Top Down and Bottom Up


“The Body Keeps the Score”

Knowing the difference between top down and bottom up regulation is central for understanding and treating traumatic stress.

Top-down regulation involves strengthening the capacity of the watchtower to monitor your body’s sensations.

Mindfulness meditation and yoga can help with this.

Bottom-up regulation involves recalibrating the autonomic nervous system, (which, as we have seen, originates in the brain stem).

We can access the ANS ( Autonomic  Nervous System) through breath, movement, or touch.

Breathing is one of the few body functions under both conscious and autonomic control.



3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by rudid96 on August 21, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    This one is harder for me to understand. I don’t think I actually get the connections the diagram is delineating. Maybe another will more readily grasp the presentation.

  2. Yea I needed a better pic

    I did not follow either

    Thanks I will change it

  3. Breathing reaches both sides of the brain

    The reptilian brain and the higher brain executive function

    In survival more the sympathetic nervous system is percolating that shuts down the parasympathetic system

    It’s a teeter totter when one is up the other is down

    Hard to be angry and happy at same time

    Or maybe calm and angry

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