Episode 120: Do You Want Your Body to Move the Best it Can for as Long as it Can? with Charles Robert

Learn how your stress and posture are connected. Emotional stress can hide in various parts of your body, and you might not even know it. Charles shares how emotional trauma and stress hide and present as physical ailments.

Do not miss these highlights:

[07:03] Social media connects people from all around the world but it also disconnects us from others and from how we originally communicate with each other.

[11:42] A look at Stephen Porges Polyvagal Theory and how our autonomic nervous system influences our emotional reactions

[14:25] People who are more rash and more aggressive are stuck in a state that is not controlled by their own conscious will.

[17:29] Whenever you’re in a chronic stress state for a very long time, you will start to have less access to different emotions

[19:18] It’s the right manipulation in the body at the right time that finally the cells in the body can release that trauma or that emotional hole

[20:07] We should celebrate our body’s response in traumatic events

[27:44] The nervous system is made for movement and emotions. The cognitive processes are all just an extension of how we interact with the world through movement.

[37:17] Being able to be confident to move your body around is something that is empowering

[43:52] A look into Charles’ upbringing and his past trauma that affected his confidence and his professional development

[50:18] Even a simple thing as posture can affect how you think and how you feel

[55:00] Be mindful of breathing because there are so many things connected to it

Resources Mentioned

Phoenix Factor for High-Functioning Female Executives – https://debra-s-school-1b7e.thinkific.com/courses/phoenix-factor-protocol

About our Guest:

Moved by an eternal curiosity, Charles distinguishes himself in his teachings by his passion to help the people around to show up as the best of themselves. He is constantly refining his knowledge base within various fields in order to better understand and vulgarize complex concepts. His obsession with the embodied human being has already been brought to light on various occasions. Charles knows how to share his knowledge with humor and precision!

From an adventure that started in the world of massage therapy, the journey shifted to more specific therapeutic techniques in order to have a better understanding of one of the most intricately complex biological systems in this world. Today, with a keen interest in functional and applied neurology, his teachings are mostly provided through participative movement classes and coaching.

“Every day is an opportunity to create an environment of safety and growth for the person to my left and for the person to my right. It is the flame that guides my way in the hope of becoming a better human being for those who need it.”

To connect with Charles Robert, visit:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charleshealthstoic/

Instagram: @healthstoic

Transcription for Episode #120:

Debra Muth 0:02
Welcome to Let’s Talk Wellness Now, I’m your host, Dr. Deb. This is where we talk about everything wellness, and learn to defy aging, and live our lives on our own terms. Welcome back to let’s talk wellness. Now, I’m your host, Dr. Deb. And I have an interesting guest with me today, Charles Robert. Charles was moved by internal curiosity, which, you know, isn’t that what moves most of us, Charles distinguishes himself in his teachings by his passion, to help the people around him show up as their best selves. He’s constantly refining his knowledge base with various fields in order to better understand and vulgar eyes complex concepts, his obsession for the embodiment of human being has already been brought to light on various occasions. Charles knows how to share his knowledge with humor, and precision, every day is an opportunity to create an environment of safety and growth for the person to my left, and for the person, to my right. It is the flame that guides him in a way to bring a hope of becoming a better human being, for those who need it. I love this quote from Charles, because I think it’s the embodiment of all of us, right? We all want to show up as better people, for our kids, for our grandkids, for our businesses, for each other. But somewhere along the line, I think sometimes things get lost. And we can get to a place where we just don’t care anymore, right? We just, I’ve had enough, I’m exhausted, I’m burnt out, I can’t do any more. I don’t feel well, though, those are the things that interfere with us being our better selves. And if we can surround ourselves with people who help us when we’re in those down moments, they can bring us up and pull us out of those down moments. We don’t have to be stuck in that negative place for a long period of time. And we can go back to our mission and go back to what’s important to us. And we can deliver the best version of ourselves to the world. And can you just imagine for a moment, what life would be like, if we all were able to deliver the best version of ourselves to the world? 90% of the time? What kind of world would that be that we have? I mean, it would be amazing, right? Like everybody’s surviving, doing better than surviving, everybody’s flourishing. Everybody’s got all the money they need, they’ve got good health they have the knowledge that they need, there’s not really that competitive drive to pummel your competition, because now you realize there’s enough to go around for everyone. And that scarcity mindset that we’ve been taught, doesn’t really exist in the world when we’re like this. It’s just such an amazing thought process and spirit. And I just love to think like that.

Debra Muth 3:54
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Debra Muth 4:50
Well, Welcome back, everybody. I have my guest, Charles Robert with me. Welcome to the show.

Charles Robert 4:56
Thanks for having me.

