell you right now, people listening right now, we're like, what the hell are you talking about?

Melanie:Absolutely! So, your vagus nerve is your tenth cranial nerve, and that just means that it starts in your brain stem. There are 12 cranial nerves that come out of our brain stem. And I'm going to give you a very the vagus nerve does lots and lots of things, it is the biggest component of your parasympathetic nervous system, which is your grace under pressure, your calm, your rest and digest and it's pleasure also. And most of us are familiar, when our vagus nerve isn't working so well and our fight and flight systems have taken over, when we go to do public speaking or something that makes us similarly nervous and we get a lump in our throats and our palms sweat and our hearts race and our stomachs feel funny because those are all vagus nerve mediated functions and when we get nervous our vagus nerve gets dialed down and our fight and flight gets dialed up. The vagus nerve comes as it comes out of your brain stem, it goes down to innovate your heart, and then it loops back up, to innovate your vocal cords. So, I like to think of it as the nerve that allows us to speak our hearts. It continues down through the diaphragm and innervates the digestive system, so it innervates the muscles of the digestive system as well as it also, mediates vitamin B12 absorption, digestive enzyme and bile secretion. In women that goes into the cervix, and as I mentioned earlier, it mediates sweating, it mediates inflammation, it's in all of your senses, it innervates the skin of your ear canal, it innervates your tongue, it's involved in smell though. The last research I read on that, they're not sure exist, they know it's connected, they just don't know the exact they haven't figured out the exact mechanism yet. It's involved in with your eyes and so it's really the piece of your body that your vagus nerve isn't in, are your adrenal glands. So you know what you're certainly involved in our fight and flight responses.

Michael: Yeah, and it's everywhere, right?

Melanie:And it's everywhere.

Michael: And I think that one of the things that have done very poorly, especially in Western American society is education and understanding our actual physical bodies as human beings who are in these all day. It is absolutely shocking to me that people know more about the inner workings of a mechanical vehicle than they do about the machine that they're walking around all day. And so as I sit, and I think about that. Now, given you said all this, but what is it really do?

Melanie:Right. So I say the same thing, we know more about our cars than we do about our bodies and it’s your vagus nerve, it really keeps you calm, it reduces inflammation, it makes you feel good, it does all the things that make you feel good.

Michael: Yeah. And how does it do that?

Melanie:Well, it uses the same. Well, I'll give a couple of different answers to this. A lot of what your brain does is called descending inhibition. So if you think about like if you know somebody that's had a stroke or a severe brain injury and that maybe they have extra muscle tone and say they have a hard time straightening out their arm since the injury because in that their elbow might be flexed, and their wrist might be flexed up close to their body and when you have a stroke, you lose the descending inhibition. And so then you get extra your muscle tone, escalates, it goes way up, and so there's nothing to dampen it. So your vagus nerve does a lot of dampening But it also does a lot of, so, if you in terms of inflammation like you know, when you know whether it's through, injury or eating something inflammatory your vagus nerve is going to dampen the inflammation to try and take care of it. And so it's really the piece that once it's really your threat recovery, you know, from a trauma standpoint, it's like once you've had the fight and flight and you've finished that part of the stress, it's what calms you down from that. It uses the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which is the same neurotransmitter that your muscles use and as a physical therapist that was really part of my attraction to addressing it as a pinched nerve in the first place because you get these very beautiful musculoskeletal shifts with it.

Michael: And, so, with the understanding that and I think they'll be a lot of people who are like me fascinated with it, and we'll take the deep dive and part of my experience with it was, how do I learn to regulate this or at least understand how to not aggravate it? Now, before we get there, I think it'd be really important to ask this question especially because people are listening who are seeking something particular here. What is the correlation between trauma, whether that be physical, mental-emotional, abuse, and youth, or accidents, or whatever that thing, maybe, and the correlation with the impact of the vagus nerve has on regulation?

