S3 E40

Neuro Somatic Intelligence can be the key to healing not just trauma, but in the management of chronic pain. Joining us on this episode of Trauma Rewired is Lindsey Wall, a Neuro Somatic Intelligence Practitioner, Movement Practitioner, and Brain-Based Wellness coach. Her personal journey with chronic pain, hypermobility, and neurodiversity highlights the versatility of NSI in healing unique nervous systems.

Lindsey shares how NSI has allowed her to navigate these challenges with a deeper understanding of her nervous system, and how she’s bringing her experience into her work with others. We also discuss the strengths of neurodivergence, the emotional component of healing, and the complex interplay between trauma, neurodivergence, and the nervous system.

Tune in to this episode that celebrates diversity and healing through nervous system regulation!

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Lindsey’s healing journey with chronic pain and hypermobility
  • The role of emotion in nervous system training
  • Exploring neurodiversity and sensory experiences
  • Bridging neurodiversity with nervous system regulation
  • The intersection of neurodivergence and trauma

TRANSCRIPT

Jennifer Wallace  [00:00:04]:

Hello and welcome to Trauma Rewired, the podcast that teaches you about your nervous system, how trauma lives in the body, and what you can do to heal. I’m your co host, Jennifer Wallace. I’m an NSI educator and I bridge the medicines of your nervous system into psychedelic healing spaces.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:00:20]:

And I’m Elisabeth Kristof, founder of Brainbase.com, a virtual community where we work on training the nervous system for resilience and behavior change. Jennifer and I have been recently expanding our own visibility. We’ve been doing some live chats on Instagram and we would love for you all to join us there. You can follow us at Trauma.ReWired.

Jennifer Wallace  [00:00:43]:

We hope you enjoy this conversation.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:00:46]:

We are so excited today to have Lindsey Wall with us. She’s a Neuro Somatic intelligence Practitioner, a Movement Practitioner, and she’s actually one of our Rewire Coaches on brainbase.com. She specializes in working with neurodivergent folks, pain and hypermobility. So we’re actually going to dive into all of those things today. We got a lot of really interesting topics to cover, a lot of ground to explore. So welcome. Lindsay, we’re so excited to have you here.

Lindsey Wall  [00:01:13]:

Thank you so much. It’s really such an honor and privilege and I’m super excited to be here.

Jennifer Wallace  [00:01:18]:

I’m so excited for you to be here. We have an interesting kind of parallel journey on the path, just a little bit of personal history. Lindsey and I have known each other for a few years, which also comes through a past life with Elisabeth. Then here we are to find ourselves as facilitators at Brain Based Wellness together now. And as a reflection your nervous system that I was around several years ago versus the nervous system that I experience now is really different. I see you showing up quite differently in a new place of comfort and self compassion in a way of full self expression, of really coming into yourself. That has been a really beautiful journey to witness and I just wanted to reflect that to you.

Lindsey Wall  [00:02:15]:

Thank you. I feel it in my own body and the way my life has changed. There’s still lots on the journey, but yeah.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:02:22]:

Yeah, we’re all on the journey. It is really neat to be here with the two of you because we all did start together in a movement background with my movement studios and probably were all a lot more dysregulated. At that time in our life. 

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:02:37]:

I certainly know I was deep in some workaholism and a lot of unprocessed stuff. It’s really such a blessing to be on this journey together and get to move through this work in community with one another. I know a lot of what brought you into the neuro world was your own experience with pain. And right, like, we often find ourselves going deeper into our healing journey because of the outputs that we’re experiencing in our nervous system. For me, it was a lot of addiction and binging. Jennifer and I talk a lot about that, how binging was our portal into this deeper level of knowing ourselves and our nervous system. I’d love for you to talk a little bit about your journey with your pain, with hypermobility, and how that was a catalyst into the work that you do now.

Lindsey Wall  [00:03:32]:

Yeah, it was probably around 2016 when I found you, and Jennifer was there too. I was definitely in this burnout workaholism stage in my life too. But as far as what really brought me in was the pain and some of the issues I was having. Truthfully, migraines started for me at like, age of six. So pain was something I’ve lived with most my life, like severe pain off and on. But by the time I hit 30, my body was just completely and utterly giving out on me. I ended up being hospitalized with intestinal pain, some gastro issues. I was having a lot of arthritic pain. Just to sleep at night, I was popping 4 Advil at night, just to get through pain and to go to sleep. My joints were giving out left and right. Sleeping on my side, I’d wake up with a subluxated shoulder all the time. It was like a regular thing.

