PT487 – Interoception, Healing Through Connection, and Learning to Trust Our Bodies

February 16, 2024
Featuring: Saga Briggs

In this episode, David interviews Saga Briggs: freelance journalist and author of How to Change Your Body: The Science of Interoception and Healing Through Connection to Yourself and Others.

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In this episode, David interviews Saga Briggs: freelance journalist and author of How to Change Your Body: The Science of Interoception and Healing Through Connection to Yourself and Others.

A collection of interviews, peer-reviewed research, and personal story; the book dives deep into the mind-body connection, how to become more embodied, and our need for social connection – which factors into mental and physical health far more than most of us realize. The nod to Michael Pollan’s book is also a challenge: Have we been focusing too much on our minds and now it’s time to pay more attention to our bodies? How much of the benefit of psychedelic experiences is related to truly experiencing our bodies?

She discusses:

  • How neuroscience is starting to look more at brain-body interactions, and the psychedelic space’s growing interest in somatics
  • The minimal and narrative selves: Do psychedelics make the minimal self traverse over the narrative self?
  • Flexible switching and applying interoception to a social context
  • Her concept of a ‘possibility space’ and new ways of perceiving
  • The benefit of adding embodiment practices to psychedelic assisted therapy – especially during preparation and integration

and more!

Notable Quotes

“I think people are familiar with the ways in which different compounds can influence the bodily self, so to speak. And it’s a really interesting idea that that, in and of itself (the modulation of your body or your experience of your body or how the body is represented by the brain): if that maps onto therapeutic outcomes, if that’s part of what’s so beneficial about these compounds – not just changing neural pathways in the brain, but actually giving you a different experience of yourself as an embodied organism in the world – I think this is a really interesting area to look into.”

“The minimal self is kind of just your basic feeling of being in a body, not necessarily tied to your identity. And the narrative self is like the story you tell yourself: who you are when you wake up in the morning, all of your memories, and kind of your life story. And it seems that there’s something going on with psychedelics where the minimal self: its influence sort of traverses over the narrative self, and we get an opportunity to be re-embodied in a way.”

“I don’t see a separation between a place of calmness within my body and the peace of the natural world. It’s the same quality to me. So if I’m standing, looking up at the stars at night in some beautiful remote place, that resonates inside me because it’s the same quality, if that makes sense. I feel it in my body so profoundly because it’s a reminder that my body is part of this greater profound stillness.”


How to Change Your Body: The Science of Interoception & Healing Through Connection to Yourself & Others, by Saga Briggs

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel Van Der Kok, MD

Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness (MAIA) Social Interoception: The Case for Treating Mental Illnesses Through the Body, in a Social Setting

Biorxiv.orgThe entropic heart: Tracking the psychedelic state via heart rate dynamics Interoception and Social Connection Effective Connectivity of Functionally Anticorrelated Networks Under Lysergic Acid Diethylamide

Saga Briggs 2

In this Episode

Saga Briggs

Saga Briggs is a freelance journalist. Her articles on interoception and psychedelics have been published by Scientific American, Aeon+Psyche, and DoubleBlind Magazine. She is a former editor for the MIND European Foundation for Psychedelic Science and former managing editor of InformED, a digital magazine connecting teachers and students with trends in educational psychology. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she moved to Berlin in 2018 on a gut feeling and continues to move that way.

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