Melanie:So well, a lot of the research around the vagus nerve and certainly the polyvagal theory that Stephen Porges is brought forward focus a lot on how stress and trauma, basically leave us in a state of fight or flight. And that we're not able to get into that more relaxed, that calmer state. We know through that research, that trauma always affects the voice in the breath, and your vocal cords and your diaphragm are horizontally oriented in the body, your diaphragm is a muscle that you breathe with, and when people nobody experiences stress or trauma of any kind, whether it's physical, mental, emotional and has really beautiful arm swing when they walk, we all lock up our trunks lock up. And so we really embody trauma on our transverse plane on the plane on which we rotate, we embody trauma in rotation or in through lack of rotation. So what I've developed over the years is that this system of evaluating rotation head to toe in the body and it's been really amazing to me and I'm I really want to take this to research it on a bigger scale. When I see people that are really severely locked up at multiple joints in rotation, and I asked them if they're having suicidal thoughts, or if they've, you know, how their mental health state is, the answer is always either. Yes, I'm in having suicidal ideation or suicidal thoughts, sometimes suicidal planning or I feel like I'm dying on the inside.

 Michael: That is so super fascinating to me. How how does one make the hypothesis that those are somehow correlated? I'm curious about what you saw that legend of the place to go. Oh, I think there's actually something here.

Melanie:So, a number of years ago, I had a patient walk in and I got a phone call from an industry colleague, she's in the fitness industry here locally and she called me up and said; ‘my friend really needs you, can you see him?’ like how soon can you see him? And it worked out that I was able to see him that day and I didn't have any information on what was wrong with him. I figure it hurt his back or something like that and so he comes into my office, and he had an acute situation where that left him in a hallucinogenic state and he could make eye contact with anyone because their faces were melting, and this has been going on for several days and he had tried to get help in other ways and he just couldn't get anybody to hear him listen to him, you know? And so I listened to his whole story, the this was something that at the time I had zero experience in treating people that were in that kind of acute onset, hallucinogenic state, and so I contacted the psychiatrist that I know, you know my initial response was like oh this is not in my wheelhouse but it was very clear to me that it was not the right thing to turn him away either. So I got him set up with help outside of my office and I said, well, you know, I'm going to decompress your vagus nerve while you're here and we'll, you know, and hopefully that'll at least make you feel a little bit better, and he was, I would say that he was not even in vagus nerve decompression, he was in vagus nerve locked down, and you wouldn't have imagined that his rotation was that limited based on how he walked. But as a physical therapist, one of the things that I know how to do is check people's uncompensated range of motion. So I can tease out where they're cheating and whether or not cheating and we are all masters of compensation. We are very, very clever beings and we will all take the path of least resistance for the movement. So it was not so much like he was walking like Frankenstein or anything like that, you would have thought he was moving fairly normally when he walked. But when I went in and isolated his upper neck range of motion and his trunk range of motion, and even looking at his hip rotation, and his tibial rotation, which tibias your shinbone, it was all gone, like, it was just minimal, minimal, minimal amounts of a range of motion there. And I took him through my, I did all of my vagus nerve decompression techniques on him, and I will say, I showed up, not only with my technical skills, but I really showed up also with my softer intuitive skills, and it really taught me a lot about bringing all of myself to the table and not segmenting myself as a clinician or between my personhood, in my, clinician hood, between my soft and my hard skills, because that has been a, I think a challenge for me over the years in terms of integrating those, but he at the end of our session, you know, an hour hour and a half later, 90% of the hallucinations were gone, and he texted me later that night and said; ‘Melanie, you saved my life and not in the cute, kind of way. I was planning on killing myself tonight, and now I feel like I can go forward.’

Michael: That's incredibly powerful and especially when you recognize the impact, that just a physical ailment can have on the emotional and mental capacity that we have. I think it's probably a huge disservice that somehow we've separated the brain-body connection in the way that we have about it is society.

Melanie: Yeah, I completely agree. In the last couple of months, I've taught the residents at a local hospital, little about how mental health and the physical body, and what I consider red flags.

Michael: I would love to know what those are because like knowing that this is primarily something that is a conversation geared towards mental health. How do you know? Because I think there are red flags that you may notice within yourself, that could be the causation of going, okay? There might be something here about me, that I actually really need to like chase out. What would you consider to be a red flag?