At the time, I think I had a really bad knee sprain. I was afraid to go into the doctor and hear the worst. So I was looking for ways to kind of fix what was going on in my body. Around that same time, a little bit before I found out I had Ehler Danlos Syndrome which is a degenerative joint or sort of connective tissue disease, loss of hypermobility. My joints were literally wearing out faster than others. So I came in originally to a movement practice of pilates to help me focus on the Ehler Danlos to help me focus on strengthening my joints in the hope that maybe that arthritis would get a little bit better.

Lindsey Wall  [00:05:13]:

That’s where things really started. Where was that? Breathing the movement and was definitely helping regulate my nervous system without me even realizing it. But I started training my nervous system with you, Elisabeth, not long after that. That’s where things really started to change for me. So I was no longer subluxating my shoulder, my joints were strengthening, and I was building more structural safety in my joint. But when we started training the nervous system, we originally kind of started more joint focus, a lot of vestibular training, proprioceptive system training. And for me, it was also a lot of interoceptive because I was very hyper aware. When is a joint hyper and hypomobile because of the Ehlers Danlos. And where’s that point where I’m going to push my nervous system into too much by going into that hypermobility? So I was super aware of how each joint was moving, when it was safe, when it wasn’t safe.

Lindsey Wall  [00:06:13]:

So a lot of that nervous system originally was around the joints, and we were starting to build safety now not only in the structure, but also in the nervous system. And it was great. Yeah, there was some definite reduction in my arthritis, but I think three months into this I realized I haven’t had a migraine. That was like, this whoa moment for me, because migraines were, like, every other week, once a month, sometimes even twice a week. They were a regular, common thing. And here I was, three months into this nervous system training and no migraine. So that was that, like, I’m onboard moment.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:06:54]:

It’s really incredible when we get these super tangible outputs and really measurable ways of seeing, oh, man, I’m working with my nervous system, and it’s making a real concrete difference in my life in something that is such a big deal, living with chronic pain, having regular migraines, that has such a huge impact on quality of life. Then it’s almost like when we start this work and we start to experience the relief in that, it’s like, how come I didn’t know about this? It’s the same with the complex trauma underneath there. How come I didn’t know that this is what’s going on in my nervous system, in my body? 

I think after we began that initial neuro training, you and I worked together a lot privately in the Rewire Container, and there was this whole other component of pain, which is that emotional component underneath. And there was a big next step in your journey. Our work together was the somatic emotional expression. I’d love for you to just share a little bit about that, if you’re comfortable talking about that, because there’s the nervous system regulation part and the neurotraining, and then there’s also the emotional component to these outputs.

Lindsey Wall  [00:08:17]:

Yeah, well, like you said, there was a lot of stuff going on between these years of working with you and Rewire Coaching just to build safety in my body. For me, lots of passive, lots of inhibition drills were needed to build that safety. Definitely kind of after NSI, I understand why that is now. We might get into some of that later. But the migraines were very small. They were kind of enclosed. They were in a container. The pain lasted for this amount of time, and then it was over.

Lindsey Wall  [00:08:48]:

But with that degeneration, with the Ehlers Danlos, my thoracic spine has some biomechanical issues. So I was, at the time, holding a lot of pain there. And this was daily, regular chronic pain. Pain management is why I was doing a lot of the neuro work. But when we started to get into that somatic processing of emotions, there was a moment that definitely made everything really change for me. I didn’t really understand or see the emotional side and component of pain until we were really deep into the work of the Rewire Coaching. Being able to have you there and guide me through that processing was really transformative. I started to see and understand a little bit more of this loop of pain as it was something that was so ingrained in my life.

Lindsey Wall  [00:09:43]:

It’s my well worn path. When my nervous system goes haywire, it goes to pain, it goes to severe headaches, migraines, it goes to my thoracic spine. So starting to see this loop of all the fear and the anger and just the grief and frustration and hopelessness of, like, this is how my life is. I am never going to not be this pain. It’s structural, it’s not going away, and this is it. And it’s so disheartening. Those emotions circle right back and build into the pain. The thoracic spine the space your ribs are connected to right between your shoulders. It’s your heart space too, right? And so in my heart space, I am just holding all this pain, all this grief and anger. 