Debra Muth 4:57
So Charles, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

Charles Robert 5:04
Okay, so from the people that might get my accent, I’m basically French Canadian. So don’t mind if I Excuse My French from time to time. But yeah, I’m I’m from Quebec City, Canada. And I do it’s, it’s a complicated thing to explain what I do, because I do. I’ve, I’ve been through so many things. But the path has started through massage therapy, going into more therapeutic approaches, and then trying to kind of understand my way through the answers that didn’t quite fit with what I wanted, maybe not what I wanted to hear, but the answers that I was looking for. So from there, I was kind of going back and forth between therapy and training. So Personal Training, more of the functional training approaches. I’ve been involved in martial arts for 14 years now. doing some work also with the dance communities I’ve been teaching. In the past, I have thought, social dancing for five years. And now I’m more into kind of understanding nervous system, how we connect and relate with people with each other, how we can create an environment of safety and trust, to establish a proper relationship, but also establish a healing relationship. Which is something that I think we all need more of, especially these days.

Debra Muth 6:43
Absolutely. You know, I think more than ever, people are trying to figure out like, how do we communicate with one another? How do we move forward with a softer approach? Instead of kind of like bullying our way? And, you know, just pushing hard to get what they want? How do we find a way that we can communicate and talk and get a win win for everybody? Right? That seems to be a bigger, not a bigger way, I want to say it’s a kind of a push, but that’s not what I really want to say. But it’s kind of a wave of where we’re going in the future, right, compared to what we saw in the past, where you’d have people writing together, or unions getting together in striking and fighting and pushing their way to get what they want. Right?

Charles Robert 7:34
Hmm. Yeah, it’s, it’s an interesting time to live in, because like, social media has brought so many kind of good things to be able to connect with people like from all around the world. But also it kind of disconnects us from the others and from how we originally originally communicate with other with with each other. It’s like I was talking about this, this morning with a colleague of mine. And we were talking about how, when we write a message, first written words, we know that there’s not much behind it. Like science has different numbers, depending on who you talk to. But communication is kind of around 70% 75% nonverbal. So when you get on you to words, you’re starting already way behind. And then we have this kind of not flowing, cut communication, because you send a message, and then you’ll get the answer later. And it’s kind of a stretched out conversation. And we, the brain totally disconnects from that. So we feel more isolated, less understood, less heard, because of all the way that the technology is set up. So it’s it gets kind of really hard to to go around and feeling. Feeling like we’re really with people like we’re talking to people but doesn’t feel like we’re with them.

Debra Muth 9:07
That’s such a good explanation of how social medias is working, because I think people think they’re more connected. But they’re really just more connected to the device, right? You’re not really connected to a person. And you’re right, it’s a broken communication, unless, unless you’re in a conversation that’s going back and forth in immediate time. But then even still, there’s some brokenness to it. And I love the way you talk about there’s there’s no way for us to see a person’s face, right? We that expression is so important because I could be delivering a message with a way of looking at my face that communicates that I’m heartfelt and caring about it, but you don’t see that and what the words come from Cross says could come across as something completely different than a caring message. And that makes the social media connection so much more difficult.

Charles Robert 10:09
Yeah. And have you ever read or heard about Steven porges polyvagal theory I have got it is really interesting, because the theory behind it is that the polyvagal theory is our kind of social connection platform. The way that our automatic autonomic nervous system sets itself up in every in any given moment, makes it that we will express behaviors and emotions differently. So if we’re highly aroused, and close to fight or flight state, we will not have the same reactions, as when we’re calm. And very, I’d say not very soon, but kind in a very common environment. And this is reflected very strongly in all the facial expressions that you were mentioning about, because the the social engagement system that this that they talk about porges has studied, has studied the face heart connection that we can kind of coin for, I don’t know, I believe in one of his books, he mentions one of the first few studies that he did back in 1969. So he’s been studying that for a long while. And in more recent years, he really like came up to the to the understanding that there are actually five cranial nerves that are innervating, the whole face, our eardrums and our vocal cords. So those nerves connected to the vagus nerve will kind of what porges talks about neuro ception, the body will feel its environment feel if it’s safe to connect, feel if it’s safe to move about. And from that will set an atomic tone. So if we’re in a safe place, everything is going to be kind of the differences are going to be lowered down. But if there’s anything that triggers us, maybe from past trauma or an environment that is just kind of not more aggressive, but like you don’t know what to expect from the environment, the autonomic state will be higher. So from there, a higher state will have a different facial expression will that will have a different inside of your body feeling. When we talk about embodiment and mindfulness, like it’s trying to get to feel what your body is feeling. So you know, kind of what states you’re in. But there’s a strong connection with vocal cords how vocalization like the variation of the tone of the voice, people who are stressed are very monotone. As people who are very highly socially engaged and very relaxed there, there will be a lot of different tones and vocalization. The same thing with eardrums when we’re stressed, there tends to be some noises that we don’t quite figure out, especially human voice, which I don’t know if it happened to you. But I know it happens to me. Sometimes I have to make people repeat themselves. Because I’m like, what, what did you say? What were you saying? And I was listening, but it’s kind of the sound was not getting all the way in? And when I think about borders, and like this whole thing, I’m like, Oh, yeah, okay, so there’s an impact on the eardrum and then it doesn’t quite get the sound frequency. So that’s why I cannot hear what the person is saying. But then it tells me the message. You got to find something to calm down good because you’re stressed.