Melanie: Ohm! From a patient standpoint, I would say, maybe multiple joint pain, like it may not seem like a big deal but just like some overall stiffness, so people with anxiety and often in depression to will really be limited at their necks and so they'll be some limited neck range of motion, but it's not, but that in itself is not, necessarily a red flag, it's really about the combination of things. So if your neck is tight and you're feeling like it, it can be hard to get a breath or like you have times where you're short of breath and you are otherwise healthy. You're not somebody that has asthma or, you know, you're too young for and healthy for heart disease.

You know, this is a difficult way, I haven't really framed it this way, I take people, I know we're on video, I could take people, I could, I can demonstrate some of the tests, you know, like the self-assessment that I have people go through, but it's really, it's really about how you rotate, so it can be as simple as turning your head side to side and seeing how far you can go. If you turn your head, if you can turn your head comfortably to one side and then bring your ear towards your chest, in that position, you should go be able to flex forward 45 or 50 degrees. If you hit a brick wall, right at the top, and you can barely bring your ear towards your chest, that would be one, small red flag or maybe one yellow flag. And then if you're looking at shoulder motion, like I, you can put your, if you put your arms up, like, goal posts and rotate them down, you should be able to go about 70 degrees on each side, you know, and without bringing your shoulder blades up over the tops of your shoulders and if or if you're not able to, you know, if you're only rotating 20 or 30 degrees down and you don't have any shoulder pathology going on, I would consider that another red flag. If you give yourself a hug and with your weight really even on your sit bones and turn your rotate, your body side to side, you should be able to go at least 45 degrees, 60 degrees is considered normal, but I don't fuss too hard over 45 degrees but if you are really having a hard time rotating in those directions, that is one way the perhaps the easiest way to really self assess this though is through breath and so, even if you just put one hand, I'll have you do this and you can tell me how you feel with it, but if you put one hand on your over your heart, and take the other hand and try to put it up, on the backside of your ribs, if you can get it to the backside of your heart. That's great. So just like the backside of your hand and take a deep breath, take a couple of deep breaths in that position. And tell me, so do you feel how your ribs? Yeah, move your hand on the front of your chest when you breathe. What happens to your ribs on the back with your backhand?

Michael: They're also moving.

Melanie:  Okay, good. So a lot of people don't expand their ribs on the backside of their chest at all. I'll come backside of the ribs.

Michael: Shallow breathing, right?

Melanie: And so it is shallow breathing, its upper chest breathing, and it's, and it no back breathing at all.

Michael: So, the way that I discovered that for lack of a better term, my vagus nerve was out of whack, was because I actually could not take a diaphragmatic breath. Meaning the biggest breath that I could tuck was let could take excuse me, was less than 2 seconds as an inhale. And in that time, it freaked me out really bad, because I knew that I was under this immense amount of stress, and I knew that my life was kind of chaotic at the time, and I just uprooted myself and I travel across the world, and I was in this place where I was new and unfamiliar and stepping into a new trajectory and understanding and working through a navigating trauma, and I recognize one day I was like, I can't breathe, and it was one of the most terrifying experiences that I had on the backside of that lasted for seven months. So, someone listening right now, I know without question, cannot take that breath. And all of the signs just based on self-assessment, probably point to the idea that something is arrive. How do you step into this place where you start to rectify and get back to what we would call normality or baseline and consideration of our human body?

Melanie:  At the very basic level, I believe it's, you know, I think one you there are very simple exercise, breathing exercises, you can do to give your vagus nerve more space and really just paying attention to your breath, practicing breathing, can be a huge thing. I just tie going back quickly to what you were saying about your limitation. I guess for me that shows up more, I know more limitations exhaling, I survived time people, I find people's exhalations because they're like, they're out their lungs are overinflated. I think it's at some level but in terms of just getting the first step is really just to have a conversation with your body and to learn how your body says yes and how your body says no, because by the time you're in, any kind of physical pain, or anxiety or trauma response, your body is screaming, no, and we do not have a language for communicating with our bodies. And I think, really just tapping in and knowing that you're, you know, and not dismissing your body, as your mind is a very slippery liar, your body really holds your truth.