There was one session in particular. You guided me through an EFT Tapping around the fear, around the anger that was the pain in that thoracic spine, between my shoulders and my heart space. On a daily basis, I was usually anywhere from like a seven to a nine out of ten in pain. That was like my daily chronic living. And I’m sitting, going to this EFT Tapping with you, I’m screaming, I’m yelling, I’m crying, and it’s just, like, oozing out of me like this black blob.

Lindsey Wall  [00:11:10]:

By the time we were done with that EFT Tapping there was no pain. It was gone completely. That wasn’t maybe a year and a half, two years ago. That’s pretty much what I live in most days now- 0 to maybe a bad day is like a level two out of ten in the pain level. This was coming from an 8 every single day. So it’s just incredibly transformative and powerful to have that freedom, enjoy relief, the energy that comes back when you’re not living with pain, it’s amazing.

Jennifer Wallace  [00:11:50]:

That’s remarkable. I mean, it is really amazing. Can you speak to a little bit of that? Because there’s like a boundary, right? We can go into emotional work and hit this place where it’s like, oh, no, I’m not going there. I am not safe to go there. That is not okay. I would love to just sit in this moment for a minute and explore that sort of boundary. And you being able to go into that place of that big release, cross the threshold in that moment, that can be really scary once we get into that place. I don’t know what your experience was like growing up, if you were taught to repress emotions from a very young age, or what your emotional experience was like, maybe if you feel called to share that in the service of thinking of that boundary, that threshold.

Lindsey Wall  [00:12:42]:

Emotions and expressing emotions are really challenging for me in multiple ways. It’s not just boundaries for me. This does play into some of my neurodivergent processing, explaining, expressing, understanding emotions. Emotions can be very intense and giving you a really good example- Love. When I want to express real excitement, real intense love and joy usually is very intense for me. There’s this overexcitability, and it’s like an explosion. I can’t really contain it.

Lindsey Wall  [00:13:28]:

And because of that, as a kid, even throughout my life, even as adult, is sometimes hard to regulate and contain that. And I would hurt people. So my love looked very violent from other people’s perspective, I would hurt my sister all the time. I’d get in trouble for it. And this was all coming from a place of love. Like, I was happy, I was excited, and then I got in trouble. So from an early age, I learned to keep a lot of my emotions in, to regulate them to the best of my ability. And there was already this sort of innate wanting to do that anyways, because verbally I couldn’t explain emotions very well, and I still struggle with that.

Lindsey Wall  [00:14:20]:

And expressing emotions in a way that you or another person would understand is extra hard for me. And the way my brain works and processes, so it just made sense to like, I’m just going to keep it in. I’m just going to hold it in safer, it’s less complicated, it’s easier, it’s less energy. It’s going to just stay in me. It’s just going to stay here. I’ll process it the best I can. Sometimes just ignore it, disassociate from it, especially anger, especially fear. Those were really new ones for me to bring out and express.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:15:04]:

Yeah, I relate to that so much. Like always feeling as a kid, like, I had these big emotions and they were scary for me. They were also maybe scary for other people. And then the consequences of that, right? Learning to hold all of that in, and then it gets internalized in the body, and we experience these outputs of dysregulation and pain from all that our body is doing to hold that in. 

I kind of like to just jump into a little bit about neurodiversity while we’re then, you know, I want to talk about your experience with NSI and all of that. But as we’re talking about this, I thought, let’s get into it. It’s coming up, right. There was actually a little excerpt that I wanted to read because I was reading recently the book Divergent Mind by Janeira Nurenberg.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:15:56]:

And there was just this one little part that really stood out to me in that it’s so related to NSI. And she says that “it is said that sense can be the gateway to the soul. I take that quite literally. Sight, sound, taste, touch, smell correspond either to our mental health or mental distress, depending on our sensitivities. At the core of our being are genes, biology, and childhood experiences, but also our sensory makeup. That is how our nervous system responds to and interacts with our sensory world, what delights us and what repels us over time, throughout our lives, these components interact, producing layers of emotions and resulting behaviors. When some of us end up in therapists or doctors offices with anxiety, depression, or autoimmune challenges, our options are limited to talk therapy or medication, because only the outer layers of emotion and behavior are probed. We’ve been going about our lives thinking we know the full list of diagnostic criteria, but the senses have been left out. Thus, the very core component of what makes people who they are goes completely untended”.

And I feel like that is so at the heart of what we’re looking at with NSI and training the sensory input systems so that we can have new experiences and be more self expressed. It’s just such an important foundational part of mental health and safety in the world.