Debra Muth 14:00
So gives you that information that you need. But that that only happens if we’re really in tune with what’s going on, right? Like, if we don’t realize we’re stressed and we don’t realize that these things happen. You may take a completely different approach to what you heard, instead of asking for somebody to repeat it, you might interpret it a certain way. And then when you interpret it that way, it may be the wrong way.

Charles Robert 14:25
Yeah, right. Like you you you get the kind of a skewed message. And also your reaction might be more defensive or roadable, like there’s like, which is why knowing about this has made me very what’s the word? empathetic? empathy? Yes, I have a lot of empathy for the people who kind of are more rash more aggressive, because I got to understand that it’s not quite their fault. They’re stuck in a state That is not controlled by their own conscious will. And they’re just going about reacting. And we are creatures that are very poor at self consciousness, self assessment of how we are like our personal state, be it when we’re tired when we’re stressed, when we’ve had a few drinks too many, like, we’re very poor at self assessment, so and I don’t know about you, but in, in therapy in clinic, like, you see people that they don’t feel themselves. So if you don’t feel your body first, how can you feel? Your your internal state? How can you feel like if you’re more aroused? Or in a more relaxed state? How can you feel if something triggers you? How can you be aware of, Okay, this person, I don’t know why, but there’s something about this person that doesn’t make me feel comfortable, instead of just going out about this person trying to understand what makes me uncomfortable in like, in this relationship. So like, when you see that people are having a hard time to connect with them third with themselves, then you develop more empathy, because you understand how it works. But then you understand that there’s a highly subconscious part to it.

Debra Muth 16:24
Yeah. So many times, I think people walk around completely disconnected from their body, for a variety of reasons, you know, there’s there’s pain, or pain could be physical and or emotional pain that they’re just tired of dealing with. And they just don’t want to, they don’t want to have it around anymore. So they start to disconnect. And there’s many people who can’t tell you how they feel, because they don’t feel anything, they’re just kind of like flat. They don’t go through episodes of being happy or sad, or feel pain or inflammation, they just feel nothing. And that’s really a sad place for us to be. But in today’s time, I think it’s very common, at least for me, the clients that I see, often, many of them will express that once they feel comfortable with us. They don’t want to say that up front, because they think that it’s a bad thing for them, you know, and it looks poorly on them. But it really doesn’t. It’s just a coping mechanism that you’ve gained over the years that we have to try to reverse for you at this point.

Charles Robert 17:29
Yeah. And I read recently, too, that whenever you’re in a chronic stress state, like for a very long time, you will start to have less access to different emotions, and you will be stuck in a few select emotions. And that’s your life. Because you’ve been living in chronic stress for so long.

Debra Muth 17:54
For so long. Do you find when you’re working with people doing body work, that you can sense things in their body? That they can’t by working on them physically?

Charles Robert 18:07
That’s for sure. especially regarding with emotions, like, there has been many times be it when I was manually working with on people with my hands, or when I was giving classes in yoga studios, and we were just moving our bodies around. I’ve had quite a few cases of people bursting into tears. Yeah. So even though I don’t quite, I can’t quite pinpoint exactly what I’m feeling. I’m just following intuition going along with the treatment asking you a few questions probing a bit. And then you get to a point that there’s a question that pops in your head and you’re like, I have to ask that. Then you ask it, and that’s where like, it falls apart. Or there were a few times that just by having my hands on someone without seeing anything. There it goes, it explodes. I’m like, okay, we’re having where we’re gonna have to create some safety around this so that we can we can go through this and try to heal

Debra Muth 19:18
That emotional release that happens when you finally relax enough. And somebody is comfortable. And that, you know, you’re right. It’s that right question at the right time or the right manipulation in the body at the right time, that finally the cells in the body can release that trauma or release that emotional hole that’s there. It’s incredible how the body works, because oftentimes people will say, I don’t know why I’m doing this and they’ll apologize for it when that happens, but it they should really be celebrating it right. We should be celebrating when that happens because your body’s finally letting go of something that’s been with you for way too long. And creating way too much problem and inflammation and pain and disruption in the body as well. So

Charles Robert 20:07
even one thing that I’ve, that I’ve read about and I totally support that is that we should celebrate our body’s response in traumatic events. Because even though the response might be repeated at the later times, and it becomes maladaptive, at the time where it was needed the most, it’s probably saved you life. Yeah, absolutely. So it’s not something negative. It’s something that we should celebrate Thank you body for having saved my life at that time. Now we’re having to adapt, we’re in a different different environment. But thank you body you really for for saving my life.

