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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Empowering People to Make Positive Changes

Jun 04, 2012 03:34PM
 Dr. Matt Lyon uses mind-body healing for radical wellness

By Lisa Moore

Dr. Matt Lyon, D.C, owner of Network Wellness Charlotte, has helped thousands of people across the USA and Europe awaken to more meaningful lives though Network Spinal Analysis, a modality that uses gentle, precise touch to the spine to cue the brain to create new wellness promoting strategies. Coupled with Somatic Respiratory Integration, a powerful technique that enables the most evolved parts of the brain to become more aware of and responsive to the body, clients experience reduced pain and stress, and improved energy, immunity, and emotional and psychological well-being. Natural Awakenings spoke with Dr. Lyon about how he helps people create and sustain the highest levels of health vitality, and passion.

The term “wellness” has become a cliché of sorts with numerous health related entities using the word to mean a number of things. How do you define true wellness?

Wellness is an internal state where there is maximum connection to a vast internetwork of resources. When we’re in that authentic state of wellness, we’re flourishing on every level because we have access to and are choosing the parts of ourselves that are most resourceful in how we respond to life. You see it in an abundant state of positive emotion. That doesn’t mean we don’t have negative emotion. It means anything we feel has merit and positive application. We feel like we can engage fully in life, like we’re not running away from anything. We have really amazing, positive relationships that are rich, healthy and expanding. We have a deep sense of meaning for life, and everything has meaning. We are able to achieve success and have the resources to fulfill our life’s dreams.

I think the hallmark of wellness, is that it’s ever evolving. It’s a process of mastery that doesn’t necessarily have an end. It’s not about making symptoms go away. One can have a disease or a painful symptom or a challenge in life and that actually pushes them into a place where they start growing and experiencing wellness. All of a sudden their life takes on this dramatic meaning - their personal relationships heal and they’re engaging in a different way. So you can have a disease and still experience great wellness. You can experience this great expansion of well being, which also sometimes means the disease will go away, but if it doesn’t, a person’s life is so much richer. Wellness is the internal human experience of feeling fully alive and radiantly vital and feeling like you’re very empowered.

How does Network Spinal Analysis work?

Network Spinal Analysis is an approach that has a strong evidence base behind it. Scientists in the engineering and mathematics departments at The University of Southern California are currently measuring the effects of this work. And what they’ve said is that as Network Care progresses, you get this statistically significant reorganization of the human nervous system. This means that people are able to self-regulate their tension. Network Spinal Analysis is the application of very gentle contacts in a specific sequence in very specific points along the spine that cue the frontal cortex, which is the most evolved part of the brain, to become more self-aware so that this produces two different waves. The first one is a breathing wave that helps people connect to their tension and release it on their own. As care advances and progresses, it moves into the somatopsychic wave. There are definite biological and physiological things producing this wave-like motion through the spine which often looks like undulation, and this is what’s being studied that’s producing this reorganization of the nervous system.

That’s important because the nervous system is how we experience life. And all of the experiences we have in life that we were not fully able to be with or sift through  - especially physical, mental or emotional trauma - actually store in the body as tension and vibration. The body has a remarkable and incredible way of partitioning off trauma as a protective response. But until the energy of that is moved through, and I don’t mean metaphysical energy, but literally the tension that is associated with trauma, it puts people into a place of contraction and this distorts their body and the way they respond to life. And all physiological stress is related to a person’s inability to feel safe. So scientifically, Network Spinal Analysis is helping a person self-organize, become more self-aware and to have these incredible strategies for getting rid of the old stuff and responding to the new stress in a brand new way which is from the perspective of the higher cortex where all the most advanced, evolved human capacities dwell: joy, connection, love, resourcefulness, thinking things through, processing, pausing – as opposed to the fight or flight response.

You have had extensive education in various religious philosophies as well as yoga, Ayurveda, Buddhism, and meditation and have worked closely with a spiritual teacher. What role does spirituality play in your professional life?

Well, for me, this is the most important dimension of life. This informs everything I do. Nothing is separate from this as there is nowhere the Spirit is not. And that cultivates a certain presence and character. Every day, every moment is practice - especially my professional work - practicing this deep awareness and presence moment by moment by moment.

Two really important things for me are presence and depth. The most inspirational people to me have an amazing presence. They are present physically, mentally and emotionally. My experience of spirituality is to continually deepen that presence so I can connect with people in a very deep and authentic way. I want to have a conversation with the totality of the person whether there’s a lot of words or not. I want them to know that I am so present for them. And then I like to cultivate depth of experience because I can’t take anybody where I haven’t been myself. There is so much compassion that comes when we’re present with ourselves. I think the greater degree of our spirituality, the greater self-awareness and self-honesty we have.

Life is constantly changing and I strive to remain steady - not steady in a place where nothing is changing - but steady as in “I am part of this amazing evolution.” I have some core practices. Consistency on the fundamentals is absolutely imperative. I get the work that I do done on me. I check in with my mentors and guides. I check my baggage at the door. I have a daily meditation practice, I exercise, eat living foods and really cultivate long term relationships with people that are my soul tribe. All of these things help me be in that steadiness that’s always growing.


Studies indicate that Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system. Deaths from prescription drugs now outnumber deaths from illegal drugs and motor vehicle accidents. What would an ideal healthcare system look like to you?

We don’t have a healthcare system, we have a sick care system. For me, healthcare would be teaching people from an early age that food is their medicine and medicine is their food; that breathing is really important; teaching people to be authentic and vulnerable; to build community; teaching people that the body has amazing ability to self-heal and self-regulate when it is not stressed. And then the modern medicine sickness care model fits into that because it’s wonderful for trauma and life threatening illnesses and we need all that.

Ideally people would meet with a health coach who teaches you how to eat and how to see food in emotional, biological, psychological and spiritual perspectives. You’d have chiropractors, acupuncturists, therapists, all of whom are teaching you to heal yourself and re-organize yourself on every level. These people become our go-to people for health first. And you’d have traditional sick care when it is needed. If we were to do this we’d create a system that is not only empowering to people, but I really believe people would be happier, they’d be healthier, and more evolved because we’re creating this system of self-awareness and self -actualization and the happiest people live longer and get less disease. So at its simplest level, healthcare is empowering people from day one at home as children and on through the rest of their lives.

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