Michael: Yeah, and how do you start to, you know, I think that there are people right now, who I've been, I know, I don't think I know this that there are people who have been impacted by traumatic experiences on multiple levels in so many ways that, that, this sounds incredibly foreign, right? Because they're just now getting to this place where there are even assessing that there may be something wrong. Now, understanding that the vagus nerve can play such a huge role in recovery. I will label this at this time. Where do you really begin? Right? Because I think that you must have people who walk into off the street, no idea what's going on, their body is always in sympathetic, they are freaking out constantly and they just need relief but they don't understand the impact of the past, and how, if it is true, which I believe it is that we are the sum total of all of our experiences leading to this moment. How often do you hit the pause button and go? Okay, I need to revamp this. I need to understand what's going on. I need support here.

Melanie: Well, so the difference, so I have this is where the soft skills really come in. And I think are really magical because of the difference between acute – sub-acute pain and chronic pain and I would extend this to any chronic way of being that we embody or any chronic limiting belief. Is that chronic situations get locked into our limbic systems, which is where our emotions are and you cannot logic yourself out of your limbic system. You need a story, or you need an emotional key to unlock the chronic situation from your brain. And so I use a lot of storytelling, and I've in this is part of a bigger system that I believe is held by the vagus nerve and is really at the end of the day, how the cosmos is coded into us and that you don't have to be, you know, I can technical speak vagus nerve stuff all day long and I think it's amazing and it gets me excited, but it's really for most people, it is absolutely boring. And so when people are and so our bodies, hold stress and very predictable ways in general, some of us, most of us will hold, we'll just hold it, really predictably, and so when if we think about what, like if your anxiety and your stress, your trauma show up in your head and neck, you know, if part of your symptoms is that you get anxiety and neck pain with your stress and trauma, then you can think about, where your heroics and your desires are at odds, with each other, like, where is like the head? You know, like those like the head would be where, like, we wear our crown or where we'd where are, you know, the like, the knight's armor like that lead, you know where we lead from, and where are your heroics, and your desires that you speak from your throat, Where are they at odds with each other? And in the midst of my own midlife crisis, I really just discovered how incredibly specifically stress lives in the body, but I will back up before I go into this and say that when people are really overwhelmed very often, the only thing that I will do is put my hand on the backside of their heart, calls their life, they're laying on my table or for example, if they're seeing me in person, I work with people online to, but I will just have them breathe to the backside of their heart. And it can be just a very simple and very powerful, and I will tell them about my favorite proverb from a tribe in the Andes mountains that says; ‘Your future is behind you, propelling, you forward.’ And your past is in front of you, waiting for you to make peace with it and clear your way, and that I want you to really breathe into your future. You have held the universe has your back. That very very simple thing does a lot to do to calm people down, I can amplify, how well that exercise works by adding some other positioning with the exercise, but if somebody is really stressed out and I will just have them bring their attention to their breath and use and give them a physical cue like that with my hand, on the back of their heart, I will also ask going to tell me what their soul looks like, and I've had many people that have been able to mitigate their panic attacks by developing their relationship with their soul and when they're standing in their soul and you know, and they have this idea about what he or she looks like, they're really able to mitigate that and it does amazing things for the vagus nerve, it never ceases to amaze me, how powerful those relatively simple and seemingly non-clinical approaches really are for people. So like.

Michael: Why? I'm so curious that I have to ask this, why is there such an incredible impact of having that kind of emotional release on stress, tension, anxiety, depression, vagus nerve the entirety of us as human beings? What happens at that moment that you think you could pinpoint agothis is? Why?

Melanie: I think, you see yourself as bigger than your physical body, I think that if you see yourself at a truer level and you step out of your own story.

Michael: Imagine that must be pretty uncomfortable for most people. Yeah.

Melanie: Well, it often comes with some tears for sure, sometimes it comes with a little bit of anger to but all of the leading pain science experts will tell you that they get really excited when somebody cries or gets angry when they explain pain to them because they know they're going to get better. And so I see that as a really positive thing that we're moving the way the physical body is storing the trauma when you get that emotional release.