Debra Muth 20:49
Yeah, we really don’t appreciate like, we should have liver Appreciation Day, right? Because without our liver, we wouldn’t be detoxifying. And we don’t ever appreciate or say thank you to our body’s organs for keeping us alive every day, we just take it for granted. And there are some cultures that do actually do that, that, you know, they honor the different parts of the body for doing what they can do so that we can live a physical experience in this body. And it’s an It’s incredible to think that we just take everything for granted.

Charles Robert 21:21
Mm hmm. Yeah, for sure. It’s like, there’s so much behind it. And it can’t it always come back to the embodiment, like, feel your body, be thankful, be thankful for your body for what’s it for what it’s doing for you.

Debra Muth 21:36
Exactly. Because even though it’s a painful moment, it’s a lesson in time. And that painful moment could actually save you a bigger problem down the road, if you just kind of lean into the headache, or the knee pain or the back pain or whatever. And process, everything that’s going through there could save you a bigger problem down the road.

Charles Robert 21:58
Asking the asking good questions actually helps them up. Like when you’re getting pain. Okay, what is this pain trying to tell me? Like, what do I need to learn about this? And this has been a long part of my story, like I’ve been dealing with back pain, and it kind of motivated my whole journey of learning. And it still is today. Like, I’m always trying to figure out okay, what is this pain trying to tell me I in the past, it was more it was highly in the physical plane. And now I’m more into kind of the emotional energetic plane trying to understand Okay, so where, where’s this going? Because I’ve been assessed by posture specialists, and they’re like, everything’s fine. Everything should should be working fine. But I’m still in pain. What’s going on? Yeah.

Debra Muth 22:53
So tell us a little bit about that. Because you use posture. And you talk about having a team of professionals around you, to help you run the entire orchestra of your body. How do you do that? And why did you do that? Was it because of the back pain?

Charles Robert 23:11
Mostly? Yeah. Because the kind of the whole process? Often, I don’t know, when I was in high school, I had a lot of pains and issues. I was doing tons of sports, which obviously kind of Yeah, makes the weak link surface. But yeah, in high school, it was mostly knee pain. But then I got into a different different types of jobs that were more physically demanding, while still having my personal training schedule while doing martial arts while doing all these things. And when you’re young and mature, you’re kind of going through all of this and be like, I can do it all. Yes. But at one point, you start having back pain, you’re like, oh, okay, so I’m a therapist. I’m nice to know what what to do and who to like who to console to be able to kind of solve this problem. And the more I was going around, the more I was given answers that I felt were incomplete. So always getting incomplete answers from the massage therapy, manual therapy bodywork doing structural integration, I’m like, Yes, but it’s not. It’s not the whole picture. So this all led me to, I’m fortunate enough to have posture specialists around here, which are based. The field of pastoral ology has started in France. Can’t remember the years but there’s a few. There’s a debate around who is the true innovator for For Buster ology, but there were people, I learned a bit from teachers from friends that came over to, to Quebec, and we had already a few professionals around. So I was asking broga get it trying to get a few answers for, okay, so how does the body work and how they describe posture. ology is like, kind of the car analogy, we use that a lot with the body. But even though it’s not perfect, it helps people understand the point. If you have, if your wheels are misaligned, you will get more aware on one side rather than the other. And it will wear the tire out it will rare where the whole suspension mechanism and like many parts are going to start to break earlier than they should. Because the alignment is off. So posture, ology is kind of in that field, that they they were trying to understand initially. How, what were what was making the posture what it was creating posture, like the initial question was, like, you see someone, they have one shoulder that is lower than the other, they have one hip that is higher than the other. Maybe the head is not quite level. And they look at posture with like, especially today we have tons of forward head posture. Yeah. And they asked the question, they were like, clearly strengthening the muscles is not the whole, the whole answer to it, there’s something else. And there’s something else has led to a deep study of how the nervous system creates posture. Because when you think about it, the goal of the brain is to keep us alive. And in movement. There’s a type, there’s a type of creatures that lives in the sea, called the sea squirt. It’s it has a one neural ganglion, and this cord is moving around. But at one point in its life, it will settle down permanently in one spot. And once it settles down, it self digests its own neural ganglia. So there’s a brilliant TED talk around that, I believe it’s Daniel woolpert. I can’t remember the name of the talk, but it’s like, the real reason for brains or something like that. Okay, interesting. And he says, the brain the nervous system is made for movement, and all emotions and all the things that come from what we know as the brain, the cognitive processes are all just an extension of how we interact with the world through movement.

