Dr. Doug Hanner

Dr. Doug Hanner

Dr. Hanner is particularly interested in how the chronic effects of trauma and prolonged stress impact both our mental and physical well-being. He has seen first-hand how resolving and integrating the effects of trauma in an individual, can have miraculous effects on both physical and mental illness.

The Central Nervous System and Trauma

At the heart of our being, the central nervous system (CNS) functions as the ultimate processor of our experiences, akin to a sophisticated computer system that governs our thoughts, emotions, and bodily responses. This comparison helps us grasp the complexity and sensitivity of the CNS when it encounters trauma.

1. The CNS: The Body’s Processing Unit

Imagine the CNS as the most advanced computer ever designed, with the brain acting as the central processing unit (CPU). This “CPU” constantly receives, analyzes, and responds to vast amounts of data from our senses, much like a computer processes input from its user and the environment. Under normal conditions, this system efficiently manages tasks, allocates resources, and maintains the body’s internal balance or homeostasis.

2. Trauma: The System Overload

Trauma, however, can be likened to a sudden surge of overwhelming data or a malicious software attack that threatens to crash the system. When the CNS perceives a threat, it initiates emergency protocols (fight, flight, or freeze responses) designed to protect the organism. In computer terms, this might be similar to activating a firewall or shutting down non-essential processes to focus on dealing with the threat. However, just as a computer can become stuck in a loop or a state of high alert long after a threat has passed, so too can the CNS remain in a hyper-vigilant state, continually scanning for dangers that no longer exist.

3. The Freeze Response: The System Freeze

The freeze response, in particular, illustrates what happens when the CNS determines that fight or flight is not viable. This state can be compared to a computer freezing under the strain of too many commands or facing an unsolvable problem. The system may appear to be functioning on the outside, but internally, it’s unable to process new information or respond to commands. For individuals, this manifests as a sense of immobilization or disconnection from one’s surroundings and oneself, reflecting a profound disruption in the CNS’s ability to process and integrate traumatic experiences.

4. The Aftermath: System Recovery and Maintenance

Following a trauma, the CNS can be left in a state of dysregulation, much like a computer experiencing ongoing glitches after a significant system shock. Just as a computer might need a technician to repair the system, install updates, or improve its security protocols, individuals affected by trauma may require therapeutic interventions to help reset their nervous systems. This is where therapies such as Neurofeedback and Craniosacral therapy come into play, acting as the necessary system optimizations and repairs to restore functionality and resilience. These therapies exist in a growing field called Neuromodualtion, which bridges the gap between physical and psychological health. Neuromodulation restores health by correcting the nervous system dysregulation, often a major underlying cause of an individuals developing physical and mental health issues.

5. Continuous Updates: The Path to Resilience

Lastly, just as a computer system requires ongoing maintenance and updates to function optimally, individuals recovering from trauma may need ongoing support and care. For some, healing is not a one-time fix but a process of gradually reprogramming the CNS to respond to the environment in healthier ways. This continued care helps reinforce the system’s resilience, enabling it to process future stresses more effectively, without reverting to the same level of dysregulation.

Dr. Doug Hanner

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