Lindsey Wall  [00:17:36]:

Yeah, I think senses are, and the way we process sensory information, is a big component of what makes neurodivergent people make their brains so complex. So, yeah, sensory work is definitely a huge topic and interest for me.

Jennifer Wallace  [00:18:00]:

It’s really fascinating. I mean, neurodiversity. Neurodivergence is such a broad term to use, right? It’s like saying in this one thing that I read, like, fingerprints, no two persons brains are alike. We kind of know that through NSI. What I also find interesting, it’s a word that Elisabeth and I are trying not to use anymore, and it comes from modern medicine. And it’s the word normal, right? The word normal is in its own oppressive paradigm. Like normal to what we’re all running around here, little traumatized babies out in the world. Everyone mostly has complex trauma.

Jennifer Wallace  [00:18:38]:

Like, what is normal? My brain’s already affected by complex trauma. There are some things about neurodiversity that I relate to that I’m trying to explore with the way that my brain plays music constantly. Or if I’m in an emotional flashback I could find myself singing old school nursery songs. Like, songs will come from nowhere, and they seem to be related somehow to an experience that’s happening in my body. It’s called echolalia. And I don’t know, they say that that’s on the autism ADHD spectrum, so I’m not really sure where that falls. But I did just want to say that about the word normal being so dangerous for us as we do explore these more nuanced areas of our brains not being the same. Elisabeth, I just loved what you’ve read so much because you know me from even being in my space. Like, my space has to be colorful.

Jennifer Wallace  [00:19:39]:

There’s wallpaper. I need a full sensory experience even in my home. There’s smells going all the time, crystals and rainbows. It’s like I need to live a full sensory experience. Then training that intentionally has really helped my focus. It’s really elevated my capacity to learn and stay present in educational space. I guess I’m just curious about your definition of neurodivergence and how you’re feeling about that broad spectrum and what all of that encompasses on a more institutional, organizational type of level.

Lindsey Wall  [00:20:18]:

Truthfully, I’m learning to redefine and define some of this for myself as well. I’m 40 years old, and since I was about five, I knew I had some differences in my structural brain. But I’m just now ready to explore this at the age of 40. So I am severely dyslexic, and I have recently started to identify on the autism spectrum as well. There’s a lot of shame with those labels for me. I was diagnosed for severe dyslexia in kindergarten at the age of 5. In college, told through a research group that I was on the spectrum. Definitely did not want to go there and think about it. I was like, I got dyslexia.

Lindsey Wall  [00:21:08]:

That’s enough for me. I’m just who I am. And that’s how I approached a lot of it for almost all my life. Well, this is how I am. And it carried a lot of shame for me. Only recently do I feel like I can express this with some duality of compassion. There’s still that shame there, but I am starting to feel more curiosity about it, more compassion for it. There’s a part of me that’s proud to say, hey, I’m just that dyslexic and I’m autistic.

Lindsey Wall  [00:21:38]:

The way I really like to approach this is not through those labels, but rather this idea of we all have lived these complex lived experiences. By putting a label on it, we can sort of lessen or limit somebody’s lived experience. So kind of viewing it through this lens of lived experience and also the idea of neurodiversity, where n equals one. That’s an important concept in NSI, too, right? We all have these unique nervous systems. We all have individual differences in our brain. And for neurodivergent folks, our brains are structurally wired from when we were born in such a way that our intelligences vary so differently that we’re outside of the bell curve. And I don’t know if you’re familiar with that term or that visual, that image, but if you imagine, like, a bell shape sitting on the ground, that big, bulbous part of the bell, that’s where most brains and the way they work and the way they process these are going to fit within that big, bulbous part of the belt. But as it fans out and starts to get narrower, there starts to become more minorities in the way their brains work.

Lindsey Wall  [00:22:54]:

Then there’s even a lot of us that are outside of that bell curve altogether. And it’s outside of that box, outside of that systemic, neurotypical world. And that’s kind of how I like to kind of think of it and approach it as, for example, I’ve taken many tests to prove that I’m dyslexic, to get 504 accommodations throughout my entire life. Yes, I have trauma around testing, but I took an IQ test, came out in 120, 91 percentile, well above average. Neurodivergent folks are not not intelligent. We just have a different way of processing things. And so if you look and go deeper into that IQ test, you look at my processing speeds and how my brain processes things, and I’m at 8 percentile. That is way below average.

