Reset your brain and body for a pain-free life.

Joe Tatta, PT, DPT


Dr. Ginger Garner: Polyvagal theory and the Stress Response – Why Language Matters and Safety is Sovereign

Welcome to Episode #12 of the Healing Pain Podcast! 

Today we are joined by Dr. Ginger Garner, DPT, ATC/LAT, PYT

What is polyvagal theory and how does it relate to health or chronic disease?

Signs of safety cause our nervous system to relax. Signs of DANGER cause our nervous system to react, over react or become overly sensitive. A sensitive nervous system may lead to persistent pain and other chronic health problems. The brain constantly receives input from the outside world and has the task of deciphering safety from danger.

Language is evaluated by the brain and can either assist in health or whittle down ones vitality. The language you use and hear can be a sign of danger or safety.

Dr. Ginger Garner joins the Healing Pain Podcast to discuss the pivotal role of language in healing. Ginger is a doctor of physical therapy, athletic trainer and yoga therapist. Dr Garner not only provides strategies for your health but also shares her own story and challenges negotiating our health care system.

In This Episode You Will Learn:

  • How polyvagal theory relates to pain, health and disease.
  • Why language matters in the healing process.
  • Autonomic tone, the nervous system and its role in health and disease.
  • The difference between homeostasis versus allostasis.
  • The concept of safety being sovereign and its relation to health.
  • How breath and sound affect vagal tone.

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About Dr. Ginger Garner

Dr. Garner is a veteran therapist devoted to helping people overcome trauma and pain. She has spent her career using yoga as therapy and training health care professionals to use yoga for both medical and self-care. Dr. Garner is the founder of the Professional Yoga Therapy Institute, an international, interdisciplinary medical yoga therapy certification for health care professionals. Dr. Garner serves at multiple universities, lecturing, consulting, and conducting research to integrate therapeutic yoga into medical education and patient care. She maintains an international speaking schedule as a course developer and educator and is an advocate for equal rights in, and access to, biopsychosocial-driven healthcare via improving health literacy for use of yoga in wellness and medicine, particularly for fostering gender equity in healthcare, improved access to physical therapy, and social justice for mothers. Ginger lives with her husband and three sons in the United States.

Language is Important

To learn more about Dr. Garner visit


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The Healing Pain Podcast features expert interviews and serves as:

  • A community for both practitioners and seekers of health.
  • A free resource describing the least invasive, non-pharmacologic methods to heal pain.
  • A resource for safe alternatives to long-term opioid use and addiction.
  • A catalyst to broaden the conversation around chronic pain emphasizing biopsychosocial treatments.
  • A platform to discuss pain treatment, research and advocacy.

If you would like to appear in an episode of The Healing Pain Podcast or know someone with an incredible story of overcoming pain contact Dr. Joe Tatta at Experts from the fields of medicine, physical therapy, chiropractic, nutrition, psychology, spirituality, personal development and more are welcome.

Dr. Joe TattaDr. Ginger Garner: Polyvagal theory and the Stress Response – Why Language Matters and Safety is Sovereign
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  • Kayla - August 5, 2016 reply

    Way too technical and not enough practical information on how we as individuals can benefit. The interview could have been a lot more helpful.

    Dr. Joe Tatta - August 9, 2016 reply

    Thank you for your input Kayla!
    Polyvagal theory is very complex and I understand your frustration.

    I am going to plan a follow-up to this interview as it has received a lot of positive feedback and interest.
    Dr. Joe

  • eleanor gibson - August 22, 2016 reply

    found this talk fantastically interesting – especially the links with sound – also have felt intuitively that my pelvic floor and throat were connected but this is the first time I have heard that spoken about.. thankyou!

    Dr. Joe Tatta - August 23, 2016 reply

    Thank you Eleanor! It is incredible how seemingly distant body parts can be connected!
    I will have more on the vegas nerve in the future and a program addressing this little known problem.
    Please make sure you are on my mailing list by entering your name and email address on my homepage at

    I would also love to hear how you are doing and what is working for you!
    In health,
    Dr. Joe!

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