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Expansive Intimacy EP13: Body & Brain Healing for Intimacy (Pt. 1) w/Elisabeth Kristof

“Trauma is not the past event, it lives in the present.”

In this week's episode, Jim talks with Elisabeth Kristof, co-host of the Trauma Rewired podcast and founder of Brain-Based Wellness, about profound ways in which we can shift our reactions to stressful events to create calmer, more trusted, intimate connections.

Elisabeth describes that developing our neuro-somatic intelligence allows us to strengthen our nervous systems, resolve old trauma response patterns, and improve our performance in all areas of life.

Trauma, usually that experienced in early childhood, affects our ability to attach which is a primal survival need. All body systems constantly interpret data to determine if we are safe, and–beyond that, loved. Trauma, which remains in a present state within the body, tells us we are not. This leads to self-protective responses which manifest in everything from behavior to body posture.

These responses fall under the ‘Four Fs,’ which Elisabeth explains here, and can show up in stressful situations arising everywhere from the boardroom to the bedroom. If emotions remain unexpressed they lead however unconsciously to destructive behaviors like drug addiction or overtraining. Understanding that so many of people’s behaviors are responses and adaptations to trauma allows us to better understand and forgive others as well as ourselves.

The modern world makes it difficult to regulate our nervous systems, but Elizabeth shares some simple tools we can start to incorporate daily. She also discusses the surprisingly positive way shame can affect intimacy.


“It's very important to understand that…trauma lives in the present…Our posture, our movement, our interaction with other people is all driven and shaped by that.” (8:13)
“It really helps to have an understanding of the nervous system…my body, my nervous system and my brain have been using them for a long time. And it has worked until this point to keep me safe and alive.” (18:17)
“We live in a society that does not encourage healthy emotional expression. Many of us, for various reasons, learn to either suppress or repress our emotions from an early age.” (26:59)
“Here's the thing: we’re neuroplastic. Our system is always responding and adapting to the stimulus …So when we understand…the nervous system, we can…start to move it forward in a positive direction.” (39:32)

Show Links:

Connect with Elisabeth Kristof:

Neuro-Somatic Intelligence Coaching Certification:

Brain-Based Wellness Membership:

Connect with Jim Young:

The Men's Expansive Success Brotherhood:


If you like what we're talking about on the show, would you consider sharing it with someone important in your life who might also appreciate it? I'd also love it if you would rate, comment, and subscribe to Expansive Intimacy on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!

The views expressed are that of the individual and do not represent the opinions of any companies past, present or future.


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