Charles Robert 28:02
Even when communication, vocal cords are muscles. Sure. And so from there, you’re like, Okay, so what controls muscles nervous system. So it’s kind of a no brainer to try to treat muscle tension. If you’re not looking upstream, and see what’s going on with the nervous system. Because tension could be a, I’d say a compensation for something that’s not working properly. And then as therapists were usually trained to go look for the tension, try to release the tension, because that’s one thing that’s pulling too hard and it’s creating pain. But what I came to, to enjoy saying to clients is that during an aggression, who is crying and who’s shouting, is it the victim or is it the aggressor? Hmm,

Debra Muth 29:00
it’s usually the aggressor,

Charles Robert 29:02
but we are treating the one who’s crying. Yeah. So we are focusing on the pain spot, but that one is the one who’s suffering from something else elsewhere. So thinking about that you’re like, Okay, so posture posture, what’s going on with posture with within every like engineer or engineer system, you need to have like, you look at robots, robots, they need to have inputs of where the different parts are located located in space, before they are able to move if they don’t have this, this information upfront. Usually there will be an error message saying that I cannot move I don’t know where I am in space. So translate that to the body. We have different sensory inputs. That constantly tells us where we are in space. Like how far Am I within my range of motion. How are my points of contact with the with the, with the environment? And how am I doing in relationship to gravity. So all these systems working together will create movement will create posture will first create posture and then create movement. And there’s an interesting thing also within the development of child’s because postural g initially, we’re just looking at adult populations trying to see Okay, so how can we correct those sensory inputs to make them feel the environment better, so they can have more precise movement. And if they have, like, if, if the body feels the environment better, it will adjust itself better. Regarding to the line of gravity to expend less energy because of poor posture expends tons of energy, it’s very tiring. Mm hmm. So the goal, like there’s two primary goals in life for any living organism, first one is to survive. Second is to reproduce. But in order to do that, you need to have energy, right.

Debra Muth 31:09
So so many of us these days have no energy. That is like the number one complaint that I hear from clients all the time is I don’t have enough energy to get through the day and do what I need to do. And the second one is pain. This hurts, or that hurts, or I don’t understand why I didn’t do anything to this knee or this foot or this shoulder, but it’s hurting me. So it’s very hard for them to figure out why those things are happening to them.

Charles Robert 31:43
Yeah, because oftentimes, with pain that will come up from out of nowhere. You’re like, Okay, if I had had a traumatic incident to that knee, like, if you hurt your knee doing something, well, you can link it to something. But we have to understand, we’re like, how come am I hurting there, but I haven’t done anything specifically, that would injure this tissue. Sure, though, this comeback comes back to posture, like how we are creating wear and tear on structures that are misaligned. Because of sensory inputs that are weird. We used to call it imager. So if sensory inputs are in mature, well, then misalignment happens, and then on the long run, you get pain. And in your later years, you might get hip or knee replacement, because of the wear on the on the joint.

Debra Muth 32:42
Sure. So when you do implement posture ology, does that then reduce the wear and tear on the body parts? When you start imposing a better proper posture? Can you reverse some of that that’s happened from years of poor posture?

Charles Robert 33:03
where we’re seeing that with a lot of people, like people that have been in pain for for a long time through, obviously, it takes a long process, because we’re retraining the nervous system, we’re returning different patterns and different postures. So it’s usually a process that’s quite, I’d say, quite long, because for many people a year is already too long. Yeah. But like, I’ve I have one client. I’ve been seeing her for two years now. And she she’s been she’s very cute. She says she wants to psych a, what’s the, what’s the tissue for the garments? There’s a I have the word in French. But anyway, and she’s saying that she like she really want there’s no real hard complaint, but she wants to age healthily. Mm hmm. So we’re like, Okay, so we’re gonna, we’re gonna refine a few things and move through a few things. And there were movements that she couldn’t do when I was when I started with her. And like she was in the past, she had complained a lot about back pain and all that stuff. And she got through the pain, but she got to a point where she says, Okay, I want to be able to live long and live. Well, my. So from there, we’re working a few things and things like from the whole process of retraining the body, retraining the posture, we’re gaining access to movement that she didn’t have before. Wow. And she’s like, I identify all the time now. Like, I can do things that I was not used to do. She told me about one the one time When she was riding her bicycle, and oftentimes when she would go down slopes that were either dirt or with a few rocks, she would go down her bike to walk down because she would not have the confidence to be able to do it. And because in the past, she kept falling in these environments. And she told me last time, she encountered this specific situation. She felt she could trust her body. And she just went, and it all went well. I was like, Yes, yes, that’s, that’s hard to explain when you’re when you’re trying to sell what you do, right? Because it’s so specific to this person, for the situation that she was living. And now she’s gaining more freedom, she’s gaining more trust in her body. And it’s not that we’re doing strengthening exercises, it’s mostly coordination stuff. But the progression that we’re taking over kind of the long haul, brings results that are hard to hard to predict. Because she never talked to me about this fear of going down a hill. On her bike, yeah. But then she goes through it. And it when it goes, Well, she comes back to me, she’s like, Oh, my God, this happened. Like, yes. That’s nice. That’s awesome.

