Therapeutic Survival Skills / Etheric System

Hosted byLisa Garr

Therapeutic Survival Skills / Etheric System

About the show

In the first half, wilderness living expert Woniya Thibeault joined Lisa Garr (email) to discuss how her life as a disciple of nature led her to compete on the television show Alone. Raised by two nature-loving parents, she grew up camping and hiking in the rural hills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. She was always attracted to stories of people living off the land, and studied biology and ecology as a college student. As an adult, she began to hunt and gather, and eventually made clothing, tools, and shelter from animal carcasses.

For Thibealut, learning to live in the wilderness isn't about having the best technology or the best gear, or attempting to conquer nature. It's about learning to interact with the natural world— or, more precisely, remembering how our ancient ancestors interacted with it. The modern world "teaches us out" of how we were designed to live in nature, but there are ways we can all reincorporate nature into our day-to-day living. Eating more natural and wild foods, paying attention to birds and other animals, or tuning into all five of our senses, for example, brings us closer to the experience of our ancestors.

When it came time to compete on Alone, Thibeault recounted, the clothing and gear she already knew how to create from wool and animal skins were well-suited for the cold climate in which she was placed. Weeks alone in the wilderness caused a "mind shift" that focused away from modern-day concerns and toward survival and the needs of the moment, she explained. Many of her waking hours were spent finding fuel for the fire she kept, and hunting for food was tough; she relied on plants she foraged and the small game she was able to trap. Re-integrating into the world she left, with its processed food and artificial lights, was challenging as well, she added.

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In the second half, counselor C.J. Llewelyn talked about the human body's etheric system. Her ideas draw upon polyvagal theory, which proposes that trauma is physically stored in our autonomic nervous system, particularly along the vagus nerve. Our responses to different situations, from "gut feelings" to "fight or flight" to simply shutting down, are all a function of vagal activity, even if we don't always consciously recognize what's going on. Consequently, Llewelyn noted, our vagus nerve often informs our behavior before our brains do.

The connection between chakras —points on the body traditionally understood to be centers of energy— is mind-blowing, Llewelyn continued. Several chakras' locations coincide with parts of the vagus nerve, leading her to believe that they're essentially parts of one etheric system. Treating different conditions, then, is a matter of "mapping" them on the etheric system and applying techniques like tapping, breathing, and moving the body in different ways. This kind of energy work, claimed Llewelyn, can be more effective than conventional "talk therapy" in helping people with trauma-based problems.

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