Lindsey Wall  [00:23:51]:

You look at my perceptional organizational intelligence and index, and that’s at the 97th percentile, way above average. So we have these very genius level in some areas in our intelligences, and we’re going to break deficits in other areas. For me, it’s like processing speed and how I process things. It has to take a much different route through my head. I don’t have necessarily the right neurotransmitters. I also like to think of my prefrontal cortex. It’s like a filter. And so a lot of neurodivergents are like, oh, there’s structural differences in our prefrontal cortexes.

Lindsey Wall  [00:24:28]:

For me, it feels like I’m more permeable to a lot of senses. I’ll take in a lot more. But that filtration system really struggles to process it sometimes. It doesn’t know how to necessarily organize what is important and what isn’t. It gets stuck on a detail on the ground, and I want to fill that or tactile touch that thing, or it doesn’t always see these bigger pictures. It sometimes gets stuck into those details. And like I’m doing right now, I’m kind of rambling into those details, but I just want to jump back to that IQ test. That’s like your standard IQ test that I did.

Lindsey Wall  [00:25:05]:

But at the same time, the facilitator gave me a nonverbal, language free IQ test, and I was at 140, which is 99 percentile compared to that lower score on the regular IQ. I am naturally not a language verbal person. I am a nonverbal person. But because the way society and the system works, I have to communicate, right? To connect, I have to find some way and means, and I was able to, and you can see that in my lived experience.

Jennifer [00:25:42]:

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Elisabeth Kristof  [00:26:38]:

I love exploring all of this so much, and especially this idea that there are so many different forms of intelligence and ways to self express, and that when we’re talking about nervous system training and nervous system regulation, I just always kind of want to come back to this idea for people, too. That we’re not trying to regulate ourselves into a world that doesn’t fit us so that we can mask ourselves better or suppress our natural gifts, but that we’re working with the nervous system to make it feel safe, safer inside, to be regulated, to explore who we really are, and to start to question some of these structures in society that are limiting for the person that we really know. Sonia Renee Taylor has a great quote about body diversity, and she talks about how in nature it is very normal and celebrated to have diversity, and that in our society, we put a lot of limitations on that. Human bodily diversity is a form of natural intelligence. It means that our bodies are supposed to be different because that is the version that is specific to your particular journey, and that in order to have a thriving world, a thriving ecosystem, we need diversity. And that same concept can be applied to neurodiversity. Right? It’s great that there’s all these different ways that consciousness and intelligence and the human experience shows up, but we’re operating in a system that isn’t fit for all of this.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:28:30]:

So the neural work is not about trying to fit more into the system, to work with our nervous system, to feel safe and full self expression. Would you agree with that? Lindsey, what’s your take on that?

Lindsey Wall  [00:28:43]:

I would absolutely agree with that. And something I feel like I’d started to notice as I explored my own aspects of autism is a lot of this NSI work has brought some of my own innate intelligences out. I feel like neurodivergent people already have a lot of our tools built in for our nervous system, but there’s this sort of shame around them, like somebody’s stimmy in a social environment.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:29:14]:

What is stimming? Really quick for someone who doesn’t know.

Lindsey Wall  [00:29:17]:

So stimmy is basically sensory stimulation. It is adding a sensory element, whether it’s to keep you Present, to keep you in your own body, to help you process and deal with the surroundings and the environments and the inputs that are coming in, or maybe it’s to help you sort of process the emotions and move them through you. It’s something I now do on a regular basis, and I love going out and being in social environments. I’m a dancer. I like to go out harder dancing. But, yeah, I’ve been made fun of at times. But I’ll bring my knitting with me because it’s something for me to stay present in my own body, moving my hands, filling the yarn, filling the fabric. Or I will be bouncing up and down on my heels while I watch everyone dance, or I’ll be swaying to the music. For me having that music component really does help me also stay in my body when I am in social setting. So, yeah, stimming is adding some sort of sensory element to your nervous system.

Jennifer Wallace  [00:30:25]:

I have a client who I work with who also falls on the autism spectrum. It’s so interesting to hear you talk about music. Music is a big component of the training that we do together. Finding drills for her in different times where she can incorporate music, incorporate any of this sensory. Can we find a beautiful window? Like, what can you look at? She’s also an artist, so trying to bring in the NSI into her art, into creativity, has been so expansive. Then also habit stacking. Habit stacking was a really important tool or a really different way to approach things. Have you found that in your own journey, like finding just nuanced ways to work with the tools?

