Trauma and the nervous system is the focus of today’s episode with Irene Lyon.

In a recent podcast listener survey, a lot of you listed trauma and healing under topics you’d like to see explored more in 2020 on the show, so I hope you enjoy today’s guest, Irene Lyon who is a nervous system expert and somatic practitioner!

Her big truth was that we’re at a point in time where we have the science, research, practices and immediacy to heal deep stuff. We talked about what somatic work is, the difference between the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous systems and touched on Polyvagal Theory.

She helped me understand the difference between trauma trained and trauma informed – a very important distinction as we all consider practitioners, guides, teachers and coaches in various areas of our lives.

And we also got into neuroception, our sensitivity to safety or danger, common trauma responses that people might not realize is their trauma talking, and how we can value the health that IS present.

It’s a great chat, you might want to listen more than once. Enjoy and share!


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About Irene Lyon:

Irene Lyon, MSC. is a trained nervous system expert and practitioners and she teaches people around the world how to work with the nervous system to transform trauma, heal body and mind, and live full, creative lives. To date, her online work has reached people in over 63(!) countries – but you can often find her teaching with Elia Mrak at their signature Up & Down workshops or hiking in the mountains or along the Pacific ocean in her hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia. She has her Master’s in Biomedical and Health Science and also has a knack for making complex info easy for ALL of us to understand and apply to our lives. She has extensively studied and practiced the works of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, Peter Levine (founder of Somatic Experiencing) and Kathy Kain (founder of Somatic Practice). 

Connect with Irene:


Website | YouTube | Facebook | Instagram

In this episode about trauma and the nervous system we discuss:


  • [4:49] How Irene is feeling in her body right now
  • [7:14] Bouncing back from traveling
  • [11:49] The truth that’s having an impact on Irene’s life right now
  • [16:37] Finding a good somatic practitioner and someone who is trauma trained
  • [20:10] The difference between being trauma-informed and trauma trained
  • [27:44] Why the longer path can be more efficient for you
  • [33:43] How being regulated in your nervous system benefits you in chaotic situations
  • [39:50] The downsides of living in a deregulated nervous system
  • [42:19] How trauma from childhood can come out in adults
  • [48:07] Learning to treat our trauma instead of using escapism methods
  • [51:47] How tribal communities pass down self-regulation of the nervous system to children
  • [56:21] Why we become unwell
  • [59:17] Being unaware of microtraumas you’ve encountered in life
  • [01:04:12] Understanding complexity so you can recognize iit in yourself and other people





Quotes from this week’s episode of the Embodied Podcast:


  • “One of the things about having a really regulated nervous system is actually being okay with throwing out the routine.” – Irene Lyon
  • “To be trauma-informed is to understand the science at that deep level.”– Irene Lyon
  • “Trauma-informed is different than trauma trained.”– Irene Lyon
  • “We don’t have that script in our body, we run into risks when we go into these deeper plant medicine practices because they will strip apart all of those filters.“- Irene Lyon
  • We’ve been treating healing trauma like a medical condition that we need to fix.”– Irene Lyon
  • “Treating this stuff ain’t always glamorous.”– Irene Lyon
  • “We’re looking for that way to solve these anxieties but actually these anxieties, uncomfortable sensations and utter feelings of fear are actually really valid medicine for us to feel into.”– Irene Lyon
  • “In the western world, the ways that we bring up babies is so counterintuitive to what nature would want us to do.”– Irene Lyon
  • “We’re actually pretty resilient when we’re regulated and it’s the dysregulation that’s making our internal system chaotic.”– Irene Lyon
  • “We become unwell because we don’t value the health that’s there.”– Irene Lyon
  • “I was one of those kids that never got to cry unless I broke a bone. That hardens a person and stops them from feeling. It’s really not just these big abuses.”– Irene Lyon
  • “It’s really important to not be living in survival stress.”– Irene Lyon

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How was this episode for you?

Was this episode helpful for you today? I’d love to know what quote or lesson touched your soul. Let me know in the comments below OR share the episode on Instagram, tag me your stories @elizabethdialto, or send me a DM!

About the Embodied Podcast with Elizabeth DiAlto

Since 2013 I’ve been developing a body of work that helps women embody self-love, healing, and wholeness. We do this by focusing on the four levels of consciousness – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

In practical terms, this looks like exploring tools and practices to help you tune into the deep wisdom of the body and the knowing of the heart, which I believe are gateways to our souls. Then we cultivate a new relationship with our minds that allows the mind to serve this wisdom and knowledge and soul connection, rather than override it, which is what many of us were taught.

The show runs in seasons now and this season we’re focusing on my EMBODIED Self Love Framework.

We’ll be looking at Self Awareness, Self Knowledge, Self Acceptance, Self Trust, and Self Respect – with a bonus episode on Boundaries as well.

If you’ve been doing self-help or spiritual development work for a while, these are the types of foundational things that often people overlook in pursuit of fancier concepts that often aren’t practical or sustainable. Here, we will focus on building these strong foundations so you can honestly and thoroughly embody self-love. If you’re feeling it, subscribe to the show, and leave us a review wherever you listen from. You can also keep up with show updates and community discussions on Instagram here.