Feb 21, 2022
First responders are put into the most traumatic situations and expected to respond with order and calm. They help the rest of us through the worst times of our lives. However, being exposed to constant trauma can take a toll on a person’s psyche.
Rodger Ruge understands the stress that first responders deal with on a daily basis. As a 20-year law enforcement veteran, Rodger has experienced the impacts of dealing with traumatic events firsthand. Rodger has had to overcome his own adversity to deal with the CPTSD diagnosis that left him with suicidal ideations.
He sought healing in non-traditional ways and wanted to share what he has learned with the first responder community. Today, Rodger describes how yoga, meditation, and breathwork can help people overcome adversity and learn how to manage stress in their lives.
As a California motorcycle patrol officer, Rodger was often one of the first responders to motor vehicle accidents. This role led him to see many traumatic accidents. One particular horrific multi-car accident was the catalyst that lead to a diagnosis of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD).
He didn’t realize it at the time, but that accident left him traumatized and changed his life. After witnessing that event he sought danger at every turn, causing what psychologists described as, suicidal ideations. Confronting this reality, Rodger realized that he had to find a solution to take back his life.
Since then, he has relentlessly explored non-traditional modalities to find healing and peace. These practices were founded in the principles of mindfulness and resilience from the wisdom of cultural practices dating back thousands of years.
Rodger has dedicated his life to exploring the world in search of nontraditional therapies to help bring healing to himself and others. After retiring from law enforcement in 2005, Rodger founded Hero Talk LLC to teach first responders how to balance their body, mind and spirit as they serve their communities. Rodger performs his work through his advanced training programs, life coaching, keynote engagements, as well as his podcast, HeroTalk.org.
Stress relief techniques aren’t taught in first responder training, so these heroes don’t have the tools they need to deal with the stress they encounter every day.
Rodger experiments with all kinds of nontraditional treatments and acts as an ambassador between those practices and the heroes that need them to deal with the constant stress in their lives. He vets the woo to bring back the most helpful techniques that can change lives.
First responders are saturated with sympathetic nervous system dominance. Nonstop stress allows cortisol to constantly come into the brain and keep it engaged. This means that the body and mind begin to break down over time due to high cortisol levels. Yoga, meditation, and breathwork restore the parasympathetic nervous system and bring back balance in the mind and body. These powerful tools can be used by anyone to help the mind rest and restore equilibrium to the nervous system.
Many traditional psychologists, healers, and therapists don’t have the cultural competence to help first responders deal with their level of stress. Rodger understands exactly what these heroes have experienced. This is why he is working so hard to empower his community to find the solutions that work best for them.
Listen in to hear the best explanation that I have heard about how to meditate and learn how restoring the parasympathetic nervous system can help anyone navigate adversity.
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