Lindsey Wall  [00:31:09]:

Yeah, I’m glad you asked that, because as a neurodivergent who has that slower processing, I know things taking a whole lot longer, like my drills that I do. I would love to sit down and do, like a 30 minutes drill session, but I will get lost. I’ve made a lot of progress in my sort of time management, but a lot of neurodivergent folks don’t really have this sense of time. So stacking our drills, stacking our habits so that I’ll put drills in my other habits. So when I brush my teeth, I do two or three drills throughout that when I wake up and drink my water and look outside of the sun, I put two or three drills with that. So habit stacking is incredibly important for me to help me kind of maintain a flow without getting lost, if that.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:32:11]:

Makes sense, it makes perfect sense, and it’s so valuable. Lindsey, I feel like there’s never any substitute for lived experience when we’re working with people as coaches, as neurocoaches, having the experience of complex trauma, having the experience of having a neurodivergent identity and understanding at this different level how to work with someone who shares these same experiences, same patterns in the nervous system. I feel so lucky that we have you at Brain Based as a Coach so that you can offer all of your experience and these tools in a customized way for different people who resonate deeply with your experience. I’m so glad that you came into NSI and took that journey. And I’d love to hear just a little bit about how did you decide that it was time to do NSI? What was that experience like for you?

Lindsey Wall  [00:33:11]:

I definitely had these preconceived thoughts of, I want to take as an NSI, I want to be able to better serve my clients, help them work out of pain and fatigue, and I still do. That’s still really important to me. But as I was coming into NSI and as I was really making that decision, there was this feeling of stuckness. What I mean by that is, I feel like in this sort of healing journey that I’ve had, I’ve come to see it a lot like a spiral. We’re always sort of circling back into traumas or beliefs, areas of ourselves that we want to maybe unfold deeper. There’s always this area- shame, worthiness, self expression and visibility that I always get stuck at. I feel more aware and present with them. Now, maybe I have some more compassion for them, but they are still real big roadblocks for me.

Lindsey Wall  [00:34:06]:

So coming into NSI, I kind of had that going on. And as we were diving into NSI, some of that started to unfold as we were taking these deep dives into neurology, how the brain works with the nervous system. It really started to pique my curiosity and how that relates to neurodivergence and how neurodivergence in the nervous system. And how they kind of relate. How neurodivergence and CPTSD have very similar outputs and responses and started to ask and get really curious about where is this line between what is a trauma output from a CPTSD, complex trauma, developmental trauma, or what is just like, this is a natural deficit, or even this is a natural intelligence for me. So that was definitely something that really started to pique my interest as I got into inosat, and I would.

Jennifer Wallace  [00:35:09]:

Love to, if you don’t mind, could you unpack that a little bit? Like, what is that line? I’m curious about that as I listen to you talk. As like I said earlier, we’ve explored complex trauma and the developmental brain, and that came from me sending an email to Matt and Elisabeth. Like, I have brain damage. Complex trauma is brain damage. So where is that line?

Lindsey Wall  [00:35:32]:

So I don’t know that I can tell you where that line is, truthfully. I can explain some of it that I’m exploring within my own sense and my own body, but I think that line blurs a lot of the time. And like you said, complex developmental trauma it is brain damage. Is it another form of neurodivergence? That’s a question I don’t know.

Jennifer Wallace  [00:35:55]:

And I hate to use the word brain damage. I’m sorry for saying that. I might not use those words today. So I don’t want to offend any of our listeners out there, but I used that word prior.

Lindsey Wall  [00:36:06]:

Structurally, the brain has changed. So what that can kind of look like for me. Y’all had a great podcast about social anxiety and how it relates to complex trauma. I’ve started to be like, I’ve always identified, like, yeah, I have social anxiety. I’ve started to wonder, where is that line? For me, is this really anxiety? Or am I making this informed choice to go out and be social and put myself in what feels to me as an uncomfortable position? It’s not that it feels unsafe. It’s not that I feel peer pressure. I don’t like drinking. I have no sense of peer pressure to drink.