Michael: Yeah. And I think for so many people, myself included like that, the emotional release was very much about stepping through the fear of being an emotional human being, which is, is such a hard like saying it now is very easy, but at the moment, you know, eight, nine years ago, especially when I started doing intensive bodywork, like, having these moments of like allowing the freedom to be a human being is often very uncomfortable. And so I think that's really beautiful that you're finding that people are having that experience with you because that's taking a step into humanity.

Melanie: Oh absolutely. And you know, we are sentient beings and I think that intuition is the thing that we're all really missing and that is, you know, all of our amazing scientific developments, we've just forgotten about how to like about our feelings, and not just even in the emotional part, but just in how our body, communicates with the bigger picture and that really happens to the vagus nerve.

The research shows that when solar and space weather disrupts, the electromagnetic field of the earth, it is measurable in our vagus nerves in the extent to which its disruptive is dependent on the strength of your interpersonal connections.

Michael: Yeah, I mean, I believe that I mean, I would have to read the research to go. Yes, that sounds true. I will take your word for it as an expert, but part of me goes, yes, of course. I believe that because, why not? Like in reality, I often think about this Melanie and this isn't to go totally left field, but the fact that were even alive is incredible. So why is it not plausible that could hold true? And then, on the backside of that, I think about when people come into this place in which they're ready to step into a new understanding of who they are, it's almost like a reclaiming of humanity when you are in this, and you notice that people do the work and they step into now, wow, I've noticed that I can breathe again, anxieties, less impactful. I've done the things, I'm spinning time, I mean, I feel like it just holds true that we become more in tune with Who We Are.

Melanie: Absolutely. Yeah, and the body is in the cosmos that bigger picture is literally mimicked in our bodies, through our anatomy, and through our look, even down at the cellular level and ancient myths tell us the story of our anatomy and physiology and are so valuable in terms of seeing your own trauma, and the opportunity that it offers like, where the, you know, where the path forward is and, you know, being able to have a transition it from being the victimization to an initiation. I talk about pieces of My Own Story, through the lens of the Egyptian myth of Isis and Osiris and mythology, among many things was a way that ancient people communicated their Sciences.

So in the Egyptian, the myth of Isis and Osiris are numbers of the Earth's National cycle. And there's there are other major myths from other cultures that have the same numbers, and so, we know that this was a way, they communicated the cosmology, which they understood. Well, how the stars moved cyclically? In the myth of Isis and Osiris, Osiris was the king of Egypt, and his brother Set was angry and jealous and wanted to be king and set tricked Osiris into laying down in a Bejeweled coffin, had his 72 soldiers, nail it shut, and carry him to the Nile River and send him downstream to his death. Osiris's wife, Isis, found out about this, she retrieved his body, took him back to a cave, and breathe new life into him. Set found out about this and was Furious, and he tracked down Osiris chopped his body into pieces, and scattered them down the Nile. Isis went and retrieved all the pieces, took him back to the cave, she found everything except for his spouse and for that, she made a new one, she brought him back to life long, enough to conceive their divine child Horace and then Osiris went on to be king of the underworld which for the Egyptians was were all life came from and where all Treasures were found. For most of the people, if you imagine yourself being in that story, everybody probably thought Osiris is destiny was to be the king of Egypt, but his true destiny was to be the king of the underworld, and he literally had to come apart to come back together in a new way and we use dismemberment metaphors in our language all the time. We say we're falling apart, we can't get it together, our hearts are broken, our lives are shattered, we'd give our left arm for something that we really want. And so and when you've had trauma and especially severe trauma, you can't be the same person, that you were before, the trauma, it's an opportunity to come together in a new way and it's not that that's easy but just but relating to the story is very soothing and one of the easiest ways to understand further, how mythology talks about our anatomy is through Western astrology.The ventricles in our brain that make cerebral spinal fluid look, just like Ram's horns that represent Aries, and in Astrology, Aries rules the head and I have for those watching on video, this is a compilation of MRI images that give you a 3D picture of what the ventricles brand look like and it looks very much like the Rams horns that represent Aries and the way our hyoid bone in our throats sits, on top of our larynx is looks just like the symbol for Taurus and Taurus rules, the throat and are aortic arches of the same shape as the symbol for Leo and Leo rules the heart, and so it works this way the whole way through the body and there are mechanisms and structures within the cells, that mimic the constellations to adenosine triphosphate that makes energy for our muscle contractions and for cells for all cellular activity look like the Aries constellation and so we can really very prescriptively look at the story in association with diagnosis. And this works across other cultures as well the way our brain stem and cerebellum or together, the underside of our brain looks like Ganesh and the roots of our trigeminal nerves are the eyes and the brain stems, the trunk and the cerebellum or the ears, Ganesh’s, an elephant-headed deity, and are the biblical story of the Temple of the Ark of the Covenant describes cranial anatomy in quite a bit of detail and the Egyptian myth of the apes Osiris bull describes laryngeal, anatomy in quite a bit of detail. And so you can really use stories too. One dig into the stress, and two, I've turned this into a form of energy medicine and I use it as a form of guided imagery as well, and you can really I taught a group of clinicians and health professionals this year and they took what I taught them, and have been doing even more amazing things, but when you go through the, like, if you're going to visualize the bowl in your throat, you can visualize what's happening with it and what it needs, and really heal your trauma at such a deep level without getting a re-traumatized in the process.