Debra Muth 36:32
That is so great. And I think from an aging perspective, that’s really what we’re looking for, right is that we want to age gracefully, we want to have good health, we want to be able to do all of the things that we love for as long as we can, without having pain. But what I’ve noticed too, as we get older, we become more fearful because the body’s not as flexible, it’s not as strong, it doesn’t do what we want it to do. And we don’t bounce as well as we did when we were younger. So you become more afraid. So it you know, you’re kind of empowering people to have that flexibility and that control over their bodies. So they can do things that they love for a longer period of time. by teaching them some of these techniques.

Charles Robert 37:17
Yeah, I talk a lot about movement autonomy. Like, being able to be confident in how to move your body around is something that is first so empowering, because I’ve been through crippling pain, I know how it feels to not be able to sit on the toilet. So when you’re in that much pain, it’s like everything is miserable, even though you’re trying very hard to be happy and to enjoy things. It’s like you’re just lying in your bed, and you’re hurting all over. And you don’t want to medicate to be able to numb out the pain completely. Right? Some people might, but that that’s not my philosophy. So personally, I don’t do it. Like, last time, I was in real serious pain. I didn’t take anything I was like this pain has something to teach me. And it taught me that I had to slow down, taking, take more care of myself and take things easily. Yeah. Which is something that I hadn’t done before. But if I had numb the pain, I would not have done that. And once the pain is gone, what do we do, we go back to what we’re used to doing. So then we break down further, until we reach a point where we just can’t do it anymore. Because the body’s like, I’m gonna stop you from from being stupid.

Debra Muth 38:43
I always tell my patients, if you don’t listen to your body, your body’s just gonna keep talking louder and louder and louder. And when you finally don’t listen at all, it will just shut you down, and you won’t be able to do anything. So listen, when it’s sending little quiet messages, so that it doesn’t have to scream at you and just stop you in your tracks to teach you what you need to know from it. Because that’s what the body does to us. You know, it’s it’s more powerful than we think it is. And it has more control over us than we do of it.

Charles Robert 39:16
For sure. And coming back to to porges. That’s one thing from the polyvagal theory. It’s like they they looked at evolutionary biology, how different systems kind of layered a hierarchy on top of each others. And they realize that when we talk about vagus nerve, we think it’s only wonder but it’s in reality it’s two nerves, two branches that connect at two different points on the brainstem. So we have the more the oldest Vegas nerves which is the dorsal vagal and the dorsal vagal is all the immobilization details. ideation. And that’s the part of the vagus nerve that connects to the gut, it’s the slowest response, because it’s, it’s not myelinated myelinated. That’s one hardcore word for French Canadian. So it’s a slower response because there’s no myelin around this nerve. But there’s a part on top of the diaphragm that connects to the heart. And this part has tons of myelin for fast response. Because when you see something, threat, be it a wild animal, when you’re walking, taking a hike, or there’s an explosion near you on the street, or there’s something that triggers you, this has to respond very fast. But the different systems kind of evolve differently. So when you look back, and I believe they kind of identified, I think it was 600 million years ago, we had the oldest part of the vagal vagal nerve, because and that part is all about immobilization, dissociation. So back 600 million years ago, the normal response for a threat would be to disengage and stop moving.

Debra Muth 41:15
Mm hmm.

Charles Robert 41:16
Which we kind of, we kind of, we can observe this with a mouse, you see a mouse being trapped in a cat’s mouth, it will stop moving, then the cat releases it, and then it starts running again. Yeah, it’s not a conscious response, the body will just react. So from the hierarchy, then we evolved the sympathetic response, which is the kind of the fight or flight now we get to defend ourselves. And on top of that, we have the ventral vagal, which is all the social connection. So it’s kind of different systems that evolve, one on top of each other over millions of years. And we can observe that from different parts of the cortex, the brain cortex, because you have the archeo part you have what’s called paleo, there’s the archeo, paleo and the neocortex. It’s kind of the limbic system, and then the layer on top and then the neocortex is all the cognitive functions that we have. We see the same thing in the brainstem. The brainstem has three different layers. Again, controlling different functions, the deepest layer, the oldest layer of the brain, the brainstem, brainstem cerebellum, cerebellum has three layers, and the deeper the deepest layer, kind of controls more what’s closest to us, so all the core spinal muscles, and then you have the joints that are a bit further out. So shoulders and hips, and then the nio cerebellum controls the fine motor control. So when you look at that, it’s like, okay, so there’s 1000s of processes that are subconscious. And when we talk about the body will at one point shut us down, if we don’t listen to it. That’s all subconscious processes. It’s like the body wants to survive. But at one point, it’s like, hey, consciousness, you’re getting in my way for survival. So I’m gonna shut you down because we want to survive. Yeah,

Debra Muth 43:33
so true. So Charles, tell us what’s been one of your biggest challenges, whether it’s personal development in what you’ve do, or in professional development, what’s been a big challenge for you that you’ve been able to overcome by some of the techniques or things that you do?