Lindsey Wall  [00:36:50]:

I have no sense of peer pressure to talk. I could stand in a corner and be perfectly happy and content, but at the same time, there are these social norms of like, okay, should I make an effort? Should I go talk to people? Wall talk, I hate. But if you get me on a topic I’m super interested in, I won’t stop talking. So what is social anxiety and what is, like, I’m just going to ride out these sort of uncomfortableness. I’ve got my tools. I’m sitting in the corner, bouncing and just absorbing all the cool things, the music, the sounds, the visuals, the people moving, filling the textures of people’s clothes in my brain. And I’m happy there and I’m fine, but people will look at me and be like, that weirdo, how awkward is she? So I’m starting to play and trying to figure out where that line is with me. Yeah.

Lindsey Wall  [00:37:46]:

There are times where I do get anxious, and I have tools to also now rely on, too. So it does kind of keep me in a little bit safer place, even if I am feeling uncomfortable. Disassociation is another one that really, like, I know I have disavoidant dissociative tendency. However, my imagination is also one of my intelligences. Like, am I going to this happy place? Am I going into my imagination daydream space for reasons of, like, this is a trauma output, or is this just, like, I’m happy here and I want to be here, and I want to explore things up in my imagination. I want to explore spaces and how things feel. So I don’t know where that line is. I am trying to learn it and find it within myself.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:38:41]:

This is so fascinating to me, thinking about all of this, because I have so many thoughts here. One, there is so much overlap between complex trauma and neurodivergence. And I think there’s a whole level of trauma that comes in, too, during development, when you are neurodivergent and you’re trying to fit into a society that doesn’t fit with that. So there’s, like, another layer of trauma there that could also be developmental trauma. And then as I’ve been reading more about neurodivergence and trying to get ready next season, Jennifer and I are planning to go much deeper into mental health and mental health outcomes. And all of this from an NSI perspective. And as I’m reading this stuff, I’m like, it’s definitely me. There’s a lot of this stuff.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:39:31]:

The big emotional responses like you were talking about, the social anxiety, the overwhelm, the sensory overload, the dissociation. That also fits with my trauma history and also maybe a part of who I am. And regardless of how my brain got to be this way, my brain is this way, right? Maybe some of it is things that I was born with. Some of it comes from the changes that occurred because of my environment and the stressors that I was under growing up. And now my brain functions in a different way. And some of the times, those are assets like you were talking about. And we talk a lot in here about how trauma is not always all bad, right? It gives us a much deeper level of understanding the human condition. It can lead to unfolding of a lot of leaps in consciousness as we go on this path to understand and unravel our trauma.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:40:31]:

And a lot of the ways that I’ve been shaped are also what make me a successful practitioner, an educator that birthed this podcast. And so it’s just really interesting to explore. These things are both assets and things that we want to also work on for our health and our well being and our sense of safety as we move through the world.

Jennifer Wallace  [00:40:57]:

I really loved your exploration of that line and appreciated it deeply. I think some of those labels and thoughts of the why am I like this? And some of these sensitivities and those labels have been like you said, yes, they come with emotions like shame, but they just completely rob us of present moment experiences and just being and being safe in any environment that we’re entering into. And it is such an interesting energy to discern where this behavior is coming from. And the nervous system is so incredible, this malleable, well designed wisdom. And to be able to come into the genius of yourself and understanding that what might not look the same way for somebody else doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with us. A lot of this is our superpowers. Piper Rose was on recently, and they are so brilliant because they know you put a bunch of stuff in, mix it all up, and then here I am. This is kind of what you get. And I just love the way they said that because that was like, yeah.

Lindsey Wall  [00:42:12]:

That’s just what it is.

Jennifer Wallace  [00:42:13]:

We’re all made up of all these mixed ingredients and all these experiences that we’ve been through, and there is no normal and that is the way forward on this podcast. And so I was lit up by that exploration that you just gave us. Thank you so much for that.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:42:32]:

Tell us a little bit about from this perspective. As you were exploring neurodivergence at this time in your life, and you were going through NSI, what were some of your biggest takeaways from that experience?

Lindsey Wall  [00:42:45]:

So I think for me, getting back into that shame, worthiness, self expression, having this curiosity and new information and knowledge to start to process me, to go through and look at my neurodivergence through an NSI Lin was definitely a huge takeaway for me, getting to dive into all the little nitty gritty of the neurology and how the brain works. I really enjoyed that, being able to also step back and see that bigger picture. So getting into both the details and the bigger picture allowed me to make some of these new connections in how my brain worked, how my nervous system worked, how the correlations between the complexity of a neurodivergent brain and the way the nervous system responds to that and our trauma responses to that. I think those were probably the biggest takeaway for me with NSI, I think.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:43:44]:

There’s so much value in everything that you were talking about and the things that you were able to digest during the course. And also just this really powerful reframing. It makes the concept of N = 1 bigger. For me, it takes this concept in NSI of, like, everyone’s nervous system is unique and different, and we have to work with the nervous system that’s in front of us. And really, yeah, it just expands that concept in a really powerful way for me. So I’m really happy to have this conversation, and then I’d love, as you’re coming into brain based as a coach, to also just tell us a little bit about why you want to do this work, who you want to serve, what brought you into this space, because, gosh, we’re so lucky to have you here.