Michael: Yeah, this is fascinating to me Melanie and I am a proponent of the idea of we are the stories that we tell ourselvesand thus, if you think about the correlation between generational trauma, and the way that that carries through your DNA and knowing since the birth of man, we are still carrying that same DNA and whether or not you love mythology and I personally do, I love that, you use that Limerick because it to me, I go, I love that story so much to played a role in my life, and I think about the impact of having this conversation within yourself a lot and you the space of, it's okay, like, you are allowed to heal, you are allowed to be better, you are allowed to grow, you are allowed to whatever that thing is, and then having the support of a proctor, because I think that mind-body connection becomes more true when you're doing both simultaneouslyand there's no question that in my own journey the vast majority of my growth happened in those moments of which it was like, Ahh, coercion, like here we are these things are happening and I feel like changes coming.  I'm fascinated by this and I think that so many people are going to want to dive deeper into this before I ask you, my last question, can you tell everybody where they can find you?

Melanie: Sure you can go to embodyyourstar.com. And that will, if you opt-in there, it'll send you a vagus nerve decompression course, and you can check that out for yourself. All of my, in all of my social, my social media is also embody your star and all of that slink there. But if you just go to embodyyourstar.com, it'll give you everything that you need.

Michael: Beautiful! And I will say this, for those listening who are like, what I still don't get it. Go and read the download learn about the idea of Compressing the Vegas and it will change your life. I promise you this only from my own personal experience and nothing else it's not anecdotal. Melanie, my last question for you is, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Melanie:  Hmm. For me to be unbroken, is to really be tapped into your power, and to know that what you're to really understand the power of the Creator within you. And that no matter what happens in this world, you are so much bigger, and have this deeper like this depth of essence that's just truly magical in Egyptian mythology like in their creation mythology. What I think are the cardinal directions, our knowledge wisdom magic, and truth, and in our society, we value knowledge, wisdom, and truth very well, but we don't really have a value system for magic, and, for me, being unbroken is really connecting with your magic.

Michael: Mmm, that's beautiful Melanie. I love it. Could not agree more. Thank you so much for being here today, and sharing this, incredible story.

Everyone! Please go and check out Melanie's work. It's absolutely incredible.

Please like, subscribe, comment, share with a friend.

And until next time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

- I'll see you.



Melanie WellerProfile Photo

Melanie Weller


Melanie Weller is the world’s leading expert in opening the door to health, performance, and innovation through the vagus nerve, the bridge between our narratives and our physical experience. A storyteller for the human body, Melanie has an extensive background in stress
management, chronic conditions, and people who haven’t yet found success. She now focuses on strengthening the leading edge in businesses, speakers, entertainers, athletes, artists, and
medical professionals.

Melanie is a Physical Therapist, Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, Certified Athletic Trainer, and Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.