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Show Notes

Today on Biology of Trauma, we continue our analysis of the freeze response with Dr. Arielle Scwartz, Ph.D. There are three key phases to overcoming the freeze response, and in this episode, we discuss how time plays a crucial role in trauma healing. Shifting from a performance relationship to a listening relationship with your body allows you to tap into your own physical intuition. Instead of overextending yourself out of fear, your body can intuit when it is time to rest and act and allows you to slow down, giving you the time to overcome your freeze response.

Generally, the brain is thought of as the controller of our emotions, but the autonomic nervous system stores trauma and produces the freeze response pattern. Intricate systems of neurotransmitters expand beyond the brain and into the heart, belly, and intestines which is why our body holds so much wisdom. The body uses sensation, aversion, and even pain to communicate. If you ignore these bodily sensations, the mind tends to push you beyond your limits, eroding your mental and physical health.

Once you begin to take the time to be curious about why your body feels a certain way, you can take steps to live in a way that supports your body instead of fighting against it. Awareness and cooperation with your physical body are essential to living a peaceful life and overcoming the freeze response.


  • [1:35] Polyvagal Theory and how our survival system shuts us down when it doesn’t feel safe
  • [2:00] Our nervous system has evolved to strive for connection, love, and social safety 
  • [4:00] Instead of fight or flight, traumatic neglect elicits despondency or complete withdrawal
  • [9:00] Building tolerance of your emotions and sensations encourages mindful curiosity
  • [13:10] Bodily wisdom is informed by neurotransmitters in the gut, intestines, spine, heart… 
  • [17:30] Burnout is the highest cost of the professional world; your body needs to slow down 
  • [19:40] To heal the freeze response, you need to take the time to slow down 
  • [24:40] Her doctor did not comment on her lifestyle, but Dircilene felt it had led to her cancer 
  • [26:30] The freeze response is the largest driver of your epigenetics (gene expression) 
  • [29:55] The autonomic nervous system stores trauma and causes the freeze response pattern 
  • [33:00] Excluding the body’s experience often leads you to push yourself beyond your limits 
  • [36:00] Supporting your body increases your awareness, allowing you to slow down and focus

Find More from Dr. Arielle Schwartz:

21 Day Journey

How do you know if you have trauma? And if you do have trauma, what is the next step? The good news is, there is a step-by-step process for identifying and healing trauma. Download my step-by-step guide (with a quiz inside!) to see if you have trauma and to identify how to get started. Download your free roadmap here: Steps To Identify & Heal Trauma



By listening to this podcast, you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having.  This entire disclaimer also applies to any guests or contributors to the podcast. Under no circumstances shall Trauma Healing Accelerated, any guests or contributors to The Biology of Trauma podcast, or any employees, associates, or affiliates of Trauma Healing Accelerated be responsible for damages arising from the use of the podcast.

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