Core Foundations for Health & Wellbeing: The Vagus Nerve & The 3 Diaphragms of the Body


The body has not one, but three diaphragms, and all interact to create whole body systemic effects and benefits. If we learn how to work with the diaphragms as a whole, we can nurture powerful healing potential in the mind-body complex.

Join doctor of physical therapy and yoga therapist, Dr. Ginger Garner for a journey into the deepest core structures of the body. Learn about their important functions not just for stability and strength, but also for our extended emotional and mental well-being and resilience.

The 3 diaphragms include our respiratory, pelvic, and laryngeal diaphragms, which have intimate connections to systemic functioning which affects our overall health, as well as how successfully we are to interact with the world around us. Some anatomists count 2 additional diaphragms, i.e. the thoracic outlet and the cranial diaphragm, which will be addressed in this course via application of the scientific support and evidence-base for functionally affecting the primary 3 diaphragms.

The human body is composed of 70% water. The diaphragms are in constant movement, pulsing with the breath of the body. According to osteopathic theory, the diaphragms are involved in controlling the fluid pressure and movement of the entire body, while biomechanical theory, neuroscience, and neuroendocrinology supports the three diaphragms’ multi-system influence on human response to communication and basic life functions, including stress response, pain perception, sexual function, and sound production.

The Cervical-Thoracic Diaphragm (laryngeal and oral diaphragms) is responsible for neurological optimization of stress response, swallowing, and communication, which controls vagal tone for cardiorespiratory functioning and the respiratory and pelvic diaphragm functioning.

The Respiratory Diaphragm is a connecting point between cephalad and caudad diaphragms, and is the main muscle influencing pulmonary function. None of the diaphragms work in isolation, therefore, each exacts an influence on vagal tone and function.

The Pelvic Diaphragm is the terminal end of the tri-diaphragmatic (3D) system, and can bear the brunt of trauma and impairment with dysfunction in the superiorly-located diaphragms. The pelvic diaphragm contains the muscles of the pelvic floor, which in turn impacts pressurization of the entire 3D system.

The diaphragms are in constant movement, and form an important systems-based mechanism through which pressure is regulated in the mind-body complex, providing us with the key to both internal and external biopsychosocial stability and structure of the mind-body.

When in balance, the movement of the diaphragms exerts a tremendous effect on human health and movement. If out of balance or not functioning, the body’s self-regulatory powers are disturbed and our health and well-being suffer.

What You Will Learn

  • How the 3D system functions together and how that impacts our health
  • How our understanding of the function of the diaphragms impacts our approach to and understanding of ‘core’ work
  • The importance of systemic physiological changes in the 3D approach
  • Key breathwork and self-assessment and treatment techniques that support psychobiological health
  • Specific yoga techniques that intersect to address the following: improved sound production, vocal impact and preservation, respiration, pelvic and sexual functioning, and pain management.
  • How to create awareness for restoration of vocal, respiratory, and/or pelvic strength and tone
  • How the 3D model is linked to polyvagal theory and our understanding of sympathetic and parasymphatetic balance.

This Course Also Includes:

  • Yoga Practice Video: Enjoy a yoga practice video that Ginger created for this course.
  • Recordings of All Webinar Sessions: It’s generally acknowledged that many people only retain 10-20 percent of what they learn in a workshop. You will get access to the recordings of all webinar sessions (both MP3 – downloadable and MP4 – streaming online), enabling you to go back and listen to the workshop as many times as you like.
  • Transcripts of All Sessions: Ever wanted to refer to a certain part of a course? Even the best note takers miss a point every so often. With the transcripts of the webinar sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.
This course qualifies for 3 CEs with Yoga Alliance.

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Dr. Garner is a physical therapist, published author, and educator. She received her master and doctorate degrees from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998 and 2016, respectively.

$127/ Lifetime Access

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