Charles Robert 43:52
This is really an ongoing challenge. Seriously, confidence. From from where I’m coming from, from my upbringing, from all the things I went through, I realized that I even though like many people tell me like you’re overqualified. Dude, you stop trying to learn more? Yeah, prequalify just go out and do your work, like, make an impact. But from where I’m coming from the hardest thing is to trust myself is to be confident enough in my skill, to be able to go out and share it, which has created very big hurdles in my professional development. And also seeing how kind of past trauma affected me how I reacted how I interacted with the world, which is why these days I’m reading a lot, yes on stress, but I’m reading it out on the Attachment systems, like attachment disturbances in adults. Yeah, oh, that’s really interesting. And polyvagal theory like the autonomic response that we get from different states, if we feel safe, depending on the environment where we are depending on who we are, and how we can create feelings of safety with each other, because we are social animals, we need to regulate ourselves through others. It doesn’t work by ourselves. And they’d like there’s a bunch of studies on loneliness and loneliness is something that the body feels it only feels there’s an impact there. So yeah, like, from where I’m coming from. There’s this loneliness part. Like, I felt misunderstood. I felt alone in when I was growing up. And the attachment issue that I’m having is that and I discovered that fairly recently is that there’s a when they talk about complex PTSD, you heard about that? Yeah. It’s kind of a more complex trauma approach. And it’s not about a specific event. It’s about kind of a whole environment situational thing that happened. And they say that, I believe that the number was 75% of adults have the same attachment style that they developed in their first two years of life. Wow. That’s major. Yeah. So you’re like, Okay, so we need to take care of our kids both because yes, we don’t know the impact that it could have later on in their lives. And I realized I had one of the complex forms of attachment, which is called a disorganized one, the disorganized attachment. There can be many ways to live it. But in my case, it’s always the thing that I look for, for safety is the thing that will hurt me. Interesting. So the disorganized attachment is a mix between the dis dissociative and the anxious one, the anxious one wants to keep everything close. The the one that is dissociative just repels everything. Mm hmm. So the things that I want the most, that I desire the most that I need the most, I keep them away, I push them away, when they’re when they are coming close, I will see myself pushing them away. And I’m like, why the hell am I doing that? Like, why am I self sabotaging like this? And it’s been kind of a hard awakening. But at the same time, it’s very freeing in one part Hmm, because you get to kind of understand now, why the things happened in the past the way they happened. Sure. And it reflects in how I’m trying to develop my business. I’m like, I’ve been wanting to build, like my practice in my business so hard for the best five years. But I don’t have much because I keep sabotaging myself. Sure. Every time something happens, I’m like, nope, nope, I’m walking away.

Debra Muth 48:33
And it’s so easy for us to do those things and not recognize that we’re actually doing it to ourselves, right. And until you’re conscious, and you’re aware of this, you could keep repeating the same pattern for years and years and years. And think that it has something to do with everyone else around you and not something that you need to deal with.

Unknown Speaker 48:58
Yeah, yeah. It goes back to the locus of control, like, is it internal? Or is it external? Like, do I blame others? Or do I blame blame myself, like kind of blame myself, even though we don’t want to blame ourselves, but right? Am I the one responsible for my own life, make sure stuff happens around, but the only choice that I have is how I react to those things. And life. There’s many different books about this. And one that I love is a anti anti fragile from Nassim Taleb and he talks about how things in nature benefit from chaos. Yeah. And then you think about Viktor Frankl which is the the Holocaust survivor. Yeah. And he talks about post traumatic growth and it all depends on the mindset of the person. And one thing that I’ve came to realize, again, speaking with empathy towards, like all of us who are having a hard time to recognize the patterns. If, because with the study of posture, we see that posture can affect how you think, and how you feel. Because you have better access to your prefrontal cortex. And it’s the siege of all cognitive functions. And if you like, if you don’t have a proper posture, you will have less access to your prefrontal cortex. So you have less access to rationalization of things that happen and trying to create kind of a new story around that so as to empower yourself like if you don’t have to, actually, if you don’t have proper access to your prefrontal cortex, it’s something that’s very hard to do. Sure, sure. So that’s why it’s kind of the this thing where you have to want to change even though you don’t know how it’s gonna happen. And at one point, when you start to want to change, you’re going to look for things for therapies for people, you’re going to look for stuff that is going to help you heal and move forward.

Debra Muth 51:28
Yeah, and I think for most people, when they get to a really bad place, that’s when they’ll start looking for therapies and things to help you. Oftentimes, we don’t go looking when things are just starting out. We shouldn’t have been looking before we started having problems, but we wait until it’s affecting our life, or it’s interrupting something that we want to do with our lives. And then we’ll go looking for a solution. Charles, if people are resonating with you, and what you do, how can they reach you? You gave them a lot of great resources and books, but how did they reach out to you to have a conversation or learn more about what it is you’re doing?

