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Expansive Intimacy EP14: Body & Brain Healing for Intimacy (Pt. 2) w/Matt Bush

“Those types of protective responses destroy our connection and the ability to have intimacy. ”

Matt Bush, owner of Next Level Neuro, a neuroscience based health and performance coaching company picks up where Elisabeth Kristof left off to discuss the way our nervous system forms patterns in response to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE). ACEs are anything that disrupt a child’s environment and threaten their sense of safety and stability. From this trauma, our nervous systems form patterns which can severely hinder our ability to be vulnerable, intimate and to connect authentically as adults.

These behavioral adaptations can be explained by a law of physiology called the SAID principle, (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand) meaning the body gets better at what it does, like a practiced protective response to trauma. Luckily, the nervous system loves novelty and Matt explains how to create a flow switch, or pattern interrupt, to change our way of thinking and build better connections going forward. This can require talking to ourselves more than we listen.

He also explains daily actions we can take to implement Neuro-Somatic Intelligence principles and practices and calm our amygdala. He also answers the question of how to practice the vulnerability required to create intimacy when vulnerability itself is a trigger.


“So much of what we learn…how our neural pathways develop…are social inputs. We don't grow up or develop in a vacuum.” (4:34 | Matt)
“A good way to think of those adverse childhood experiences is that they severely disrupt the environment that the child is being raised in, so it primes and teaches the nervous system that life is not safe…the adults there actually may be unsafe or threatening to the child.” (10:50 | Matt)
“The nervous system works on prediction…It's not looking at two seconds in the past…the threat has already occurred, it's too late to protect yourself. The damage is already done.” (12:49 | Matt)
“In those moments, if we can become aware…we actually have an opportunity to talk to our own brain.” (27:35 | Matt)
“Sometimes people don't even realize why they're fighting…it's this fight, this tug of war between, ‘I want to engage, and then I disengage. Or I want to let down my guard, but then I blow it up so that I'm safe.’ (36:20 | Matt)

Show Links

Connect with Matt Bush:

Next Level Neuro Website:

Instagram: @nextlevelneuro

Neuro-Somatic Intelligence Website:

Connect with Jim Young: Website: LinkedIn: The Men's Expansive Success Brotherhood: Expansive Intimacy, the book:


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. Intro Music: Catch It by Coma- Media Outro Music: Upbeat Funky Retro by QubeSounds Podcast production and show notes provided by

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