Lindsey Wall  [00:44:35]:

I’ve already, for a few years now, been mixing in a little bit of nervous system work for my high pain, high fatigue, pilates clients and movement clients, but really wanted to take that a step further, was really just transformed from my work with rewire coaching and with you, Elisabeth, in that emotional processing, taking it to a whole other level, not just pain management, pain free now. Right? I wanted to be able to offer that and have people be able to feel that phenomenon in their own body. So I still want to continue working with high pain, chronic pain hypermobility clients is something I’m also really interested Ehlers Danlos clients, because I have this awareness of the joints in pilates move, and because I also have to modify a lot of my own drills. Like you said, N = 1. I have to make these drills my own. And so I approach the drills in a very creative way. And having that sort of knowledge and curiosity to like, let’s problem solve this drill and let’s find the way that it works for you is something that really interests me. But I definitely want to also help fellow neurodivergent folks out there, because I know what it’s like to live in a daily, unsafe, high state of needing that regulation and looking to help them build self acceptance, helping them with processing sensory.

Lindsey Wall  [00:46:16]:

I come to it with so much gentleness and compassion because I’ve had to learn that gentleness and compassion for my own self, knowing that I need a lot of inhibition drills because I can get so overstimulated, and sometimes I need that extra stimulation. So for me, having these clients that have high pain, hypermobility, high fatigue, neurodivergence, I have this.., I feel like a well of experience that I really resonate and love to help and work with other folks like that.

Jennifer Wallace  [00:46:53]:

I think that’s often what calls us into these spaces. We heal things and then we understand it and then we want to share and give that information away. And it’s fantastic because whoever’s listening, that’s resonating with your story, how you teach, they’re going to have the link to book with you in the call, a link to the Rewire Coaching page. So we’re going to be able to put you in contact with Lindsey, and that’s really exciting for our community. It is really such a full circle experience to be here with you today. I’m just so, just delighted and so excited to watch you on your journey. So thank you so much, Lindsey, for your openness, your vulnerability and everything that you shared with us today.

Lindsey Wall  [00:47:33]:

Yeah, well, thank y’all so much. It was real pleasure.

Jennifer Wallace  [00:47:38]:

Well, honestly, today, Lindsey kind of blew my mind on a few different concepts that I’d been exploring, particularly with the creativity aspect, when she started talking about when we got into that line of complex trauma and neurodivergence, that complex trauma brain, and it offered me a sense of grace today.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:47:58]:

Yeah, this topic, among others, is something I’m so interested in exploring right now. And actually, the next season that we have coming up is going to be taking a deep dive into lots of mental health concepts and really looking at our whole mental health paradigm from a Neuro Somatic Intelligence perspective, looking at topics like ADHD and neurodivergence, personality disorders, borderline bipolar, all the things. Depression, I was going to say.

Jennifer Wallace  [00:48:27]:

Even taking it simpler, like depression, anxiety. Not that that’s more simple, but it’s sort of the baseline before we get into levels.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:48:38]:

Yeah. Into some of these more diagnosed topics. I think it’s going to be a really interesting season. It’s one that we’re starting to do our research in now. We’re going to bring a lot of science, we’re going to bring a lot of experts in and have some really powerful conversations, I think, about complex trauma, where that fits into the mental health system, structural trauma and those components, as well as just the real neurobiology of what’s going on.

Jennifer Wallace  [00:49:08]:

We’re really trying to be more active on social media, and we would love for you to join our community there. That’s how we are learning more about what you want to hear from us, how we can best serve you on this podcast and on this platform. So please give us a follow at Trauma.Rewired and connect with us there.

Elisabeth Kristof  [00:49:28]:

Absolutely. We want this to be an active conversation, and your input is really important to us, and that’s a great place to.

Jennifer Wallace  [00:49:35]:

Bye, y’all.

Listen to more episodes of Trauma Rewired HERE