Unknown Speaker 52:10
Mostly I can be found on social media. Because of my, my whole story of having a hard time developing and developing my stuff, I don’t have a website, I don’t have much stuff going on around even though I’m working on a podcast, trying to get that out, get trying to get my voice out, mostly because I want to I want to speak more. I’ve been wanting to give talks about these different topics, stress, posture, movement, relationship, how we connect with other people. So yeah, one way to connect with me is through social media accounts, so Facebook or Instagram, I think we have the links that will share for this. And yeah, that’s basically the one way to connect. I’m trying to think of something else. Yeah, people that people that want to connect, can just say, say hi, that’s the one thing that I would say, because we get so many requests on the on the social media, and we’re like, Who are you? Where are you going from? Yes, yeah. Say Don’t, don’t be a stranger. Come say hi, start a conversation, I’ll gladly send a few exercises for you to try and feel the difference of having a firstly of moving your body differently. And from there, see, like, Okay, how can I work on this whole thing of posture to be able to move better, and if I move better means I communicate better if I communicate better, it means I feel more understood by others. So there’s this whole kind of social connection, social engagement that comes through the work that we do on movement and posture.

Debra Muth 54:06
That’s awesome. So for you guys who are driving or working out while you’re listening to us, don’t worry hop over to let’s talk wellness now, our social page or website and we will have all of Charles information with there so that you can just link right over to him, check him out, say hi, let him know where you heard from him. And just start that conversation about movement because it he’s he has a lot of tips and a lot of tools for you to start feeling your body in a different way. And so that you can live gracefully and be the best you as long as you want to be the best you but we’ve got to work at that. And we’ve got to do some things differently than what we’re doing. Now. If we want that to continue into our 70s 80s and 90s and beyond, right? I’m sure an amazing thing. Anything you want to leave with our listeners for last tips or tricks.

Charles Robert 55:00
Last tips or tricks, I’m very, I would say, not very recently, but I’ve been putting more emphasis on this. breathing. Yes, being mindful of breathing because there are so many things connected to breath. Like even back to the beginning 1900, there were German scientists observing that vagus nerve could be influenced by breath. It’s like, oh, it doesn’t come from like yesterday. And there’s a whole bunch of traditional ancient philosophies around breath. But the one thing that I would say is that we are living in us in such a stressful environment, that being mindful, aware of the breath, but also slowing it down. Because the most common advice that we hear is take a deep breath. Yeah, taking a deep breath, makes us hyperventilate, and just makes things worse. Mm hmm. So slowing the breath down, they say the best breath is kind of the six breaths per minute. So inhale on five, exhale on five, and do not for a few minutes. And this can literally change your life. Like if you start being mindful of that you start breathing less, it will affect many different things, it will affect your sleep, it will affect how you digest your food, it will affect your energy, it will affect how you think how you how calm you can be in even in stressful situations. So the breath has a lot of connections, and that’s the one part of the autonomic nervous system that we have control. Yeah, it’s kind of why didn’t nature gave us this remote control on the nervous system. So once you know, hey, I have the remote control, let’s learn how to use it. So many, many different things that can be done through breath. But the one thing that’s simple enough, like when you’re driving loads, like get your breath per minutes, or when you’re sitting and watching TV or listening to a talk on your computer, six breaths per minute, slow that breathing down and see how you feel after

Debra Muth 57:24
I started doing that many years ago, I learned about breath work, and I started doing it when I was driving to and from the office. And I would do that in the morning. And I’d get there and I’d be so relaxed. And then at the end of the day, I would do it when I get home. And then I could transition my workday to my family day. And on the days that I didn’t do it, I had a very different response to the stress in the office and the transition from work to home. So it can make a huge difference. And it’s such a small thing to do. It’s great. It is even just think about the commercials that you watch on TV. You know, I tell people to use the commercials as a trigger to do all kinds of exercises and breathing is one of them that you could do during that timeframe as well. Awesome. This has been really a great conversation. Thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been a real pleasure. You have a true gift and what you’re teaching people and what you’re giving people can really extend their lives. So I hope that this gets out to people, I hope people take advantage of connecting with you. I hope we can get you on some more platforms where you can talk about this because it is so important. It’s so necessary, especially in our environment today of what we’re dealing with with stress,

Charles Robert 58:41
Stress and isolation. One of the not the worst, but it’s one of the hardest things.

Debra Muth 58:48
Yes, absolutely. Well, thank you so much for joining us. Thanks to you. Hey, it has been really great sharing this time with you guys on the let’s talk wellness now podcast. If this episode has helped you or you feel as though this episode would help someone else we’d love for you to leave us a review, share this podcast. And if you don’t want to miss the most exciting episodes we have coming. We’d love for you to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Until next time, live every day to the fullest.

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